We’re Talking Resumes

We’re Talking Resumes

This week the Risch Results team talked about resumes. Mainly, we discussed the resume objective versus the resume summary. The objective is a brief, concise statement used to provide potential employers with an outline of your career goals. The summary, on the other hand, details your qualifications and accomplishments. It tells managers what you can do and what value you can bring to the company.

The question is…are they both necessary? Which one is more important?

Our team of recruiters all gave their input and here’s a summary of the results:

Only about 10% of resumes we receive list an objective but most do include a summary. A summary is nice because it provides a brief overview of the candidate’s career in just a few sentences. This information is very helpful for our team especially when the summary references how the candidate will use their skills to “affect the bottom line” or “increase profitability.” It helps us determine if a candidate will be a strong fit for our client’s needs.

The objectives that we see tend to state the type of job the candidate wants to secure, but this is redundant. If they applied for the job, we know that their objective is to secure an interview for that position. There are, however, a few cases where you might want to include an objective. Objectives can be helpful if you’ve just entered the workforce, you are re-entering the workforce after an extended absence or you are changing careers.

Our advice to you? In most cases you should skip the objective and spend time writing a strong summary that details your experience as it relates to the company’s wants and needs.


How to Recruit in a Tight Labor Market

How to Recruit in a Tight Labor Market

The job market ebbs and flows with employment rates, and as the economic fundamentals stay positive, we can expect employment across most industries to remain tight. Low unemployment means we are in what executive recruiters call a “candidate’s market.” As such organizations looking to hire need to “sell” firms to potential recruits—and understand that a lateral move is no longer enough to attract talent.

In a tight labor market, organizations need to up their game, push the opportunity, and meet the demand. To attract the best talent, companies need to leverage technology, networks, and innovative solutions … and it all starts with establishing a new and improved recruiting strategy.

Happy to Make a Move

As professional employment continues to rise, companies across industries will see the problem of talent acquisition accelerate. As Forbes points out, today’s job seekers are in the power position, emboldened to dictate salary and ancillary benefits. There will be continued job growth in a number of industries, prompting some professionals to switch career paths to take advantage of new and better opportunities. The tighter labor market is also prompting some companies to consider relocating their headquarters to tap into the talent pool. In addition, companies have to make branding a priority, and outwardly communicate the benefits of the firm.

What all of these trends mean is that finding talent is difficult. Within specific industries where unemployment is at a celebratory low, the task becomes even arduous. In most cases it’s skilled professionals that have the highest employment rate, making an already shallow talent pool ankle deep.

Executive Recruiters More in Demand

It may seem counterintuitive for me to say that as the unemployment rate drops, executive recruiters are more in demand… but this is exactly the case. While our job is more difficult in a productive employment market, this is when we are at our best. Executive recruiters are trained to use a host of tools—from understanding how to interpret what is not explicitly outlined on a resume to networking to effectively using social media—in order to identify and vet candidates, even those who are not actively looking for a job.

One way to help achieve this goal is by working with an executive recruiting firm. At Risch Results, we come to the table with a robust toolbox that includes:

  • Unique Search Process: We provide a highly customized search for each position based on the specific needs of our client, as well as consider the culture and working dynamics.
  • Research: Our team meticulously researches and recruits candidates who are typically gainfully employed using a combination of strategic networking, data analytic, and web-based sourcing to attract the most promising candidates.
  • Scalable/Flexible Solutions: We watch hiring and staffing trends to help our clients examine which strategies work best for their specific business. We can provide full-time, interim, and contract employees.
  • Value-added services: We offer organizational assessments, third-party compensation negotiations, and workforce assessments in addition to our recruiting services.
  • Confidentiality: As a retained search firm, we are able to provide higher-end screening of qualified candidates while offering confidentiality for both the client and the candidate.

Recruiting isn’t easy, and if companies aren’t willing to incentivize with ultra-competitive wages and benefits, the job is even harder. But a skilled recruiting team can find gems in every industry. We do it every day.


Benefits of Hiring Contractual Employees

Benefits of Hiring Contractual Employees

In the lifecycle of any business, staffing needs expand and contract based on a variety of internal and external factors. As such, it makes sense for some companies to take an agile and flexible approach to hiring employees by using a contract-to-permanent job placement model.

