Searching for a job is stressful enough. The last thing you need is to fall for bad advice. Here’s a quick review of 5 pieces of bad-for-you job search advice readily found online.

5 Pieces of Bad Job Search Advice

Submit as Many Applications as You Can

It sounds like great advice but writing a generic resume and applying to as many companies as you can will work against you. Before you respond with, “I just need a job,” consider how much faster you reach your destination when you take the time to map out your route before you go on an extended road trip.

Clarify: What type of job are you interested in? What industry? What are the key components of the job and how will your experience add value?

Stuff Your Resume with Keywords

Your resume should be focused on communicating your value –your success stories, accomplishments, and track record of performance –painting a clear and unique picture of who you are and why you are a great candidate for the position you are seeking.

  • When you fill your document with overused phrases and buzzwords, you dilute your message.
  • Don’t try to pump up your resume by adding in keywords in ‘hidden’ white text –you’ll only disqualify yourself from further consideration.

Use Your Cover Letter to Rehash your Resume

No matter what level of job seeker you are, including a cover letter with your resume, will help you further demonstrate your experience for the position you are applying. Think of your cover letter as a more personal, deeper dive into the value you offer. Highlight the specific challenges you faced and key metrics not covered in your resume.

  • Do not simply rehash information already highlighted in your resume. Instead, give the reader fresh insight into who you are and the unique value you offer.

Online Job Boards Are the Golden Ticket

Job boards are useful in researching job descriptions and available positions, but they are not the golden ticket to a new position. For every job posted, there are approximately 250 applications with 4 to 6 of those individuals called in for an interview and only one receiving an offer for employment.

That is a lot of competition. On the flip side, research shows that up to three-quarters of job openings are never advertised publicly with many of these positions filled through employee referrals and word of mouth.

Show Them You’re Interested

If you are being told you must reinforce your interest in the position by calling or stopping by the office unannounced to check on your application, proceed with caution.

The best way to demonstrate your interest is to align your skills and experience with their needs when crafting your resume. Speak their language. Know their challenges and needs and use your career marketing documents (resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn Profile) to highlight your success stories and the value you offer.

Make sure your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile prominently display your contact information (email address, phone number). Adding a ‘call to action’ to your cover letter and in your LinkedIn profile directing the reader to the next step is also wise. You can also end your cover letter with a brief note that you will ‘follow-up next week’ letting them know to expect your call.

Here are six more pieces of outdated advice that may be holding you back in your job search: