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7 Outdated Pieces of Job Search Advice

By Brie Weiler Reynolds, Career Development Manager

There are times in life when people may give you unsolicited advice, like when you’re searching for a job or early on in your career. It seems that everyone you meet is suddenly a career coach with wisdom to share. And while some of the unsought advice we receive is actually quite useful, some of it can be less useful and even outdated. While the advice-giver means well, here are some outdated pieces of job search advice to look out for and what you should do instead.

1. Your resume should be only one page long.

INSTEAD: Focus on customizing your resume (and cover letter) with keywords from the job posting to help explain why you’re the perfect person for the job.

2. Include every job you’ve ever had on your resume to present a complete account of your professional history.

INSTEAD: Ditch the early jobs in favor of filling that space with more recent and in-depth examples of why you’re perfect for the role.

3. When your interviewer asks about your weaknesses, offer a positive that’s framed as a weakness.

INSTEAD: Be honest and acknowledge you have a weakness. This can show the hiring manager you’re willing to examine what you’re good and not good at, as well as mature enough to admit it.

4. Write your resume and cover letter using formal language.

INSTEAD: Research the company and its culture before applying for the job, and use language that matches the tone and voice of the company or industry when writing your cover letter and resume.

5. Include an objective at the top of your resume. And don’t forget to mention that you have references available upon request. And include a photo.

INSTEAD: Replace outdated objective statements with a resume summary or summary of qualifications, which includes a few sentences that will capture the essential reasons why an employer should hire you. Leave references and photos off!

6. Always wear a suit to an interview.

INSTEAD: Find out what the company wears and dress accordingly. When in doubt, it’s better to dress up slightly, as it can show the company you’re serious about the interview and the job.

7. Stay at a job for several years and don’t bounce from job to job.

INSTEAD: Restart your job search, even if you haven’t been there for very long. People that hop from job to job or even career to career are no longer viewed with suspicion, as long as they can explain why they changed jobs and how it benefits the employer.

Like most things, job search advice changes with the times. What works today may not work next year, next month, or even next week. That’s where a career coach can help out!

The FlexJobs career coaching team stays up to date on the best in job search and career advice. Members get deeply discounted career coaching rates. Join FlexJobs today and get the latest in job search advice. Take the tour to learn more.


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