In no particular order, here is a Monday’s worth of warnings, just for you:
Do not put your high school accomplishments or activities–or even your diploma–on your resume, after you have graduated from college. Unless your high school alma mater is a well known prep school, in which case you should place it on your resume.
Do not use words on your resume that are esoteric or likely to be unfamiliar to most of your target readers. If you are an Oenophile or Philatelist, keep it to yourself.
Do not establish your career objective based on the career interests and career possibilities of anyone but you.
Do not keep your ideas and plans in your head; discuss them, flesh them out, research them, and write them down.
Do not be so competitive that no one ever wants to help you. Or even be around you. It is absolutely true that what goes around, comes around.
Do not let three days go by, following an interview, without sending a handwritten thank you note to the person who interviewed you, and if appropriate, the person who helped you get the interview. Even if it was a parent or other relative.
Do not deny your parents and close friends the chance to help you realize your dreams. Your innermost circle is THE segment of your growing network most likely to connect you with the job you dream about.
Do not disclose too much in your networking or in your interviews. When the interviewer asks “Is there anything else you’d like to mention or that you think I need to know?”, unless there is a Pulitzer prize or an Emmy or the equivalent that hadn’t come up in the conversation yet, the answer is “I don’t think so.” TMI is TMI, for real. It isn’t the information that is the problem; it’s the moving of the boundary.
Career Changers, Do Not Linger in your old comfort zone. You made this transition for a good reason; let go the artifacts of the old space and stop playing the old songs.
Do not wait for a job posting or other apparent invitation to seek and ask for the job you want. In fact, this is a good place to put that competitive spirit to work: Get there before the job is posted and you can rule the world.
Do not help yourself. If you are left alone in a room with candy, food, or drink, do not assume it is for you. Always wait to be offered, whatever it is that you think you should have. Including a seat.
Do not pretend you heard or understood something you did not hear or understand. I once spent a dinner interview apologizing to my soft-spoken British interviewer, because I did not understand a single word he said or question he asked. He is still a dear friend, but now I can figure out what he is talking about (most of the time).
Do not fail to check your resume word for word and line by line. Your interest is martial arts, not marital arts, and your spell checking software would not likely catch that.
Do not accept interviews with employers you don’t want to work for, for jobs you don’t want to do, no matter what. No matter what; I would not mislead you. If you do this, you will do very poorly in the interview and you will be totally bummed out that even the jobs you don’t want, don’t want you.
Everybody makes mistakes, but not everyone corrects mistakes. The job search requires a certain number of silly or stupid mistakes–it’s like a rite of passage, getting your stupid out so that you can do better.
So, go forth, and do better.