A job search is challenging enough, without buying into these common myths that can derail you before you even start!
- December is a bad month for hiring. This is a complete fallacy. December is one of the best three months to find a job, along with July and August. Why? On December 1st, 70% of your fellow job searchers will fall out of the job market, buying into this myth that the hiring process will be winding down. This greatly increases your chances of securing an interview. In my experience, the people who stick it out in December, July and August do land a job – and a lot faster. Yes, some people are on vacation, but many hiring managers still have jobs to fill.
- There’s no point in networking during the holidays. This is actually the perfect time, because there is so much going on. You may attend your spouse’s company party, community get-togethers, special services or events, school concerts and ceremonies – endless opportunities to connect or reconnect with people who may lead to your next ideal executive appointment. Between the reduced competition and increased access to people, the holiday season is open season for job search.
- You’re too old to get a new job. Being older used to inhibit you in a job search, but no longer. The population is aging, and a high level of baby boomers are retiring. Therefore there is space in the market, which you can capture with the correct job search methods and persistence.
- What I do in my online life is personal and doesn’t impact my career. Personal and professional go hand in hand now, especially when it comes to what you do online. Everything you post is available to your future boss or other decision makers, as much as you may try to keep things private. Closely monitor your own digital dirt and be acutely aware of what you’re posting online. Remember that even your personal contacts can easily become professional referral sources.
- There aren’t any jobs available right now. If you look on the job boards, there may not be, but if you expand your horizons and go networking, you can access jobs that were never even listed. In fact here in Canada, almost 80% of jobs are won through networking and are never posted.
- I haven’t heard back, so I didn’t get the job. Don’t give up too quickly! Advertised jobs generally have a 21- or 28-day run. After that, it may be up to a week before the decision makers start calling applicants. You have to be patient and let that period run its course. Instant gratification is not part of the job search process.
- The more resumes I send out, the more offers I’ll get. In my professional opinion and experience, you’ll get far better results sending 10 targeted resumes, then you will from sending 100 random ones. Sure, some of those may get you interviews, but likely not for jobs at your level.
- The most qualified person will get the job. That used to be true, but it’s not actually the case today. What hiring decision makers also look for now is a match to corporate culture. So even if you don’t have all the qualifications and attributes on the list, if you’ll fit well in the company culture you can still be hired – even if you’re not 100% qualified.
- They’re keeping my resume on file for another possible opportunity. You may hear that when you’ve been rejected for a job, but don’t take it literally. Even if a very similar position comes available almost immediately, don’t assume they’ll pull out your resume and add it to the pile. You do actually need to apply again.
- Your resume should only be one or two pages long. Here in Canada, this is not true. If you’ve got 20+ years experience and you’re at the senior executive level, you can easily spread to a three-page resume in order to tell your career story – without compromising your candidacy. Tip: Be sure to fill all of the pages – half-pages lead to doubts that you didn’t have enough merit to fill the page with high-caliber content.
If you’ve been letting any of these myths slow down your executive career search, now is the time to ramp back up and get moving again. Good luck!