These days, it can be a tough ask to find a job, let alone the perfect job. And misconceptions about job hunting can slow your progress.
To improve your chances of landing the gig of a lifetime, be sure not to get sucked into these 15 common job search myths.
1. All applications are treated in the same way, no matter what time they are sent through
Recruiters and hiring managers don’t often hang around until the application closing date to start reviewing resumes. To keep on top of applications, they’ll usually sift through them as they come in.
If they are keen to fill the role quickly, they may even start interviewing (or make the hire) before applications close. So, if you see a job you like, apply as soon as possible.
2. A resume should be reduced to one page
Hiring managers usually spend 30 seconds or less reviewing individual applications. So, it’s essential to keep your resume brief, clear and concise to make it easy for them to review.
However, in some cases, reducing your resume to just one page might be a bit extreme.
A great resume will detail your contact information and relevant experience, skills and achievements. So, if a job requires extensive experience, a longer resume may be in order.
There are many benefits to having a one-page resume. But it’s important not to get bogged down by this. Tailor your resume to the level and requirements of the position, and leave out irrelevant information.
3. You must include an objective in your resume
Unless you do it really well, an objective doesn’t really tell the hirer much. In fact, if you're too specific it's the fastest way to pigeon hole yourself.
It also takes up valuable space at the top of your resume that could be used to show why you’re the perfect fit. So, ditch it.
4. Cover letters do not matter
While it’s true that not everyone reads cover letters, many still do (some hiring managers mightn’t even look at an application without it for semi-skilled and highly-skilled roles). A cover letter also allows you to let your personality shine through, and tell the employer what you’re looking for and why you’re the right person for the role.
The bottom line? A cover letter will help you make a good first impression and should be part of your job hunt strategy. The exception to this rule is, of course, if a hiring manager explicitly requests that they do not want a cover letter.
5. You need to hide work gaps in your resume
Most employers will understand the time taken off to travel or look after a loved one, so long as you’re open and honest about it. These gaps might even aid your cause if they demonstrate prized skills, like commitment.
6. Employers will always avoid job hoppers
Hiring managers generally look for patterns in employment. A good pattern is someone who's regularly promoted. And a lousy pattern might be a job hopper that moves around every six months.
If the latter sounds like you, not all is lost.
It’s true, constant job-hopping and short tenures might be looked at unfavourably by some companies. That’s because it may indicate that you won’t stick around and that they will need to re-hire in the not-too-distant future.
But sometimes there are good reasons for job-hopping. So it’s important to demonstrate to the reader how you were able to make a positive impact while you were there. And what unique skills and experiences you acquired.
7. It’s easy to find a job after finishing school/university/TAFE/college
Just because you’ve finished studying, doesn’t mean the job offers will come rolling in. For most people, it takes a bit of effort to land that perfect role.
The time it will take will depend on a multitude of factors, including your experience, qualifications, and interviewing skills.
So, stick with it and don’t get discouraged.
8. A funky resume will boost my chances of landing a role
In many cases, a funky resume may hinder your chances of landing a role.
The reasons for this are two-fold:
Applicant tracking systems - an applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software that helps collect, organise, and track candidates. And around 50% of hirers use them. ATS’s will not always be able to read a swankily-designed resume, so use a familiar program like MS Word.
Resumes via email - most employers will accept resumes via email. But some won’t open them out of laziness or fear of computer viruses. So, if you’re sending out your resume this way keep it simple so that it can be pasted within the body of the email as plain text. And, if you land the interview, bring a well-designed version with you.
9. The most qualified will get the job
Just because you’re qualified, doesn’t mean you’ll land the job. It usually comes down to how you interview; it’s all about building rapport and coming prepared.
So, show up to your interview armed with information about the company, real-life examples of how you work and a series of questions to demonstrate you’ve given thought to the opportunity.
10. The more applications you send out, the more interviews you’ll get
Have you ever heard the saying “it’s quality, not quantity”?
Just because you mass email out your resume, doesn’t mean that employers will line up to interview you. It really is the quality of your application that counts.
So, get into the habit of tailoring your resume to the company and job to which you're applying. And follow-up all your applications.
11. Online job ads are the best way to find work
Wrong. More than 80% of jobs are found through networking.
Now that shouldn’t deter you from applying to online job ads. But if you’re in the market for a new role, be sure to reach out to friends, family, business contacts, neighbours, past clients and any organisations you are associated with, as well.
12. You do not have to sell yourself to an employer
Quite the opposite. Landing that perfect new role is all about how you market yourself to your new employer. The competition will be high, so you need to demonstrate why you’re the best fit.
13. Asking for lower pay will give you a better chance of getting hired
All you’re doing here is selling yourself short and appearing desperate for a job. Hiring managers are looking to employ the best person for the job. So, be sure your salary demands are within an acceptable range (do some research if you’re not sure).
And, while we’re on the subject of salary, don’t be the first person to bring it up. Let your employer raise it in the conversation.
14. An interview is controlled by the interviewer
Another common myth. Job seekers have a lot of power in an interview. Sure, the hiring manager will use the time to suss whether you're the right fit for the role. But you should also be doing the same.
15. Take the First Job Offer You Get
Job-hunting can be a bit of a roller-coaster. There’ll be weeks where you get multiple interviews and weeks with, well… crickets. So, it can be tempting to take the first offer you get.
But remember, the average job search lasts four months. So, unless you’re in dire circumstances, stick it out and wait for the right opportunity.
Let Trojan help you land your next role
Once you know the tricks to job-hunting, you should experience less of that job search stress!
But, if you need more help, why not contact Trojan Recruitment Group? We're in the business of matching great candidates with professional and industrial roles. Apply for a role, access more candidate resources or sign up for job alerts here!
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