8 Job Hunting Myths That Are Hurting Your Search

job hunting mythsBy Shannon Dauphin

With companies being much more careful about hiring the right talent at the right price in this sluggish economy, are you sure your moves are keeping you in the game? Some common job hunting myths might be sabotaging your big play. Before you send out another resume or fill out another application, take a breather and look at the biggest misconceptions in the hiring world:

1. There are no jobs out there.

"The truth is that there are plenty of available jobs, but there are simply more people vying for them than in the past," said author, speaker and recruiter Abby Kohut. "To stand out, use your network to help you and also try some old-fashioned techniques. Faxing or mailing your resume will absolutely get you noticed because all the other job seekers are applying online."

2. All the good jobs are online.

Matt Youngquist, president of Career Horizons, recently told NPR that 70 to 80 percent of available jobs are not published. That means that the vast majority of available positions will be found through networking, not online applications.

3. Temporary jobs aren't worth it.

Savvy employers will look at their temporary positions as a proving ground, and often hire full-time from the temporary staff pool. At the very least, a temporary job gives you the chance to build relevant skills and knowledge while searching for something permanent, and it prevents a big hole of unemployment in your resume.

4. Being unemployed for several months hurts job prospects.

That depends entirely on what you do with your time away from the office. "Whether you're a twenty-something graduating from college or a homemaker returning to the professional market, make sure your resume stresses all your leadership responsibilities and achievements," said Alex Sukhoy, a career coach and adjunct professor at Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University. "Were you president of a fraternity that raised money for an important cause? Did you spearhead a local initiative that resulted in the improvement of the local kids' school experience? How did you make a difference? Show this on your resume."

5. Employers want to see a standard resume.

"Resumes are the same, but what is different is how recruiters find candidates," Kohut said. "In order to be found, you need to have the exact keywords on your resume that are in the recruiter's brain at the time that they are searching for you. So, nowadays, the content of the resume is far more important than what the resume looks like." How you introduce your resume matters, too. "The cover letter continues to be as important as the method you use to differentiate yourself from all the other candidates who have similar work experience," Kohut said.

6. Social media isn't taken seriously by employers.

On the contrary, social media is a vehicle for hiring that can make a big difference if you know how to use it. "Job seekers at all levels should be using LinkedIn to connect to people that they currently know," Kohut advised. "Rather than simply applying for positions in the traditional way, they should use LinkedIn to figure out who the hiring manager might be, and then should send a resume directly to them in addition to applying the normal route." Another point to ponder is how social media could hurt you. "As for Facebook, since most job seekers are already on there, they should be careful to avoid cursing, negativity, and opinions about controversial topics such as sports, politics and religion," Kohut said.

7. Take what you can get.

In a really tough economy, it can be tempting to jump on that first offer. However, keep in mind that taking a job you hate means you will be hunting for another job in just a few years. It is often better to go with freelancing, consulting or temporary jobs until you find the right fit.

8. Follow up with a phone call.

Following up is a good idea, but how you do it can make or break your chances of landing the job. Rather than sending an email or calling to remind them of your continued interest, send a handwritten thank you card to every person you met during the interview process. "Most importantly, be positive and be passionate," Sukhoy said. "Companies can train skills. They won't train attitudes."

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Been 6 month without job with no unemployment. Sent a few hundreds of resumes (from low-level to last experience, multiple resume versions), talked to a lot people I know, headhunters and still nothing. Checking online every day and sending 2-3 resume daily, calls to people and recruiters. Only a few calls back but either over qualified or overpaid. Tried temp job as well on low-level, my own companies and same story. It like a stone wall around me.

May 22 2012 at 1:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rance Lumsden

The comment about social media is spot on. There are a great many people posting on social media sites that potential employers search for. If you're one of those people posting obscene, highly opinionated, raunchy, or plain old stupid comments, you could already have been rejected by a potential employer.

