There are plenty of misconceptions that may slow down your job search and lead you in the wrong direction. Here is a heads up on a few of the most popular tips for overcoming them.
FACT: A well-written cover letter is a must.
Always include a customized cover letter that carefully outlines why you are a great fit for the job and encourages the hiring team to invite you for an interview. A good cover letter is an opportunity to tell your story in words.
FACT: It is impactful to network with human resource managers.
One of the many roles human resources serves is to fill open job requisitions. Often, there are numerous requisitions in the pipeline and filling these jobs is a top priority. So, networking with people in human resources is in your best interest.
FICTION: It’s best to just wait until the employer you want to work for calls you.
Plan to follow up with someone in human resources after you have submitted your application to confirm it was received. Don’t be intimidated. Ask what the time frame is for filling the job, if you have a chance, highlight your qualifications and ask for an interview.
FICTION: The best time to network is after the job is posted internally/externally.
Start early—in advance of the public posting. Network with HR managers and people within the company you wish to work for. It’s likely insiders know ahead of time that there will be a vacancy or a new position coming up.
FICTION: You will get a response and an interview when you apply.
Most of the time you will not receive a call. When the hiring team feels that you could be a better match than others they will reach out by email or in person to ask questions or discuss next steps. Remember their priority is to fill the job quickly with the right applicant. Given the number of applications for each position, often upwards of 250, there is just no time to contact everyone.
FACT: The best time to look for a job is when you already have one.
A wise applicant is always assessing the market, researching opportunities and, if applicable, taking interviews while they are more secure and relaxed. This process will keep you current, fresh and aware of industry trends and allow for a more confident approach. In other words, don’t quit while you’re ahead. Be patient in your search.
FACT: Your resume needs updating for each job.
A clear, current resume and tailored cover letter should be a compelling story to get you the interview.
FICTION: Today job hunting is all done online.
It’s a mix. The best formula is to cast a wide net. Networking, looking online, using recruiters, attending professional association meetings, volunteering, and reaching out to new people every day.
FACT: You need professional and personal references.
It costs a company time and money to verify references. That said, references will be contacted once you have been identified as a viable candidate and, often, once an offer is made. Notify your references ahead of time that you are applying for positions so that they are not caught off guard. If you have written references include them.