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5 Reasons Why Less is More in Your Job Search

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For those of you who have followed CareerAlley, you will know that I’m a big advocate of getting your resume “out there”. The premise is that the more people who know you are job hunting, the better the chance that you will learn about opportunities. Like everything else in life, there can be too much of a good thing and having too many recruiters, job search boards and automated “job match” emails could dilute the value of your search. One obvious exception is your network, where you will want everyone in your network who can help you find a job to know you are on the hunt.

Your cover letter should highlight the skills that match the job description and make sure you demonstrate that you know about their company.

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So many Job Search Boards, so little time

There is quite a bit of overlap across the major job search sites (especially the job site aggregators), so using more than 3 or 4 job search sites does not add much value. Pick two or three job search boards for your job search.

  1. A job search board that is dedicated or focused on your job/career type (such as financial services, retail, etc.).
  2. Two resources should be in the “top 10” job search boards with at least one a job search aggregator.
  3.  Leverage LinkedIn as an alternate source

Limit the auto email function for jobs that match your profile. While some work reasonably well, others are not even close and are a waste of time, will fill your email inbox and will not add any value.

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Older is Not Always Better

Older job listings that is (not people). If you are using a job search site, narrow your searches to jobs that were posted within the last 7 days. Jobs posted more than 7 days ago most likely have had tens (or 100’s) of responses and will probably be a waste of time. If, however, you’ve exhausted all of the job opportunities that are 7 days or newer then take a look at some older job postings, but don’t get carried away.

Long Cover Letters Just Don’t Work

Your cover letter is meant to be an introduction and should be short (not a bio of your entire career). A few short paragraphs are fine. You should start your cover letter with an explanation as to why you are writing (applying for a job opening, referred by someone in your network, etc.). Next, follow with why you are the perfect candidate. Cover the skills that match the job description and make sure you demonstrate that you know about their company. Close your letter by thanking them for their consideration and indicate that you will follow up with them in a few weeks (and don’t forget your contact information).

Your cover letter should be longer than a couple of lines but don’t waste your time writing a novel either. 70% of hiring managers said the shorter the better. Somewhere between 250 and 400-word count is a good amount. However, you should focus more on the content than how many lines on the page you are taking up.

Interviewers Don’t Want to Hear About Your Summer Vacation

When interviewers say “So tell me about yourself”, they are really wondering how you will respond to an unstructured question. While the interviewer does want to know what you’ve done that is relevant to the opportunity, they also want to know what you think is important.  This is a perfect example where less is more.  Keep it short and focus on what you think will most interest the interviewer about you. This should include relevant accomplishments, but leave personal details for the “So what do you do in your spare time?” question.

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While you can only be so prepared for the unexpected question, the most powerful tool you can have and use in your interview is your skills and your experience.  Prior to the interview, spend time thinking about all of the challenges and successes you’ve had in your career.

Long Resumes Without Examples of Relevant Accomplishments Get Trashed

Your resume is your most important career document.  While you don’t want to leave out important relevant information, you should not include irrelevant “noise”. Your resume should be concise, include accomplishments with specific examples and should minimize jobs outside of your industry. 

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