Four More Job Search Myths Busted
In a recent Forbes post, I advised against asking a friend to submit your resume, and shared eight better things to ask for instead. A referral is generally a good thing, but asking for a referral too soon is not. Some of these job search rules-of-thumb are best ignored, unless you know how to properly apply them. Here are four other job search tips commonly shared that you may want to disregard.
Myth #1: Follow up with the recruiter to move the process along.
Yes, you want to follow up with the recruiter. Yes, it can help to move the process along. However, if the process slows down to the point that you’ll need to follow up for several weeks to stay front of mind, stop asking specifically about the process after one or two inquiries. You'll need to make your follow-up about something other than process, or else you’ll come across as nagging and desperate.
A more complete tip would be to plan your follow-up; it may be fine just to try and move the process along, or you may want to connect on a different topic altogether.
Myth #2: If you spent less than a year on the job, just omit it from your resume.
If you have one short stint on your resume, you might want to omit it. But a short stint isn’t necessarily bad, so omitting it might remove useful information. Additionally, if you have several short stints in your employment history and stick faithfully to this rule, your resume chronology will soon look like swiss cheese.
A more complete tip would be to consider omitting a singular short stint from your resume, and to weigh the pros and cons of your specific situation.
Myth #3: Always dress up for an interview.
You definitely want to appear polished and professional, but that doesn’t always mean dressing up. When a senior candidate interviewed at an e-retailer, his choice to wear a suit came across as overdressed for the environment and underscored that he came from a more traditional, brick-and-mortar company.
A more complete tip would be to dress appropriately for an interview, where appropriate is determined not by any one standard, but by where you are interviewing.
Myth #4: Do not share a salary number.
There exists a widespread rumor that whoever shares the first number in a salary negotiation always loses, but that’s simply not true. Whoever speaks first anchors the negotiation, so if a company is planning to low-ball you and you speak first with a much higher number, then they know they’ll have to negotiate hard to drive your salary down (or perhaps will know better than to low-ball you). This is only one example of when sharing a salary number isn’t a bad idea.
A more complete tip would be to research thoroughly the market value for the role you’re discussing, get comfortable with asking for that range (or higher!), and be willing to share your number if you feel it would help move the negotiation to where you want it to be.
[Related: What’s at Stake When We Don’t Talk Money]
Disclaimer: I’ve given all the above pieces of advice myself, so I’m not saying these tips are entirely incorrect. After all, there is a reason they are so often quoted. What is important to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all in the job market. Hiring is based on human-to-human interaction, so you always want to consider your specific situation before applying any tip or strategy, no matter how powerful or practical it seems.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career change expert and author of Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career. Her latest career change is running CostaRicaFIRE.com. This post originally appeared on SixFigureStart.com.
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