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What is a lot of resumes?

At almost every interview I have, I am reminded by the interviewer that *their* company has received a lot of resumes for the position in question and that I am one of the lucky ones to get an interview.  They make it sound as if this is becuase *their* company is the next best thing since sliced bread and not in the least due the employment situation at the moment. 

Sometimes the person(s) actually go so far as to tell me how many resumes they have received so as to maybe make me feel even luckier to be interviewing their.  Some companies think receiving 4 resumes is a lot whereas some think 450 is a lot.  I have been told all sorts of numbers like this, 120, 250, 25... you name it.  All companies think they receive a lot of resumes.

So my question to you all is, Can you tell something about a company by how many resumes it receives?  And why do people at these places hold this number over you and try to make you feel "lucky to be their."

Anon
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

You can tell they put a listing on Monster during bad economic times.  That's about it, I think.

Another thread on here recently talked about how perhaps the most important aspect of job-hunting was being one of the very first to apply to a job posting, because after a certain number of resumes it will just be too many to deal with and they'll cut off receiving any more.

Kyralessa
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

And as to why they would tell you this, it's simply so you won't try to negotiate the wage but will accept whatever they offer.

Kyralessa
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I don't think you can tell much from that, really. My company, for instance, seems to have a very low profile. Google is very visible, and so gets a lot of resumes. We don't get very many, I should imagine. This doesn't mean that we're not a successful company and a good place to work, it just means that we don't get a lot of resumes.

I don't think that that's a useful metric. What's more significant, perhaps, is that they tell you <clint eastwood voice>"you should feel lucky, punk"</clint>.

Mike Swieton
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

What is a lot of resumes?

42.

Kid Vicious
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I think the knuckle head interviewer just thinks its cool  that they placed an ad, and some people responded. He is just making conversation. Rarely have I ever met a interviewer that puts much thought into anything they say.

moses whitecotton
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

42

"Exactly!" said Deep Thought. "So once you do know what the question actually is, you'll know what the answer means."

Elephant
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Applying early depends on whether the resume is going to HR drone or to point man.

If it is the latter, they just collect them until the closing date and then sift through them. If it is to the point man, he might read through them every day and stop when he has x number of interview material candidates.

On an unrelated term, somone once suggested picking out half the resumes randomly, and throwing them away without looking at them. Theory is it saves you half the time, and prevents you from hiring unlucky people :-)

Tapiwa
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Resume ramblings...

1. Dream jobs.  There are a handful of companies that if they would hire me, I'd jump in a second.  Tektronix, Agilent, Sony come to mind, but they've never made the offer - and probably never will.

2. Monster has declined in its usefulness. As a person who occaisionally watches the monster adds both for specific "dream jobs" to pop up and looking for qualified candidates, this site seems to have lost all of its value.  There was time when Monster seemed to attract some good seekers and some good companies.  Not so any longer.  Looks like mostly junk any more.

3. "Lots of resumes" means some manager is clueless.  PHB clueless. A good hiring manager knows what they want, and if they have a clue, can usually find it.  They know what their good developers and testers act like, smell like (yech), walk like, talk like, and they want more of that.

"Lots of resumes" is code speak for "WTF and I doing here?" and "you boy, kiss mine".

hoser
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

To put this into perspective for you: when we were both new grads back in the early '90s, my friend replied to an ad in a national newspaper.

Completely crap, entry-level, nothing-special office job for an English graduate, and paying no money whatsoever.

She didn't get it, but she did get a letter congratulating her and telling her not to lose heart because she had reached the top 40 out of 1100 candidates.

Nowadays it's easier to godzillagram your CV to absolutely everyone, I wouldn't be surprised if the usual figure weren't at least twice that.

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I get a lot of email and it doesn't mean I am a popular person!

Bill Rushmore
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Ah, such sceptics!

When we recruited for summer interns we got, I think, 350 resumes for 2 open positions that arrived in time.

I always make a huge effort to followup even with candidates who weren't accepted. For people who are being rejected, I feel that it's nice to let people know that there were a lot of applicants and they shouldn't really feel bad on a personal level just because they didn't float to the top of such a big pile. More importantly, for people who ARE accepted, I want them to know that Fog Creek is highly selective, has high expectations, and we think the world of them. The Pollyanna Principle says that people do better work if better work is expected of them, and it all ties together.

It's certainly not a way to pay lower than average wages (we pay summer interns $750 a week, plus $1000/month in housing allowance... is that a low salary for summer internships?)

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Wow Joel, IMO, that's a heck of a nice salary for interns, of course NYC has a higher cost of living than I'm used to.

Anon
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Joel, that does sound pretty low, especially for NYC. I had two internships here in Austin, and both paid more than that salary including the housing allowance. We have a lower cost of living, no state income tax, etc.

I worked both at a biggish company (about 800 when I was there, I think) that was very competitive, and a very small (6 employees including me) company that isn't a typical software shop. (I still work there after graduating. I love small companies!)

IMHO, top talent is worth more. But if you don't have any problems filling your positions as it is, you don't really have a reason to bump up the salary, do you. :)

sid6581
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

We usually get 200-250 resumes from one monster posting.
Generally we take half and throw them away. I do not want to work with someone who is unlucky.
That is a joke.

Doug Withau
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

i'd take it in a new york minute...

GuyIncognito
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

>>It's certainly not a way to pay lower than average wages (we pay summer interns $750 a week, plus $1000/month in housing allowance... is that a low salary for summer internships?)<<

Bah, that obliterates my current salary, even before the living allowance.

Of course, I'm a *long* way from New York, hopefully my cost of living is much less...

Mediocre ASP Monkey
Thursday, March 18, 2004

Let's say 100 developers are out of work and 100 companies need to hire 2 developers each. Chances are each developer will send 100 résumés thus he can cover the entire base. Now the companies will all brag they received "a lot of résumés", 100 each to be more precise, when the truth is they can barely hire one developer each. I am not saying this is the real situation just that the number of resumes for one company should be matched with the total number of jobs on the market before making any comment about the state of the job market or who got the top 2%.

coresi
Thursday, March 18, 2004

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