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15 Common Pieces of Career Advice You Should Ignore


Author: Forbes Career Council Source: Forbes

When it comes to job searching or building a career, there’s lots of advice out there, and a lot of it can be conflicting. Different companies are looking for specific traits or skills, and those key traits or skills can vary easily, depending entirely on who is making the decisions and what philosophies they follow.

With all the moving parts to the system, it’s easy for someone to see patterns where there’s only noise. While someone can quickly dismiss superstitions like “sleep with a glass of water under your bed,” or “you have to wear a red suit, or they won’t consider you,” there are a number of tidbits floating around out there that everyone abides by, but aren’t actually true.

To help people sort fact from fiction, members of Forbes Coaches Council, below, talk about some common advice they’ve heard, and why it doesn’t really work. Here’s what they say:

1. ‘Job Searching Hits A Lull In the Summer, So Take A Break’

Here are the facts: Summer is actually the best time to increase your networking connections and to conduct your research. Many savvy decision-makers will not take a vacation and let their associates take time off; now you can reach these leaders directly. In the summertime, offers are made and once Labor Day arrives, job seekers have start dates in September. Take off and you will miss out. – Elva Bankins BaxterBankins Consulting, Inc.

2. ‘A Resume Must Be One Page’

A resume should be focused, concise and targeted toward a particular audience and its needs. Your resume should be as long as it needs to be to tell your story to your audience. No shorter, and no longer. If your resume is compelling and contains properly organized, relevant information, then most hiring professionals will read it — well past the first page. – Shauna C. BryceBryce Legal Career Counsel

3. ‘A Career Gap Will Hurt Your Career’

A planned career gap to pursue a qualification, life adventure or life ambition — I had an executive take a year out to become a Cordon Bleu Pastry Chef — can boost your career versus kill it. The trick is to have a solid explanation on what you learned and how it will enhance your ability to be more relevant, able and compatible for the next challenge you want to commit yourself to. – Caroline StokesFORWARD Human Capital Solutions

4. ‘Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow’

Jobs generally set pay standards based on market rates. Finding a livelihood that will pay the bills is a combination of developing skills in something you are innately wired to do and selecting something that will pay the bills. We all want to do something we love. Most of us are good at a broad range of skills, so we can select the skills that will pay as a job and others as a hobby. – Maureen MetcalfMetcalf & Associates, Inc

5. ‘Just Be Yourself’

Everyone has different facets of their personality, different opinions, different faces we choose to present at different times. An interview is a time to let some of our personality show, but save some of your exciting adventure stories, off-the-wall ideas and irreverent commentary for after you have the position, and have had time for your coworkers to get to know you a little bit better. – Erica McCurdyMcCurdy Life Coach, LLC

6. ‘Do What You’re Good At’

People often fall into the trap of “doing what they’re good at,” figuring out years after doing it they’re not happy with their career choice. Parents and teachers “lead” kids to learn or focus on things they believe would be good for their child’s careers, while ignoring things that energize them or fuel them with passion. While you may have a skill you’re good at, it isn’t necessarily the job for you. – Cha TekeliChalamode, Inc.

7. ‘Don’t Worry About LinkedIn Until You Are Job Hunting’

Common advice by people who don’t use LinkedIn well is that it isn’t useful unless you are job hunting. Too late! LinkedIn is very useful for networking and personal branding, which makes doing most professional jobs much easier. Find — and be found by — potential customers, clients, partners, friends, former colleagues and classmates. Those who delay actively using LinkedIn lose opportunities. – Susan P. 


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