Top 6 Biggest Mistakes You Are Making In Your Job Search

The Top 6 Job Search Myths

If you’re looking for job search assistance online, there’s no doubt you’ve read numerous conflicting articles pointing you in all sorts of different directions. Many online sources claim to have the “secret” that will help you land your dream job immediately. However, many of these secrets will only lead you into dead ends. Additionally, you have probably heard a lot of advice from your friends and families regarding how to conduct a job search. But what may have worked for one person will not necessarily work for everyone. In this article we will dispel the most common job search myths.

top five job search myths

1.) The Hidden Job Market

Ever been told that 90% of open positions go unadvertised? If that were the case, then how would they be getting filled? While it is true that some positions are never advertised publicly, the vast majority are indeed posted online, in newspapers and through other mediums. The “hidden job market” often refers to internal hiring practices. Oftentimes, these are not necessarily open positions, but rather new positions created solely for specific individuals. Besides, if so many of these job postings were hidden and out of reach, what would be the point in looking for them? Companies that are looking to hire top talent will advertise open positions in my different places in order to cast a wide net.

2.) You Need Experience to Get a Job

Do you ever feel intimidated with job postings requiring 3 to 5 years minimum experience in a specific field? Many job seekers, particularly new graduates, find themselves in the catch-22 where they cannot get an entry-level position because they do not have the required experience, and they cannot get the required experience because they are not qualified for entry-level positions. Don’t let these job requirements intimidate you. When hiring managers and HR personnel are writing job postings, they often write them based upon the individual who vacated the position they are trying to fill. However, no one comes into any job with 100% of the necessary experience. Don’t let experience requirements prevent you from applying to a position. First and foremost, employers are looking for someone ready to learn. If you can display that ability, you should have no problem landing an entry-level position. Remind yourself, everyone has to start somewhere.

3.) If I Leave My Job, I’ll Look Like a Job Hopper

In prior decades, it used to common for you to work for the same company your entire life. Oftentimes, it was the same company that your father worked for his entire life, and perhaps his father as well. However, as the economy becomes more and more dynamic, this trend no longer holds true. Many people are reluctant to look for something new because they believe they will be labeled as a job hopper — someone who keeps jumping from job to job without ever settling down. While this will look bad to your future employer if you can’t even hold down a single job for more than a few months, don’t be afraid to look for new opportunities after you have put in a few years in at your current company. Studies show that individuals who switch companies often end up with greater compensation in the long run than those individuals who remain with the same company. Additionally, the longer you stay with your current company, the more difficult it can be to switch. Today’s employers want to see a candidate that is adaptable, can thrive in difficult situations, is up to new challenges, and always looking to learn something new. Bringing diverse experience in numerous roles across different industries will help demonstrate these qualities.

4.) I Should Only Apply to Jobs I Really Want

While there is nothing wrong with a targeted job search, don’t be afraid to cast a large net. Too often job seekers apply only to specific companies or positions. However, this will severely limit the impact of your search. You may find yourself eventually landing your dream job, only to realize that you hate the company culture or that your responsibilities don’t match up with what you saw on the initial posting. Many of my clients have found themselves with wonderful jobs in roles that they never would have ever imagined doing just a few years back. You never know what might surprise you. Plus, casting a wide net will lead to more interviews. Even if you don’t think you actually want the job, I recommend going to the interview anyway. Not only will it give you interview practice, but you will also gain a better sense of what employers are looking for in candidates.

5.) It’s Best to be the Last Person Interviewed

The logic for this argument is, if you interview last, then you will remain fresh on the hiring manager’s mind, and they will be more likely to consider you over the person they interviewed weeks later. However, how will you ever be able to tell when is the best time to interview? Companies often leave job postings up long after they have already made up their minds. Once they find the right candidate who has accepted their offer, they stop interviewing all together. Why would they bother wasting their time on people they are never going to consider? When you see a job posting that interests you, apply right away. The more time you spend waiting, the more opportunities you are giving to other candidates.

6.) You Can Write Your Own Resume

If you change your own oil, can make a pair of shoes or cut your own hair, you may stop reading here. Resume writers have experience preparing effective presentations for thousands of people. A job seeker may write a resume every 3 to 5 years and during that time the rules can be completely change. Think about your annual salary. Writing a your own resume is like walking into a casino and putting your annual salary on the roulette wheel. With a resume writer, your up front risk is only the cost of the resume. Choose a resume writer with a long history of success and you will literally gain access to a wealth of knowledge that would be impractical to obtain on your own.

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Ridesharing and the Gig Economy – Is it worth it?

Ridesharing and the Gig Economy – Is it worth it?

cost of uber driving

With more and more people seeking flexible work arrangements, ridesharing and related services have surged in popularity. Companies including Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Postmates, Dolly and others aggressively pursue recruitment efforts to get more drivers on board. With promises of lucrative sign-on bonuses and flexible working terms, many people have turned to these companies to provide a little extra side income.

Own your own car? – Have some spare time? – Want to make extra money? Sounds like an easy proposition for most, but those interested in working for ridesharing and app-based delivery services need to think be aware of these top warning signs.

According to a recent report, only 4% of Uber drivers stick around for more than a year. Considering it is a part-time job that promotes reasonable wages, it may be surprising to note that the majority of people leave over the low pay. Many drivers discover that the money you have to put in barely matches the compensation.

