As the experts job seekers turn to during the job search, we all have go-to pieces of advice we dish out when they need support. But with so many changes happening in the way people find jobs, are some of our traditional job search tips becoming outdated?
Just as we know longer encourage job seekers to send out their resumes through snail mail, there are other pieces of advice we need to take out of our repertoire.
Here are four common job search tips we need to stop telling our job seekers:
1. “Keep your nonprofessional social media profiles private.”
When social media first became popular, job seekers were told to hide their Facebook and Twitter pages from the scrutiny of employers and recruiters. One inappropriate comment or unprofessional photo could cost them their dream job. But now, not being able to find a job seeker on social media is just as bad.
A 2015 CareerBuilder survey revealed that 35 percent of employers are less likely to hire someone if they can’t find out about them online.
What we need to be telling job seekers now is how to manage and leverage social media to their advantage during the job search. It’s important for them to have a professional LinkedIn profile, as well as other social media presence that supports the credentials on their resume.
That’s not to say job seekers shouldn’t post personal things on social media. On the contrary, employers look at their profiles to get an idea of their personality and culture fit. We just need to remind them to not post anything they wouldn’t want their grandma, or a recruiter, to see.
2. “Look for new opportunities.”
This may seem like one of the timeless job search tips, but it’s becoming more common for employees to return to their old employers — and for their bosses to welcome them back with open arms.
A 2015 survey found that over three quarters of HR professionals and nearly two thirds of managers were more willing to rehire an old employee than in the past.
If your job seeker left a company on good terms, have them reconsider it as a possible place of employment. There might be better opportunities for them and the organization may even be willing to pay more knowing first hand what a qualified employee they are.
3. “Mobile devices are good for researching jobs, but not for applying for them.”
Smartphones and the rise of mobile websites have made it incredibly easy for job seekers to search on the go. And we’ve always encouraged them to do so. But when it came to submitting resumes, cover letters, or filling out applications they needed to use a computer.
This was simply because that’s where most people had those types of job search documents stored.
However, now with cloud apps, job seekers have access to everything they need. A 2015 Pew Research Center survey found that, out of the adults who used their smartphone during the job search, 50 percent had filled out an application with their phone and 23 percent created a resume or cover letter.
So instead of telling job seekers that they need to divide their job search tasks between devices, find out which apps can help them do it all mobily.
4. “Cater your cover letters and resumes to the company.”
OK, so this isn’t bad advice. But job seekers shouldn’t be sneaking in references to a company’s community involvement so the hiring manager will like them more.
It’s a subtle difference, but instead of finding an open position and then looking for any connection they have with the company, job seekers need to create their own priorities for organizations and then find what organizations fit them.
Company culture is important, and just as companies make lists of the qualities that constitute a good fit, job seekers need to make their own criteria of what will mesh with their personality. Then, when they find a job that meets those needs, they can point out authentic connections in their cover letter and resumes.