Companies Receive More than 75 Resumes on Average for Open Positions

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resume3Today’s economy is fueling record activity in job search. In January, had 25.7 million unique visitors come to the site, the highest in company history. The average number of applications to jobs on the site over the last three months increased 25 percent compared to last year.

In a recent nationwide survey, found that nearly one-in-four human resources managers said they receive, on average, more than 75 resumes for each open position; 42 percent receive more than 50 resumes. This survey was conducted online among 252 human resources professionals and 8,038 U.S. employees.

Other key findings:

  • The vast majority of human resources managers (78 percent) reported at least half of the resumes they receive from various recruitment resources are from unqualified candidates.
  • Thirty-eight percent of human resources managers report they spend one to two minutes reviewing a new application; 17 percent spend less than one minute.

Executive Quotes and Tips

Advice from Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at

  • “Human resources managers serve on the front lines of a company’s recruitment efforts and are often the gatekeepers of the interview process. Because they can receive a large volume of applications, you may only have a matter of seconds to make a lasting impression. Make sure to include a career summary at the top, which provides a quick snapshot of your skills and accomplishments.”
  • “Half of workers we surveyed said their resumes are not up to date. You should always have a current resume and portfolio ready to go because you never know what the next day will bring whether it’s a weak or healthy economy.”
  • “Fifty-one percent of human resources managers reported they use an applicant tracking systems to screen and manage their resumes. It’s important to incorporate keywords from the job posting into your resume because it will increase your chances of appearing near the top of the employer’s ranking of the most relevant candidates.”
  • “Many workers, especially those operating in industries that have experienced mass layoffs, are looking to new industries and professions to find opportunities. In these cases, your best option may be a functional resume, which lists experience by skill categories rather than chronologically.”
  • “If you’re a recent college graduate, make sure to include volunteer work on your resume as most employers consider this to be relevant experience.”
  1. I think the takeaway from this is that lumping your resume in with a ton of others (75+) just doesn’t work. Knowing somebody on the inside or having a reputation has never been more important.

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  3. I was one of 3,800 who applied for a construction manager position in Florida last summer and made it to #2; yes, it sucks to be Avis!
    These surveys would be more meaningful if they were related to specific industries, e.g. construction, and regions, e.g. Southeast.

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