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The Best Advice I Can Give Jobseekers

By Joyce Bethoney on

When I meet new people and tell them I’m a recruiter, I’m so often asked, “What’s the best advice you can give to someone looking for a new job?”

Since I recruit for a very niche market—advertising, marketing, creative and interactive—most of my advice is specific to those industries. However, since it comes up so often, I thought I would share what I consider advice that is applicable to all jobseekers.

Some of this may seem random. Some of this may seem obvious. But, believe me, if it’s on the list, it’s because I’ve found it to be a piece of advice that is NOT obvious to everyone... 

1)  Don’t lie on your resume. (Seriously. Don’t.)

2)  Don’t chew gum or wear flip-flops to an interview.

3)  Speak in concise sentences and answer a question completely. Bluffing will never get you to the next step in a job interview.

4)  Remove the date of your graduation from your resume.

5)  Always send a thank you note— preferably a handwritten one. It may take a day to get there, but will have a much greater impact than an email. In a pinch, both are ok.

6)  Use your alumni network.

7)  Consider (most) recruiters to be the job “gatekeepers.” Don’t assume that talking to a recruiter is a formality. Assume this person is your direct hiring manager. An oversight like this will cost you. 

8)  There is never a time for anything floral to be worn in an interview. (Sorry.)

9)  If you can’t hold eye contact in a conversation, consider a role where you never have to interact with people.

10)  Don’t post anything on social media you wouldn’t want on the front page of The Boston Globe.

Joyce Bethoney is Director of Recruiting at Communications Collaborative. Connect with Joyce on LinkedIn.