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Soliciting for advice on my job hunt has only made me feel more confused about how to proceed. Whatever someone might tell me with perfect confidence, you can be assured I’ve heard the opposite at least once before. Call the organization: it will show you’re serious. Do NOT call the organization: they HATE that. Always organize your resume chronologically. Always organize it in terms of relevance to the position. Your cover letter should reiterate your resume. Your cover letter should highlight elements outside of your resume. When I tell people that one of my career guides, “Knock ‘em Dead Cover Letters,” suggests including a positive quote from a coworker in your letter, they nearly all groan. Even the (seemingly) universally well-regarded practice of sending thank-you notes after interviews isn’t safe. According to the author of “Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed,” H. Anthony Medley, “In the majority of cases writing a thank-you letter is more of a risk than a help.” With no clear path, I cling to my intuition. Getting a job—even getting considered for a job—is a lot like dating. Eventually, I tell myself, some hiring manager will like my style and see me as a catch. That, or I’ll end up on the street. One of the two.

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