Hired: Avoid Mistakes That Could Derail Your Job Search.
Job-hunting tactics that worked even a few years ago may appear passe, while using fresh strategies can help professionals stand out among a large applicant pool, say experts at OfficeTeam, a staffing firm in Menlo Park, Calif.
“It’s easy to get stuck in a rut during the job hunt,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of the service, which specializes in temporary placement of office and administrative support professionals. “If certain tactics aren’t working, job seekers need to switch gears and try new ideas.”
OfficeTeam offers these job-search don’ts along with advice for what to try instead:
Don’t: Network solely when looking for a job.
Instead: Use tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter regularly to keep in touch with network contacts. Maintain an up-to-date profile on these sites, and be active with industry associations and events.
Don’t: Wait until a position is advertised to apply.
Instead: Scour local print and online publications to find out which businesses are growing and may be hiring. When you see organizations that interest you, contact them proactively to learn of potential openings.
Don’t: Limit yourself to full-time employment opportunities.
Instead: Consider temporary work, which can provide a source of income as well as a chance to network and build new skills. Temporary jobs often lead to full-time offers.
Don’t: Use a standard resume template.
Instead: Try a simple but eye-catching format to attract an employer’s attention.
Don’t: Rule out all “old-school” application methods.
Instead: Send your resume and cover letter on high-quality paper via the post office. It may seem outdated, but people receive so little mail today that your mail could pay off.
Don’t: Assume they’re not interested.
Instead: Follow up via email or by phone within two weeks of submitting your resume. Reassert your interest in the position and explain how your skills can benefit the company.
Don’t: Speak only in general terms or give “canned” responses during the interview.
Instead: Be prepared to showcase your skills, personality and how your contributions have improved the bottom line.
Don’t: Write a humdrum thank-you note.
Instead: Recap the qualities that make you a fit and express enthusiasm. A hand-written note can be more impressive than email.
Do what others fail to do.