10/09/2013 08:44 am ET Updated Dec 09, 2013

In Job Search, Is More Still Better?

Looking for work? More work? Better work? Work that pays what you used earn?
Then it makes sense to apply for as many jobs as you can find. Right? Follow up on every lead. Selling anything, even yourself, comes down to the numbers. And more is better.

Or is it?

Let's say you already know the basics of finding work. No one has to tell you how to interview, to write the resume or only apply where you meet the qualifications. And let's assume you are serious about needing the work. In this new world of trying to find work when there are no jobs; would you apply for the job if:

1. The job spec says "three to five" years experience and you have six years.
2. You do not know a soul who works for the company.
3. You like the job, but find the industry distasteful.
4. The company has a reputation for posting jobs that don't exist.
5. The contact information is totally anonymous.
6. You know you are overqualified.
7. The supervisor is 20 years younger than you.
8. You've done everything the job calls for, but that was three years ago.
9. It's exactly like your last job, with a 30 percent pay cut.
10. It's a contract job with no benefits.

In this new world of finding work in entirely new, often unexpected or arbitrary ways, "expert advice" loses its power because one size no longer fits all. Fresh thinking demands that the experts get out of the way and people search in whatever way works for them. Maybe all 10 situations would prompt you to apply. Maybe you'd choose, in thinking differently about finding work, to save your precious time and skip applying to any of these jobs. Is there a danger sign you see in one of these situations? One that would prevent you from applying?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Still, you've got to wonder. When it comes to finding work today, is more still better?