If you’ve recently shared that you were on the hunt for a new job, chances are you received some advice (welcome or otherwise). Sure, we recognize the benefits of taking advice from friends, family members, or even strangers, especially those who have been in your position before. We can learn a lot from listening to the experiences of others, even if what we learn is how to avoid making the same mistakes as them. A lot of the time, taking advice is super helpful.

However, sometimes it’s not. We tend to take advice from people who have experienced what we’re attempting to master, but when we fail to take into consideration the differences between our own situation and theirs, it can be easy for us to take bad advice.

Age, location, field of work – these are only some of the factors that affect your job search. So if you’re a recent college grad in New York City taking advice from your great aunt Mary who lives in California and retired 20 years ago, you could be misled. By no fault of your aunt Mary, she may be providing you with outdated or irrelevant information.

Does this mean you should never consult your friends or family about your job search? Absolutely not. Instead, here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide to use the advice you’ve been given.

How to evaluate job search advice

  • Does this apply to me? We really do love aunt Mary. But no, her advice is unfortunately not always relevant to your job search. That being said, don’t be afraid to listen to what she says. Who knows? Maybe you’ll move to California in a year.
  • Is this person educated or knowledgeable about your industry? While we believe you can learn something from everyone, asking your 13-year-old brother to check your resume for spelling and grammar errors may not be the best idea.
  • Is this advice outdated? Especially with the rise of social media, job searching has changed a lot in the past 10 years. That means approaching a hiring manager in person to let him or her know you’re interested may not be the best method.
  • Am I comfortable with this? At the end of the day, your job search is exactly that – yours. Don’t let the advice you receive – even from us! – turn into the end-all-be-all. If you don’t particularly agree with a piece of advice, even if it’s from a trusted friend or family member, you don’t necessarily need to follow it.
  • Do I trust this person? At the risk of sounding cynical, we think it’s important to remind you that not every person in your life has good intentions 100% of the time. Make sure to take advice from someone you trust to have your best interest in mind.

Hey, speaking of advice, the best way to simplify your job search and get hired faster is to click here and download Rake. You can trust us. 🙂