Bad Advice

From generation to generation, we’ve passed down useful job seeking advice for those new to the workplace as well as for seasoned professionals. But over time, this advice may become outdated, and no longer applicable to modern hiring practices. If you’re on the hunt for a new job, you can afford to ignore this bad job seeking advice.

Put every job on your resume.

If you worked at a fast food restaurant as a teenager, it’s probably not necessary to list that on your resume for an IT position. Think of your resume as a marketing piece. You’re selling yourself, not detailing every job you’ve ever held. Only list relevant gigs, and if you don’t have industry experience, only include the most impressive pieces of your work history.

Frame a positive trait as a weakness.

Whatever you do, don’t say something like, “I work too hard,” or “I’m too passionate about my job.” Hiring managers can see right through these phony weaknesses, and in the end, it just makes you look disingenuous or smarmy. If you’re asked what your weaknesses are, be honest but not blunt. Instead of saying, “I don’t like to work with other people,” you can say, “I prefer to work on my own, and as a result, I sometimes miss valuable teamwork opportunities.” Then elaborate on how you’ve been working to improve this weakness. This is honest, and it shows that you’re addressing your own professional weaknesses.

Arrive really early to the interview.

Okay, this one is partly true. Arriving 10 or 15 minutes early to an interview can often speak to your punctuality, but you shouldn’t overdo it. If you show up forty-five minutes early, it may be perceived as desperate or unprofessional — not to mention the awkwardness of sitting in the waiting room until your actual appointment time. Play it safe and stick to a 10-to-15-minute rule.

Don’t take notes during the interview.

The logic behind this old adage is that you should maintain eye contact during the course of the interview. But for IT interviews especially, they may go on for a very long time and cover highly technical information. Taking notes can be helpful for keeping track of important details, such as names and key competitors, but you shouldn’t refer to your notes during the course of the interview. This may make it seem as if you’re underprepared or distracted, so if you choose to take notes, save them for later use such as being more informative when asked to come back for a follow up interview.

If you’ve heard these tips before, try not to use them in your own job search. Not only are they impractical, but they may actually harm your chances of finding the right position.

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