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How Many Jobs Should I Apply For?

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When I was a fresh graduate, I thought that employers would fight over my incomparable talents and epic work ethic. That was a nice fantasy, and I soon woke up to the realities of our world.

Again, when I spent the best years of my life achieving one success after another, I thought that I could move on to any job my heart desired. And again, I was wrong.

So how many jobs should I apply for to reach my goals? I’ll tell you all about it right now.

How Many Jobs Should I Apply For?

I’ve had a long and eventful career, and here’s what I learned. There are no hard and fast rules for the number of job applications you need to do each week to get a good job. But you need to do plenty of these!

A good estimate, backed up by thousands of professional stories, states that 15-20 applications per week should be the way to go.

Let’s say that landing a great job is both an art and a science. Here’s why I say that.

How to Decide How Many Jobs to Apply For

Some people think that it’s the more the merrier, but it’s not. Various factors guide the number of jobs you can apply for in any given week. The goal here is to stay realistic in your expectations, and implement an effective strategy, till you land your dream job.

  • How much time do you have on regular weekdays?
  • Can free your weekends/early morning/late night?
  • Do rejections demotivate you too much?
  • Is this a booming time in business or jobs are scarce in your field?
  • How quickly do you need a new job?  
  • Are you a new grad? Middle manager? Employed? Freelancer?

If you’re a job seeker with plenty of free time, then you can afford to dedicate a big chunk of that to drafting a killer CV, and sending it out every which way. Then again, if you become too anxious after each negative reply, then you might want to slow down a bit.

Contrary to that, if you’re a single parent who’s already working 10 hours each day, then time would naturally be in short supply. You’d have to think of a job application in terms of quality rather than quantity.

One of the biggest motivators to apply for many jobs all at once is being unemployed and needing to pay the rent. The urgency of the situation calls for doubling down on the job market. Being tactical and strategic should pay off in a relatively short time.    

How Many Jobs Should You Apply for Every Day?

There’s no mathematical equation that says X job applications per day guarantees that you’ll land a stellar contract after 2 weeks. It’s all speculation and closer to an educated guess.

Having said that, the golden rule currently is applying for 3-5 jobs per day, which adds up to 15-25 applications per week.

This is merely for guidance. It’s best to tailor your schedule based on your individual situation. Your work hours, family situation, other commitments, and urgency of needed employment should dictate the frequency of job applications.  

How Many Jobs Should I Apply for as a Teenager?

Teenagers have two great advantages and one serious challenge. Let’s start with the good news first; the two perks are time and flexibility. Teens are often less inundated with responsibilities than adults. And they’re also fit to occupy any intern position in any business.

The not-so-bright news is that the competition for such entry-level positions and internships is brutal. Especially, if you’re looking for a position at a reputable company.

Taking all this into consideration, it’s safe to say that as a teen, you should send out as many CVs as possible. Your schedule would allow that, and you can beat the competition by increasing your odds of success.  

How Many Jobs Should You Apply for When Still Employed?

Being employed decreases the stress associated with job hunting, and lowers the urgency of needing to land a job fast. It also means that you have much less dispensible time for searching and applying for jobs.

One has to be realistic and seek sustainable goals at all times. So in your case, applying for 1-3 jobs per day should be good. But play the long game and remain consistent. Also, focus more on polishing your CV, personalizing the cover letters, and selecting the right jobs.

How Many Applications on Average Does It Take to Get a Job?

Recent stats show that it takes around 150 applications on average to get a job. Each application has a success rate of roughly 8%.  

These figures appear dismal and disheartening. But practical situations play out differently in most cases. Many people have experienced landing fabulous jobs within a couple of weeks after pursuing a handful of positions.  

How Many Job Applications Is Too Many?

Granted that it’s a numbers game. However, if you feel overwhelmed, depressed, or you can’t track your applications, then you’ve applied for too many jobs.

Rationality and balance are always needed.  

Can You Reapply for a Job if You’re Unsuccessful?

It’s not recommended to reapply for the same job, especially if you’ve received a clear rejection with fair reasons. That would be a waste of time, as your skill set doesn’t quite fit the company’s requirements.

There are other situations though where you can re-apply for the same job. If the company’s reply says that you can do so at a later time or if they didn’t get back to you at all, then you can try again.

How to Speed Up Your Job Search

Patience is good, but waiting for all eternity to get a job offer is not!

Here are some tried and true ways to minimize the wait.

1. Find a Routine

Most people get amazing results when they follow a routine. This applies to sports, dating, and business. And it’s the most effective way to get a job.

