Delta Airlines Receives 22,000 Applications for 300 Jobs

If you think you've made it by getting into Harvard, rethink. On average, it's four times harder to be hired as a flight attendant by Delta Airlines.

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Daniel Acker / Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Delta Air Lines plane taxis toward a gate between other Delta planes at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, U.S., on Monday, July 20, 2009.

If the latest application numbers are any indication, it’s four times harder to be hired as a flight attendant by Delta Air Lines than it is to be accepted into Harvard.

According to a report by Bloomberg,  22,000 people have now applied for 300 positions as flight attendant with the world’s second largest carrier. A job application arrived at Delta’s human resources department every two minutes for an entire week, the company’s CEO Richard Anderson said in a recorded message to employees. The acceptance rate of 1.4% is 4.2 times lower than that of Harvard University, which itself has the lowest acceptance rate among Ivy League universities and one of the lowest in the world.

The airline was specifically looking for applicants with language skills in Japanese, Hindi, Mandarin and Portuguese, a spokesperson told the news wire. The company said in October that it is eyeing an expansion of its operations in Asia. The last time Delta put out an international hiring notice in 2010, the airline received 100,000 applications. Just 1,000 applicants made the cut.

(MORE: Airline Already Collecting the Most Passenger Fees Wants $1 Billion More of Them Annually)

As U.S. unemployment figures have been declining, from more than 10% at the height of the recession to 7.6% by mid-December, concerns over the return of financial turmoil if Congress can’t find a way to avert going over the fiscal cliff have pushed many to send out that extra resume. Delta, the oldest operating U.S. airline, founded in 1925, operated 775 aircraft by the end of 2011 — at a profit, according to its latest filings.

One job that’s harder to get than a Delta flight attendant’s? That of a Chinese civil servant. In November, an estimated 1.5 million Chinese citizens participated in the country’s yearly national civil service exam, competing for just 20,000 coveted spots.

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