You might have tried this strategy during your moment of job search desperation. You went on a job application spree and hit the “apply” button for every job that came your way irrespective of whether your were a good fit or not.
While it is important to up your game and apply to as many position as possible, ignoring the specified criteria just for the sake of applying is a deadly strategy that will actually do your job search much harm than the expected good.
Playing the Lottery to Win a Job
Applying the lottery technique in your job search is not wise at all especially in this era of technology explosion within the recruitment universe.
Clicking on the “Apply” button for a job can feel good — You always hope this time the effort will pay off! This time you will win. This time you will get a response inviting you to an interview.
Much like buying a lottery ticket, clicking the apply button for a job usually feels good.
And, since applying for a job won’t hurt you, what does it matter? Right?
Well! the lottery like applications can hurt you and for a long time.
Why the Job Application Lottery Approach Is a Waste of Time
May job seekers complain about making numerous applications but never receiving any feedback. While submitting resumes and applications feels like the “right way” to find a job, it’s not actually productive.
Research and job search studies show that fewer than 15% of jobs are filled via job postings. The vast majority of jobs are filled by networking!
Unfortunately, mindlessly applying for jobs does hurt you! When you submit too often for jobs you aren’t qualified for, you are classified as a “resume spammer.” That’s a big penalty to pay.
Employers and recruiters ignore and block “Resume Spammers”
If you are one of those “lottery like” job applicants, you will be classified as a resume spammer and your mail details will be pushed to the penalty box.
Think about it — how do you respond to irrelevant and junk email messages in your inbox?
You tell your email software to ignore messages from those sources as “junk” or “spam.”
Similarly, when you carelessly and repeatedly hit the “Apply” button on a job board or send your resume in response to every job posting you see, particularly when you are not qualified for the job, your applications are viewed as spam.
As a result, the people and automated systems (like job boards and employer applicant tracking systems) will flag you as a “resume spammer.”
When you are identified as a spammer, all of your applications go into the “junk application” folder. You will be ignored — even when you are qualified for the job.
How to Recover
If you have been zealously but unwisely applying for all kinds of jobs, you are probably in the resume spammer penalty box. You can get out, but it takes effort.
1. Change your job application email address.
Since many people share the same or similar names, your email address is most likely the unique identifier used to dump your application in the spammer folder. So, use a different email address to avoid being censored.
When replying to an employer who has responded to your application, use the new email address. Don’t revert to the old one, or your response could be dumped into the spam folder again.
2. Change your attitude and approach.
Before you apply for a job, review your answers to the 4 Questions below:
- Do I want this job?
- Do I qualify for this job?
- Do I want to work for this employer?
- Do I know anyone who already works there?
Be disciplined and apply only for those jobs you are qualified and stick to the new job application discipline to avoid a second penalty box appearance.
When you do apply for a job, connect the dots for employers in your applications by clearly aligning your experience, skills, and accomplishments with the requirements of the job you are applying for.
Measure your job search activities and progress by counting networking contacts during a week or interview invitations. Stop measuring your job search by counting applications.
When you ask people new in their jobs how they got to know about the opportunity, often the response is, “My former boss called me,” or “A guy I used to work with contacted me,” and other personal referrals. You can be that person, too!
LinkedIn, Facebook, Google/Bing, and the Internet make it easy to reconnect with people you worked with and make it easier to become a “known quantity” to a wide circle of people.
Take the time to expand your network, and you can beat the numbers game, too.