Imagine getting this call: “Hi Joe. This is Jane from ABC Corp. I’m responding to the résumé you submitted to us. Thanks so much for your interest. Tell me why this job appeals to you?”

Gulp. Joe’s chances could be doomed from the get-go if he can’t quickly summon to mind a better answer than: “Well … I applied to lots of jobs. Remind me which company you’re calling from, and tell me about the job. Then I’ll be able to explain it to you.”

Back when I was recruiting, I used to be the one making those calls, and Joe’s response was far more common than you might think. Of course I was polite and gave the candidate a chance to get up to speed with me and the position I wanted to fill, but I can’t think of a single time when the person wound up going on to the next stage in the process.

It is crucially important for job hunters to understand the value of quality vs. quantity in making job applications. If you are applying to so many companies and positions that you can’t keep them straight in your own head, you’ve forgone the execution of a focused and strategic job hunt, and thereby diminished your chances for success.

In this week’s U.S. News post, I expand upon that, and provide five different responses to the question, “Why do you want to work here?” Depending on the nature of the job, the company, and your background, chances are strong that one or another of them can form the basis of a strong response for you when you personalize it and include information that you know about the employer and its reputation in your answer. Check out the article here, and if you like it please pass along the URL to your own network of friends and fellow job hunters.

Happy hunting!


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