Thursday, August 1, 2013

The 10 Biggest Job Hunt Myths

Don't fall for these traps in your job search


There's more job search mythology being passed around than even the ancient Greeks could have imagined. Some of the most well-traveled and persistent myths are also the most dangerous ones -- because following this faux wisdom could sabotage your job search efforts.

Here are 10 of my favorite job-search myths, and the reality to replace each one.

MYTH: In your resume, you should talk about how you're great at everything.

Have you ever seen a job posting that said, "We want to hire someone who's good at everything"? Individual department managers get approval to hire people to perform certain specific duties. The last thing you want on your resume is a message that says, "I can do Sales, Marketing, Finance, Customer Service, or Manufacturing!" No one will believe you, and you won't be the best fit for any job, anywhere.

Reality: Use your resume to talk about how you're really strong in two or three areas. If you need more than one resume, so be it.

MYTH: The people who get jobs are the ones who apply for the most jobs

The people who actually get jobs are the ones who create thoughtful, targeted approaches to the jobs they're especially well suited for. Lobbing dozens of random resumes with boilerplate cover letters into inboxes across America doesn't help you.

Reality: Approach each job opportunity with a targeted letter and, if necessary, a customized resume that links your background and the job's requirements.

MYTH: The more information on your resume, the better!

Editing is an important business skill. If your resume includes the details for the jobs you held before 1990, your resume is too long. Two pages in an absolute max for non-academic resumes, and in those two pages you want to tell us the most important bits, not every task and duty you've ever been responsible for.

Reality: The best resumes are concise, pithy and specific. Less is more when it comes to describing your strengths and talents.

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