Contract staffing offers several benefits, including filling unpredictable short-term staffing needs or the ability to try out a candidate for a position to ensure there is a good fit for the future. As the mobile workforce grows, these shorter-term positions can also help businesses embrace economies of scale.

While employees and independent contractors may be paid the same amount for a job, from a tax standpoint, the positions are quite different. A company withholds income tax, Social Security, and Medicare from an employee’s paid wages. For an independent contractor, the employer doesn’t withhold any taxes, leaving the responsibility to pay the required taxes on the contractor.

Filling the Growing Business Need

At Risch Results, we watch hiring and staffing trends, helping our clients examine which strategies work best for their specific business. Because the workforce is constantly changing both in demographics and demands, we have recently begun offering staffing solutions for contract-to-permanent placement in several key areas. For example, our clients are hiring contractual consultants for project management and change management to assist with specific programs and activities. Because consultants with these specific skill sets aren’t needed on a full-time basis, and this type of expertise lends itself beautifully to project-by-project work.

We have also seen a need for interim marketing managers and leaders to assist a company with a specific campaign or project. As is the case with marketing, some companies don’t have the need or budget for a full-time marketing staff, but do need periodic expertise to support a new product or service campaign.

In addition, we see an increase in the need for interim sales leadership to help an executive or management team prepare for a new offering, product, or service. Sales leaders are also excellent in helping a firm identify the right sales team for an expansion.

In this same vein, we see the demand for interim HR support and are working with clients to fill these positions.

The Value of Flexible Contract Staffing

The most obvious driver for contract staffing is the cost savings. Because employees are one of the top expenses of any business, it’s a win any time a company can optimize payroll.

Contract staffing also benefits employers because of the limited legal liability, shorter recruiting and hiring lifecycles, and the ability to “test drive” these professionals before offering them a possible full-time position. Oftentimes having a contractor on board boosts productivity from your internal staff because they are exposed to new expertise, projects, and tasks that may increase engagement and performance.

Fully Vetted Candidates… Every Time

As Risch Results works with clients to fill their contract staffing needs, our recruiting process remains the same as it is for full-time candidate searches. We fully vet all candidates and present only the ones that best match the position and company culture. Whether our clients need contract, contract-to-hire, or direct hire recruiting, Risch Results leverages our deep expertise, tools, and networks to meet our clients’ staffing needs.



Is Your Company Really Ready to Hire?

Is Your Company Really Ready to Hire?

assessment pic 4An organizational assessment can help you find the answer

Risch Results was engaged by a three-year-old company ready to find key talent to support its growth. The company had been experiencing turnover in the last year, so the CEO asked us to learn more about the reasons why, and identify how attrition impacted the company culture. We did this by carrying out an organizational assessment—the process of interviewing every employee, both in person and anonymously, within an organization/division/department to collect valid information about the organization’s performance, as well as the factors that affect performance. Results demonstrate areas of competence, the need for improvement, and possible risks. They also provide insight to help support investment and restructuring decisions.

A large part of my expertise is focused on organizational assessments, from earning a master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University, to my tenure as a business consultant. Now, as the head of Risch Results, I’ve witnessed the positive effect an organizational assessment has on a business. The end has always justified the means, and I knew this exercise would yield valuable information for our client.

Identifying Key Trends

There is a range of ways to gather employee feedback, from the simple suggestion box or online survey, to the more complex, such as an organizational assessment. The greater the depth and breadth of information, the more opportunity there is for improvement and growth.

Over the course of three days, our team interviewed all 20 employees. We identified trends, some of which emerged after just a few interviews, and by the end of the process, we had a well-rounded and informed snapshot of the organization. While every employee had his or her own suggestions and complaints, in the end, almost everything could be categorized into a few key areas. We presented to leadership anonymous examples from the interviews in the context of the trends that we identified.  This allowed leadership to “hear” the employees feedback without identifying employees. As I predicted, the assessment provided information the organization could use as a roadmap for improvement.

While carrying out an organization assessment is an important step to business improvement, the act of having completed one isn’t enough. Employers need to “close the loop” by reviewing all responses with the employees in manageable groups and together identify ways to take action.

