Seemly as soon as we begin a new job search, well-meaning friends or family offer up their two cents of advice. Along with friends and family there is a plethora of advice online, aimed at steering our job searches in the right direction. So how do you know what advice to follow? Here are some of the most common job search myths to avoid:
1. MYTH: You Must Have a One-Page Resume
While a one-page resume is often cited as the standard for job applications, in reality a one-page resume is no longer always desirable. Perhaps if you are a recent graduate or have limited work experience, a one-page resume will suffice; however, two pages is becoming accepted as more appropriate for professional resumes.
2. MYTH: A Cover Letter Won’t Help You
The negatives against cover letters stack up high: they are time consuming, require detailed attention, and risk being thrown in the trash bin at first glance. But despite the challenges of writing a cover letter—it is worth it. Cover letters are not a superfluous addition to your resume; rather they are often a necessary means of demonstrating your qualifications. A cover letter could make all the difference in whether you land a job or not.
3. MYTH: You Should List a Positive Trait as a Weakness
The all-too-well-know interview question, “What is your greatest weakness?” has been answered for years by candidates making a positive trait into their weakness (too hard working, too attentive to detail, etc.). If you do this you will risk sounding insincere, and are better off being honest about where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
MYTH: Experience is Always Better than Transferrable Skills
In today’s job market hiring managers are placing a high value on transferrable skills, even preferring them over experience in some cases. This means that if you lack experience in the position you are applying for, transferrable skills could compensate. For example, if you have no industry experience but are seeking an apartment job, selling your skills in sales, marketing, and communication could seal the deal for you as a candidate.
MYTH: Holiday Job Searches are Pointless
The holidays have long been thought of as a time of year when people are not hiring or searching for jobs; however, this is no longer the case. Companies are still hiring in late-November/December, even scrambling to make hires before the New Year. Job searching during this time can even be advantageous; as other job seekers take a break under the assumption that their efforts will be pointless.
The amount of information available on job searching is an advantage in today’s market—but be careful which sources you trust. Don’t fall for these common myths!