4 Job Search Rules to Break

When it comes to job searching and submitting resumes, most job seekers follow the same tried and true rules. But what if these rules were actually preventing you from landing your dream job. Depending on what kind of job you’re looking for, you may find that breaking the rules can actually give you the upper hand against other candidates. Here are 4 job search rules that you should be breaking.

1.     Give Your Resume to Someone You Know in the Company

Most job seekers swear up and down that the only way to really land a job is to know someone in the company. The general consensus is that having a connection in the company can get your resume to the top of the list.

While there may be some truth to this, you need to consider who your contact is before you get your hopes up. What if your friend inside of the company has a horrible reputation? What if your contact doesn’t even know the hiring manager? Don’t allow your job prospects to rest solely on the shoulders of someone you know inside of the company. In many cases, you are better off contacting the hiring manager directly or using a third party recruiter.

2.     Do Whatever and Say Whatever to Land the Job

Job seekers are trained to put themselves at the mercy of the hiring manager. Most people are under the impression that they should be doing whatever it takes to land the job, but is this really a good idea? Believe it or not, hiring managers appreciate honesty and probably aren’t interested in hiring a candidate who is afraid to be themselves.

Should you do your best to highlight your skills, experience and achievements? Absolutely. Should you just tell the hiring manager what they want to hear? No. It’s important to find a job that fits you well. If you say whatever it takes to get the job, you may find yourself with responsibilities that are above your skill level, and your new employer may have expectations that you cannot live up to. Instead, just be honest and be yourself.

3.     Submit a Standard Resume and Cover Letter

How is your resume and cover letter written? If you’re like most people, you probably describe yourself as a “team player” or “results-oriented professional.” The resumes and cover letters we are accustomed to submitting often sound mechanical or robotic. Try humanizing your resume and cover letter to make it sound like you. Tell your story and talk about your achievements. You are far more likely to catch the eye of the hiring manager if you use a human voice in your resume.

4.     Focus Your Energy on Applying for Posted Jobs

Most people who are searching for jobs rely on job postings in the newspaper and online. They rarely venture outside of the box. While you certainly should dedicate a large percentage of your time applying for posted jobs, you should also spend some of your time taking an active role in your job search. Make networking a part of your routine and use social media to find new opportunities. There are so many ways to find jobs in the least likely of places, so keep pursuing every avenue you can get your hands on.

3 Responses to 4 Job Search Rules to Break

  1. I’ve always had the most success when I am working with someone I know in the company. That personal touch can really make all the difference. Thanks for the awesome tips!

  2. My success and what I have heard from others in writing great resumes and cover letters is in detailed results. Don’t just tell them about how you saved money or broke sales records, give actual sales records and actual amounts of money saved. Vagueness is boring and boring often gets thrown away.

  3. I haven’t been job hunting in a while, so these rules were set in stone back in the day :-). I’ve seen, over the years, many things about unconventional resumes. I do want to update mine, but I’m unsure of how to go about it.

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