It may have been quite a few years since you last dusted off your CV and started shopping for interview clothes. The ‘art’ of job hunting is forever changing as new strategies emerge. From social media to newspaper scouring, I’m hoping to dispel some of the common myths around job hunting techniques today.
Myth: Applying everywhere all at once increases your chances of getting a job
Yes, in some way this method works if you haven’t applied for anything at all, so of course your chances are technically higher. However, you’re not firing a machine gun with copies of your CV in it. You stand a high chance of accidentally applying for the wrong job (or the same job twice) with this method. You’re more likely to make more mistakes which could affect your job search in the long run. You need to take a sufficient amount of time and tailor your CV/cover letter/application to each specific job.
Myth: Online-only is the way to go
Wrong! There are so many job hunting opportunities available to you other than the use of the internet. The internet has of course become so reliable when it comes to sourcing new opportunities that you probably didn’t think twice about loading that search engine before trying any other method first. Heaven forbid you actually have to talk to people and tell them about your desperation! There are offline methods of job seeking that are really worth exploring. Networking is a great way to find a job without appearing desperate. You can go to networking events as part of your current job and put the feelers out there for competing companies who may be recruiting, or ask friends and family about their companies. For more on networking (and how to do it well, even if you’re a novice) read here.
Myth: I have to stay in my current job for years before I can move on
Job hunting isn’t what it used to be. Previously, staying long-term in a company demonstrated your loyalty and showed that you were valued enough to have them keep you for so long. However, times have changed and employers have adjusted to the times. It’s now not as meaningful on your CV to have been in the same job for the past ten years as it used to be. Depending on the rate of your progression in those ten years (if any) it may even have the opposite effect. It may give the impression that you’ve been at a standstill in your role for too long and got comfortable. It may make an employer think that you could be reluctant to change. If you have been in a company for a while, make sure in an interview you highlight the importance to adapting to new trends.
People -often millennials- job hop quite often to find new ventures and increase their skillset in the shortest amount of time possible. As long as you’re not leaving your job every six months and you’re not giving the impression that you’re fickle, unreliable or easily bored, job hopping can actually be seen as opportunity seeking.
Myth: Cover letters are pointless clones of your CV, just written slightly differently.
In actual fact, cover letters are often seen as being more important than your CV. Read our article here on how to create a great cover letter. Your cover letter can really allow your personality to shine through to a potential employer. Not only that, but you might want to include some things that aren’t appropriate for a CV, because it’s important that the employer is aware of them (perhaps a new skill you’re currently learning but can’t quite put on your CV just yet). A cover letter isn’t just a tool for the overspill of your CV contents. It’s an accessory to it personalising your application for the position. Let’s face it – a CV doesn’t, cannot and shouldn’t describe your admiration for the various awards the company/department in question has won since 2002, but putting this in a cover letter is both flattering and allowing the company to see that you’ve done your homework.
Myth: If you’re an older job seeker, you’ll find it hard and almost impossible to get another job.
The working world isn’t just for the young. And whoever said that is probably out of work themselves. Once again, times are changing. As each generation gets more tech-savvy and collaborative, older job seekers stand just as much chance as the young ’uns. As long as you have the right attitude and up to date, relevant skills, you could be far more valuable to a company than someone who’s fresh out of university with no experience. You need to make aware (maybe in your cover letter somehow) that you are capable of adapting to changing trends and don’t get afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone.
These myths are my personal top five when it comes to job hunting tricks. In theory, the ethics of job hunting have stayed the same for years. You have to be able to use your intuition, express your capability for the role and show you’re prepared to go that extra mile, even if it means getting out of your own safety zone.