Thursday, 16 August 2007

Job Hunting Myths


Like anything Job Hunting has its fair share of myths which can be unhelpful or misleading for those involved in job search. This articles aims to explore and explode some of the most common myths to give you a more rounded perspective.

Myth 1 The perfect job is waiting for you

This totally untrue, there is no such thing as the perfect job and if you find it please let me know. This myth is often used in an attempt to make you feel better about yourself but in fact it can make you feel frustrated as you wonder why you haven’t found that perfect job, or if you ever will. Granted there are many enjoyable and rewarding jobs but each have their own drawbacks as well as their many advantages.

Myth 2 A resume should be no more than two pages in length

There is a myth that any resume should not be longer than 2 pages. This is absolute nonsense I have read resume’s of professional contractors (particularly in the IT industry) who due to the short duration of contracts have resume’s lasting 10 pages, but the information which they contain is both succinct and relevant. This is the key, employers prefer to see short work histories in which you have demonstrated specific examples of how you have used your skills than page long summaries that talk about who you sat next to and how good you were in the company golf team.

Myth 3 You should always write resumes in the third person

This is also a myth. Whilst some people like to write resumes in the third person it is certainly not essential and is in fact becoming increasingly unfashionable. There is nothing wrong with writing “I did this…” rather than “Michael did this…”. The only time when writing in the third person might be considered is at senior manager or executive level to communicate an air of authority.

Myth 4 Don’t call us, we’ll call you

This is perhaps one of the biggest myths and is often a means of politely informing you that you won’t be getting the job, although in all my years of recruiting I have never once heard a company use it. What it actually infers of course is that a company doesn’t want you to ring them as they are too busy to deal with your request for interview feedback due to the volume of candidates being assessed. However, In reality most companies actively encourage you to chase them up after your interview for feedback.

I got my first ever job because the manager who interviewed me was impressed that I persistently kept calling the office every three days to chase feedback after interview, they said it demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment.

Myth 5 You’ll walk into a job

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard this. In reality we all know that getting a job is not always that straight forward. The average recruitment cycle from making an application to getting a job offer can take up to three months, so don’t get frustrated if by the second week of your job search you still haven’t secured a job. Be persistent.

Myth 6 When I get nervous at interview I just imagine the Interview panel in their underpants!

In reality no one has ever done this for two reasons a) It doesn’t occur to them to say it until afterwards and b) if they did they would probably burst out laughing and blow their chances of getting the job. It’s a great anecdote but it is unlikely it has ever happened.

Myth 7 Agencies don’t pay you a full hourly wage.

I hear lots of people say, I work through an agency and they take loads of money of my hourly wage. I get paid $4.00 per hour but the agency charges the employer $6.00 per hour.

It may feel that you are being ripped off but the answer to this is simple. All agencies have agreements with employers that allow for an additional percentage to be added on to the hourly wage. This percentage generally ranges from between 15 and 30% but can easily be higher.

This means that whatever rate the employer decides to pay to you as an employee; the agency can add its additional percentage on as a reward for finding suitable people to fill the position.

Most of the time it would be unlikely that you would be paid the amount the agency receives even if you applied directly to the firm because this is the agency's fee for finding you.

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