The “Best” Job Search Advice May Not Apply to You
There is A LOT of great advice out there on tactics and strategies to enhance your job search, improve your resume and ensure you hit all the high notes in job interviews. There are some amazing experts in the field with great insights and experience to share.
What I find very interesting as someone who works with professionals entering the job search, is their tendency to assume that the advice they read online is the final word. Or advice they received from a recruiter was the only answer. Or advice they received from a business owner is the way it’s done now. I think this tendency stems from a lack of confidence in their approach to the job search and being caught off guard by the need to jump into the job search.
Advice is Not One Size Fits All
As you read the advice offered on LinkedIn™ and other career related job search blogs remember that advice is not one size fits all. Sift through it and use your best judgment to proceed forward in the development of your resume and the piecing together of your job search strategy. If what you are doing doesn’t work, revamp and try again. Or hire someone who can help you create great self-marketing materials, like a personally branded resume and LinkedIn profile. An experienced resume writer or career consultant/coach will be able to help filter through the noise you’ve heard and guide you to the advice that will work best for you as an added benefit to the fantastic documents they will create for you.
It is easy when you are unsure about what to do to run with the first bit of advice you hear and go for it. When an expert writes an article they’re writing their best advice, but the advice may or may not be relevant to your particular situation. Since we are all truly operating from a lack of knowledge, it is clear that job search experts may or may not really have a handle on your particular situation when they are doling out advice in articles. Additionally, any other insight you solicit from colleagues, business leaders and recruiters may not be specific to you. Your own intuition, past experiences and common sense should all guide you in this process.
If it doesn’t seem to make sense to you to cram 10-15 years of work history onto one page, then don’t do it no matter what you’ve heard from your career services team at your university or from a recruiter. For every recruiter who says one page is the only option for getting your resume noticed, I can introduce you to another who will tell you why they prefer a longer resume. Do what’s best for your situation. Each job seeker is an individual and each hiring manager or recruiter is an individual with varying preferences. You’re not going to create a document tailored exactly to each reader’s preferences. Do what’s best for you based off of all the advice you’ve read and received.
Wise Advice versus Practical Advice
When determining which advice to follow and integrate into your job search strategy, it’s important to discern which type of advice you are reading – wise or practical.
One is not necessarily better than the other. But knowing which is which will help you effectively integrate both into your job search strategy. A job search strategy that includes both wise and practical advice is going to deliver consistent results! Practical advice is handy in the moment, but wise advice is important for the future. Wise advice makes the practical more useful when the time to move in your career comes.
Wise advice might sound like: Take your time. Invest in your career. Develop key relationships that you can count on in the future. Find a mentor. Plan for your future by thinking about where you want to go. Set some goals for where you want to be in five years. The problem with wise advice is that it usually involves waiting or planning. When you’re ready to start looking for that next position waiting seems impossible. But we can all acknowledge that planning for your future isn’t really a problem, right?
Practical advice might sound like: Hit three networking events a week. Follow up with everyone you meet. Set up coffees with people you meet on LinkedIn. Update your resume. Send a cover letter. Make sure your resume is one page. Send thank you notes. Practical advice will only take you so far without integration of wise advice, however.
Don’t Forsake the Prudent for the Expedient.
Take a few moments to think about your career, where you’re at right now. Are you where you want to be? If not, what can you do now to get to the next level? What is your job search strategy? How do you know what advice is best for you to integrate into your strategy? Again, a professional can help you with this, share their insights with you and assist you in coming up with a good plan based on wherever you find yourself during this stage of your career.
Bottom line. Don’t wait to start your quest for a new job until you’re faced with a layoff or desperately need to get out of your current position. It is easy to get distracted by work projects, promotions, family and life outside of work. You spent countless hours and thousands of dollars on education so you could get a job, but more than likely have spent very little of either since to ensure you are marketable or prime for a promotion. Investing in your career by taking the time to follow some wise advice and develop a plan will get you past the uncertainty to confidence when the time comes to start the quest for your next position.
The best is yet to come,