15 Things People Believe About Job Hunting That Are Total Myths

Searching for a job can be incredibly stressful. Because of that, it may be tempting to follow any type of “advice” that is offered online or on job boards. Unfortunately, many of those tips are really myths. Want to know the difference between helpful hints and fake tips? With help from LiveCareer.com, we mapped out the 15 things people believe about job hunting that are actually false. (The myth on page 9 will surprise you.)

1. All open positions are listed on job boards or online

typing on a keyboard
Looking online | Urupong/iStock/Getty Images

Even in the digital age, this isn’t true. LiveCareer.com explains that only around 15-20 percent of open positions are posted online. “The vast majority of job openings are part of the ‘hidden’ or ‘closed’ job market,” they tell us. “And the higher the position and salary, the less likely the position will be advertised at all.” If this is the case, upping your networking game can help.

Next: Yep, this is a job-search myth …

2. The more job boards you sign up for, the better

woman typing on laptop computer and media app icons flying
woman typing on laptop computer and media app icons flying | iStock.com/KeremYucel

You may think this will lead to getting multiple offers. But you shouldn’t be limiting yourself to just this method — especially since only five percent of applicants get interviews this way. “While job-hunting on the Web should be one component of a job search for most job-seekers, it should not be viewed as having any higher success rates than applying to help-wanted ads in the newspaper or trade magazines,” LiveCareer.com says.

Next: Don’t fall for this myth …

3. A cover letter isn’t that important

You man holding up a resume| iStock/Getty Images

Spoiler alert, it is. “A cover letter tells the employer exactly what job you are seeking — and how you are uniquely qualified for that position,” LiveCareer.com says. They suggest tailoring a cover letter for every job you are applying for. The only exception to this rule, they say, is if a job posting specifically says they do not want a cover letter.

Next: Here’s a tip you shouldn’t follow …

4. Your resume should show a progression of responsibilities

business man working in office
Writing a resume | iStock.com/anyaberkut

Long story short: Your resume should be short, sweet, and to the point. No need to tell a story with a long progression of your career. Prospective employers spend less than a minute looking at resumes, so hitting key components as quickly and clearly as possible is key.

Next: Some good news for those who got down by this myth …

5. Companies frown on candidates who change work fields often

Resume | iStock/Getty Images

Sure, you may not want your resume peppered with short job stays in different fields. In fact, having an array of jobs on your CV can show you have a wide range of skills. Just be careful about listing jobs where you were only there for less than a year, LiveCareer.com says. That can leave a bad impression.

Next: It just isn’t that easy …

6. Simply sending out our resume ensures you’ll get interviews

resumes in folder saying rejected resumes
resumes in folder saying rejected resumes | ziss/iStock/Getty Images

More times than not, sending your resume off and then sitting waiting for a phone call to schedule an interview isn’t going to get you anywhere. Sending follow-up emails or calling and inquiring about interviews can help push your resume to the top of a pile. Don’t feel like you’re being a pest — an extra follow-up can potentially go a long way.

Next: Thankfully, this isn’t true …

7. You can only schedule job interviews between 9am and 5pm

Woman at a job interview
Woman at a job interview | IndypendenZ/iStock / Getty Images Plus

If an employer is really looking for a new hire, they’re more likely to take time out of their schedule to interview applicants. Besides, an interview during off-hours can be better because the interviewer may be less distracted by work-time matters.

Next: Hold up for a second …

8. Qualifications are everything

Employer conducting job interview, reviewing good resume of successful applicant | Fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

Being cocky in an interview because you’re incredibly qualified doesn’t mean you automatically get a job. But letting it show in an interview you don’t feel qualified enough also doesn’t read well. Being confident in your own skill set and being able to talk to your interviewer can go further in making a good impression.

Next: We were surprised when we heard this was a myth …

9. Lowering your salary demands makes you a more appealing candidate

Job interview
Business interview | Robert Daly/iStock/Getty Images

Surprisingly, it doesn’t. “Job-seekers should never lower reasonable salary demands because doing so will just make you appear desperate for the job — and will likely result in your not getting the job offer,” LiveCareer.com says. Additionally, they suggest you don’t bring up salary in an interview. Let the employer do that instead.

Next: Some good news if this myth got you down …

10. The older you are, the harder it is to get hired

Old man smiling
| Vadimguzhva/iStock/Getty Images

There was a point where it was believed the baby boomer class and older couldn’t get out there and get a new job. But times have changed, and as long the proper skill set and attitude are there, there’s no reason not to apply for a job and get an interview. (Of course, it can still be difficult if the job is in a youth-driven market. Otherwise, no job is out of reach.)

Next: This myth is only semi-false …

11. Take the first job you’re offered if you must

Interview applicant | DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images

LiveCareer.com admits holding out for the right job, and not taking the first one that is offered to you, doesn’t work in every circumstance. They say “as long as you are not about to lose your house or suffer other financial or emotional consequences, you should hold out for the job offer that best fits the direction you want to move in.”

Next: Beware …

12. Headhunters have your best interest in mind

| KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

Longs story short: Headhunters get paid by companies, so that’s where their loyalty goes. They’re looking to fit a company with applicants they think may work, not to fit applicants with jobs they may excel at. Yes, using a headhunter has the potential to help you land an interview. But it isn’t a full-proof way to get hired.

Next: Under no circumstances is this true …

13. Don’t feel the need to sell prospective employers

Business Job interview. HR and resume of applicant on table.
Job interview | ijeab/iStock/Getty Images

Yes, you do. Perhaps “sell yourself” isn’t the proper term for it. Think of an interview as the opportunity to be your own one-person marketing team. To truly convince prospective employers that you are the applicant they want to hire, you have to go that extra mile to pump yourself up.

Next: This myth is on the way out …

14. Changing your career is a pipe dream

Thoughtful and nervous woman waiting for the interviewer during a job interview in a desk at office
Debating a career move? | AntonioGuillem/Getty Images

Actually, changing your career path isn’t as difficult as you may think, given how much the working world changes and evolves. It still takes a ton of effort, but it’s not completely impossible. “As long as you have a plan and do your best to stick with it, you should be able to switch careers,” LiveCareer.com says.

Next: Last but not least …

15. The legnth of your job search depends on your current salary

Job interview | Gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images

Some people might try to tell you something like, “it takes one month of job searching for every x,000 of current salary.” LiveCareer.com admits it isn’t clear where this guestimation for how long a job search should take even originated. They suggest worrying less about numbers connected to the length of your job search and focusing your energy the job search itself.

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