Applying for Jobs in the Modern World

by Colin - Aug 20, 2011


I’m going to be honest here, I absolutely despise job hunting. Sitting in interviews and going through the formalities stresses me out just thinking about it. When the job hunt begins, all kinds of questions run through my head; Am I dressed as professionally as I need to be? Will I come across as too professional, and seem fake? Do I have enough references on my résumé? These are all valid concerns, but according to a recent article by CareerBuilder, Job advice that was true 20 years ago, but not today, it may be unnecessary worry.

I’m willing to bet there are a lot of people out there that feel the same way I do about job hunting. If you happen to be someone who loves it, more power to you! You could probably start a job consulting business and coach people on how to interview. The rest of us who don’t like it, however, have probably been given advice by everyone we know about the perfect way to ace the interview and land the job we’re after. We turn it into a formula, trying not to take chances for fear of failure and embarrassment.

The problem here is that times change, and different rules arise for what employers are looking for. How do you know that the advice Uncle Joe is giving you is still true today? It may have worked for him in the past, but there is a totally different set of rules and procedures in the Technology Age. Here is an example:

1991: Hard copies are best
2011: We live in a digital world.

Résumés used to be printed on hearty card stock that stood out from standard bulk copy paper. Today, in most industries, an overly formal résumé presentation appears outdated. Be sure to have copies of your résumé on hand when you go for an interview, just in case the interviewer forgets his or hers. And make sure it does look good printed on paper. But most applications are online these days, so make sure the formatting looks good on your computer screen. Before hitting send, check hyperlinks, turn off spellcheck (so names and proper nouns don’t have red squiggles underlining them), and pick a font that’s easy to read.

People want instant, convenient results, they don’t want a stack of résumés cluttering up their desk. They don’t want to sit through 30 minutes of forced professionalism, they want to find out who you actually are and what you can do. Occasionally businesses do want old-fashioned methods though, so be careful. Basically, find out ahead of time what type of company they are and get a feeling for what you need to do to prepare for the interview. If everybody at the company is wearing t-shirts and using iPads, it’s probably not best to show up in a suit with a briefcase full of paperwork.

For more examples of outdated job advice, head on over to CareerBuilder to read the full article.



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