A Job App a Day and Other Job Hunting Strategies

by Naomi House, MLIS

A Job App a Day and Other Job Hunting Strategies

Naomi HouseOne of my pet peeves about job hunting advice articles is that many of them seem to equate their advice with guaranteed success, when actually there is no one bit of advice out there that works for every person in every situation.  That is right, “be nice and kind to others” also is only valid in a specific context.  This is very true of job hunting as well because there are so many variables; skill sets, location, personality, and more;  all of these things make a difference.  What I can offer are several different strategies that fit multiple personality types and the time job hunters have to invest in their hunt, that will help make some part of the hunt easier and hopefully lead to success.

 

A Job App a Day

I like this strategy for both job hunters who have the luxury of focusing on their wants as well as those forced to focus on needs because it is simple and easy to apply.  Just apply to one job every day Monday through Friday.  One downside to this strategy is time.  To craft a well written cover letter or fill in a government form can take quite a bit of time.  This strategy only works if you have the time to put in your best effort; good enough will not cut it.  Also you could burn the candle at both ends and burn out quicker.  The real advantage is in numbers as more apps mean more chances.  More chances do not guarantee success but you have to be in it to win it and quality counts each time.

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A Friendly Bunch

I am constantly surprised at what others think I am good at or what they see me as doing in the future, and this is a good thing.  I may have strengths I do not realize and a good friend and job hunting buddy can bring this out and make me aware; that is why this strategy is good for both those who need a job and those who want a better one.  Simply put have your friends/job hunting buddies send you jobs They think you should apply for.  Now, this is not saying you should apply for them, but that you will gain a new perspective on your strengths as others see them.

 

Hard Cider and Apple Juice

I follow ALA Think Tank on Facebook and on Fridays everyone posts a photo of their current alcoholic drink as a way of ‘sharing’ a drink together across the miles.  I actually don’t drink alcohol but have found this inspiring in the following way: often people are less inhibited and more open when they are drinking.  They see things differently than they would on a non-drinking day.  This is sort of ‘make the job (hunting) a game’ mentality, and can break up a long, monotonous search.  The strategy is job hunt on a Friday night after a drink, gather up all the jobs that look great to you that day.  But, and this is CRUCIAL, do not apply to any jobs until sober!  You may be surprised at what you selected and may actually have some great opportunities you would normally dismiss too readily.  Jobs may look differently through beer-goggles.

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Pick a Day

For job hunters strapped for time this is a good strategy to employ.  It still gives the job hunter a target and consistency while not overburdening or overwhelming them.  This strategy asks that one day a week be devoted to job hunting for at least a few hours.  This works well for both the job hunter who needs a job but is overworked as well as the job hunter who wants a better job.

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Chew on It

This strategy is one that works best for those with patience AND  a strong desire to find the RIGHT job, not just any job.  This is the strategy at this point in my career I use the most.  I have been fortunate to either love my job or not be in need of my job financially and have the time to be choosy.  The Chew On It strategy asks the job hunter to really, Really think about the job openings and whether they will be a good fit.  I often would use SWOT analysis and sleep on it before applying.  This strategy may mean you miss good opportunities, but that is OK, because good is not good enough for this type of job hunter.  This type of job hunter has the luxury of focusing on what they want over need.

 

There you have it, five different strategies that different types of job hunters can use.  Though these five cover the majority of job hunters there are other ideas that may work better for you.  Really think about what you “want” in a job versus what you ‘need.’  Most job hunters should focus on ‘need’ first and foremost because we need work to pay bills; that is why it isn’t called I Want a Library Job, after all.  Good luck on your hunt and a little planning can help tremendously!

 

 

 

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ.com. INALJ.com has had over 17 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 & 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro. She presents whenever she can, most recently thrice at the American Library Association's Annual Conference as well as breakout talk presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa and as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting, at the National Press Club, McGill University, the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has relocated to being nomadic. She runs her husband’s moving labor website, KhanMoving.com, fixes and sells old houses and assists her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food as well. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 

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  3 comments for “A Job App a Day and Other Job Hunting Strategies

  1. May 12, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I am beginning my job search. I have been unemployed in the past, and found that that model (minimum of 3 apps per week, and keeping a log of where I applied and what the result was) was a good one for me. It helped me stay motivated and friends and family were good about giving a little push when I needed it. It helps to have someone to be accountable to/report to, to keep getting the applications out.

  2. Rachel
    May 8, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I’ve been doing the job-a-day route. I have 51 apps in that have so far yielded three interviews and 9 rejections so far. A lot of them haven’t closed the application period, so I’m hoping this will go up…or that next interview will be THE job. :)

    • May 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      75+ applications,three phone interviews (all out of area), two out of state), three in-person interviews (all local). My work days are irregular, so while I like the idea of “app a day”, there are days when I push out three or four, especially if there is a looming deadline OR if it’s a job that holds high interest for me.

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