Apply for the Job Even When the Odds Look Long, Recruiter Says


  • Job searching online can be discouraging — all the roles you want already have tons of applicants.
  • But Claudia Garcia, a recruiter, said that the ease of online applications inflates the numbers.
  • So while getting the job might look like a long shot, your odds are better than you think. 

Spend an hour or two trawling job listings on LinkedIn and it’s easy to get discouraged.

Every role that looks interesting already has a multitude of applicants. Throwing your résumé into the mix seems like a massive waste of time and a recipe for disappointment. 

You should apply anyway.

That’s according to Claudia Garcia, a senior specialty recruiter for Pontoon Solutions, which is part of the staffing company The Adecco Group. “The numbers look scary sometimes,” she told Insider. “But numbers can be deceiving.”

Garcia said that the convenience of online job portals means that it’s “almost too easy to apply.” Many candidates upload their profiles for positions they’re neither qualified for, nor particularly suited to based on their past work experience. And even ones who make it past the initial screen often fall out of the process for all sorts of reasons. 

Put simply: The numbers are inflated. Garcia illustrated the point in a recent LinkedIn post where she described how her advertisement for a remote-recruiter job garnered more than 1,200 applications, but in actuality, yielded only 15 candidates. 

It looks like a long shot, but your odds aren’t that bad

To be clear: 1,200 applications for a single job posting on LinkedIn is usually high, but remote positions are more competitive, she said. According to a recent LinkedIn report on the state of the labor market, there were two active applicants for every one remote opportunity available in the US as of October 2022. 

"Don't be intimidated," Claudia Garcia, a senior specialty recruiter for Pontoon Solutions, said.

“Don’t be intimidated,” Claudia Garcia, a senior specialty recruiter for Pontoon Solutions, said.

Claudia Garcia

Garcia received more than 400 applications within the first day of posting the job; that number more than tripled by the end of the week. Garcia reviewed every application and narrowed down a “short list” of 100 top candidates.

Her winnowing criterion was simple: She rejected all applicants without previous staffing-agency experience; the hiring manager explicitly required at least one year. This expectation was in the job description, too.

Garcia then emailed the top 100 with a link to apply directly on the company’s site. “Some might say that having to apply on our site is an extra hurdle, but this is the way we track candidates,” she said. “And it’s an easy application that takes a maximum of four minutes to complete.”

Only 36 submitted applications on the company’s site. There could be all sorts of reasons for this, Garcia said. “Maybe they got another offer. Maybe they’re applying to so many jobs, my message got lost. Maybe they read the job description again, and realized they weren’t interested,” she said. “There are lots of possibilities.”

She emailed the remaining 36 candidates asking them to sign up on her calendar for 15-minute screening interviews. Only 18 candidates signed up for the interviews.

Next, she conducted the interviews, which are more akin to conversations, she said. Unless candidates bomb, they automatically advance to the next round.

But only 15 bothered to show up at all. Garcia sent their applications along with her notes to the hiring manager for further consideration.

The lesson for job seekers is clear: While getting the job might look like a long shot based on the sheer number of applicants, your odds are better than you think. 

“Don’t be intimidated because a job post has hundreds of applications,” she said. “If you want it, apply.”


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