Six myths every job candidate should know when job hunting

02 September 2015

There’s always conflicting opinions on the right way and the wrong way to look for a job, to write a resume, and how to conduct yourself during the selection process.

However, there are a few common mistakes our job seekers should be aware of and try to avoid in today’s job market.

Passive Job Seeking

Many job seekers will ‘blanket apply’ by registering their interest on multiple job boards, and websites, before sitting back and waiting for the employer to contact them. While it’s important to register your profile wherever you can, this is putting the responsibility for finding you a job in the hands of the employer. Recruiters will greater appreciate applicants who are actively applying for jobs as well as presenting themselves on job boards. Putting yourself ‘out there’ shows commitment, motivation and enthusiasm; characteristics that are important to most employers, and imperative for those looking to start an apprenticeship.

Absentee Cover Letter

Simply supplying a resume when applying for a position may not be enough to effectively introduce yourself to the potential employer. Generally, a resume will show your experience, skills and education, but it won’t show who you are and why you are uniquely qualified for the position. Your cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself; don’t miss out on making an impression by failing to include one.

Failing to Be Relevant

Recruiters can see dozens of resumes every day, meaning you need to communicate what’s special about you in the swiftest way possible. The most important part of applying for a job is highlighting why you should get the interview; what skills, education, training and experience you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for. This may mean that your work history is the first thing you put on your resume; it may mean it’s the last.

Hiding Job-Hopping

It’s been a long held belief that candidates who’ve had multiple positions are undesirable but such an attitude is shifting rapidly. As companies downsize and the industry contracts and disappears, no longer is it unreasonable for candidates to hold multiple jobs over a number of years (as long as there is no untoward reason for the moves). Once again, the most important part of applying for a job is showing why you should be the one they hire.

Valuing Qualifications over Experience

While having qualifications are important, they are not usually deal breakers for recruiters, unless there is a specific reason why you need to be qualified (for example, as an electrical tradesperson). For positions that don’t explicitly require qualifications to do the job, the most “qualified” person may be the one who isn’t qualified at all.

Failing to Sell Yourself

Job hunting is all about selling yourself to potential employers. It is important that you make yourself a desirable commodity for the employer to have. This means presenting yourself well, speaking clearly and having a clear understanding of the business and role you are applying for.

For more information and advice on applying for jobs, browse the Job Seekers News section.

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