10 worst pieces of career advice

Career advice is always plentiful. We get it from friends, colleagues, family members, and even strangers but how much of it is actually helpful? Some tips are just plain wrong while much of the guidance is not applicable to every situation.  Relevance can vary for a variety of reasons including industry, company, and life circumstances.

What is the worst career advice you have ever received? Just in case you don’t recognize bad career suggestions, check out CareerMetis.com 10 Worst Pieces of Career Advice You Should Never Follow.

Career Hack: Preparing for those unusual interview questions

Arriving for a job interview causes a number of mixed emotions. On one hand, you are one of the chosen few asked to come in and sell yourself in person. On the other hand, you are about to participate in a rapid-fire inquisition scheduled to last approximately 50 minutes.

You have done your due diligence and assembled stories about your accomplishments with each narrative exemplifying a combination of hard and soft skills. You are ready.

What you are not ready for is that single question that seems to have nothing to do with your actual qualifications for the job.

Today, many hiring managers are peppering interviews with questions that can catch you off guard. While they are not meant to be “gotchas” they can be anything but straightforward.

Each Wednesday, I will post one such question with a few suggestions on how to respond.

Question: What book(s) are you currently reading?

Before you blurt out, “Who has time to read” or “What does this have to do with the position”, understand that this question is actually designed to get to know you better. There are few wrong answers but a few things you should remember when preparing to respond.

1. Be honest. Don’t offer a book that you have never actually read. If you have not read a book in a while, read one immediately. Reading is important and not just to be able to respond to this interview question.

2. In addition to the title of the book, explain why you are reading the book. Why does it interest you? Are you reading a particular book to develop a skill or expand your mind?

3. Make sure you respond with a book title appropriate for a professional environment as well as the role you are applying for. For example, an absolute wrong response would be admitting that you are reading “Coding for Dummies” if you are applying for a position in which being able to code is essential.

Reconnect with references in the new year

Reference

If you can not easily think of three people to use as professional references now is a great time to strengthen those connections. If you have not offered a “Happy New Year” to past supervisors and colleagues do it today.

Take the opportunity to discuss your career aspirations for this year and how they may be of assistance.

Do not forget to offer assistance with their goals and actually follow through if you are asked to do something.

Tips for Updating Your Resume

A new year provides new opportunities. This is the perfect time to do a quick and fairly simple update of your resume. Here’s how.

careerbuilder-ar_post-3070Update contact information
Try removing your full address from your resume. It will save space in your document and it is seemingly unnecessary information. Instead, use the space to provide solid contact information (i.e. phone number and email address) as well as links to professional profiles (i.e. LinkedIn)

Remove objective statement
I don’t know how many times this has to be said, “Remove objective statements from your resume!” 99.5% of the time they add nothing to your story.

Make sure you include relevant skills and experience
Do not fall into the trap of listing everything you have ever done or can do. Focus on the skills and experience that speaks to where you want to go.

Simplify your educational achievements
If you are including information about which high school you attended, stop it immediately. GPA’s and irrelevant certifications need not be included on your resume.

Modernize your formatting
This does not mean that you have to produce a highly stylized document. Style will never trump substance. Your resume must be accessible, skimmable, and of course, able to get past the always dreaded applicant tracking system.

Don't forget to work for yourself this holiday season

Looking for a JobWe have made it through Thanksgiving and are only a few weeks out from another holiday season. My thoughts are permeated by holiday preparation but I can not let my career goals fall by the weigh side. Don’t decide that you will start again in the new year.

These “7 LinkedIn Job Hunting Tactic that Work” are a fairly easy lift. Use your online time for good, not evil (or at least for frivolity all of the time) and do something for yourself this holiday season.