The Bad Job Search Advice I Almost Gave
My husband’s last contract (technology consulting) ended in the fall. And since January, he’s been super-focused on his job search. And if you’ve been in a job search recently, you know that it’s a balance between applying for jobs (if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win the lottery) and focusing your search effectively.

The Job Description

About a month ago, he asked me to read a job description and tell him what I thought about it. It was for a technology manager job, but it was full of technical jargon/programs that I’m not familiar with (and have heard mixed reviews about the company from former clients). He sent it to a friend of ours who’s a technology expert in that area, and she told him she didn’t really understand the job description either. Cue my 10-minute rant on how companies need to write better job descriptions.

What Are They Looking For?

So after reading the job description, I said I didn’t get it and therefore, couldn’t help him with his marketing materials. I thought this might discourage him from applying… if you can’t understand what a job is about from the posting, what does that say about the job? Do they even understand what they want? I blew off the opportunity – and was of the opinion that it wasn’t worth his effort to even apply. I felt like the company might be in hot pursuit of a purple squirrel (a combination of skills/experience that doesn’t really exist in the real world), and I want to do everything in my power to discourage this type of behavior.

Staying Silent Strategy

But here’s where I got smart. I keep my mouth shut and my advice to myself. He applied (without my help – bad for business, right?) because he felt that the job was very similar to a role he’d had years ago – which, incidentally was one of his favorite past jobs. It was a needle in a haystack sort of role – but with a job title that he probably never would have searched for, but for some reason, caught his attention.

The Call

The very next day, he got a call from their HR department to schedule a phone call. He did some reconnaissance, talking to someone who used to work there, and got some great insider information. It was a very similar type of role – but in a brand new industry.

The Interview Then the Offer

He got invited for a face-to-face interview. The process went smoothly and there was plenty of communication. Pretty soon they were checking references. And then… the offer.

Pay Attention to Your Own Instincts

Yesterday he started this new job. I’m so glad I kept my bad advice to myself. Use this as a reminder that it’s your search and even if you’ve got a career coach, pay attention to your own instincts.