My job search process

Two types of job searching tactics:

  1. Quantity, less quality
  2. Quality, less quantity

Both of those can be fruitful, it just depends on your preferred style. If you try to do quality and quantity, but in my experience that causes burnout.

So what does quantity mean? On average, out of 100 applications, three will lead to an interview. So if you send out twenty-five applications a week, you will probably land three interviews in a month. But think about it: 25 applications… that means that there have to be that many applications around, and you have to send out five a day.

I’d like to propose that 5 a day means quantity, not quality. I prefer the “Quality, less quantity” method.

Typically, I spend about an hour and a half with one application: From first being alerted of a position, whether through a friend, or a job search site, I go about it in the following manner:

  1. I research the company: read about them on glassdoor/linkedin, and check out their website.
  2. if the company is interesting to me, then I will try to find someone I know or a friend who knows someone at the company. If the company is meh/maybe, then I skip the next step
  3. I contact them, asking if the job is still open/if they can send my linked-in to the hiring manager.
  4. Then I apply to the job post – preferably through the home site/careers page.
  5. Sometimes, there are additional questions aside from just submitting your resume, and often an optional cover letter.
  6. I always submit a cover letter if there is an option. At first, writing these took about one hour, but I’ve honed the skill and can whip one out in about 15-20 mins. I repurpose previous cover letters, making sure to change the To: field, and also customize to the company and job description.
  7. Often, during the cover letter-writing process, I find myself trying to imagine why I would work with the company, which makes me more emotionally invested. Sorry, can’t help it.

So as you can see, it’s quite a process for just one job post. Multiply that by five, and you can see why I could easily spend 5-8 hours a day just applying to jobs and nothing else. (Can I just say there are so many things to do: run my Airbnb, clean the house, improve my portfolio, decompress with Yoga/climbing, read books, listen to UX podcasts, watch cat videos between cooking myself meals because I have to eat. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting lunch – life sucks without food).

This is VERY exhausting. I’m not just spraying out applications, but actually putting a bit of emotional investment in all of them.

It’s like walking around in the dark, trying to grapple at what’s around you. Wouldn’t it be great if the job posts were all actually still open (or open at all to begin with; some companies post them just as a protocol but already have a person in mind to fill it).

This is why I also narrow down to jobs posted in 1-3 days ago, and check every day, applying to about 2-3 posts a day. From experience, this quantity is still riding the thin line. I am getting better though! Just like for anything – practice makes perfect better.

Let me know what you do to hunt for your next job in the comments below!

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