Growing up, you (or your parent) may have reminisced about long snowy walks to school, or how they had to write letters to stay in touch, or flip through encyclopedias to answer life's biggest questions. There's no doubt that the old-fashioned way has its place in nostalgia, but would you ever think to apply to your job search?


Boiled down to its essence, the process of looking for a job is all about connecting. The entire application process, including your interactions in addition to written materials, exists to give a potential hirer answers to their questions. Are you a decent worker? Would you fit in on the team? Do you have adequate experience?

Communicating your aptitude for the job is priority number one, and the traditional system of applying stands strong. Cover letter, resume, interview, references, job offer. It is a system largely unchanged, because it works. There's no need to reinvent the wheel, here. Just polish each of the basic steps, and you're on your way to the next step in your career.

Cover letter

Update your cover letter before applying for a job. Your language should sound appropriate for the company's culture (i.e. friendly wording is acceptable for a ping-pong filled startup, but may be off-putting for an older company), and don't forget to mention specifics about how your skills excellently fit the role.


Similar to your cover letter, this should be tailored to the employer. Including words that have been listed in the job description can be a great way to skirt digital filtering of applicants. Also, your past experience should seem relevant to the position – try emphasizing certain aspects of past jobs that are of particular importance to this one.


Reaching the interview stage is a big step, and a great indicator that you're presenting yourself well on paper. Now is the time to impress in person! At the interview, make an effort to avoid interrupting, appear personable, and discuss your work and experience confidently but without arrogance. Also, to appear prepared and interested, come to the interview with question! Even if many of your questions were answered during your conversation, you can inquire about how your interviewer likes working at the company. After the interview, a thank you message still goes a very long way. Snail mail is too slow, but an email will do the trick.


Prep your references. Warn them they may receive a call, and suggest some talking points. "As a coworker for four years, you can speak to my passion for collaboration as well as my ability to communicate thoroughly and effectively." References will rarely ruin your standings with a potential employer (assuming you've chosen them well), but they can easily bring confidence to a company's consideration of hiring you.

Job Offer

Don't be afraid to negotiate! It's likely they've built in a monetary cushion, assuming you would negotiate your starting salary. Consider all factors, including time off benefits, work flexibility, and office perks (if that's important to you).

No need for any fancy footwork here – your  job search could benefit from keeping it classic and investing time to perfect each of the traditional job search stages. We promise, it'll get you results.

Posted: 4/1/2020 9:32:35 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments