Saturday, 28 July 2012

Online advice - Superficial or Serious

One of the challenges when job hunting is trying to identify genuine best practice, and gaining worthwhile feedback from trustworthy sources. In an effort to improve the likelihood of securing that great job, I try to surf the net looking for articles that may well just prompt some self-reflective learning, or make me consider an alternatibve approach to answering certain interview questions.

On the whole, this is a useful exercise, and you quickly get to know where you will find a good source of articles that tend to match your needs. I found that LinkedIn Today was a quick and easy repository, especially a lot of the Harvard Business Review and Forbes posts.

However, you can also come across a lot of incredibly superficial content, sometimes dreadfully so. With my apologies to the authors (who I do not know) I came across this link tonight -
stop-screwing-up-your-job-search-in-these-ten-ways - and could not help but think that with the exception of number 10, the other 9 suggestions were lightweight, and not much more use to me in developing my job hunting capability than reminding me that to shave, wash and wear clothes to an interview is better than failing to do so...

I understand that is is difficult to synthesise potentially complicated coaching advice into a simple one sentence message, aimed at the widest possible audience, but I would expect a contribution to Frorbes to be targeted at a level of job hunter who understood the basic tenets of human interaction and sensible behaviour, and would instead be looking for advice that is less common-sensical, more inclined to make me stop and think, and even if I were not to adopt it, would appreciate it as a worthwhile addition to the overall knowledge bank of job hunting.

I hope that the authors can forgive my criticism, and accept that it is not aimed at their capabilities or their writing per se, but I have just used their article as an example of how difficult it can be to set the right tone. I leave them with this thought from de la Rochefoucauld, "We give advice, but we cannot give the wisdom to profit by it".

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