As essentially an independent operator, ridesharing drivers need to take into full account all of the expenses that the position requires. Gas? Vehicle maintenance? Insurance? Breath mints for passengers? All of these additional expenditures add up and significantly cut into a driver’s take-home pay. Most insurance companies also require enhanced commercial coverage for drivers offering ridesharing or delivery services, so if you get in an accident with only personal coverage while working, you may get slammed with a large repair bill. And if you suddenly don’t have a working vehicle, you have no way to make an income.

While ridesharing services often promote average wages of $20/hr or more, the reality is a little more bleak. For example, Uber drivers in Detroit average only $8.77/hr. Furthermore, despite the promises of flexible schedules and work-when-you-want-to hours, drivers should note that nothing is guaranteed. With driver commissions always changing and and demand constantly fluctuating, drivers find it difficult to earn a consistent living. Furthermore, the more drivers ridesharing companies recruit, the fewer rides there are to go around and the less money there is to be made.

There are additional drawbacks to working for ridesharing companies. For example, on-the-job training and employee support is minimal. Have an issue? Expect to be put on hold with their support team. While the barriers to entry are next to none, the ongoing support they provide to drivers is minimal. With such high turnover rates, ridesharing companies aggressively recruit new workers to fill in the gaps. This leads to a less-than-loyal workforce and an employment atmosphere where they factor in the consideration that you are likely to leave within a short period.

Another significant drawback to working for a ridesharing company is the lack of any defined benefits. Classified as an independent contractor, ridesharing companies are not obligated to provide any benefits such as healthcare insurance or retirement savings plans. Additionally, drivers should note that they will be responsible for their own taxes.

Is there any good news? There have been multiple attempts with limited success to re-classify ridesharing drivers as employees entitled to company benefits and compensation packages. For example, state commissions in both California and Florida have ruled in favor of individuals seeking unemployment benefits following termination from Uber.

Additionally, drivers have been voicing their criticisms of ridesharing companies. Drivers for Uber in Lagos, Nigeria declared a strike protesting promotional prices offered by Uber that cut into drivers’ take-home pay. Elsewhere, ridesharing companies have come under increasing scrutiny by employees, users, regulatory boards and competing businesses like taxi cab drivers.

Those thinking of pursing a position with a ridesharing company need to be careful in weighing all of the considerations beforehand. In instances, it may turn out to be more of a hassle than you imagined. If you are looking for a steady income, employer reliability and benefits, working for ridesharing companies should be your last option.


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Top Five Plagues That Will Poison Your Job Search

Avoid these red flags when embarking on your job search!

 

Having trouble getting your resume noticed? New to the job market? Haven’t had to search for a job in decades? Avoid these top five red flags that will send your resume straight to the trash.

1.) Obsolete Software and Skills

Many people update their resume on a continual basis, adding new skills and job descriptions as they advance in their career. However, for people who have been in the workforce for 15 years or more, many of the skills and technologies they used in the past are no longer relevant to the positions they are applying for. And not only are they not relevant, they will seriously date you. There is no longer any reason to include in your resume that you are proficient in Lotus Notes or Windows 95. Keep your skills relevant and up to date, only include the ones that are going to be relevant to the positions you plan on applying for.

2.) Job Hopping

Have you had ten jobs in the past three years? Job hopping is a serious red flag. It indicates a lack of loyalty and seriousness regarding your career. From the employer’s perspective, they will ask what’s to stop you from leaving us to join a new company after six months or a year? Employers are looking for candidates that will stick around long enough to truly wrap their heads around the positions they are in and the company they work for. This process takes years, not months. A company with a revolving door of workers will be far less efficient than one that is able to successfully retain the bulk of the candidates they recruit. There are tactics to avoid this troublesome issue, including being selective as to which positions you list on your resume and how you date them.

3.) Old Dates

Do you still have listed that “Computer Operator” job from 1983 on your resume? Or that bachelor’s degree you received in 1976? Remember that a resume does not need to be a complete record of your entire background. The purpose of the resume is to advertise what traits, qualities and experience you possess that will translate effectively into a new role. You need to be selective in what you choose to include or not include. It is perfectly acceptable to leave off dates for listings such as educational accomplishments, since they will immediately provide the recruiter with an idea of your age. Unfortunately, age discrimination is a very real thing, and older job seekers need to do all they can to protect themselves from it.

4.) Employment Gaps

Many people experience difficult life events that require them to take an extended leave of absence from their career. On a resume, a two- or three-year gap looks very suspicious to a potential employer. It raises questions like, what was this person doing during that period of time that they don’t want to mention? – was this person virtually unemployable for that length of time? – why didn’t they have a job? You may have any number of valid reasons for why you took time off from working, but none of this will be clear to potential employers who only know you by your resume. There are numerous strategies to fill in these gaps on your resume, from including volunteer experience to turning what you were actually doing while technically unemployed into a position you can explain on your resume.

5.) Career Transitions

Did you go from being a software engineer to restaurant manager to administrative assistant? For the average person writing their own resume, these kinds of career transitions can be difficult to put together into a coherent narrative on paper. The most important thing to remember, is that a resume is not just a document explaining what you did in the past, but rather is a document explaining what you want to do in the future. The key is to bring out the transferable skills you have learned in previous positions that will effectively translate in your new position. For example, one person could have the same work experience, but three entirely different resumes targeted towards three different jobs.


Do you feel your work history has too many red flags? Speak with one of our professional resume writers today at 773-525-2450 and learn how we can help.