Why You Can’t Get A Job – The Numbers Game

Leading recruiter Dr. John Sullivan has recently commented that the majority of jobseekers are going about their search the wrong way, neglecting to take an analytical approach in favour of a journey with “little factual knowledge.” Taking a look at the numbers involved is key to achieving success.


The numbers vary wildly depending upon position and company, but the accepted average number of applications for a corporate opening is 250 CVs. The first of these is normally submitted within just over 3 minutes of the advertisement going live and for those who hope their CV gets picked up from an online source, websites like Monster accept up to 427,000 CVs per week (!)


As the application process continues, fewer candidates get through to the next stage of review. This is known as the funnel and begins with something like 1000 applicants seeing a vacancy, of which 200 will begin to apply and 100 will actually submit their application. 75 will be screened out initially, either automatically or by the first stage of recruiting. Only 25 will get through to the decision makers, of which between 4 and 6 will be awarded an interview. Between 1 and 3 of them are invited to another interview and 1 will be offered the job. 80% of those offered a role will accept.


Recruiters are commonly cited as claiming they spend 5 minutes reviewing a CV, but recent studies show the real time to be closer to 6 seconds. Almost 4 seconds of this tiny window of reading and scanning is spent looking at your job titles and past companies, how long you worked there and your educational qualifications. This means that the remaining content in your CV will likely only receive 2 seconds of viewing, with only 17% of recruiters ever reading a cover letter.


61% of recruiters will immediately discount a CV or cover letter containing mistakes, whilst 43% of hiring managers will do the same. Unprofessional email addresses will cause 76% of recruiters to ignore your application too.

RecruitmentRevolution is the UK’s first online only recruitment agency.