I see so many people stumble, mumble and fumble in a job search. There are many myths floating around about job search. Some may have been true a while ago but are now outdated. And some are a complete fallacy.
This is my list of top ten job search myths:
#1 Increasing the volume of jobs applied for will increase my chances.
Generally, not true. It’s not a race to submit the greatest number of applications; the emphasis should be on quality, not quantity. Employers can determine a generic resume that has been used for mass applications. To optimize your chances of having it read, tailor your resume to the specific job. Utilize some of the buzz words from the job notice which demonstrates to the HR professional that you have done your research.
#2 My resume should be one page.
If you recently graduated and have less than six years of work experience, a one-page resume may be appropriate for you. But, a one-page resume won’t be able to sell you to your optimum if you have any length of career over six years. Resumes must conform to the intricacies of the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) which are so commonly used today. It is impossible to portray your full candidacy on one page. Recent conversations around this topic on various TV shows have steered a one-page resume into obsolescence.
#3 There are no jobs for me.
This is a load of baloney. In a good economy, there are jobs available for you right now. However, most are hidden. Advertised jobs are slim and are only a small fraction of jobs available. Recruiters source talent using their own database, LinkedIn and referrals. Use your ingenuity and act as a detective in hunting down the hidden opportunities.
#4 The summer and December are the worst times of year for a job search.
Not true. Summer time and December are actually the best times for a job search and to gain traction towards being hired. Why? Seventy percent of job searchers perceive that hiring is halted or at least stalled during the months of July, August and December. That leaves the thirty percent who remain in job search mode with increased opportunities, thereby expediting the hiring process for them. The competitive advantage during these three months is huge, because you are only competing against thirty percent versus one hundred percent of job applicants during other times of the year.
#5 My personal life has nothing to do with me as a professional.
Statistics prove that employers and executive recruiters search a variety of social media platforms when deciding on potential candidates. They are looking for key attributes and whether or not you maintain a professional personal brand online without compromising your image. What you do in your personal life can be okay within certain boundaries. Rather than hiding your personal life, just be aware that the internet is public and what you say and what you do is likely to be seen by many.
#6 I haven’t heard back after applying a few days ago, therefore I did not get the job.
An online job posting or one posted in a newspaper generally run for 21 or 28 days during which time resumes are accepted. After the closing date, there is normally a lull for approximately five business days while decision making occurs. Then, the candidates for a pool are called and interviews arranged. It can be a long time, up to five or six weeks if you apply at the beginning of a job posting, before you may be called about that particular position. Don’t lose faith. Patience is a virtue.
#7 I should call the employer to follow up on my application.
You might think that you can shorten the time it takes to hear back from a career decision maker by being proactive in checking on your application status. This may have brought you value many years ago, but, in the electronic age where hundreds of applications are received, the recruiter or HR professional would be overwhelmed if they were to call all applicants.
#8 The most qualified candidate will get the job.
Not always so. If you have an inferior non-ATS friendly resume, you may be the perfect candidate, but you are going to miss out on opportunities. Other candidates, perhaps with lesser skills, could win the race. Hiring manager are also trying to build collaborative teams, and despite your outstanding skills, you may not fit the culture and therefore, a problem could arise.
#9 An interview is an interrogation.
A job search is a conversation between two parties to see if there is a match. Yes, there are questions which may feel like you are being interrogated, but if you have the skills and have completed your research into the employer, the pressure should be much less.
#10 They are keeping my resume on file for the next opportunity.
Employers very rarely tell unsuccessful candidates why they have not been called for an interview. Neither do they store resumes for future opportunities. When recruiting restarts, employers usually start from scratch and initiate a new advertisement. So, don’t be waiting for that call because you deposited your resume with that employer three months, six months, or a year ago. Move on. Be proactive. Be positive. And be targeted.