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Job Search by the Numbers

Hard data can aid in your search

➔ Sometimes the things you do in your job search just don’t add up. And sometimes they do. Regardless, today we’re going to look at job seeking by numbers.

Let’s start with a BIG number

Big, like the 600-pound gorilla in the room. That would be LinkedIn. It’s no big secret that LinkedIn has become huge in the job search process. How so? Let’s look at some numbers: 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates for jobs; and, 94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to screen candidates for existing job postings.

After thinking big, now it’s time to think small – as in small businesses. Many job seekers seem to gravitate automatically to looking at large companies as potential employers. Not so fast. Various reports indicate that 97.5 percent of all workers are employed by small companies (those with less than 500 employees.) In addition, small businesses account for nearly 70 percent of all new jobs.

The message? Don’t discount the small company. That’s where a lot of opportunity is. Small businesses tend (and this is a very large generalization) to be more open to hiring older workers than the large corporations. Small businesses may be more difficult to find, but they can be well worth the search.

Speaking of time, we had a recruiter recently opine about the 10-second resume. He claims that most recruiters won’t devote more than 10-seconds to your resume before making a decision to pass on it, or to keep it for further review or reference. Some evidence says it’s much lower.

Whether you’re looking for companies large or small, one recruiter advises to construct a “target list” of companies to pursue. She noted that this list should contain roughly 20-30 companies which you will research and try to determine a contact (or second or third generation contacts) within the organization.

Overall, numbers can make a difference in your job search. One expert recommends setting specific goals for yourself during your job search. Things like a target number of networking events to attend each week or month; scheduling a certain number of informational interviews; etc.

Last but not least, when you do get that interview, be sure to follow up with the person with whom you met. Why? Because standing out in the crowd will make you more memorable when candidate selections are made. And, various sources report that only five percent of all interviewees follow up with a thank you. A small number but an important one.


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