The Improvement Process

Reducing turnover is a process. Employers need to communicate they understand the need for change, acknowledge overriding concerns/complains, work with employees to outline a plan, and communicate the planned changes to employees. Employers don’t need to immediately fix every issue that every person mentioned, but they should look at the trends and key issues and then focus on a solution one at a time. Many times, it’s the minor issues that make the biggest difference… and these are often inexpensive to correct.

Keep the Conversation Going

Job satisfaction will be quickly dashed if employees aren’t informed about the progress made on their issues and complaints. One and done won’t cut it—meaning, one discussion about the findings from the assessment isn’t enough. Employers should periodically review the findings with their staff and keep employees updated on progress, as well as immediate or longer term changes. This can be done weekly, monthly, or whatever timeframe is appropriate for the business.

The simple act of listening to employees by checking in and sharing progress will show the team that the leadership cares. Asking and listening form the foundation for organizational improvement, and sets the stage for providing a workplace where employees want to be every day.

For more information on how an organizational assessment will benefit your business, please contact Risch Results.


Clean Cut: Job Seekers Must Keep a Professional Social Media Presence

Clean Cut: Job Seekers Must Keep a Professional Social Media Presence

When organizations retain our firm to find top talent, we look for a candidate who has the best experience, skills, and potential for cultural fit. Cultural fit is key because organizations want to make sure their employees will thrive in the company’s culture. As such, one of the best ways to learn more about a candidate is by looking at his or her online presence.

While social media is one of our most beneficial forms of communication, there’s a time and place for everything. You never know who’s viewing your digital presence, but you can be sure someone is. If you’re a job candidate, recruiters and hiring managers will do their due diligence, and if we see anything sketchy on social media, we won’t be able to refer you to our clients in good faith. This is why I recommend you conduct this social media test before you post or comment online: would you show it to your employer, recruiter, or organization you want to interview with? If the answer is no, then stop.

Red Flags

As an executive recruiter, some of the red flags I see are photos with alcohol, inappropriate or racist language, postings that have a negative tone, and rude comments. Your social media presence is like an online resume, so bad spelling and grammar also raise a red flag. Another thing that can turn away a recruiter: posting too often. Documenting your every move doesn’t translate as professional.

Clean Up Tips

Cleaning up your social media presence is vital for job candidates, and it doesn’t take long. As this quick video explains, you can get started by conducting a  Google search on yourself and your social profiles. Go through many pages to see what’s out there and take time to delete. The expert in the video also recommends making your non-professional social profiles private. (You don’t necessarily have keep everything private. For some jobs, such as marketing positions, a social media presence is important.)  If you have a personal blog, it will show up in a search too, so revise anything that could be questionable or unprofessional.

When you’re reviewing your digital footprint, revise unsuitable language, eliminate curse words, and fix spelling/grammar mistakes. Take inventory of your photos and omit the ones that could be unfitting. Be sure to review and revise anything you’re tagged in, anything you’ve commented on, and any comments others have made about your posts. Also, look at the pages you’ve liked, as well as the people or causes you follow, and revise anything that could be misconstrued. This site can help you clean up your social media presence.

Most importantly, from this point forward, be mindful of what you put out into cyberspace. Resist the urge to engage in political or social debate. A little restraint can go a long way in your future, particularly when it comes to landing that incredible job. Remember, organizations hire people, and you are more than just your skills and experience. Even when you’re not at work, you’re representing your place of employment. This is 2016 and social media is a part of everyday life, and every day recruitment. Be smart and prudent—and put your best digital foot(print) forward.


The People Connection

The People Connection

Jolene's grandparentsWho you are says a lot about what you do

Aside from education, skills training, and networking, there’s a critical element to becoming an executive recruiter: understanding people. This means hearing what a hiring manager isn’t saying about the position he or she needs to fill, or reading between the lines on a candidate’s resume to discover talents and skills that can enable success. In order to be an executive recruiter—a good one, that is—you need what I call the People Connection.

This isn’t something you can learn, any more than you can learn to love skydiving. You either have it or you don’t—it’s like a sixth sense. You can hone the skill, but you can’t create inorganically.

