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Job seeking by numbers

Jobseeking by numbers


As we all know, time is money. But after spending so many hours filling in application forms, do you know how many seconds a recruiter really spends looking at your CV? Or how many CVs a recruiter will receive for each job vacancy? We’ve done the research and the numbers might just surprise you.

Statistics are always scary, but forewarned is forearmed and if you’re ready to take the plunge into the world of job seeking you might want to know what you’re getting into. Here is the Retail Appointment’s guide to job seeking by numbers.


The maximum number of seconds a recruiter will spend looking at your CV, according to UK average statistics.

According to wide-ranging research, recruiters spend between five and seven seconds looking at a CV. In order to pass the ‘7 second test’, you need to make sure that the information in your CV is brief, clear and that an employer can visually pick out your key skills and experience quickly.


The automatic rejection rate if there is a photo on your CV.

Although you may think that including a photograph of yourself is a great way to make an employer look at you as a person instead of a number, this is actually one of the worst things you can do on an application.
Employers may see this as a potential discrimination case later down the line. Your CV should be an objective document about your skills and experience so keep it as simple as possible.


The number of CVs that are received for each job posting.

Recruiters will sift through roughly 250 CVs on average for every job they advertise, so to really stand out from the rest, your CV has to match the job description as much as possible.


The chance your cover letter has of being read.

Cover letters divide opinion. Some recruiters will ask for them, some won’t. However, it’s always advisable to include a cover letter or email as a summary of who you are and what your position is. It might seem like a waste of time, given so few of them get read, but not including one can make you come across as lazy, uninterested or not that passionate about the job so it’s still well worth including.


The amount of CVs rejected because of an unprofessional email address.

Don’t let your CV fall into the waste paper bin over such a simple mistake which is easy to correct. Given that so many CVs are rejected due to an unprofessional email address, it’s well worth taking the time to set up a simple email address using your own name and having all of your job applications sent there.


The number of seconds it takes to receive an application as soon as a job is posted online.

There’s only one way to beat the crowds when it comes to online and that’s to be proactive and informed about the latest jobs before anyone else.

This isn’t as hard as you might think – simply do a search for your ideal role on retailappointment.co.uk and even if you don’t find it straight away, you can save the search to link to your email address. This means when your ideal job comes online, you’ll be the first to know and stand a good chance of beating the hundreds of other applicants who are searching day-to-day.


The number of spelling or grammar mistakes it takes for your CV to be binned.

If this isn’t the number one CV sin guaranteed to get your application rejected, it has to at least be in the top five. As simple as it sounds, this is one of the most easily missed opportunities to get your CV seen by recruiters. Once you’ve checked it, check it again. Then get a friend to look over it once more, just in case.


The most important points a recruiter glances at on a CV, according to studies.

According to a 2012 study by theladders.com, recruiters spend over 80% of the short amount of time they are looking at a CV concentrating on the following points: name; current title/company, previous title/company; previous position start and end dates; current position start and end dates and education.

Anything outside of these six points was just scanned for key words appropriate to the job. Make sure that these six points are as relevant to the job as you can show them.

30%, 27% and 13%

The amount of total job seeking time that is spent on searching for jobs, applying for jobs and researching companies respectively.

According to Climber.com, the most amount of time in a job application is spent on actually looking for a new position, 27% of time is spent in applying for various jobs and only 13% is spent researching the companies the jobseeker is applying to.

However, Adam Tomkinson from Retail Human Resources says that this is completely the wrong balance: “A common complaint from our clients is that candidates simply don’t know enough about the company to which they are applying.

“Many job seekers apply to jobs knowing close to nothing about the company and this means that going to an interview is often a waste of time for both the jobseeker and the recruiter.

“They should also spend more time on researching the company further before going to an interview. You can never be too prepared!”