It is difficult to determine what is fact and what is fiction when looking for a job. EVERYONE seems to have an opinion on the right way to interview, write a resume, and find a job – and yet these views are often conflicting. I have assembled a list of common misconceptions for job hunters in today’s job market.
MYTH 1: Registering at several internet job boards will result in multiple job offers
A common misconception when job seeking online is when you register as a job seeker on a job board that the calls from potential employers will magically start coming in. Registering allows employers to look at your resume when they have time or don’t have qualified candidates applying for their job ads. This is the ‘sitting around and waiting approach’. To take a more active approach you should to be actively applying to jobs on the site.
MYTH 2: A cover letter is not essential
Every single time you apply for a job you should include a cover letter. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Your resume only shows your experience, skills, and education but little else. A cover letter allows you to introduce yourself and tells the employer exactly what you are seeking – and how you are uniquely qualified for the position.
MYTH 3: A resume must show a progression of increased responsibility
The most important part of a resume is showing that you have the skills, education (or training), experience and accomplishments that the employer is seeking. Most employers will spend less than 30 seconds viewing your resume so you need to focus on the key components that will get you the interview. Employers are not always seeking candidates who are keen on advancing within an organisation, but rather looking for someone who will be stable in the role.
MYTH 4: Job-hoppers are frowned upon by employers
The idea that job candidates who have had multiple jobs within short periods of time are not desirable to employers is slowly vanishing. After years of massive downsizing by companies through the 90s and the recent recession, employers have recognized that there is rarely any logical progression (or company ladder) within a company anymore. To get ahead, job-seekers often need to make multiple moves. Try to avoid really short stretches (under one year) but otherwise don’t be too concerned with moving around.
MYTH 5: The most qualified gets the job
Qualifications are important but they are not the ‘be all, end all’ for hiring managers. It is not always the most qualified candidate who will get the job but the candidate with the best mixture of qualifications, interviewing skills, experience, and rapport built with the interviewer. If you got the interview then the employer thinks that there is a strong match of your skills, qualifications, and experience to do the job.
MYTH 6: Job seekers should not have to sell themselves to potential employers
When it comes down to it, job hunting is all about marketing yourself to employers. You need to sell yourself to potential employers and close the sale in the interview. In today’s job-hunting environment, the most successful job-seekers are those who understand the value of marketing and apply the principles that companies have used for years to successfully sell their products.