Outdated Job Search Strategies that Hurt Your Progress

You’ll shorten your job search and be in a place to negotiate more offers if you stop using outdated strategies.

While some advice, like showing up on time and proofreading your career documents, never goes out of style, there are other tactics that are no longer effective.

If you’ve been out of the job market for a while or you just want to maximize your opportunities, consider these strategies.

Outdated: You Talk about Career Objectives

Modern Tactics:

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 of future employers.

Outdated: You Apply for Any Job

Modern 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. Take a more targeted approach to finding opportunities that align with your skills, background and interests.

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.

Find current employees and contacts at your target companies, get a feel for the culture, environment and fit.

Outdated: You Wait Out the Holidays

Modern Tactics:

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.

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 be able to hire you immediately, but they may be happy to perform other favors.

Outdated: You Ignore Advertised Jobs

Modern Tactics:

Use multiple methods.

While it’s true that many top-quality opportunities are filled without advertising, it’s still worthwhile to check out LinkedIn job boards and similar resources.

Identify contacts.

Maybe you avoid jobs ads because you think you’ll wind up at the bottom of a pile of resumes. Increase your chances if you take the time to find out the names of key decision makers

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

Modern tactics:

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 value proposition.

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.