We like to think we dole out pretty decent advice here at Artisan, but there are some recommendations we’ve heard over the years that are downright terrible. Here are just a few we hear too often (and that you should steer clear from!):
Put the whole kitchen sink on your resume.
When you’re just starting out, there’s an urge to toss all of your experience, skills, volunteer work, internships, and even GPA onto your resume so you appear well-rounded and full of experience. But putting everything you’ve ever done on your resume can make you look scattered with no clear lines of interest or expertise. We’re not saying to completely revamp your resume each time you need to apply to a job, but we are saying you should tailor certain elements (especially certain skills) to the job description to have the best shot. Include volunteer work, internships, and extra-curriculars only if it applies to the job you’re applying for. Aim for clarity and brevity while speaking to your skills like a champ.
Apply to every single open job at your dream company.
We know it can be really frustrating when you know exactly who you want to work for, but they may have no suitable roles open for you at this particular moment. Applying to all the open jobs at one company will make you look desperate, confuse the hiring managers, and set you up for multiple disappointments. Employers want to hire the right people for the right job, so, instead of applying to all of the jobs, create a thoughtful email that acts as a pseudo-cover letter for their recruiters. Be casual in your opening, letting the company know how much you admire them, speak to particular work of theirs that inspires you, and then fill them in on your background. End with a note that requests to keep in touch, should your ideal position open up. Attach your resume that’s tailored to said ideal job and send it! A little sincerity, kindness, and excitement can all go a LONG way to help your chances or even just build a new connection. This tactic builds a relationship with their HR department and keeps you in mind for the RIGHT job, instead of just any job.
Hound former coworkers to introduce you.
It’s one thing to reach out to a former coworker at your dream company if you have had a mutually beneficial and friendly relationship in the past. It’s a completely different issue to reach out to someone you only met in passing… and then continue to hound that person for an introduction. They won’t be able to speak to your expertise (because, again, they barely know you) and it will be obvious to the hiring manager that you’re putting their coworker in a weird position. So cringe! Don’t do it.
Get overly creative to make yourself stand out.
We all love a good gimmick when it comes to, say, social media or the entertainment industry. But actions like sending gifts, having a local celebrity vouch for you on camera, or creating a worshipful TikTok for the company, don’t belong in the job search realm. There are other ways to make yourself stand out, like the great work already in your portfolio and the natural enthusiasm you bring to your career. You know, just being yourself!
Apply to all the jobs - something will stick!
Sure it’s nice when someone buys you a candle… but it’s obvious they didn’t know what to get you, right? A hiring manager will have the same feeling if they come across your generic resume and/or cover letter within a pile of tailor-made, honest applications. Be genuine—put your efforts into applying for the jobs that you really want and you’ll have a better time landing a job that you’ll love.
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