In Manage Your Job Search, I discuss a number of traps. A common one is “spray and pray” for your resume.
Spray-and-pray is when you send your resume everywhere, without thinking of your target market. You are not perfect for every job. Every company is not perfect for you. Do not apply everywhere.
Instead of applying everywhere, think about who your target companies are. Yes, this takes time. This is why I suggest you think about your career timeline first, and decide on the culture you want in an organization before you decide on your target market. I also suggest you decide on your purpose in advance.
I have suggestions for how to network in Manage Your Job Search (yes, more than what is on this blog right now). In the book, I have the ideas of background networking, which is what you do when you go to meetings; and target networking, which is what you do when you want to meet people on your target list.
When I meet people who tell me, “I've sent out 200 resumes, and received no response,” I know that they have wasted their time. They have not targeted those resumes.
Deciding on your target network takes time. It takes thought. You need at least 20 companies, preferably 25 companies on your target list. If you have fewer, you are in danger of not finding a job in a reasonable amount of time. You are in danger of not finding that specific job. You may need to expand the kind of job, your geographic location, or the kind of money (almost always less) that you are willing to accept.
If you don't develop your target list, you won't know this, will you? Wouldn't you like to know? I would.
Spend some time thinking about your target network. Research potential companies. Do timebox this. Use your personal kanban—that's what it's there for! But don't spray-and-pray. You will go nuts and wonder when you will ever find a job.
Target. Aim. Get hired.
Get ready for the official Manage Your Job Search launch on April 9, 2014. If you have read the book, and you have found it useful, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Thanks!