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February 2, 2015
Do You Really Want That Career Advice?
 
Whether you're looking for new employment or trying to move up within your organization, there is all kinds of advice out there.

Although taking career advice is fine, you will need to use your judgment and see whether that particular advice is best for you and your career goals.

As the following article shows, here are 4 bits of career advice you should probably brush aside.

1. Send out as many applications as you can
Some people take the cold-call sales approach to finding a job.

Their advice would be to send out as many applications as possible. The thinking behind this is presumably that the more resumes you have out there, the better the chances you have of getting hired.

This might be true statistically if applications were chosen at random, like in a drawing. However, they are not.

First, there are computer programs that scan applications for certain key words matching the application to the job posting as closely as possible.

Second, a human resources employee will personally scan the ones chosen by the software and read a little closer to find a qualified candidate. Before applying, you need to modify your resume to match the job posting with relevant key words.

Concentrate on the quality of your application conformed to each position, rather than on the quantity sent out.

2. Your resume should not be longer than one page
The reasoning behind this advice is that a hiring manager does not have the time to read all pages of a candidate's resume.

On the contrary, a hiring manager only gets a handful of resumes, which have already been narrowed down by the HR administrative department.

If your resume has made it to the hiring manager's desk, you will want him/her to see everything about you that matches the opening.

They will take the time to read through the resume, and would prefer seeing longer descriptions about prior work experience, rather than short one-line descriptions that don't convey much information.

You can have a resume longer than one page as long as you showcase relevant, detailed information that can prove to the hiring manager why you match the position.

3. Don't be the first to state a desired salary
Some people advise that you should always allow the hiring manager to make the initial salary offer.

The idea behind this is that you might ask for a lower salary than what the company would offer, or you might ask for too much and lose your chances of getting hired. You should do your research first.

If you have been in the industry long enough, you will know what the salary range should be for any given responsibilities.

Search the Internet for more information on your target company and have a specific number in mind in case you're asked for salary expectations by the hiring manager.

By doing so, you will provide an educated response that will be reasonably set for further negotiation by the employer.

4. Change jobs as much as you need to make you happy
Many career advice gurus or lifestyle coaches are fond of advising people to pack their bags for greener pastures as soon as the workplace gets too intense or uncomfortable.

The reality is that a list of jobs that reflect that you've been hopping from one job to the next is a big negative as far as employers are concerned.

Why should they invest the time and money to train you if you're going to hop the next train as soon as things get challenging?

A better way is to map out a career path for yourself that will provide adequate income and keep you happy for a long time.

Any advice you find should be taken only if it makes sense for you. Remember that some people give advice that is too general, or would not fit your industry.

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Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.
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