Job Search Misconceptions

How to navigate your job search around widely held beliefs

The trek to finding employment is what you make of it. Although your resumé may be impressive and you never find yourself at a loss for words in your cover letters, what veers many job seekers offtrack is their approach and attitude.

While job search myths exist, applicants should look past the hearsay. Paying attention to misconceptions can keep you from learning about and applying for new opportunities. Below are three widely held beliefs you could do without as you continue your journey to employment.

“There aren’t any job openings right now.”

We’re all guilty of saying this in our past job search experiences. And while the market may be competitive — some industries more so than others — there are opportunities available other than the thousands posted on job boards each day. Finding them depends on your approach.

Employers are turning to social media and word-of-mouth as a means to find talent. The hidden job search isn’t new lingo for applicants, so instead of relying on the job boards, try to acquire a more resourceful approach. Make social media your ally — create a LinkedIn profile just as flashy as your resumé, connect and network with employers of interest and find ways to showcase your passions online. You never know what can happen when a recruiter stumbles on your profile!

“The more jobs I apply to, the better the chances are that I’ll land an interview.”

We’re taught the more we give, the more we’ll get back, so it’s only natural to apply this tactic to the job search. However, increasing the number of resumés you send is unlikely to result in a significant change in your interview invites. Instead, the job search should be considered a quality over quantity experience.

Find the most meaningful opportunities that fit with you personally and professionally — even if it’s just one or two postings. By tailoring your applications to fit each job, you’ll stand a better chance of getting picked from the recruiter’s pile. Keep your collected job postings to a minimum, research each company and role and then determine how you fit and find a creative way to get noticed. That way, when a recruiter contacts you for an interview, you won’t be flustered and will know what to say about the position.

“I match all the requirements and therefore I’m perfect for the job.”

Technical requirements account for only a portion of the makeup of an ideal candidate. Today, the workplace is collaborative, inclusive and creative, so soft skills are in high demand. Just because you’ve managed budgets, have knowledge in technical applications and mastered the cold call, doesn’t mean you’re the perfect fit from a hiring manager’s perspective.

Soft skills are what ultimately set one individual apart from another. If you’re a natural at building relationships, communicating and problem solving, in addition to matching the job requirements, then you’ll likely be sitting at the top of the candidate pool.

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