If you’re searching for a job these days, you may be experiencing what seems like an uphill battle.
The perfect job posts are few and far between, and when they do pop up, you rarely get a response. Your dream companies seem to never be hiring and you’ve followed all the job search rules. It seems as though you’ll never get the job you dreamed of. Luckily, there are still lots of great positions out there.
You just need to stop searching the old way and embrace the new way.
If you’re looking for a job in today’s market, here are 6 outdated job search tactics you should stop doing now:
1) Apply during hiring season:
For a long time it was assumed that most employers hired in the fall or spring. Those were the times to get your resume out there and land an interview. Nowadays, that couldn’t be farther from the truth – a hiring season just doesn’t exist.
Employers are thoughtful about the positions they hire for, so it is rare for an entire batch of openings to come out at once.
Instead of avoiding holidays, winter blizzards, and summer vacations, make a point to apply during those times. There may actually be fewer candidates to contend with, which could give you a head start.
2) Overlooking a company because nothing is posted:
You’ve dreamed your whole life of working for Google. You have accumulated all of the credentials you need, moved to the right location, and are accruing experience that would give you a leg up. So you commit to checking their career site each and every day to make sure you are one of the first to fill out the application the day it is released.
Your patience and determination are commendable, but unfortunately you’ll never get a job this way – at least not anymore. Most companies start their job search from within before they ever look out to the rest of the market. If you know there’s a specific company you want to be working for, do you what you can to find a contact from within the company that can help you out.
Search your own network first and then scan social media platforms like LinkedIn to find internal recruiters or employees that could point you in the right direction.
3) Applying online:
Every morning over a cup of coffee you scan job boards and submit online applications. There seem to be new postings each day, so eventually one will pan out. This thought process seems logical, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way anymore. The best positions never even make it to the Internet.
There are so many applicants these days that recruiters need to filter somehow – so many will simply cut out online applicants. More importantly, many companies are on the hunt for talented employees, regardless of their specific skills, so it’s more important to get your face out there and make sure everyone knows you’re open to the next opportunity. Start with your own network of family and friends and work your way outward.
4) Limiting your resume to paper:
Hopefully you’ve spent a lot of time perfecting your resume – no grammatical errors, quantifiable impactful bullet points, specific skills that tie to the job posting. But there’s probably one piece of resume-updating advice you haven’t received – take it online. You don’t need to necessarily create your own personal webpage, though that would help, but you should include links to any of your work that is visible online. This is especially true for marketing or IT jobs, but can also be incorporated into other sectors. Anything you can do to give your recruiter something visual will help – remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.
5) Focusing on one job only:
So you have an expertise in direct mail campaigns and loved working for that magazine publisher? Surely if you keep your eyes peeled, a similar position will pop up. The problem? Direct mail campaigns are becoming a thing of the past – and magazine publishers are too.
Just as you update your resume, you need to update (and modernize) your target job too. Be open-minded and take a step back to consider your skills. You may find that your direct mail specialty is actually experience reaching niche markets and that the magazine publisher is no different than an online company.
6) Removing your online presence:
We’ve all heard stories of Facebook updates-gone-wrong that led to terminations or rejections. And while it’s important to clean up your online presence, this doesn’t mean that you should remove it completely. Many recruiters will take to social media to check up on candidates, but they aren’t expecting to find nothing – they just want to make sure you aren’t an overt lawbreaker that will get their company in trouble or an over-opinionated politico that will offend their clients.
Make sure you don’t have anything inappropriate on your social media accounts, but don’t remove everything or you may actually make it seem like you have something you’re hiding.
Job searching may not be as easy as it once was, but there are still lots of jobs to be found and companies are willing to offer a lot for the right candidate. Update your job search skills and avoid making out-of-date mistakes and you will be one step closer to landing your dream job.
Author: Gerald Buck is the editor of EJobApplications, a website offering free downloadable job application forms, career information, job interview and resume tips, as well as much more. Follow him on Twitter @EJobApplication.