Friday, 5 July 2013

Newsletter Issue 237, July 2013

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 237, July 2013

Hi guys,

How important are numbers for your field or profession? Check out Careers By the Numbers below.

We really do become what we watch. Check out Moderate TV = Moderate Politics

Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Careers By the Numbers

I still remember the immense relief I felt, when at high school, I completed fifth form Maths. It was the all-encompassing rush of a nasty project being packed away forever in a "phew, I never have to do that again" exaltation. Little did I know that when I embarked upon my degree, that I would need to complete stats and calc papers. Oops, miscalculated there, then. 

Regardless of my naivety, what I hadn't realised at my then tender age is that we all use numbers every day. Some feel dry as dust, some come packed with meaning: anniversaries, speed limits, bank interest, equity, credit card statements, weight, box numbers, lottery tickets, elections and deadlines. 

When working with clients who are looking for new roles, the numbers are very important. Our clients want to be one of the micro percentage of the half-million online CVs which are selected for that interview. Sullivan (2013, citing Talent Function Group LLC) talks us through the "hiring funnel" numbers: 1,000 see the job ad; 200 start applying; 100 actually apply; 25 CVs get through the first cut, 5-ish to interview, 2-ish to second interview, 1 will get a job offer. Being able to convey that to our clients, and to build resiliency into their search process, is very important. 

Sullivan (2013, citing Careerbuilder, and Adecco) talks us through some more critical numbers: a well-organised CV improves your chances of making the cut by 60%; 61% of recruiters reject CVs for typos, 43% for spelling, 76% for an unprofessional email address; and the average recruiter will spend only 2 seconds seeking keywords in your client's application of the entire 6 seconds they spend on the "in" or "out" decision. Ouch. 

Considering the world of work, there is a huge variety of statistics on employment, retention, economic markers, confidence, sectors, prices and inflation factors out there. It is hard to know what is useful, and harder to find it! As one of my roles as Comms Director on NZ's national Career Development Association's Executive, I summarise key NZ markers every couple of months to help the organisation keep track of shifts in play for the careers area. 

Numbers are important in any profession. But they figure largely for careers in defining and generalising personality types, multiple intelligences, ability to analyse, numeracy, left brain and logical thinking. The numbers help us form shapes, patterns and predictors which help hugely in self-analysis, self-development and self-leadership. Tests such as MBTI, HBDI, Holland codes or the Five Factor Model couldn't exist without the algorithms to categorise, count and crunch our responses. Data are the numbers, but that is not the end of it. 

Careers people then have to turn those numbers into a story, into information that helps our clients to find their own path, their own pinnacle. And we have to be careful with the numbers and tales we tell from them. Numbers can be seen as an excuse to limit: to create a narrative about odds which are too great, too much of a stretch. For those clients, we need different stories. We need instead to tell the numbers as one step, after another, after another, on journeys with eyes lowered from the pinnacle, which lead them safely to their goal. 

Numbers are important: not the only thread in the story, but one of the important threads, and needs to be remembered. 


Sullivan, Dr John (13 May 2013). Why You Can't Get A Job …Recruiting Explained By the Numbers. USA: Electronic Recruiting Exchange (ERE) Media Inc. Retrieved 17 June 2013 from

Moderate TV = Moderate Politics

Wow - did you realise that TV apparently made US politics more middle-of-the-road, in the post-war era to 1960? 

Harvard's Filipe Campante and Daniel Hojman have been studying how early "mainstream" TV content assisted in softening the more extreme political views of the US population. As TV started to spread patchily though the US from 1946-1960, the researchers studied elections to congress. They found TV to be a causal factor in decreasing political party polarisation during that time, with around 1 standard deviation decrease in polarisation for every ten years. 

The thing that fascinates me is the logical extrapolation of this finding to nations who broadcast a lot of US shows. It may be that NZ's viewers in the 1960s were also affected by the older US shows that were screening. It just goes to show you: TV will absolutely affect your brain.

Probably one of the reasons I don't have one :-)


Hot Key Shut Down

If you wanted to create a desktop shortcut to shut your PC or laptop down in Windows 8 (where you no longer have a Windows "Start" button on the taskbar), all you need to do is:

  • Right click on the desktop
  • Select New | Shortcut
  • Copy in your desired command code - eg Lock "Rundll32 User32.dll,LockWorkStation"
  • Click Next, ensure your name is OK (eg "Lock"), and click OK
  • To create the hot key combo, right click on your shortcut and select Properties
  • In the Shortcut tab, in the "Shortcut key" field, press the keys you want to use to action this item.

Be aware though, that keying the Windows key on the keyboard is all you need to do, if you want the old Start menu, anytime, in Windows 8.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:

  • QR, Quick Response codes. These are a smart bar code - usually shaped like a square - that you can scan with your smartphone, usually a website shortcut saving you having to type a web address. 

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys

In this newsletter, we look at the command lines for shutting down or hibernating your PC or laptop:

  • To Restart, in the search box on the Windows menu, enter "Shutdown -r -f -t 00"
  • Shut Down "Shutdown -s -f -t 00"
  • Hybrid Shut Down "Shutdown -s -f -t 00 -hybrid"
  • Sleep "Rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState Sleep"
  • Hibernate "Shutdown -h"
  • Lock "Rundll32 User32.dll,LockWorkStation"
  • Sign Off "Shutdown -l"
  • Switch Users "Tsdiscon.exe"

Hot Linx

TechRepublic have a great "how to" on multiple conditional sum formulas in Excel - a stellar new toy! - at 

If you can’t tell your “–ances” from your “–ences”, then the OEDs blog article on this will help you, just as much as it helped me, at

Launched in January this year, Applause crawls user reviews of apps - be they Microsoft, Android or Apple - on the web, and assigns a score. They then list the top five apps by drop-down category on their home page. Check it out at

Canada and New Zealand use the Career Development model, but Canada has a very simple explanation and diagram that helps both career clients - regardless of their drivers - to clearly determine their needs. Check out the quick explanation at and the model diagram itself at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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