I’m sure you’ve heard some of these from well-meaning friends and family. What worked back in the era of the 3 martini lunch—or in the era when MTV still played music—doesn’t work today. If you hear any of these bits of advice, you have my permission, and encouragement, to ignore them!
Drop your resume off in person. Companies follow strict protocol for resume submission. I don’t know of any employer nowadays that accepts unsolicited resumes in person. Don’t do this. Follow the rules that the employer sets forth in the job descriptions.
Call to “schedule an interview.” This is presumptuous at best, intrusive at worst. If they want to interview you, they will contact you.
Print your resume on bond paper. No one wants a printed resume. No one. Don’t waste your time.
Limit your resume to one page. Unless you are a new graduate, you probably have more than a page’s worth of accomplishments.
Call to follow up on your application. First, unless you sent your application materials directly to an individual, how are you going to know who to follow up with? Again, contemporary etiquette dictates that the hiring company will reach out to you if they wish to have a discussion.
Send the hiring manager a gift so that you will stand out. Gimmicks will not get you a job.
If you’re not applying to 100 jobs a week, you’re not trying hard enough. The most effective job search is targeted. Applying to every posting you see is ineffective.
Offer to work for free in order to “prove yourself.” Not only will no reputable employer go for this, you should never offer your services without compensation. You perform valuable work for which you are compensated.
Get in as a temp, and then you’ll get hired full time! This worked in the 90s. It worked well in the 90s. But now, many companies use “permalancers.” That is, they keep contract employees as temporary ones and very rarely hire them for full-time roles.
You can only wear a navy, gray, or black suit to an interview. Absolutely false. Interview attire can be flexible, and can change with the culture of the company. It would actually be weird, for example, if you went to an interview with a tech startup and dressed in a navy blue suit. You want to look professional and appropriate for the position and the company with which you’re interviewing. You don’t want to look like you’re wearing a uniform.