As an active job seeker, you've probably experienced your fair share of job search frustrations. Looking for the right opportunity can itself be a pain, but then there are all those people out there spewing information on "job search best practices." Many of these self-proclaimed experts, college career counselors, and career coaches tell you that you have to do certain things in order to land the job of your dreams.
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The job search process can certainly be difficult, but it's important to understand that some of these so-called "best practices" aren't as important to recruiters as the experts claim. Specifically, here are four things recruiters really don't take as seriously as you do:
1. Cover Letters
Most recruiters don't even read cover letters. On the rare occasion we do read one, it usually turns out to be a template-based document that adds zero value to your resume. Anytime I have found myself on the job seeker side of the fence, I haven't taken the time to craft a cover letter.
Now that I've been in the recruiting industry for years, I am a firm believer that cover letters are and will forever remain dead. Instead of obsessing over a cover letter, you should spend more time on updating your resume and LinkedIn profile.
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Articles like this one state that job seekers who double space after periods in their resumes may be seen as "old" and, therefore, screened out. I've seen my fair share of poorly formatted resumes riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors – but that's a different story. However, I have never invested time in checking out the spacing at the end of your sentences.
I see two major flaws when it comes to worrying about double-spaces. One, if a recruiter has time to review spaces in a resume, they aren't taking the time to review the things that matter. Two, if a recruiter decides to pass on a candidate due to double-spacing, they probably don't represent a company culture you want to be a part of anyway.
Focus on creating a resume that highlights what you bring to the table. Don't worry so much about whether or not you use one or two spaces at the end of your sentences.
3. Reference Checks
You've gone through the interview process, and now it's time to provide your professional references. While you might stress over contacting your old bosses and coworkers to make sure they are available for the recruiter when they finally call, references really aren't that serious.
Recruiters know that you're only going to provide individuals who will give you a phenomenal reference. Unless you provide someone who is going to give you an awful reference, you shouldn't really worry.
I am not going to tell you to ditch the references because, quite frankly, companies are still doing these checks. Just have your reference list ready to go, and don't be too concerned as long as your references are responsive when the time comes.
4. Mailed Thank-You Notes
I've never met a recruiter or hiring manager who prefers to receive a mailed thank-you note after an interview. Any expert that tells you otherwise needs to get with the 21st century. In today's digital age, it's more acceptable to send an email thank-you note after your interview. Not only will your interviewer receive the note quickly, but you also might just get a response.
What "expert" advice have you been given as a job seeker that just didn't add up? Share in the comments below!
Kristina Evans is a marketing content writer for Phenom People.