Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Job searching? Don’t over apply


It’s an oft-heard anecdote in this difficult economy: Despite applying to hundreds of open positions, a job seeker receives just a couple of interviews.

But hiring experts say sending out a limited number of résumés and carefully constructed cover letters will yield more interviews – and offers.

A study by employment site TheLadders found that job hunters spend an average of 76.7 seconds reading a posting before they decide to apply. This eye-tracking study showed that’s not enough time “to thoroughly read almost every word of the job description,” says Dan Cronyn, TheLadders director of consumer marketing.

Moreover, scanning posts and zapping off résumés results in “over-applying to jobs,” notes Cronyn.

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  • “Quality should always top quantity,” agrees Eric Stutzke, vice president at OneWire, a site for finance professionals.

    Adds Nathan Parcells, co-founder of ”By taking the time to carefully understand and research a potential position, job seekers will be more apt to present themselves as a worthy candidate.”

    But experts say it takes a deliberate effort to slow down. Fewer, more targeted applications are a difficult prospect “for those who have been searching for a job for a long period of time,” says Stutzke.

    Instead of sending out a high number of résumés weekly, apply effectively to “jobs that you’re certain you’re perfectly matched for.”

    Scan postings carefully enough that you arrive at a moment of truth, says Robyn Melhuish, communication manager at Follow up only if the description honestly fits.

    “The most important insight job seekers can gain is the knowledge of whether or not they’re right for the position,” Melhuish explains. “A job might call for five years of experience in medical sales, yet entry-level candidates will still apply. This doesn’t just waste the employer’s time, it also wastes the job seeker’s time applying for the wrong positions.”

    “Match at least 75 percent of the requirements,” says Marcia LaReau, president of

    If a posting asks for specific information, follow those directions, notes Val Matta, vice president of business development at

    Then, research other relevant information to possibly include. “Dig into company details like history, values, recent news, clients and any other information available,” notes Parcells. “You’ll come off not only as a well-matched candidate for the role, but also someone who’s attentive to detail, thorough and willing to take the time to research,” he says.

    © CTW Features

    Marilyn Kennedy Melia CTW Features