It’s tough to land a job.
Let’s say you’re applying for a corporate position. The average role in a large company easily receives approximately 250 applications for the job, meaning every resume you send enters into a large competition. Naturally, that also means that recruiters simply don’t have much time to scan resumes. Many use software to search resumes for “keywords” that are relevant to the job, while others just give each resume a quick visual scan.
That quick once-over can be lethal for your chances.
If your resume doesn’t offer the vital information at first glance a recruiter needs to see, it may end up in the trash even if you are qualified – and a good fit – for the role.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to know how to craft a resume. And that crafting starts with understanding five of the most crucial resume statistics that influence your chances of landing a job.
1 – About 90% of Companies Use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to Screen Candidates
The screening process for a candidate is all about keywords – words that a recruiter wants to see on a resume to show that you’re applying specifically for their job rather than any job. Every position has them. But what they are will vary.
For instance, a marketing position may rely on keywords such as “marketing,” “SEO,” or “advertising.” It won’t have words like “manufacturing,” or “factory.” The point is that a recruiter wants to see these keywords because they indicate you’ve tailored your resume to the specific role on offer. That’s where ATS systems come in. They help a recruiter scan the content in a resume – or automate the process for them – by looking for keywords and evidence of relevant experience.
Resume Writing Tip
Given that the vast majority of companies use ATS systems, the first tip is simple: research relevant keywords that apply to the role and make sure to incorporate them into your writing.
2 – Two-Page Resumes Are Favored by 70% of Recruiters
With so many resumes flooding in – making time-saving a priority – a recruiter doesn’t want your resume to read like a novel. That can be irritating to applicants who have tons of experience they want to share, but the reality is that most hirers place more focus on shorter resumes. Conversely, a shorter resume can be a detriment, too. A one-page resume suggests minimal effort, which is not something that a recruiter wants to see.
Resume Writing Tip
Naturally, resume length is dependent on experience. If you have minimal work experience, buffing up the document with filler text or straight-up lies won’t help. Instead, think about specific experiences in school – or even your personal life – that could relate to what you’d do in the role and expand on those.
For people with more experience, focus only on what you’ve done that has direct relevance to the role. Anything else is unneeded fluff.
3 – You Have 6-8 Seconds to Make a First Impression
Or, more accurately, an average of 7.4 seconds. That’s how long it takes for a recruiter to manually scan your CV before deciding on whether you get past screening. If they’re using ATS, the time may be even shorter.
First impressions count, and it’s often the superficial elements of your resume that they’re looking for.
Resume Writing Guidance
Beyond incorporating the keywords mentioned earlier, getting past the quick scan is a matter of formatting. Ensure all of the information you present is clear and easy to read. And, crucially, put all relevant job titles (especially those similar to the one for which you apply) on the first page. Keeping the best stuff hidden on the second page may mean you fail the quick-scan test.
4 – 48% of Recruiters Consider “Soft Skills” a Must-Have
It’s always tempting to load your resume with specific skills – such as expertise in certain programming languages – that are relevant to the role for which you’re applying. And you should include these. Those skills are important to recruiters.
But equally important are the “soft” skills that may not be technical, but are just as vital as the technical side. Communication, organizational skills, and leadership are all examples of these “soft” skills, though the weight given to each depends on the role. Still, not only do 48% of recruiters dub them as “must-haves” but, according to Resume Genius, 28% even go as far as to say that “soft” skills are more important than “hard” technical skills.
Resume Writing Guideline
Don’t neglect the soft skills you’ve picked up during your career in favor of your technical skills. A balance needs to be struck – one that shows you’re not just technically adept, but also capable of working effectively within the role for which you apply.
5 – Over Two-Thirds of Candidates Get a Job in 90 Days When They Use Professional Services
More specifically, 68% of people who use these services land a new job within three months of doing so. While a fee has to be paid for such services – often several hundred dollars – the simple fact is that the professionals know how to format resumes so they pass the quick scan.
These services are especially useful to those new to the job market, as well as mid-career executives – middle management, C-suite, etc. – who are changing careers after many years of service. The latter will find that a professional service helps them handle the digitized and automated aspects of the resume process better.
Resume Writing Advice
Get help writing your resume!
The money invested into a professional service can save you months of sending applications that are ignored. Plus, you’ll get a blueprint for what your resume should look like in the future, should you change roles again.
That’s where Expert Resume Pros comes in. We understand precisely what hiring managers want to see on your resume – thanks to more than 35 years of our resume writing service & experience – so contact us today to learn how to ensure your resume gets you closer to landing an interview.