The Résumé Rider: Job Searching by the Numbers

Once a year, over 700,000 motorcycle riders and two-wheel aficionados descend into Sturgis, a city in Meade County, South Dakota pridefully boasting a population of 6,627, for 10-days of rallies, riding, raucous entertainment and reuniting with fellow riders. An aerial view of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally visitors and the disproportionate ratio of riders to residents begs comparison to the statistics of applying for a job in today’s mostly online marketplace. Let’s look at the numbers since knowledge can be a powerful career search tool:

  • An average of 250 résumés are received for every job posted
  • The 1st résumé arrives within 200-seconds of the posting
  • If you’re looking for work on one of the major job boards such as Monster, your résumé becomes one of 427,000 others posted each week on that site alone

Let’s dig a little deeper into the online job search numbers:

  • On average, 1,000  will see a job posting
  • 200 will start to apply
  • 100 will actually complete the application
  • ATS will eliminate 75 of those 100 resumes
  • The remaining 25 résumés will actually be seen by a hiring manager who will look at them for an average of 6-seconds
  • 4 to 6 will be scheduled for an interview
  • 1 to 3 of them will be invited to return for an additional interview
  • 1 will be made an offer

For riders motorcycling to Sturgis, the trek can be daunting, especially depending on where you’re starting out from. It can be a multiple-state traverse with varying road conditions, a bike weighing 800 pounds can end up almost double the poundage with travel gear (while beneficial in stability and maneuverability it does take some getting used to),  storms, traffic jams, breakdowns, pillion seats that are too small, and more. Simply put, without adequate preparation, a lot can go wrong.

The same goes for résumés:

  • 61% of résumés get discarded because of typos
  • 43% of recruiters trash a résumé because of typos
  • Using an unprofessional email address will eliminate a résumé 76% of the time
  • Broadcasting the dates during which you were unemployed can make you an early job app casualty
  • If your résumé isn’t scannable, it becomes circular fileable
  • Résumés submitted as PDFs are not scannable by Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) which translates into instant rejection
  • Recruiters spend 19% of their time on your LinkedIn profile so something as simple as an inappropriate photo can expose you to rejection
  • 50% of job applicants are not qualified for the job they’re applying for

Enjoying the ride to Sturgis is about having the right bike, the right gear and the right route. Things like a bucket helmet, short, loud pipes and no protective gear against the wind and bugs hitting you in the face can turn your ride into a nightmare. So, how do you prepare in order to increase your probability of success when submitting a résumé online? Here are some tips:

  • Thoroughly read the job description before you apply to make sure you have the qualifications and experience needed
  • Make note of the keywords to be sure you’ve mirrored them in your résumé
  • Submit a résumé in a scannable format
  • Proofread
  • Review your LinkedIn profile
  • Include a cover letter




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