Spray And Pray Might Work For Weeds, What About For Jobs?

About once a week the online job-seeking pundits send out a well-formed treatise that says don’t just spray and pray.

What they are talking about is sending out countless resumes blindly to prospective employers in the hope that the more places you apply the better the chances are that you’ll land a job. They feel it’s better to take a more strategic approach and do surgical strikes against businesses that you target as a desired place to work.

I guess the biggest downside of that is that you and thousands of other job seekers are targeting the same companies. And whenever the company posts a job that matches your skill set, chances are a gazillion others jump on the same opportunity you have been saving your special talents for.

So let’s say you target three businesses or jobs you’ve seen listed on your favorite job bank. You polish up your cover letter and massage your resume so it has just the right fit for the job and then you wait … and wait … and wait.

In the meantime, the company is using an algorithm to sort through the piles and piles of resumes, and what happens is that if you haven’t included something in your resume or cover letter that catches the computer program’s trip wire, chances are you’re unanswered wait will continue.

I’m not saying spray and pray is better, but I don’t think it’s entirely fruitless, especially in this era when companies are merging jobs and rolling out descriptions for jobs that aren’t humanly possible for one person to fill.

But my preferred method is a little bit of both. Apply for the things you are legitimately qualified for, but really spend your time and effort on the ones that catch your eye.

And it doesn’t just stop once the email is sent to the HR department or hiring manager. Really now is when your work really begins. If it’s a job you’re really want you’ve got to do your homework and that means having a robust LinkedIn account and don’t forget about Twitter and Facebook.

By using LinkedIn, you can find people within the company that you might know. Even if they’re not in HR. they can be a great asset. A lot of times they are willing to hand deliver a copy of your resume to the hiring manager, or put in a good word that takes you out of the computer sort and into the hands-on pile.

Searches on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can also tell you things about the business. How sophisticated is its social media presence. It can also give you talking points when you go in for an interview.

I also like to use LinkedIn to learn more about the people I’ll be talking to at an interview or during a phone interview. Often times this will give you insight into a question that the person might be ask and what they are driving for in terms of an answer.

The nice thing too about social media is that it can lead you to information that isn’t always included in a company’s website, or that is not readily apparent.

But don’t forget those corporate eyes are looking back at you through social media. The buzz phrase that’s making the rounds is bosses look at LinkedIn to find out why they should hire you and Facebook to find out why they should not. You can probably add Twitter in there, too.

So I guess a little spray and pray isn’t altogether bad, but even if you target companies be sure to do some legwork once you’ve pushed the button and sent that resume off to the hiring department.


PS: If you like what you read here, be sure to share it with a friend. And if you are a hiring manager, check out the link to my online portfolio.


2 Responses to “Spray And Pray Might Work For Weeds, What About For Jobs?”

  1. my wiki profile Says:

    my thoughts…

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  2. coupons for v2 Says:

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