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by Peter Yang | April 17, 2019

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wrong way sign

The job landscape is constantly changing, so now more than ever it’s critical to stay on top of the latest job search trends and strategies to ensure you land the position of your dreams. However, if you look around the web, you’ll find many opinions on what to do during the job search that are flat out wrong. With this in mind, here are five of the most common job search myths that might be holding your career back.

Myth 1: If you’re the smartest and most qualified candidate you’ll get the job for sure.

While in the ideal world this would be the case, it’s far from true. The reality is employers often hire the candidate they simply like the most and have the strongest connection with. This is something that not only makes sense from an employer standpoint but also something backed by research. So the next time you’re given a shot at a job interview, don’t just go into it hoping to prove you’re the most qualified candidate for the job. Try to also build rapport with your interviewer. Find a common interest to chit-chat about and don’t be afraid to open up about subjects outside of work should the opportunity present itself.

Myth 2: You’ve got to do everything yourself

It’s good to be independent and confident in your own abilities, but it’s also important to know when to get help. If writing just isn’t your strong suit or if English isn’t your first language, don’t just bang your head against the wall and spend weeks struggling to put together a resume that’ll end up just being mediocre at best. Instead, consider hiring a professional resume writer who you can count on to craft an infinitely better resume than one you can produce yourself. However, be careful, not every resume writer who claims to be an expert is going to know what they’re doing, so it’s important to do the necessary research before hiring one.

Myth 3: Mention absolutely everything on your resume

It’s natural to feel like all your hard work has gone to waste if you don’t mention all of it on your resume. However, the truth is recruiters only care about things related to the job you’re applying for. In fact, sometimes mentioning irrelevant skills or work experience can actually make you look like a poor fit for the job. Just imagine switching between marketing and finance your whole career. If you apply to a job in marketing, listing out everything you’ve done in finance could make you come across as inferior to other candidates with more targeted experience.

Myth 4: You don’t need a LinkedIn profile if you don’t care about connections

Wrong! Just because you don’t plan to search for job openings on LinkedIn doesn’t mean having a LinkedIn account is useless. In fact, my resume writing service conducted a field experiment on exactly this topic and found that job seekers who have a comprehensive LinkedIn profile have a 71 percent higher chance of clinching a job interview over those who don’t.

Myth 5: Your best bet is finding a job by applying online

There may be a lot of job openings online to apply to, but it’s important to diversify your arsenal when it comes to your job search. With most jobs filled either internally or through referrals, it’s important to spend less of your time and energy behind the computer screen and more of it on building connections with recruiters and influencers in your field via one-one-one meetings, job fairs, and network events. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your ex-coworkers and work pals to see if they may have any potential leads to offer you. You might be surprised to find just how useful these long-time connections are when you’re in need of their help.

Peter Yang is the co-founder of an online resume writing service. He’s had experience as a career coach and career counselor, as well as working as a human resource manager for multiple Fortune 500 technology companies.

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