Getting a new job is hard work. If you dig around the job hunting section of a bookstore, notice how big it is and ask yourself what that means. You’ll get lots of advice about how to get a job, but much of what you read is not exactly true.
Here are five of the biggest myths when it comes to job hunting:
A great resume will get you a job.
Resumes have only one purpose – to get you an interview. Unless you are fortunate enough to be in a career that is in heavy demand (nursing, for example), you have to ace the interview to get the job. The real test comes when you show your sparkling personality to the various people who interview you. A resume should be memorable. If it doesn’t make you nervous, the person who reviews it might not remember it. Use your resume to stand out.
Companies busily search online resume databases for just the exact right person.
The people who scavenge databases for people are mostly looking for reasons to eliminate you. The person who gets the job is rarely the best qualified. It’s more likely to be the last person standing; the one who is left after everyone else is eliminated. While being different gets you eliminated more frequently, it will also leave you standing more frequently. Make your resume into something that people can not feel mediocre about.
You get a job by reading online job ads and applying.
It’s more realistic to think that reading about jobs online is something you do until you are really ready to get a job. You should notice that none of the reputable job boards make any claims whatsoever about the likelihood that you’ll get a job using their service. That’s because you won’t. Do forty hours of practice interviews with your family and friends. Know your answers cold. Deliver them with charm and timing. Be ready.
Who you know is the only thing that matters.
These days it’s better to focus on “who knows you”. Social media gives you the ability to develop a reputation far beyond the confines of your town and your social circle. This is a real change in job hunting. Using LinkedIn and Facebook, you can expand your network. Find news items that are relevant to the kind of job you want; shorten the URLs and send them out on Twitter and Facebook. Become a resource. Get known.
All of the really great opportunities are in the hidden job network.
All of the really great job opportunities involve people who didn’t know that they had a job opening. They create a job because, after meeting you, they can’t imagine running their company without you. In other words, the great opportunities are the ones that you make for yourself.
A potent resume designed to be memorable, great social network development, practiced interview skills and an eye for what this particular company needs are the real elements of success. While everyone else is out there hunting for the elusive job, you can create your own opportunities. The biggest myth of job hunting is that you can only find it if it exists. The truth is that you can (and should) make your own opportunity.