9 Myths of the Job Search

July 27th, 2011 | Job Search | No Comments »

Some of the following statements are myths quite simply because they’re either out-of-date or incorrect. Don’t make these mistakes!

1. Job boards are the easiest way to find a job.

Correction: job boards are the easiest way to lie to yourself about your job search productivity. Finding and receiving a job via job boards is probably one of the hardest ways to go. The competition is high, and job boards practically breed resume black holes.

2. Sending resumes en masse guarantees at least a few interviews.

Sure, you might get lucky. But it will be an accident, and it probably won’t get you the job. Essentially, mass generic resumes make you look like everyone else, and you’ll never stand out enough to get a good interview and definitely not a good job offer. It basically looks like you really don’t care where you get a job. And why would a company hire you if you don’t actually care about them?

3. Networking is overrated and time consuming.

Fact: the majority of jobs out there are filled by referral. That means networking. The huge focus on social media over recent years may make it seem like networking is overrated, but don’t get distracted by all the buzz. Take the time you spent poring over job boards and put it into building relationships, whether it’s online on LinkedIn or in person at MeetUp groups. The more you get your name out there, the better your chances of finding and getting what you want.

4. If a company isn’t advertising open positions, nothing’s available.

Despite what the job boards make it look like, a very small percentage of companies actually officially advertise their positions. Instead, they reach out to current employees for referrals, to their organization’s social networks, and to recruiting and staffing firms. Don’t be afraid to contact these companies if you’re interested in working there; ask if they’re hiring or when they might be looking again. Get networking, and call a good recruiter.

5. If they like your resume, they’ll call.

By this logic, if they don’t like your resume, they won’t call. But chances are, they haven’t even seen your resume – especially if it was sent through a job board. This is why it’s important to follow up. Give them a call to make sure they received your resume and ask if they’ve had a chance to review it. Don’t go overboard on the calling though, or risk looking like a pest!

6. You have to have a degree to get a job

This is especially false in industries like IT. Very few organizations actually require a degree, because experience is a valuable teacher by itself. If you’re fresh out of school, try to pump up your experience by volunteer work in the field, internships, and side projects. Ultimately, you have to be able to apply your education hands-on, and you have to be able to prove it.

7. You must have all listed requirements in a job description to be considered for the job.

When companies write job descriptions, they are typically describing their wish list. Unfortunately, that perfect candidate rarely exists. There are often hard skills that can be taught on the job, and aren’t necessarily required. Determine from the job description which “requirements” are key, and if you meet those, send in a resume.

8. Phone interviews aren’t as important.

Phone interviews are becoming more common these days, and are definitely just as important as face-to-face interviews. Why? Because it’s an opportunity to make a first impression. If you come across as not serious about the interview, why should the interviewer take you seriously as a candidate? A phone interview sets the tone for all future communication.

9. Thank you notes are old fashioned.

Maybe this myth has popped up as snail mail becomes all the more obsolete, but this doesn’t make the practice of thank you notes any less important. Even if it’s simply a personal email, thanking the interviewer for their time is essential. It shows you care about the job and the company, and will set you apart from other candidates.

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