The 5 Lies Job Seekers Need to Stop Believing

We’ve all fallen prey to our fair share of lies.

Big and small. Significant or petty. Bold-faced or maybe just a simple omission of an important fact. It’s unfortunate, but true. When the moment of truth strikes you, it can be jarring. It makes you wish you knew the truth from the very start. You question yourself, “How could I be so naive, so trusting?”

Job seekers are not immune to lies. In fact, I’d wager that job seekers believe more lies and misconstrued facts than the average bear. This is especially true of anyone who is in a vulnerable position.

They won’t kill you, but they can really take down your chances of getting hired. These are the top five lies about job hunting that job seekers must stop believing.

Pump out the resumes, jobs will come.

Otherwise known as the “resume carpet-bomb,” many job seekers love this approach to job hunting. It simply involves sending resumes out to every conceivable employer and hoping for a response.

​It’s equivalent to fishing with sticks of dynamite. Sure, you will surface a bunch of dead fish, but they are mangled and no longer appealing for dinner. And, for the most part, once you have blown up that fishing hole, you can forget about fishing in that spot ever again.

Why this isn’t the case: Put yourself in an employer’s shoes. If you’re hiring, you’re getting hundreds of resumes. If you’re not hiring, you’re still getting hundreds of resumes. Who is going to stand out? The cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all resume that’s clearly been sent to 40 other companies, or the resume that is tailored to a specific employer and accompanied by a professional, purposeful communication from the applicant.

Have a social media profile and employers will come for you.

It’s been said time and time again—social media is a valuable tool for the job search. Unfortunately, too many job seekers think of social media as the only tool for the job search.

Why this isn’t the case: While it is true that social media can help you land a fabulous job, it’s not going to do all the legwork. Just because you are present doesn’t necessarily mean you will be found, or even searched. Just like on the job boards, all of your competitors are using social media today too, so don’t think that your Twitter account or LinkedIn profile is going to make you that much more prominent among your peers. You still have to stand apart from the crowd somehow. Make your social media presence work for you by being or becoming an active contributor to professional forums in which your peers, opinion leaders, and prospective hiring managers interact.

Pick one method and go with it.

Whether it’s just Twitter or just job boards, many job seekers are clinging to one method for their job search.

Why this isn’t the case: Ask 100 companies how they do their hiring. Some will say their own careers pages, others will say talent communities, many post jobs on dozens of job boards, while others will say something completely different. Successful job seekers use several methods and forums to get the most out of their time.

Following up makes you sound desperate.

After submitting a resume or interviewing, a lot of job seekers are afraid to follow up or send a thank you note because it seems pushy or desperate.

Why this isn’t the case: Unless otherwise specified by the employer, thank you notes and follow ups are often expected. It tells them that you are serious about an opportunity with the company and want them to keep you in mind. It is also a professional courtesy that is as important as a proper handshake when you meet someone. Don’t forget the follow up. Let the employer know that you valued their time and consideration of you for the position. It might be the simple gesture that scores you the job.

You can’t have anything personal online.

Younger job seekers and new grads do this a lot. They live in fear that the dirty secrets of their Facebook profiles will get out and employers won’t come near them. Thus, many young people are adopting second profiles, changing their names, or setting iron-clad privacy settings.

Why this isn’t the case: Your secret’s out – employers already know that you have a personal life. When you cover everything up, it can give a mixed message. What horrible things are you hiding? Ideally, live by the Grandma rule with your social media profile. If your grandmother can’t handle seeing what you’re sharing online, you need to tone it down. Overall, employers want to see that you’re socially adjusted and have a life outside of your career.

What do you think? What other lies should job seekers stop believing? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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