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Einstein’s Advice to Job Seekers:

Albert Einstein’s advice to job seekers:

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”

Ok, he wasn’t really addressing job-seekers.

But he could’ve been.

All you job seekers out there need to grasp this one essential fact: 80% of the time it’syou who eliminates you from the running.

A job search is largely self-sorting. Truly, 80% of job applicants eliminate themselves.

It’s not the recruiter, hiring manager, HR person, company policy, planetary alignment or fate that’s culling your job application. There’s an 80% chance that you’re culling yourselfand don’t even know it.


Through stupidity.

Not theoretical, conceptual, or abstract stupidity but real world, tangible, manifest stupidity.

Let me illustrate, just this week I advertised a job vacancy online and received heaps of resumes.

Predictably, 80% of the applicants immediately axed themselves by making these bone-head errors.

  • failure to include contact email address in the resume

  • listing a mobile phone number that did not work or did not have voicemail

  • listing an email address that that did not work

  • resume’s written by someone other than the candidate (ie, generic and inauthentic)

  • failure to explain or describe the business of their current or past employers, thus assuming that I, the reader, magically know the commercial activity of all their employers past and present

  • endlessly listing duties and responsibilities instead of achievements and accomplishments (note: responsibilities are what you ‘coulda’, woulda’, shoulda’ done; achievements are your actual output)

  • providing an identical list of responsibilities for different jobs in the resume, as if all roles and companies are interchangeable

  • failure to reply to my requests for more info

  • failure to return my call, text or email

  • failure to read (or understand) the job advertisement

See? We’re down to 20% already.

But we’re not done.

I phone the remaining candidates (the 20% left standing) and encounter this:

  • Failure to give straight answers to simple questions

  • Inability to articulate what they achieved in their last job (never a good sign)

  • Not stating clearly and concisely what value they offer a potential employer

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how we arrive at a short-list, in this case 3 candidates, all of whom made it easy for me to understand what they’ve done in the past, what they’re doing now in their current jobs, and how they fit the advertised role.

But we’re still not finished.

So I set interview appointments with the client for all 3 candidates, confirm personally with each candidate over the phone, then email each candidate useful information about the client and also send directions to the client’s premises where the interview will occur.

Of the 3 candidates, only 1 acknowledged receipt of the information.

That candidate, incidentally, is the one whom I predict will get the job (I’ll know next week).

Surprised? See the self-sorting process?

Nowadays there are so many applicants for job openings and it’s so competitive that half-ass efforts and stupid mistakes will weed you out fast.

So stop making those stupid errors, instead Make It Easy.

Make it easy for the reader of your resume.

Make it easy to read.

Make it easy to understand.

Make it easy to contact you.

Make it easy to employ you.

Make it easy to do business with you.

Just make it easy, please.

Bottom line: the less work I have to do as the recruiter (because you’ve made it easy for me), the better your job prospects are.

Now, isn’t that easy? And smart.

About Dr. Duff Watkins [www.execsearch.com.au]

international executive search consultant / author-- dispensing career advice about how the job market really works


One thought on “Einstein’s Advice to Job Seekers:

  1. Nice read. I have also written an article at The Kaleidoscope about the difficulty in finding a job on slightly humorous note. I would feel honored if you can take out some time to go through the article and comment on the scenario. The link to the article: http://wp.me/p4Czjd-1d


    Posted by Ayush Kumar | July 8, 2014, 8:08 am

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Dr. Duff Watkins

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