Finding the right job is a process that involves time and effort. You probably spend hours each day researching job openings, updating your resume and cover letter and submitting applications. If you are currently working or studying or have personal responsibilities, you might wonder how much of your time you should commit to your job search. In this article, we discuss how many jobs to apply for each day depending on your situation.
How many job applications per day should you submit?
Submit two or three job applications per day to maximize your chances of getting responses and interviews. Aim to apply for 10 to 15 jobs every week. Choose a couple of hours a day, depending on your schedule and commitments, to focus on job applications. Each morning, for example, you might check your favorite job boards and company websites to find new postings you qualify for. Modify your resume and cover letter to fit each position and ensure you're submitting quality applications.
Related: The Best Times To Apply for Jobs
Considerations for how many applications you submit
The number of jobs you apply for each day might vary depending on the stage of your career and other obligations in your life. While two or three applications per day is a suitable amount, you might have the time or motivation to apply for more or less.
Consider what is right for you depending on these scenarios:
If you are in your last semester of college, spend 10 to 20 hours a week searching for a full-time job after you graduate. Attend campus job fairs, research companies you want to work for and apply for entry-level positions. Visit your school's career services office to find additional opportunities and get help perfecting your resume and cover letter.
As you get closer to graduation, increase the number of jobs you apply for. Your goal is to balance applying for jobs with schoolwork, study, part-time or volunteer work and extracurricular activities.
If you are unemployed, you likely have extra time to commit to job applications. Make your employment search your full-time job, and spend 30 to 40 hours a week looking for and applying for positions. Create a spreadsheet of the jobs you have applied for and your status in the application process to stay organized.
Set a daily schedule to keep you motivated in your job search. Your day might look like this:
- 8-11 a.m.: Search job boards and company websites for the day's new postings. Make a list of the ones you qualify for, modify your resume and cover letter and submit applications.
- 12-2 p.m.: Take a lunch break.
- 2-3 p.m.: Take part in networking meetings
- 3-5 p.m.: Check email for responses, update your spreadsheet and do another search through job postings for new openings.
You can change your surroundings every so often to stay motivated. Apply for jobs one day from a coffee shop and another day at a library. Give yourself time off during evenings and weekends.
If you have a full-time job but are unhappy in that position, spend eight to 10 hours a week applying for new jobs. Avoid the temptation to search for openings at work, which can risk you losing your current, paying job. Devote four to six hours per day on weekends to the job search and application process. During the week, spend an hour each day—before work, on your lunch break or in the evening—checking emails, following up with hiring managers and networking.
If you are considering a career transition, spend seven or eight hours a week searching for jobs. In this scenario, you might initially spend more time learning about and preparing for a new career than submitting applications. This phase might include:
- Researching the industry and job requirements
- Developing new skills, such as taking a computer programming class after work
- Doing informational interviews with professionals over coffee or lunch
Once you are well-informed and qualified, you can spend your time outside normal work hours (if you are currently employed) applying for jobs.
Related: How To Make a Career Change
If you are a highly specialized or upper-level management candidate, you might find fewer job options to apply for each day. You can still spend 30 hours a week looking for a job if you are unemployed, but you might only submit one application per day. You should spend more of your time researching, networking, meeting with people and talking to recruiters or headhunters to find appropriate jobs.
Benefits of submitting many applications
Submitting several applications each day can have benefits, such as:
Maximizing your chances of success: Based on numbers alone, the more jobs you apply for, the better your odds of getting responses and interviews.
Good practice: Each time you submit a new application, you likely customize your resume and cover letter for that company and position. The more applications you submit, the more experience you get refining these documents. As a result, you probably have a strong resume and cover letter and have the ability to modify them quickly when applying for jobs.
Finding jobs right away: If you commit time each day to submitting applications, you are more likely to find job openings in the hours and days after they post. This allows you to get your application in early and avoid missing a job opportunity with a short application deadline.
Industry knowledge: As you submit many applications, you learn more about the industry's terminology, job duties and requirements. You may begin seeing similarities between job postings and the skills or qualifications they require. Use this knowledge to strengthen your abilities and your resume. Submitting many applications can also provide you with valuable information about the industry and competing companies that you can use to your advantage during interviews.
With each job you apply for, the process should become faster and more efficient, and the quality of your resume, cover letter and interviewing skills should improve.
Disadvantages of submitting many applications
Make sure you spend your time and efforts wisely when applying for jobs. Possible downsides to submitting many job applications each day include:
Stress: Maintain a balance between your job search and your other hobbies and responsibilities to avoid getting fatigued and stressed.
Reduced quality: If your goal each day is to simply submit a certain number of job applications, you might not be giving each one the detail and attention it needs to be competitive. Make sure you are applying for jobs you are well-qualified for. Focus on making your resume stand out to the hiring manager rather than sending a general version with each application.
Duplicate applications for the same job: Most hiring managers post job openings on multiple websites and job boards. If you search similar sites each day, you might discover the same postings. Be careful when applying for a job that you haven't already sent that company your resume and cover letter through another outlet. The hiring manager might assume you lack attention to detail.
Multiple applications with the same company: When submitting applications, make sure you are not applying for several positions at the same company. Hiring managers who notice you have applied for multiple jobs at their organization might perceive you to be desperate rather than committed. Even if the company is your dream employer, apply for only one job—the one you are most qualified and likely to get hired for.
In general, be sure to pay attention to all of the details when applying for many jobs, and emphasize quality applications over quantity.