For my own amusement/disappointment, I've crunched some interesting numbers from my job search so far. May also be of use to other job-hunters, especially if you're in a similar situation as me.
I write a separate CV, geared specifically towards the job description, for each job application. So the numbers here come solely from the files I can count from my computer. For jobs through recruiters, I have to rely more on my memory. But those were so few that I don't think I missed any.
For all interviews, I either had a formal phone interview OR a formal in-person interview, so no company/group/outfit/what-have-you was counted twice for interviews.
Months spent on job hunt: 4
Number of jobs applied for:
through recruiters: 3
Ireland total: 4
through recruiters: 0
UK total: 9
UK interview total: 5
interviews from applications: 56%
interviews from applications: 38%
# (among all applications) who had the manners to personally reject me: 7
# of applications pending: 4
# from whom I just never heard back (bastards): 2
Discussion and Conclusions
Well, now, this turned out to be a very interesting exercise for me. The biggest surprise is that I applied to so few jobs! Honestly, it seemed like I was writing CVs and applications every other day. I'm shocked it was just 13 applications. I don't think I could have mis-counted, because all the CVs I remember writing are there. Maybe there were jobs where I sent in a general CV, but I can't recall any.
The other interesting thing is the low number of interviews I got from the Irish applications. Given the interview success rate of my UK applications, I should have gotten two interviews from my 4 Irish applications. I think the low number reflects two things: 1) the small number of jobs going in this country for my particular set of skills and experience and 2) I applied to most through agencies and, basically, they can't do as good a job of representing me as I can. This effect is compounded by the fact that almost all jobs I find on Irish job sites are presented by agencies, rather than by the hiring company itself.
In future, it seems what I really need to do is step up the number of applications. However, my high interview success rate would indicate that I'm choosing well- the positions I'm applying for suit my background/skills/education very well. Increasing the number of applications would mean expanding my search criteria for jobs, which would probably mean I'd apply to more jobs that aren't so well-suited for me.
Given the bind The Limey and I find ourselves in at the moment, I've started to look for post-doc jobs, as well. So the search criteria is expanded on one front, anyway. And there are still applications out that I'm expecting to hear from in the next couple of weeks. However, time is getting tight. Also, I will seek out some advice on interviewing. Maybe I'm sending out "don't hire me" vibrations or something. I've never had to do such formal interviews for a job before, so I probably have a lot to learn about them. (In academia, they just want you to present your work and they judge you -supposedly- solely on that, not on whether you can "tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a co-worker".)
Back to trawling the web, then.