This Crazy Statistic Will Change the Way You Apply to Jobs

photo credit:  Julia Robbs Photography  

photo credit: Julia Robbs Photography 

DISCLAIMER: This is not meant to discourage you, but to give you perspective when you’re applying to jobs. If you use this to your advantage, this crazy statistic will change the way you apply to jobs (for the better).

According to Glass Door, each corporate job opening attracts an average of 250 resumes. Of these candidates, four to six will be called for an interview and only one will be offered the job. 

This means that only 5% of candidates will get a call back, and only .4% of applicants will receive the job offer.

What this means for you:

This means that you have to keep things in perspective. We all have easy access to online job postings, so it’s common to feel discouraged when you find a job that sounds perfect, only to get no response about your application. The problem is that even if you’re completely qualified and would be a great candidate for the position, you may get passed over due to the sheer volume of candidates applying. 

Hello, think about what it would be like if you had to sift through 250 resumes! Often it is only one or two people on the receiving end of job applications, so it’s important to remember that while it’s as simple as clicking a mouse to apply, there are real humans on the other end going through your application.

**REMEMBER: There are real humans on the other end sifting through your (and countless others') job applications.**

How you can use these numbers to your advantage:

Don’t apply for every single position you qualify for. Recruiters call this tactic “spray and pray,” and it’s not a tactic that anyone in the hiring industry would recommend. Contrary to popular belief, applying to more jobs is not better. The quality of each application you submit is much more important than the quantity. It’s much better to apply to a few jobs that you really want, and focus on customizing your resume and cover letter to each position than to cast wide net and apply to a lot of jobs with the same resume and cover letter. 

Your resume and cover letter serve as your opportunity to rope people in and explain exactly why you’re the perfect candidate for the position. If you’re not giving concrete details and bearing your soul about why you want this specific role and why you’ll do great at it, you won’t be able to become part of that .4% who are offered a job.

When you use the same general resume and cover letter to apply to a plethora of jobs, recruiters and hiring managers can tell. By using terms such as “your company” instead of actually writing out the company name, or not referencing specific aspects of the company and/or job description, it becomes transparent that you’re using that resume and cover letter to apply everywhere.

PRO TIP: When writing a cover letter NEVER use the phrase 'your company.'

Tweet this. 

What’s wrong with that? It gives off the notion that you’re too lazy to customize your documents, and that you don’t care about the company which you’re applying for. Make sure you show the hiring manager and/or recruiter who you really are and pour your soul into each application. It may be a pain at the time, but your effort will show through and benefit you.

How you can get around this crazy statistic:

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your connections. According to studies done by Glass Door, referrals are associated with a 2.6 to 6.6 percent higher chance of an accepted job offer. Reach out to recruiters, friends, and industry professionals to put the word out there that you’re looking for a position. Often people won't know that you’re in the market for a new role, and if they don’t know, they can’t help you. It’s a very small world, and you never know who might have an industry connection or information on an upcoming availability. 


It sounds daunting, but this crazy statistic will change the way you apply to jobs, and it can actually help you in your job search. Knowledge is power, and being aware of the job market will give you the ability to make your application the best it can be and use all of your resources to their greatest potential. Good luck!

A native San Franciscan, Michele Lando is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and founder of She has a passion for helping others present the best version of themselves, both on paper and in person, and works to polish individuals' application package and personal style. Aiming to help create a perfect personal branding package, Write Styles presents tips to enhance your resume, style, and boost your confidence.