There are basically four ways to find a job:
- Respond to a job advertisement.
- Apply unsolicited.
- Work through a professional recruiter.
- Network to a hiring need.
Although networking is, far and away, the most effective method to find a job, most job seekers waste the bulk of their job-searching time responding to job ads. This is because networking takes courage and is therefore hard, while responding to job ads is easy.
When I coach job seekers, I don’t want to discourage applying to job ads completely. Instead I recommend applying to one (1) job per day, and spending no more than one (1) hour preparing an effective application. Spend whatever additional job-search hours you have available: networking.
If you give yourself only 1 hour to prepare an effective application and submit it, you don’t want to waste time by selecting a job that is a long shot. “[O]ver 75% of resumes sent by candidates are NOT qualified for the role.” These unqualified candidates are people who are constantly wasting their time taking ridiculous long shot after ridiculous long shot. So, instead of quick-click applications, I coach job seekers to select the one job ad that they are MOST qualified for, and spend no more than an hour tailoring their application materials before submitting.
The linked article (here, above, and in the quotation) gives some great advice on qualifying the jobs to which a candidate should apply. Ask yourself:
a.) Do my responsibilities today or in the past align directly to those listed in the job description (or are they highly relevant)?