Insanity: Expecting Results from Random Acts of Application (RAA)

Insanity: Expecting Results from Random Acts of Application (RAA)
Insanity: Expecting Results from Random Acts of Application (RAA)

Insanity: Expecting Results from Random Acts of Application (RAA)

The problem: Steve submitted 20 applications on,, and some company websites with no response. He complained, “I applied to 5 jobs at X company and not one response back for two weeks. How rude of them!”

Are you like Steve, sitting at your computer, pressing “enter” on your résumé submission to jobs that you might be qualified for? And that’s all you’re doing? Join millions of others.

There are two major trends occurring today:

  1. Job seekers are being less strategic and more random in their applications. The result is more candidate frustration and a longer timeframe to land a job. As a matter of fact, I’m reading about candidates getting MAD at companies expecting them to respond sooner, give them feedback, and doing more to make them feel good.
  2. Hiring companies are receiving anywhere between 125 and 800 applications per job posting. Many companies are deploying Application Tracking Systems (ATS) to handle the influx of résumés. Small-to-medium companies need more time to review applications, select the few candidates to interview, and execute a productive interview process.

The same trends occur for internal job searches where internal job applicants commit RAA and get frustrated that they don’t hear back even though they work for the company!

Before I address the first problem, the Random Acts of Application (RAA), allow me to be frank about what you should and should not expect from the companies you apply to. The answer is “nothing.” That doesn’t mean they don’t care. They do. They would do anything to make sure you leave the process with a positive brand experience. Some send out an auto-response with an acknowledgement that they received your application. Others send an auto-decline. However, there is no common procedure. Applicants should not base their perceptions of a company’s care, integrity, people-sensitivity, or any other value on the fact that they don’t get back to you.

The fix: You need to find a balance between building a job search pipeline of about 10 active opportunities and NOT applying for too many of the wrong opportunities. Did you know that you can be black-balled or blocked from a company’s applications tracking system if you apply too many times? Be strategic!

Sit down, study job postings, and write a specific and succinct description of the positions you are looking for – your job search goal. Then your applications will no longer be random; they will be perfectly targeted!

I have created all kinds of tools for you to plan, organize, and manage your job search. Find them at


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