Job Search

If you’ve visited the Monster website recently you may have noticed their new innovate ‘batch apply’ function which allows you to apply for multiple job openings with just one click of a button. While Monster seems to think this is a good thing, I couldn’t disagree more. In recruitment we call this the ‘shotgun’ approach, this is where candidates apply lots jobs hoping the more they apply for the more likely they are to get find work but it usually produces the opposite effect.

What’s the problem?

Imagine for moment you work for recruitment agency and you currently have two hot jobs that you need filling ASAP for two very different clients. The jobs are as follows:

  • Job A is for a B2B Marketing specialist. You’re looking for an experienced marketer specialising in B2B and must have experience working within pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. They should be trained to degree level and will be supporting the Business Development Manager by running events through out the year as well as working on tender proposals.
  • Job B is for a Digital Marketing specialist working for an online retail store. Duties would include running the companies social media campaigns with the ultimate goal to increase onsite conversions. They must have experience of using Mailchimp to send out mail shots with any additional knowledge of SEO and HTML being beneficially.

Your standard approach is to advertise these jobs online in the hope of getting some excellent candidates through. Within five minutes of posting the advert you receive an application from Joe Bloggs for job A which seems promising. Five minutes later you receive another application from Joe Bloggs put for job B. Can this same person be a specialist in both digital marketing and events with vast experience in both medical sales and retail? What would you do in is scenario?

In most cases like this I wouldn’t even open up the CV as immediately I know this person hasn’t read the job description properly, otherwise they wouldn’t be applying for both jobs in such a short space of time. While they might actually be suitable for one of the roles if they cannot put in the extra effort it takes to write a targeted cover letter and CV then that says a lot about their work ethic and type of employee they would be. While this isn’t a new approach to job hunting, candidates have been using this approach for a long time, Monster’s new batch apply service makes it a lot easier for them and also suggests it’s a good idea, doing a disservice to job seekers everywhere.

Social media is making the shotgun method obsolete.

Social media has dramatically altered how we connect with each other and what information we share with the world. Recruiters are capable of finding out in depth knowledge about you which you’ve left off your CV by searching online through your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Your online personal brand can either benefit your job efforts or hinder it. If you’re mass applying for jobs with a generic level CV then a recruiter may use your online personal brand to determine your suitability for those roles.

I have always preferred a ‘sniper rifle’ approach to job hunting. Be specific, create a list of ideal jobs and go out there and find them. Before applying for a job find out as much detail about the recruiter or the employer as you can as well as the job itself. Use LinkedIn to identify who maybe replacing and see how your background matches theirs then tailor your application to fit.

The best way to improve your chances of securing the job you want is by building your personal brand online and having a well thought out career progression path. It is not by mass applying for any job that seems remotely similar to what you want. Applying for three jobs that you have a higher probability of getting will work better than applying for twenty jobs you have little chance of getting. Also you have to think to yourself if you did get one of those jobs you batch applied for do you really want and how long will it be before you start looking again?

Dale William’s is a founding director of Yolk Recruitment as well as a Dynamo role model based in South Wales. At the age of 24 Dale setup his own recruitment business with his business partner Duncan Powell and believes anyone can be a successful entrepreneur with the right drive and work ethic.

Related: What People Search for on UK Job Boards.

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