Mythbusters: 5 Common Job Search Mistakes We Make

People usually say that finding jobs is the hardest part. But that’s not really true is it? It’s really easy nowadays with all of our various job portals to actually find jobs and especially the ones that we would be interested it.

So I say, the hardest part isn’t searching for jobs but actually applying for and receiving an offer for one. Each company has their own system for job applications. Some require a single page resume only, while others ask for nothing short of a full background check in to who you are and what you can do. So what are the mistakes that we make during this job application process that no one readily tells us about?

This article is going to cover 5 specific job related myths that we all silently believe. So read on and it’s likely there will be something here that will surprise you, especially if you’re only just starting out in your career.

Myth #1: “I don’t need a Cover Letter”

Reality: With advanced technology, job seekers are aware that their application and resumes are screened by a robot for specific keywords. You may find the urge to hit that easy apply button on LinkedIn and other job portals with just your resume in an effort to save time. However your cover letter serves a higher purpose.

If written correctly, your cover letter will explain your greatest achievements and persuade recruiters and employers to call you in for an interview. Although robots are used in the screening process, applications will eventually be viewed by a human. Your cover letter is imperative to create a great first impression. Several companies will list job posts stating that cover letters are optional – more often than not these very companies will hire qualified candidates that did submit cover letters.

Tip: Keep your cover letter to a maximum of two pages. Use this space wisely to explain specific projects, experiences, and skills learnt through your education. All the information needs to pertain to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying to be a software developer, your experience in marketing may not be as relevant. Your cover letter should answer one deceptively simple question: Why are you a right fit for this job position?

Myth #2: Adding HR Personnel to your Network to Increase Job Opportunities

Reality: Although this may seem like a smart move, it is essentially a waste of time. HR professionals go through a specific channel to recruit for their vacancies. Adding these individuals whom you have never previously connected with will not result in job opportunities. They are incredibly busy and with the number of individuals connecting with them, it is unlikely that they will single you out from the crowd.

Instead these professionals use their network to publicize their vacancies, but you will have to apply through their system without having any advantage whatsoever. It is very unlikely that early in your career, you will be reached out by an HR recruiter to fill a vacancy. Creating your network is more to do with growth and staying updated on what is happening in your field.

Tip: Continue to add people you have worked with and that are in your field to receive a better understanding of your future possibilities. Your network will be of greater use once you have built a stable career and acquired enough experience.

Myth #3: To find a Job all you need is a solid Resume

Reality: So this one is partially true. Yes, you do indeed a really great resume to get your foot in the door but it is not the only thing you need. Alongside your resume you need to have excellent interview skills and communication skills. Several recruiters have reported that candidates come across well on paper but don’t necessarily have the right set of interview skills.

You must learn how to answer the general questions asked during an interview related to personal goals, career goals, skills and pass achievements. Great communication and listening skills are required for any job position today. Interviews help recruiters gauge how well you are able to apply these skills.

Tip: Listen to the question clearly, and make sure your response clearly answered the posed question. Read our blog on 6 Things to do before an Interview to stay prepared and ace your next interview.

Myth #4: “If I apply to 15+ Jobs a Day, it will increase my probability to find a job”

Reality: This is probably one of the most soul crushing realities in the job hunting process. Applying to dozens of jobs a day will not increase your probability of finding jobs. If you’re applying to more than 6 jobs a day, chances are you are simply using one resume and cover letter to apply for all jobs.

Instead of rushing each application, you should take time to apply to 6-8 (maybe less) specific job applications a day. Give your time to research the company and the profile to see what exactly they are looking for. If their skills, requirements and work environment match your skills and expectations, only then should you create an application. Don’t waste time applying to jobs aimlessly.

Tip: If you’re applying to slightly different job profiles, instead of cramming all your information into one resume and cover letter, create separate ones for each profile. For example if you’re interested in digital marketing and content strategy, create a resume that highlights your marketing acumen and another for content creation and writing. Your cover letter should alter with every job you apply to by targeting the values of that company instead of generic letters.

Myth #5: Don’t Switch Careers

Reality: You can always make a career pivot at any point of your life. Don’t be afraid to make a change, especially if it results in a happier, healthier and more drive YOU. A lot of people worry about how changing careers negatively affects their credibility. This may have been true about 20-30 years ago, however at the rate technology and education is changing, it is only predictive that individuals want to explore newer paths.

There are several ways that we can learn today, through books, university, TV, online media and podcasts. This means that several people are more likely to be passionate about more than one career. If there is a point where you find yourself rethinking your current job, it is completely normal to explore your options. Don’t make decisions in haste like handing in your resignation after reading this blog. Definitely don’t do that!

Tip: Instead, make a list of all your options. Think about what would drive you to wake up in the morning to get to work. Once you find that path, create a new to-do list and figure out all the steps you need to take before making a full career change. Don’t make this decision alone, speak to the people who know you best – friends, family and especially career mentors – these people will have your best interest at heart.

So there you go; 5 common mistakes we all have made at some point in our career. It is okay to make these mistakes, but only if you are learning from them. Applying for jobs can be a lot easier than we all think. GetWork understands this hassle and has created an all-inclusive platform for students to easily search for, apply to and get jobs.

Sign up today by clicking HERE.

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