Why applying for jobs is a waste of time & what you should do instead

I’ve been seeing many people posts about their gruelling job hunting experiences and how they’ve applied for hundreds or even thousands of jobs only to get rejected or never hear back. I agree that it really sucks, but here’s what you can do about it…

Today, I am sharing my recommendations for more effective and efficient job hunting based on my personal experiences.

🛑 Your time is too valuable to mass apply for jobs

It’s so easy to click “Apply” on LinkedIn and submit your resume or profile over and over again. It can feel good and productive in the moment… But, it’s not effective! Those “Easy Apply” job postings are a trap that you should avoid because you should always be tailoring your applications. It’s how you stand out from the competition—and let’s face it—there’s a LOT of competition out there these days.

Whenever job hunting, I’ve always been extremely selective about which roles I actually applied for. I would spend hours researching job postings and tailoring my resume to each role before hitting the “Apply” button. I rarely—if ever—used the same resume more than once. Since my university days, I’ve probably applied to ~30 jobs in total.

Focusing on quality over quantity leads to better chances of landing an interview and less frustration over wasted time and efforts. This ultimately helps sustain your motivation and prevent burnout throughout the job hunting journey!

✅ Start building your personal brand

Hiring managers make decisions based on who you are and how they see you adding value to the team. Who you are includes your skills, experiences, and mindset. The lowest hanging fruit = update and maintain your LinkedIn profile. Having a strong profile leads recruiters and other people in our outside of your network to become more interested in you and what you have to offer.

Another great way to showcase your personal brand is through a career walking deck, which is the evolution of a cover letter. From personal experience and the experiences of others, I am confident that a career walking deck will help you stand out in job interviews and I highly encourage you to create one (get a free template).

You can find more tips for digital branding and virtual networking in this free webinar that I hosted with Microsoft interns and early-in-careers.

✅ Focus on building your network

Have you heard about the hidden job market which consists of ~70% of job opportunities? These jobs get snatched up by people who know how to effectively network and get job referrals. If you’re complaining about the lack of job opportunities out there, it’s likely because you’re not talking to the right people. These people are recruiters, hiring managers, and employees that are plugged into strategic parts of the business.

If you’re not sure how to get started, read my 3 Secrets to Better Networking and 10 LinkedIn Tips that will make you a better networker. Then, join 1.5K+ professionals who follow my Career Community on LinkedIn where I reshare hiring posts and job alerts directly from managers and recruiters. If you see a job that you’re interested in, reach out to the person who is sharing that post and ask for a coffee chat. Keep following up until they reply. If they reject you, ask them to answer 3 questions via chat or email. Be persistent and keep following up — I once heard that a student had to follow up over a dozen times before he/she heard back from the President of a big tech company!

I am here to support you in the job hunting process 💪🏼

Job hunting can be tedious and draining and painful… but KKARENISM is here to help. This platform was originally built for students and early-in-careers but has gone on to help and inspire thousands of mid-career and senior professionals around the world as well.

Here are some helpful resources that you can start with: