Understand the Hiring Funnel

According to Dr. John Sullivan, nationally recognized employment guru, in his eye-opening article “Why You Can’t Get a Job — Recruiting Explained by the Numbers,” finding a job is definitely a numbers game.

The average Monster.com job post receives around 250 applications, but it varies with top tier companies. Google, for example, receives more than one million applications per year for 4,000 job openings — so their hire rate is 4/10 of 1% (less than half of 1 percent.)

Of 1,000 people who see a job posting, only about 10% of them (100 people) will actually submit their applications. This volume of applications is still too overwhelming for a human to handle — so the preliminary screening and key word matching is done by a computer.

When you submit your application and résumé online, a computer program called ATS will probably analyze your résumé to match your qualifications to the job description by key word search.

Since 90% of applicants submit their standard résumé which has not been customized for the position being applied for, it’s not surprising that 75% of applicants are rejected during the preliminary automated screening process, and only about one-quarter (25%) of résumés are seen by a human being. So it is critical that you personalize each résumé to ensure it mirrors the key words from the job description.

You need to carefully review all the job requirements, and only invest your time in applying for positions for which you truly match the requirements. Otherwise it’s a waste of everyone’s time, and you can rest assured that your résumé will be one of the 75% that get rejected before a human being ever sets eyes on it.

Of the 25% of résumés seen by the hiring manager, 4 to 6 will be selected for a live interview, 1 to 3 will be invited back for a second interview, and 1 offer will be made. In 80% of occasions, the offer will be accepted.

Understand What Will Cause Your Résumé to Be Rejected

A recruiter’s most immediate challenge in reviewing résumés is to weed out all the unsuitable résumés, so he can hone in on the best candidates. This process of elimination will leave only the most qualified candidates’ résumés in consideration. These statistics will help you understand the key reasons résumés are rejected, allowing you to correct many easy-to-fix errors that are proven job killers:

  • 76% of hiring managers reject a résumé with a photo — even though that’s what they focus on at your LinkedIn page (BeHiring.com)
  • 61% of recruiters will reject a résumé or cover letter with a single typo (Career Builder.com)
  • 43% of hiring managers will reject a résumé or cover letter with a single misspelling (Adecco.com)
  • 60% or recruiters can’t scan a PDF — so submit your application in Word (even if they say they accept PDF), or in both formats
  • 76% of recruiters will reject your résumé for an unprofessional or inappropriate email address
  • 50% of applications are rejected because the résumé did not meet the basic job requirements
  • An out-of-town address can cause rejection due to fear of relocation
  • Many recruiters will ignore a résumé longer than 1 page — keep it short and sweet so the high points jump out quickly
  • Failure to list accomplishments will cause rejection — your performance should be quantified with numbers, volume, revenue, etc.

While finding a job is clearly a numbers game, it is one that you can play to your advantage. You now know what causes the vast majority of résumés to be rejected – now focus on what you need in your résumé so that it gets selected.






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