Personal touch career services logo

Rock-Solid Resumes. Reliable Career Advice. Real Transformations.


Harsh Facts of the Open Job Market

job hunting job search job search advice Jun 13, 2024
job application facts

If you ever looked up a job online, you have participated in the open job market. However, statistics consistently show that only relying on these sources is not necessarily the best way to find a job. Let’s take a look at these numbers and what they mean – Plus, give you some other ideas on how to improve your chances of landing a job.


How many job seekers are using the job boards?

According to the Jobvite 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report, 50% of all applications come from job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and others. The second favorite source was the company’s internal career page, representing 35% of all applications. (

However, in 2019, less than 1% of candidates were offered a job from those sources.

Today, those numbers are far less encouraging, especially for remote positions.

Check out this example for a remote Project Manager job posted on LinkedIn in early June 2024. Within one week, they received over 6,000 applicants:



As only one person will be hired for this role, the success rate of landing this job is 0.016%. Those odds are not in your favor.


In case you are wondering how a job can attract over 6,000 applicants in a week, there are now multiple AI platforms that will automatically apply to jobs for you. These range from curated services like TealHQ to true “spray and pray” methods that can apply to over 100 jobs A DAY. While that might seem like a good idea, remember that those services can just as easily apply to scam jobs as legitimate opportunities.

Impact of the screening computers, a.k.a., the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

Obviously, with such massive numbers of applicants, employers need to rely on computerized systems to sort the candidates for them.

How do they do it? Well, they rely on the keywords in your resume. You need a minimum of 60-70% match on the keywords to get past the computer and to the point where a human will read it. Note: that is keywords, NOT qualifications. For example, if you list your degree as a “BS,” but the job description says “Bachelor’s degree,” the ATS might kick you out because the keywords don’t match.

BS, indeed.

99% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS. However, 9 out of 10 executives KNOW that the ATS is screening out qualified applicants. (Harvard Business Study, 2021

Are online jobs real?

No, I am not talking about scam jobs. I am referring to technically “real” jobs. Meaning that, yes, there is a real opportunity at a given company, and somebody really will be hired.

The problem is that the company may have already chosen a desired candidate BEFORE they posted the job.

Depending on the research source, between 70% (Forbes) and 85% (LinkedIn) of jobs are not posted online at all—these positions are filled via networking and internal referrals. (Glassdoor, HR and Recruiting Stats for 2019.

In other words, the company already hand-selected the candidate and posted the job to meet the legal requirements for their state or other regulatory agency.

Social media recruiting

Today, almost 90% of applicants find job openings on social media. (20 Essential Recruitment Statistics for 2024,

If that sounds unrealistic, just remember that LinkedIn is a social media site.

Depending on your industry, some other social media platforms might make sense as well. For example, many high-quality nannies frequently use Facebook to find their next job.

Regardless of the platform, the best way to find the right kind of jobs is through the Groups. Recruiters, job seekers, and hiring managers often choose to post a job within a targeted group as they know they are speaking directly to the desired audience.


Improving your odds

Is it possible to actually improve your odds of landing a position in the open job market? Actually, yes.

For people who track down the hiring manager – meaning, their future boss, not the HR department or recruiter – 19% will get the job. (Jobvite 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report,

If that sounds daunting, you are not alone. The same study shows that only 0.14% of candidates will attempt to submit their resume to the hiring manager.

Another tip: Read the full job description, especially if you are planning to adjust your resume for the job. Believe it or not, 38% of Americans stated they applied to a job without reading the job description or the requirements (Randstad US study

When you factor in the AI application bots, just imagine how many people are applying without even glancing at the full job description.

How do they do it?

If you aren’t sure how people get out of the trap of only hitting the job boards to do advanced techniques like finding hiring managers and networking strategically, you aren’t alone. 78% of Americans admitted that they would benefit from guidance when looking for a job. (Randstad US study

As career coaches, we consistently teach people how to find key managers, conduct strategic networking, find hidden jobs, and even maximize their odds for postings in the open job market.

Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation to get a resume review and job search evaluation to see how we can help you land a job you love in less time.

Get started here:

Wondering how effective your job search is? Schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation with one of our career coaches, Donna Shannon or Dia Kline

Schedule a Consultation

Is your job search driving you crazy?

Sign up to find out how to get your job search out of quicksand, learn how HR works, and pinpoint your ideal job.

The Sane Job Search eBook

Get your free copy of Donna Shannon's top tips when you subscribe to our newsletter

We won't send spam. Unsubscribe at any time.