It was the great English poet-philosopher William Blake who said, "To generalize is to be an idiot. To particularize is the alone distinction."
That was in the 18th century, but great truths don't change, even in 200 years.
And when it comes to job search and career advancement in the 21st century, generalizing can be fatal.
Let me explain why generalizing can kill your chances by presenting some "conventional wisdom" (generalizations all) and then, the reality (particulars).
Unemployment is 8.9% so there can't be any jobs – Sure, it makes sense that "nobody" could be hiring if "everybody" is laying people off, except everybody is not downsizing and even those who are may be hiring in other offices or for specific positions.
In fact, more people have been hired this year in the U.S. than have been laid off.
North Carolina doesn't have jobs in wake of B of A and Wachovia downsizing – It's certainly true that those large employers have laid off workers and stopped hiring, and the unemployment rate has hit almost 11%, however there are hundreds of new jobs being offered by biotech and pharma companies looking for people with skills in chemistry and engineering.