At a number of stages in your search for a new job, you could be faced with a dilemma. Hopefully, they will be in positive scenarios, such as weighing up different offers for the role of your dreams, but the practicalities of the search process itself will also bring you to various crossroads or stop you in your tracks with a question. Is it OK to apply for a lot of jobs at once? How many recruiters should you partner with? Should you follow the role or pick a sector to work in? Talented candidates may find that they have several options at each phase of their journey; so finding the right job to concentrate on can be difficult.
Do you know what you want?
Before you begin, it’s worth taking some time to narrow down your search. If you want a job as Role X and you currently work in Industry Y, do you want to consider Industry Z too or stay in Y? What about Industries A, B and C maybe? Many candidates are concerned about this dilemma and while sector expertise (staying in Y) is valued, experience in other industries can broaden the scope of your role and add other facets and skills to your CV, making you more employable in the future. You may gain systems knowledge from another sector or have responsibilities you won’t get from staying in your current market.
For other candidates, it’s less about where you work, but the day-to-day role and the progression opportunities. If there are specific things you want from Role X, you find the employer offering those.
Is it a numbers game?
There is no harm applying and interviewing for more than one job – many employers will be looking for the same or very similar roles and if you feel you would fit with them all, you should maximise your chances and apply. However, given your search should be for the right job, then don’t apply for multiple roles with the same employer as it will look both desperate and unfocused. If you’re selling yourself as perfectly suited for one role, how can that be true of all of their vacancies? An exception might be for a large organisation where you are desperate to work when they may have a number of similar positions in various departments with separate line managers hiring – in this case, you should discuss how to proceed carefully with your recruitment consultant.
What about numbers of recruiters?
Similarly, there is no harm in working with more than one recruiter at the same time (but not many more than one), as long as they are each bringing different angles to your job search and that you trust that they have your best interests at heart. Once you start interviewing or handling offers, the more balls you are juggling, the less focused you are going to be, so choose your recruitment partner wisely. Engaging a dozen agencies would be pointless, there would be crossover and employers would be contacted about you numerous times. Equally, engaging a less caring, more unethical recruiter would mean that your CV could be all over town without you knowing, actually hampering your job search rather than helping! Interview potential recruiters, after all, they should be working for you – if you feel they could help, engage them, if not, don’t!