How to find work: The top five myths
Don’t believe the hype. Learn the truth about what it takes to get hired.
Figuring out how to find work can feel like an epic quest, full of smoke, mirrors, and plenty of perplexities—including some falsehoods that are meant to throw you off your game. These job search myths are tricky beasts. Even experienced job seekers believe—and spread—common misconceptions about the job search process. Yet these flawed ideas can derail your ability to nab a job offer.
There’s no magic involved in getting a job, but there are a number of myths. So, how do you separate fact from fiction? Here are five of the biggest myths about landing a job—debunked.
Myth 1: My experience alone will get me a job
If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, you might think you can rely on your experience to get your next job. Big mistake! Huge. Although experience can get you in the door for a job interview, it’s not the only factor that hiring managers look at when deciding who they want to hire, says Donna Schilder, an executive and career coach in Long Beach, California.
Moreover, “having work experience doesn’t demonstrate you’re good at what you do, it just demonstrates you’ve been doing it for a long time,” says Mikaela Kiner, founder and CEO at Reverb, a career coaching and HR consulting firm. You still have to impress a hiring manager by explaining how your skills and talent can benefit their company—that’s really what they’re interested in hearing.
Myth 2: Hiring managers will ghost me if they're not interested
Submitted a job application, only to hear radio silence? Don’t despair—it doesn’t necessarily mean you weren’t qualified for the position. You might even be in the running.
“Recruiters and hiring managers are often receiving hundreds of resumes for one position,” says Schilder. “They get swamped, and many times they don’t get back to applicants for a while. Also, hiring managers are often understaffed when they’re trying to fill an open position, so they’re extremely busy.” Meaning: Breathe.
If you don’t hear back, don’t take it as permanent rejection from an employer. Follow up with the hiring manager or HR, and continue applying to other jobs online. Put simply, “you have to hustle,” Schilder says.
Myth 3: One resume fits all
While it’s true that your resume can be entered into a company’s system, which means it’s searchable to internal recruiters. But it’ll look a lot better if you’re proactive and tailor your applications to each position as if it’s the only job you’re applying to. Be sure to include important keywords—a critical piece of the puzzle that shows you how to find work.
“Most resumes have to go through applicant tracking systems,” Kiner says. This software screens resumes for words that are related to the job. (These terms are generally woven into job postings.) So, if your resume didn’t reflect the language used in the job posting, there’s a chance it didn’t pass this initial test and make into a hiring manager’s hands.
“Top performers will always be competing for the best jobs,” Kiner says, “so you want to wow hiring managers with not only your resume but also your cover letter.” This is an opportunity for you to show the hiring manager that you've done your research on the company you're applying to and the person you're writing to.
Myth 4: There's a hiring slow down during the summer and the holidays
While recruitment cycles can affect hiring, the gears rarely, if ever, grind to a halt. If you’re serious about finding a new job, you should always be looking and applying to job postings. You never know what the right job opening could pop up, says Schilder. For instance, if an employee quits unexpectedly, the company might need to fill the role immediately regardless of what time of year it is.
Another benefit of searching for jobs year-round? Your competition may buy in to the myth. “A lot of people stop looking for jobs during certain periods of the year, so even though there may be fewer openings, there are also fewer people applying for these jobs,” Schilder says.
Myth 5: I will never find a job
Whether you’re unemployed, in a job you hate, or dealing with career stagnation, it can be easy to believe this one. A negative attitude can crush your job search. To overcome your own self-doubt, step back and think broadly about your experience and interests, and focus on your transferable skills, then look for ways to use them: Volunteer in your prospective field, or pick up a side hustle in that industry, Kiner recommends. Stay engaged.
Could you use some more help learning how to find work? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent to you when positions become available so you can be among the first to apply. Don’t fall get caught in the sticky web of myths; truth is, you are plenty employable, and there’s a job out there waiting for you.