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Final Year End Push

According to the Georgetown Center on Education & The Workforce, about 74% of all job openings in Minnesota will require some post-secondary education.  The United States will fall short by 5 million workers with post-secondary education by the year 2020.  And an estimated 9,900 Americans will turn 65 each day in 2017; this group represents the 7th year of 19 of “Baby Boomers” turning age 65.

The statistics right now are in favor of the well-prepared and educated worker and job seeker.  Yet so many people in a career search make very common mistakes as they go to market.  This year, I have noticed an up-turn in the number of proactive job seekers who want to explore the market.  Dale Zupsansky (Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media) and Scott Scanlon (Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media) contributed an article entitled, Common Pitfalls That Will Hinder Any Career Search.  The premise, seen in reality every day, is that workers are making very simple mistakes in the market that are holding them back.  From their article:

  • 54% of job seekers don't customize their resume for each employer.  As a past career counselor, this is okay with me (to be honest).  So much time can be wasted in customizing and tracking each resume.  That said, making sure the resume fits the career field and industry you are pursuing is indeed critical.  In my opinion, take the time to customize your overall approach to the job (not just the resume).
  • 84% of job seekers don't find out the hiring manager's name and personalize the application.  I see this every day.  We receive multiple e-mails that are not specifically addressed to us.  What shocks me is that my e-mail address starts with 'David.'  Figuring out my first name should not be hard work!
  • 45% of job seekers don't include a cover letter with their resume.  This is a missed opportunity for customizing your approach.  Worse yet, we receive multiple 'canned' cover letters . . . . . cut-paste e-mails that show mismatched fonts and a lack of understanding of the role.
  • 37% of job seekers don't follow-up with an employer after they applied.  I have said this countless times before . . . . . if I had a nickel for each cover e-mail where the candidate said (1) I WILL FOLLOW-UP and (2) never did . . . . . I could retire a wealthy man.
  • 57% of job seekers don't send thank you notes after an interview.  We notice; more importantly, our clients notice.  We have been asked by our clients if we received notes.  And if our client is meeting two candidates and only one follows-up with a note, they notice - and not in a good way.

We are in a (generally-speaking) strong job market.  Candidates have more choices now than they did just a couple of years ago.  Demographics are on the side of the employee/job-seeker. Regardless, employers will not just hire you because you are there. They will look for another choice/alternative. And, you never get a second chance to make the first impression.

Wishing you the best in your pursuits during this holiday season and beyond!