With such a wide landscape of job search resources out there, it can be a struggle to navigate mixed messages. Some job search strategies become muddled and the core advice is lost. So how can you determine which strategies won’t actually help you land you the job?
1. Don’t: Only apply for the perfect job.
Do: Apply to the perfect company with the goal of working your way up. Even if you don’t start in a role you love 100 percent, a good company has opportunities for their top talent to excel. Growing businesses will have lots of opportunities for advancement.
About half of external hires are unsuccessful, but 75 percent of internal hires are successful. Because of this, managers would rather promote people from within than find someone new who is less familiar with the company. Get a position in your ideal company, work hard, and prove yourself.
2. Don’t: Think networking is only for professionals.
Do: Somewhere along the way, using your parents as resources became frowned upon by your peers. This notion is ridiculous. Networking is about using all of your resources, not just those you’ve met professionally. It’s perfectly logical to utilize your parents or your friends’ parents to land a job. A good word on your behalf is extremely valuable in setting you apart from other candidates.
3. Don’t: Highlight all of your skills.
Do: In a cover letter or interview, focus on solving the company’s problems specifically instead of highlighting all of your skills. An interview is less about you and more about filling the employer’s needs. Sure, you’ll be asked about your skills and experiences, but emphasize how these things will help you help the company. Go beyond this in your interview by asking what problems they are currently facing and what they’d like to accomplish with the open position. Analyze their answers and explain how you will excel in these responsibilities.
4. Don’t: Tell the employer everything you’ve ever done.
Do: An employer doesn’t need to hear all of your accomplishments to decide you’re the best fit for the job. Determine which of your experiences are most impressive or applicable to the specific job and expand on those. Use the job description to select your best ideas. Tell good stories about a few of these things instead of trying to touch on all of them.
5. Don’t: Brag about yourself in the interview.
Do: All of your accomplishments (ideally) are listed on your resume. In the interview, use this time to showcase your motivation and teamwork. Without giving away all of the credit, talk about the way your team worked together to accomplish something. Employers want someone who will work well on their team, not someone who will try to take all of the credit. Always put your accomplishments into the context of the employer’s needs.
Sometimes, the most traditional pieces of advice are the most beneficial to your career. It’s important to remember: a job opening is about the employer, not about you. Focus your job search efforts on how your experiences show your ability to benefit a company.
What other job interview tips are not as great as they sound?