You can save yourself a lot of time and frustration during your hunt for a job if you spend some time identifying and overcoming common job search misconceptions. These hurdles can trip you up unexpectedly, but if you learn what they are beforehand, you’ll be prepared for a more satisfying job search experience.
First of all, forget the idea that the Internet is a magic bullet for your job search needs. Most “help wanted” ads are NOT placed on the Web, employers seeking instead to look internally or hire based upon peer recommendations. That said, there are a number of good sites around for the places that do choose this route, such as execunet.com, netshare.com, linkup.com and indeed.com. Register with your resume and cover letter at as many sites as seem appropriate, but avoid another misconception when doing so: The more places you sign on with, the more job offers will pour in. You can always check out my favorite, LinkedIn, and see if any companies are listing openings.
Very importantly, clean up your resume. Consider hiring professionals to help you with this task, and learn more about another common misconception. That is thinking that employers dislike frequent job-changers. While that might have been true in the past when the economy was more stable, employers know that nowadays job-seekers are likely the victims of downsizing or the shipping of their jobs overseas. They understand that your unemployed state and the fact that you might have had to frequently change jobs or location may simply have been so you could stay ahead of the recession. Have a professional work with gaps or short lengths of stay in your resume, however, to present a cohesive picture of progressive goals being met on your career path.
Another common misconception is thinking that your cover letter is just a way to introduce your resume. It is not. What it should be is a vital way to put a face to the sometimes-bald facts contained in your resume; a chance to present yourself as a person with certain skills not necessarily covered in your resume. Perhaps you are an eloquent writer. This is a chance to share information such as exactly which job you are seeking, and why you are uniquely qualified to be offered an interview for your dream job.
Probably the most important misconception to overcome is that the most qualified individual always gets the job. The reality is that the job seeker with the best combination of job skills, inherent qualifications and best personality fit with the interviewer and company is the one who will be offered the job. Employers want someone who will do the job well, certainly, but also the employee who fits in well with the rest of the team and has the right temperament for the specific job requirements.
Try not to get discouraged, and keep in mind the old adage that you should spend as much time looking for work as you would if you were actively working. If you need help then don’t be afraid to seek out help from a resume writer. Just try not to jump at the first offer you get without looking it over carefully, so you don’t shortchange yourself.