May 21 2012 at 4:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

9) having a higher education than your future employer hurts your chances. Fact! I got layed off a year ago while looking for a new job nothing I applied for online came through, not even a responce. but once I dumbed down my resume to high school graduate and didn't mention three years college or one year business school I got lots of offers and am now working as a crew coordinator for a global company.

May 21 2012 at 4:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The resume is a key point and the better it looks, the more the content aligns with the position / company vision, the more likely you may get a call. Do not waste your time doing follow up calls. Show up in person but make an appointment just to meet and greet if possible. I can't stand the calls "...Hi, I just applied online and wanted to see what the status of my application is..." . There is no status!!! We either call you in or leave you in the system for a later review or filing. Also, try to impress the folks that you would be working with. They may influence the hiring manager a lot of the times. Companies are typically NOT hiring until they need to replace someone that left or is leaving very soon. There tends to not be "periods" of mass hire anymore. Ask what it would take to work there and to be succesful. That is an ice breaker! Just trying to help you all out:)

May 21 2012 at 1:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would disagree on the resume piece. Used my standard resume format and applied literally for 60 jobs with very little result. Switched to a fucntional resume and within a week had 3 face to face interviews working, one of which ended up being a job that I took and started last Monday. This company hadnt replied to my intial resume and but did call quickly on the second, different resume.

Keywords yes, but structure of the resume is important to my in my opinion.

BTW, use Linkedin also, had their premium service for a bit with the "guaranteed responses" if you contacted someone thru Linkedin. let me tell you they have no way to make that happen, I dont beleive it to be the be all end all but certianly a useful tool, but not for job hunting in my eyes...

May 21 2012 at 12:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

# 2 shoulda read "All the JOBS are online" because THAT is where you're TOLD to go to find them.

May 20 2012 at 9:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think there are too many do's and don'ts when it comes to job hunting, and where certain practices were acceptable at one time, now they are not. Just make sure you have skills that will make you hireable.

May 20 2012 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
luanne garner

Who are you all tryig to kid? #4 definetly will hurt you. Why didn't you all mention credit checks and background checks(for just minimum wage jobs).

#6. If social media isn't taken seriously, then why are prospective employers asking for peoples
password and why are states like Maryland passing laws to prevent that?

The two I have pointed out are definetly not myths. They do happen and they do help you get hired.
Let's not forget age discrimination. That kind of discrimination is rampant out here today.

May 19 2012 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to luanne garner's comment

I worked in a shop that refilled printer cartridges, the owners expanded into a coffee shop, that flopped, and then into the medical marijuana field after the 2009 Obama memo(lie). So for about two years I was a medical marijuana provider. It was a dream job, but then our state changed the laws and I got laid off. I filed unemployment, I got $756 a month, my bills where about $675 (no phone, tv, internet). I was unable to afford to continue auto insurance, two months after losing my job I got pulled over and arrested for no insurance, I received about $400 in fines which went to collection, as I could not pay. I'm saying all this because last month I applied and interviewed at Walmart. I was told i got the job, but they had to do a backgound check. My credit came up flag because of collections and I was denied a job. Do know how shitty it feels to be told you are too broke to work at Walmart.

Having a job does not affect your credit, so there so be no reason what so ever that they should base employment on such. We've created a damned fascist society..

May 22 2012 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good feature AOL:

The entire recruiting process is flawed from the git go. Corporate HR departments relegate recruiting to 23 year young Biffy or Buffy who would reject Einstein because he needed a haircut.

The job interview is the most artificial meeting in human history. The recruiter sells his or her "one happy family" company and the candidate claim they can walk on water and don't even know where the rocks are.

Right on AOL team - WRITE ON!

Cordially, Yoda@magnifiedview.com



May 19 2012 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to aclocean's comment

Amen!!!!!! The most overused and farcical phrase used by companies is team approach. Getting the job done and getting it done well is instrinsic to only a few. The rest of the "team" sits on the sidelines.

May 21 2012 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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