I realized I had this People Connection very early on in life. And it turns out, who you are says a lot about what you do in your career.

Sum of Our Past

I’m the granddaughter of immigrants who fled Germany to escape anti-Semitism and the Nazis. My father’s parents came to the United States just as things got worse for Jews in Germany, and he began working for Empire Paper Company in 1938. My grandmother worked in the office of an upholstery manufacturing factory. From them I learned about resilience, perseverance, and generosity.

As for my parents, they are the first generation in our family to go to college and graduate school. From them I learned about the importance of having a work ethic, adventuresome spirit, and community involvement.

During my childhood, we lived around the world, including London and Athens.  When I was 13, we toured Cape Cod by bike.  At 14, I biked throughout the Pennsylvania Dutch country. At 15, I went to Israel and lived on a kibbutz for the summer. And at 16, I visited France to learn French. These adventures taught me the importance of being open minded to experiences—and most importantly, being open minded to people with different experiences.

The Future Is Today

We are all shaped by influential moments in life. The common denominator across all of my personal milestones is my intrigue with people—the way they behave, interact, and perform. Here are a few examples of key things that shaped my life:

  • College: I attended Brandeis to study sociology and education. I also spent a summer in Florence and traveled Europe with a Eurorail pass.
  • Kindergarten Teacher: I taught in the inner city of Washington DC.
  • Peace Corps Volunteer: I was stationed in Haiti and then Costa Rica.
  • Graduate School: At Columbia, I studied organizational psychology. I got certified in conflict resolution. I fell in love with the idea of organizational change management and helping companies manage employee performance.

I learned much from many people during my travels through Europe, Central America, and the U.S. The common element: my desire to understand motivation and the ways in which people work together. I’m always eager to learn more about people, so I travel as often as I can.

Chance Encounter

On a trip in 1996, I had the good fortune to be seated on the plane next to the Southwest Managing Director of Ernst and Young’s People Practice. We talked, and by the end of the flight, he told me to call for a job. I did, and for the next six years, I worked for E&Y’s consulting group within the people practice. My focus: change management, training management, and performance management.

In 2002, I took a leave of absence to do non-profit work within my community.  During this time, I worked with various small businesses in different capacities—often performance management and team building.  I also received requests to help small businesses hire critical team members. By 2007 I realized that what I loved doing the most was recruiting. This is when I officially formed Risch Results.

True Results

Who you are today is a result of everything that’s happened up until this point. If you’re a people person, like me, you’re probably in a career that focuses on assisting or interacting with others.

I’m a business owner devoted to people—individuals and the companies that need their talent to grow. I think of myself as corporate matchmaker. I bring people together with the goal of providing opportunities for all involved. My role as an executive recruiter hinges on that critical people connection… which I’m proud to say has been shaped and molded by my family, my children, my past, and my beliefs. This is why I’m here today. And this is why I’ll be passionate about recruiting tomorrow.


Ask the Right Questions, Get the Right Answers

Ask the Right Questions, Get the Right Answers

By Jolene Risch One of my clients recently said, “I can tell in the first 15 minutes if a person is right for the job.” I completely disagree. Not connecting with a candidate in the first few minutes doesn’t mean he or she isn’t right for the job. It could simply mean that the executive recruiter, hiring manager, or HR professional didn’t ask the right questions. While first impressions are important, they are not the end-all-be-all for recruiting. Candidates need to answer questions beyond the surface-level information. If they don’t get a chance to contribute past that level, you may miss out on a great candidate.

In the Career Builder e-book, “The Hiring Manager’s Complete Interviewing Guide,” you’ll find a host of tips and resources. The e-book lists seven questions to ask candidates, and they are represented below.  In addition, I listed three more questions, based on my experience as an executive recruiter.  As such, here are the top 10 questions to ask prospective employees.

