105 Resume Statistics for 2024

by Gail Flores

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A well-crafted resume can be your ticket to new doors in your career. And learning how to make one doesn’t have to be guesswork, either.

This article covers the top resume statistics you need to know to make a resume that stands out from hundreds of applications. You’ll learn:

  • General resume statistics
  • Top skills recruiters look for
  • Most common mistakes in resumes
  • Most common lies in resumes
  • How Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) affect applications
  • Resume trends over time

So let’s dive in!

Top resume statistics

  • Most studies suggest that recruiters spend under 60 seconds per resume, with some spending as little as six to seven seconds.
  • Soft skills are considered essential by 48% of hiring managers, with Communication (12%), Leadership (10%), and Customer Service (10%) being the top-rated soft skills.
  • The top technical skills sought by hiring managers are IT (13%), Software Development (10%), Data Analysis (10%), and Project Management (9%).
  • Neglecting relevant keywords is the most common error in resumes; only 51% of resumes include relevant keywords.
  • Fewer employers (38.3%) are using GPA as a screening tool for recruitment compared to five years ago when 73.3% considered it a criterion. 
  • Resumes with a LinkedIn link had a 71% higher callback rate than those without, and including a comprehensive LinkedIn profile link increased the rate to 13.5%.
  • 72% of job applicants lie on their resumes, with 41% having no regrets about doing so.
  • 97.4% of Fortune 500 companies use an Applicant Tracking System to collect and sort resumes. 

General resume statistics

How long do recruiters spend looking at resumes?

1. Most studies agree that the time per resume is usually under 60 seconds. (Forbes).

2. While the amount of time may vary per recruiter, size of the company, and volume of applications received for a job, one study showed that hiring managers spend as little as six to seven seconds looking at a resume. (Forbes).

Most popular sections in resumes

3. The statistics below cover the most popular sections to include on a resume according to an analysis of 25,000 resumes by Resume Genius.

Resume SectionPercentage of Applicants
Professional Experience76%
Education68%
Career objective68%
Skills67%
Reference30%
Certifications25%
Languages16%
Source: Resume Genius

4. According to research by ResumeGo, a professional resume writing services company, applicants who list a 4-year university on their resume received over twice as many job interviews as those who didn’t.

5. Resumes listing a bachelor’s degree received an interview offer 9.4% of the time. (ResumeGo).

6. Resumes that did not list any degree received an interview offer 4.5% of the time. (ResumeGo).

7. 85% of resumes included an email address and 78% included a phone number.

8. Among job hunters, the top five foreign languages listed on resumes according to resume writing services company Zety are:

  • Spanish (5.7%)
  • French (4.1%)
  • Arabic (3.6%)
  • Hindi (2.9%)
  • German (2.8%)

Top skills recruiters look for in resumes

9. The National Association of Colleges and Employers also surveyed 255 employers on the most sought-after skills they look for in candidates’ resumes.

10. Nearly 90% of employers responding to the Job Outlook 2024 survey indicated they are seeking evidence of a student’s ability to solve problems.

 11. Nearly 80% are seeking candidates who have strong teamwork skills.

 12. At least two-thirds of employers report looking for the following attributes:

  • A strong work ethic (71.6%)
  • Written and verbal communication skills (72.7% and 67.5%)
  • Flexibility/adaptability (70.1%)
  • Technical skills (67%)
  • Analytical/quantitative skills (66%)

13. The following is a summary of the most sought-after skills in NACE’s survey.

Skill or AttributeImportance
Problem-solving skills88.7%
Ability to work in a team78.9%
Written communication skills72.7%
Verbal communication skills67.5%
Strong work ethic71.6%
Flexibility and adaptability70.1%
Technical skills67%
Analytical/quantitative skills66%
Initiative65.5%
Detail-orientedness61.3%
Computer skills54.6%
Leadership52.1%
Organizational ability44.8%
Interpersonal skills58.2%
Strategic planning skills34.5%
Friendly/outgoing personality25.8%
Creativity21.6%
Tactfulness21.1%
Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taking18.6%
Fluency in a foreign language5.2%
Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers

Top Technical Skills

14. According to another survey of 800 hiring managers, 42% regard IT, software development, data analysis, and project management as the most critical skills for the future job market.

15. The following shows the percentage of the top technical skills that hiring managers seek in new candidates:

SkillPercentage
IT13%
Software development10%
Data analysis10%
Project management9%
Social media marketing9%
Marketing8%
Web development7%
Content creation6%
Public speaking6%
Audio and video production6%
Source: Resume Genius

Top Soft Skills

16. 48% of hiring managers agree that soft skills are essential for potential employees. (Resume Genius).

17. 93% of larger companies are particular about soft skills. (Resume Genius)

18. 84% of medium-sized companies and 76% of small companies care about soft skills in candidates.

19. The top five soft skills for the surveyed hiring managers are:

Soft SkillPercentage
Communication12%
Leadership10%
Customer service 10%
Organizational skills9%
Analytical skills9%
Source: Resume Genius

20. 55% of hiring managers would hire a candidate who has excellent soft skills, even if they don’t have all the required hard skills. (Resume Genius).

