The remedy for bad and conflicting job advice – how to know which advice to use or lose


be strategic in your job search, improve your job search chances, job advice,
Consider conflicting advice and pick your right path.
Craig had been a decisive leader in his field, but, after receiving a boatload of bad and conflicting job advice, he now doubts his ability to make decisions about his career search.


Are you going through the same thing? Do you doubt your ability to land a job because you've received conflicting and sometimes downright awful career advice? You CAN know which advice is right for you. Here's how.


One page resume?
Say, for example, you’ve been told to keep you resume to one page. Is this good advice for you? No. Not if you have relevant experience and impressive accomplishments that simply won’t fit on one page.


Craig, believing he had to fit his experience to one sheet, left off all of his measurable accomplishments and all of his jobs prior to his last job … even though his accomplishments and past experience made him uniquely qualified for the positions he sought.

No wonder Craig is discouraged in his job search … hiring companies don’t know he has the skills needed because he didn't have room on the sheet to tell them!


So how can you know if a one page resume is bad for you? Three considerations:


1) I’ve never known a single person who was rejected for a job solely because he or she submitted a two page resume. Not one. In fact, a two page resume is nearly as standard as a one page resume.


2) When you minimize what you’ve accomplished to fit a page, you forget all of the other relevant things you’ve done that you didn’t list. Yet forgetting such efforts can cause you to doubt your abilities. Instead of squeezing the life out of your past career, document all of your accomplishments and past experiences, and then choose the right ones to include in your resume for each job opening.


3) Your resume should convey in the most compelling way possible why you uniquely qualified for each job. If your resume is too short to do that, ADD A PAGE! If it’s too long and wordy, ruthlessly trim it to get to that essential message.


Keep military/religious experience in or out?
Craig was also told to leave off his military experience. Was that good advice? No. His duties in the service were completely relevant to the positions he wants. While some recruiters may be skeptical that military experience can transfer to the corporate world, many others specifically seek someone who has the discipline, work ethic and organizational skills of military personnel. In Craig’s case, leaving it off was hurtful and unnecessary because he had successfully worked in a nonmilitary position after the service so he had already proven that his military skills could transfer into a different field.

Instead of leaving his military experience off his resume, Craig should play up the accomplishments and skills he gained while in the service (using nonmilitary terms that laymen can understand) and have his military higher ups vouch for his abilities through LinkedIn recommendations and letters of reference.

Similarly, I wrestled with whether to include a religious nonprofit in my resume when applying for corporate positions. I elected to include the experience because my duties were almost entirely relevant to corporate job openings, however I did change the name of the company to its initials on my resume.

Why? The organization’s name had a religious denomination in the title. I found that many companies rejected me (I assume) because they either thought a) I only wanted to work in the religious field or b) only was capable of working in the religious field. When I used the organization’s initials, played up my transferable skills and downplayed religious terms, hiring companies started calling.

Which advice is right for you?
Consider each piece of career advice in light of what’s best for you.

Ask yourself ... 
“Will this advice help or hurt my job prospects?”
“Will it help me convey why I am uniquely qualified for each job?"

If the advice doesn't stand up to these questions, it won’t help you stand out. And remember … standing out as the best job candidate is essential. It’s what can help land a job or get a better one!

So what’s the worst job advice you’ve heard and why? Share what you heard via the Contact tab. I’ll include your comments (using only your first name) in a future blog post. -- Kathy
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2 comments :

  1. go by your own experience as well, what do you think will work?

    ReplyDelete

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