  1. What does the company owe our employees? This question helps the candidate outline his or her expectations in terms of career growth and the big picture. It may also help with retention.
  2. What trends affect our business? Think beyond the job description to get the candidate’s view of the business, industry, and future. This also helps to understand how savvy the candidate is about the company and the market.
  3. Assuming you’re hired for this role, what would make you want to leave your position? The answer here will help you understand what’s important to the candidate, such as advancement, increasing responsibility, growth, etc.
  4. What risks did you take in your last position? This question demonstrates innovative and out-of-the-box thinking.
  5. When was the last time you had to deliver a negative message to customers, and how did you handle it? The answer here demonstrates the ability to navigate difficult situations. It also shows how the candidate communicates messages to customers on behalf of the company.
  6. Give me an example of how you used humor to diffuse a tough situation. This answer gives a glimpse into the candidate’s personality, and is a good way to examine of he or she could be a fit with the company culture.
  7. What was the most useful criticism you received? This helps to identify areas of weakness without asking the candidate directly. It also demonstrates his or her ability to handle criticism and tough love.
  8. Tell me something about your previous job that you really liked. This questions helps you understand what’s important to the candidate, and it may spark ideas for company culture or team building.
  9. Give me an example of a situation in which you used one of your talents on the job. Cultivating natural talent or individual strengths can make the company stronger and more proficient. Understanding who your employees are is the first step.
  10. What community causes do you participate in, or have participated in? This question can shed light on how the candidate feels about cause-related support to determine if his or her values line up with the company values. This can be a good indicator for cultural fit.

These questions don’t represent an exhaustive list, nor is it necessary to ask all of them with every candidate. I would also suggest using the behavioral style of interviewing by asking follow-up questions that include examples and how the candidate resolved a situation. Of course, be on the lookout for red flags like negative comments about past employers or resume claims that the candidate can’t substantiate. Taking time to understand who employees are beyond the first few minutes can go a long way, particularly when it comes to building a productive long-term team.

Risch Results is one of Dallas’ top executive search firms for executive management, manufacturing, and financial services talent. Learn more about how Risch Results can help with your talent needs at RischResults.com or 972.839.9447.




Risch Results Receives National Certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise


CONTACT:     Jolene Risch, 972-839-9447, jolenerisch@www.rischresults.com

Dallas, Texas – January 18, 2016 – Risch Results, a business specializing in management and executive recruiting, received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Southwest Certification Committee, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

WBENC’s national standard of certification implemented by the Southwest Certification Committee is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.

By including women-owned businesses among their vendors, corporations, and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier/vendor diversity programs.

To learn more about Risch Results, please visit https://www.rischresults.com.

About Risch Results

Risch Results is a boutique firm that provides employee recruiting as well as employee and manager development. Risch Results is thoroughly committed to understanding the unique talent needs and culture of its clients for swift on boarding and long-term employee retention and growth. Over the past ten years, Risch Results has steadily grown from a small Dallas-based firm to one that operates within numerous major U.S. cities: Dallas, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and more.


The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the nation’s largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. WBENC is a resource for the more than 700 US companies and government agencies that rely on WBENC’s certification as an integral part of their supplier diversity programs.




Showcase Company Values through Cause-related Support

Showcase Company Values through
Cause-related Support

DSC_1117By Jolene Risch

As a society, we battle prejudice and discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, age, and religion on a daily basis. We are reminded of our humanity through social causes, the arts, museums, historical points of interest, and each other. To thrive as a business community, it is incumbent upon us to recognize there is much work to be done in the mission to empower all people.

One way that businesses can foster acceptance, moral and ethical responsibility, and goodwill is to support causes that have, at their foundation, the goal of equality and acceptance of all people. One such organization that demonstrates these qualities is the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. If you consider the fact that there are 939 active hate groups in the United States, and also state-sponsored genocide in Syria, Iraq, North Korea, and South Central Africa, you can see the extreme need for education to combat intolerance. As such, I strongly encourage businesses to join the Holocaust Museum as a demonstration of their company’s advocacy for inclusion, tolerance, and diversity.

I have the distinct honor of being involved with the Dallas Holocaust Museum and recently participated in Hope for Humanity Dinner, a fundraiser designed to raise capital for general operating funds to help with our day-to-day operations.  The Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings, was honored this year at the dinner and he spoke about the importance for the City of Dallas to support the construction of a new building to house the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance.  The additional space will be dedicated to exhibits showcasing how we can leverage the knowledge and lessons from the atrocities of the Holocaust to impact civil rights, bullying, bigotry, and discrimination. I believe this connection between understanding history and applying it to modern day issues is key to making our business community thrive.

