Which Outdated Job Search Strategies Are Holding You Back?


You’ll shorten your job search and receive more employment offers if you get rid of outdated strategies that could be holding you back. While some advice, like showing up on time and proofreading your materials, never goes out of style, other tactics are no longer sufficient.

If you’ve been out of the job market for a while, or want to maximize your opportunities, consider these strategies. They’ll help you update your game plan.

Outdated: You Talk about Career Objectives

Try these techniques instead:

  • Edit your resume. What’s the first thing on your resume? Replace any description of your career objectives with a summary of your background and accomplishments.
  • Focus on adding value. Change your thinking as well as your words. Emphasize what you would contribute instead of what you want to get out of any job.
  • Plan ahead. Of course, you still need to have objectives for your professional life. The difference is that you use them to guide your own efforts instead of assuming that they would be of primary interest to your boss.

Outdated: You Apply for Anything

Update your methods with these tactics:

  • Set priorities. Before the internet, you might not have been able to find many job openings, and hiring managers received a lot fewer applications. Today, you need to take a more targeted approach to stand out.
  • Customize your approach. Sending out fewer applications means you can devote more attention to each one. Research companies thoroughly and adapt your cover letter and resume accordingly.
  • Follow up. You’ll also find it easier to stay in touch. If contacts are allowed, call the search team. Whatever happens to your initial application, you can also start having conversations with other colleagues now that you’ve identified an organization where you want to work.

4. Network vigorously. There may be fewer advertised vacancies, but companies are still thinking about hiring. Take advantage of parties and other gatherings to warm up old contacts and make new ones.

5. Pace yourself. It’s more effective to offer help or ask for information rather than asking contacts directly if they know about any jobs. Most of your colleagues may not hire you immediately, but they may be happy to perform other favors.

Outdated: You Ignore Advertised Jobs

Practice these strategies to update your job search routines:

  • Use multiple methods. While it’s true that many top-quality opportunities are filled without advertising, it’s still worthwhile to check out job boards and similar resources. Successful job hunters usually use a combination of tactics.
  • Identify contacts. Maybe you avoid job ads because you think you’ll wind up at the bottom of a pile of resumes. You may increase your chances if you take the time to find out the name of the individual to who you should send your resume.
  • Track your efforts. Job boards will probably be a small portion of your search, so you’ll want to be selective. Figure out where you’re getting the most valuable leads, so you’ll know where to look.

Outdated: You Search for a Gimmick

More effective techniques:

  • Cover the basics. You’ve probably heard stories about candidates who sent chocolates and balloons to recruiters. In reality, hiring decisions are still based more on your qualifications and presentation skills.
  • Know your strengths. Instead of trying to come up with a unique maneuver, concentrate on what you have to offer. Maybe you’re an award-winning designer or an excellent sales agent.
  • Promote your brand. Defining your personal brand can help you land your dream job. You’ll have a clearer sense of your worth and the direction you want to take.

Let your job search strategies show employers that you’re skillful and up to date. Replace outdated methods with modern techniques that help you make a positive impression. Read end to end job search advice in our Job Search Playbook.

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