When you’re looking for employment, everyone close to you will weigh in on the best way to do it. Our job seekers have told us all kinds of advice they’ve heard from well-meaning people about networking, resumes, interviews and more. Your friends, family, and colleagues are all trying to help, but there are certainly some recommendations that you are better off avoiding.
Here are some of the advice we wish our job seekers would stop taking – and what we’ve found works instead.
“Networking is ineffective and fake – avoid it.”
Networking is a difficult and uncomfortable process for many people. It can be awkward talking about yourself, especially when you are trying to market your skills and your experience. Some people dismiss this as being “fake.” However, this could not be further from the truth. You are presenting yourself as a potential asset to a company or a future colleague. When you sit down at a networking meeting, flexible icebreakers such as, “I’d love to hear about your professional journey, would you mind taking me through it?” can ease the pressure and open the conversation.
“Add buzzwords/more skills/more info on your resume.”
Your resume will catch a recruiter’s eye and give them a broad picture of your background, skills and experience. However, it’s just a small bit of the process. Endlessly tinkering with your resume can leave you feeling disconnected from the process. Your job search should encompass more than staring at your resume and looking for holes. Strategizing, reading job postings, networking, keeping up on trade news and keeping tabs on LinkedIn are just a few of the other tasks to which you should be devoting time.
“End your cover letter with follow-up time.”
A lack of feedback on applications can be frustrating. However, ending a cover letter with, “I will call you next week,” is not the way to break out of this rut. Rather than showing initiative and spark, it can make hiring managers think that you are entitled and inconsiderate of their process. Recruiters are professionals, and they know who is and is not a good fit for roles. Badgering them with unwarranted follow-ups is not the right way to get on their radar.
“Stick to your training/education.”
This is one of the most destructive pieces of advice that acquaintances can give. Just because you studied HVAC doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go for that customer support position. Your career is just that: yours. What you were originally interested in is not a blueprint for the rest of your career. Your skills and interests will evolve, and you should always feel empowered to pursue a route that is right for you at that time.
Avoiding bad advice is a key part of any job search. When you trust yourself, you will be far more likely to wind up in a career path that is agreeable and fulfilling.
Looking for some helpful career advice? We can help you at Award Staffing! Visit one of our upcoming hiring events so that you can find your future.