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Leveling Up in Your Career

"Old School" vs "New School" Job Searches


With the advent of COVID-19 and the Internet, the concept of a “new school” job search has evolved. A “new school” job search is when someone sorts through online job postings, posts a resume on a job service website, waits for a response, and interviews through Zoom calls.

So what is the “old school” approach to finding a job? Put together your resume, create a verbal resume, build and nurture your network, and keep at it.

But what if you aren't looking for a new job? What if your goal is to move up with your current employer? What if you have the skills but you don’t like the work? How do you level up to the next step in your career? How do these concepts of "new school" and "old school" job searches apply?

Think about this as a way to begin... 

Identify your skills and strengths, and the industry that best utilizes those strengths.

  • For your skills, discover what you like about your work, what you are really good at, what you don’t like, and if your work is utilizing your best skills.
  • For your industry, discover where your skills are best put to use. Could you level up in a different field, or could you level up with your current employer?

These are questions and concepts that require introspection and commitment, and are best accomplished through a guided self-awareness process. If you need this kind of help, Your Clear Next Step is here to help you through this process.

Then it is time to put your resume together.

  • Think value added. Tie your skills to bottom line results. This will put your accomplishments into a new light, and get you the attention you deserve.
    • Whether you’re looking for a new job or not, make sure you are keeping your resume up to date!
  • Once your paper resume is solid, build a verbal resume, which is a succinct way to introduce yourself, describe your experience, and share what you bring to the table in a job interview.


You are now ready to work on your network.

  • List out everyone you know, where they work, and how best to reach them (by phone, email, or social network). The longer the list the better.
  • Include everyone: people you work with, people from church, your neighbors, old school chums, service providers, vendors, your realtor, your doctors, everyone you can think of - the sky is the limit when it comes to your network!
  • Most of the time, your next job will come to you through your network, whether inside or outside of your current employer.

What is next? Begin the process of putting yourself out there.

  • Put your verbal resume and your network together.
  • Let people know you are looking for the next step in your career.
  • Ask for advice if there is anyone they can suggest you contact. Then follow-up on that contact. Simply share who suggested you call, describe what you are looking for and ask if the person you are reaching has any advice for you.
  • People will ask “What are you looking for?” Answer by sharing your verbal resume.


Then comes the part that many people fall short on: Keep at it.

Real change can take time. Following up with your network takes confidence and determination.

Funny thing, “new school” job searches can successfully use these “old school” concepts.

  • Copy and paste info from your value-added resume into online job applications.
  • Use the verbal resume whenever you interview, through Zoom or in person, it works both ways.
  • Concepts like “networking” and “value-added resumes” are old school. But they make as much sense today as they did before the Internet. And they work just as well in this new virtual or hybrid world as they did in the pre-pandemic “in-person” world..


Want to level up your career? Come hear from and engage with three experts at the process:

Are you ready to Level Up? Your Clear Next Step is ready to help you along the way.


Topics: YP, Business Skills & Business Acumen, Change & Transition

Kay Arvidson

About the Author

Kay Arvidson

Kay’s career has focused on leading change. Her background includes project management, business analysis, training, website development, and marketing eCommerce applications for state and local governments. She has also dedicated her time and skills to coaching individuals through career changes for more than 20 years. Kay earned a BA degree in psychology from the University of Iowa and received an MBA with a concentration in marketing from Georgia State University in Atlanta.


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