It can be pretty tough to go that route. It is still driven on openings on active duty, and there is no preference to fill the spot with a reservist first.
As far as the reserves, that is a whole different animal than active duty. When applying to the reserves, a person is basically applying for a particular job opening. For instance, if there is a need for a cook in the local area, then that person would have to be a cook if they wanted to join. If they have an opening for an electrician, same deal. You have a lot less choices when you go the reserve route.
Many offices are in the exact same situation right now. The economy has seriously increased our number of applicants, allowing us to be extremely selective. It's all about being competitive. It starts with the applicant themself. To begin with, we want people with clean criminal backgrounds and strong moral character. Education generally comes next. We have a lot of people with 4 year degrees applying to come in enlisted. After that, the ASVAB is the next factor in determining competitiveness. The textbook minimum is a 45 however, with the amount of applicants testing, a 75 or above is more realistic for competing. There are other factors such as medical history, but those are the ones that generally stand out the most.
PO1 Kevin Couture