Top 10 Observations Regarding Job Search Traditions

How Technology Has Changed The Rules

Years ago, an email circulated around the Internet featuring an editorial spread that appeared in a 1955 home economics textbook, entitled “The Good Wife’s Guide.” This eyebrow- raising piece offers a glimpse into a “wife’s” role prior to the woman’s lib movement. Two of my favorite nuggets of wisdom and advice are as follows:

  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Holy crap. I’m so glad I was born in the late ‘60’s.  I surely would have been incarcerated for spousal abuse if those were the mores of my day.

But, the article did get me thinking about how society and expectations change over time in all areas of our lives. In particular, with the explosion of digital technology, the hiring process has undergone a progressive movement of its own. So much of what has been traditionally “correct” regarding a job search and managing one’s career has morphed tremendously in just the past 10-15 years.

Here are my top 10 observations on the subject…


Yesterday — Resumes had to fit on a single page and were printed out on eggshell colored linen paper.

Today — Unless you have five years or less experience, your resume should be two pages long. Resumes are sent via email and hard copies are offered at in-person interviews. But, seriously, when’s the last time you saw linen paper?


Yesterday — One would never think of leaving a job after a year or less.

Today — With the ever-growing number of new players in technology and media, job-hopping has become much more prevalent. While many employers do not like this phenomenon, most understand that it is pervasive in the digital world.


Yesterday — An “Objective” at the top of your resume was the norm.

Today Just like 40 is the new 30,“Executive Summaries” are the new “Objectives”.


Yesterday A cover letter was mandatory.

Today Emails and applicant tracking systems have replaced cover letters.


Yesterday — An interview would be conducted on a land line in one’s home or in the office behind closed doors.

Today There are no offices. Everyone is in an open space.  First interviews are held in makeshift “phone booths” using mobile devices, or Skyping in front of your home computer.


Yesterday A thank you letter was carefully crafted and mailed on the same linen paper used for your resume.

Today — “Thank you” notes are sent via email, filled with abbreviated texting jargon.  If the candidate is not interested in the job, he/she may not even bother to write a “thank you.” (I don’t condone this, I’m just telling it the way I see it.)


Yesterday Including a picture on your resume was strange.

Today — While the same holds true, a picture on your LinkedIn page is expected and if it’s not there, one wonders what the problem is.


Yesterday One would never go on an interview without wearing a suit.

Today — A suit on an interview can actually kill your chances of getting certain jobs.


Yesterday If you were a graphic designer or Creative Director, it was not advised to provide links to an online portfolio. The Internet was too slow and nobody would take the time to link to a portfolio with heavy graphical elements.

Today As the data pipes have gotten significantly larger, surfing through graphical sites is now a breeze and today’s designers are expected to have a digital portfolios and websites.


Yesterday Everyone worked from centralized offices and companies did not hire if they didn’t have a physical space for employees.

Today Remote offices are the norm as email, IM technology and Skype put the “v” in virtual hiring.

Jane Ashen Turkewitz is President and Chief Talent Officer of .comRecruiting, a firm with a focus on helping dot-com businesses/divisions find senior-level talent in sales, business development, marketing, PR, social media, editorial, media and account management.  Her philosophy is simple: “It’s not just about making placements. It’s about building long term relationships, careers and human capital.”

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