A Career Hackers’ Classic, read the full post here.
Much of what we are taught in school about getting a job simply doesn’t work in today’s world. And we learn this the hard way when we apply to a dozen places and never hear back. Our only option then is to settle for the first job we get even if we hate it.
But this can all be prevented through understanding that most of the commonsense advice is lousy advice and won’t work.
Here are 4 outdated job-seeking strategies and what you should do instead to job search the right way-
1. Getting an Undergraduate Degree
A degree in the olden days signaled competency but now it only shows your ability to follow rules and does nothing to help you stand out.
The biggest problem with this system is that students don’t have the experience that they can take out in the professional world to show the value they bring to the table. All they hold is a degree when applying for jobs where everyone has a degree in a relevant field which makes a degree less valuable.
What to do instead:
Don’t let a college degree define you even if you have one. Focus most on getting hands-on experience and creating value. Take on internships, apprentice at a startup through Praxis, or offer to work for free for companies in exchange for the experience.
Focus on things you find interesting even if you are in college. Take on side projects. Attend conferences, give talks, publish blog posts, take a cooking class, write an ebook, or start a business.
These things make you much more impressive and valuable than a college degree for a business owner.
2. Relying on your resume
Resumes are dead and it’s no longer enough to list your qualifications in a bullet-pointed list as it’s almost impossible to effectively communicate your potential in it.
You are going to be disappointed if you expect your resume to do all the work. Everyone has a resume and it’s hard to make yours stand out from hundreds of them.
What to do instead:
Create a pitch desk instead. It is a slideshow that is designed to catch the eyes of your potential employer and will help you stand out in the masses of resumes.
A pitch deck does not absolve you from the responsibility of selling yourself during the application and the interview process but is a great way to set yourself apart and really impress the employer.
3. Playing the “wait game”
Stop being passive in your job approach. Sitting back and waiting for the employer to hire you does nothing to distinguish you.
This isn’t very reliable and most people have to submit dozens of applications before actually hearing back.
What to do instead:
It is your responsibility to clear up front what kind of value you can create for the employer. Create a value proposition where you can show them some ideas for projects you can work on for them. At a fundamental level, it’s selling yourself by addressing the concern of the employer which is “are you going to be valuable enough for them?”
Adopting a sales mindset during your application process will 10x your chances.
4. Using the formal job market
Colleges teach us to start the job searching process at recruitment fairs or online job listing sites but the biggest disadvantage of this is that everybody is doing this and you are competing with thousands of people for a single position. This makes your chances even less.
What to Do Instead:
The companies that can’t afford to attend recruitment fairs and don’t have time to manage online listings are much easier to get hired in.
In this informal job market, you also might have the chance to sidestep the entire HR department and connect directly to the CEO of the company as it has far less competition here.
Start your career in the informal job market as the skills and experience you will gain will help you to grow and transition to bigger companies.
A powerful excerpt from the blog-
“Adopt a sales mindset during the application process and you’ll 10x your chances or more”
Read the full post here.