Apply Now, Do Not Focus On Competition
If you’re job-hunting, you might be discouraged when you see the number of applicants for each listing on LinkedIn. It’s easy to feel like you’re just a drop in the bucket and that your chances of being noticed are slim to none. But don’t let those numbers fool you — they’re not an accurate reflection of reality. The number of applicants shown on LinkedIn is often inaccurate and incomplete!
You should still apply for jobs even if the number on those job postings seems too good to be true. Here’s why…
Incomplete and Inaccurate Numbers
The first thing to keep in mind is that the number of applicants shown on LinkedIn is often inaccurate. Many recruiters have reported that the number is often lower than the actual number of applicants. Any recruiter will confirm that many candidates never finish their application, and even if they do, most of them might not even be qualified for that role.
Over the years, I’ve talked to many other recruiters about the industry. Based on those discussions, I estimate that between 20 and 25% of candidates who click the “Apply” button on LinkedIn never finish their registration.
All Applicants are not Created Equally
It’s also important to keep in mind that just because someone has applied for a job doesn’t mean they’re qualified. In fact, many recruiters will tell you that they’ve received applications from people who are not even remotely qualified for the position they applied for.
As many recruiters confirmed to me, between 40 and 60% of applications that companies receive are rejected because these candidates don’t meet the requirements, which varies depending on the role and company location.
So, while it might seem like there are dozens or even hundreds of applicants competing against you, the reality is that most of them probably aren’t even qualified for the role, meaning that your chances of being noticed are actually much higher than you think!
Not Every Remote Job Advert is a Remote Job
There are lots of talks these days about the benefits of working remotely. And it’s true. There are a lot of advantages to ditching commuting and setting up shop at home. But it’s important to understand that just because a job is advertised as being remote doesn’t mean that it’s open to everyone in the world.
In many cases, companies will only consider candidates located in the same country as the role. For example, if you see a remote job advertised in the US, but you’re based in Europe, you’re probably not going to get it. Or if you’re based in France and you want to apply for a role in Italy. In this case, that remote opportunity is probably only open to people actually living in Italy.
There are many things involved, such as labor laws, payroll, and tax laws. So, hiring someone from APEC in a role in EMEA or vice versa would not be as easy as it seems. Sometimes a remote opportunity is not truly remote. Hence, even though you will see dozens of other applicants applying for the same role as you, you might be the only person who ‘wouldn’t need a work permit.
A Company Hires Multiple People
If you’ve been job-hunting for a while, you’ve probably noticed that some companies seem to post the same role over and over again, they call it the evergreen job (aka recurring job). If a company is looking for dozens of the same roles over the year, they keep one position open during the entire year so they can still get new candidates into the process.
This practice results in hundreds of applications for a job openings. While this strategy may help companies save money, it can also lead to frustration and confusion for job seekers.
See How You Compare with Other Applicants
Job-hunting is hard enough as it is without having to worry about whether you’re going to get discouraged before you even apply. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what LinkedIn does with their online job postings. By including the number of applicants in their postings, they’re inadvertently triggering people’s insecurities and discouraging them from applying.
Even worse, they use phrases like “see how you compare” in order to get you to buy their service and see their premium LinkedIn account so you can check how you compare to others who applied.
But they don’t mention that recruiters and hiring managers are the ones who will be evaluating your resume against other applications. So, LinkedIn data has zero value for everyone. Checking how you compare with other applicants will only depress you or give you false hope. It will only reinforce people’s fears about how they measure up to other applicants.
When it comes to job postings, the number of applicants shouldn’t discourage you. In most cases, the number of applicants is not an accurate representation of who is actually qualified for the job. Thus, while it might seem like there are hundreds or even thousands of people competing against you, the reality is that most of them probably aren’t qualified for the job.
That means your chances of being noticed are actually much higher than you think! So, don’t be discouraged by the number of applicants you see on LinkedIn — it’s often an inaccurate and incomplete representation of reality. Keep applying, and you’ll eventually find the right opportunity!
If you want to learn more about the job market, consider getting this book, Job Search Guide. It will give you the edge in today’s competitive job market with insights into what it takes to land your dream position.