Don't Worry About the Number of Applicants for a Freelance Opportunity

When someone posts an ad on a job site, Craigslist or even FWJ, they usually receive many responses. People who place ads here have commented many times about how quickly they start getting responses and are very impressed at the caliber of applicants they are getting.

If think about the fact that there may be at least 100 responses to an ad (and there may be two or three times that many), you may be intimidated by that. Some people may choose not to apply for something that they may be well suited for because of it.

Don’t make that mistake. There may be a lot of responses to an ad, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who responds is a good fit for the opportunity. Once the client weeds through all the responses were the applicant lacks the right background or experience, those who didn’t follow instructions properly, and those who don’t write well, there may be 10 or 12 who are serious contenders.

Would you apply for something if you knew you were up against 10 other applicants to get it? I would present myself in the best possible way and give it a shot. If I got the gig, then that would be great and if not, maybe next time I will get the nod.

If you see something posted that you think you would be a good fit for (even if it is a bit of a stretch), read the ad carefully and apply anyway. If you don’t throw your hat into the ring, you have no chance of getting hired….no matter how many applicants there are.






7 responses
  1. James Chartrand - Men with Pens Avatar

    When I apply for anything, I pretend I’m the only person applying (and sometimes I am), but that I still have the job of convincing a really skeptical potential employer. Why worry about the others? Either I did a great job of pitching or wasn’t what they were looking for. End of story.

    On a side note, I heard a news clip the other day that was filming how many applicants there were for a single job – there were over a thousand people lined up. With pepper spray. That was… enlightening.

    Better to apply online 🙂

  2. Lisa Avatar

    this is why I live on Cape Cod and NOT in new york city. I KNOW the competition is out there – but if I physically SEE it I get cold feet. Best to just send your applications out, and keep your fingers crossed!


  3. David Dittell Avatar


    Great post with a solid bit of framing to keep the enthusiasm up.

    I often get the sneaking suspicion that for a lot of jobs, they get tired of weeding through the 100-1000 applications and, at some point, just go with what they’ve got and hope they have someone good enough.

    What keeps me from being discouraged, however, is that no matter how much direct competition, if I apply to enough opportunities and keep my standards high, something will eventually pull through. In the same way that the numbers may look like they’re hurting you, you can look at the numbers and say there are statistical reasons for you to keep plugging along.

  4. Ashley Avatar

    As Gretzky said “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. The worst thing that will happen is you will be told no.

  5. Cheril Avatar

    Plus, the more you apply the better you get at actually applying for jobs. I’ve been trying to help a friend get into freelancing, and I keep telling her to save the letters she sends out because they can be tailored for a similar job.

  6. Cheril Avatar

    Another thing: My friend always “sits” on a job idea. In this business, that’s not a good idea. The day the ad comes out (or the first day you see it), you should be able to send something out, or more than likely, you will be too late. She’ll wait a week and then wonder why she didn’t get the job.

  7. vijay Avatar

    There is no specific win-strategy to ensure success when a large number of applicants apply for the same job. This is apparent from all the comments above.
    When you fake and pad it to appear what you aren’t it always shows, how ever clever you may be. You will loose more number of times doing this than win-if at all.
    If it is an honest effort your capability comes across in your writing too.
    If your capability matches the requirement of the employer and you have not over priced your self, this is the best situation for you to get hired.
    Not applying because there are too many applicants is a self defeating strategy…right from the start.
    So go ahead and throw your hat in the ring…
    ..and Good luck all

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.