Job hunting can be a long, tough process and as the rejections mount up it may be tempting to opt for a policy of quantity over quality. After all, it stands to reason that the more applications you send out the more chance you have of getting an interview, doesn’t it? Well, not really. Of course, it’s possible to send out a high number of high-quality applications and get several positive responses, but in reality if you’re sending out applications by the shed load the chances are they won’t be your best work.
Although you may think your CV is spot and your covering letter just so, if they’re generic catch-all documents you’ve sent to 20 potential employers everyone single one of them will spot this as soon as they set eyes on them. When that happens, they’ll reach straight for the bin and your hopes of landing one of the 1000s of jobs out there will be given a major setback.
So what’s the best thing to do? Well, first of all you need to be selective about the positions you apply for. This doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to a certain field or sector, but it does mean you may have to limit the number of applications you submit. If you can’t dedicate the proper amount of time to an application, you may as well not bother in the first place. To stand any real chance of getting an interview you need to make sure you tailor things so they are specific to the role in question, especially when it comes to your covering letter.
Just as graduate recruiters can tell when they’ve been sent a generic CV and covering letter, so they can see
when the applicant has taken the effort to ensure the documents are specific to their company. Not only will this ensure your application is more likely to be read, it will also help show the person reading what you have to offer.
Firing off 20 job applications in a day may feel like a real achievement, but spending the same amount of time sending off two or three really good ones is more likely to produce results.