How the “Old School” Approach Still Helps Your Job Search
Recently, I was on a flight and noticed something very interesting. Sitting in the dreaded middle seat (don’t you just hate those?), I noticed that the woman who sat diagonally in front of me was reading a novel, an eBook. And just an aisle and a few seats away, another woman also had her head poked into a book, but this one was a hard copy.
As I watched both women turning the pages of their books—one with the swipe of a finger and another with the flick of a thumb—I began to think about how, contrary to popular belief, not everything is “dead.”
We hear that the resume is dead. In-office working is dead. Traditional interviews are dead. And if you’re familiar with the publishing industry, you’ve undoubtedly heard that print is dead. Newspaper and magazine subscriptions and hard copy book sales are down; eBooks and digital subscriptions are up.
And although technology is certainly changing the way we operate, I’ve come to learn that not everything is “dead.” People, myself being an example, still enjoy buying and reading physical books. There’s just something about holding the book in your hands and turning the pages—some level of satisfaction that an eBook cannot give you.
Of course this is a matter of preference, but for me and many others who enjoy the now “old school” print mediums, no matter how much technology advances nothing can quite replace one’s experience when reading a physical book.
And this notion is also true in the job seeking world. The way we find jobs has certainly changed over the years (and will continue to do so), but no matter how much technology we incorporate into our job search, some tactics simply cannot replace the “old school” job hunting methods.
New School: Apply online
I don’t know any business that still requires applicants to apply in person. Nowadays, everything is done online. Even if you try the “old school” approach by physically going into an establishment and inquiring about job openings—you know, putting a face with a name—most likely you’ll hear, “apply online.”
Old School: Networking
Although companies want you to use the web to apply for jobs, good old-fashioned networking is still one of the best ways to actually find (and most often land) a job. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking.
New School: Social media recruiting
Using social media to find jobs? This is certainly a change of pace for both the recruitment and job seeking worlds. Social media began as personal ways for people to connect with one another, but now we’re seeing more and more individuals and businesses use these tools for professional gain.
Old School: Follow up call
Again, although many of the things we do today are done online, some old school approaches are still tried and true. Just because you’re ditching resumes and paper applications for “Apply with LinkedIn” buttons and ATSs doesn’t mean that you should skip out on the follow up call. Physically calling an employer to inquire about your application can still help move you one step forward in the job hunt.
New School: Video interview
Video interviews are on the rise. In fact, 63 percent of hiring managers reported conducting a video interview. The traditional face-to-face interview is now being replaced with a Skype call, which has also shown to increase interview speed and reduce traveling expenses.
Old School: Thank-you letter
You may not physically interview with a hiring manager, but a physical thank you still goes a long way. According to an Accountemps survey, 87 percent of hiring managers said sending an email is an appropriate way for a job seeker to thank an employer after an interview. Another 81 percent said a phone call is appropriate while 38 percent said a hand-written note.
And when asked, “How helpful is it for a promising job candidate to send a thank-you following an interview?” 59 percent of hiring managers said it was “very helpful.”
Although our job seeking methods are ever changing, some “oldies” just go to show you that the familiar saying is true: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.