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Success by the Numbers: One Woman’s Job Search Stats

By Victoria Plettner-Saunders
“I am absolutely certain that the work I did with you at the top of the year was instrumental in my landing this position.” – career coaching client

Job interview isometricBack in February I coached a client who was ready to move on from her long-standing position with a small organization.

We had four sessions together in which we used Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha’s The Start Up of You as the basis for discussions that explored her preferred future, her competitive assets and value proposition, we tooled up her résumé with what we learned.

At one point, we circled back with each other as she was in the process of making applications and helped her over a bump.

A few weeks ago, she sent me an email to tell me that she had landed a new job out of state. She compiled her job search stats and shared them with me. I thought they might make an interesting “report from the field” for those of you who are also in the job search market

She started her Operation Job Search on February 21, 2017 and has her first day on the job on August 30, 2017. Here are her stats:

34 jobs applications sent

20 were submitted via automated application portals

  • 14 generated auto acknowledgements but no further follow-up
  • 4 had no acknowledgement whatsoever
  • 1 was handed off to a person who then set up a video interview
  • 1 was just weird

15 were submitted via e-mail to a person

  • 2 had no acknowledgement whatsoever
  • 2 had no follow-up after initial acknowledgement
  • 2 promptly responded that the position was already filled
  • 1 promptly responded that the position was already filled but expressed interest in me for a potential future position
  • 1 responded after the search was concluded and the successful candidate was announced

But she also got:

  • 7 phone interviews
  • 4 offers of site visits
  • 2 site visits completed
  • 1 job secured

Clearly, she fared better with follow ups on the emailed résumés than the auto submitted ones.

After she secured the job, she ran across a website service that reviews résumés for their compatibility with automated application systems. She received a full analysis with recommendations that seemed quite helpful for explaining why she had no success with those she submitted via the automated portals.

As I read her results, I had to wonder if the analysis was really customized to her résumé, or if they just gave everyone the same responses in an effort to drum up work.

I decided to send a résumé in myself to see what kind of results I got back. The next Café Notes will give you the full follow up report.