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Career Advice

Earlier this week, I was listening to the Wall Street Journal Report (on the radio between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.).  They mentioned a CareerBuilder study on the high percentage of job seekers that apply for jobs for which they know they are NOT qualified.  (This was a follow-up comment to a statement on the high number of employers who cannot find the skilled workers they seek.)  As someone who occasionally tweets under the title Career Advice, I decided it was time to put a few of these career advice-related items here.

BGO (Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious)

At our home, we often refer to "common sense" as LACK OF common sense.  Most of these career advice items fall into this category (in my opinion).  NOTE - these are all from real/current e-mails, letters or calls.
  • Starting an e-mail (or cover letter) with Dear Principal is no better than To Whom It May Concern - especially when you know the name of the firm or company.
  • New graduates - do NOT let your parents do your job searching (calls, e-mails, letters or LinkedIn requests) on your behalf.
  • The subject line of your e-mail (assuming you want it read) should be something other than Hello.  (These are immediately considered SPAM.)
    • Using Your Next Hire is no better.
  • Do not send a recruiter multiple versions of your resume.  It is not our job to determine how you want to be represented/presented.
  • Do not answer your phone if you are in a meeting and not able to talk.  It is a bad impression left on me - and the people in your meeting.  (Simply put, not answering and having the call go to a professional sounding voicemail is much better.)
  • Remove "proficient in Microsoft Office" from your resume.  If you are not proficient at this by now, there are other issues to worry about.
  • We do not want (so please remove) personal information - unless it is career relevant (fluent in something other than English, etc.)  (Knowing you are a member of Hells Angels - not likely to be helpful!)

Social media needs its own category!

  • Nothing is private on social media.  Consider it a 'dialogue' in front of thousands.
  • Never put anything on Facebook you would not want your mother to read.
  • Everything you put on Facebook, etc. has the potential to be there forever.  Consider it a (passive) time capsule - that you can control if you choose.
  • Pictures get copied/forwarded.
  • AND Google yourself - we will!

These lists could go on forever.

E-mail us your best BGO career advice examples.  We'll tweet or post them!