flickr: Jeff Belmonte
Who’s giving you jobseeking advice? (Besides us?)
Lance Haun of YourHRGuy.com says you may be getting it from the wrong people: married men.
Not really, but he says that asking most employed people for job-seeking advice is like asking a married man for dating advice.
“Everyone feels qualified to give dating advice because almost everyone has been on dates. The same thing happens with job seeking. Everyone has looked for a job so they all think they can give you advice. That’s great but the longer you’ve been out of the market, the more your advice is going to suck.”
On the other hand, you probably wouldn’t take jobseeking advice from the unemployed, either (and we want our hairstylists to have awesome locks and all our chefs at our favorite restaurants to be tubby). So there must be a happy medium. It’s gotta change by field, too—five years off the market in one industry might be ancient history if you’re asking someone how to get a job in, say, journalism.
HR folk don’t always have the answers, either, Haun says.
Their advice is often risk adverse and safe. And that’s really the advice that sells. It is boring but it also won’t disqualify you from many positions. So it is like me telling a person dating to not pick their nose during their date. If the person didn’t already know that, it will probably help them a bit. Of course, if it were as simple as not picking your nose and making sure to have good hygiene, many more people would be married than there are right now.