by Heather R. Huhman
During your job search, you’re going to receive a lot advice. Some of this advice is going to help you land jobs, while some of it might set you back.
Whether it’s advice you receive from your mother or even a tip you get from a recruiter, some of it won’t guarantee job search success. When searching for jobs, it’s important to know which tips work for you and how to use them to their best potential. Once you’re able to weed out the bad advice from the good, you’ll be on your way to more interviews and landing a job.
To help you decide which job search advice to ditch this year, here’s five job search tips to avoid:
1. Only focus on your resume and cover letter.
A common piece of advice you’ve probably heard over the last year is to focus on customizing your cover letter and resume to every position for which you apply. This is a very important piece of advice to follow (and you should always do this); however, there some other important pieces of the job search puzzle you’re missing.
During your job search, you must also focus on marketing yourself as a professional and the value of your personal brand. Your resume and cover letter definitely serve as tools for landing an interview, but what’s going to seal the deal is your credibility as a professional. In addition to crafting the perfect resume and cover letter, make sure you also have a stellar online presence. This means making sure your LinkedIn is current and you’re utilizing the best social media platforms for your career. This not only will help you build credibility as a job seeker, but also help you become discovered by employers who want to hire you.
2. Make sure your Facebook profile is unsearchable.
If you’re worried about employers finding you on Facebook, chances are you’ve probably gone out of your way to make it private. If you’ve changed the spelling of your name on Facebook and applied every privacy setting to make it impossible to discover you, this could send a red flag to employers.
As a job seeker, you need to be as transparent as possible on social media. Why? Because employers want to feel confident that you have nothing to hide from them. Do your best to be your true self online and you won’t have to worry about blocking employers from your Facebook.
3. Keep your personal and professional online presence separate.
You may have been told the safest way to utilize social media for your job search is to create separate accounts (such as two Twitter accounts). While this seems like sound advice, it could have a negative impact on your online presence. Employers want to see that you’re able to blend your personal and professional lives as one on social media. By blending the two, you’re able to show employers your experience as well as your personality online.
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to be transparent as a job seeker because you want employers to see your genuine personality. If you’re worried about employers finding dirt on you, make sure you are only posting appropriate content online. This will save you a headache from having to manage two separate social media personalities for yourself as a job seeker.
4. Apply to as many jobs as you can.
No matter how desperate you are to find a job, don’t apply to every job posting you think you are even remotely qualified for. People land jobs because they show employers they are qualified for the position through their experience, not because of a single qualification or skill.
If you want to land a job, you need to carefully research positions that would be a good fit for your skills and experience. Once you find some jobs you feel are the right fit, begin networking with those companies. When you’re ready to apply and you’ve made some connections, customize your cover letter and resume to each position. This will show employers you are serious about working for their company and will give employers a reason to want to interview you for the position.
5. Use as many buzzwords as possible in your resume.
You’ve probably been told to use as many buzzwords as possible such as “driven” and “innovative” to spruce up your resume and help you win over resume screeners. However, this is actually a job search tip you need to avoid. In 2013, LinkedIn revealed their top 10 list of resume buzzwords you should avoid using in your resume. Regardless of how “responsible” or “analytical” you may believe yourself to be, no employer is going to believe you unless you can support your qualification with an accomplishment story. When writing your resume, make sure you are using relevant keywords that are tailored to the position. This will help you stand out to employers and make your resume appear more credible.
If you can avoid some of these tips during your job search, you’ll be on your way to landing more interviews and jobs. Your job search is more than sending a resume or hiding your personal life from employers online. It’s about being persistent and thoughtful when applying for jobs and making the right connections. Hopefully you’ll be able to use some of these tips to tweak your job search this year and lead yourself in the direction of landing a job.
What are some bad job search tips you’ve received?
Heather R. Huhman is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.