Many professionals give out job hunting tips that just aren’t true, often because these tips worked in the past. Advice that was useful fifteen years ago likely isn’t useful at this point in time. The employment market has changed dramatically since then. Here is some of the worst advice we hear about job hunting.
1. You Need to Get Them to Pick You from a Pool of Equally Talented Candidates
As a job seeker, you’re often told your goal is to persuade the employer that you are the candidate they should go with from a field of equally talented candidates. This is nonsensical. The applicants a company receives range drastically in terms of skill sets and experience levels. You likely have talent that your competitors lack, so own it. If you don’t see the value you offer the company, the employer won’t see it either.
2. Your Resume Has to Be One Page
This became a common rule of thumb back in the day and stuck around long past its usefulness. While you don’t want a five-page resume, it is perfectly fine to have a two-page resume. Most of us have enough relevant work experience to fill more than a page, so why limit yourself by cutting out some of your experience to fit an arbitrary page limit. If you’re a young professional with limited experience, sticking to one page is also okay.
3. You Should Focus Solely on Past Achievement
Job hunters and employers often focus too much on past achievement as an indicator of future performance. Past achievements are significant, but they don’t answer the most important question, which is “Can you do this job now?” On the one hand, your past job experience might not relate directly to the current job, but you can still have all the right skills, or the ability to learn quickly. On the other hand, someone who performed in a similar position successfully might fail in the current position if the team dynamics and work environment are drastically different from the old job.
4. Volunteer with the Company You Want to Work for
The idea is that if you volunteer for an organization you want to work for, the company will see your talent and offer you a paid position. It sounds great, but this rarely happens. They have you working there for free already, so why will they spend money on wages when they can get the work done for free. Working for free arguably deemphasizes your value as an employee. You couldn’t find a job that paid so you settled for a volunteer position. This isn’t necessary true, but this is what employers see.
The key to finding the right job is to not only know what you want, but to know your worth and embrace it. Employers want to hire someone who is confident and can articulate why they will be an asset to their organization.
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