Support Showcases Values

The Dallas Holocaust Museum was founded in 1984 in the basement of the Jewish Community Center of Dallas. It moved to the West End in 2005, however, with 72,500 visitors each year, the demand has outgrown the limited space, and it can’t accommodate larger, more compelling exhibits or adequately store archives. The new museum will be able to accommodate 200,000 visitors annually, and will include, among other things, a special exhibit space for traveling exhibits, library and archives, and a state-of-the-art 250-person theater.

Because I believe in the mission of the museum, I want my company to be actively involved in its evolution. How does your company support the causes you believe in? As an executive recruiter, I can tell you that your answer to this question is critical to hiring and retention. In the article, “The Importance of Core Company Values in Hiring and Retention,” the author explains that defining company values and hiring people who demonstrate similar beliefs will not only lead to increased engagement, but it will also improve your company culture and morale.

Starting with the executive team, be sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to company values. Define those values and share them with every employee. Use those values when making hiring choices. The values should be embedded in the company culture, and demonstrated through activities, donations, and other means of support. Participate in causes that are close to the heart, and in the process, you’ll help to strengthen the company—and the community at large.

Risch Results is one of Dallas’ top executive search firms for executive management, manufacturing, and financial services talent. Learn more about how Risch Results can help with your talent needs at RischResults.com or 972.839.9447.


What Managers Can Learn from My Recent Hire

What Managers Can Learn from My Recent Hire


By Jolene Risch

I’ve written about strategies for getting the best out of employees, from issuing tough love in the workplace to looking beyond the black and white of a resume to discover skills that aren’t obvious at first glance. Taking a more macro approach, let’s talk about strategies for finding employees you didn’t expect. Namely, employees who have reentered the workforce after a multi-year absence.

Risch Results recently hired Nicole Stasick as director of business development, marking her official return to the corporate world. For 12 years, Nicole focused on raising her children and running a small marketing firm. Although she wasn’t involved in marketing and sales full time, she stayed in the game, keeping up to date on the latest technology platforms, social media, and office tools. When I met Nicole, her resume might have prompted me to assume she would be out of the loop. After all, 12 years is a long time to be absent from daily corporate life. However, the exact opposite is true. Nicole’s background has enhanced her skills. She has mastered the ability to balance difficult tasks, communicate efficiently and effectively, and keep perspective on priorities. All of these are truly valuable skills.

With Age Comes Wisdom

A seasoned worker is mature, and for anyone who has been out of the workforce only to reenter it can demonstrate to an employer that he or she has the ability to balance life’s demands and thrive. When I compare that wisdom and experience of seasoned workers to younger counterparts, the gap is wide. While there are many jobs that are perfect for millennials, someone right out of college only has the experience of school. Life experience goes a long way for many positions.

In the article, 3 Questions Amazon’s CEO Asks Before Hiring Anyone, Jeff Bezos reveals that, before extending an offer of employment, his hiring managers need to consider their answers to the following: Will you admire this person? Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group they’re entering? Along what dimensions might this person be a superstar? These inquiries are far from the traditional, Does this person have the core skills for the job? and, Will he or she fit into the company culture? yet they can reveal much more than standard (although important) hiring questions.

If an employee has worked in a non-traditional setting, or even a volunteer position, they can still acquire the skills and contacts needed to build relationships—relationships that can be leveraged to increase business. This is certainly the case with Nicole. When she came to Risch Results, she brought along her connections from her marketing business. She also has experience volunteering in the non-profit sector and has built a large network as vice president of her local chapter of National Charity League. Once again, she can leverage those relationships in her current position.

Employees who are coming back to work after an absence may have gained the life skills and have built a network necessary to thrive in their position—and help you take the business to the next level. We hit the jackpot hiring Nicole, proving that just because a professional isn’t working full time, that doesn’t mean she lacks the skills and agility to bring full-time skills to your business.

Risch Results is one of Dallas’ top executive search firms for executive management, manufacturing, and financial services talent. Learn more about how Risch Results can help with your talent needs at RischResults.com or 972.839.9447.

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