Quality vs. Quantity

Sign that says, "Quality Ice Cream: the Taste Tells"

Which is the better chocolate fix: a lot of whatever cheap stuff they have at the local grocery store, or a few decadent truffles from an amazing chocolatier like The Chocolate Garden?*

A few sweet treats from The Chocolate Garden always trump anything else that I can get around town because the quality is so high. It doesn’t matter that I could get more of the other chocolate — it just isn’t as good.

This idea of quality being worth more than quantity can carry through other aspects of life, too. So why is it, then, that folks insist that focusing on quantity is what will help them get their next job?

  • The “spray and pray” method of job hunting persists.
  • At networking events, some people still use “hit and run” tactics.
  • There are folks that collect connections on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter like baseball cards.

Let’s take these one at a time:

1. Using “spray and pray” to look for a job. I wrote a previous post about what a bad idea this job hunting technique is, and yet I still hear people who want to blast their résumés out to everything they see on job boards that even remotely looks like it could be in their field. No customized cover letter (if they even include one), no strategic targeting of a company, no “warm contacts” who work there, no determination if the company would be a good fit for them. Even if the person gets lucky and is called for an interview, what are the chances that it’s going to be a good match? With the utter lack of preparation from the onset, not very likely.

2. Doing the “hit and run” at networking events. These folks are the ones who base their networking success on how many of their business cards they distributed and how many new ones they come home with afterward. Are there any meaningful conversations that come about when people do this? The real answer to that would lie in what happens after the event. Not hearing from the new “contacts,” even if a follow-up email is sent, is a strong indication that significant connections were not made.

3. Racking up scores of friends/followers on social media sites. Just like the “hit and run,” having a legion of followers doesn’t mean that the relationships are meaningful. If you are not having actual conversations with people or converting these online associations into offline connections that lead to some sort of collaboration or other positive action, then none of it matters.

When looking at quality vs. quantity in relation to the job search, I put my money on quality every time.

What about you?

*No, they didn’t pay me to say that — I am just an adoring fan of their divine confections!

Image courtesy of Kevin

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