How to future-proof your job search

08.26.2014


How to future-proof your job search
How to future-proof your job search

The job search has had many constants in the past few decades, but for all of its standbys, there's plenty of information that's gone out of style in the past few years as well. No matter where you are in your job search, it's always a good idea to assess the effectiveness of your efforts and, if necessary, make changes if some strategies aren't working well.

According to Career-Cast, some older strategies that once showed confidence in one's ability to get hired are now simply seen as nuisances that will detract from your chances to find a job. One primary example of this comes from the door-to-door process. In the past, walking into an office or a business unannounced, going directly to a manager to ask about the company's hiring process, would lead to that person being seen as brave and proactive. With the rise of the Internet, there are few employers who would be happy to see an applicant do this, as most listings will be online before they're listed anywhere else. Dropping by uninvited will simply harm any intended good graces, especially as many hiring managers will already have a lot to deal with considering the current competition in the market.

While there's no sense in enacting a passive job search if you need to find a job, the news source noted that being overly aggressive can also poison any job prospects you might have as well. In the modern-day competitive job hunt, there can sometimes be hundreds of people applying for the same job. When this happens, hiring managers have no choice but to find any excuse possible to eliminate some applicants. In this case, if you're too pushy or try too hard to find a position, you might end up pushing yourself away from success.

Find a balance

The news source added that there are often problems for some applicants where they find themselves between two extremes. Some job seekers become too formal in their writing styles, using archaic words in an attempt to look more professional. Others try to build a rapport with a hiring manager by establishing a personal connection, completely avoiding any use of professional language. The best bet is for you to land somewhere between these two extremes. It's important to establish your professional nature, but it's also a good idea to remain somewhat personal and remind the employer that you have a personality.

Another issue that people often run into lies with their resumes. Some applicants will list every job they've ever had, without considering which ones are really applicable to the position in question. Others will use outdated techniques like the objective sentence, which is now underused because managers know how an applicant will aim to use their unique skills. Resumes should be short, simple and to-the-point, directly telling hiring managers what experience and skills an applicant has that can help them gain an upper hand over time.

Don't leave anything up in the air

US News and World Report reported that some applicants can make small but notable mistakes. One such example comes from leaving things up in the air. On one side of the coin, references should never be "available upon request," but should instead be given up front - don't withhold information with the expectation that the manager will get back to you. On the other side, you shouldn't act like you're guaranteed to make it to the next level of the application process, like leaving lines in cover letters about you calling back to make the next step. Follow the directions you're given to make sure you get seen - it may seem too basic, but it will show respect to prospective hiring managers.

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