Cringe-worthy Job Search Advice from “Experts” and Who You Should Really Trust

If you’ve been looking for a new job, you’ve probably spent some time on LinkedIn, Google, GlassDoor, and maybe even Instagram and TikTok. There are a lot of people sharing information and free resources…but how do you know you can trust them?

I’ve seen some truly awful advice out there lately, and I had to say something about the worst offenders. I won’t name them, but some of them claim to be current recruiters or career coaches. Some of them even have LinkedIn Learning courses (with 1,000 comments from people telling them they are wrong!).

Here are the worst offenders:

1.     Copy and paste the job posting in your resume background in white text.


Ummmm…..what?! This is ridiculous, and it does not work. And if you have a solid, tailored resume, you wouldn’t need to worry about keywords or getting reviewed by the hiring manager.

2.     Don’t state your salary expectations up front.


Why on earth would you not do this? Don’t waste your time, and don’t waste the recruiter’s time. You need to know immediately if the role provides a salary within your desired range. If not, move on. Recruiters and hiring managers will look at your request and sometimes make an immediate yes/no decision based on that (and your qualifications). If you’re asking over, you may get a phone screen to clarify expectations of job duties and salary. Always be honest. If it’s not what you want, it’s okay to say no and move on.

3.     Recruiters always have room to negotiate salary.


Again, not true. And so many recruiters and hiring managers will tell you this. As a hiring manager myself, I do have a limited salary cap per position that I cannot exceed. I look at the person’s qualifications and salary request, and I do my absolute best to meet or even exceed it. I don’t have time to play games, so you get my best offer. I know not every company operates this way so in some places you can (and should!) negotiate for more money, but you can also counter with requests for a hiring bonus, additional time off, annual bonus percentage, or other benefits.

4.     Recruiters offer you a salary based on your current salary.


First of all, it’s illegal in many places to ask about your current salary. Second, this has never come up in my career or in my role as a hiring manager for the past six years. Recruiters evaluate your qualifications, unique skills, years of experience, the new job title and duties, and the market to determine the salary range for a role and your offer. That is why it is so important for you to do your own market research ahead of time and have realistic expectations of the salary range you can expect.

5.     Use the STAR method for your interviews.


I know companies say they use this interview method, but hear me out. This SUCKS. This leads people to talk way too long and waste time in the interview. As an interviewer, we want succinct answers so we can move on and get the information we need from the candidate. If you spend 5-10 minutes answering one question in a 30-, or even 60-minute, interview, you will not get through many questions. The interviewers will be bored, and you won’t have as many opportunities to share how awesome you are. I have my own method that tells your story in a way that gets to the point – no fluff. And I’ll be teaching it and offering interview coaching soon.

Who can I trust?

Number of followers, number of postings or blogs, testimonials (which you cannot actually verify) – none of those make a person trustworthy. If someone has 50K followers on LinkedIn but is offering absolutely terrible advice, please move on. If you are searching Google or following people looking for career advice, here are my top recommendations for what to look for:

1.     ICF Accreditation: This is the international licensing body for coaches, and they provide coaching standards, ethics requirements, accountability, and mediation for coaches globally.

2.     Experiencing as a Hiring Manager: Someone who has personally handled recruitment, phone screens, resume reviews, interviewing, and making offers. They should also be managing teams and helping their staff grow professionally. Not all recruiters or “HR experts” actually have this experience. They may do phone screens, but the Hiring Manager is the one who actually does the work to build their team with quality people.

3.     Career Progression: Watch out for people who have been in jobs for only 6 months to a year. Red flag. If they couldn’t last a year as a recruiter, move on. You want someone who has moved up in seniority, leadership, and responsibility with each job change. They should be able to clearly demonstrate recognition for their success and how they did it. I also recommend someone with 10 years of professional experience.

4.     Testimonials with Names: Coaches who are just starting out might not have many as they are building up their business, but if you reach out they should be able to connect you with some of their clients. It’s even better if you can see these people on LinkedIn. A good career coach will always respond (or have their team respond) to you directly to answer your questions.

These are all standards I hold myself to and am proud of, and I want you to have high standards and expectations for the resources you trust and use. Your career is really important, and you have to manage it intentionally and strategically to get what you want.

You can pull free resume templates, cover letter templates, interview guides, you name it from Google. But none of that is customized to you – your needs, your goals. You can scroll and read for hours, but that means nothing without implementation. I’ve been there. I’ve downloaded all the templates, enrolled in courses, and watched all the videos. I’m not impressed. You deserve better!

I’m excited to announce that over the past six months I have been building my first program and will be launching it in early February.

Mastering the Job Search: A proven process to be the standout candidate and get the job you want every time.


I’ll be sending out more details in the coming weeks, but if you are looking for a new job or think you’ll make a move next year, you do not want to miss this. I even have a super special offer for the first 10 to enroll – I won’t be offering it to anyone else. I’m so excited.

In the meantime, if you haven’t done so already, here’s are two of my favorite free resources to get you started: Free Download: 6 Tips to Jumpstart Your Job Search and Free Guide 5 Steps to Create the Career of Your Dreams.

What do you think of this advice? What challenges are you facing? Email Me and let me know. I love hearing from you!


Yes, I Want to Skyrocket My Career!

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If you are serious about finding your next role, creating a plan to advance your career, and building your legacy in the national security field, we should chat. Having the guidance and support of a trained expert can fast-track your success.

If you’re ready to take the next step use the calendar provided to apply for your free consult.

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