As you work your way through your career, you’ll find people are full of advice. But is all of it useful? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.
Here’s some common career advice you’re probably better off ignoring.
1. Always Limit Your Resume to One Page
In the past, job candidates were often told to keep their resumes to a page, and only go over if they were well into their careers with a lot of experience to share. As it becomes less common for people to stay with one or two employers throughout their careers and online applications become more prevalent, that advice is outdated and irrelevant, says Kenneth Johnson, president of East Coast Executives.
“In today's world of electronic applications, ATS systems, SEO resumes and candidates often listing four or five positions on their resume, it is nearly impossible to consolidate the necessary information on to one page,” he explains. Instead, people will take more advantage of online resumes and other digital options. “I honestly believe the clock is ticking on the traditional resume in favor of an online presence.”
2. Let Them Make You an Offer
Many experts say waiting to see what sort of compensation an employer might offer you is a mistake. “For me, the worst advice I hear has to do with how to negotiate your salary," says Hugh Taylor, author of “Reinvent Yourself.” “It's all idiotic and ignorant of the economic realities of the American workplace today.”
It’s important to remember that salaries are budgeted in a range, Taylor says. “The company says, we want to hire a director of marketing for between $90,000 and $110,000. When you wait for them to make you an offer, which number do you think they are going to start with?”
Victoria Pynchon, co-founder of She Negotiates Training and Consulting, agrees. Instead, “the person who makes the first offer, makes it aggressive and supports it with market research will influence the negotiation in the direction of the first offer throughout the bargaining session.” Making the first offer aggressive allows the other side to make concessions, and people have been proven to be happier with a deal if their bargaining partner makes concessions than they are when they get the deal they think they wanted, she says.
3. Never Say ‘No’
“This is bad advice for a new employee,” Pynchon says. “If you become overwhelmed with work, you won’t be able to shine and you won’t be driving your own career plan, you’ll be driven by your job instead.” She recommends taking the first few weeks to keep your head down and deliver great work, but watching to see who has power and who doesn’t.
“Align yourself with the people who have power and offer your services to them,” she advises. And when people without power try to give you assignments, outline what’s on your plate and tell them you need to check with others to see if you can take on extra work.
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