The Correct Way to Apply for Jobs

I don’t know how often I have read that the best cover letter/resume is tailored to the job you’re applying for. I’ve often wondered if that is worth the hassle of re-writing your documents every time you see something else interesting on In the end, you’re looking for THAT job or one like it, right ? So why would someone who sees your qualifications, not contact you just because your resume sounds somewhat generic. It’s not like you’re after the CEO job for Exxon Mobile… and even in those highfalutin echelons, it probably doesn’t matter. How come the CEO of Exxon Mobile, one day, becomes CEO of Pizza Hut the next day? What about his Pizza expertise ?

The first three years after college, I bounced from job to job, calling myself a consultant because I couldn’t find long term employment. Well, I wanted to look for precious metals at a time when none of the metals were worth crap. So I had to take whatever project based job I could land. I found those jobs by sending out totally generic (except for the company address header) emails to people with generic resumes attached. I’m guessing but I figure I had a 10% success rate, i.e. for every 50 emails I sent out, 5 of them either generated a job or a very hot lead! Considering that, thanks to the internet, you can easily send out 50 job applications in one night that way, that’s not a bad record.

So, what do you think ? I fixed up my resume last week. By way of experience it’s no longer as generic as it once was. But since the job I will apply for is still somewhat generic (I know what I want but don’t care that much what company), I might try the same again. Call it the lazy man’s strategy. But why not saturate the industry with your resume and watch it trickle through….

One Response to “The Correct Way to Apply for Jobs”

  1. As someone that is currently hiring a bunch of people, I can say that personalized letter and unique approaches to contacting me make a big difference. The job sites make it too easy to apply for jobs and that creates a lot of clutter. Ironically, one way to break the clutter is good old snail mail. I’ve probably received 300+ resumes via email and exactly one via snail mail.

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