If you are looking for job search assistance online, there is no doubt you have read numerous conflicting articles pointing you in all sorts of directions. Many online sources claim to have the “secret” that will help you land your dream job immediately. However, much of this advice will only lead you into dead ends. Additionally, you have probably heard a lot of advice from your friends and families regarding how to conduct a job search. However, what may have worked for one person will not necessarily work for everyone. In this article we will dispel the most common job search myths.
Do you ever feel intimidated with job postings requiring three to five years minimum experience in a specific industry? Many job seekers, particularly new graduates, find themselves in the catch-22 where they cannot get an entry-level position because they do not have the required experience, and they cannot get the required experience because they are not qualified for entry-level positions. Do not let these job requirements intimidate you. When hiring managers and HR personnel are writing job postings, they often write them based upon the experience of the individual who recently vacated the position they are looking to fill. However, no one comes into any job with 100% of the necessary experience. Don’t let experience requirements prevent you from applying to a position. First and foremost, employers are looking for someone ready to learn. If you can display that ability, you should have no problem landing an entry-level position. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere.
Have you ever been told that 90% of open positions go unadvertised? If that were the case, then how would they be getting filled? While it is true that some positions are never advertised publicly, the vast majority are indeed posted online, in newspapers and through other mediums. The “hidden job market” often refers to internal hiring practices. Oftentimes, these are not necessarily open positions, but rather new positions created solely for specific individuals. Besides, if so many of these job postings were hidden and out of reach, what would be the point in looking for them? Companies that are looking to hire top talent will advertise open positions in my different places in order to cast a wide net.
While there is nothing wrong with a selective job search, don’t be afraid to cast a large net. Too often job seekers apply only to specific companies or positions. However, this will severely limit the impact of your search. You may find yourself eventually landing your dream job, only to realize that you hate the company culture or that your responsibilities don’t match up with what you saw on the initial posting. Many of my clients have found themselves with wonderful jobs in roles that they never would have ever imagined doing just a few years back. You never know what might surprise you. Plus, casting a wide net will lead to more interviews. Even if you don’t think you actually want the job, I recommend going to the interview anyway. Not only will it give you interview practice, but you will also gain a better sense of what employers are looking for in candidates.
In prior decades, it used to common for you to work for the same company your entire life. Oftentimes, it was the same company that your father worked for his entire life, and perhaps his father as well. However, as the economy becomes more and more dynamic, this trend no longer holds true. Many people are reluctant to look for something new because they believe they will be labeled as a job hopper — someone who keeps jumping from job to job without ever settling down. While this will look bad to your future employer if you can’t even hold down a single job for more than a few months, don’t be afraid to look for new opportunities after you have put in a few years in at your current company. Studies show that individuals who switch companies often end up with greater compensation in the long run than those individuals who remain with the same company. Additionally, the longer you stay with your current company, the more difficult it can be to switch. Today’s employers want to see a candidate that is adaptable, can thrive in difficult situations, is up to new challenges, and always looking to learn something new. Bringing diverse experience in numerous roles across different industries will help demonstrate these qualities.
The logic for this argument is, if you interview last, then you will remain fresh on the hiring manager’s mind, and they will be more likely to consider you over the person they interviewed weeks later. However, how will you ever be able to tell when is the best time to interview? Companies often leave job postings up long after they have already made up their minds. Once they find the right candidate who has accepted their offer, they stop interviewing all together. Why would they bother wasting their time on people they are never going to consider? When you see a job posting that interests you, apply right away. The more time you spend waiting, the more opportunities you are giving to other candidates.
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