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Finding your next job - The Next Step Project
3. Applying for the right role

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Designing your application approach

How do you plan for the reality that the job search process is a numbers game?

Here’s a step-by-step process for how to approach your applications, informed by advice from .
Set your own expectations
Assume that for every 30 applications you submit, you get 4-5 interviews, 1-2 final round interviews, etc. While this can be daunting, remember that at the end of the day, you just need a few strong offers that you’re excited about.
Get organized
Set up a Google sheet or use another system to track roles you’ve applied to, what status they’re in, as well as your communications with different contacts for referrals. As the number of applications increases, this’ll make it easier to keep track of where you’re at with each opportunity and help you focus your energies.
Define 25-50 companies of interest based on your criteria.
Considerations may include, but are not limited to the following -
Location: do you want to stay in your current city or move to a different one?
Industry: what sort of product or mission gets you excited? E.g., financial products for underserved communities, education technology, food delivery.
Size of company: do you want a small, medium, or large company to work at?
Identify roles at these companies you’d be interested in
Leverage what you developed in your passion & skills 2x2 matrix. An easy start is to look for titles that are similar to yours, or that resonate with what you think you’d be interested in doing.
Don’t do cold applications
Don’t apply directly to a role. of getting through than cold applications do.
If you applied already, don’t fret! You can still look for a mutual connection who may be willing to flag your resume to the recruiter or hiring manager.
Identify connections at those companies by leveraging LinkedIn searches.
Assess who your mutual contacts are and prioritize reaching out to the person you know best to increase your chances of a response. Remember: start with your innermost, trusted circle first - then work outwards.
Do systematic reach outs via warm introductions
A warm introduction means asking a mutual connection to make an introduction, versus a direct reach out. This is important because the mutual connection serves as your “sponsor” and increases the chances that the contact you’re seeking will meaningfully engage with you.
Be prepared to submit lots of applications
This’ll get easier with practice and with many companies (particularly in tech) taking applications via LinkedIn.
We know this can be daunting and stressful, but remember: you got this.

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