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Looking For Work? Don’t Follow These 10 Overrated Job Search Tips

By News Creatives Authors , in Small Business , at July 20, 2021

Searching for a new job can be a huge challenge. Modern recruiters have an influx of applications to sift through and judge, and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.

Many professionals offer advice to help people get noticed by potential employers or guide them toward better career options, but not all job hunting tips are good ones. To provide some clarity, 10 members of Young Entrepreneur Council weighed in on some of the most overrated job search advice they often hear. Here’s why they believe these commonly-dispensed words of wisdom aren’t necessarily all that wise.

1. Focus On Perfecting Your Resume

I’ve often heard it’s important to get help with your resume to make sure it is perfect. While a resume is a valuable piece for telling employers your experience, skills and background, it holds very little weight in actually getting in the door and differentiating yourself within the candidate pool. Spend more time developing connections with employers and executives that will make the decision on your hire. You’ll see a much higher response rate by having a meaningful connection and context for them to know the value in hiring you. – Ryan O’Connell, Boomn

2. Just Get Yourself Out There

An overrated piece of job hunting advice I hear often is to “just get yourself out there.” Aside from being far too general, the statement is misleading because it focuses attention on taking any action at all, rather than taking strategic and efficient action. A better approach is to spend time crafting a strategic plan for selling yourself to prospective employers. Marketing oneself as a quality job candidate begins with conveying an image of high value, so sharpen whatever tools you have at your disposal to portray yourself in the best possible light. For creatives, this means updating and refining your portfolio. For other professionals, this means honing your cover letter, resume and LinkedIn profile. – Richard Fong,

3. Emphasize Your Education

An overrated piece of job hunting advice I’ve heard in the past is to emphasize your education on your resume. It might be mandatory to fill out this information and provide it to a potential employer, but you don’t need to go into crazy detail about your majors, minors, etc. Employers these days care more about the experience and work skills you can bring to the table. Education is important, but hands-on experience is proving even more important in specific fields. Focus more on your expertise and your hard and soft skills on your resume when applying to jobs. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

4. Bigger Companies Are Better

I’ve seen plenty of people get lured from a small- or medium-size business to a Fortune 500. Yes, they have name recognition, a fancy building and the CEO is a centimillionaire, but being a small fish in a big pond isn’t easy. Many times at smaller companies you have direct access to decision makers. You have the experience of interacting with and working alongside senior management. With the “big boys,” you can be caught up in the corporate red tape where many times raises are hard to come by and, depending on your position, you never really have a chance to pitch your ideas to decision makers. Unfortunately, company politics can be real and it’s much harder to play in big numbers. Both have benefits, but what is best for you at this stage of your career? – Bill Mulholland, ARC Relocation

5. Stick To Your Field

One of the most overrated pieces of job hunting advice I often hear is to only take a job in your field. While that’s definitely the logical thing to do, it’s also good to try to expand your horizons. Be willing to learn other types of positions if the company you find is willing to hire you, knowing they don’t need you for what you went to school for. Not everyone gets hired based on the type of degree or length of time they went to school, but that doesn’t mean their skills won’t be utilized. So, it’s important to be flexible about the type of work you’re willing to do. Chances are that later down the road, it will lead to bigger and better things in your career, and you may end up doing more than you ever dreamed you would be capable of. – John Hall, Calendar

6. You Don’t Need A Personal Brand Online If You Have A Great Resume

Whenever I am interested in hiring a candidate, I will conduct a Google search to see what type of online brand this person has. Is this person active on social media? If so, I look to see what kind of posts they have to ensure that their messaging aligns with our brand. So, my best advice is to build an online personal brand. Get your name out there and showcase your best work. Post on social media, have a blog and try to get as much visibility as possible. More often than not, hiring managers will look at your application more favorably. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

7. Focus On Salary Over Culture

When looking for a good job, a piece of common advice that’s shared is to focus on the pay over the business’s culture or environment. The truth is that even if you’re in a well-paying job or industry, you won’t be happy if you’re in a place where people are unprofessional or unfriendly. You spend eight hours a day at work, and trying to work in a place that’s bad for you mentally will eventually erode your health. Being compensated well is critical, but it’s not more important than your well-being. Always use your interactions with a company to gauge whether it’s the right place for you, and try to find one that feels like a positive place to work. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

8. You Don’t Need Professional References

One piece of overrated advice I’ve heard is that you don’t need to have a list of professional references. The theory is your website will be enough to prove your worth when applying for a job. The reality is that some employers want to talk to previous employers. If you don’t make this option available to companies, you could miss out on potential job opportunities. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

9. Apply To Everything And Anything

The advice that you should apply to everything, anything and everywhere is very poor advice. Sending off resumes to every job even remotely relevant does not in fact increase your chances. At the end of the day, you’re just wasting your time and energy as well as theirs. If you do not have obvious relevant experience, move on to the next application. You will have much greater success identifying your niche and sticking to that. The chances that you will actually enjoy the position you get will also increase. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

10. Be Overly Charismatic And Assertive

Many people think that they have to be overly charismatic or assertive during a job interview. This is probably because there’s a widespread sense that interviews are events where the interviewer will try to make you feel uncomfortable to see how you do under pressure. While there are companies that follow such practices, the truth is that many more organizations are done with creating fake settings that falsely represent the company as a high-pressure workplace. A candidate needs to be aware that there are places where forcing yourself to be charismatic will backfire. Many companies are looking for down-to-earth folks who are willing to learn and who work well with other people. So, showcase that side of yourself in an interview. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner


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