A Simple Job Search Hack. 

You know how all those sales and thought leaders always tell you that you’ll work 80% of the time for 20% of the profit? Or, some sort of sentiment along those lines? Well, this rule is different. It has nothing to do with sales and everything to do with productivity and efficiency in your job search.

Say, if you’re anything like me when you’re in the midst of a job search, then you’re likely in need of a Chrome App just to manage all the tabs you have opened of jobs you want to apply for. Again, if you’re anything like me in the midst of a job search, then you’re probably anxious as hell trying to visualize how you’re going to manage to apply properly to all those jobs with a worthwhile application, right?

Well, a hack I learned a while back during a job search is, simply do not apply for all those jobs. Easily put, it’s inefficient, it reduces the quality of the applications you should be focused on, and it distorts where your ideal opportunities actually are.

Instead, apply the 80-20 job search rule. If you have 10 jobs you’re thinking of applying to, pick the top two that you are most excited about and qualified for and spend the time writing applications so amazing that when the recruiter reads them, they have no doubt in their mind they want to bring you in for the interview.

For the remaining jobs that didn’t make the cut, this doesn’t mean you have to throw them away. When you’re evaluating your next 10 or so jobs, you’re welcome to add them in again and see if they make the cut. If a specific job has been unsuccessful in 2 consecutive rounds of your evaluation, then it’s “Bye-Bye, Felicia” for that role.

I remember commenting on a Reddit post from a user that claimed to have applied for hundreds of jobs. When I asked them what percentage of those jobs they would take in a heartbeat, would be lukewarm on, or would maybe consider taking, what they replied back with was astounding. Only about 15%-20% of the jobs they applied to they were actually PUMPED about. So, why were they wasting all their time with jobs they weren’t keen on and putting in less than stellar applications for the jobs they were keen on? Because so often we’re told to just apply, apply, apply. With the haphazard notion that quantity will eventually lead to something. And sure, if you apply enough, eventually someone will call you in, but the chances are that it’s a good fit, a job you’ll be happy with, or an organization that’s even worth investing your time in is slim-to-none. Remember, don’t go for the low-hanging fruit, spend the time climbing for something worth eating (I mean, applying for).

If I had to distil it down, the goal here is simply to strive for quality over quantity. And also freeing up your time so you can be out brewing kombucha, hitting the slopes, or checking out some indie bands at a local venue, instead of being tied up writing applications for jobs you wouldn’t even take if you were offered!