Looking for a job can be stressful, and while people may mean well, the buildup of advice from so many different sources can be overwhelming. As well as this, it is likely that a lot of the hints and tips that you have been told about your job search are actually based on common misconceptions, rather than fact. While many of these delusions are in fact based on truths, as with anything they can become twisted when passed from person to person. We therefore decided to clear up some of the most common myths that could be holding back your career search…
Your CV Should be One Page Long
The Truth: Your CV doesn’t necessarily need to be a certain length, if the information is relevant – keep it there.
A very common, longstanding myth is that your CV should only be one page long. You’ve likely heard this from friends, academic advisors and colleagues. This myth is based on the fact that recruiters and hiring managers usually only have time to quickly scan a CV before looking at the next candidate’s.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to try to force all of your experience onto one page. It’s more important that your CV accurately illustrates your skills, education and experience, selecting relevant information about yourself in order to put forward the best side of yourself for the job in question. Use white space, headings, bold type and bullets to organise content so it’s easy to scan quickly.
Applying for more Jobs will Help you get a Job Faster
The Truth: Strategy is more important than quantity.
While in theory it might be true that if you apply for more openings you will find a job faster, the truth isn’t so cut and dry. In most cases, if you spend all of your time trying to apply to as many positions as you can, you’ll just end up spreading yourself too thinly and not completing your applications to the best of your ability.
Instead, strategically apply to jobs you feel you are qualified for and that you would enjoy doing. This approach will save you time and energy and will stop you just applying for jobs for the sake of it, while helping you find the job that’s the perfect fit.
Every Business You Apply to Will Respond
The Truth: You’ll likely only hear back from employers that want to interview you.
Put yourself in a hiring manger’s shoes. You have dozens of CVs to go over and then have to arrange interviews with the most qualified candidates. If you are filling multiple openings, you are even busier.
It’s not realistic to expect that you’ll hear back from every employer you send your CV to. Some may respond to tell you they have chosen another candidate, but most won’t have time to respond unless they would like to invite you to come in for an interview.
This being said, if you haven’t heard from an employer after a few weeks, it can be good to follow up on this and ask if the position has been filled. If it hasn’t then this is an excellent opportunity to show your continued interest and enthusiasm towards it.
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Recruiters Don’t Care about my Personal Life
The Truth: Personality matters, and so do public social media posts.
Your education, past jobs and experiences aren’t the only things that will make you qualified for a position. Employers also want to find a candidate who will work well with their company’s culture and will fit in well with the rest of their team. Employers will value a personality that is right for the job and the team. While your CV and interview shouldn’t focus on personal things, it can be good to mention hobbies and interests if the opportunity arises.
Most employers do check candidates’ social media profiles, so remember that any public postings you have on Facebook, Instagram and other sites are available for people to look at during your job search. Make sure you don’t post anything unprofessional or inappropriate that you wouldn’t want your future boss to see.
You MUST meet All Requirements on the Job Spec to Apply
The Truth: Meeting most requirements can be enough.
Yes, employers are looking for the most qualified and suitable candidate. However, when employers look at job applications, they will often prioritise someone who is qualified enough and who they think will fit in best with the company as a whole, rather than selecting the candidate who is the most experienced. A lot of the time that requirements on a Job spec may be a matter of the employer’s preference rather than being essential.
Remember also that even if you don’t meet all the requirements perfectly, you may still be the most qualified candidate. Also keep in mind that some employers will be willing to train new employees to help them become more qualified once they have started the job. As long as you are the right fit for the company, meeting most of the requirements will usually be sufficient.
Lack of Industry Experience is a Deal Breaker
The Truth: Skills can be transferrable, making you more qualified than you think.
Some job postings do state that applicants must have a specific number of years of experience in the industry. However others do not state this, and while industry experience will help, it may not always be necessary or essential.
Keep in mind that many skills are transferrable and the skills and experience you have may be enough to qualify you for a job regardless of the sector. If you feel that you meet qualifications and would be a good fit for the job, apply for it!
Contact Lucy Sinclair Warren