Most of the time when I give career advice, it’s more about professional development, networking, and understanding the sector and your role in it. I don’t talk too much about the nitty gritty of applying for jobs, like, say, working on your resumes and cover letters simply because there are tons of resources out there that tackle that aspect of job hunting.
Yet every now and then, job hunting gets real. Really real. In a bad way. I’m talking about advice given to job seekers that makes my skin crawl. Specifically when it comes to being persistent and standing out. Following up with a thank you note for an interview or emailing about the status of your application? Sure. Showing up at my organization unannounced to talk or drop off your resume or emailing/calling everyone at my organization to ensure they got your resume (both of which have happened to me) WRONG. Very wrong. Why? Because it’s disruptive and disrespectful.
Here’s an aspect of job hunting that hurts yet should help you focus: Some organizations are looking for reasons NOT to hire you. When you get 300 applications for one job position you want a way to cut that stack down. Typos and general sloppiness make it easy. Calling everyone at the organization or showing up unannounced makes it even easier. Want to stand out? Have a killer resume and cover letter that highlight your accomplishments and fit; have an in with someone who works there; build a brand that allows opportunities to find you; prepare for that interview and rock it.
However, I know it’s the nitty gritty of job applying that can be most nerve racking. To that end, I really recommend paying attention to Human Resources. There are tons of websites that focus on HR and Idealist.org just launched a new Human Resources Community. In addition to a blog and monthly newsletter, the website hosts a networking group where people can exchange ideas, resources, and more. An important aspect of landing a job is to listen to people who are actively hiring and the above websites give you much needed access.
What’s the worst job seeker advice you’ve ever heard?