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Career Corner: The Odds of Getting Hired

Think of applying for jobs online as archery practice; sometimes you have to release multiple arrows before hitting your target. – Courtesy photo

By Angela Copeland

Since the launch of the internet, job searching has become increasingly transactional. Job seekers are able to apply to jobs in bulk. In fact, they must apply in bulk if they want to increase their chances of getting hired.

Whenever I attend a conference, I always hear at least one of the speakers say, “Remember how hard it was to get into an Ivy League college when you were in high school? Well, it’s even harder to find a job online!” The problem is it is unclear where this fact comes from.

Although sources do not agree, they all seem to say the same thing. Your chances are slim.

The website Workopolis.com says only 2% of job applicants make it to the interview phase of the process. Weeks Career Services shared that the odds of being hired are 1.2% overall. Inc.com shared that on average, every corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes.

You get the idea. There is some serious competition out there. This means that as a job seeker, you very well may have to apply to hundreds of jobs to land an offer that you really like.

One problem is it’s the very process of mass applying to jobs that makes it so hard to get a real interview. When a company has to sort through 250 resumes, everyone’s chances go down.

So, what can you do? First, try to apply to jobs you can truly do. I’m not a fan of taking the requirements section too seriously. But, be sure you could actually complete the work before you apply. If you know there’s a good chance you cannot do the work, skip the job. Focus on opportunities you know you can do.

Then, look for opportunities to engage employers in the old fashioned way. If you know the hiring manager, reach out directly. If you know someone who works at the company you’re applying to, ask them if they would be willing to refer you. They can often refer you through the company website or you can get a referral through LinkedIn. Your chances of getting hired go up exponentially when you know someone internally. And, the person you know will often get a financial reward if you’re hired.

Apply on the company website. Also, look for ways to apply outside of the traditional online process. In other words, if you have found the hiring manager on LinkedIn, send them a message. If you know someone at the company, send them an email. Don’t assume that just because you’re qualified, someone will see your online application.

Do your best not to get discouraged. So often, we assume that we weren’t hired because we aren’t qualified. But, it may really come down to a numbers game at times. Keep moving. Keep applying. And monitor postings each day. The faster you apply to a new job, the higher your chances are of being hired.

Angela Copeland, a career influencer and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

July 28, 2019

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Angela Copeland


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