Everything Old Becomes New Again

Either the world is speeding up beyond belief or our brains were kidnapped by aliens and we now exist in a time warp machine  moving at the speed of light.

Once in a while, however,  things on earth circle back around and ‘everything old becomes new again’. It brings a little smile to  my face when the circle theory still shows up, albeit in subtle ways. Let’s take the job search process, for example.

We have all been forced to adjust to online applications, (along with the big black hole) and the difficulty of networking with  colleagues that are often working too many hours and are under a great deal of stress. It’s not easy.

Remember those books entitled Megatrends by authors John Naisbitt and Patricia Aburdene? The authors predicted (with uncanny foresight) the key trends for upcoming decades.  Note: The first was published in 1982, then 2000, and most recently Ms. Aburdene wrote another in 2010.

Well, here are my Retro-Trend predictions about the job search and workplace. This is just the beginning of an evolving list. If you have other ideas, please send them to me and I’ll write about them.

Prediction 1: Snail Mail Regains its Popularity

It wasn’t so long ago when mailing a resume and cover letter in an envelope with a stamp was the  norm. How many hard copy resumes do you think anyone receives now? Probably none.  Some might  even see it as an indication that the applicant is not computer savvy.

How would a recruiter or hiring manager react now if they received a high quality resume in the  mail? I’m betting that many would find it refreshing. (How often do you ignore anything with a  hand-written name and address?)

What is this professional textured paper and feels good to the touch? How unique. How creative.  How different.

On TheJobBored blog, the author of a post about this very subject believes that “sending a physical resume (nice paper stock, neatly printed, nice envelope) shows a certain touch of class…”

I, for one, would welcome the opportunity to read something on paper instead of another email with glazed eyes. And I certainly would remember the candidate’s name. I might even talk about her/him by the water cooler.

Prediction 2: Hand-Written Notes Become Cool Again

Okay, so most people know that they should send a follow up thank you note after interviewing. Yep – each candidate goes home and writes the obligatory thank you email and sends it right out.

The problem is that it doesn’t mean too much (but you still have to do it).  How much time does it take? Maybe 2 minutes, if that…especially for the cynics who think it’s a waste of time anyway.

The content goes something like this: “Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today. You have a great company and I know I can do the job.” Done. And people feel good because they sent this note out on the SAME DAY as the interview.

How would a potential employer react if you actually took pen to paper and wrote a note that reflects a common sentiment or a business idea that you shared during the interview?  Hmmm, I wonder.

Prediction 3:  Pounding the Pavement Returns

Now this is a stretch – but I like to live on the edge. Most of you won’t even remember when one method of job searching was to literally walk into a company off the street – dressed appropriately, of course – to inquire about work opportunities. Well, some of us actually did that.

I had a client very recently who gave it a try. Believe it or not, the recruiting manager happened to be there and invited her in to talk for 20 minutes. Voila – the interview process had begun. Let me also say that this young woman was confident and prepared. She knew what she was going to say and was pleasant, engaging, positive and non-pushy.

I know it might seem very lame, but hey – is anything else working? What can you lose? The University of Phoenix seems to think this bold move could be a useful tool in the job search, particularly for young professionals.

So, who knows? Maybe it’s true what they say about everything old becomes new again.


Just as an aside, I also predict that hand written notes and poems will come back as romantic gestures. Ever think about what the impact would be if you wrote a “real” letter to your loved one and left it under his/her pillow – or wrote a friend how you feel about them? Give it a try and let me know how it felt to rekindle something exciting.

Getting back to ideas about work and job search – What do you think?


4 Responses

  1. Hi Terry,

    It is interesting how “everything old becomes new again.”

    I think the ideas that you’ve suggested: mailing a hard copy resume on nice thick paper, writing by hand a thank you note following an interview and hitting the pavement as an alternative job search method are great ideas in today’s tough job market.

    The traditional ways used in the past to showcase one’s abilities and talents were on the whole thoughtful and considerate; this is a nice touch that will probably be most appreciated by hiring managers in today’s fast-paced society 🙂


  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Terry Del Percio, Dorlee M. Dorlee M said: Everything Old Becomes New Again @WorkIntegrity http://bit.ly/bSZXmD hand-written thk u notes become in… #jobsearch #careers […]

  3. I long for those days, Terry. I hate online applications with a passion… you can tell, you tweeted my post about those which is what led me here!

    I think that if we could go back to the days that things are slower and people are chosen because they both deserve the job and can do the job, not because they spit out highest in the computer scan while someone else so well-qualified was missed because the process defeated them.

    Don’t get me started! 🙂

    • Hi Julie – thanks for your comment and your previous blog. It’s sad and disappointing that organizations seem to really be missing something important in the online application process…there is so much talent out there and they are often overlooked b/c the “system” didn’t find them.

      I think that there will be a backlash about online applications…many applicants get so frustrated simply from the length of time it takes to complete one (and often the system has a glitch so it’s quite possible that the applicant could spend a couple of hours on the application; only to have the computer tell them at the end that the application did not go through!

      What ever happened to the days when applicants were treated with respect and the employers wanted to be on the list of “employers of choice”? When the market turns around and organizations are once again searching for good candidates, it will be interesting to see how they scurry to make the process more agreeable and practical. Thanks again for your comments. ~Terry

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