You’re tired. You’re worn out. You’re disappointed. You didn’t get the job you really wanted. You were a great candidate, and you made it pretty far in the process, but you cannot figure out what went wrong.
I am with you. Job searching is emotionally and mentally exhausting. Employers will run you through the gauntlet of resumes and cover letters and interviews and assessments and test assignments, and after all that, they may not even let you know you weren’t selected. What many employers claim is a fair process is pretty much the opposite, when you get down to it.
So I really can’t blame you if you’re so tired that you feel like you just want to give up. However, I’d encourage you not to. You see, landing a job is a numbers game.
Think of the process like this: First, you apply for a job. Then, you have a phone screen with an HR rep. Next, you have a phone interview with the hiring manager. After that, you sit for an in-person interview. Finally, you get a job offer.
The hiring process is like a funnel, with fewer and fewer job seekers making it to each step in the funnel until one person emerges with a job offer. The more applications you submit, the more likely you are to advance to the phone screen stage of the funnel. The more phone screens you have, the more phone interviews you’ll have. The more phone interviews you have, the more in person job interviews you’ll have. The more in person job interviews you have, the more job offers you’ll get.
In the past, there were times when it was hard to find enough good jobs worth applying to. Right now, however, we’re in what many experts consider to be the best job market in a generation. New jobs are popping up every single day. Use this to your advantage.
Here’s my theory: If you apply to 100 jobs you’re qualified for, you don’t have to rely on getting to the offer stage for every single job. You have options. More importantly, you have more chances to advance in the funnel. You also don’t have to worry if a few of those jobs get cancelled or put on hold — you have another 90 or so in your back pocket.
That said, remember both quality and quantity matter when you’re looking for a job. Just because you’re a perfect match for one particular job doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. That is why you have to look at many jobs. Conversely, you can’t just apply for 100 random jobs. They should all be jobs that suit you to some degree.
Applying for 100 jobs takes time, but the time it takes to send in an application isn’t really the most exhausting part of the job search, is it? No, the real drain comes from feeling the rejection and having to start all over again at square one.
You’d be amazed at how easy it is to keep searching when you already have 50 other options in the pipeline.
A version of this article originally appeared on Copeland Coaching.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at Copeland Coaching.