2,000. That's my estimate of the number of times over the last 8 years I've heard it.
A prospective client calls and is frustrated that he hasn't heard anything back on most of his applications to job postings.
How did I arrive at that number?
It's at least once every working day over an 8 year period. I had to pause and reflect after I did that quick calculation. Holy Cow! That's a lot. Stuff adds up fast when you have a steady stream of it over a long period of time.
What does this mean?
Hardly anyone has success in sending in a job application and getting a response. 2,000 people is a meaningful sample size in any scientific study. A larger "n" number reduces the standard deviation for the statistical analysis.
It's a broken system. Most of the time your application is never even read by a human being. You could be the very best qualified candidate in the entire field of 500 applicants. But if no one sees your application it doesn't matter. It's a classic example of the philosophical question of "if a tree falls in the woods but no one is around to hear it does it make a sound?"
Don't just apply to a job. Find people on the inside of the company and start a conversation. We do it for our clients every day.