Seek Results and Not Just Activity

by | Apr 29, 2024 | Job Seeker Strategies

It may seem odd, but an open position for an employer and a job search for an applicant often have a curious similarity in regards to mindset.  In both of these situations, there seems to be, at times, an obsession over activity rather than quality or actual results.

For an employer, this can result in an unfortunate focus on the total number of applicants, rather than what is actually important, such as whether qualified candidates have applied for consideration.  Job Seekers can have the similar mentality thinking that applying for every position, regardless of whether you are qualified or it meets your criteria, is a good idea.  Your criteria also can’t be what positions are the easiest to apply for. A 2-3 step online application makes it so tempting to submit your candidacy, especially when it is that easy to do with your mobile phone.

Unfortunately, since time is a finite and precious resource, taking a broad stroke approach can leave a Job Seeker spending hours chasing after positions that either won’t generate a response or truly will not be of interest.  This can also be an issue when you focus only on the large national job posting providers.  These providers tend to take the broad brush approach of being a source for everybody, rather than truly catering to its client base.

I have always recommended a diversified approach to your job search, much like you would take with your 401k retirement plan or any type of investment.  You don’t want to rely on just one type or approach, but rather you should use a variety of different methods.  Please keep in mind that there is a common misconception that the national boards contain all the positions.  The reality is that very often the local open positions found on the regional sites like are exclusive to their service.

When you just use the large national companies, you get the satisfaction of applying for a large number of positions, and often in a relatively easy and quick manner.  The issue is that a lot of other people will have taken the same approach. This leaves you in a large pool of competition, often filled with many unqualified candidates that an employer has to sift through in order to fill the position.  Even if you are a solid applicant for the positon, you run a large risk of being “lost” amongst all the applicants.

If you recall my point regarding employers earlier in this weeks’ column, companies often like to source in order to generate the most candidates possible. That sounds great on paper and may keep the Hiring Manager happy when you tell her/him that you are reviewing 100 candidates (somehow we are fascinated with activity).  The reality, however, is that Recruiters are very busy and can easily fall behind on his/her work, which can cause many candidates to remain in the “Inbox”, never to be reviewed.

Taking a diversified approach to your Job Search is the best way to focus on quality and results, and not just on activity or sheer number of application.  Many of your regional (like, local, or niche providers can supply a more focused approach for both you and the employer.  By doing this, your competition is most likely to be a reasonable number of actually qualified candidates and not just a large quantity of people because it is easy to apply by hitting a couple of buttons.

When you are working with a regional or local website then you can be confident that the positions are not only local but that you will also be working with a Recruiter or Hiring Manager from the area.  This can be critical for your job search, as a local Recruiter will know the area employers and universities.  They will understand what companies are the leaders in the industry, or which ones just had a layoff (validating why you are current in your job search).

It was not that many years ago that the only way to find out about open positions was to go door-to-door, get a job tip, or review the Sunday newspaper.  Now, there are so many different websites and options, that it can be overwhelming.  It can be very tempting to just leave your sourcing for jobs to a large national site, thinking that they will cover everything.  The reality is that a savvy Job Seeker should use a variety of sources in a diversified manner using national, regional, and industry sites in order to be fully covered.

As always, best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein

Search Job Listings

Find a job with WNY Jobs

Article Navigation


Forgotten Password?