31 March 2014
That was pretty much in line with my experience. I think I sent out over fifty applications before I got the phone interview that ultimately led to this job. And because of the delays, I ended up sending out more applications after I had done the on-site interview.
It’s a frustrating process, because there’s no progress bar. You send this off, and you rarely have any idea of when it’s received, whether a shortlist has been made, or when a decision is expected.
I was surprised by how many applications just... vanished. Many search committees didn’t feel compelled to inform candidates of the outcome. Not even a simple, “No thank you.”
I think it starts to suck hard somewhere around the forty mark. Particularly if none of them has even yielded a lead, like an on-site interview.
The job market wasn’t great when I was in it, and it’s probably worse now. This means that you have to be ready to take a lot of rejection.
But the moral of the story is that the number of noes is almost irrelevant. Because all it takes is one “Yes.”
Photo by nathangibbs on Flickr; used under a Creative Commons license.