Print

Career Advice >> Browse Articles >> Finding a Job

+2

The 10 Worst Job Tips Ever

The 10 Worst Job Tips Ever

To call or not to call, that is the question.

Liz Ryan | Business Week

Nearly every day, someone sends me a bit of astounding job-search advice from a blog or a newsletter. Some of this advice seems to come directly from the planet X-19, and some of it seems to have been made up on the spot. Here are 10 of my favorite pieces of atrocious job-search advice, for you to read and ignore at all costs:

1. Don’t Wrap It Up

The Summary or Objective at the top of your résumé is the wrap-up; It tells the reader, “This person know who s/he is, what s/he’s done, and why it matters.” Your Summary shows off your writing skills, shows that you know what’s salient in your background, and puts a point on the arrow of your résumé. Don’t skip it, no matter who tells you it’s not necessary or important.

2. Tell Us Everything

Another piece of horrendous job search advice tells job-seekers to share as much information as possible. A post-millennium résumé uses up two pages, maximum, when it’s printed. (Academic CVs are another story.) Editing is a business skill, after all—just tell us what’s most noteworthy in your long list of impressive feats.

3. Use Corporatespeak

Any résumé that trumpets “cross-functional facilitation of multi-level teams” is headed straight for the shredder. The worst job-search advice tells us to write our résumés using ponderous corporate boilerplate that sinks a smart person’s résumé like a stone. Please ignore that advice, and write your résumé the way you speak.

4. Don’t Ever Postpone a Phone Screen

A very bad bit of job-search advice says “Whatever you do, don’t ever miss a phone screen! Even if you’re in the shower or or on your way to be the best man at your brother’s wedding, make time for that phone interview!” This is good advice is your job-search philosophy emphasizes groveling. I don’t recommend this approach. Let the would-be phone-screener know that you’re tied up at the moment but would be happy to speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday night, or some other convenient time. Lock in the time during that first call, but don’t contort your life to fit the screener’s schedule.

5. Don’t Bring Up Money

Do bring up money by the second interview, and let the employers know what your salary requirements are before they start getting ideas that perhaps you’re a trust-fund baby and could bring your formidable skills over to XYZ Corp. for a cool $45,000. Set them straight, at the first opportunity.