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Companies Receive More than 75 Resumes on Average For Their Open Positions, Survey Finds

Career Expert Offers Advice for Today’s Displaced Workers

News Facts

  • Today’s economy is fueling record activity in job search. In January, had 25.7 million unique visitors come to the site, the highest in company history. The average number of applications to jobs on the site over the last three months increased 25 percent compared to last year.

  • In a recent nationwide survey, found that the vast majority of human resources managers (78 percent) reported at least half of the resumes they receive from various recruitment resources are from unqualified candidates.

  • Nearly one-in-four human resources managers said they receive, on average, more than 75 resumes for each open position; 42 percent receive more than 50 resumes.

  • Thirty-eight percent of human resources managers report they spend one to two minutes reviewing a new application; 17 percent spend less than one minute.

Executive Quotes and Tips

Advice from Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at

  • "Human resources managers serve on the front lines of a company’s recruitment efforts and are often the gatekeepers of the interview process. Because they can receive a large volume of applications, you may only have a matter of seconds to make a lasting impression. Make sure to include a career summary at the top, which provides a quick snapshot of your skills and accomplishments."

  • "Half of workers we surveyed said their resumes are not up to date. You should always have a current resume and portfolio ready to go because you never know what the next day will bring whether it’s a weak or healthy economy."

  • "Fifty-one percent of human resources managers reported they use an applicant tracking systems to screen and manage their resumes. It’s important to incorporate keywords from the job posting into your resume because it will increase your chances of appearing near the top of the employer’s ranking of the most relevant candidates."

  • "Many workers, especially those operating in industries that have experienced mass layoffs, are looking to new industries and professions to find opportunities. In these cases, your best option may be a functional resume, which lists experience by skill categories rather than chronologically."

  • "If you’re a recent college graduate, make sure to include volunteer work on your resume as most employers consider this to be relevant experience."

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Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 252 human resources professionals (employed full-time as a human resources representative; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; non government); and 8,038 U.S. employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; non government) ages 18 and over between November 12 and December 1, 2008 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset U.S. employers or employees, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 252 and 8,038, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 6.17 percentage points and +/- 1.09 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About is the nation’s largest online job site with more than 23 million unique visitors and over 1 million jobs. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), the company offers a vast online and print network to help job seekers connect with employers. powers the career centers for more than 1,700 partners, including 140 newspapers and leading portals such as AOL and MSN. More than 300,000 employers take advantage of’s easy job postings, 31 million-plus resumes, Diversity Channel and more. and its subsidiaries operate in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit


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