Applying for jobs does not have to take so long. With the right planning and methodology, it is possible to apply for over 100 jobs in 60 seconds. By doing so, your chances are maximised and you're almost guaranteed responses. With 2.65 million unemployed people in the UK, competition is rife and you need to have a strategy to win. Someone has to get the job, so why not you? Using this strategy, I received 14 internship offers, eight interviews and three full-time job offers. Since then, I have been invited to share the methodology at career events at University College London (UCL) and consistently receive emails from students saying one thing: Your system got me a job.
I discovered the system myself as a student, when I interviewed a hundred successful and unsuccessful graduates from the US, UK and Europe. I compared the differences in their methods and thoughts. The findings were surprisingly simple:
Using these revelations, I created a strategy that would maximise your chances in getting a job, without taking weeks upon weeks of work. There are four steps:
1. Choose what you want to do
17% of unsuccessful candidates didn't really want the job they were applying to. This comes across in the interview, and deters any motivation to prepare or to create an outstanding application. The first step then is to make sure you choose something you can get excited about. The dilemma most students have at university is that they don't know what to do afterwards. With no experience in the working world, how are you supposed to know? Actually, it's quite easy to figure out.
Create a list of all the products, services, events, and people that you love: Coca-Cola, Facebook, eBay, Green Peace, Obama... keep going until you can think of nothing more. From the career events I ran at UCL, the average list size was two and half pages. Then, next to each item write down which business aspect you like about it the most: Branding, design, not-for-profit, politics... Once you've finished, take a look at this new column on your list and see if there's any repeating interests. For example, perhaps you particularly enjoy the branding of many items. Therefore, your natural interest is branding and you should find companies that specialise in it.
It's usually researching the job that takes the longest. People get bogged down in what they think they ought to know, often not applying to a job for weeks because they don't feel confident enough. For the initial stage of sending applications however, you don't need to know a lot about the company. That kind of preparation is required for interviews. At this stage you just need to know the very basics.
In order to maintain productivity and save time, it's best to store everything in one place: An Excel spreadsheet. Having looked at scores of successful applications, I saw there were only four things you really need to research at this stage:
Create headings at the top of an Excel spreadsheet relevant to these. Then search the internet for a hundred firms that match your chosen interest and fill in the details. Work solidly and you can have it done within a day.
30% of unsuccessful candidates used a CV template from the internet. The fact is, there is no 'golden CV'. Everyone will tell you something different, and normally this just adds to the confusion and stifles enthusiasm for sending an application. If online 'CV gurus' were so great, why haven't they landed an amazing job instead of just teaching other people how to write a CV? Forget the online template and design it as you want.
When it comes to the content, successful applicants all had two things in common. Their CVs showed credibility and transferable skills. They explained how past work experience was relevant to the job they were applying to through transferable skills, and how it made them a credible candidate. Write your CV with this in mind, but keep it generic enough that the same CV can be sent out to all one hundred companies.
4. Apply, apply, apply!
With your research done and your CV made, it's time to apply! Simply create an email draft as a template that you can copy and paste all the data from within your spreadsheet. For example,
"Dear Sir/Madam at Company Name,
I am applying for a graduate job position starting Insert Date. To work with your international clients such as Client #1, Client #2 and Client #3 is an exciting prospect. Furthermore, your business culture of being Culture #1, Culture #2 and Culture #3 plays true to my strengths..."
As you send each email, replace the 'labels' with the data from your spreadsheet and attach your CV. If you're bit more technically adventurous, you can get this done automatically within sixty seconds by using a Mail Merge. A Mail Merge is what businesses use to send out newsletters by post to customers. It can be done in Microsoft Word and will save you hours. But otherwise, you can send a hundred applications manually quite quickly if you work hard.
It's as easy as that. Follow the four steps and you can send a hundred job applications to firms that you want to work for. Not only that, but each application is unique and specific. As far as the interviewer is concerned, you've sent them an application individually addressed to them, showing that you've researched the basics of their company, and with a CV that shows you have transferable skills and credibility. That's all there is to it.
By using this strategy, you maximise your chances and do more than 99% of the 2.65 million unemployed people in the UK, in less time and with less effort. There are jobs out there and you can get one. Obviously, after sending your applications you will then have to pass several assessment stages and/or an interview. This takes preparation and hard work. But to get there you have to apply and this strategy will help you.
In three weeks, I had received fourteen internship offers, eight interviews and three full-time job offers. Many students who follow this do much better, and some even have to turn down interviews because they clash with each other. So what are you waiting for? Go, use this system and apply to a hundred jobs in sixty seconds... Or can you do more?
About Tom Church
Tom Church now advises global brands on their marketing and media strategies. He's the author of Communication Is The Key, CEO of the student accommodation website uHouse, and founder of London Startups. He graduated from University College London. Follow him @tomchurch.
Follow Thomas Church on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tomchurch