Pop Quiz: What’s Your Job Seeker IQ?

Pop QuizReaders,

With school in session a short while, it’s time for the first pop quiz of the fall season! It’s an “open-book” test; I’ve generously provided links in the answer key below. But try it first without peeking to see your true Job Seeker I.Q. score.

Job Seeker IQ Quiz

1. T      F Using a boilerplate résumé that you find online is the best way not to make a mistake.
2. T      F One version of a well-polished résumé is all you need.
3. T      F You should always include your high school and/or college graduation date on your résumé.
4. T      F To get past the computer screening by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), your résumé should be in one standard format
5. T      F If you’ve ever been fired, you should never admit it on applications or during job interviews.
6. T      F A cover letter isn’t necessary these days.
7. T      F It’s best not to tell too many people that you’re looking for a job.
8. T      F Never apply to a position unless you meet every criteria listed in the job description.
9. T      F LinkedIn is the only effective social media tool for job seekers.
10. T      F There are lots of ways to find unadvertised positions besides the online job boards.
11. T      F It is prudent to tone down my political rhetoric on my Facebook page during a job search.
12. T      F It’s perfectly okay for my girlfriend to come to the interview with me for moral support.
13. T      F It’s a good idea to cover tattoos for that important interview.
14. T      F If I practice my answers to potential interview questions, it will come off as too rehearsed.
15. T      F Interviewers will understand if I’m nervous and shy and don’t make eye contact.
16. T      F It’s more difficult to get a job long-distance.
17. T      F My so-so credit rating and a misdemeanor from my college days won’t have an effect on my job search.
18. T      F It’s important to send a thank you note after every interview.
19. T      F For every $10,000 in salary, it takes about one month of searching to find a job.
20. T      F Taking a temporary job may lead to full-time employment.

Answer Key:

  1. False. Using a boilerplate résumé format makes you a boring candidate. Sample résumés may not be appropriate for your industry. If you do utilize one, start with a template (search for one specific to the type of position for which you are applying) and customize it to make it your own. Check out my past posts, Creating a Résumé from Scratch.
  2. False. One version of a well-polished résumé is not all you need. Tailor Your Résumé when submitting for a particular opening.
  3. False. Older workers may wish to eliminate high school and/or college graduation dates (and maybe even some irrelevant first jobs) in order to “age-proof” their résumés. See Hiding the “Gray” on Your Résumé (and Beyond). Millennials may wish to hide their graduation dates to not draw attention to their inexperience. For more tips, review How to Get Hired if You Don’t Have Experience.
  4. Mostly True. In Demystifying Applicant Tracking Systems, I explain how to increase the chances that your résumé will obtain a better score from ATS. However, there may be situations when a Functional Format Résumé is the best option.
  5. False. Don’t cover up the fact that you have been fired from a previous job. The truth will find you out! Instead, use my advice for Explaining Away “You’re Fired.”
  6. False. A cover letter is a must in my book. Granted, the “cover letter” may now be a “cover email,” but it is a great opportunity to personalize your résumé and sell yourself for the open position. Read Covering the Cover Letter.
  7. False. It may not be the best idea to tell your current boss that you’re looking for a job, but Help Other People Help You Find a Job.
  8. False. If you never applied to a position unless you meet every criteria listed in the job description, you’ll be unemployed for a long, long time. Here’s my advice on Applying for a Job When Not 100% Qualified.
  9. False. LinkedIn isn’t the only effective social media tool for job seekers. Check out tips for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest in Be a Social Seeker, Part 1 and Part 2.
  10. True. There are lots of ways to find unadvertised positions besides the online job boards. Find out where in How to Find Jobs Not Advertised on the Top Job Boards, Part 1 and Part 2.
  11. True. It is prudent to tone down political rhetoric on Facebook during a job search. Facebook: Friend or Foe offers more tips.
  12. False. It’s not a good idea to bring a girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse, or children to an interview. Avoid all Top 10 Interview Fails.
  13. True. While tattoos are becoming more mainstream, it’s still a good idea to cover tattoos during interviews.
  14. False. Practicing answers to common interview questions is a “best practice.” Review Take Stock with a Mock Interview.
  15. False. While taking nerves into consideration, interviewers definitely notice eye contact or lack thereof, so Be Body Language Conscious.
  16. True. Landing a Job Long Distance is more difficult, but not impossible.
  17. False. Bad Credit Can Cost You… Your New Job. Crimes and Misdemeanors from college days may also affect your job search. Finding Jobs for Ex-Felons is even more difficult.
  18. True. Miss Manners and Miss Anita agree: It’s important to say, “Thank You for the Interview.”
  19. False. As our infographic How Long to Find a Job shows, research indicates it takes about one month of searching to find a job for every $20,000 in salary.
  20. True. Taking a temporary job may indeed be a bridge to a full-time position.


90%-100% You’re employed, right?
80%-90% Brush up on your résumé or interview skills.
70%-80% Try harder.
Below 70% It’s a tough world out there. Take corrective measures immediately!

Readers: How did you score on the Job Seeker IQ Quiz?

Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.

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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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