Some interesting numbers — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week

Richard Nelson Bolles, author of the best-selling job-hunting book, What Color is Your Parachute?, passed away a few weeks ago. While reading the many tributes and recollections written by career development professionals, I was reminded of the last time I heard him speak at the annual conference of the National Career Development Association in Denver, Colorado, in 2015.

I know that people with technical talent generally like numbers. The following facts were listed on a flier that Bolles gave out to promote the latest version of his book. With all that you have to do as the semester is rapidly approaching its end, I hope you can find a few minutes to think about these numbers and what they mean to you and your searches for internships and jobs.

Research has found that:

  • Employers spend 19 percent of their time on your LinkedIn profile just looking at your picture.
  • 91 percent of employers will Google your name before they’ll consider interviewing or hiring you.
  • 68 percent of employers have hired a candidate because they were impressed with what Google showed them about that candidate’s skills with people.
  • Conversely, 69 percent have found something that caused them to reject an applicant.
  • Elimination is the primary goal for first reading of résumés. Typically, 118–250 (the average number of applications per job) need to be whittled down to the average of 5.4 candidates who will be interviewed.
  • The typical employer will spend between four and fifteen seconds reading a résumé; the average is eight seconds.
  • 61 percent of employers will reject a résumé because of typos.
  • 76 percent of employers will reject an application because of an unprofessional email address.

Find more information from Richard Bolles on his website.


Joyce Donahue is a career counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center. She is a nationally certified career counselor and holds “Master Career Counselor” membership status in the National Career Development Association.