How to Separate the Wheat From the Chaff of Job Search Advice and Training – Part One of Three

Recently, I had a brief email conversation about an article I presented in three parts; How a Candidate is Viewed by a Hiring Manager. It covered how a hiring manager views candidates. I received a comment that was extremely accurate. The person emailing said, the bottom line is, there is so much information out there, how do you know what is helpful and what is not? They also asked what information is worth paying for and what is not worth paying for? Very good questions that I am sure most people ask themselves. I understand those questions that are being asked and how serious they are for those seeking a job or a better opportunity..

A search on the internet for job search advice revealed over 90 million results. Pick other job search related words and you can get even more results. For those seeking a sip of accurate advice, they are met with a fire hose of input. If it does not make someone skeptical, it should. No wonder it is a difficult decision. I think there are a number of things the questions bring to mind.

How do you separate the wheat from the chaff of quality versus worthless information, advice and tips? What is valuable and worth an investment and what is better left alone?

Now, while it is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, it is not impossible. One has to look at the assumptions most individuals start that result in false conclusions. Let me see if I can illustrate what I mean. Everyone’s mind set is conditioned to some specific set of rules. In truth, there really are not any rules.

I have pointed out in the series of previous articles the method applied by the vast majority of job seekers is antiquated at best. I also wrote an article, Apples and Oranges about the origins and evolution of the job search methodology that created the so called rules.

In the late 1940s, 1950s and into the 1960s, companies were struggling to find people. That is when employment agencies came into prominence. They ran ads (either real or fictitious) to attract a job seeker to their office. When an individual arrived and inquired about the ad, they were interviewed. It was not what you or I would expect as an interview. It was very basic, more to just collect basic information and brief background. The employment counselor filled out paper work, and then the applicant waited in the lobby with others seeking a shot at a job. The employment counselor immediately called numerous companies that might need a person like the one they had just interviewed.

When they came upon someone that appeared to fit, they sent the person to interview with the company. The applicant reported back to the employment counselor with the perceived results. In many cases, the applicant paid the employment agency for this service if hired, not as it is commonly done today, where the company pays the recruiter. It evolved slightly when people became more mobile for their jobs and the demand for technical talent increased. They might have answered ads in the newspaper in a specific locale. They sent a cover letter and resume (work history) to the company. They hoped to get a call to interview over the phone, then a face to face interview, if it went further.

Part Two will follow.