Applying for a job? Expect to be up against at least 50 others

Jan 11 2007 by Nic Paton Print This Article

A lack of money, being overlooked and over-work are the main reasons U.S workers leave their jobs, but the competition is getting ever fiercer, with HR managers reporting receiving an average of more than 50 resumes for each position advertised, two surveys have said.

A poll by internet search engine Yahoo! of 5,331 U.S workers has found that not receiving an expected bonus or raise last year would prompt three quarters of workers to look for a new position.

But any move may not be as easy as people think. A separate survey by online recruiter has reported more than a quarter of HR managers warning they now receive more than 50 resumes on average for each open position

The Yahoo! poll found that, while two-thirds of those surveyed said they might not actively seek a new job this year, they would be open to a new job if the right one came along.

Other key reasons for making a switch included being unhappy at having to work on their days off at least once a month (half of those polled), having to perform some aspect of work every day, including at weekends (a third) and believing they could get a better salary elsewhere (more than a quarter).

Nearly a fifth simply did not see any potential for career growth in their current job, with a similar percentage wanting a better benefits package.

Worryingly for managers, more than a third would "absolutely not" or "possibly not" recommend their employer to others.

"Employers need to take the time to evaluate their working environment to address employee engagement and retention," said Libby Sartain, Yahoo!'s senior vice president of HR.

"Employees are looking for meaningful work, and they want to advance their careers; however, they want to enjoy a balanced life at the same time," she added.

The CareerBuilder poll found more than one in ten HR managers received more than 100 resumes per job opening.

Key words to try and include somewhere in the resume were: "problem-solving", "decision making", "leadership", "oral or written communication", "team-building" and "performance and productivity improvement", it said.

"In today's competitive job market, it's essential for a candidate's resume to be flawless," said Richard Castellini, vice president of consumer marketing for

"Still, 33 per cent of HR managers say more than half of the resumes they receive through online sources have formatting errors. To ensure your resume is error-free, be sure to proofread, proofread, proofread."