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New Year’s Resolution (Yes - in February)

Mid-January – still New Year's Resolution time!  

I started drafting this Blog in mid-January (right after I put out the new terms Blog – the January 2024 Blog – see And yes, I know that it is now February.  

I received over 10 unsolicited resumes on Tuesday, January 16th – everyone was trying to get on my calendar for a ‘brief’ phone, Zoom or Teams meeting.  These are people from all over the country.  Their e-mails were almost all identical (as if they had a template).  My favorite, however, was . . . . . 


Of the many e-mails I received, there was one from a local candidate.  His e-mail title was “Introduction.”  I do not normally open these, but in the spirit of research I did.  This was his ploy/his opening approach:

  • He stated that we have lots of people in common on LinkedIn and he was surprised we have not connected.  He did not give his LinkedIn address/URL in the e-mail.  He has a very common name (not John Smith – but almost as common).  I found multiple people in the Twin Cities on LinkedIn with his name.  The e-mail he sent was generic.  It was not addressed to me (it did not start with Dear David or Dear Mr. Magy).  It just launched into his ‘observation’ that we have people in common.  (I deleted the e-mail.) 

This e-mail appeared to be one that could be mass produced (it had the telltale signs of being AI-generated), mailed to hundreds without changing one word.  He wanted just a few minutes of my time so I would know why he should be ‘top of mind’ to me.  

An e-mail earlier the same day said that the person was referred to me by a colleague.  The person who e-mailed me did not give the colleague’s name.  (By the way, I normally do not open e-mails with the ‘Introduction’ title but I’m happy I did.  A Blog entry was born!)  Another e-mail that same day misspelled my company’s name – Abel, Magy and Underwood.  I don’t know what was happening that day.  LinkedIn invitations from people I didn’t know were coming in fast and furiously.  All the invitations came in without a note of explanation or an actual introduction.  

It’s only mid-February

It's (still) New Year’s Resolution time!  While the crowds have started to dissipate at my local Anytime Fitness, job seekers in Q1 are getting their campaigns together - e-mails are coming to me daily. No problem – but let’s be smart about this.  Let me offer three pieces of simple advice:

  • Start personal . . . . . if you were referred to me, say so.  If you know my e-mail address (, you know my first name.  If you found me in a directory, you know my company name.  If you reach out on LinkedIn, include a note.  (Statistically, including a note of explanation or introduction increases the likelihood of receiving an acceptance/a yes.) 
  • Tell the truth . . . . . staying on the directory theme – if that is the way you found me, simply tell me.  It’s a legitimate way to be found (that’s why we are listed in directories).  If you were referred by a colleague, tell me the name and your relationship to that person.  (I do not know anyone who has given my name out that would prefer to be anonymous.) 
  • Don’t assume a meeting with me is the next step . . . . . my business is to work on behalf of the client (the hiring organization).  As a retained search firm, they tell us what they need.  While we do take a broad approach to candidate generation, I need to talk to people who are in the target area for the searches we are conducting.  We don’t conduct calls with people because they (as job seekers) have initiated a search.     

Make your resolution

Resolve to approach your search like you do your job.  We want to see professionalism and appropriate diligence.  That means be accurate and professional in everything you do.  Detail orientation is critical.  So is appropriate personalization.  

Let me wish you the best in your career pursuits as you enter further into 2024.