How To Be More Effective In Your Search For Your Next Job

When I started out in the world of work in 1980 things were very different.

Most professional jobs were either advertised in a quality newspaper or a professional institute magazine.

There was no internet, no online job boards and no recruitment websites.

Now things are very different.  There’s no shortage of recruitment job sites.  Every recruiter has a web site.  There are a host of social media sites like LinkedIn where jobs can be posted or shared.

In many respects it should be much easier to search for the next role in your professional field.

Trouble is easy doesn’t necessarily mean effective.  Yes it’s easy to apply for roles online.  You can have multiple applications on the go at the same time.

An interesting trend I’ve noticed is the tendency to focus on number of applications rather than focusing on relevant applications.

Focusing on the number of applications brings with it several problems.  Firstly you get more rejections.  Secondly if you get rejected at the first stage the chances of ever knowing why are slim. Thirdly even the most resilient individual can become demotivated.

There is a more effective strategy and it might surprise you.  In my experience and in the experience of clients I’ve worked with, applying for fewer roles actually increases your chances of success.

Let me explain.  The strategy that is much more effective focuses your attention on applying for the roles where you are an excellent fit.

Roles where you are an excellent fit are likely to be where:

  1. You have the appropriate professional qualification or are working towards getting your professional qualification.
  2. You have past experience in the core areas of the job.
  3. You have experience of the sector or industry in which the employing organisation operates.
  4. You have a track record of achievement.
  5. You have the non- technical skills and personal attributes for the role.


Now you may say that your skills and experience are transferrable.  As a professional they probably are.

The thing is those making the hiring decisions don’t think like that.  I truly believe that every industry or sector is 80% similar and 20% specific.  Those making the hiring decisions are more likely to see their industry as being 20% similar and 80% specific.

What this means for you is that it’s a much more effective job strategy to focus your attention on applying for fewer roles where you are going to be viewed as an excellent it.