Are you having trouble finding the right job? Perhaps you found a great job opportunity or company you’d love to work for, but can’t seem to get an interview.

Life’s not fair, but I think I can even the tables a bit when it comes to your job search. Here’s how to break the rules when you job search!

Forget tailoring your resume: it’s a complete waste of time.

If I hear another “recruitment expert” tell you to tailor your resume, I’m going to scream.

Don’t misunderstand me. Your resume needs to be well laid out and include your profile, experience, accomplishments, and so on. If you did it properly—the one time—you shouldn’t need to tailor it even if you are applying or searching for slightly different positions. (See How to Write a Resume that Gets You the Job Interview.)

If you’re interviewing for two dissimilar positions, you likely have a different problem altogether. In that case, you should question whether you’re truly interviewing for a position you love or are qualified to do.

I’m annoyed so much by this “tailoring your resume” issue, I’m writing an entire blog post on this topic in the coming weeks. Stay tuned or subscribe so you don’t miss it.

Ditch the cover letter: it’s a bigger waste of time.

No one reads these because they simply don’t have time. Furthermore, 99.9% of humans don’t have strong enough influencing skills to compel someone they don’t know (who’s extremely busy) to give them an interview based on a few paragraphs.

The nice HR person or recruiter or whoever reviews your resume will glance at it. Yes, glance at it. If your highlights and bolding look promising, she’ll start to read it in pieces. She’ll skip around looking for what she thinks she needs.

If a company actually requires you to write a cover letter, look for another company.

I think this requirement is so outdated and ridiculous, I’m writing an entire blog post on this topic in the coming weeks. Stay tuned or subscribe so you don’t miss it.

Dodge the Applicant Tracking System: the employer needs it, but you don’t.

The dreaded ATS is the bane of every job seeker’s existence.

They’re inefficient and require too much of your time to fill in. What’s more, your resume will get lost in this abyss among thousands of others who are inquiring.

The recruitment department doesn’t have enough time to wade through the resumes. This is typical for a big company.

For smaller companies, there will be less inbound job applicants, but it’s still a pain for you.

In either case, you’ll be better off researching the company to identify people you know who work there. If you’re unable to find anyone you know or anyone who can refer you to someone she knows, try to locate the HR person or recruiter who’s responsible for reviewing applicants.

If you swung and missed both times, call the company’s general number and ask for the person responsible for recruitment. The “operator” will respond one of three ways. Here’s what to do.

Operator: “I can’t give you her name.”

You: “Can you give me her email address or a general email address so I can send my information? I’m having trouble entering my information into your website. You have a job available for which I’m a great match.”

Operator: “I’ll transfer you.”

You: “Hi! This is so and so. I noticed you have a position available for a blah blah. I was trying to enter my information into your site, but seem to be having difficulty. I’m happy to do it, but would you mind if I simply emailed my information directly to you?”

(You will have a better than 90% success rate with this because you have no idea how much easier it is for them to open your email attachment and look at your resume. Even the crappiest ATS’s allow her to click a button and import your information from her email inbox. The sad thing is it will take her ten seconds while it would have taken you an hour.)

Operator: “What’s this regarding?”

You: Use a combination of the previous two responses to explain to the operator you have located a position for which you want to apply, but are having trouble.

ATS’s annoy me so much, I’m writing an entire blog post on this topic in the coming weeks. Stay tuned or subscribe so you don’t miss it.

Don’t stop because you don’t see an available job (description): the best companies are always hiring the type and quality of people they need.

They are always hiring or at least always looking for top talent.

Use the researching tactic I mentioned in the ATS-dodge to locate an employee relationship or person you can reach out to directly. If you can’t find anyone, send a nice email (with no cover letter for goodness sakes) and attach you resume.

The email needs to be short—as in short! Use something like this:

Hi There Cool Person,

The reason I’m emailing you is to inquire whether you’d be interested in interviewing me for a position with your company.

I’ve been researching your organization for a few months and have been extremely impressed. I noticed you hire people that can

[be specific about your awesomeness and highlight where you’re likely to fit].

I’ve attached my resume for your review and would welcome any opportunity to discuss it. You can reach me at (555) 555-5555 or send me a nice email back and put some emojis in it. I like emojis.


Awesome Employee To-Be

Whoever opens this email doesn’t need anything more than this. The first thing he or she will do is open your resume! If you’ve got the goods, she’ll reply.

This issue doesn’t bother me enough write an entire blog post about it. You can still subscribe if you’d like. Come on! Everybody’s doin’ it.

Don’t over or underreact to the job description: Take it with a grain of salt. 

Their job description is a wish list, a wish list and the kitchen sink, or missing much of the duties.

For some reason, employers have Goldilocks issues when it comes to writing job descriptions. They can’t seem to get them just right. I don’t know why employers don’t just download my free giveaway The Employer’s Guide to Writing Attractive Job Descriptions. It’d make their lives and your lives much easier.

As always, I’d love to hear from you: What are your best job search hacks?

Make sure to check out the milewalk Store’s FREE STUFF! section for all the job search, career, hiring, and life aids. All Free!

milewalk Store Free Stuff Banner