The Worst Advice We’ve Heard About The Job Search…

You’re getting those looks aren’t you? The concerned faces from loved ones, parents, or family members trying to piece together why you don’t have that perfect dream job and perfect post grad life. Perhaps an endless stream of advice comes with those looks? Their hearts are in the right place, but the advice might not be. Post Grads are in the phase of life where we have an endless stream of advice and guidance flying at us. How do we filter the good from the bad? Here are some of the worst pieces I have heard when it comes to finding a job.

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  1. Share Everything – Your resume does not need to be a short story about your life up until now. High school yearbook editor probably won’t get you an interview considering it was many years ago. Stick to strong skills and points relevant to the job and with only recent experiences unless they are extremely compelling.
  2. Use Corporate Lingo – Jargon hides real meaning and can come across extremely unnatural in conversation. Impress them with your knowledge, not by leveraging complex solutions through best practices of corporate values. (see what I mean? yeesh)
  3. Wait For Them To Call You – So it’s been a few days and still no response. Don’t give up! Don’t act like a kid with a crush moping by the phone. Pick it up and call them. You might just be surprised with the outcome, and they will appreciate your passion and enthusiasm. The worst they will say is they are still reviewing applications or they aren’t interested right? At this point you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
  4. Give Them Everything – Going back to number one they probably don’t need a copy of every project, portfolio or work you have done documenting your previous success either. Unless asked for it, give them what they need to conduct the interviewing process.
  5. Collect Letters of Recommendation – They might show just how great you are, but can you get someone’s initial reaction about a candidate in a letter? Nope. An employer is looking for tone of voice, how eager they are – or aren’t – to accredit you with skills for a job. Letters of recommendation rarely give details that are needed. Leave them at home and wait until reference phone numbers are requested. And make sure your references are expecting a call!
  6. Employers Don’t Read Cover Letters – Always assume they do. It could be what actually gets your resume a look instead of skimmed over and pushed aside. The more personalized to the company the better!
  7. Stop And Apply In Person – Job posting and company websites will tell you exactly what you need to do to apply. Unless it specifically says walk-ins welcome, don’t stop by. If they aren’t planning on it your first impression might come at a bad time or as a distraction to the recruiter. The guidelines are listed for a reason – follow them.
  8. Send Out As Many Applications As You Can – Fifteen well tailored applications to specific jobs you have researched will get you much further than fifty applications not as well put together simply fishing for an interview. Always put quality over quantity.
  9. The Earlier You Get To The Interview The Better – If you are much more than ten minutes early to an interview it isn’t necessarily a good thing. They will see it as you not following directions or not respecting their time. Also it will make everyone sitting in the office feel slightly uncomfortable. Your interview won’t start any earlier if you arrive thirty minutes ahead.

Remember, people mean the best in their efforts to help you land a job. There are so many people in your corner cheering you on and wanting you to succeed! You just don’t necessarily have to take all of their advice. When in doubt think from the perspective of the hiring manager and air on the side of caution.

Best of luck in your job search Post Grads!

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7 comments

  1. #3 hits close to home. During undergrad I found my internship solely by calling- turns out they lost my resume!! So I ALWAYS call now…I can’t sit back and wait for future calls after that incident! Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks! Similar story for me on that one too. I had offers with several companies for an internship. The one that was my top pick hadn’t responded with an offer. I called them letting them know I needed an answer that week so I wouldn’t miss other opportunities. It worked out in my favor and landed the internship which is now my career. Sometimes you just have to create your own opportunities : )

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  3. #6 is enraging. I do believe one of the key factors in my getting the job I wanted was my cover letter. Additionally, in college we had to take a course where they prepared us on applying to jobs. And they told us to bring a binder with our best work, to include college essays! No one has time for that, and frankly, it’s just going to make the employers’ eyes roll.

    I am diligent with my cover letters. As for a portfolio, I’ll restrict that to my online profile when looking for freelance work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That makes sense for you on the online portfolio, especially for freelance work. That one can sometimes be a hit or miss depending on the career someone is looking for. An aspiring graphic designer might have use for it, but me being in IT… not much value.

    And cover letters are such a great chance to let your personality, passion and unique style come through. A resume can sum up your skills, but not your energy and perspectives. They can make a world of difference!

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  5. I feel like Cover Letters are slowly dying. I mean there are jobs were people just how up with an online resume now a days. I guess it depends in the field of work you are in.

    I like your blog very much by the way!

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    1. Thank you so much! Agree – cover letters make all the difference when they are to a company that reads them. That’s why I always assume they do. A back up plan if you are unsure that an employer read your cover letter is including some of those sentiments in a thank you note/email following an interview.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great points! I’m about to start the job search in Los Angeles so any little advice helps.

    Liked by 1 person

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