No matter how restless we may be, most of us don’t jump back onto the job market every single year, year after year (at least not voluntarily). For the average employee, the job search process is something that happens every three to five years at the most, and those who are especially settled in may not even open their resume files for decades at a time. So if you’re stepping onto the market right now, there’s a strong chance that the landscape has changed a bit since the last time you faced this challenge. Make sure your approach is up-to-date and watch out for some of these old-fashioned job search moves that can actually hold you back.
1. Submitting exclusively by hard copy.
Paper resumes are still in circulation, and some employers specifically request them. But your digital resume (usually submitted as a Word file, PDF, or website upload) will be more useful in the modern marketplace. Make sure your resume looks balanced on the page when you print it out, and invest in high quality paper so you can carry a few copies with you to interviews. But make sure your document also looks nice on a screen. (No broken links, fancy fonts, or untranslatable formats).
2. Ignoring your online brand.
Just a few years ago, employers were reluctant to search for personal information online unless explicitly invited to do so by the candidate. Your blog, facebook profile, and twitter feed were your own business, and employers were hesitant to factor these things into a hiring decision. This is no longer the case. During the job search process, the personal and professional have entirely merged, and nothing you place online will be beyond the reach of your reviewers. Keep this in mind.
3. Dressing to impress.
Dress for success, don’t dress to impress. This means don’t just reach for your three piece suit before the interview. Base you clothing decisions on the context of your meetings and your relationships, and before your interview, choose an outfit that matches the circumstances and the culture of your potential workplace.
4. Your resume isn’t your only ticket.
Yes, you’ll need to submit a formal resume for most open positions. But you can also create an online version that provides supplemental material like photos and videos, and you can certainly direct employers to your personal blog or website as part of your application process if you choose.
For more on how to navigate the modern job search landscape, reach out to the employment experts at CSS.