Busted! 5 myths about your job search

Job-hunting is hard and often disappointing. With so-called helpful advice flying left, right and centre, it’s hard to know what to pay attention to and what to ignore. We debunk the top 5 myths going around about your job search so you can put your best foot forward.

Myth 1 – You only need one cover letter 

If you think you only need one cover letter, think again – this is a popular myth in our digital age of job hunting.

You need a tailored cover letter for every job you apply for. You want to spark the interest of the employer who’s looking to hire, and you do this by showing them how your skills fit their needs.

When writing your cover letter, you want to entice the employer to read your resume and invite you for an interview.

Tips to remember when writing a cover letter: 

  1. Always tailor your cover letter for each job application.
  2. The cover letter should include a brief description of your skills and experience and how it relates to the job you’re applying for. Show why you are the best person for the job. 
  3. Always spell-check your cover letter and have someone proofread it for you. 
  4. Visit jobactive.gov.au for an example cover letter and more tips.

Myth 2 – I need to list every job I’ve had in my resume

This is false! Unless you’re just freshly starting in the workforce, then you don’t need to include every job you’ve ever had.  

The most important part of your resume is to show you have the skills, experience and qualifications that you need for the job.

Most employers spend less than 6 seconds reading a resume. So it’s important to only include what is relevant, no one wants to read a 10 page resume.

Keep your resume  relevant, usually you start with your most current job and work backwards. If you are changing careers or have had a break in your career, you might be better off structuring your resume based on skills and experience rather than dates.

Things to remember: 

  • Keep it relevant, only list experience that is related to the job you are applying for.
  • Include all relevant skills and qualifications. 
  • Explain any gaps in your resume.
  • Always spell-check your resume and if you can, get someone to read it for you.
  • Keep your resume short – between two to three pages depending on your experience.
  • Always check with your referees first before you list them on your resume. 
Man looking at a wall full of CVs that all look the same

Myth 3 – If you’re qualified for the job, you’ll get it

Many job seekers believe they will get the job if they have the right qualifications, but this is only one part of the equation. Yes, having the right qualification is important but it doesn’t necessarily help you stand out from the crowd. 

Many other factors determine whether or not you are well suited for the job such as experience, soft skills, and if you will fit into the workplace. 

When apply for jobs make sure you also demonstrate your soft skills like problem solving, communication skills, people management, critical thinking and decision-making.

These will strengthen your case for why you’re the right fit for the job and how your skills will be an asset to the employer. 

Remember to use specific example from other jobs that prove you are qualified for the job, it will help you stand out from the crowd. 

Myth 4 – You’re going to hear back from every job you apply for

In an ideal world, it would be nice to get a response for every job application you submit. Sadly, you will often be sent an automated “we received your application” followed by radio silence.

But don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear anything. The reality is employers may get hundreds of applications and they don’t have time to give everyone a personalised response. You may only hear from them if they want to interview you for the position. 

If you don’t hear anything back about your job application, you can still follow up with the contact person to find out about the outcome and get feedback.  

It’s a good idea to get feedback about your application so you can make improvements for your next one. 

Myth 5 – You can’t change career paths after you choose one 

No career decision has to be permanent. There are loads of reason why you might be thinking about a career change. Perhaps you’re in-between jobs and just need to take anything to get by for the time being.

Maybe you have outgrown your old choices and your career path isn’t what you thought it would be when you started. 

Whatever your reason, you can always prepare to start over in a new field. Just make plans to get the skills or qualifications you need or be willing to start from the bottom. 

If you need more inspiration, Job Outlook has a range of tools and resources to help you make decisions about the next step in your career.

Comment below and let us know any myths you have heard about job hunting. 

Images: Giphy, iStock

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