Searching for a job is hard work. It can be time-consuming, tiring and frustrating – even though you’re doing it with the best possible intentions. It’s also a world filled with misconceptions too; little false truths that can get in the way of your success.
Below are five of the biggest myths about job hunting. The sooner you forget them, the sooner you’ll be able to find and secure the perfect job!
Myth 1: If it’s not advertised, it doesn’t exist
It’s important to realise that online job boards are not the be-all and end-all of your search. Just because a job isn’t listed on one of the big sites, or even on the company’s own site, it doesn’t mean it’s not available. Employers often go through other, preferred channels before they take up space in dedicated listings. They’ll talk to people they’ve worked with in the past, and get recommendations from trusted sources.
You’ll also find that most employers work closely with recruitment agencies to unearth talent before they’ve started advertising. This way, they can take their pick without having to go through hundreds of applications!
The key, then, is to network – with fellow professionals and with specialist agencies, such as SF Recruitment.
Myth 2: Employers don’t like job-hoppers
You’d be forgiven for thinking this one’s true, but attitudes have changed in recent years. Job-hopping, as long as it’s not excessive (every few months or more), isn’t actually a terrible thing these days. Instead of focusing on a potential lack of loyalty, most employers will see regular moves as a sign of ambition and hunger.
It’s important that you’re going in a similar direction throughout, otherwise it might just come across as a sign that you’re not sure what you want to do in life. That said, varied experience can help in some positions. In fact many employers use interim staff purposely to fill their workforce gap for a certain period of time.
Myth 3: Your cover letter isn’t important
Yes, it’s true that your CV needs to be spot-on, but it might not even be looked at if the employer doesn’t make it past your cover letter.
Many people assume they can get away with writing a few lines explaining who they are and that they really want the job, but a decent cover letter requires a little more effort. You need to hook the reader from the first line; make yourself stand out from the competition.
Think about how you might be able to write something a little different, perhaps by changing the format a little. You could use imagery, for example.
Myth 4: A one-size-fits-all CV will work
If you’re actually hunting for a new job as opposed to just applying for one you’ve found by chance, you’ll probably be sending CVs to numerous prospective employers, all in the hope that one will bite. The worst thing you can do in this situation is assume that the same CV will work for every position.
It’s crucial that you tailor the document to each opening you apply for, or, at the very least, to similar positions and industries. You might only be applying for project manager roles, but the bosses at a fire safety company won’t be looking for the same things as a recruitment team in a marketing agency would. The former would likely value health and safety experience more, so if you have that, be sure to highlight it. If you’re applying to the marketing firm, show off your creativity.
Myth 5: Qualifications and experience are everything
We’ve all been stuck in that loop at some point in our lives: you need experience to apply for a job, but nobody will give you the experience to begin with. It seems impossible! Don’t ever be fooled into thinking your past is everything, though.
Sure, your qualifications are important, and you will usually be expected to have some kind of relevant background, but there’s a lot more to it than what you know. Most companies will be placing just as much focus on your personality, hunger and passion. After all, skills can be taught – but the right character is hard to find.
So, whenever you’re looking and applying for jobs, keep this in mind: employers may not be looking for the obvious – they’re often just searching for the right person.