Sometimes it pays to know the numbers

If you're staring down the barrel of an unending job search, it's likely you might need to press pause. It's easy to get stuck in the routine of applying for job after job and feeling like you're not getting anywhere. If this sounds all too familiar, you could need a new approach; it's time to get informed.

A great way to shine light on the hiring process and arm yourself with helpful information is to look at the facts and figures. With this in mind, read on for eight interesting job-search statistics to find out what you could be doing differently in your job search.

84% of companies use social media to find candidates

This is an interesting statistic to be aware of, especially if you've restricted your job search to online job boards only. More than ever before, HR managers are using social media to source candidates. A great way to take advantage of this is to make sure your social media profiles are recruiter ready. 

Try giving your social media accounts a job-search makeover. This includes using LinkedIn to boost your professional reputation. From selecting a work-appropriate profile picture to sharing posts from others in your industry, there are several simple things you can do to make your social media accounts more professional. This will ensure that you're presenting your best self online and that you're positioning yourself for job-search success.

The average time spent looking at a CV is 6 seconds

If your CV is four pages long and the most important information is written on the last two pages, it's likely that your CV is going to end up in the reject pile. Recruiters and HR managers spend, on average, six seconds browsing your CV. At most, they will skim-read the first page, and if they don't see what they need to see, they'll move on to the next candidate.

The good news is that you can tailor your CV to cater to this. Move the most important information that you want a recruiter to see to the first page of your CV and you'll already be a step ahead of the rest.

On average, 80% of job vacancies are never advertised

Does this number seem high? That's because it is. Most vacancies are filled without a single job advertisement being listed. This means that either the positions are filled internally ‒ where the successful applicants are head-hunted or already known to the company ‒ or the candidates are referred by someone else. This is where the importance of networking really comes into play.

With the job market being more competitive than ever before, you can't rely on just job boards to find a new role. Networking is the number one tool to have up your sleeve to get your foot in the door at your ideal companies.

Almost 50% of CVs are discarded because they are longer than two pages

The ideal CV page length is two pages. An HR manager simply does not have the time to read through hundreds of five-page documents, so they don't. If your CV is noticeably lengthy, cut it down to two pages to increase your chances of a successful response. The only exception is for executive-level professionals, who can use a third page because of their extensive experience.

40% of interviewers agree that not smiling in an interview can cost you the job

Interviews are all about great first impressions. If you don't naturally come across as friendly and approachable, this may work against you. Therefore, always keep a smile on your face, remember your manners and try to show enthusiasm for the role at hand. Read more here about the personality traits employers most want to see in an interview and here for the personality traits that are the biggest turnoffs.

IT Engineer is the fastest-growing job in the UK

If you're stuck in the middle of an exhaustive job search, it could pay to know which positions are more likely to be advertised than others. Currently, IT Engineer positions are most in-demand vacancies in the UK, which means if you've ever considered a career change to IT, now may be the time.

Optometrist is the hardest job vacancy to fill in the UK

On the other end of the spectrum, optometrist positions are the hardest job vacancies for HR managers to fill in the UK. Students, take note.

There are over 25 million LinkedIn users in the UK

If you're not on LinkedIn, jump on your laptop and set up an account, right now. LinkedIn is a great tool for connecting with contacts at your preferred companies, networking with past colleagues, and searching the latest job listings. With over 25 million LinkedIn users in the UK, you'd be missing out by ignoring this platform in your job search.

Final thoughts

The job search may be long and it may be time-consuming, but it doesn't need to be confusing. With a little research, you can enhance your standing as a quality candidate and increase your chances of job-search success.

If the job search is a numbers game, how can you boost your chances? Start with a stellar CV from a professional CV writer.

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