A thousand years ago when I was an HR leader, I started reading career advice in the newspaper to see what career advisors were telling job-seekers and working people to do. Right away I was horrified. Every piece of job-search advice I saw came from the school of thought “Kneel down and beg to get a job.”
I hadn’t realized that the traditional view of a job-seeker’s role is to bow and scrape and twist him- or herself into pretzel shapes to please a hiring manager.
I decided way back in the early nineties that when I got the time I would right the ship and tell job-seekers to value themselves. If you don’t value yourself, who else will? Here are ten disgusting but widely-shared pieces of job-search advice to ignore.
It doesn’t matter whether you heard one of these tips at a careers workshop in college or whether you heard it from your mother, who loves you dearly. Either way, all the tips listed here spring from fear. They come from the mindset “There are so many job-seekers, you’ll be lucky if anyone hires you!”
That’s insulting and it’s not true, either. I coach job-seekers all day long and see the difference in their results when they stop begging for a job and start to use the influence they have.
You have nothing to be afraid of. You have talents that employers need!
You can step out of fear at any moment and remember that no organization can accomplish its goals without brilliant people like you around.
Seven Horrible Job-Search Tips to Ignore
Horrible Tip One: Use a traditional, sounds-like-everyone-else resume full of buzzwords.
Why would anybody advise you to sound like every other job-seeker? Put ahuman voice in your resume, use the word “I” and tell your story in theSummary at the top! You aren’t like anyone else, so don’t pretend or try to be!
Horrible Tip Two: When you find a job you’re interested in and want to apply for it, follow the rules set out in the job ad.
If you pitch your resume into a Black Hole recruiting portal, you might wait forever for a response. Forget the automated application process and reach your hiring manager directly.
Horrible Tip Three: When a recruiter or an HR person asks you what you’re earning now or what you earned at your last job, tell them.
Your past salaries and your current salary are nobody’s business but yours. If you were selling your house, would you tell a prospective buyer the lowest price you’d accept for the house? Of course not! You’d say “Make me an offer and we’ll take it from there.” When somebody asks you about your personal salary information, here’s what to say.
Horrible Tip Four: Use your interview air time to explain why you really, really, really want the job.
Do you go on a date to beg a person to go out with you? No! A first date is a recon mission. A job interview is a recon mission, too. No one values people who grovel and beg. Use your interview air time to learn more about what isn’t working behind the scenes at your possible next job.
Your insightful questions will show your understanding of the hiring manager’s pain far better than your Sheepie Job Seeker answers ever could!
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