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Job Search Myths

Myth 1:

Anyone can find a job; all you need to do is watch the newspaper, explore the Internet and, network with you friends and contacts.

Reality:
True, you can find a job with these methods, however, the odds of finding a career position are low. Professionals and executives have little, if any, experience in searching for a job. Most have moved from position to position through personal contacts or recruiters. When circumstances dictate a career transition, they lack the hands on knowledge and experience to conduct an effective, exhaustive job search locating the more lucrative positions found in the hidden job market. Success lies in the ability to create high level interviews, i.e., get in front of the decision makers.

Myth 2:

If you don't get results from using the classified ads, the Internet, and submitting resumes to local companies, the next step is to contact headhunters who know where the good jobs are.

Reality:
The New York Times ran an in-depth study of available jobs. This report demonstrated why a Total Market Campaign is an absolute necessity to find the better positions. The Times discovered that even if you contacted all of the nations' 42,000 employment agencies, reached all of the 3,500 executive search firms, and read every Sunday edition of every newspaper, you would only be exposed to about 18% of the jobs that become available in a year for the entire country. This is the published or formal job market where the competition is fierce. Most positions are not listed with any agency.

Myth 3:

Few jobs are available for me in the competitive marketplace. I don't have the experience, qualifications, or education employers are looking for today.

Reality:
Competition in the publicized market is high and many times the best qualified candidates are eliminated in the screening process simply because their resume fails to demonstrate the required skills or qualifications. All job seekers have transferable skills, and when presented correctly on a resume, can qualify them for the more desirable career positions. In addition, numerous jobs are available within the hidden job market, and may be secured through the proper job search techniques. It's a fact that many positions requiring professional and executive skills often go unfilled for extended periods of time.

Myth 4:

Employers are in the drivers seat; they have all the power.

Reality:
The employer is waiting for the candidate to give him/her a reason to hire them! Companies are eager to find the right person as quickly as possible. You are in control when you can identify their problems and can effectively relate how your experience and skills will solve those problems. You must be prepared to sell yourself in the interview.

Myth 5:

Companies always hire the most qualified candidates possessing the best credentials and relevant experience.

Reality:
Most employers rank qualifications second or third in importance. Employers can seldom determine who is the most qualified candidate. Qualifications are difficult, if not impossible, to define and evaluate. Employers look for people they believe are competent, intelligent, honest, and likeable; therefore, you must communicate that you have these desirable characteristics. The person who is best prepared for the interview will usually get the offer. Employers make compromises, the perfect candidate is rarely found.

Myth 6:

People over 40 have difficulty finding a good job.

Reality:
Age becomes an insignificant barrier to employment if you can conduct a well-organized search and are prepared to handle this potential negative with employers. Experience is a positive and valuable asset to a company and must be communicated as such. Hiring managers will benefit from your knowledge, maturity, and stability. The difficulty for most job seekers is the inability to get through the screening process to talk to the decision maker.

Myth 7:

Executive recruiters make their money finding jobs for people.

Reality:
This is a common misconception. Recruiters are hired by companies only when their Human Resource Department has been unsuccessful in finding suitable candidates for positions. The recruiter is paid by, and works for, the client company. Their responsibility is to the client company, not the job seeker. A recruiter's livelihood depends on marketing his service to companies and securing search contracts. Once the contract is signed, he begins his search for a candidate. With the possible exception of high-demand fields, companies will seldom pay a fee for candidates who are looking for a job, unemployed, or changing careers.

Myth 8:

I want/need to make a career change, I'm willing to start over at a lower level.

Reality:
To affect a successful career change one must first identify their transferable skills and abilities, as well as, the industries and markets where they can best be marketed. You must then research to identify the companies within the target market and be prepared to sell your skills and abilities to the decision maker. Changing career fields does not change your value when you have the direction and focus as to what you are best qualified to do.

Myth 9:

When asked in an interview, "What do you want to do?" Saying "I am open" will increase my odds of getting a job.

Reality:
Companies today want professionals that are committed to success and know what they're good at doing and where they want to go in life. Saying I'm open clearly indicates that you have no plan or goal and suggests to the employer that you might be just looking for a paycheck. You can't expect a company to be determine where you might fit in.

Myth 10:

I know there's nothing for me here in my home state; I'll have to relocate.

Reality:
The fact is, relocation is rarely necessary for the individual who is aggressively conducting a proactive job search campaign focused on the hidden job market. In the estimated 80,000+ businesses in the metro area there are positions becoming available and being created on a daily basis. Less than 20% of these positions will ever be publicized or listed with any agency. Rarely is it necessary to relocate to find a good job.

Myth 11:

Never pay a company up front to find you a job!

Reality:
This dates back to the post World War II era when our service men and women were returning home and seeking employment. Many employment agencies sprung up around the country charging people up front for jobs and not performing. Since that time all states require that Employment Agencies be licensed, or regulated, and collect a fee only when the candidate is placed.

Today there are very few employment agencies that require the candidate to pay the placement fee. Placement fees for hourly workers are generally paid by the hiring employer through a "temp to perm" payment system.

A small percentage (less than 10%) of professionals and executives find employment through executive search firms. With this system, the search firm is contracted and paid by the hiring employer to recruit quality candidates for the employer. Note: The employer is the client, not the individual seeking employment!

During the employment downsizing of the 80's, very few professionals and executives found employment through search firms or employment agencies. To correct this problem, outplacement firms were created to primarly help professionals and executives find new quality jobs. The fee for outplacement services is generally paid by an individual's former employer as part of a severance package following termination.

The difference between employment agencies and outplacement firms: Employment agencies are hired by the employer to help the employer recruit quality candidates. With outplacement firms, an individual's former employer pays the fee to have the outplacement firm help the individual find a new job.

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