Jobcentres have started telling jobseekers to look for work full-time, going as far as forcing them to spend 35 hours per week on it.
They also include targets for minimum numbers of job applications in jobseeker agreements.
But Yahoo careers is carrying an article from CareerBuilder which lists this as its number one activity holding people back from getting work.
The site says:
"Job seekers are often advised to make looking for work a full-time job but thinking this way can backfire for several reasons.
'Most job applications should be taking you several hours to complete because they need to be tailored every time,' says David Shindler, performance coach and author of 'Learning To Leap'.
'It's far better to do two or three really well than send out a generic CV and letter that doesn't impress anyone. Spend time networking, volunteering or doing work experience and you're likely to feel more positive about work, and who knows, it might lead to a useful connection that opens the door to a job.'"
So the professionals say you are better off targetting your applications, spending more time networking and getting relevant experience than firing off umpteen CVs just to meet a target which is likely to be standing in your way.
The Universal Jobmatch site is leading this kind of thinking, with jobseekers forced to apply for multiple jobs or say why they haven't, at risk of sanctions.
Jobcentre advisors take note.