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Looking for a Job? Here is the one statistic that matters the most

In the process of meeting people who are looking for work, we ask a lot of questions. We start on the telephone then at times we go to a face to face interview so we can “internalize” the candidate and really get to know them. There is one statistic that tells a lot about how well the search has been going for the candidate. We ask for this information every time we meet someone.

The most important statistic in a job search
The most important statistic in a job search

Typically people apply for jobs in one of two ways. They send in an online application based on a posted job opportunity, or they take advantage of their network of connections and send in their resume. In either case, a job seeker should keep track of every time they apply for a job.  Why?

If someone applies for 100 positions and gets 20 responses and 8 or 9 telephone interviews and perhaps 6 or 7 face to face interviews, they are (1) most likely applying for jobs they are really suited for, and (2) if they applied online, their resume is probably filled with repeated use of “bait” words to get past the initial automated screening.

If they are also getting multiple face to face interviews, not only are they suited to the role, but they’re doing a good job handling the interview process.

What responses to an application,  as well as telephone and face to face interviews don’t tell you is whether your resume is “good” or not.  In fact if you get a job offer, and your resume “checks out”, at that stage it doesn’t matter anyways.

But before that moment of relief, when you have a job offer, not only is the resume critical, but it is the key marketing tool for you. So create a good, targeted, functional, results-filled, no soft language, “What I Can Do For You” resume for each opportunity.

To get a statistic of how your search is going (resume quality & suitability to the role) focus on the % of telephone interviews vs. total applications. Adjust your efforts if you are applying for hundreds of jobs and not getting responses. Apply to fewer opportunities that are bang on.

To get a sense of your performance in telephone interviews vs. face to face consideration, listen and ask for feedback from the company. Make notes and ask others what is meant by the interviewer’s feedback.




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Frank Abrams


Don Ham

Great tips on job search, thanks for posting. Back on the market again, let me know of any roles that suit my background. DH

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