When applying for a new job, the way I see it, there are two ways to go about it:
ONE: Approach your search with the understanding that the odds are against you. You realize it’s a numbers game so you up the volume. Your strategy, then, is to “spray and pray,” putting in as little effort into each interaction as possible. You might even hire someone to send out your resume to a random email list of hiring managers and recruiters.
The thing here is, though, a transactional approach usually leads to a transactional outcome.
TWO: Personalize your outreach, then be personal. Don’t spam your potential employer with boilerplate information about yourself, but show a deep level of interest by drawing connections and providing value. Take the time to invest in each interaction. Do your research and be okay with spending ten times more in creating your offer than the recipient will in replying to it.
Be strategic. Care. Be human. The results will take care of themselves because people typically notice a focused, generous, driven candidate when they see one.