3 outdated job hunting techniques that waste your time

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Jul 13

Looking for a new job can be frustrating, time-consuming, and even disappointing. You send out dozens of applications and go to tons of interviews. Even if you’re well-trained, have worked in your field or a similar one for years, or just graduated, you just find yourself unable to land the positions you want. Are you doing something wrong? Here are four outdated job hunting techniques you may be using that are actually wasting your time.

Online Applications

In today’s increasingly net-friendly world, it’s almost instinctive to fill out online applications. The internet makes job hunting faster and more convenient, so by opening up the application process without the need to fill up your gas tank, you might feel you are saving time and money. And yet, according to LinkedIn, job applications sent through standard Application Tracking Systems don’t get so much as a glance.

After electronically sorting through the masses of applications, employers are still left with an overwhelming stack and many are never looked at. Rather than waste your time on this method, experts advise old fashioned person-to-person contact. Call and speak to the hiring manager, or walk in and do the same. Giving the employer a face to the name on the application will go a long way towards landing you the position.

Mass Resume Sending

Whether you mail or email them, FPC National advises against sending out your resume in a mass, unsolicited move. Unsolicited emails are often deleted and marked as spam or junk mail and go unread. The paper version of your resume will often end the same way. Along with the possibility of your resume never being seen, most job sites request a posting of your resume when you register. Recruiters can find this resume easily, and are less likely to work with you if your resume also turns up unsolicited in their inbox. Initiative is wonderful, junk mail is not.

Cookie-Cutter Applications

Job seekers desperate to find work often fill out many applications using the same tired cover letters and resumes. When an employer sees nothing unique or interesting about the application, they often move on. Rather than sending out a bland application, create a new cover letter and resume tailor-made for the job you are applying for. This will grasp the employer’s attention and give you a better shot at landing an interview.

Adapting to the Times

While job seekers at the beginning of the millennium may have had an easier time finding a job with their existing skills, today’s need to adapt to the constantly changing economy. Don’t be afraid of returning to school for a degree more relevant to the available careers. Going into nursing or the medical field can be a good move, as well as adapting to new technology with a degree like a master of information. Potential employees with rounded skills and an interest in expanding on them are more likely to get noticed and get hired.

The job market today isn’t what it was thirty, twenty, or even ten years ago. Candidates must be able to adapt to the ever-changing ways employers look for new employees. If you’ve been looking for a while with no luck, don’t give up- just change tactics.


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.

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