Two Thousand Applicants - One Job Opening: How to Be "The One"

By Martin Buckland - Executive Career Management Professional

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The 2015 list of Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers was published this month ( accompanied by a detailed magazine edition in The Globe & Mail. In the publication, a variety of the Top 100 companies shared some very interesting job market statistics on staffing levels, job applicants, job openings, and corporate culture.

Take a company like ACT, a software design firm based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company employs 169 full-time staff in Canada and last year received 2,000 job applications for 50 available jobs. That’s more applicants than the population of Cooperstown, NY – home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum*! Obviously, not all of the 2,000 resumes were ever read by a hiring influencer. In fact, likely fewer than 10% of applicant resumes were actually viewed by a human reader with maybe 2% being invited for an interview.

So how can you increase your chances of being “the one” selected for an interview and ultimately the job?

The ideal job applicant would have:

A compelling resume filled with an emphasis on personal branding and career STAR stories. For tips on writing achievement based stories, visit my Social-Hire blog

Crafted using a current resume style aligned to latest recruitment technology: Applicant Tracking Systems. ATS is a software program used by companies to read and make an initial accept / reject decision of all incoming resumes submitted electronically. The software is keyword driven necessitating the inclusion of key words and key phrases specific to the job, industry and employer in an effort to match the computer assessment. Need some key word help? Download my FREE guide Do You Know Your Keywords ( ) where you'll receive a list of 48 key words and key phrases for each of 22 different job sectors.

Avoided design features which may hinder the clarity and effectiveness of the ATS software scan, perhaps even redirecting your resume to the online recycle bin. When drafting an ATS friendly resume, exclude headers and footers, shading, text boxes, and columns.

Chosen a font easily read on a variety of devices ranging from desktop computers to cell phones. Arial, Trebuchet MS, Calibri, Verdana, and Cambria are fonts I readily use to create highly successful resumes for my executive clientele.

Matched the career journey and value proposition promoted in the resume (employers, job titles, dates, and achievement bullets) to their LinkedIn profile. Here’s my Top 10 LinkedIn tips!

It’s not easy to stand out as “the one”, the perfect candidate, in a deluge of applicant submissions but it is possible when you’re armed with current knowledge of resume writing and recruitment trends.

(* data from 2010 census)


Martin Buckland, President of Elite Resumes, is a leading resume writer, career coach and job search strategist with a global clientele. Martin currently holds the following certifications: Certified Professional Branding Strategist, Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Employment Interview Professional, Job and Career Transition Coach, Certified Job Search Trainer and Co-Pilot Executive Coach. Visit my website at

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