3 Contracting Myths Debunked

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At some point in your career you’ve likely been told there is a ‘simple’ trick for landing a job. This advice has taken many elusive forms- whether in the shape of a well-written cover letter, applying exclusively via a company’s career site, or knowing someone on the inside. However, the question becomes how many of these techniques are true, or better yet, still applicable?

It is no secret that the job search has changed in the last 10 years, evolving from ads circled in the local paper to search engines like Indeed and Monster where thousands of jobs at our fingertips. Trying to determine which practices are fact and which are fiction can be far more time consuming than the interview itself, but there are a few staffing hiring hacks that you can place firmly in the outdated pile. Here we discuss three relatively common contracting job search myths that have been recently debunked and explain what new standards to adopt when exploring the job market.

1. Your resume should only be X amount of pages…FALSE

Many candidates still believe in the single page resume. Shrinking the margins and font to such meager sizes as to limit themselves, and their employment chances, in an effort fit every detail into one document.

The reality is recruiters on average receive 250 applicants for any given position and do not have the time to pick through a less than satisfactory resumes. According to Amanda Augustine, Career Advice Expert for TopResume, length may not matter when it comes to your resume, but tailoring the document to your strengths does. A job seeker fresh out of school or even with a few years experience may require a single page resume to adequately summarize their professional accomplishments, whereas field veterans or those seeking management positions are encouraged to use a two or three-page format. Nevertheless, in either instance, your resume is a reflection of your professional acumen and should accurately and succinctly summarized your experience without sacrificing significant details. Don’t skimp for the sake of maintaining the one-page policy – customize it.

2. You Should Take the First Offer You Get…FALSE

Are you satisfied in your position, but still keeping an eye on the job market?

You are not alone. In 2015, 71% of employees polled claimed to be satisfied with their current job, but nearly three-quarters of that population were still considering another position. If you fall within this statistic, you have likely been told to ‘take the first option’ or that jobs are ‘what you make of them’. However, I disagree. Take a moment to think before accepting any offer. If you applied to a handful of organizations, consider and compare all offers before making up your mind; there is a chance that another position could be a better fit both culturally and professionally.

If you have yet to hear back from every company in which you interviewed, give Human Resources a call. Respectfully explain that you have received an offer elsewhere, but remain interested in their position and in order to make an informed decision you were curious about any pertinent updates regarding your application. If they have an update or feedback (good or bad) they will likely share it with you or get back to you soon after. In either case, you come away with more information than when you started and can make an educated choice.

Furthermore, if you accept a position you intend to take, politely rescind your candidacy with the other companies in which you interviewed. This simple act of courtesy goes a long way by allowing HR to not only close the communication loop, but conclude their interactions with you in a positive manner, which might even open doors to future opportunities.

3. You must show up in a suit and tie…TRUE AND FALSE

It is recommended that you ask either your recruiter or a Human Resources contact about company dress policy prior to an interview. The interview should focus on your skills, experience, and how you can fill the role – not your physical appearance – but the last thing you want is to worry about attire. Choose an outfit that is both comfortable and conforms to dress code policies, it will give you the peace of mind to talk confidently about your abilities without that nagging sense of doubt. It also shows that you respect and appreciate the opportunity afforded to you by coming prepared with more than just your flawless resume.

However, if you feel like the interview is focused on your attire rather than your skills, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere! You are a valuable asset to any company, make sure that mutual culture fit!

From searching and applying to the offer letter, the process of looking for work has changed a great deal – and it’s not just limited to resumes, offers, and dress codes. Whether you are actively looking, or content in your current position, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the job market. For when the time comes to consider another position, you need to be well informed and to put your best foot forward without worrying about outdated practices.

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