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Alison Doyle

The Number of Job Applications Per Opening

By August 18, 2013

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Job ApplicationHow much competition is there when you're job searching? For most jobs, it's a lot. Google, the company where just about everyone would love to work, gets over a million job applications each year and reportedly only hires .4 - .5% of applicants.

Last year, Walmart reportedly received 5 million applications. Depending on the time of the year, there are 15,000 - 50,000 job openings at Walmart, which employs 2.2 million associates globally, including approximately 1.4 million in the U.S. Those jobs aren't always easy to get either. Walmart associates have to pass a pre-employment assessment to be considered for an interview.

ERE reports that "Although it varies with the company and the job, on average 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening." In addition, out of every 1000 people who view an online job posting, 100 people will apply, 4 - 6 will be selected for an interview, 1 - 3 will be invited for a final interview, 1 will be offered the job, and 80% of those who get a job offer accept it.

On a similar note, Jay Martin, Chairman, JobSerf says, "We tell JobSerf customers that in a good economy, a strong person will get a 3 - 5% hit rate for interviews to online applications. Poor resumes or unrealistic people will get 0 - 2%." Something as simple as a typo on a resume could knock you out of contention. Applying for jobs you're not qualified for will put you in that very low response rate pool of applicants, as well.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports (June 2013) that:

  • There were 3.9 million job openings
  • There were 4.2 million hires
  • The number of unemployed people per job opening was 3.0

However, that doesn't factor in competition from employed workers seeking to move on. It can be even more of a challenge if you're out of work, especially for the long term unemployed. It's still easier to get hired if you're working, and, very unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to being out of work for a lengthy period of time.

What's important is that regardless of the type or level of job you're applying for, it can be a challenge to get a job offer. More employers than ever are offering temporary or contract jobs, rather than full-time permanent employment. Companies are also extending the interview process. The days of one or two interviews before getting an offer seem to be going by the wayside. I've spoken to several applicants who have had 3 - 4 interviews.  One person I spoke to was heading to interview number six - hoping that would be the last one.

Here are tips for applying for a job online, so you can do your best to make sure your application makes the cut.

Read More: Recruiting Explained by the Numbers (ERE) | BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover

Image Copyright Getty Images Winston Davidian

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