When you’re looking for jobs, you often get a lot of advice. Most of it is helpful and almost all of it is well-intended. But there are a few outdated things you don’t want to fall into doing if you want to stay current and be competitive in the job market. So if you hear any of the following, be sure to disregard the advice.
1. Using a Landline for Important Conversations
This might have been good advice back when cell phones first came out, but nowadays most people don’t even have landlines, so telling them they have to use one is only going to stress them out. Cell phones are perfectly serviceable.
2. Being Internet MIA
You’d be right to make sure your online presence is scrubbed up and rid of any inflammatory or inappropriate material, but you’d be wrong to be a ghost. If a company can’t Google you and find something, then you’re going to be overlooked. Make sure you come up in at least some searches with your name.
3. Keeping an Old-Rules Resume
Most older people will give you a lot of advice about your resume: you have to keep it to one page, you should always include the line “References available upon request” at the end, that you should include an “Objective” paragraph at the top, and that you should make sure to use formal language. None of these things are true. You should also make sure never to cut corners and send the same cookie-cutter document for every job. Tailor each resume to each new application.
4. Leaving Paper Trails
A lot of well-meaning older folks will also tell you it’s important to always and only submit a paper resume. And that you should invest in really good paper because the quality is important. Also that you should overnight your resume so it doesn’t get lost in the mail shuffle. None of these are true, either. An electronic copy of your resume isn’t just a good idea, sometimes it’s the only way to submit. Some hiring managers might even consider you a nuisance for burdening them with a paper copy when everyone else submit PDFs.
5. Applying During Hiring Season
You should always apply when the hiring is at its peak! Right? Wrong. You might actually get lost in the shuffle when masses of other applicants are flooding through. Be a maverick and send in your application when no one else is sniffing around—school holidays, normal holidays, snow days, etc.
6. Only Applying Where There Are Posted Openings
You might think just because a company has no advertised openings that it’s not worth sending in an application. Think again. If you really really want to work at a certain company, make your passion known. See if you have a contact in your network who can get your foot in the door, be that an employee or an internal recruiter.
7. Applying Online Only
You might think it’s a brilliant idea and such a hassle-saver to only have to blast your applications out online, but you should make sure you’re not only searching on the massive job sites. Get your face out there and network. Don’t assume you know where your next opportunity will come from.
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