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Let’s take a look at eight common job search myths…and the reality behind them:

The best qualified individual gets the job.

Actually, it’s the best candidate who gets the job. That person may or may not be the best qualified. Understand the difference.

Job Boards are the best source of leads.

Your network is the best source of leads. Its fine to check online and to peruse the want ads…but don’t spend too much time there. Most jobs are never posted.

It’s nearly impossible to find those hidden jobs.

Not if you put some work into it, and if you’re purposeful about how you go about it. Make sure people know about your search. They can’t help you if they don’t know you’re looking. Keep working to expand your network. Every meeting with another person is a potential networking opportunity. Think about who might be able to help you – even if it’s someone you don’t know yet – and figure out how you can go about meeting that person.

Thank you letters are passé.

If you don’t really want the job, skip the thank you letter. Otherwise, you’d better write one. It’s your last chance to sell yourself – to underscore why you’re the person who can help solve whatever problem it is the hiring manager is facing.

Your recruiter works for you.

No, no, no. He works for the hiring company. His job is to fill the open position with the best candidate – as defined by the hiring company. If you’re a good match, it’s in the head-hunter’s best interest to try to close the deal and get you placed. But you’re not paying him, and he’s not an employment agent.

Offering to take a cut in salary will boost your chances of landing the job.

That depends – on how much of a cut we’re talking about, and how you bring it up. Flexibility is important – even in this market, you’d be surprised how many candidates draw a line in the sand regarding what they will and will not accept. Still, it’s important that you broach the subject at the right time, especially if it’s a significant decrease from what you were previously earning (say, 20%). You don’t want to come off as desperate, and neither do you want to be perceived as someone who will bolt the minute the employment situation improves.

The hiring company will contact you if they’re interested.

Maybe! Maybe not! Don’t sit back and wait for the phone call, especially in this tight job market. Submit your resume, wait a week, and then follow up.

University Employment Resources are only for kids.

Career assistance isn’t limited solely to recent graduates. Whether or not your alma mater offers a robust slate of services is another story – but you won’t know if you don’t check it out. You might find things like career coaching or counselling, networking events, and recruitment firm referrals. Go to your school’s website and see if there’s some sort of Career Centres, online community, or yellow pages.

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