Job searching? Get the stats, stat!

Searching for a job can be one of the most frustrating, challenging things you’ll ever experience. Whether you’re looking to make a career change, you’re straight out of college, or anywhere in between, the job search brings about the same headaches for all of us.

Finding the right formula to help you land that perfect job can be quite a conundrum. No matter how frustrating the process becomes, don’t lose hope. These seven amazing job-search statistics will help shed a little light on why the process is so difficult and give you some insight into how you can make the experience easier.

Job-Search Statistic #1: 80 percent of jobs are not posted online

Websites like Glassdoor and Monster.com can certainly be helpful tools for your job search, but it’s important to look beyond the jobs listed online. The large majority of job postings are not available online, which adds an extra level of complexity to your job search.

A good way to find out about jobs not posted online is to go directly to the website of the companies that you’re targeting. Do a little digging, pinpoint a few decision makers, and start networking. Don’t go too high and try to connect with the C-level team to ask about available job positions — they likely won’t reply. Instead, target those with titles like Director and Manager. They are often the ones who’ll be in charge of making hiring decisions.

Connect with them and let them know that you’re interested in their company. Be ready to point out why you would love to work there, and then ask them if they are aware of any job positions that might be a fit. Don’t force your resume on them, however; wait until they ask before you send it along. An uninvited resume can come across as pushy, and employers don’t want to bring a pushy person onto their team.

Job-Search Statistic #2: More than half of candidates are eliminated from the online job search by applicant tracking systems

This statistic highlights the importance of a well-crafted resume. It’s critical that you have a high-quality resume that thoroughly details the most valuable aspects of your work experience, but it’s also extremely important that you leave room for adjustment.

Take the time to thoroughly read the job description of each application and make note of all the keywords that stand out. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) allow employers to eliminate resumes that don’t match up with the job description, so be sure to take the time to bolster your resume to include the keywords listed in the requirements and other sections of the job posting.

Job-Search Statistic #3: 73 percent of companies have used social media to successfully recruit and hire a candidate

Social media offers an excellent platform for you to tell employers more about who you are and why they should hire you. Sites like LinkedIn allow you to create a sort of interactive resume by creating an engaging profile, posting your work, publishing articles, and networking with other professionals and recruiters.

Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as others, have a ton of job-search value, too. These sites allow you to present your expertise as well as your personality. Employers want to know more about you than just your work experience. By visiting your social media profiles, employers can learn a lot about a candidate, so make sure you represent yourself appropriately across all channels on which you’re active.

Related: Why You Should Google Yourself to Monitor Your Online Personal Brand

Job-Search Statistic #4: 70 percent of employers say they’ve turned down candidates because of something negative they found online

There are definitely negative repercussions for not representing yourself appropriately on social media. No matter how amazing your professional background might appear, if employers find something that doesn’t jive with their organization on one or more of your social media channels, they’ll likely move onto the next job candidate.

If you think something you’re about to post might potentially be offensive, don’t post it. Keep your ranting and raving about sensitive subjects like politics and religion to a minimum, and, of course, remove any photos of yourself in questionable situations. All of these, plus more, are cause for employers to eliminate you from consideration.

Job-Search Statistic #5: Only about five applicants actually earn an interview from hundreds of applications

Landing the right job is a numbers game — the more resumes you send out, the more likely you are to get a callback. An extremely small percentage of those who apply for a job are actually called in for an interview, so by applying to more jobs, you increase your chances.

Make sure the jobs you apply to are a fit, of course. Don’t apply to jobs just to raise your numbers. Interviewing for a job that you aren’t interested in will just waste the employer’s time and yours.

Job-Search Statistic #6: More than half of people who are currently employed are considering a new job

The limited number of callbacks for resumes isn’t the only reason to play the numbers game. Keep in mind that you aren’t only competing with those without jobs, but over half of current employees are keeping an eye out for also better job opportunities. These individuals will likely bring a good deal of experience to the table, so put yourself and your resume in front of as many employers as possible to give yourself the best shot at landing the job.

Related: 10 Tips on Effectively Looking for a Job While Employed

Job-Search Statistic #7: Referrals account for around a third of all external hires

A solid referral can significantly cut down on the number of resumes you need to send out in order to land that job. Having someone vouch for you and your capabilities can go a long way in the eyes of potential employers. It also eliminates a lot of guesswork about things that aren’t on your resume, like your character and cultural fit.

This is why it’s so important to continue to grow and maintain your network. Never pass up a chance to help someone else develop professionally because you never know where they’ll end up and whose ear they’ll have. If one of your contacts happens to be connected with the hiring manager for a position you’re targeting and you’ve developed your relationship properly, they’ll likely be more than happy to vouch for you. That positive referral could be the difference in whether or not you land the job.

By paying attention to job-search statistics like these, you can more readily prepare yourself for success and make the job search just a little bit easier. The insights contained within these statistics give you a blueprint for how to position yourself to stand out more prominently among the job-search noise.

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