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February 7, 2018
Fact vs. Fake Job Search Advice

There’s probably no area where this is truer than the free job search advice that many people take for granted. It’s almost always based on the conventional wisdom, and falls apart when you look at it more closely.

Now, free isn’t always bad. Some free advice is basically harmless because it costs you little or nothing if it’s wrong: “You should wear these shoes with that suit.” “Try the catch-of-the-day. You’ll love it!” “I think you should turn left here.”


But when it comes to your career, bad advice can be much more costly, both now and for the rest of your life. There are a couple of problems with free job search advice. First, the person giving it to you has no responsibility for what he or she is saying. And second, advice you read online, in print, or hear at networking events is generalized, cranked out for a mass audience. Nothing says it’s the right advice for you.


Here are five pieces of dumb job search advice that most folks assume are true, but are not.


  1. The most qualified person is who gets the job.   Wrong.  The best marketed person does.

  2. A great resume is the most important tool to generate interviews.  Wrong.  HR uses resumes to screen people out.

  3. Finding a great job is the hardest part in a job search.  Wrong.  Getting interviews with someone that can hire you is the hardest part.

  4. In job hunting, what counts the most isn’t what you know, but who you know.  Wrong. Who you know might have knowledge of a job opening or may happen to know someone there.  They may even know the hiring authority and offer to give your resume to her or him, but the policy at most companies today is that all resumes go to HR for screening. Yours included.

  5. HR’s task is to screen resumes to identify suitable candidates for a given job opening.  Wrong.  HR’s task is to screen resumes in order to eliminate people that are disqualified due to any of numerous reasons such as age, education unemployment, self employment (e.g. consultant), no or not enough experience in their industry, not currently employed in the same or a similar position etc.


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Tom Kellum is a job hunting consultant, helping people's dreams come true since 1987. He specializes in providing a personal job-landing service based on proven marketing strategies and methods. For more information, email him at careerkeysman@gmail.com.
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