When times are tough in the job market, it only makes sense that business is booming in the "advice about how to get a job" industry.
Since 2009, when the U.S. unemployment rate hit 10.2 percent, it's been easy to find seminars on how to land your dream job, books on how to make an impression at an interview, and articles on every aspect of the process, from what kind of card stock to print your résumé on, to how to optimize your handshake at a job interview (guilty!).
But along with all the good advice, there's plenty of bad advice that will make you wonder if these so-called career advisers are trying sabotage any chance of landing an interview.
Here, the bottom four tips we've seen:
Get your foot in the door
GuerillaJobHunting.com says that if you're trying to land an interview, you'd be smart to "go to a discount shoe store and buy a good pair of loafers on sale."
Then put one shoe in a box "with a card that says 'Now that I have one shoe in the door, let me introduce myself…'" Mail it to prospective employers and wait for the job offers to come pouring in.
The article does contain one warning: Before you run out to DSW, make sure you have the right kind of shoe in mind. "Don’t send a high-heeled lady’s shoe because you may be sending a message about the wrong kind of job."
The alternative: "Send a (one-dollar) Starbucks gift card" — enough for half a cup of coffee — "and suggest meeting for coffee at a nearby location. At that time bring your résumé taped to a pound of fresh-ground coffee. Remember, one way or another, getting an interview can be a grind. Why not enjoy it?"
Call your recruiter at home
The same site recommends that you "try turning the tables on recruiters."
The article, clearly written by someone unaware of boundaries, goes on to say, "Recruiters don't think twice about calling someone at home so why should you?"
"With a little bit of sleuthing on sites like ZabaSearch you can find out a recruiter's home phone number and address," says Salary.com. "Be prepared to deliver a flawless introduction or voicemail and, if need be, follow up with that Starbucks card sent to their home." Because that worked so great that other time!
And finally, "If the thought of this gives you hives...toughen up!"
Explain that you're overqualified
Pointing out to potential employers that you're overqualified for the position you're applying for "will surely get their attention," says JobDig.com.
The recruiter advises sending a letter that says, "It will appear from my résumé that I’m overqualified for the job you advertised, so let me tell you why you should interview me and consider 'supersizing' your opportunity."
After explaining why you're too good for the position, "Close your letter with language like, 'I am old enough to have learned from my mistakes, so my experience will save you money in the long run. In a few months or years, you’ll need to train a more junior employee to upgrade their knowledge, but I come fully equipped to do the next job, too.'"
Sounds like solid advice, were it not for a conclusion that appears to admit it's actually not: "When in doubt, send this letter to a company that’s not atop your most-wanted list, so any rejection won’t sting."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Dick Cheney's America is an ugly place
- The Hobbit: A disappointing set of movies, but a worthy set of prequels
- America is building a Sunni army in Iraq to take on the Islamic State
- The liberation of Barack Obama
- The age of miracles is over — even for the religious
- George W. Bush 'ran the country like a cable network,' and other political insights from Chris Rock
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
Subscribe to the Week