Whether you've been searching for a job for a while, or have recently started looking, it’s easy to have misconceptions about the best way to find a new role. So, take a look at the DNA guide to dispelling some of the most commonly-held job hunting myths, we hope this will help to point you on the right path to finding that dream job…
1. A recruitment agency will do all the work for me
A recruiter can have valuable inside information about certain companies and obviously knows how to connect employers to job hunters with the skills that they are looking for. However you can't just fire off your CV and expect all the leg work to be done for you. You need to be clear about what jobs or companies you are interested in and use the advice offered to make the best of your CV and prepare for interviews. It's better to use recruiters as an extension of your network, giving them all the information they need to help you. We're always happy to meet our candidates and will keep in regular contact as we take you through the process. The more we get to know you and what motivates you the more likely we are to find you a role that you are interested in and have a good chance of getting.
2. Most jobs are advertised or filled using job boards
At the very most, only about 20% of jobs are advertised through recruitment agencies and the vast majority are part of the "hidden" job market. In fact, the higher the position and larger the salary, the greater the likelihood that the job will not be advertised publicly. So how do you find out about them? Effective networking will be your most useful tool – building relationships with the right people who can help you with your job hunt. Again, that is where we come in. The more we know about you and your own experience and network, the more likely we are to be able to put you forward when this type of opportunity comes up. We may not need to go as far as advertising the role, as you can be sure whenever a perfect match becomes clear to us, we jump straight on it and do all we can to get the process moving.
3. My CV needs to be a comprehensive record of my career
At the initial stage, most employers and recruiters will spend less than 20 seconds assessing your CV. If it reads like a boring technical manual, you could easily get overlooked. Instead, draw attention to the key components that are most relevant to your target job. Don't bury the most important information at the bottom of page two. A succinct profile is always a great opener.
4. If I'm on LinkedIn, the right people will find me
Unless you have created a well-crafted LinkedIn profile, complete with the right content and keywords, it is unlikely to get you noticed. A good profile will certainly increase your visibility but don't assume that people will come to you unless you have marketed yourself correctly. If anything it is the other way round, we may check out your profile, after we've seen your CV. So it's good if you can fill the profile with lots of good information and have good connections, but don’t assume that being on LinkedIn is all you need to do.
5. If I lower my salary expectations, it will increase my chances of being offered a job
Don’t be afraid to state your worth – accepting a lower than reasonable salary could be seen as a sign of desperation and could actually put some employers off. Even if you were to get the job, there could be a lasting resentment that you accepted a salary for less than you deserve. Similarly, an employer may not always opt for the most qualified person for the lowest salary; over-qualified or under-paid staff can be quick to move on.
6. The best person for the job will always get it
This depends what you mean by 'best'. Sure, a job hunter might have every one of the skills required for the position but that in itself isn't enough to get the job. In fact, it is more likely to be the candidate that best presented themselves during the interview. As well as having some of the right qualifications, they researched the company (always crucial), put together a targeted CV and personalised covering letter and prepared thoroughly for the interview. Never underestimate the need to be prepared. The more prepared you are, the more calm you will feel and appear, so your time spent on research will always pay off.
7. A cover letter isn't really that important
While you can make a CV that catches the eye of a recruiter, a good cover letter/accompanying email will tell them more than why you are interested in the role. It is an opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills, enthusiasm and personality – it really helps build your profile. A recruiter wants to know more about what you could bring to the position than why you want the job and will get a feel for your personality from a solid opening letter.
8. Employers know exactly who they are looking for
While it's easy to have pre-conceived ideas about who the ideal person for the job would be, most people are prepared to rethink things when they are given other options. Even if a candidate only matches 60% of the 'essential criteria', they could have been offered the job because they were the best at communicating how they could provide the greatest benefit to the employer – and never underestimate the importance of chemistry. Sometimes it just happens!
9. Interviews are all about the interviewer
An interview needs to be treated like a two-way meeting, not a one-sided interrogation. An interview is the place for you to find out whether the job and company is a good match for you. Showing your desire to make the right career choice and a genuine enthusiasm for the opportunity will fare much better than someone who comes across as desperate for the job. It is always worth ‘practising’ beforehand. No two interviews are the same, but it's always worth practising your answers to some of the standard questions, so at least you can deal with them very quickly and then move on to putting some of your questions over – and remember to listen carefully to the answers and respond accordingly.
10. I'll get a job if I apply to as many of them as possible
While you might think that a 'scattergun' approach can improve the probability of being offered a job, sending out your CV to the four corners of the earth might not be the best use of your job hunting time. Recruiters can always spot a generic CV that has been sent out hundreds of times. Instead, a more targeted approach, sending fewer, more bespoke CVs highlighting your relevant skills and experience will be the best way to increase your chances of success.
So if you are considering a move, or in the middle of the process, but feel like you need some more advice or even practise, do get in touch today. Our team are dedicated to their roles as consultants, and are always on hand to help with practical advice and insights.