Finding a job is at the top of the list for many individuals, but securing employment can be a bit of a challenge. You probably have a specific job in mind that you are qualified for or would enjoy doing, and there seems to be an endless number of people hiring. So, how do you pick and choose which jobs to apply for? Would it hurt to apply to them all?
How many jobs should you apply to? For the most part, applying to two jobs a day during the weekdays is the best strategy. Refrain from applying on weekends, so your resume doesn’t get pushed to the bottom while many offices are closed and managers are off. However, have discretion when applying and don’t apply for just any job, as employers might catch onto this and be discouraged from hiring you.
When you are getting desperate for employment, you will likely want to flood your resume on websites like Indeed and Monster. However, you might be doing yourself a disservice. This article will explain how to maximize your job applications and why applying to every job you see can hurt your chances of getting a job.
How Many Jobs Should You Apply To?
Most people have been in a situation where they not only wanted a job, but they needed a job. However, even when there are times you may feel panicked, you must be smart about how you apply for jobs. This is also true for those new to the employment world or anyone looking to switch positions or move up to a better job. It all comes down to being smart.
The best practice is to limit yourself to no more than two applications each weekday and make sure you are not applying on the weekends. You will have a much higher chance of having your resume noticed on weekdays rather than weekends, and that is true for companies that are open and closed. The managers and those who do the hiring are likely only available on weekdays.
Only filling out two applications a day also ensures that you give companies time to respond. After all, it would be a shame to have to turn down some job interviews because you are completely packed for the day with interviews from other companies, potentially ruling out a golden opportunity.
According to a post by ZipJob, applying while balancing a focused resume makes the most sense regarding the number of jobs you apply to; generally 2 a day is most ideal when it comes to how many applications should be sent out on business days.
Is It Good to Apply for Multiple Jobs at Once?
The answer to this question is simple: yes, it is a good idea to apply for multiple jobs at once. Of course, you must make sure that you’re doing it the right way, which will be discussed in further detail later in this blog.
Consider this: if you only apply for a single job, wait two weeks to hear back, and never get called for an interview, then you have wasted valuable time waiting on a single job that never responded to your application.
While getting a call for an interview after sending out only one job application isn’t impossible, you are much more likely to get a call for an interview if you apply for multiple jobs at the same time.
The Best Way to Apply for Multiple Jobs at Once
It is important to note that there is a chance that applying for multiple jobs can be a bad thing. If you don’t do it the correct way, then it can do more harm than good. Luckily, there are plenty of tips that you can use to help you apply for multiple jobs at once in the smartest way possible.
Be Picky with Your Job Search
This is probably one of the most important things to remember when applying for multiple jobs at one time. You don’t want to hop onto Indeed and press ‘apply’ to every single position on the list.
This strategy will bring a multitude of problems during your job search, including:
- Accidentally applying to the same job on different platforms. If you’re not paying attention, you can easily apply for the exact same position on different hiring platforms. This indicates to the company that you are carelessly applying for jobs without taking an interest. Therefore, they most probably won’t take any interest in you.
- Applying for jobs you are not qualified for. This means you will end up wasting your time and the company’s time as they read through a resume that has nothing to do with the position you applied for.
- Applying for a position you don’t want. If you are not reading the job description carefully, you might get confused by the initial position name and ask for a job you are genuinely not interested in. Again, this wastes everyone’s time; pay attention, and read the entire job description.
- Applying for multiple jobs within the same company. This is another big no-no. If you are considering multiple positions within a company, you need to make sure that you are doing it the right way. This post has some excellent tips and tricks on what to do in this situation.
- Do not apply for multiple jobs at a company just because it is your dream company to work for. If the company has a job listing that you are qualified for, apply for it. If there are no jobs listed that you qualify for, try a different approach like requesting a meeting. Let the recruiter know that you are interested in working for the company if a position that fits you opens in the future.
- Instead of applying for two positions at the same company simultaneously, ask for the one that fits you the best. If you are turned down for that job, you may be able to get the second one.
- Your resume and cover letter won’t be personalized. Employers do care about your cover letter, so if they are reading your default cover letter that has no personalization, they will likely toss your resume along with it. Employers don’t want to receive a copy and pasted cover letter and resume; they want to know you and why you want the job.
If you want a job, don’t just settle for any position that pops up on the job board. Do your research and be picky when applying, even if you are sending out two applications per business day. This will save you a ton of trouble and bring you closer to landing a job.
How Long Should You Spend Applying for Jobs?
Just because you really want or need a job doesn’t mean you should spend your entire day searching through job boards trying to find the positions that are right for you. While you want to take the time to find jobs that fit your qualifications and desires, you should not spend more than an hour or two applying for jobs each day.
Set a specific time out of your day to focus solely on job searching. There should not be any distractions. Put your phone away, turn the music off, leave a noisy room, and focus on what you are trying to accomplish. This will allow you to take the time necessary to read through the job descriptions, think about the salary, and how you are going to put together a killer cover letter to go along with your resume.
