Quantity vs Quality in the Job Search

When you first begin your job search, it’s important to have a strategy that can help you organize your plan of attack. Something that many job seekers struggle with at one time or another is the quantity vs. quality debate. That is, should I do a mass distribution of resumes and cover letters to every company and its brother? Or would it be best to carefully select the companies I apply to and take the effort to create a unique resume and cover letter tailored specifically to a given company?

When I first started looking for the position I am now at, I definitely took the quantity approach. After all, it makes some intuitive sense. If I submit more applications, I’ll have to get more calls back, right?

And I was pleased to find out that yes, I did receive more calls back. However, I also did waste a lot more time interviewing for positions I quickly found out that I would not take, even if offered. Had I taken the time to more carefully read the job description and peruse through the company website, I would have known this right away.

So perhaps, if you’re in a pickle and you’re willing to take just about any job, then maybe you’ll too find that the quantity approach lands you more interviews. But, on the other hand, if you have a fairly good idea about what you want to do and the type of company you want to work for, I’d suggest investing a bit more time into your job search. By targeting your focus, you’ll be more likely to land the exact type of position you’re looking for. Also, you may find that your interview-to-application ratio increases as you spend more time crafting a resume, cover letter, and video resume unique to each company and/or position.

In closing, my personal experiences have made me a fan of the quality approach. However, I’d love to get some feedback on what kinds of strategies have worked for others. Did you use the quality or the quantity approach? Use the space below to leave a comment!

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