Debunking Job-Search Myths

Looking for a job is rarely easy, especially when there are so many theories on what you should and should not do.

Following are five common myths about job hunting and some advice for putting your best foot forward:

1. Businesses only want to hire someone already employed. Companies understand there are a number of reasons an individual may not currently be employed, especially in today’s labor market. If you are asked in an interview to explain why you are not working, be honest. Then give examples of how you are using the time to thoroughly investigate new career opportunities and to enhance your skills and experience. If you’re pursuing continuing education or have joined a professional association, share this information.

2. You need to dedicate 100 percent of your time to each job lead. While you want to investigate each tip, it’s important to prioritize the ones that have the greatest potential to “lead” to full-time employment.

3. You can’t afford to reject an offer if you’re unemployed. While it’s true your financial situation often must dictate whether or not you accept an offer, taking the wrong job can take its toll on morale. Consider other strategies, such as temporary work, that can help you stay on your feet while you wait for the right fit. If you do need to take a job you are unhappy with, use your off hours to continue your search and expand your networking activities.

4. Interviewing well is the most valuable job-hunting skill. Presenting yourself and your qualifications effectively is definitely important, but to get to that stage in the process you need to identify quality job leads and turn them into opportunities. After all, you want to make sure you’re interviewing for the best opportunities. During each step of your search, remain focused on that particular phase.

5. The only person you can depend on is yourself. Everyone needs help when looking for a job. When you begin searching, identify the help you need and ask those around you — family, friends, network contacts — for their assistance. Always show your gratitude when someone offers his or her assistance.

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