October 8, 2016

8 Job Search Rules That Are Meant To Be Broken

Rules are meant to be broken. Job seekers break rules every single day. It helps to set them apart from the job search competition. Whether you break the rules or bend them, sometimes stepping outside of the lines is the best plan of attack if you want to land a job.

Breaking the rules when solving a maze by drawing a straight line to the center

When you’re searching for a job, there are endless articles that tell you exactly what to do. There’s always a “best way” or a “right way” to do everything.  If things aren’t working, it’s time to change up your job search strategies. There are always  exceptions to the rules.

What works today may not work tomorrow and vice versa. It’s impossible to provide hard and fast job search rules when the job search is constantly changing. You always have to make the best decision for your personal situation – and sometimes trying something out of the ordinary is the best option.

Below you’ll find a selection of job search rules that are meant to be broken:

  1. Write A Traditional Resume – Non traditional resumes are great. Infographics, multiple pages, or resumes that use “I” are all ok in the right circumstances.
  2. Only Apply If You Meet Every Requirement – Don’t get discouraged if your experience and skills don’t match a job description exactly. Those job ads are designed to describe the perfect job candidate – and that person rarely exists.
  3. Don’t Follow Up – If you haven’t heard back about a job, feel free to give the company a call or send an email. As long as you don’t call too much, it will show that you’re a proactive and keen job seeker and this can go a long ways.
  4. Be Formal – Formal language is important in some settings, but it’s not as important in others. Read your audience and customize your emails, applications, and correspondences accordingly.
  5. Stick With Your Job Even If You Hate It – If you truly despise what you do, feel free to quit. There’s no reason to stick out a job that you dislike. It will only have a negative impact on your life.
  6. Respond To A Job Listing As Requested – It’s important to follow the directions on a job application, but if you can apply in other ways you may increase your chances of getting noticed.
  7. Never Ask To Work Remotely – Remote work is a huge perk of any job. If your job allows you to escape the office, there’s no harm in asking if remote working is a possibility. You will have to prove your work ethic first, but if it’s in the cards, feel free to ask.
  8. Never Apply To Companies If They Aren’t Hiring – If you’re qualified to work at your dream company, let them know that you are available. If they don’t have any jobs at the moment, you’ll be added to the talent pool and be notified when jobs become available.

Will breaking these rules work every time? No. Will following these rules work every time? No. Do your best to read the employer, the interviewer, the company, and the current job market. Be flexible and adaptable. Feel free to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Base your decisions on what you think will work in your situation.

Breaking the rules may get you noticed by a recruiter, help you break through the dreaded ATS systems, or help you land a job interview. When it comes to job searching and hiring there is no perfectly defined path. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to break those hard and fast job search rules. It could be the break through you need in your job search.

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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