The Importance of Your Cover Letter and Resume
Your cover letter and resume are going to be the first thing the employer sees from you. They don’t know what you look like; they don’t know who you are; they don’t even know what your voice sounds like. They are basing their entire impression of you on your cover letter and resume.
Your cover letter and resume are critical in getting a call for an interview. You want to make sure that each cover letter and resume you send is tailor-made for the position you are applying for. Therefore, it is highly suggested to stick to two applications per business day because you want to make sure you have the time to draft customized cover letters and resumes for that day’s applications.
- Make sure you are clear about the purpose of a cover letter. It is a single-page letter included with your resume that provides information specifically meant to encourage the employer to read your resume. It should consist of the following information:
- A short introduction of yourself
- The job you are applying for
- A brief description of your skills and why they qualify you for the position
- Encouragement to read your resume
- A call to action, such as requesting a meeting or asking for an interview
- Know who the company is that you are applying to. Visit their website and browse it until you are confident that you can speak their language.
- Make sure that there are absolutely no typos or mistakes; this gives the impression that you do not care.
Once you’ve perfected your cover letter, you must tackle your resume. Resumes are a challenge to write, whether you’re looking for your first job at a fast-food joint or trying to nail a professional career at a local business. You can find a large variety of resume templates online to use.
Additionally, popular applications like Microsoft Word and Google Docs have resume templates that can guide you through the process.
How Long Should You Wait to Hear Back After Applying Online for a Job?
One question that comes to mind when you are applying for multiple jobs is when you should expect to hear back. The anticipation will eat away at you if you’re unsure of the usual timeline.
Business Insider reports that “hiring managers are most likely to respond to applications three days after the opening was posted.”
Most hiring managers and recruiters respond to resumes within three days after the job was initially posted. This means that anyone looking for employment should stay up to date on new job postings to make sure they can apply right away and get their foot in the door.
However, if you missed the mark, not all hope is lost. While the position may be filled in this short amount of time, there is still the possibility that if no one is hired, there will be a spike in replies to resumes in the following weeks.
So how long should you wait to hear back? For the most part, you should wait at least three days after applying to see if you are contacted. That is why it is recommended to only apply to 2 job postings per day. This gives employers time to check your cover letter and resume and give you a ring.
What Happens if You Get Two Job Offers?
One of the biggest issues that can occur from applying to multiple jobs is that you receive multiple offers. You go to an interview in the morning and get the offer of a lifetime, but that same afternoon your dream job comes and offers you a great deal, too. What are you supposed to do?
Having two job offers on the table from different companies might sound like the perfect opportunity – but it is more likely to be the perfect storm.
If you find yourself tackling multiple interviews, consider the following tips:
- If you have no other interviews coming up, take the first deal. Of course, this is the situation before the potential of having two offers arises. But many people aren’t sure if they should wait to hear back from other companies or take the first deal. If the first deal sounds excellent and you have not heard back from other companies, it is smart to accept it.
- Tell the employers you need a day or two. There is absolutely nothing wrong with telling a company you need a day or two to think about the offer. This will allow you some time to consider both offers and decide which one is truly right for you. The company can possibly tell you no if they need someone right away. In this circumstance, you will need to make a spur of the moment decision.
- Get offers in writing. You don’t want to stick to a verbal offer, as there is nothing in writing to prove that there was an offer in the first place. This is especially true if you are going to ask for a few days to think about it. You would hate to turn down one company and head back to the other, only to hear that the offer was revoked, and you have no proof that the offer even existed.
- Use the offer as leverage in certain situations. You don’t want to use a job offer as leverage by trying to pit companies against each other, and you don’t want to seem pompous. Wait for the final interview and inform the company you’re leaning toward that you have another offer and why you might consider that one to see if they will adjust what they are offering to get you to choose them.
Always do what’s right for you. You need to choose the position that is right for you. Weigh the pros and cons of each offer. Some situations might be simple to choose between, but others can present a significant challenge that will need some contemplating.
When Applying for Multiple Jobs Looks Unprofessional
There are also times when applying for multiple jobs at once can be unprofessional. This will mostly occur at two specific times:
- You apply for so many jobs that none of the applications are personalized.
- You apply to the same company – either the same position on different job boards or multiple jobs within the same company.
Either way, when you do these two things, companies do not take you seriously. They know that you are only flooding the job board with your applications in hopes of a callback. Instead, you need to take the time to ensure that these companies know you are serious about their company and the available position.
Applying to multiple jobs is a great way to have a better chance of being called back for an interview. You still need to be smart about how you are applying, though. Make sure you are being picky with what you are applying for and taking the time to write out a thoughtful cover letter with a resume tailored to the specific job for which you are applying.
But most importantly, always limit yourself to two applications per weekday and avoid the weekends when managers are hiring personnel are likely not working.