Update Your Job Search for 2012
I’ve heard from several people lately who were lucky enough to have been in the same job for 10, 15, even 20 years, but are now searching for a new job. During those years, the job market – like everything else – has changed.
Below are some of the most common outdated ideas that I’ve seen our jobseekers still using. Run through the suggestions below to update your job search for 2012!
Outdated: Your resume can only be one page.
Updated idea: At some point in the past, resumes were supposed to be limited to one page. But times have changed, and two-page resumes are common now if that’s what it takes to highlight all your experience, education, and skills that are relevant to the open job. (People with only a few years of experience should still stick to one page.) For more resume help, check out our other blog entries or attend a Workforce1 workshop.
Outdated idea: Every job has to go on your resume to present a complete account of your professional history.
Updated idea: Your resume is a marketing document, designed to present your candidacy in the strongest possible light. It doesn’t need to be an exhaustive accounting of every job you’ve held.
Outdated idea: Include “references available upon request” on the bottom of your resume.
Updated idea: This is a convention from another time. These days, it’s assumed that you’ll provide references when asked and you don’t need to explicitly say it. Including that line takes up space unnecessarily and feels dated.
Outdated idea: Invest in good resume paper and mail your resume to employers.
Updated idea: Don’t invest in any resume paper. You should be submitting your resume electronically. Unless the employer asked for postal mail resumes, it is a nuisance. A paper resume is nearly impossible to enter into electronic application-tracking systems.
Outdated idea: Your resume and cover letter should be written in very formal language.
Updated idea: Being mindful of the organizational culture to which you are applying, the best cover letter reflects you and your personality. Conversational, slightly informal language (again, keeping with the organizational culture) is completely fine and generally more compelling than overly stiff, formal language.
Outdated idea: A few days after you submit your resume, call to inquire on the status of the application.
Updated idea: These days, with hundreds of applicants for every opening, if every applicant called to follow up, employers would spend all day fielding these calls. As frustrating as that might be, you need to focus on putting out a great resume and cover letter – and spend some time networking to see if you can get a referral for the job.
Angie Kamath, who overseesWorkforce1 as the Deputy Commissioner of Workforce Development at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, shares her perspective on Workforce1 and the New York City job market every Wednesday in her weekly Jobs in New York City column.
Have a response to Angie’s column? Drop her a note in the comment section below! And, if you found this helpful, please share it with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and email!