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Numbers Don’t Lie: Impressive Stats of Resumes

Are you writing a resume to land your dream job? Today, we’re explaining some of the most impressive stats about resumes – including some stats that might encourage you to keep looking, and other stats that will be downright discouraging.

-The average recruiter spends 5 to 7 seconds looking at your resume.

-Resumes with a photo attached have an 88% rejection rate. In many countries (including the United States) it’s illegal to hire someone based on their physical appearance. It’s also downright unprofessional. In any case, it’s an unnecessary addition to your resume. Don’t use a photo unless specified (or applying to a job in Germany).

-Not all countries ban the use of pictures on a resume. In fact, most German resumes (or “CVs”, as they’re called outside of North America) must include a picture by law. The portrait-style professional photo goes in the top right corner of your resume.

-Up to 75% of applicants are eliminated by job search software before their resume hits a recruiter’s desk. Job search software scans your resume for any missing requirements, then filters out unsatisfactory clients.

-The average length of an interview is 40 minutes. However, in one survey, 33% of employers reported that they knew within the first 90 seconds whether or not they’re going to hire the candidate (Source).

-59% of recruiters will reject a candidate’s resume due to poor grammar or a spelling error. These errors may be small and relatively inconsequential, but it obviously looks bad to a recruiter: if you haven’t taken the time to thoroughly check your resume, then a recruiter expects you’ll take the same approach with your professional work (Source).

-40% of recruiters have discarded resumes due to inappropriate design, including fancy borders, inappropriate fonts, clipart images, and even emojis. Yes, some people use emojis on their resumes (most recruiters recommend sticking to a standard, simple font like Calibri or Arial).

-Over 50% of recruiters will reject resumes for using too many clichés. The three most common clichés, according to recruiters, were the following phrases:

  • “I can work independently”
  • “I’m a hard worker”
  • “I work well under a pressure”

-Lying on a resume isn’t quite as common as you think. In one study, only 5% of applicants were found to be dishonest when describing their roles and responsibilities in previous jobs. An additional 10% of applicants will stretch the length of time they spent working in previous jobs.

-10% of jobseekers in America will apply for 50 or more jobs without a response.

-Other common clichés found on resumes include good communication skills, enthusiastic attitude, and a “team player” or “good listener”.

-Some websites report data for the average length of time spent reading a resume. 5 to 7 seconds is a commonly reported statistic, although some sources claim that recruiters spend an average of 3.14 minutes reading a resume.

Ultimately, your recruiter looks at your resume long before they meet you in-person. Until you get that interview, your resume is your only chance of getting that face-to-face meeting. Consider the stats above and make your resume count!


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