Terrible Career Advice for New Grads: Beware These 10 Bad Tips

terrible graduation adviceWe’re over half way through May. That means college graduations are in full throttle and there is a good chance you know someone who is about to leave the safety of school and start living in the real world. Of course, there are many gems of wisdom you can give new grads. On the other hand, people tend to give terrible career advice far too often.

In a recent survey from staffing firm Accountemps, two-thirds (66 percent) of workers said they’ve received bad career advice. The worst part? At 35 percent, it was their friends who were the most likely to give them ill-informed guidance. Parents bad advice wasn’t far behind at 14 percent, followed by siblings or other family members (10 percent).

Terrible Career Advice for New Grads

Accountemps discovered the ten worst pieces of advice new grads receive…

  1. “Lie on your resume, they expect you to.” – Friend
  2. “Be conservative in your work so you’re not given too many responsibilities.” – Friend
  3. Make your resume very detailed and very long.” – Friend
  4. “Stick it out as long as possible, even if you hate it.” – Parent
  5. “Don’t practice for the interview.” – Parent
  6. “Don’t be friends with coworkers.” – Parent
  7. “Apply absent-mindedly without doing research.” – Career counselor
  8. “Take credit for others’ work so you can get ahead.” – Mentor
  9. “Stay in a role rather than grow within the company.” – Boss
  10. “Respond with the first thing that pops into your head during an interview.” – Sibling or other family members

Don’t practice for the interview? Take credit for others’ work? Who is giving this advice? The villain from a badly written movie?

Good Advice Does Exist

Here are some better and carefully researched career tips that will actually help new grads.

  1. Plan ahead | Research the company you are interviewing with and PRACTICE! If you are still speaking with your friends even though they gave you terrible advice make them do a mock interview.
  2. Be honest and act with a clear conscience | Never lie during an interview or on your resume because it will definitely come back to haunt you.
  3. Prepare for salary negotiations | We know all about that.
  4. Consider a change | If you aren’t happy, it is time for a change.
  5. Challenge yourself | Always be setting goals for yourself. You never want a boring career. Volunteer for assignments.

So, now that you know what it looks like, beware of terrible graduation advice. With so much at stake, you can’t afford to make mistakes.


For this post, we’d like to thank our friends at Levo.





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