Monday, June 27, 2011

Job Search Myths, Monsters, and Misconceptions

As an expert recruitment consultant, I work with hiring managers and candidates on a daily basis. Over the years, I have heard the Myths, Monsters, and Misconceptions about job searches – many of which prevented candidates from landing a position sooner than later.

Myths –

1) Since there are so many people out of work and we’re in a “jobless recovery”, there is no point in looking for a job right now. There are between 15 to 20 million Americans out of work right now – that’s the bad news. However, there are jobs created in every town virtually every day. Some of those positions are very good positions. Keep networking!

2) Posting on job boards is the best way to find a job. Consistently between 74 to 76% of all positions are filled through networking, not posting and praying. That is true in both strong economies and in poor economies.

3) People don’t want to be “bothered” by me. If you are networking and are a warm referral from someone they know, most people will treat you very respectfully and try to help you.

4) Spell check finds all spelling errors. Well not exactly. How about these? Form/from, it/at, mange/manage or manger/manager (very common errors), meet/meat, bite/kite, is/in/an/as, etc. One letter does make a difference!

5) Never worked in that industry. Many candidates feel they are only qualified in the industry they came from. When you consider that accountants many times have to work within GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and manufacturing professionals work within cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice), their skills are transferable to other industries. Apply those principles in almost every industry. When we speak of related skills, this is how they are applied.

Monsters –

1) The 10,000 pound phone – This monster potentially impacts every sales person – and during a job search they are a sales person. They know that they need to get on the phone and make contacts but fear prevents them from doing so. Once the job seeker begins to call, it becomes easier but the fear stays around for awhile. Understand that the fear is like the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz. Behind the curtain is your next job.

2) Age makes the difference! Some people perceive age as their job search problem. I’m too old or too young for this position. Ever hear the axiom that the exception proves the rule? Be the exception.

3) It just doesn’t seem anything will help me find a job. Don’t give up. Many people are in the same situation. The more that the job seeker networks, the closer they are to finding a job. Talk with at least 4 new people per day. Activity creates activity. A proper attitude is very important during the job search process.

Misconceptions –

1) Interviews are Grueling! Obviously that is based on the job seekers’ point of view. Would that perception change if they knew that once they are chosen for a personal interview, the hiring manager is rooting for them to succeed? Most hiring managers would rather “do their job” than interviewing candidates. They want the interviewee to succeed! Go in with that confidence.

2) Resumes get me the job. Actually resumes are the candidate’s marketing piece. They help attract the right person to talk with the job seeker about a position. They do not “get them the job”

3) Salary negotiation begins after the interview. Salary negotiation begins long before the candidate is selected for the interview. The salary range is determined when the position is approved in the budget. Therefore candidates are being screened for salary from the beginning of the process. This is one reason to avoid giving your previous compensation until after your conversation.

Work your way through these Job Search Myths, Monsters, and Misconceptions to find your next job more quickly.