Career Advice, or My Obsession With Lists

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about careers and job-hunting because I realized I apparently can’t keep up with a weekly post that actually requires effort. I also feel like there’s not a lot I can say on the topic that isn’t already out there. However, I do spend my day reading resumes and talking to candidates, and I tend to come across more job-related articles and posts than the average person.

I’ve come across a few that I quite enjoyed lately and thought it would be nice to share the wealth.

The 10 Worst Mistakes of First Time Job Hunters was something I wish I’d seen in my college days. I was clueless about a lot of that stuff when I was younger and I do wish I’d spent time in the career center and become more involved – and learned to network. One of the best things I ever did (seriously, I mean ever) was getting a job my junior year. I did an internship for one quarter and it was kind of useless (although it was at a radio station so I got a ton of free CDs), but my job? My $11-an-hour administrative assistant job? I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it. Having that year of office experience was so instrumental in getting a post-college job. Anyway, I sent this article to my sixteen-year-old brother. There’s no such thing as starting too early!

Because I love lists, I also really appreciated The Ten Worst Things to Put on Your Resume. I go on and on about most of these things all the time and I always feel a sense of validation when I read lists like this. I don’t care about your hobbies. I know in some cultures a birthdate or picture is included on a resume, but not in the U.S. so don’t do it. I also have a borderline-irrational hatred of the objective. I know what your objective is: to get a job. Tell me something more interesting than that otherwise you are just wasting valuable space on your resume.

Here’s another one on resumes – 10 Lies You’ve Been Told About Your Resume. I agree with almost all of this; I tire of trying to convince people that a resume can be more than one page so I’m glad that’s pointed out here. And really, don’t lie. I don’t believe in sharing personal information on your resume, however.

And finally, 10 Resume Rules: Fact or Fiction? This covers some of the same things as the other lists, but also touches on things like the idea of putting your education first – which they call out as a myth, which I’ve been saying for years.

So there we have it. None of this is groundbreaking news, of course, but we can all use a little reminder sometimes. I’ve read countless resumes and still struggle with writing my own even though I’m well acquainted with all the do’s and don’ts.

What’s the best career advice you’ve received? Anything that should be added to these lists?

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One thought on “Career Advice, or My Obsession With Lists

  1. I really enjoyed this! Thanks for posting and sharing those articles. I’ll be passing them along to my brother as well.

    I have something to add to the list:

    Please, please, please proof-read and spell check your resume, cover letter, email, etc. Basically any communication with the company you’re looking to join should go through the ringer at least three times before you send it!

    I recruit for my company, and I’ll tell you quite honestly that a single I-didn’t-bother-to-proof-my-resume error helps to narrow the field down immensely. As in, I’ll throw out the offending resume without a second glance.

    My top 3 best career advice tidbits (because I like lists too!) would be:
    1. Be confident in your abilities! If you believe you can do it, you’ll be able to do it.
    2. If it’s an opportunity for learning, take it.
    3. Ask for help: know when to say when if you’re too swamped or in over your head.

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