How Many Jobs Should I Apply For

If you are applying for a job, you probably have questions about what to do.  You might be wondering, should I be applying for more than one job at a time? How many jobs should I apply for? How many applications should I send per week? Per day? Is it ok to apply for multiple job openings at the same company?  Or what about applying for more jobs while waiting to hear back from others? Here are some of the best practices to follow when applying for jobs that can help your search run smoothly and successfully.

How many jobs should I apply for?

There is no magic number of how many jobs you should apply for. However, you want to apply for enough to increase your odds of getting an interview and eventually an offer. You should aim for sending out 10-15 applications every week. This means you’ll be applying for approximately 2-3 jobs a day.  Any less, and you are limiting your chances of getting an interview. Any more, and you are likely sending applications to jobs that aren’t a great fit for you. Don’t sacrifice quality just for the sake of sending more applications.  You will not get interviews for jobs that you are not qualified for, so don’t waste your time or the recruiter’s time by applying. 

The average job-seeker sends anywhere from 20-80 applications before getting a job offer, so don’t be discouraged. Just keep looking for jobs that fit your skill sets and that interest you, and continue to apply! 

Is it ok to apply for multiple jobs at the same company?

As you are searching for jobs, you may come across several at the same company that interest you.  In addition to wondering generally how many jobs you should apply for, you may also be wondering if it’s ok to apply for more than one job at the same company.  The answer is – it depends.  Although generally applying for more jobs is the best strategy, you might not want to do that if all of the jobs are at the same company.  Review the requirements and qualifications.  Are you truly qualified for all positions?  If there is one position that you are better suited to, apply to that position only.  Applying to other positions at the same company that you are not qualified for will give an impression that you are not serious about any of them.

If you do find that you are qualified for more than one position (use the 80% rule as your guide – you can consider yourself qualified for a position if you have at least 80% of the required qualifications), it might be ok to apply for multiple jobs at the same company.  Be upfront with the hiring manager, and HR. Be proactive - contact them and let them know you are applying for multiple positions within their company and explain why you think you are qualified for them.  This shows that you have taken the time to learn about the positions and the requirements, and are taking initiative with the employer.

Should you continue to apply for jobs while waiting to hear from an employer?

In one word – yes! Applying for a job is a long process.  There is a lot of competition, and it takes employers a long time to review resumes, hold several rounds of interviews, and make a selection.  The average job opening has 118 applications, and usually about 20% of those applicants are interviewed.  That takes times, and unfortunately there are no guarantees that you’ll receive an offer even after a stellar interview.  The majority of applicants don’t hear back from an employer for more than two weeks after their final interview. So don’t sit around and wait.  Even if the job you are waiting to hear from seems like the perfect fit for you, you are still looking for a job until you are officially hired. 

Don’t give up!

Applying for a job can be a long and frustrating process. You can increase your chances of getting an offer if you are diligent about finding jobs with requirements that match your qualifications and sending out 10-15 applications per week. Be persistent and don’t give up! 

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