Old School Career Advice That No Longer Applies

Job interview with resume before interview

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Back in the old days, people started careers from a classified ad they saw in a newspaper, but times have changed. A lot of the job advice we heard growing up is now irrelevant, but some has stood the test of time. Toni Frana, career services manager at FlexJobs and Remote.com, shares the outdated advice their career coaching team continues to see.

  • Always write your resume and cover letter using formal language - Of course, you want it to be free of spelling and grammar errors, but that old “to whom it may concern” language isn’t doing you any favors as an applicant. These days, you’re better off catering your language to the company and its culture to show you’re a great fit for the company.
  • Bouncing from job to job looks bad - You’ve probably heard that “job hopping” can ruin your resume, but employees don’t stay at the same company for decades like they used to. Frana says “sticking around in a job that makes you miserable does neither you nor the employer any good.” Her career-coaching team says people who change jobs or careers are “no longer viewed with suspicion.”
  • When your interviewer asks about your weaknesses, offer a strength - This spin sounds like a good idea, but it doesn’t always work and Frana says there’s a good chance you’ll come across as arrogant or that you’re not self-aware about your true weaknesses. Her advice? Honestly acknowledge a weakness, then tell the interviewee all the ways you’re working to overcome it.
  • Keep all your social media private - While you don’t have to friend request your boss, it’s not realistic to keep your private life totally separate from your work life these days. It’s okay to interact with people you work with on social media and to like your team leader’s tweets.
  • Some old school career advice is still solid - Like that it’s always better to leave a job on good terms and when you’re looking for a new job, use your resentment from your old one to motivate you to find a better one.


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