Think You’re A Job Search Expert? – 10 Common Myths Debunked
Navigating the perplexing world of job searching, with the one-sided perspective of being a job seeker, can lead people to many common assumptions about getting hired. Let’s debunk these common myths and provide a reality check – job search style.
Getting the job is only about skill.
Being qualified for the job you want with the appropriate skills is definitely an important factor. After all, if you are applying for a position as a software engineer and don’t know how to program, you won’t be able to contribute much. However, during your job interview, the hiring manager is also looking for whether you will be a good fit on the team. After you submit your resume and you’ve established your qualifications, it is also important that you prepare to ace the interview and show that you have the ability to interact with people and communicate well with your prospective co-workers. Although skills are important, hiring decisions are not made on skill alone.
Hand delivering your resume in a corporate setting demonstrates that you’re really interested in the job.
Dropping off your resume in person for a corporate job in the U.S. has transitioned over the past several decades from being somewhat okay to being downright unacceptable. Although acceptable for some industries, such as food service or retail, it is not standard in a corporate setting. After working at a few companies where I sat at near the frontdoor, I can vouch that dropping off your resume will get you noticed–but not in the right way. The resumes that are submitted in-person either make it as far as the waste paper basket or are handed over to the recruiter or hiring manager with a chuckle. In a world where everything is digital, visiting a company in-person to drop off your resume can even be seen as disrespectful if the company has indicated that it prefers online submissions. There is a reason behind the process and procedure. Doing anything you can to stand out, including delivering your resume in-person or via carrier pigeon are not your best bet for getting the job. Do note though that if you are selected for an interview, bringing a paper copy of your resume is still a great idea and shows forethought.
You don’t need a cover letter (No one reads cover letters).
The cover letter is the underappreciated gem in the world of job applications. Many job seekers believe that they don’t need a cover letter because no one reads it anyway. It is certainly true that some recruiters may not read cover letters, but there are definitely those who do. Writing a cover letter may inspire a grumble and groan, but the opportunity to include one is actually to your benefit. A cover letter is an extra tool to sell yourself, and can help explain aspects of your skills or experience that aren’t covered by your resume. Your objective is to be selected for an interview and a cover letter can especially help if you have had varied previous roles or experience that doesn’t exactly line up with the position. Some companies still even require cover letters. A cover letter is not a hindrance in the job search process, but something you can use to your advantage as a job seeker.
Changing careers is nearly impossible.
Today there are many courses you can take and ways to use online tools to learn new skills and update your knowledge. Furthermore, core job skills are transferrable from one career to another. In almost all roles, communication, leadership, and planning are all valued. Before you actually make the leap to a new career, ensure you are really interested in this new career path. Take any opportunity you can to shadow someone in your prospective new field, or try it out with a part-time job or a volunteer opportunity. When you start your job search, take the time to research any nuances with job hunting in your new industry. Do interviews usually require a written component or a demonstration of computer skills? This is something you’ll want to be aware of beforehand.
Job searching is really, really hard.
While we wish the perfect job would just fall in our laps, this is not usually the way it works. However, there are steps to make the job search process more manageable, and maybe even, enjoyable and exciting. Compiling your professional information and skills in a way that best presents yourself, researching what may seem like thousands of companies and roles, and waiting to hear from companies can be nerve racking and seem daunting, but there are tools to make it easier. You can use Simply Hired to find roles that fit your location, industry, and position criteria. You can also explore companies to see what catches your eye in the Company Directory. Set manageable goals to make the process go smoothly by breaking up your job hunt into parts and setting daily goals. A positive attitude about the process can really help propel your search forward. A new job means a new chapter in your life and opportunities to come – that’s something to look forward to.
I should never quit my current job without having one already lined up.
While it is almost always better to have another job set up before leaving your current company, especially as it can be to your advantage during salary negotiations, there are times when quitting your job without having another already is okay. Job searching does lack predictability, but if you are truly unhappy at your current position and can be financially stable for a bit without income, you can leave your role without having one lined up. However, start refining your resume now and make a plan about your next steps as soon as you can.
I’ll never get the job of my dreams.
If you want something, you have to make it happen. The more you research, the better the chance you’ll find the company and role where you’d be a great fit. Research the company and make sure you tailor your resume for that role and company. Also, don’t be afraid to apply. You’ll never know if you don’t try. Having a fluid definition of “dream” can also help. Don’t think of your dream job as a specific position at a specific company. Consider the common factors that make you happy and look for those (e.g. a collaborative work environment vs. lots of autonomy).
In a job interview, the employer has the power and you are at their whim.
Consider a job interview to be a two-way street. The employer is trying to see if you are good fit for the company and role, just as you are looking for a position to use your skills in a work environment that suits your personality. Treat your interviews as a chance to ask questions to see if you like your prospective employer. Investigate whether the work would be interesting and something you’d really want to spend 8+ hours a day doing. Find out if the company has a mission you believe in. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It will help you learn about the company and also show you are interested in the position.
All online job sites are the same.
Different sites attract different employers and have different benefits. In the digital era, online job sites are now better able to differentiate themselves in their search capabilities, features, job seeker audience, and employer users. For example, on Simply Hired, you can refine your search by location, the date a job is posted, the company and more. You can also see similar companies you might like and nearby cities with jobs that pique your interest.
When I apply, my resume goes off into the interwebs never to be seen again.
With the digital application process, it’s difficult to know what goes on inside a company once you hit the “apply” button. While you may feel disconnected from the hiring process after you’ve applied, there are people on the other side – recruiters and hiring managers who continually review applications. While they may only spend a few seconds on each resume, a person does look at your applications and it is always worth applying if your skillset is a fit. If you don’t hit the apply button, an opportunity could pass you by. Don’t miss the chance to apply for a job that you’ll love for years to come.