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Rant About “Experts” And “Gurus” Slinging Bull Shit

I have an issue and no doubt my readers/followers know I openly like to talk about them.

And if I do not get things out of my head at an early stage they rattle around my head, get louder and louder. Then I blow up. This time it is a bunch of small things that have set me off.

Today’s issue is this:

Be very, very careful who you listen to.

I am so very frustrated with some of the Bull Shit advice I see some people giving out. Seems that in these “tough” economic times you can’t walk (or Internet surf) without bumping into one.

Current Bull Shit advice:

Job Seekers

  • I hear that at a recent job club event here in Minneapolis 2 local search firm “gurus” were critical of the use of LinkedIn. WHAT?!?!?! Wait, it gets better. Combined number of LinkedIn connections between the two “gurus”? 1. Yeah, ONE. I call Bull Shit.
  • Start a job seeker blog. No way, it’s a waste of time. Start a personal blog that will be ongoing and that starts with your job search? Absolutely. Spend hours and hours setting one up, writing content, getting links, contacting other bloggers, promoting it on Twitter, Facebook and other places, wait for the SEO on your blog to work, it is a waste of time. Pick up the phone, send email, network your ass off. That’s a good use of your time. Again, if you are going to write an ongoing blog than yes, blog about the job search, after you get your job how cool the company is, about the projects you are working on, things you are doing out side of work. If not, the advice is Bull Shit.
  • This one has me nearly speechless ‘Don’t Burn Bridges’ Is Bad Career Advice for obvious reasons. But the comment that really got me is “3) You won’t need a reference.” Since when? I have worked on behalf of a lot of cool companies and they all require references. The small groups tend to be more adamant about it because a bad hire by a small company can do serious damages to the culture. Don’t need a reference. Bull Shit.


  • This article on ERE last week got me going Beyond the Hype: Making Social Networking Work which is really no different than the one written by his business partner last year titled Blogging Bob. What I do not understand is how someone who does not use Social Media, blogs, etc can say if they work or not. How do they know? Since they are here in Minnesota maybe they should look around as we have quite a few success stories. My guess is that they hope companies do not use these tools for they fear they will lose some business. Bull Shit.

Friends, here is my point for calling these things out. Many people have an agenda. They are selling something, trying to protect their turf, or trying to be thought of or establish themselves as “experts” and/or “gurus”.

My perspective is not to push Social Media or LinkedIn as the next best thing or the “Silver Bullet” but as an additional tool to what a job seeker or recruiter is doing. It can work for most people depending on the location, industry and skill set.

This is not to take the place of networking, job boards, email, phone calls, etc.

For those who have heard me do a presentation or webinar you always here me say you need multiple tools to get the job done. A roofer needs more than a hammer. When fishing, it makes sense to go where the fish are versus sitting where everyone else is doing the same thing and waiting for them to come by.

You may think my rant is BS. That’s fair. Leave a comment, send me an email or do a post of your own calling me out. But be careful, this is just the tip of the iceberg of my rant...


gl hoffman

Good rant, Paul

Suzy Tonini

I can't wait to hear the rest of the iceberg as the tip is already spot-on


You have some great points as we are not in a world where sitting on our butts does anything for us. Pick up the phone and be action oriented!

Keith Privette

Awesome and well spoken rant! What would happen if these "guru's" starting having real world conversations in social media, how wide would the net be. You have to build relationships these days to get anything done. Thanks Paul!

Lance Haun

Great post Paul.

In addition to being careful about who you listen to, bloggers should be careful about what advice they dispense. It seems as though some believe their advice lives in a bubble but when a real person takes their advice and it causes real consequences, they don't think it matters. Or they try to blame it on the person who followed the advice.

I think there is some responsibility for both parties.

Bob Tarver


Applause Applause

Keep on telling it like it is...

HR Minion

Very nice post. It's good to get these things off your chest every now and then. And the world needs more people willing to call bullshit, bullshit. :)

Recruiting Animal

How can people who don't use social media know if they work?

Here's a start, Paulie. You can ask the people who use them about their results.

Deb DeWanz

Excellent Rant! "Be very, very careful who you listen to" is wise advice.

Unfortunately, there are too many people out there willing to believe whatever they read, even if it doesn't make sense.

People need to do their own thinking. If something doesn't make sense (like not using LinkedIn) or just sounds bizarre (like it's OK to burn bridges and that you don't need references), ignore it. Caveat emptor.

Minnesota Headhunter

Thanks to everyone for stopping by. The next rant is an angle on one of Lance's comments. When putting out material there is a responsibility that goes along with it.

I agree that a reader needs a filter of their own but many are seeking this information because they do not have the answer. Or know where to get it.

Animal, how about this. I will tell someone what/how I do when someone else does too. I find it odd that I need to show metrics and dollars billed.

How about I trade you what I know even up for something that works for you?

Better yet, let's give someone who is a naysayer the floor and they can explain why it did not work for them. Then we can find someone to teach them how to do it. And we may learn that their location, industry and skill set (they are recruiting for) this does not work for.

Or, those using a tool should stop trying to teach others and keep it to themselves.

Seems those who have success have a larger burden to carry.

Deb DeWanz

Actually, I'm talking about more than a filter.

I agree with you that people who put information out for the world to see should be responsible about the information that they publish. But, I would bet that the people that have you so frustrated honestly believe that they have been responsible. They believe that they're publishing reliable information. Thus, the caveat emptor statement.

I'm one of those people who doesn't have the answers. I'm learning, though, where to get them. I've heard you speak, and I've read your blog, and I've learned that this is one place where I can get info that makes sense to me.

But, this isn't the only place that I've looked for information. I do my homework. I've seen info out there that I agree with, and other info that I've chosen to pass by. I make choices about the information that I see. And, as time goes on, I learn.

Thanks for all of the hard work that you do. Those of us who don't have the answers greatly appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge.

Jim Durbin

I like it when Animal challenges people on their successes. We need more of that.

I'm not convinced social media is great for jobseekers. It's good for someone, but it's good for some the same way most career advice books are good. If you're a top performer and have something to say, social media can supercharge your career. That's because you're interesting, and people want to know more about you.

But what about the large number of people who don't see their job as the focus of their existence. They can be hard workers, and interesting outside of work, but what if their job is just not that exciting? What if you drive a delivery truck for UPS, or work as the engineer in a packaging plant, or you're the office supervisor for a calling center? Is social media really the way to get a job?

It may be - maybe your personal life leads you to those jobs - but if that's the case, the best advice is really to just be yourself.

I agree that we have to be careful what we say. I recently had a trainee call me up because they put up candidates on LinkedIn and lost them to other recruiters while in process.

I wasn't sure what to say. I apologized - clearly my training didn't emphasize that point enough - or did it? I was quite clear in my words what to do, but maybe I misremembered, or maybe the trainee didn't hear me, or maybe they heard and forgot.

Employment is messy. It's because it's made up of people.

Jim D'Amico

Dude, you are dead on!

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