Quality &/or quantity?

I know from previous experience, if I have been out of work there is a huge tendency to apply for any job that looks remotely suitable, mainly out of sheer panic!  The order of the day is usually something like this:

1) Put the kettle on

2) Check the over night responses from previous jobs applied for – usually nothing of note!

3) Voicemail/missed calls – ummmm, nothing there either!

4) Next step, get onto Irish Jobs, Jobs.ie, Recruit Ireland and see what new jobs have popped up over night that are just waiting for my CV!

5) Then frantically send off the standard CV with no deviation to what the exact job description is looking for, along with a hurried standard “I wish to express my interest in the role of XXX” and repeat, for as many “suitable” roles as possible and sit back and check my smartphone about 200 times, waiting for the replies in abundance!

Sounds familiar?! – It’s totally common behaviour, if that’s any consolation!

No, no and no.  When you’re under pressure you tend to react in the above manner, it’s normal.  The law of mathematics suggest that the more roles you apply for, the higher probability of  actually getting something.

That is true to an extent, but what happens is you could get invited to interviews that you will be ill-suited to (not your fault, this is error on the recruiter’s part) and end up having a disastrous confidence knocking experience, which may damage your efforts with future applications.

Or the classic scenario, whereby you are at advanced stages with a range of different job applications and you are being pressured to make a decision, but the job you really want is only at an early stage and therefore you will either have to decline that opportunity and make a decision for a role, that you could have misgivings about, due to time constraints being imposed by the prospective employer!

Having multiple job applications out through recruitment agencies, can pose a particular pressure, as their interests are largely vested in placing you to get their fee, so that situation can be very stressful to deal with, trying to please and appease all parties involved.

  • So – write a list of what you really want to do.
  • Why you want to do it.
  • What relevant experience/qualifications you have in relation to the role of choice – inject some realism in here.
  • What are you best at.
  • What you have been successful with in the past.
  • What types of companies/organisations suit your personality/working style.

Slowly you will refine your optimum company and role.

Everyday, of course check what new roles have been posted/advertised. However, resist the opportunity to send your CV to anything that looks remotely suitable.

Be disciplined and if there is nothing that you feel like you would really be the best (or nearest best) candidate for, do not apply!

Instead, bide your time, wait for those gems of jobs that you can fully dedicate a bespoke application to, craft the perfect cover letter and tweak your CV to reflect the key words and terminology in the advertised job description.

It will ultimately yield rewards.  PATIENCE.

Why would you want to go down the path of potentially embarking on a new role that you will get frustrated with, are ill-suited to – that could potentially have a detrimental impact on your broader life and raise questions with future employers about your decision making and lack of coherent planning?