The 5 Overrated Job Search Tips That Are No Longer Relevant
Rene Cheng
8/31/2021
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There is a lot that goes into the job searching process - finding the right job titles, polishing up resumes, crafting multiple cover letters, and more. There are some who praise the idea of networking and a specific resume format (I am sure you know what I mean, it is all over LinkedIn!) However, let’s talk about some of the most overrated job search tips that are no longer relevant and what you should do to make sure your application is seen by a recruiter. 
Overrated Tip #1: Customizing your resume for EACH job application 
You probably one or two people talked about customizing your resume for each job application based on the context of the job description. Consider the amount of time you put into the resume to apply to 1 role - probably another 15 minutes or more or so? However, let’s talk about some statistics, Jerry Lee, the COO of Wonsulting said, the return on time invested is not there especially when the average interview rate is 2% for application. 

This is what you can do instead: 
Customize your resume for a job function - for example, product manager. Job titles and descriptions for a product manager are relatively similar, so if your resume is tailored towards a product manager role, then your resume will pass the recruiter screens. 


Overrated Tip #2: Cover letters are outdated and “traditional” 
While many job applications don’t require a cover letter anymore, does that mean cover letters are “dead”? Here is your answer: There are times that a cover letter may determine the fit of the candidate as it allows you to explain your past achievements and successes through storytelling. If you have a gap in your resume, cover letters come in handy for you to explain why there was a gap. 

This is what you can do instead:
Customize your cover letters. Greg Langstaff, Resume Writer & Interview Coach at Greg Langstaff says that many hiring managers like to read cover letters of the candidates they are seriously considering to help them understand and get to know the person better. Therefore, sending a customized cover letter may boost your chances of getting your resume read. If you are serious about getting a specific job, don’t risk throwing away your hard work and write that cover letter instead. 


Overrated Tip #3: Applying to roles ONLY & hope for the best 
Now, this might make people say, “what? Isn’t this the core of job searching - applying?” However, Jonathan Javier, the CEO of Wonsulting says “applying to roles” does not guarantee you to get positive responses. 

This is what you can do instead: 
Networking plays a huge role in the job searching process and here is how you can do it successfully to have a positive response. 
 
1) Network with professionals who are currently in the roles you aspire to get into
2) Reach out to the hiring manager/recruiter for the role (if you're a qualified candidate)
 
By doing these on top of just “applying to roles”, you could gain insights from these individuals about their experiences, workflow, and hiring process and use them to your advantage. Add these insights to your resume and make your application stand out. Even better, you may even get referred for the role which will give you a better chance of landing an interview. 
 
Overrated Tip #4: Prepare ALL possible Interview Questions
Everyone probably has heard someone say, “Practice interviewing and prepare answers for the most common interview questions.” No doubt, you should have at least a sense of the idea of what the interviewer will ask you during your interview. However, instead of preparing a long answer, take short notes instead. 

This is what you can do instead: 
Maciek Kubiak, the Head of People at PhotoAiD suggests that some interview questions are made to evaluate how the candidate reacts in certain situations and understand their behavior more. Instead of having a firm answer, there isn’t the right answer to these questions. Hiring managers are looking to hire a human being, instead of a robot, therefore, the key to interviews is to be genuine. 
Overrated Tip #5: Bigger Companies are “Better”
It is true that bigger companies have a well-known brand and a posh building, however, being a small fish in a vast pond isn’t easy. Bigger companies are not necessarily “better,” and it also depends on how you look at it and what you are looking for in your career. 
 
This is what you can do instead (or reconsider thinking): 
List out the pros and cons between small and big companies to see which one fits you better. There are no one-size-fits-all companies, so it is up to you to determine where you can grow the most. Miranda Yan, the Founder of VinPit says that smaller companies often give you direct access to decision-makers. Being in a bigger company, it may be hard to do so with so many people. While both small and big companies have their advantages, consider which is the most advantageous for you at this point in your career. 


While looking for a job consist a lot of effort and strategies, there are some that we should consider revamping. Many people tell you different things, but there are certainly some main strategies that may work for you and not others. Consider what are the most advantageous strategy and improve that in helping yourself landing a job! There are many resources out there to help support your job searching journey. JobSeer is here to help you walk through this rocky journey and ultimately help you land a job. 
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