I’ve done a lot of recruiting in my career.
Because of that, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with countless candidates about their job-search experiences; the highs, the lows and some common misconceptions about what companies are/aren’t looking for in an employee. It can be frustrating to look for work, particularly when not every “recruiter” is looking out for your best interests, and a lot of these misconceptions, the myths about job search, are compounded by experiences working with the wrong person.
Today I’m tackling a few of the myths that are getting in the way of many people’s success.
Below are the top-five “job myths” that I wish more candidates understood:
Myth #1 – You have to be perfect
Totally and irrefutably false. There’s a job for everyone out there, and a need for people of all sorts in the working world. I know candidates are nervous when they meet with me, and sometimes the genius answer comes on the drive home from our interview. I want you to be prepared, look the part and do your best…I’ll try to pull that knowledge from you.
My job is to help employers source candidates that fit the qualifications of a specific position, and that fit their values and culture. There are a lot of different value/qualification variations out there, so be the professional version of yourself, but be yourself. I’m skilled at cutting through what’s nerves and what’s competence.
Not every job is going be right for you and my job is to assess that fit. You don’t have to be perfect, and you’re not expected to be. It doesn’t make you a bad person if I don’t choose to meet with you or put you forward, you’re just not right for the position I’m working on today…tomorrow you might be.
It’s about me, it’s not about you.
Myth #2 – You have to have all the answers
As long as a candidate can think through how they might solve a problem or show me their thought-process, I’m often okay if they don’t have a perfect workplace example as an answer.
What I want to understand is how you work through a problem that you haven’t seen before, or a challenge that has a number of sensitive factors to consider. How do you see the world and what do you understand about business? My clients need me to understand how you think.
Some of my top candidates haven’t had a perfect answer to a tough question, or have bumbled through a shaky introduction – but they can almost always tell me about what they saw in their organizations that was effective or ineffective, or have provided a parallel answer that shows their skills.
Myth #3 – Recruiters don’t understand how hard it is to find work
We get it…at least the good recruiters do.
Job-searching is one of the most vulnerable things that you can do. You’re putting yourself out there in front of employers and asking them to judge your worthiness over and over again. After a while it’s hard not to take it personally if you can’t find work. I appreciate that candidates put themselves out there for my role one more time even though it’s difficult.
It takes some people more time to find their place. I promise to respect you in this time of vulnerability, but I also need you to recognize that I have a job to do for my clients.
Myth #4– The more you apply, the better your chance of success
Not necessarily. If you’re applying for the wrong jobs, it won’t make an ounce of difference if you’ve applied to 1 or 100 jobs – you’re probably not getting a call.
For candidates that have never been in a warehouse, a Warehouse Supervisor position probably isn’t a fit and they’d be better suited to a Shipping/Receiving role. If a candidate has never been in HR and has no related education or experience, maybe the HR Generalist position isn’t right either. Someone could attend training to gain those skills, but they’re unlikely to make that jump without it.
There are transferable skills that can make a candidate effective in different positions, but there is also a line where you need that experience. The easiest way to not get noticed by a recruiter is to apply for every job that they have open. It shows a lack of self awareness and that you’re desperate.
Being unfocused in your approach increases your level of risk, while being deliberate enables you be an expert in an interview, and will ensure that you present your best self to employers.
Myth #5 – You’re in this alone
Sit down and think about what you want to do next and target your approach. If you’re looking to change careers, there are some great people whose job it is to help you to navigate those tricky waters. A Google search for “Employment Resources Winnipeg” took me to a whole host of organizations that are reputable.
- If you need help with your resume, there are folks out there who help with that.
- If you’re looking for a short-term solution, try a temp role. Lots of temp positions result in fulfilling permanent full-time jobs, and it’s easier to find work when you are working. If you are changing careers, it can also help you to build up your experience arsenal.
- If you’re working with a recruiter that isn’t helping, find a new one. Every company works with different clients and values different skills.
- Bombing your interviews? Guess what? There are people who help with that too.
Looking for a job is hard work. Putting yourself out there is tough and failure stinks, but failures are also a chance to learn and to improve your skills. Keep your head up and use your resources; the more tools you have at your disposal, the better your chances are at achieving success.
Don’t give up, you’ve got this.
Cheryl Krestanowich is a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Acuity HR Solutions where she executes on clients’ staffing needs and provides on-site Recruitment training for Hiring Managers. For more information about Acuity HR, visit https://acuityhr.ca or find us on LinkedIn and Instagram!