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‘If you can’t get an interview you are going about the job process wrong’: Are you ‘shotgun applying’ to jobs? It might be hurting your chances

“having a person on the inside…is the key’


Jack Alban


We’ve all heard of a shotgun wedding. We’ve all called “shotgun” before taking a road trip. We’ve maybe even shotgunned a beer! But, have you ever heard of shotgun applying to job listings?

The Shotgun Approach means sending out your resume with great volume to as many job openings as possible. As detailed in this Reddit post from 2012, the Rifle Method involves an approach more tailored to your specific skill set and professional network.

Reddit user and recent college graduate AutomaticTrash_9269 posted an article to group called r/unpopularopinion addressing this, titled, “People that say they applied for hundreds of jobs and can’t get an interview are going about the whole job search process wrong.”  

In the thread, which has 7.7K Upvotes, AutomaticTrash_9269 makes the case that quality matters more than quantity when it comes to applying for jobs.

People that say they applied for hundreds of jobs and can’t get an interview are going about the whole job search process wrong.
by u/Automatic-Trash9269 in unpopularopinion

They open the discussion by having mentioned several users who wrote things like, “I’ve applied to 300 jobs this month and can’t get an interview.” AutomaticTrash_9269 writes, “I honestly think if they instead took their time, tweaked their resume a bit for each job application, and catered their job application to the company they are applying for then it’d be a lot easier for them.”

AutomaticTrash_9269 might be an armchair expert, as they do admit: “I don’t know a whole lot about the job market. That’s totally fair, I’ve only just graduated and I have very limited experience.” Having said that, their argument feels rather sound. 

That might be because AutomaticTrash_9269 successfully employed her own advice not long ago. “My senior year of college, I applied to maybe 15 companies, got a handful of responses and three companies interviewed me. I don’t think I did anything special or really worth noting, but I tweaked my resume a bit for applications and made sure to word my answers to their questions carefully to line up with what they want. Sure it took me a bit of extra time for each application,” they wrote. So their theory seems to have worked.

In a competitive job market, it may feel tempting to send out as many resumes as humanly possible, but a targeted approach could make your resume stand out. 

One user in the comments provided a reason for the grueling hiring process. “It’s because companies are now using personality tests to filter for more agreeable/compliant candidates. They have basically no predictive value for job performance, but that doesn’t stop companies,” the user wrote, citing an article from NBC news that explains how these personality tests work. 

Others offered a more sobering view of the job market—citing nepotism as the best chance to get your foot in the door. The user wrote, “Yep pretty much every ‘good’ job I had came from me knowing somebody who worked there and putting in a referral for me. Of course I had the appropriate qualifications but the referral helped me bypass the first few steps of the hiring process and get to the front of the line. It’s not fair but such is life.”

So perhaps the move is too a little bit of both. Balance. Good luck out there job-hunters. You could also do what this TikToker did and utilize artificial intelligence in order to fine tune your resume. After applying to a slew of jobs with no callbacks, the creator turned her luck around after implementing this new AI-based approach.

The Daily Dot reached out to AutomaticTrash_9269 via Reddit DM for comment.  

The Daily Dot