With the national unemployment rate hovering around 9.5%, finding a job can seem like an endless search.
While experts agreed the labor market is less than friendly right now, there are steps candidates can take to increase their chances of finding employment.
The state of the economy does not indicate how your job search will go– those who get sucked into this kind of thinking generally have a really tough time, says Meredith Haberfeld, executive and life coach.
Here are some common job-hunting myths that can prevent you from securing a job.
Myth 1: No one is Hiring, so I Shouldn’t Even Bother
While the unemployment rate has steadily climbed over the past few years, the misconception that companies will not hire in tough times is simply not true.
When looking for employment make that your full-time job, suggest the experts.
Those who recognize that for this time, job hunting is their job and structure their time accordingly and do an incredible job at this job over the long haul do find opportunities, says Haberfeld.
These days, it can take anywhere from a week to a year and those who put in the diligent effort day after day and don’t get stopped by set-backs find the right position.
Myth 2: I just Graduated from College, No one will Want Me
If you’re a recent college grad, you may feel insecure about your lack of experience. Don’t get discouraged-apply to openings anyway.
To a recent college graduate, the good news is that there has been an uptick in the job market that’s been going on all year, says J.P. Hansen, author of The Bliss List: The Ultimate Guide To Living The Dream At Work And Beyond.
Haberfeld says if a company is having a hard time finding the right person to fill a position, they will often turn to college graduates they can train on the job.
Every single field requires entry level employees that [companies] can train and cultivate, she says. I have yet to ever find a field where entry-level employees were not needed. Companies rely on that.
Myth 3: The Best Way to Find a Job is Online
The experts agree the Internet is a good tool to find job openings, but it cannot be your only method.
[Searching online] can be a component, but overall, get away from the computer, says Haberfeld. Talk to people through every phase of your job search and authentically cultivate relationships. This is the single most powerful force leading to successful job offers.
Career expert Deborah Brown-Volkman points out that every career has an association–get out there and attend meetings or networking groups to meet people. Although you might be nervous at first, keep practicing by talking to people in your field of interest.
If you are a college student, use your available resources-head to the student career center and talk to people.
“It’s the college student that goes in physically, makes a good appearance at the career center, does some research, perhaps looks for an endorsement with the various people in that center who generally can line up interviews, says Hansen. From there, you have a much better chance at getting a job.
Myth 4: Limit Your Resume to One Page
Not everyone has to squeeze their experience one page, according to the experts.
For college students, [one page] may be the most appropriate, says Hansen. But don’t limit your resume to one page if you have other content.
Myth 5: They Have My Resume, They Know My Strengths
When it comes time for an interview, your resume cannot speak for you. You need to be your biggest promoter, so practice your professional spiel.
Beginning to promote yourself and network on your own behalf is a skill that requires practice, says Haberfeld. It’s not comfortable for almost anyone at first, but the more you get out there and do it, day in and day out, and recognize that it’s not some cheesy, fake sales pitch you’re making, but that you’re actually cultivating real connections with people.
It helps you to hone your 30-second pitch, says Brown-Volkman. You’ll be more effective on interviews.
Myth 6: Interview Went Well, the Ball is Now in Their Court
After a job interview or initial contact you want to show the employer you’re interested in the job without becoming a nuisance.
There is a fine line between desperate and desirable–I always say that you have to adapt an attitude of’ I care, but not that much,’ says Hansen. Daily calls and communications–that’s called pestering. I don’t think it is unreasonable once a contact has been established to look for contact every other week. People that do it daily appear desperate and that’s a knock-out punch.
Haberfeld suggests following up with a hand-written thank you note.
It’s all the more valued now in this era of digital communications, she says. But after the thank you note and an after-hours voice mail message thanking the interviewers and sharing your enthusiasm for the job, re-focus your energies on building and nurturing your network.