Just a quick Google search of phrases like “job hunting tips” or “job search advice” will give you an infinite amount of results to comb through. Some of these web sites, articles, and blogs may provide you with great advice that will help you land a job. Others, however, will give you advice that may end up being counterproductive to your career search. How do you know what pieces of advice to follow and which articles to skip altogether?
Here are the 5 worst pieces of job hunting advice that you may come across:
1. Resumes are dead
In today’s digital age, you sometimes hear or read that companies do not value resumes nearly as highly as they once did. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In essence, resumes may be even more valuable than ever before with the increased frequency of job seekers applying for jobs through company websites and job posting sites. Because of this, if your resume does not stand out and trumpet your skills in the best possible way, you may never even get a chance to wow them in person. That’s why you should make sure your resume is in tip top shape. If you need help with it, try using a reputable online resume builder.
2. Companies hate when you follow up
If you have sent your resume to apply for a job you are interested in, but have not heard back, you should definitely follow up with a phone call or email. You will not be bothering them. In fact, you will be showing them that you are eager and interested. The same is true after you have interviewed for a position. Send a thank you letter to remind the person who you are. Keep your name on their mind in a polite way, and you will increase your chances of landing the position.
3. Apply everywhere
If you are in need of a job, casting out a wide net may seem logical. But in reality, doing this is counterproductive. You are much better off using your time researching companies in the niche you are interested in, and then using that valuable information to create targeted job applications that are way more likely to get positive attention than a generic application sent out to every company you can think of.
4. Interviews are for answering questions
No matter how much you have practiced answering job interview questions, and how perfectly crafted your answers are, sitting back and spouting out answers will not get you the job you want. All candidates will probably face similar questions, so your best bet is to try to differentiate yourself from the competition. To do this, you must research the company before your interview and be prepared not only to answer questions, but also ask questions of your own. This will show that you have a true interest in contributing to the company.
5. Post Your Resume on a bunch of Job Boards, Sit Back, and Wait for the Interviews to Roll In
Maybe the most important thing to know about your job search is that, above all else, it is YOUR job search. Great jobs become available every day, but in order to have a shot at landing one you need to be proactive. Interested in a specific company? Do some research and contact them yourself – even if they don’t have any openings posted on their website. Worst case scenario is they will tell you they aren’t hiring. Best case scenario, they will be impressed with your aggressiveness and give you an interview.
Josh Weiss-Roessler is a contributor to CareerIgniter and a professional resume writer who frequently offers job hunting advice and workplace tips. Along with his wife, baby son, and two very excitable dogs, he lives in Austin, TX.