5 Sneaky Lies We’re Told About the Job Search

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April 21, 2024 at 11:43AM UTC
It's no shock that our friends, mothers, colleagues, mentors and favorite authors give us different advice about the job search. After all, everyone's professional experiences are different, thanks to the unique circumstances, organizations, industries and individuals we're tasked with navigating during our careers. 
Still, for all the diverse approaches out there, there are some dangerous myths that pervade our common thinking about the job search and discourage professionals (especially women) from stretching their wings and reaching their full professional potential. Here are five of those lies and why they're unreliable, according to hiring professionals. 

1. You can never land a role you don't have formal experience in. 

"One of the silliest myths about the job application process is that the candidate cannot get a job if he has no experience. Sure, you won't get a top position anywhere, but junior positions are well within reach. As usual, it all depends on the person and how well they proceed with the interview and how well they fit with the position requirements." — Vlada Liashchenko, Managing Partner at CNA International IT

2. Formal education is a decisive factor.

"Another irritating misconception is that formal education is a decisive factor in matching the position requirements. Education plays a role, but it takes a backseat compared with actual work experience and career accomplishments. This is especially problematic with college graduates who think they are entitled to get a shot just because they are qualified despite lacking the necessary credentials," Liashchenko added. 

3. Applying to more jobs is the best way to land one.

"When applying for jobs, I’d always recommend going for quality, not quantity. HR managers know how to spot mass applications when they see it, and that will certainly put them off from inviting you to the interview. Instead, make sure to send applications that are tailored to the company you’re applying for, showing you did your research properly." — Emilija Simic, an HR consultant for TeamStage

4. Your resume has to be perfect before you start applying.

"Your resume isn't everything; networking is extremely important and is the first step in getting an interview and for someone to actually look at your resume. Utilize Linkedin to network with recruiters and hiring managers, and you'll notice your opportunities expand." — Jonathan Javier, CEO and Founder of Wonsulting

5. You don't need a cover letter anymore.

"While it’s true that cover letters don’t mean as much as they used to and are often indicated as optional, it behooves a candidate to include one all the same. A recent study showed that over 80% of recruiters still take them into consideration when evaluating an applicant. Thus, the effort might be worth the reward, so unless the role specifically states not to include one, you should always strive to have a cover letter be a part of your application." — Jagoda Wieczorek, HR Manager at ResumeLab

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