by Lilille Di

If you’re out of work, it’s logical to think that the more jobs you apply for, the more likely you are to get an offer. But is quantity what matters? As featured on CNN, this story involves a woman who applied for a whopping 759 jobs since June 2008 but got no job offers. This reflects how weak the job market is, but also indicates that applying for every possible opening may not be the best job search strategy. Doing so just to end up at ground zero can be demoralizing.


I suggest being flexible, but not loose.



What does it mean to be flexible? Broaden your job search, and be open to other career fields — to a certain extent.  But rule out jobs that don’t truly interest you and don’t fit your credentials well.  Remember, when you cast a wide net and apply for jobs that aren’t a great fit, you’re competing with other applicants who could be a lot more qualified.


You might also consider applying for jobs that are a step down from where you’ve been, as long as you know how to successfully market yourself for a lower-paying position. For example, as a senior studying Human Resource Development, I could apply for both Human Resource Director and Human Resource Generalist positions. When the economy improves, I would strictly target the higher-level positions.


Landing a job right now isn’t easy.  But hopefully a more targeted approach to the jobs you apply for will help you stay focused and not burn out.


Question for you: What do you do to keep your job search energized?


Lilille Di is a student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in Human Resource Development with minors in Leadership and Human Resource & Industrial Relations.  She is an intern at

One thought on “Job Hunting? Quantity Isn’t Everything

  1. Thanks for your really thoughtful article. I like how you suggested people need to think about expanding their search — outside of their “normal” jobs/occupation. One terrific resource that helps students/clients think about this is Herminia Ibarra’s “Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career”.

    Way to go.



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