Q: I was recently laid off after working for the same company for 22 years. Needless to say, my job search skills are rusty. I went to buy good resume paper to print my resume and my sister literally laughed and said that was an outdated practice. It got me thinking: are there any other practices I should not use to avoid looking like a dinosaur?
I’m afraid that your sister is right, high quality resume paper is a thing of the past. Your biggest focus for now should be on the quality of your resume content and how you can market yourself to prospective employers in today’s job market – not the one you faced 22 years ago.
It’s easy to make yourself look outdated in the job search process, but it’s just as easy to get current too. Concepts like a one-page resumes don’t apply anymore. That was a practice people used when working for one company for decades was the norm. If yours fits on one that is fine, but it shouldn’t be the goal.
Also, don’t insist upon taking a phone interview from a land line. Mobile phones are acceptable and an employer would rather talk to you while you are waiting for the train than schedule an interview for time when you have access to a land line. Also, ask if the interviewer has Facetime or Skype and conduct the session by video conference.
During the interview process, if you are asked to provide an example of a professional weakness, don’t offer up a strength. Too many people think they are still fooling interviewers by suggesting their greatest weakness is their ‘perfectionism’ or their need to ‘work long hours.’ Responses like this make you seem outdated as well as disingenuous and dishonest. It’s perfectly acceptable to provide a real weakness that you are working on as a professional growth opportunity.
There are a few quick things you can do to bring your job search strategy into 2013. First, complete every area of your LinkedIn profile and include a professional headshot of yourself. Add a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume. This is a great way for employers to see examples of project work and other things you would not typically include in a resume.
Write a professional cover letter for every opportunity. Even those where you are completing an online application. After an interview, Email a thank you note and follow that up with a hand written note sent by postal mail. Gratitude, etiquette and consideration never go out of style.
22 years at one company is extremely impressive and I imagine that searching for a new job must feel a little daunting. Go easy on yourself. It won’t take you long to get back in the full swing of it.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
about this blog
e-mail your question
Meet the Jobs Docs
Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.