A lot of job seekers debate whether it’s better to send out a ton of resumes generically, or send a few very tailored and very targeted applications out to employers.
My personal belief is that the key here (as with many things in life) is balance. You want to use a multi-pronged strategy, as one strategy alone will take much longer to get you the opportunity that you want. Also, if you go to a quality or quantity extreme, you are leaving positions on the table (lower quality applications, are more likely to get tossed).
It is okay to send out some more generic resumes and put some feelers out there quickly, as long as you are also applying to targeted positions using a targeted application. In terms of quantity, it’s not a bad idea to send out a lot of applications that are targeted to the role you want. This means that for positions you are less interested in, go ahead and send out a more generic resume, within reason (i.e. don’t send a resume that highlights your creative design if you are applying to for a role as an actuary).
In terms of quality, while it is not realistic to spend three hours on each application, you do want to spend time working on applications for the opportunities that are more valuable to you. Focus your fine-tuning on the best opportunities, and just get out the rest.
Remember, no matter what anyone tells you, there isn’t one right way to get a job. Try a little of everything and see where you are getting the most success.