Quality versus quantity is relevant to the job hunt as well

Quality versus quantity is relevant to the job hunt as well


The job hunt process is difficult.  I’ve heard many people say something along the lines of “I’ve submitted tens, hundred of resumes and haven’t received any interviews, what can I do?”.  The answer lies in quality versus quantity.

A few analogies to help bring home the point on the importance of quality in the job hunt versus quantity.  The first one uses fishing:

  • If you took 100 hooks and cast them into the water, how many fish do you think would bite?
  • But if you take a hook, or let’s say 5 since you won’t want to jut rely on 1, and take the time to put a worm on each of the 5 hooks (personalized “pain” letter / cover letter), put a weight and bobber to get the hooks to the right depth (tailoring your experience bullets), then cast them into the water, now how many fish do you think would bite?
  • Better yet, what if you used a fish finder (leveraging your network), how much higher would the probability of success be in catching a fish?

Did you make the connection?  If not, what if we tried a simplification of mathematics and statistics:

  • Suppose you spend 15 minutes for each of the 100 applications you submitted
    • keying in all of your name, address and other information, uploading your resume and cover letter, checking and double checking then hitting submit
    • That means that across 100 applications you spend 25 hours of time
  • Let’s say for arguments sake that each application has a 10% chance of getting you an interview
  • What if instead of spending 25 hours across 100 job applications, you spend 5 hours on 5 jobs applications?:
  • That time would be spent on: Researching the company on how you can add value, tailoring your cover letter and resume, connecting with people in your network
  • Let’s say for arguments sake all of that effort doubles your chance of getting an interview (I’d say it more than doubles it, but let’s be conservative for arguments sake)
  • So you have the choice of a 10% chance to get an interview on 100 applications, or 20% to get an interview for 5, which is the better option?
    • Vegas wants you to think the first
    • It seems a little counter intuitive but why is the second option better?
    • Each application is statistically independent!
      • Meaning that applying for 99 or 9999 other jobs won’t increase your chance of getting an interview for the first job or any job you apply for
      • Or put another way, if your cover letter/resume wasn’t good enough to get you an interview for the first one, what makes you think it would be good enough to get you an interview for the other 99?

So consider quality versus quantity when going through the job hunt!


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