Doing This One Thing Increases Your Chance of Getting Hired by 75%

getting hired

Getting hired, even in today’s strong job market, is a numbers game.  And the numbers are scary.  Right off the bat, a resume faces a lot of competition.  Just to give you an idea of the sheer volume, reports 427,000 resume postings a week.  That’s 22.2 million a year, and that’s just


Simply submitting your resume is the first step in a long journey your resume takes.  Along the way there are numerous pitfalls and obstacles.  The Talent Function Group LLC conducted a survey of recruiting professionals that paint a stark picture.  Although it varies by job title and job market, they found on average employers receive 100 resumes per job posting and only four to six (4-6%) of those are invited for an interview.


This is understandable, given the numerous ways a resume can quickly be disqualified.  One of the most shocking in today’s day and age is misspellings. It seems unfathomable that one wouldn’t use spell-check functionality before submitting a resume.  But, according to CareerBuilder, 61% of recruiters will dismiss a resume for typos.

The way a resume is organized often disqualifies it, according to  In their study, a recruiter’s rating of a resume increases by 60% when it is properly formatted.  How it’s formatted also affects the time a recruiter spends looking at it.  According to their study, recruiters on average spent only 7.4 seconds scanning a resume.  The simpler, better organized the resume, the longer it was looked at.


As it turns out, many of us do not spend enough time reviewing the job posting to determine if we are qualified. The Wall Street Journal reports 50% of applicants fail to meet the basic qualifications of the job for which they are applying. says this is because we only spend on average 76 seconds reviewing the introductory section that covers job title, compensation and location and little or no time on the qualification requirements.


By far the biggest number that affects your chance of getting past these hurdles is automated resume screening.  According to the Talent Function Group LLC, 75 of every 100 resumes are screened out using computerized Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).  These systems screen for all the pitfalls described above and more, hence eliminating 75% of resumes received.

So, what is the one thing you can do to increase your chances?  Tailor your resume to the job for which you are applying, according to researcher and expert Dr. John Sullivan.  He estimates 90% of candidates submit their standard resume without customization.  However, if you are part of the 10% who does, you increase your chances by 75%.


Dr. Sullivan also recommends pretesting your customized resume by giving it to a recruiter or HR professional to review.  This can be helpful if you know someone in the field.  If you do not know someone however, there are online resume tools that will analyze your resume against the job posting using the same artificial intelligent systems employers use.

By the numbers, your resume has an uphill battle.  However, if you approach the task in a scientific, data-driven way, your chances of getting hired increase significantly.   Now it’s up to you.

This guest post was authored by Michael Howard

Michael Howard is the founder of, an online resume optimizer that was the first to extract and merge keywords directly into resumes.  When not optimizing resumes, you can find Michael spending time with his wife and cat, both of whom share the struggle of optimizing him.


Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.