Earlier this week, I heard a news story on the radio about one young graduate who had been sending out 20 to 30 resumes each week for the past year and still didn’t have a job.
My first thought: I bet she is sending out one resume–the same resume to 20 or 30 different companies, which is completely different than sending 20 or 30 different resumes.
If you are a young graduate trying to secure your first job, make sure you are:
1) being honest with yourself: are you sending out one application over and over again, but telling everyone that you’re sending out 20-30? Stop! In the current economy, nobody will ever respond to a generic application. You could send zero or a million and the result will be the same.
2) questioning the strategy you are using. For the student in the news story I heard, her current strategy is clearly not working. Time to change it up!
3) sending carefully composed, individually-customized applications to each company you apply to. The application you submit must match the posted ad–your qualifications, the keywords that you use, and the skills & experience you have must clearly, quantifiably, and compellingly match their stated needs.
4) focusing on quality, not quantity. If you can send 30 unique applications every week, each one customized to the advertised position, go for it! But that’s composing four complete applications each day, 7 days a week. Most of us would find our time was better spent working on two high-quality customized applications each day for five days a week.
Darcy Lear is a career coach specializing in training students to highlight their language studies so they standout in the job search and workplace. For one-on-one coaching or to set up a workshop, contact Darcy: firstname.lastname@example.org