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Outdated Job Search Advice to Avoid


When you’re looking for a job, you take all the advice you can get. But is all advice created equal? Advances in technology have transformed the application and hiring processes, and some of the job search advice you receive could be wildly outdated.

Here are some job search tips that no longer apply in today’s modern job market:

Show up in person to apply

Back in the day, to show that you were a go-getter, you were advised to show up to the office unannounced and apply in person. This may have been the way to show initiative in the past, but in today’s world, this practice will only be seen as out of touch.

Employers now prefer you to apply online — and for good reason. Most use an Applicant Tracking System that requires electronic submission of a resume. This helps companies better organize and evaluate candidates. They’ve set up this system for a reason, so when you apply in person, you show a lack of understanding of how today’s application process works. Plus, it shows you don’t respect the hiring manager’s time or preferred way of accepting applications. (There are a few exceptions: retail and food service employers still accept in-person applications)

Call to follow up

We’ve all been there before: you apply for a job but don’t hear anything back. You’re anxious and want to know the status of your application. Some may advise you to pick up the phone and give the hiring manager a call. Don’t do it.

Like showing up in person, calling the company to ask about your application is a practice of the past. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Constant phone calls from applicants would be an annoyance. It again shows that you don’t understand how the modern hiring process works. If anything, your phone calls will only dissuade the hiring manager from bringing you in for an interview. Respect the process they have in place. If you want to follow up on your application, send an email instead.

List your references

Your resume needs to be short, concise, and to the point. Listing references on your resume is just a waste of space. Most employers know that you have references if they need them. So even saying “references upon request” is unnecessary. It’s best to leave them off.

Send your resume in the mail to stand out

Some used to suggest you print your resume on fancy paper and send it to the hiring manager through snail mail. While this may once have been an effective way to separate yourself from the pack, it now all but guarantees you won’t be considered for the job. As mentioned before, most companies set up their application process electronically for a reason. Sending a hard copy of your resume doesn’t adhere to their preferred method of applying, and chances are it will end up in the recycling bin. When you’re applying, just follow the directions and submit your application the right way.

Get Job Search Advice You Can Actually Use

With so much outdated job search advice out there, it’s tough to know who to trust. When you partner with Burchard & Associates for your next accounting or finance job search, you can rest assured that you’ll receive knowledgeable job search advice from experts in the industry.

For more than 25 years, we’ve connected accounting and finance professionals with career opportunities in the St. Louis area. We will coach you through the entire process, from interviewing to following up to negotiating your offer. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today or search our current job openings.

Burchard & Associates provides a personal approach to accounting and tax recruitment for St. Louis and beyond. We are ready to listen to YOU.

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