Sometimes Old School Can Still Be Cool



This past summer, our nation celebrated the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. I can recall how proud everyone was to be an American at the time. We can still appreciate what an incredible achievement it was to land on the moon.

About the same time as men were landing on the moon, the process of job hunting included putting on a nice suit and going door-to-door, unannounced, to speak with employers. A decade ago, a typical job search began by mailing out dozens of resumes to targeted employers. This effort was followed with dozens of phone calls while looking to land a few productive interviews along the way.

Technological advancement has revolutionized both space exploration and job hunting.  At the flick of a finger, we can submit resumes to prospective employers in a matter of minutes.  Many post resumes on websites such as Work in Texas,, CareerBuilder, or one of the many online databases. Websites such as LinkedIn, JOBcentral, and JobServe are great tools for job seekers. Even with all of these great tools at our disposal, finding a quality job remains as challenging as ever.

Old School Strategies Are Still Effective

Frustrated job seekers often find they are directed to apply for the majority of openings online, without ever getting to speak to a live person.  But there are options, you can turn back the clock and take advantage of the old reliable job search techniques of the past.

The Telephone

I once called an employer at nine-o’clock at night and spoke with the company president. This led to an interview three days later. Calling late enables you to avoid the gatekeepers. You can also use the phone to contact people you meet while networking who might be able to get you through to key decision makers.

Letters (Typed or Handwritten)

Mail a well-crafted personal letter to some of your targeted employers and use inviting, unique envelopes. Some smaller companies still accept resumes via mail and may even find it refreshing that you took the time to craft a handwritten letter in order to learn more about their company. Don’t forget to send thank you notes after an interview or visit.

Apply in Person and Be Creative

Some employers don’t accept applications in person, research those who will and make the effort to apply in person. One job seeker told me he actually met the HR director who happened to be out in the lobby area while he was visiting the office to complete an application. He subsequently struck up a conversation, landed an interview, and ultimately was hired. Many city and state agencies still offer in-person applications.

Even professional sports teams are sometimes willing to resort to old school measures.  Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won six NBA Championships during the 1990’s by employing the “Triangle Offense”, a strategy that had been used by some college teams back in the late 1940’s.  The key is to not leave any stone unturned and remain flexible with your job search efforts.   Stay vigilant and be willing to think outside the box, even if it means being old school.

Remember to keep your game face and good luck with your job search.

Wil Smith is a Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. Wil has collected over 20 years of expertise in the areas of Corporate Training & Development, Recruitment and Operational Management; with the majority of that time working with a Fortune 500 Corporation. He has also worked in the Sports/ News industry as a Reporter and Broadcaster.

1 Response to “Sometimes Old School Can Still Be Cool”

  1. 1 Suarez Carter November 4, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I think now a days we are stuck on the saying technology is taking over, and are afraid to visit employers/foot network, also some get a little lazy with job search because it is sometimes frustrating. This was encouragement to those who will read it and is experiencing the problem addressed.

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