Let’s look at the numbers:
- The average corporate job posting garnered 250 resumes last year, according to ERE.net.
- From resumes received online, employers choose, on average, 3 people to interview, as reported by Gerry Crispin of CareerXRoads at the 2014 Career Thought Leaders Conference.
What that means for job seekers who rely on online applications:
- To be chosen for an interview, you must be in the top 1% of all candidates applying online.
Realistically, what are your chances of being in the top 1%? You can pack your resume chock-full of keywords, and you can mirror every qualification listed in a job description. But all it takes is for 2 or 3 other applicants to have perhaps a few more years of experience, a more precise job title match, a better-aligned list of prior employers, or a more complete skills list.
What it all means for smart job seekers:
- You’ll devote your efforts to getting referrals at your target companies rather than zapping out resumes in response to online postings.
Why are referrals important? The CareerXRoads annual survey of sources of hire is a fascinating read! What it tells us for 2014 is that the largest number (42%) of corporate openings are filled by internal moves – promotions or transfers of existing employees. That’s great news if you like working at your company! Your chances of advancing are excellent.
It goes on to report that the next largest source – nearly 20% – of hires is from referrals. That’s just a hair more than come from the corporate career site, but we can surmise that there are a lot more blind applicants than referred candidates!
In fact, one CareerXRoads study indicated that referred candidates are 14X more likely to be hired than “cold” candidates. Even if you take that statistic with a grain of salt, you have to realize that your chances of landing an interview are astronomically higher if you get referred than if you are 1 of 250+ anonymous applicants on a corporate career site.