Do You Remember the Days Before the Internet?

I do.  It was many eons ago in a land far, far away.  I’m probably revealing my age right now, but I pulled out all of my typed (by electronic typewriter) cover letters and resumes from post-college job applications.  How did I find the jobs to apply for back then?  Did I write each cover letter over and over again by typewriter?  How did I submit resumes before email?

I barely remember the answer to these questions; but as I pondered it, the information came back to me.  Here are the five steps I took.

  1. I went to the public library and used the typewriters or computers (as they became more readily available) to update my resume and cover letter for each job.
  2. I went to the store to buy fancy paper and envelopes.
  3. I travelled to the copy store and copied each version of my resume and cover letter on a copier with my fancy paper.
  4. I went back to the library to type the address on my envelope.
  5. I went home to stuff the envelope, stamp it, and mail it off to the potential employer.

I took 5 long and involved steps to get a resume and cover letter out the door to send to a blind employment opportunity that I found through the newspaper.  That process was about as fruitful as sending in a blind application online today.

Somehow, it felt like the thing I was supposed to do when searching for a job.  How else did one find a job?  When you started out, it probably felt quite similar—whether you used snail mail or the Internet.  The only difference with the Internet is that it only takes 1 step and you don’t need to go anywhere.

My job search formula was 5 steps = much work = no ROI

Today’s common job search formula is 1 easy step = very little work = no ROI

Now take the 5 steps from my younger years and try something else.  Write an email to an old colleague in your field.  Message a LinkedIn contact who knows people in your field of interest.  Find a conference in your field and meet 5 people who might help you find work.  Keep going.

Here’s the new formula: 5 action steps = leads = interviews = jobs

Now I like that formula much better.