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The Reason Why You’ve Applied to Hundreds of Jobs and Gotten Zero Responses

May 19, 2021

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

When job searching, many people take the approach of casting a wide net.

They apply to a variety of different types of roles at a variety of different types of organizations. Hours and hours of their time are spent applying to hundreds of different job openings.

Their assumption is that if they apply to a large number of openings, that their opportunity of getting selected to interview increases.

Up the number of applications and that will obviously up the number of interviews that you’re getting, right??


Many job seekers end up completely baffled that they have applied to so many roles and have gotten absolutely ZERO responses. How could this be possible??

I would argue that this strategy of casting a wide net is exactly why your job search isn’t working.

The problem with this strategy is that you are not specializing your documents, your knowledge, or your connections in any area.

Let’s break down where each of these becomes problematic:

1) Not specializing your documents
Many open jobs get many applications. Corporate job openings on average receive 250 different resumes. I can personally attest to this being true from my own experience working in the recruiting world. I would process hundreds of resumes each WEEK.

When you submit a generic resume that has not been tailored to the specific job that you are applying for, and you are competing with somewhere around 250 others, how do you expect to beat out someone else’s resume that hits on all of the pieces that the open position is looking for?

Yes, you may have transferable skills… But your resume will lose to the competition every single time if you are submitting the same generic resume that you send to every job opening vs. someone else who took the time to customize their resume based on the job description.

When you are one out of 250, your resume HAS TO BE specific.

2) Not specializing your knowledge
Knowledge about a specific job is how you know what to put on your resume and what to say to get through the interview process to land an offer.

When you know what types of tasks the job requires, what lingo they use, what challenges you will have to address, etc, you are able to tailor your resume and all of your answers to interview questions to exactly what the company is looking to hear.

When you are focused on applying to a variety of different jobs in a variety of different industries… there is no way that you can be knowledgeable in all of these different areas. It’s much more difficult to learn about what 6 different types of jobs are looking for in candidates vs learning what one specific type of job is looking for.

If you somehow do make it to the interview process, it’s going to be tough for you to make it through to the end because your knowledge is widespread and shallow instead of specific and deep.

3) Not specializing your connections
Did you know that 70% of job seekers end up getting their job through some sort of connection? Only 30% are just submitting a resume, crossing their fingers, and getting lucky.

This tells us that networking is key!

But when it comes to networking, time is a real limitation. We each only have 24 hours in a day. If you spend your precious time networking with just anyone, from all sorts of industries and all sorts of types of careers, you’re not building a strong network in any particular area.

On top of this, no one is going to want to put their name on the line for you if you’re not clear on what type of role you’re applying to.

Why would anyone be willing to recommend you to the Manager of their Accounting team if you’re also applying to roles in sales and product development? They want to hire someone that is passionate and committed to Accounting!

When you get clear on what type of career you want and become specific and intentional about who you are building connections with, those people are more likely to become your advocate and refer you into their company.

So here’s your solution:

Get CLEAR on what specific job you want next.

The more that you hone in on what career you want… the more that you can tailor your resume.

The more that you hone in on what career you want… the more knowledge you can gain on exactly what the hiring teams are looking for.

The more that you hone in on what career you want… the more you can focus on building connections in that career field and creating advocates that will refer you into the company.

The more that you hone in on what career you want… the FEWER applications you will have to send to get a HIGHER response rate.

Everything starts with clarity. When it comes to career searching… intention, customization, and specificity win out over volume every time.


Hey, I'm Jess - a Career Coach and former Recruiting Professional.  I help people who are unhappy with their jobs to find careers that they love by connecting with their inner power.

If you’re struggling to stay positive in your search for a new career, you can grab a FREE list of “25 Powerful Career Mantras to help you go from feeling defeated and frustrated to confident and motivated.

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