How do number of applications change with experience level?

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Rishabh and Rohan are cousins and best of friends. Rohan is four years elder to Rishabh. Both are very career-oriented and often discuss their aspirations and career goals with each other, one of the few things which connect them together. Both have done their MBA from top B-schools and while Rishabh passed out of IMT in 2010; Rohan graduated from IIM, Kolkata in 2008.

Overall, Rohan has a total of 8 years of experience while Rishabh only has about 4 years of experience. Rohan works with General Mills (his previous work experience was with Nestle as Manager – Supply Chain) and Rishabh with P&G. They are so close to each other that they end up doing almost everything together.

For example, job search!

Both are considering a job switch in the New Year and therefore, using iimjobs.com very regularly. If you analyze their activity below, you will find Rohan doing a more careful and focused job hunt than Rishabh. Call it his maturity or his experience level.

Rohan

Rishabh

You will find that he is applying to jobs which fit his relevant experience and profile while if you follow Rishabh’s case, you will see that he has applied to a job which demands more experience and requires different skill sets. Who do you think is in a better position to get that call, Rishabh or Rohan? Undoubtedly Rohan!

It’s interesting to note how the number of applications changes with experience level. We picked up a few job postings at random and analyzed the number of applicants at each experience level.

Analysis and Trends

If you look carefully, you’ll notice a few interesting trends such as the ones below.

Brand Marketing – Automotive (1-3 yrs)

1-3

Marketing Manager – F&B (4-7 yrs)

4-7

Sr Brand Manager – FMCG – EMEA (7-10 yrs)

7-10

Category Head – FMCG (10-12 yrs)

11-15

The first trend that we usually observe is that the number of applications is inversely proportional to the years of experience (kind of expected), which implies that senior candidates are more focused in their job search and tend to apply to the ones that perfectly fit their profiles.

The next most significant trend that follows is that a lot of candidates apply to jobs that do not match their experience bracket in a hope to get a call. From our experience we’ve seen that recruiters reject these outliers straight away and hence it’s extremely important that as a candidate, you apply to jobs that match your experience level.

So for those candidates with relatively less experience, this is an important point to note. Be patient and focused in your job search and you should ideally wait before applying until the right job comes through.

P.S. Names have been changed to protect the identity of individuals.