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The 10 Worst Job Search Tips Ever

The 10 Worst Job Search Tips Ever

Liz Ryan / Business Week

September 22, 2008

Nearly every day, someone sends me a bit of astounding job-search advice from a blog or a newsletter. Some of this advice seems to come directly from the planet X-19, and some of it seems to have been made up on the spot. Here are 10 of my favorite pieces of atrocious job-search advice, for you to read and ignore at all costs:

1. Don’t Wrap It Up

The Summary or Objective at the top of your résumé is the wrap-up; It tells the reader, “This person know who s/he is, what s/he’s done, and why it matters.” Your Summary shows off your writing skills, shows that you know what’s salient in your background, and puts a point on the arrow of your résumé. Don’t skip it, no matter who tells you it’s not necessary or important.

2. Tell Us Everything

Another piece of horrendous job search advice tells job-seekers to share as much information as possible. A post-millennium résumé uses up two pages, maximum, when it’s printed. (Academic CVs are another story.) Editing is a business skill, after all—just tell us what’s most noteworthy in your long list of impressive feats.

3. Use Corporatespeak

Any résumé that trumpets “cross-functional facilitation of multi-level teams” is headed straight for the shredder. The worst job-search advice tells us to write our résumés using ponderous corporate boilerplate that sinks a smart person’s résumé like a stone. Please ignore that advice, and write your résumé the way you speak.


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