Just like many of you, I follow a number of bloggers on a regular basis and I find my Inbox inundated daily with at least two dozen LinkedIn group discussions on resume writing, job search, career advancement, best practices, and general business, sales, marketing, and social media related topics. Unless I already know they are a promotion, which many are, or I already found the writer lacks credibility, I tend to read them all to get new insights into my profession and I imagine many of you do this as well.
As a professional in the Career Services arena I know how to sift through the often overwhelming amount of contradictory advice, unfortunately many of you do not. So let me offer my thoughts on how to process advice and information that you are not sure of, or whose writer’s credentials you may deem suspect.
- Check out the author and their credentials on LinkedIn. Are they presenting their own opinion or is the advice from a 3rd party; and how old is the information. I read a post this week first published in 2009 and much of what was written no longer applies.
If the writer or poster is in the business and offering their own information it is a good bet they know what they are talking about. Still, look at their LinkedIn page to see what people say about their knowledge base and check their recommendations and endorsements in the field before you accept them as a SME.
- Consider this, is the writer, or if they quote someone you are not familiar with, addressing their remarks to a specific audience or are they writing generically. Before taking action Google and LinkedIn the writer and person being quoted to see if they have a niche audience and if you are part of that niche, i.e. you’re a recent college grad and the information is the opinion of someone whose primary audience is 6-figure financial executives, or conversely the writer’s audience is recent grads and early career and you’re an established professional or executive. What works for one audience too often does not apply to the other. Use common sense and do your homework on whether what your read was intended for you.
- When deciding on the validity of info from a LinkedIn discussion look at whether the person is someone in the business who knows how to screen and qualify the 3rd party information and hyperlinked posts they are offering up to you as sound advice, or if they are just someone on the periphery posting for their own personal agenda; and be more critical if they are on the periphery and offering their own personal advice.
- All quality job search advice is based on common sense and professional ethics. If the advice you read sounds like a gimmick and stretches the line beyond common sense and professional behavior ignore it unless a valid reason is given for this action that you can agree with. Then discuss this with others before you apply it in a job search, interview or resume.
- If you’re not sure whether the advice applies to you, or you need more information to render an opinion on its value in YOUR job search, contact the writer directly via email, LinkedIn or by phone. If they respect your effort, as I would, they will be happy to respond and answer your questions.
As always I am happy to look over and critique US resumes (and professional overseas CVs) at no cost if you email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.