Tech-Job Search Advice That Doesn’t Go Out of Style
In many ways, the job search has changed. People no longer check the want ads in the Sunday paper or have an objective on their resume. These days, people post their work history on LinkedIn or a personal website and upload their qualifications to multiple employers in a snap.
But in some ways, searching for a job is the same as it ever was. We recently spoke with the career coaching team at StartWorkNow and asked them for the job search advice that doesn’t go out of style. Here’s what they said.
Tech-Job Search Advice That Never Go Out of Style-
- Cover Letters Are Still a Thing
With few exceptions, you should include a cover letter with your application. But don’t use the same cover letter every time! Take the time to customize your cover letter (and resume) to explain why you’re applying to that specific role at that specific company. Recruiters can tell when all you’re changing is the name of the position and company.
What’s more, as Denise Ingledue-Lopez points out, cover letters are an opportunity to explain why the hiring manager should hire you over other candidates. “Cover letters complement your resume and are an opportunity for you to showcase your personality and why you’re applying for this role at this company.”
She continues, “It also highlights your communication skills and gives you the chance to address anything you think might stand in your way of getting the job, like a gap in your resume or changing careers.”
- Prioritize Your Tasks
There’s so much to do during a job search: update your resume, track and log where you’ve applied and who you need to follow up with, and growing your network.
It can be overwhelming.
To help you stay organized, you need a plan. Specifically, a job search action plan. Outlining your goals at 30, 60, and 90 days can help you break down those goals into smaller, more manageable steps. These smaller tasks can help you prioritize what you have to, what you’ve done, and keep track of your wins!
- Time Management Skills
Speaking of prioritizing your tasks, another piece of job search advice that never goes out of style is time management.
“Having a game plan and setting priorities keeps your job search focused,” says Tracy Capozzoli. And this game plan will keep you from falling down a social media procrastination rabbit hole and help you identify when you’re spending too much time on job search activities that aren’t working.
While technology has made searching for jobs easier and more accessible, it’s also made it more competitive. When you’ve got hundreds or even thousands of people applying for one job, you need to find a way to set your application apart from the rest of the pack.
Some people may resort to tricks or stunts, but often, a better choice is using your network. Your contact may know someone who has an opening that’s perfect for you or can connect you with someone who has some advice about your job search.
The same technology that’s made your job search efficient can also be used in networking. From LinkedIn to virtual job fairs and other events, networking is a valuable tool that can take your job search to the next level.
- Multigenerational Communication
It doesn’t matter if you work 100% remote, 100% in-person, or somewhere in between. You may have as many as five generations in your workplace! And even if that doesn’t describe where you work, professional courtesy and respect never go out of style!
“Written communication always has and always will be important in the workplace,” says Heather Starr. “When you’re working with someone from another generation, it’s important to keep things professional and courteous. Make sure your communications are crisp and clear, and consider avoiding abbreviations and emojis that work in a casual context but not a professional one.”
- Send a Thank-You Note
Saying “thank you” never goes out of style, even when you’re job searching.
“The concept of sending thank-you notes after an interview has not changed,” notes Ingledue-Lopez. “Not only is it courteous, it helps keep your name in the recruiter’s mind. It could also be the deciding factor on who gets the job and who doesn’t.”
- Keep It Simple
There are tons of beautiful resume templates that you can choose from. And the best choice is…none of them! Use a simple resume format to ensure the ATS can read it correctly.
Skip the columns and graphics. These often confuse the ATS and make it less likely your resume will get a high rank. Stick with plain fonts that are easy for an ATS and human to read. Not sure what resume format is best for you? Here’s a guide to help you figure it out!
- Manage Your Personal Brand
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and in the age of social media and viral moments, that’s never been more true—especially when it comes to your job search.
Your first impression starts seconds after your application is submitted. Hiring managers often research candidates on social media to vet them, and if your personal brand has any red flags, you may not get the job.
Take some time before your job search to do a little tidying up. Delete posts that may paint you in a negative light, and consider untagging yourself from photos. Or, set your current profiles to private!
Not Quite the Same
Not only is this job search advice always in style, it’s perfect for every generation of job seekers. You’ll use these timeless bits of wisdom from the day you search for your first job until you retire!
The survey found that 12% more millennials have discussed salary with coworkers than Generation X. Specifically, only 35% of Gen Xers have talked about salary, while almost 53% of millennials did.
Millennials were also more willing to negotiate their salary or ask for a raise. While approximately one-quarter of Gen Xers (24%) said they felt more empowered and tried to negotiate salary, 43% of millennials felt the same way.
It looks like this is one place where things are changing!
The More Things Change…
If there’s one way to sum up job searching in the 21st century, it could be “some things change, and some things stay the same.” And when it comes to these 10 bits of expert advice, some aspects of your job search are as classic, retro, and timeless as ever!