If you set a target of applying for 3 jobs each day, first of all, plan the search and application process. Allocate time blocks each day, and commit to that religiously.

2. Apply as Soon as You Can

Early bird behavior pays well most of the time. Many recruiters cap the screening process at a specific number of applications, so timing matters.

Additionally, if a candidate stands out from the first few applicants, there’s a good chance that this person would get the position. Jobs don’t stay open indefinitely.  

3. Respond to Emails and Phone Calls Right Away

Prompt responses are crucial for success in business and in life. They also leave a great first impression on potential employers and recruiters.

An added perk is confirming availability for an interview early on, before the recruiter contacts the next candidates.  

4. Use Social Media

Job applications are now available on social media, and not just on specialized websites. It takes creativity and smart searching to find the right groups, but luckily, some of them actively look for you!

Many recruiters use social media ads to locate good candidates for a job. It’s not uncommon to see ads on your personal page announcing job openings.

Other than that, LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to check out the job market. Actually, reaching out to a recruiter on LinkedIn is quite easy.  

5. Create a Portfolio Website

Many employers ask for a link to your professional social media pages and portfolio. You can easily build a killer social media image, but it takes a bit of time and planning. Especially, if you need to demonstrate your influence and reach.

A similarly impactful alternative is building a portfolio website. And the best part is that it doesn’t take too long to create. You can update and polish your website regularly, which would also drive attention to your work.

6. Broaden Your Search

Niche spots are far better than generic sources. Look for places that share your interests and professional goals. Syndicates, associations, clubs, alumni gatherings, academia, chambers of commerce, and similar establishments are goldmines for job openings.

A mixture of traditional old-school places, and new-age digital platforms would be great for tapping into glamorous job openings with low competition.

7. Follow Up

Giving the recruiter or employer a call, or just sending a follow-up email, can boost your odds of landing the job significantly.

Even if you don’t receive the much-coveted acceptance, you can still enquire about the reasons why you didn’t get the job. Honest career advice could save you a lot of time and help you in improving your CV.

8. Use Templates

Let’s say, you are a great programmer and graphic designer. But you also do unbelievable stand-up comedy, and you’re open to acting gigs. You might also want to test the waters and see if you can do some project management.

A single CV and cover letter to cover all these activities would be messy and it wouldn’t leave the best impression on your potential employer.

It’s recommended to write individual CVs and cover letters to showcase each skill. As you target specific positions, you can just pull up a suitable template and personalize it in seconds.  

9. Update Your LinkedIn

Recruiters are constantly on the lookout for new talent, and one of their first stops is LinkedIn.

This is a very good motive for you to update your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that once they click on your account, they’d remain for a little while. Ensure a professional image at all times. Give them reasons to send you a message and ask for a meeting.

10. Sign Up for Job Alerts

Most platforms provide an option to send you alerts for new job openings that match your skill set and career goals.

This way, you’d cut down the length of time it takes to find new opportunities, and get notifications for new openings as soon as they come up.

11. Have a Strategy

strategy is how you beat the odds.

Start with selecting the companies and jobs that best suit your credentials. Reading the job description thoroughly is essential. Then, address the issues of your CV, and make it fail-proof for automated screening.

Finally, prepare well for the job interview, follow up on your applications and optimize your process based on the feedback you’d get.  

12. Have References Ready

Recruiters or employers who’d call you to set up an interview would also want to see your references. Either they’d ask you to send these ahead of time, or to bring them along to the meeting.

In both cases, you’d need to have your documents in good order. And you can’t wait for too long to get that done.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Little is Too Little to Stay at a Job?

Fair earnings translate to having enough to pay for the basics plus savings, entertainment, self-improvement, and any emergencies. If your current salary doesn’t cover all these items, then that’s too little.  

Some people require extra pay for their talents as well, and they see anything less as unacceptable.  

Is it Rude to Apply For More Than One Job at Once?

It can be bad to apply to multiple jobs at once. That’s because you wouldn’t be able to keep track of all of them, and you might even apply twice for the same job.  

Then again, there’s no guarantee that applying for one job would give the required outcome. So applying for multiple positions isn’t a big no-no.  

Wrapping Up

Looking for a new job is exciting, but at the same time, intimidating.

Additionally, it’s a process that involves rejection, ghosting, and occasionally some disappointment.

Fortunately, there’s a way to decrease the pain and maximize your opportunities of landing the right job. This starts with understanding how many jobs you need to apply for.

The business standard is 3-5 jobs per day, with an average of 15 per week. Most people wait around 3 months and go to a bunch of interviews with a hiring manager till they get their dream job. Adjusting your expectations would help you to remain positive and consistent.

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