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What’s in a Number?

Most businesses live and die by numbers

in one sense or another

➔ When you’re looking for a job, numbers are very important. How many companies have you contacted? How many interviews have you had? How long have you been out of work? How much (or little) salary are you willing to accept? How many pages should your resume be? Numbers. Numbers. Numbers.

Which numbers actually count?

Here are two numbers to consider: You’ll never get a second chance to make a great first impression.

We’ve all heard that phrase and most people – job seekers and interviewers alike – all agree.

The problem is that when talking about making a great first impression at a job interview, there seems to be no consensus – in terms of time – as to what that number is – except that it’s pretty small.

Psychologists, market researchers, human resource gurus, etc. have all studied this phenomenon. Institutions as prestigious as Princeton University have studied it. But the only area of agreement is that the first impression happens pretty darn quickly.

Some say – literally – it’s in the blink of an eye. Some say two seconds. Some say three. Some are lenient enough to say six or seven. Most agree that, once that impression is formed, it rarely changes.

The important point to remember is that it happens very quickly and that the savvy job seeker has to be – has to be – ready for it. In addition to researching the company, the job, the industry, the people,, a huge part of your preparation needs to be that you’re ready – at a literally a moment’s notice – to be at your best. When all is said and done, your fate may hang in the balance of a blink of an eye.


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