Other Basic Lies about Job-Hunting Young Graduates Believe in

01/04/2013 20:15

This is a major topic, so hereby I would like to continue with my list of ‘absolute truths’ about job hunting, which you may actually redefine as total lies. So here we go; 5 more for my list.

 

A Good CV is All I Need

I am having a serious impression there is one focal point that grads and young people in general put in their spotlight – CV (or resume, if you wish). Everybody, including college career services, run a variety of workshops on how to polish your resume. Frequently, it is presented as the first step you really need to do in order to start your job hunt. And I have nothing against it. Indeed, you shall not be searching for your dream job and have nothing (CV) in your hands. Among others, writing your CV is a great exercise. It allows you to access your qualities and expertise and hence, it helps you to make clear for yourself what is the ideal job you shall be looking for. But all this stress on your perfect CV is creating a false perception that a perfectly polished CV will win you the job of your dreams (or at least some job at first). Bad news #1: There is no golden CV. Each employer, recruiter or person you network with likes different things, applies diverse approaches and focuses on particular parts of your self-presentation. In other words – each time, they will access you differently. Bad news #2: CV only works as a prerequisite for an interview. Watch out, CV has very limited functionality and basically its sole purpose is to convince the future interviewer to invite you for an interview where you will only partly follow up on what you put down on this piece of paper. That is it!

Advice: It is essential to have a nicely written resume, but don’t over think it. CV itself will not secure you a job and there are other steps in the process which you will need to do – self-inventory exercise, interview skills practicing, negotiation skills etc. Work on these as well.

 

There Are Not Enough Jobs

False! There is only not enough preparation. If there were not enough jobs, job seekers, head hunters, recruiting agencies and HR departments of many organizations would have nothing to do. Just look at one of common job search portals – e.g. job board of your university career services, or LinkedIn. Can you see how much is out there? A lot! And this is just one of many job-search techniques. Even if we speak about entry positions, graduate and trainee programs, there is a variety of options. The thing is choices are maybe not as wide as they used to be (effect of economical crises) and the requirements and so the competition (for the best jobs especially) is much more tough. Well, well…job-hunting is a survival skill and requires profound preparation.

Advice: Do your homework! You can’t just enter job market, say ‘there is not enough jobs’ and expect employers will create them for you. You may accept a job which is not your dream job yet. Or you may need to expand your job search techniques and the time you actually dedicate to job hunting so that you widen your choices. Or all you need to do is a careful self-inventory to be able to find a suitable match for you.

 

Using Internet Job Search Technique Is Enough

Please, refrain from this statement immediately, as it is truly dangerous and may negatively affect your attitude once you fail finding a job using just that technique. 5 %! This is usually the number you find in different statistical researches on job searching techniques right next to the internet job search. It says only 5 % of all job seekers who use this technique are actually successful in their job hunt and get the job! Shocking? Revealing, I would say. You may get lucky and find your job on internet. But what if you don’t? Here the main drawback is that if you use only this technique you may soon get disappointed or even frustrated. The next state is that you will start to believe in all these negative articles about lack of jobs in the market, you will start blaming the system, politicians, your school which did not give you enough practical experience…etc. etc. In the end there is always somebody to blame. Well – there are plentiful options how to look for a job. If you don’t use your options, you aim to limit yourself. So blame yourself!

Advice: Try out other options and always employ at least two job search techniques. Richard Bolles in his book ‘What Color Is Your Parachute?’ gives a great overview of these techniques. You may make an investment and buy the book; it is updated every year so it gives you the right overview of methods which work at our vibrant job market just right now. And this is the key – job market changes as the globe does. At the time of crises you need to get much more proactive and get there to the employers directly. Network in the right way, come to job fairs, use other media than internet and so on. Play with it a bit and you will get positive results immediately.

 

They Will Create a Job for Me When I Need it

You may not say it out loud, but be honest – this is something most of us secretly believe in. The thing is recruiters see the whole job-hunting game a bit differently then you do. Their view is actually quite the opposite of yours. They will not create a job when you need it. They will create a job when they need it, when there is a demand for some service and more, when there is a budget for your role. Employers are very careful about posting new vacancies and if they do so, they will more likely advertise them internally. Up to 70 % of all vacancies (each organization applies different strategy) are advertised only internally – meaning only among internal employees of that particular organization. This means you will actually never hear about the most of job postings unless you really get proactive or recommended by some insider. Yet, this is another reason for expanding your job-search techniques.

Advice: Get rid of ‘they-will-save-me’ attitude and be proactive. And well – in the end, remember to be employed is only one of your options. You can also create a job yourself. All you need is to make a decision. Just have your future in your hands and ask yourself – what are my real possibilities, how far I wanna go, can I set a business of my own, do I have guts for this, do I have capital or support?

 

Recruiters Care only about My Past Experience

Be very cautious, this can’t be more false. Past experience is important, it gives you validation. This is also why you may like to put so much stress on your CV. But as discussed above, CV only gives interviewer certain reference, something that they can easily use to follow up on. In the end, what their aim is to screen you out in all your complexity. Have you heard about behavioral interviews or assessment centers? These methods reflect current need for profound testing of your present behavior and capabilities or skills to assure the perfect fit for the advertised role. Therefore, not only your past performance is in the spotlight, but also your present behavior. Employers simply can’t take a risk and employ somebody with perfect knowledge and past experience, but poor behavioral attitudes which would totally destroy the team balance and would not fit the organization culture.

Advice: As already mentioned, attitude is everything. The way you greet receptions before the on site interview, the fact that you send a thank you note afterwards, the way you respond to ice-breaking questions such as ‘Did you find the site easily?’, the way you act on social networks, the way you stay in touch with important contacts…All of these tell a lot about you as a prospective candidate. Do not focus on your past only and be ready to present the whole package.

 

Do you think there are other absolute truths about job-hunting which may actually turn out to be total lies? Please, get back to me with your ideas, so that we can extend the discussion.

petachaloupkova@gmail.com

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