Job Search Myths

I've been a member of the class of unemployed for a month now. During that time I've reminded myself of some of the myths behind job searching and resumes. This is not a comprehensive list; just a few things I've discovered and yes some things I've theorized.

A couple of weeks ago I was doing some volunteer work and my job search came to the attention of someone there. I was still officially employed to which that person replied that it's easier to find a job while you are still working because it looks better to the prospective employer. I don't think so at least not in my case. In the last 16 years that I've been job searching it was only when I was unemployed that I actually found a job twice. It appears that some employers are less willing to take someone away from their current employment than they are in providing a job to someone that isn't working. The "currently working" status really doesn't say that much about an employee's quality or reliability. There's enough information on a person's application to determine that.

A second thing that I would consider a myth is that a one-page resume is essential. To some employers and job searchers that may be true. For many that may not be the case. If a resume is properly organized with appropriate spacing and subheads a multi-page resume allows a prospective employer find the information he is interested in. I customize every resume I send out but in general it includes an education/certification page a history page a qualifications page and in most cases a projects page. My on-line resume although not fully updated follows the same theme. Prospective employers can quickly browse to find the information they are interested in. That version also includes personal activities like Scrabble photography and disc golf if they are interested. They can turn the page if not.

While it may be true that a one-page resume may help me find a job any job faster it won't insure that I find a job I want or mean that the employer finds an employee he needs and can utilize to the fullest. I don't want to find an employer that has a limited interest in my qualifications or who's primary concern is how well I can sell myself in an interview.

A third thing comes from one of the sites I visited. On this myth is presented.

Myth #5 -- If your r??sum?? is good enough it should produce a job offer.

m of your r??sum?? is not to get you a job directly although that has happened with some of my clients. The aim of your r??sum?? is to make the phone ring (or your e-mail box fill up) and land you a job interview. It's YOUR job to prepare for that interview and get the job offer.

That is partly true. The resume is there to present your qualifications for a job. That's it. If successful a resume will also prevent you from getting a job you don't want. It's a lot like matchmaking. Both parties need to be compatible with each other to make for a lasting meaningful relationship.

Finally a bit of advice. If possible be prepared for being unemployed. Manage your finances in such a way that when you do become unemployed you won't have to take the first job that comes along. If you're prepared you might find that your next bout of unemployment could lead you to becoming self-employed.

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