Bad advice that job seekers follow – and what to do instead
When it comes to job search advice, you can count on every single person having an opinion. I just did a Google search for “job search advice” and got 126,000,000 results in .52 seconds. That’s a LOT of information! How in the world do you weed through it all to distill the valid content? Look to those with current experience hiring professionals that are similar to your qualifications. For example, if you’re in engineering, then look to those who hire engineers. If you’re in retail, then look to those who routinely hire for retail. Seek out more than one point of view. Then, make a decision based on your beliefs – after all, it’s YOUR search. Here are some of the most common pieces of bad advice that I encounter:
1. Putting your photo on your resume
I am a huge fan of the new two-column format for resumes. These templates are visually appealing and make it easy to highlight skills and accomplishments front and center. However, many of these templates have a head shot photo on them which I believe leads to bias. You want your qualifications to stand alone and you want to be evaluated based on what you have to offer, not how you look. Aside from potential discrimination based on race or gender, you might be rejected based on your hairstyle, clothes or even your facial expression. Best to leave a visual of you for the interview.
2. Listing your address on your resume
This is, at its core, a basic safety issue. Your street address tells whomever sees your resume where to find you at home, which is a bad idea. Furthermore, your address can again, lead to bias. If you live in a nice area, do you even need the job? If you live in a transitional neighborhood, are you “qualified” for the position? If you live in an income-restricted apartment, can you afford to get to work? Yes, these are all absurd conclusions, but the potential is there for an untrained resume evaluator.
3. Providing reference contact information on your resume
As a former “headhunter,” I was trained to pay close attention to resumes with references on them. I could use the references to cold call for new jobs, or to recruit these people – because if they are your reference, then they might be as good or better than you. Providing your precious reference names and contact information on your resume is dangerous – for you and for them. Leave the reference information blank until a company is ready to consider making you an offer – then provide them with enthusiasm!
4. Submitting a recorded interview
Prerecorded video interviews or video clips have become a bit of a trend the past couple of years. Here are at least five reasons they are a bad idea:
- Unconscious bias
- Conscious bias
- Voice, tone, communication mismatch
- English as a second language
And the list goes on and on and on. In my opinion, any company that doesn’t have time to interview you personally, doesn’t deserve your attention.
5. Leading with salary
I understand that salary is important. You deserve to be paid a market wage for the value you bring to an organization. BUT, job satisfaction comes from a number of other components outside of salary. It’s better to focus on the role, team, leadership, culture, values and even perks independent of salary and assume that if you like the company/people/role and they like you, then a market salary will result.
The new year is a great time to consider looking for a new career adventure! The budgets are new, the business plan is fresh and it’s hiring season! Make sure you put your best self forward and snatch that next big job! For more advice on your job search, visit us here!