In the world of job hunting, many myths float around. Unfortunately, some job searchers who have never learned the truths about them end up falling prey to these myths, spending time looking for a job that they could have already gotten, had they known the truth.
These three widely circulating myths are among the top offenders. Learn the truths, and stop yourself from falling victim to them!
1. Sending out a ton of resumes is guaranteed to get you a job somewhere.
Not at all! In fact, sending out a ton of resumes is a bad idea. The basic idea behind the myth is that you can unleash a torrent of resumes upon the unsuspecting job market, virtually forcing at least one company to see the promise in you and hire you.
In reality, you end up losing track of where you’ve sent resumes and applying to a job twice or more, sending resumes to jobs that don’t really match your experience, and annoying hiring managers. After all, what does it take to get a job (or at least an interview)? Finding a job you’re perfectly suited for, and creating a resume that perfectly matches what they’re looking for.
2. A cover letter is not important, or can be used for more than one job.
The truth about this myth: a cover letter is crucial, and as such should rarely be used for more than one company. Sometimes, you might be applying for a few almost identical positions, but that’s unlikely. The more you tailor the cover letter to the job you want, the better the chance your resume will actually get a fair look-over from a busy and stressed hiring manager.
Your cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself, sell your skills, and tell your future employer what kind of job you’re looking for. The only exception is if the company does not require one, and/or the job is very basic (fast food or entry-level retail positions, for instance). Even so, a cover letter will impress whoever sees your resume.
3. The most qualified candidate gets the job; I’m not qualified, so I should give up.
This is a defeatist mindset! Often, a company would rather take a chance on a candidate who has the “soft skills” they’re looking for, as most other skills can be learned with experience. Your ability to get the job might not be based on the degree you did or past job experience, but rather, your ability to persuade the hiring manager that you can learn quickly, act professionally, and cope with the demands of the job.
There are other reasons you could get the job, including being the one candidate (of several being interviewed) that all the appropriate managers agree upon hiring, being the one who wants the lowest salary, or being available to start sooner than other candidates. Don’t give up just because you don’t think you have the qualifications necessary.
These are just three of the myths that perpetually confuse and trick jobseekers until they figure out the truth behind them. Don’t let yourself fall victim to these myths!