Most common mistakes in resumes

Neglecting relevant keywords

21. According to an analysis of 125,000 resumes by Cultivated Culture, a career coaching platform, candidates only include 51% of relevant keywords in their resumes.

22. 60% of the essential hard skills keywords listed in job descriptions were present in the candidates’ resumes. (Cultivated Culture).

23. Only 28% of the desired soft skills keywords are represented in the resumes in the study. (Cultivated Culture).

Using irrelevant buzzwords

24. While failing to use relevant keywords in your resume can cost you an opportunity, Cultivated Culture’s analysis also shows that too much fluff and irrelevant buzzwords can turn off a potential recruiter.

25. 51% of resumes included fluffy buzzwords, cliches, or the incorrect use of pronouns. (Cultivated Culture).

Not including a LinkedIn profile

26. Only 48% of resumes included a link to a LinkedIn profile. (Cultivates Culture)

27. Job applicants who included a link to a comprehensive LinkedIn profile on their resumes received a callback rate of 13.5%. (ResumeGo).

28. Job applicants who didn’t have a LinkedIn profile at all received a callback rate of 7.9%.

29. Job seekers with a LinkedIn profile had a 71% higher callback rate than those who didn’t. (ResumeGo).

30. Applicants who included a link to a bare-bones LinkedIn profile on their resumes only received a callback rate of 7.2%. (ResumeGo).

Failing to illustrate quantifiable achievements

31. Cultivated Culture’s research shows that using metrics and numbers is a best practice for illustrating and selling a candidate’s value.

32. Only 26% of resumes in Cultivates Culture’s study included at least five instances of measurable results, metrics, or value.

33. 36% of resumes had zero instances of metrics.

Most common lies in resumes

34. ResumeBuilder.com surveyed 1,250 Americans about what they’ve lied about when looking for a job. (Business Insider).

35. 72% admitted to lying on their resume.

36. Of those who are currently applying for jobs, 42% say their current resume contains lies. (Resume Builder).

37. 41% have no regrets about lying on their resumes. (Resume Builder).

38. 46% regret lying on their resume. (Resume Builder).

39. 14% are not sure whether or not they regret embellishing their resumes. (Resume Builder).

40. 65% of respondents say lying in the hiring process helped them land a higher salary.

41. The most common areas that people lie about on their resumes are education and years of experience.

42. 44% of respondents confess that they embellish their academic credentials. (Business Insider).

43. Among those who’ve lied about their education credentials, 49% lied about the degree(s) they obtained.

44. 46% have lied about their graduation date. (Resume Builder).

45. 43% of applicants who have lied about their academic credentials have lied about their GPA. (Resume Builder).

46. 40% have lied about the number of years of experience they have on their resumes. (Resume Builder).

47. 37% have lied about their skills and abilities. (Resume Builder).

48. 29% have lied about their previously held positions. (Resume Builder).

40. 28% have lied about the responsibilities of previous jobs. (Resume Builder).

50. Men were more likely to say they’ve lied on a resume than women (76% vs. 67%). (Resume Builder).

51. More men (71%) confess being dishonest about their interviews than women (65%).

Reasons for lying on resumes

52. 31% of job applicants who have lied on their resumes do so to obtain a higher salary offer.

53. 31% have also lied on their resume to add more resume keywords.

54. 25% embellish their resumes to overcome lacking necessary qualifications.

55. 23% lie on their resume due to being fired or leaving previous jobs on bad terms with a previous employer.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Resumes

56. An ATS is a computer software program that collects and sorts thousands of resumes. 97.4% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS. (Jobscan).

57. A Recruiting Management or Marketing System (RMS) complements the ATS and supports recruiters in all activities related to marketing open positions and automating aspects of the recruiting process. 94% of employers in a previous survey by Harvard use their RMS to initially filter or rank potential middle-skill candidates.

58. 92% use their RMS to initially filter or rank potential high-skills candidates. (Harvard Business School).

Resume Trends Over Time

59. According to NACE, fewer employers are using GPA as a screening tool for recruitment.

60. Only 38.3% of the respondents to NACE’s survey plan to use GPA as a criterion in their college hiring process.

61. Only five years ago, 73.3% of employers in NACE’s reports indicated GPA as a criterion in the hiring process. (NACE).

62. Some employers are also exploring alternatives to hiring practices other than primarily basing hiring decisions on the resume.

63. According to TestGorilla, an Amsterdam-based HR tech firm, 76% of companies they surveyed are using skills-based hiring to fill open roles, rather than resume-based.

64. 55% use role-specific skills tests to vet candidates.

65. According to TestGorilla’s survey, which encompassed 2,736 employers from the US, UK, and other countries, Management is the most in-demand skill employers want to see, followed by Communication and Customer service.

Other Statistics Articles

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time do recruiters spend on average looking at a resume?

Most studies suggest that recruiters spend under 60 seconds per resume, with some spending as little as six to seven seconds.

What are the top skills that recruiters seek in candidates?

Recruiters highly value problem-solving skills (88.7%), teamwork (78.9%), written and verbal communication (72.7% and 67.5%), and a strong work ethic (71.6%).

Sources

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