On a recent visit to Intellectual Ventures I heard two interesting pieces of advice that were different from the norms I hear on meetings like this. We all know we need to network, that networking gets easier with time, that we need to get internships, write good resumes, etc. These two pieces of advice were a twist on some of those basics.
1. Network with other job seekers.
While we all want to have an in with the CEO, those meetings are often hard to come by. In addition, if the interaction doesn't work out you have only gained insight into one company. Instead focus on networking with people like you. Other job seekers will be spending their time meeting c-level folks and can give you the scoop on what various companies are like. Additionally, if they think you are fit for a role they can make the introduction to the higher ups. While we shouldn't neglect networking with the job holders I do see the advantage to taking some time to get to know the job seekers and what they are learning. It can save you time and most of us do it already without thinking about it.
2. Don't tailor your resume to individual companies. Write one resume that reflects who you are.
I've always been told that interviews go both ways. Not only does the company have to like you but you need to like the company. If the mutual love is not there it is usually obvious. It makes sense to start this "feeling out" process early with your resume. One resume that reflects who you are and what you want will only close doors where the fit wouldn't have been right anyway. Of course there are certain keywords that might get you in but I like the one resume approach better than trying to tailor your resume to each company. A resume is about you. In my mind the cover letter is where the tailoring happens but perhaps I will change my tune when I get deeper into the job seeking process.
Either way. Two non-traditional pieces of advice to file in the back of my head (and here on my blog).