Which Tried-and-True Job Search Strategies Still Work? Which Ones Need to Adjust

March 13th, 2018

When you’re looking for work, advice on job seeking seems to be everywhere.

Some advice is tried-and-true; it’s as useful today as it was 20 years ago. Other bits of advice are outdated, and following them can actually hurt your chances of getting a job. Consider the following examples of both types of advice.

Adjust it: Playing the odds

A common bit of advice for landing a new job is to play the odds. The thinking goes that if 1-in-5 applications gets a response, you just need to send out as many applications as possible and eventually you’ll get some bites.

While a spray-and-pray approach might have worked in the 80s and 90s, it can do more harm than good today. Applying to a job is so easy now, employers regularly get flooded with low-quality applications.

Instead, you should be focusing on quality, not quantity. When you customize each application and have it accurately reflect what the company is looking for, you’re far more likely to get a response than sending in a generic resume and cover letter.

Still works: Reaching for jobs

Recent research has shown that men will commonly apply to job they aren’t 100 percent qualified for, but many women won’t apply to a job unless they meet all of the qualifications. Unfortunately, many of these women are likely missing out on jobs they could have had, as companies commonly hire applicants that don’t satisfy all requirements listed in a job posting.

A job posting is usually a ‘wish list’ of things an employer wants in a candidate. If you meet most of the core qualifications, go ahead and apply for the job. However, you shouldn’t make this kind of ‘reaching’ the centerpiece of your job-seeking strategy and only do so when you feel a job largely lines up with your qualifications.

Adjust it: The cold call

You’ve probably heard tall tales about someone marching into a company president’s office, demanding a job and then getting said job. That situation does make for a good story, but it doesn’t exactly work that way in real life.

There are so many tools and avenues for networking now, it almost seems bizarre to cold call a company and ask for a job.

Instead of cold calling, invest your time and energy in networking. Attend industry events. Take classes. Join sports leagues. When you form a connection to someone who works for a potential employer, you can then bring up the prospect of working for that company.

Adjust it: Applying right away

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of applying for a job you want and send over an application as fast as you can. You’ve probably also heard you should try to beat your competition to the punch. The problem with applying right away is rushing often leads to mistakes.

There’s nothing wrong with waiting 24 hours to apply to a job and spending that time reviewing your application materials to make sure they’re on point.

Work with a leading supply chain recruiter

At ZDA, we regularly work with job seekers to connect them to best-fit supply chain employment opportunities. Please contact us today to find out how a leading supply chain recruiter can help your career.

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