Someone has wisely said that in some ways, all economics is personal: if I am doing well the numbers must be wrong and if I am doing wrong the numbers (if they are good) must be lying.
As part of my job searches for some years now (at least since 2009) I have been keeping statistics on my efforts and success rates. Based on my recent new job I thought it might be of interest to relate the numbers of my most recent search.
Starting this year, I submitted a total of 36 resumes to companies or recruiters, with the bulk (31) occurring after 28 May. Of those 36 resumes, I received responses (e.g. a follow up call, a phone screen, a phone interview on 14 of them, or 39%. 3 of those 13 (8%) had on site interview requests (2 of which came after my job acceptance, but had I still been available I would have gone). I received a total of 10 responses (27%) up to the point that I accepted the new position.
The short form: I received a response on 1 of every 3.5 CVs I submitted and had on site interviews for 1 of every 4.
Timing? I do not know what I can read from this. For one position, the CV was submitted around the 1st of June and I just received a call (11th of August) asking if I was still available for an initial phone interview. In opposition, I submitted my CV for my current position, interviewed and was made a job offer in 16 days.
Not sure what lessons can be drawn from this, other than the basic confirmation that it really is a numbers game: the more you submit and interview, the greater the odds that you will secure something. Yet there are other elements at work as well: in 2012 I sent out 52 CVs and a total of 36 over the next 3 years with one offer (which I did not take). And the timing issue makes little sense at all either: an offer in 16 days, while another company does not follow up for a phone interview in 70.
My advice to a friend: Just keep submitting. The process can really take longer than you think. But know that while there may not be any logic, there is some kind of statistics at play. Just keep hope alive - and keep sending them off.