Using social media should be an important part of business growth or career change. But when using social (or any other service), I recommend following one my the Goodwin Career-Saving Maxims: Good information is free but you pay for advice.
For instance, I once saw someone tweeting ten resume tips.
Most of the tips were good. For instance, the writer advised us to tailor resumes to specific jobs and career fields. Too many people spend a lot of time and money creating a one-size-fits-all resume. If it fits all, it probably fits none.
But then I saw a couple of red flags. The writer advised applicants to discuss their salary history on their resumes. No career consultant would make that suggestion. Discuss salary after you get an offer. If HR presses you for a salary give a range – a huge range, skewed high.
There’s one exception. Suppose you are happily employed or self-employed and you see an ad for something that sounds interesting. You might need to establish up front that they can afford you, before wasting anybody’s time.
So I looked more closely at the writer’s credentials. If she’s a career coach, I said to myself, there’s no way I’m going to refer anyone to her services.
But she’s not a career coach. She’s an HR manager. And now I understood.
Many years ago, an executive recruiter gave a talk to my MBA alumni group in Philadelphia. He alienated most of the group by advising us to share our birth date, salary, and a whole lot more.
Of course, he would make those recommendations. These disclosures make his job easier. And HR wants to deal in numbers as they screen hundreds of resumes for the job you want.
Ideally, of course, you’ll have an inside track to the job you want. You’ll use networking and get insider information. That’s not what the recruiters and HR folks want you to do. They want a bigger piece of the action.
You’ll find lots of bad advice when starting a business, too.
“Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself,” they’ll say. Or, “It’s okay to go into debt to grow your business.”
Inevitably those advisors offer high-end programs for thousands of dollars; they want you to take the leap and jump in, feet first.
People who offer free advice almost always have an agenda. Sometimes you pay people who turn out to have an agenda, too. But anyone who offers free advice rarely is doing so for altruistic reasons. They’re hoping to give you something that will help you spend for something bigger.