• Sarah

Job Search Advice You've Probably Gotten But Shouldn't Listen To

Updated: May 29, 2020

Job hunting may as well be a full time job. You can spend hours going through the different job sites, getting your resume just right, and writing individual cover letters for each application. All of that happens before you get an interview.

Once you do, you’re faced with more research hours on the company, and preparing yourself. What we just described? That happens in the best of times. Now, with all the uncertainty in the job market and lots of companies going implementing hiring freezes, or even laying off their staff, the game’s completely changed.

It’s pretty likely that if you’re searching for your next opportunity now, you’ve gotten lots of advice from your friends, family, and most of all from career coaches and posts on Linkedin. We’ve seen lots of them too. But some pieces of advice just aren’t great for the current situation.

“Use this time to freelance, consult, or develop your side-hustle.”

In theory, this is a great idea, and we’ve always thought that a side hustle to your regular job is great for you to not only reach your goals, but learn new things as well. But if you haven’t been doing that before, let’s not underestimate how hard it is to really get a side-hustle up to the point where it’s enough to make ends meet.

Sure, this is a great option if you’ve already got plans for it, and only now had the time to start. But if it’s not, the learning curve is steep, especially if it’s something you’re not passionate about. We just wanted to put it out there, that if you just want a full time job, and be done with it, that’s okay too.

“Why work with recruiters? You should go straight to the company.”

Okay so we may be a bit biased on this point, let’s be honest. You’ve probably thought to yourself that it’ll be easier to just apply directly to the company. But while recruiters may seem like an additional step, you also need to remember that with the current situation now, there’s likely to be a larger pool of applicants for a smaller number of opportunities.

And since we’re usually pretty tight with the hiring managers, working with us gets your application the highest chances of getting seen. Plus, since we’re in regular contact with the hiring teams, we’ll not only ensure that you don’t waste your time applying to positions that aren’t the best for you, but also get you feedback on your applications if you don’t get hired.

“Recruiters won’t have a job for you anyway, so don’t bother talking to them.”

Not gonna lie, the number of opportunities we’ve got at the moment has gotten smaller. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t constantly getting new ones coming in. You’d be surprised how common it is for us to have a few people who come to mind immediately when we do get a new role. Especially if we’ve spoken to them recently, or have their resumes on hand. So just by letting us know that you’re open to new opportunities could get you a step closer to finding your next one.

“Just apply only - more is more.”

We know you’ve all done it, and lots of people have been told this as well. We’re not going to dispute that it is a lot easier to go on a marathon application session, copy and pasting your resume and cover letters while swapping out the company name, it’s also likely you’re not going to hear back from any of them.

Now we’re not saying that you should go to the other extreme and apply just for one position, but we do think you should take some time to customize your applications to the specific roles and companies you’re applying to.

Take some time to research the company, and show how you’ll fit into the company or how you can add value to their organization from the get go. You should also be showing how your experience aligns to the role you’re applying for. Trust us, do all these and you would have exponentially increased your chances of getting a call back.

“Now you can go get your masters!”

This one’s pretty similar to the first one we’ve got on the list. It’s good advice for some, just not great for everyone. If you’ve always been planning on going to grad school and have the resources to do so, then you should totally get on that! Increasing your knowledge would be a great way to increase your employability for when the market bounces back.

But if you’re worried about your expenses, or dreading the thought of going back to school, then this piece of advice is probably not going to be useful for you. Plus, there are loads of online courses now that would allow you to pick up some new skills or languages, without the stress of going back to school. It’s also pretty encouraging that most companies, especially the startups we talk to, are just as happy to hire self-taught developers compared to those that had formal education.


So there it is, the list of job search advice we think are particularly overrated. If you want some advice on things you SHOULD be doing, reach out to us, and we’re happy to help - whether it’s advice on the jobs you’d do well in, or to beef up your resume.

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