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Three career advice points you should ignore

As you work your way through your career, you'll find people are full of advice. But is all of that useful? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Here's some common advice you're better off ignoring.

Always limit your resume to one page

Job candidates have often been told to keep their resumes to a page and only go over if they were well into their careers, with a lot of experience to share. As it becomes less common for people to stay with one or two employers throughout their careers and online applications become more prevalent, that advice is outdated and irrelevant, said Kenneth Johnson, president of East Coast Executives.

"In today's world of electronic applications, ATS systems, SEO resumes and candidates often listing four or five positions on their resume, it is nearly impossible to consolidate the necessary information on to one page," he said.

Instead, people will take more advantage of online resumes and other digital options. "I honestly believe the clock is ticking on the traditional resume in favor of an online presence," he said.

Wait for a salary offer

Many experts say waiting to see what sort of compensation an employer might offer you is a mistake.

"For me, the worst advice I hear has to do with how to negotiate your salary," said Hugh Taylor, author of Reinvent Yourself. "It's all idiotic and ignorant of the economic realities of the American workplace today."

It's important to remember that salaries are budgeted in a range, Taylor said. "The company says, we want to hire a director of marketing for between $90,000 and $110,000. When you wait for them to make you an offer, which number do you think they are going to start with?"

Victoria Pynchon, co-founder of She Negotiates Training and Consulting, agrees. Instead, "the person who makes the first offer, makes it aggressive and supports it with market research will influence the negotiation in the direction of the first offer throughout the bargaining session," she said.

Making the first offer aggressive allows the other side to make concessions, and people are proven to be happier when a bargaining partner makes concessions on a deal than when they get the deal they think they wanted, she said.

Never say 'no'

"This is bad advice for a new employee," Pynchon said. "If you become overwhelmed with work, you won't be able to shine and you won't be driving your own career plan — you'll be driven by your job instead."

Keep your head down the first few weeks, she said, and deliver great work while seeing who has power.

"Align yourself with the people who have power and offer your services to them," she said. And when people without power assign you work, say you need to check with others before taking it on.

Three career advice points you should ignore 06/20/14 [Last modified: Friday, June 20, 2014 12:11pm]
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