Career Service Advisors: Followers or Thought Leaders?

Followers or Thought LeadersJob search today is a new experience for many, from the twenty-something 2013 grads looking to land their first full time job, to the mid-career professional whose job was outsourced a few months ago, to the VP level professional who just got caught in a corporate downsizing and was given a severance package replete with a boilerplate resume, generic advice on looking for a job and a desk and use of the phone for 120 days in the outplacement company’s office.

Too many job seekers are unprepared for the new landscape and nuance of a job search and much of the advice they are receiving about resumes, cover letters, social media, networking and interviewing stereotypical and 3-6 years behind the times.

This time of year I see dozens of Class of 2013 resumes a week from all across America and believe it or not over 75% of them look like carbon copies of each other, because this is how most career placement offices have told their students a resume should look and read. They have been offering this same advice to their students’ year after year for at the past 10 years regardless of the student’s major and without updating the resume template they recommend using to reflect the changes in how a job search is conducted; no wonder students are taking a longer time finding a job in their chosen field.

The same stereotype resumes and job search advice seems to hold true for large outplacement companies as well, but in their case it is because it is hard to pay individual attention to such a large and diverse clientele, especially since they are paid in advance and the fee is based on quantity or service rather than the quality.

Then there are the many books and blogs that offer advice. Many just write and repeat what the masses want to hear in the most general terms and some are true innovators who offer worthwhile advice based on research and experience.

The bottom line is a majority of so-called Career Service leaders are really followers leading others down a path that has been worn out over time and needs to be replaced.

So if you are looking for a job and need paid or unpaid professional advice I suggest you look for people who are the new thought leaders and innovators in resume writing, job search consulting and career planning. Look for the people who are tomorrow’s leaders, people who have new ideas and are willing to think outside the box. You can also earn a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership Degree and become one of those leaders. Everyone has different dreams, goals, and aspirations. We all want to get something unique out of life, but earning a degree in Organizational Leadership might be the right choice if you feel like you have what it takes to break the mundane mold that so many become accustomed to. Pursuing an education in organizational leadership might be the first step towards a more fulfilling life.

Regardless of what you decide, you should be on the right path as long as you avoid the people who blindly embrace yesterday’s leaders and their thoughts because their days have come and gone, never to return.

As always I am happy to critique U.S. resumes and LinkedIn pages at no cost. Email me at

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