The internet is jam-packed full of information, advice and resources about job-seeking.
There are people out there who are quite literally ‘experts’ on “getting a job…”
Of course, the problem is, a lot of the information is actually outdated, irrelevant and sometimes even completely incorrect.
This week, we’re tackling 10 of these silly job-seeking myths for you…
1. Your CV and Cover Letter MUST Be Creative.
I can see the logic behind this myth; the job market is competitive and often it is important for job-seekers to do something to ‘stand out in the crowd.’
However, an ultra-jazzy CV, quirky cover letter and/or crazy job hunt stunt is not always the answer.
By all means, if you’re really skilled and working in a creative industry; build your own personal website or even a video CV – but it isn’t a prerequisite of finding a job.
Employers will be just as impressed by a neat, structured, well-written breakdown of your skills, attributes, knowledge and experience.
(Besides, creative job-search efforts have much more potential for going wrong – just check out these cover letters).
2. No One Will Read Your 3-Page CV.
Why not? Who said?
It can so stressful, trying to fit all of your work experience, knowledge, education and interests into a two-page CV – especially when you’re supposed to be showing off your great personality too!
So don’t. It doesn’t matter how long your CV is.
What does matter is that you WOW recruiters on your first page which should be filled with all of the necessary skills, experience and knowledge relevant to that specific role – making them want to read on.
Save your back page for irrelevant work history, further personal information, references and your older educational achievements.
Yes, a recruiter will take just seconds to make an initial judgement about your CV, but if it’s good enough they’ll read the entire thing.
Click here for some great tips on how to write an impressive CV.
3. Take What You’re Given.
Life is far too short to flit from one job you dislike to another – everyone deserves to be happy.
You may have to put up with a job you hate for longer, while you find the right job for you, but it really will be worth it in the end. Believe me.
If you’re currently out of work and feeling a little ‘desperate,’ perhaps you could consider temping or volunteering for a while?
The point is; you don’t want to get trapped in a job that isn’t right for you.
4. The Best Person For the Job Will Get Hired.
Unfortunately, this is just not the case in the real world.
Recruiters will assess candidates on a variety of things, from knowledge and skills to “cultural fit” and potential – but there will also be other things they consider…
- Salary. If a candidate is asking for a lower salary than you, they may be favoured.
- Personality. If a candidate clicks with the interviewer, then they could be favoured.
- Personal bias. Discrimination happens I’m afraid. Sometimes subconsciously and sometimes not.
A bit doom and gloom?
Don’t be disheartened – think about it this way – would you want to work with these people anyway?
5. No One Really Likes Their Job Anyway.
I do – and I’m certainly not the only one.
I find it quite sad that people believe this – and feel the need to spread the attitude amongst others.
I’m not suggesting that you’ll be 100% happy all of the time, but there’s a difference between hating your job and having a bad/stressful day/week (or even month).
Like I said earlier; life’s too short to hate your job – and to be honest, with the amount of hours most people work these days, it’s even more important that you get some joy out of what you do.
6. All Job-Hoppers Are Frowned Upon.
Honestly, this is a very old-fashioned point of view.
Yes, people used to have a ‘job for life’ and it would be a big deal if they decided to move on – but these days, having multiple experiences is not only commonplace, but actually preferable.
If you can explain your positive reasons for ‘job-hopping’ to a potential employer, then it could help to prove your initiative and ambition.
However, if you have job-hopped a lot and don’t have good reasoning (particularly if you’ve remained at roughly the same level) you could have issues.
For some ideas on how to turn job-hopping into a positive, check out this client blog on the topic.
7. You’ll Only Get Hired If You Currently Have a Job.
Ok, so to a certain extent it is easier to get hired whilst you’re currently working (sod’s law).
But it is by no means impossible while you are out of work – in fact, in some ways, it can help; you’ll have more time to make an effort on applications, will be available for all interviews and employers will know that they can get you in quicker.
Recruiter Pro Tip
Still, in nine situations out of ten, I’d advise people to secure a new job, before leaving an old one. But there are a couple of exceptions:
- If your notice period is something ridiculous like 4 months – and they’re not likely to give you any leeway. It can be pretty difficult to find a new job if they have to wait this long for you
- Your current job is really, really making you unhappy and therefore, you believe it’s worth the risk. (Perhaps your boss is a bully or your colleagues are picking on you.)
If you are out of work and looking for a new job, use this time wisely. Send out amazing, compelling and interesting bespoke CVs and applications to employers.
8. Employment Gaps Are the Worst.
OK so, if you’ve spent the last three years lazing around and have absolutely nothing to show for it, then yes, your gap isn’t going to look great…
But regardless of the circumstances, if you did something productive with the time, you’ll be fine.
So be proactive – whilst out of work, make sure you’re doing something useful and impressive that you can talk about on your CV and in the interview, showing off your ambition, energy and creativity.
Did you travel? Learn a new skill? Volunteer in a charity shop? Decorate your house?
Something, however small, is better than nothing.
Still worried? Check out this article from Reed.co.uk about how to explain a gap in your CV.
9. No One Will Hire You.
Negative people are always umming and ahhing about this, that and the other – ignore them.
We’ve already talked about job-hopping, employment gaps and unemployment, but there are loads of other reasons why people might tell you ‘you’ll never get a job’ – and they all clash.
Take age as an example…
- “Ooh the job market’s tough for people over 50 these days…”
- “Ooh you need at least ten years’ experience to get a job these days…”
The best thing you can do is ignore the negativity!
Different companies want different things from their staff – and most will want to hire a variety of different people so they can bring different ideas, perspectives and opinions to the table – that’s what collaboration is about!
Click here for some great tips on how to stay motivated and positive during your job-search.
10. All Recruiters Are Evil.
We get a pretty bad reputation – and honestly, it’s down to a few bad eggs of our industry.
But if you’re fair, honest and work with us, we will find you a job that you love and thrive at.
Good recruitment consultants care about their candidates.
To find out more about how to work with recruitment agencies efficiently – click here.
So the point is; don’t believe everything you hear.
People are much more likely to moan and talk about a very negative experience, than a positive one (it’s rubbish, but true).
Subscribe to this blog to find out the TRUTH about job-seeking.
- Anthony Hughes