Career Calling

June 2, 2012

Critical Thinking and the Job Search

I’m very happy with my job.  However, one thing that does frustrate me is the occasional client who has ideas about the job search or resume writing that make no sense.  These people frequently say things such as: “I’ve heard,” “Somebody told me,” or “I read somewhere.”  This type of phrase indicates a total lack of critical thinking.  I don’t mind discussing any issue with someone who has thought about what they are saying or has evidence to support their claims.  People who follow superficial ideas are more likely to be doing things that will hurt their job search and make it harder to find a new job.

One of the great things about the Internet is that we can quickly research anything we hear or read.  Instead, too many people grab onto the simplest solutions, never questioning if the claim is true.  For example, at least one client a week tells me she is worried about having her resume screened by a computer program. These clients are also worried about having the right key words.  This fear is legitimate only if it’s not thought through.  I screened resumes some years ago while I filled several other duties at a small company.  I’m sure I missed details because I was “multitasking.”  The computer will actually give a job applicant a consistent review.  As far as key words go, it’s impossible to know for sure what a company is using as its key words, but it’s common sense to think that job postings would be based on what the company wants to see.

My advice to clients is to challenge anything they read or hear, including advice they get from me.  Ask why the claim is true.  If someone can’t give you a reason beyond “that’s the way it is” or “those are the rules,” don’t be too concerned about that “expert.”  The job search is always a difficult process.  Don’t waste your time following bad advice. When in doubt, think critically.

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