Want a job? Ignore these Outdated Job-Hunting Beliefs


**I am a member of the Career Collective, a group of resume writers and career coaches.  Each month, all members discuss a certain topic.  This month, we are talking about job-hunting “rules” to break and old job-search beliefs. Please follow our tweets on Twitter #careercollective.  You can also view the other member’s interesting posts at the end of the article.


Despite a wealth of great job-hunting advice, many prospective job seekers are still clinging to outdated job-hunting and resume writing guidelines that hinder their search for a job. If you’ve been sending your same old resume from 10 years ago with a “Dear Sir or Madam”, then you’ve probably learned that these methods have become obsolete.

If any of the following job hunting problems match you, then you need to implement corrective measures as soon as possible if you want to achieve success in 2011:

1. Not studying your competition

Candidates fail to check out their competition when they start their job search. They reason that their generalized resume worked in the past and that it will continue to work in the future, but that just is not the case any longer. You resume will be stacked against incredibly high skilled competition who probably have seen and done things that you present as standout attributes on your resume.

If you have a diverse set of skills, you’ll need to go the extra mile to get into your chosen career. You’ll need to establish connections and contacts with people in the industry to help fill in any career gaps you have and to boost your education and work experience. And you’ll need a compelling resume that clearly develops a connection to your prospective employer.

2. Not caring about your online identity

Social media is the way of the world now, and like it or not, it’s not going anywhere and people pay a lot of attention to it. Who do you think an employer is going to choose, the guy with the drunken Facebook profile picture or the business professional LinkedIn page? 10 years ago no one thought about having themselves Googled, no one really even knew what Google was but now you have to have an online profile to get noticed. You have to make yourself an online brand and highlight yourself above the pack.

3. Disregarding trends in resumes

If you can’t get past the old resume template with your list of qualifications, then you are going to find the job market in 2011 to be very harsh. Companies receive hundreds of resumes a day, so it becomes critical for potential employees to document the impact of their work and to back up their accomplishments through quantitative means. For a business to hire you they want to make sure that you are going to positively impact their business, and that means on the bottom line, are you going to make their business more profitable.

You have to have something on your resume that shows how you have positively impacted growth in one way or another. For executives or senior-level employees, personal branding has become the newest trend in the job hunt. This is a delicate process and you will need someone who understands developing a branded persona. You have to become the expert in your field.

Hopefully these tips will help you get past anything that was holding you back and put you on the road to new employment!


Read the posts below for other great advice/ideas/tips from these top career bloggers:

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Written by Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.


19 Responses to “Want a job? Ignore these Outdated Job-Hunting Beliefs”
  1. Finally Fast says:

    Great points. Today’s high competition job market makes it imperative for job hunters to be on the top of their game.

    One point I would add is that finding contacts in your chosen field is also imperative. In the past shooting your resume out to a flurry of open job ads on Monster.com would get you several interviews and based on their results at least a job offer or two. In today’s job market you need to do some legwork and get your resume, and yourself!, in front of the right person. I would suggest using sites like linked-in and submit your resume to a real person rather than some anonymous craigslist address. I would also suggest using your personal network. Six degrees of separation is a real phenomenon. A friend, family member, neighbor, or classmate might be a valuable resource for connecting to the right person in your desired industry. Don’t be afraid to make some calls and tap the power of your personal network!

  2. Gayle Howard says:

    Every word you’ve written her Erin is true! Continuing to stubbornly hold onto outdated beliefs speaks volumes about how the job seeker will be when employed. People today want fresh ideas and new perspectives in work environments that are increasingly competitive. Doing things the way it has always been done is going to become almost impossible as the job seeking world changes. Excellent article.

  3. Great points Erin, I particularly like #3: Disregarding old trends in resumes. I think a big trends in this area include the importance of an executive summary, writing in short form (sentences that are no more than 160 characters–the size of a standard text message–or better yet, the 140 character tweet limit!)

  4. Hi Chandlee,

    I know. It’s hard to get past certain beliefs that no longer work with today’s resumes.


  5. Thanks, Gayle!

    Yes, holding on to old beliefs keeps us “stuck” in where we are (and probably don’t want to be).


  6. So many great points Erin. Having a on-brand online presence is so critical – you must assume what is said about you online is part of the job application. And research is so critical so you can be assured you are differentiating yourself. Strong brands come from doing your research and taking action online as well as off.

    It’s great to be a part of this wise group of career professionals!


  7. Erin,

    Great post! “You have to become an expert in your field” is scary to many, but I completely agree.

    We all excel at something within the work we do, so that is part of what needs to be highlighted by the jobseeker. The other part is being able to communicate it well on paper, online and in-person. Hiring an expert to help do this can be the best investment.

  8. I have to say that I really agree with this, especially the resume portion. Each resume really needs to be broken down and recreated for each individual application. As every position is different, you’ll find that your experience that pertains to one position, may also work for another, just worded differently. Anyway you can stand out of the pack is a good thing.

  9. Exactly! Thanks, Catrina. 🙂

  10. Yes it is.

    Thanks, Hannah! 🙂

  11. Dawn Bugni says:

    Erin –

    Truer words never spoken. I work with many clients who have not conducted a job search in 10 or even 20 years. They know what worked then. They’re shocked to find it doesn’t work any more.

    I spoke with a gentleman earlier today. Phenomenal career. “Any” company would be proud to have him. But, he wasn’t landing interviews. Why? He chose to list every accomplishment for the past 30 years, regardless the target company or position, on his resume. That approach worked back in the 80s. It’s does nothing but add noise and clutter in this market. A reader can’t see value if you don’t show it to them clearly, succinctly and focused on their needs. You’re so right. The “old resume template” does not work in this market.

    Excellent information.

  12. Dawn,

    I loved your comment, “A reader can’t see value if you don’t show it to them clearly, succinctly and focused on their needs.” So true.



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