Job searching can be exciting, scary and stress-inducing all at the same time. There are universal bits of knowledge that most job-seekers are keenly aware of, but let's address some common misconceptions that many people have when it comes to the dreaded (exciting?) job hunt.
Your Lengthy Unemployment Ruins Your Chances of Gainful Employment
Life happens. And sometimes extenuating circumstances from illness to family changes can cause gaps in our employment history. Too many people take a look at their gap in employment and assume all is lost. No one will hire me with this lengthy employment gap. Fortunately for you dear job hunter, this is not necessarily the case. Recruiters and hiring managers understand that employment gaps happen and they don't paint a picture of how you would be as an employee. Your history, experience and relevant skill sets will get you the interview. You can either address the gap during an interview or even address it directly in your resume or cover letter. I've written resumes for stay at home parents looking to re-enter the job market. Think about it - parenting children? Hello you multitasking, expertly focused and creative communicator! The job market is waiting for someone with your talents.
Underestimating the Power of a Cover Letter
Sometimes I am under the impression that people find the idea of a cover letter outdated. Letters in general have become obsolete by way of email and texting. But just because it has the word letter in it doesn't make it irrelevant to the current job market. A quick email introduction while you attach your resume is increasingly common. However, the cover letter is super important. Your resume does the legwork of detailing your concrete skills, experience and accomplishments. Then you have your cover letter. This is where you take your experience and you lay it out for the employer and say hey, look how my history directly fits with the position you are looking for. You're showing them why you would be a great fit to their team. This will stand out over applicants who don't submit a compelling cover letter.
Networking Is Not Important
There's a reason for the adage "It's all about who you know." I think a lot of people take this saying as the only way to get into a job is to have someone put a good word in for you. However, think about the numerous job opportunities that you won't see on job boards or in newspapers. Tons of jobs are filled simply by word of mouth. The larger your professional network the wider net you can cast during your job hunt. Simply by throwing out to acquaintances or other professionals in your field what kind of job hunt you are on, you have greatly expanded your reach. So get talking! Let people know you're looking. Oh, and don't forget to let on how awesome you are.
Posting Your Resume All Over Job Boards Will Automatically Get You Interviews
Job boards have been a huge asset to the job market. Not only as a place for job seekers to search for jobs, but as a place potential employers can find potential candidates. I find people think that posting on these sites is the be all, end all as far as their job search goes. While these are essential tools for recruiters, it's a passive way to try to get a job. You need to do the legwork and be actively selling yourself to specific positions. In a competitive job market, you need to be approaching employers and opportunities yourself, not waiting for them to come to you. Also, displaying initiative and energy are great traits to display during your job hunt.