Your parents came of age in a job market that is profoundly different from today’s, that’s for sure. Whether they’re baby boomers or not, they probably have an attitude of “hard work always wins” which unfortunately is no longer the case.
If you’re looking for a job in today’s market you’re already facing an uphill battle. Don’t let these seven pieces of job search advice from your parents make things more difficult than they have to be.
7. “Always wear a business suit.”
This job search advice has the best of intentions but simply isn’t appropriate for all job searching situations in 2013. Depending on where you’re applying and/or interviewing, wearing a full business suit can actually make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. If you show up at a web design firm wearing a suit you’re likely going to look like you’re totally ignorant to their corporate culture right off the bat. Of course, if you want to be a hedge fund manager, wear the suit.
6. “Go hand out your resume door-to-door. People appreciate the moxie!”
Nuh uh. Today’s business world is fast paced and you’re far more likely to rub someone the wrong way by showing up unannounced than to impress them. With hundreds of applicants for every available job, no HR manager wants to have to waste time telling you to apply online like everyone else. No matter how many people consider this to be a beneficial job search advice, just shun it!
5. “Keep your resume to one page, max.”
Resumes are changing all the time, and there is no “norm” anymore. Depending on what industry you want to work in, your resume’s going to look entirely different. Maybe you’ve got a portfolio instead of a resume, a personal branded website to show employers, or even a standard paper resume that’s three pages long. Within reason, making yourself stand out with your resume is more complicated than ever.
4. “Follow up post-interview with a handwritten note.”
It is one of the most common job search advice and the sentiment here is great. It’s always appropriate and encouraged to follow up after an interview, but handwritten notes are usually a bit antiquated. A simple email is perfect, and even a phone call follow up a week or so after the interview to check on the selection process make sense.
3. “Don’t forget to boast about your high GPA and Ivy League Education!”
Your parents will certainly consider this to be an imperative job search advice but a college degree is no longer a pre-requisite for a good job. Many employers are far more interested in what you’ve done than where you’ve gone, so take care to create a catalogue of work and life experiences you can talk about that are more applicable to the job than your summer biology class. 😛
2. “Stop spending so much time on social media and look for a job already!”
Social media is a great way to find a job! As long as you’re using your time wisely by following and reaching out to industry professionals as well as wringing out your own personal network, you’re on the right track to finding a job the new-age way.
1. “If you don’t fit the job description, don’t even bother applying.”
The great thing about the job market today is that you’re not just limited to clear-cut, old school employment opportunities. Job seekers are constantly carving their own paths, becoming entrepreneurs, and even finding contract or part-time work where full-time positions don’t exist. Don’t be afraid to look outside the box.
Looking for a job can be challenging and your parents are only trying to help with a job search advice that can mould your career. Problem is, they’re speaking from a time when having a “career” meant far more than having a “job,” and that’s not the world we live in anymore. Don’t be afraid to try something new and break the mold a bit – you never know who might take notice. 😉