Are These Job Search Myths Hindering You From Landing Your Next Job?

by Mar 22, 2019

As a Recruitment Advisor, I speak to students every day about their job search strategies. Through these conversations I have noticed that whether they are someone looking for their first part-time job or someone with many years of work experience, there are many misconceptions about job search practices. Below are some common myths that have been debunked in order to help you with landing your next job!

‘I will receive a response from every job I applied for’

In a perfect world this would happen, however in reality it doesn’t. When you submit your application, you are likely to receive a generic confirmation email notifying that your application has been submitted. Beyond that however, companies will often only contact candidates who have been successful in moving through to the next stage of the recruitment process. Some companies may also send out a generic response to all applicants who were unsuccessful in their application.

If you would like to follow up about the status of your application, as a general rule wait 1 week after the application closing date to do so. You can follow up either via email or over the phone to enquire about their decision timeline, or if your application has been unsuccessful, requesting for specific feedback.

‘The hiring manager can figure out I am a great fit’

If hiring managers had unlimited time, then yes they probably could figure out you are the right fit for a role. The truth is though, hiring managers receive hundreds (or more!) applications and don’t have the time to figure out if you are a suitable candidate. That’s why you need to make your sure your skills and experience are clearly highlighted in your application. Make it as easy as possible for the hiring manager to decide you are the right fit!

In order to do this, make sure your application is tailored to the experience and skills that are required in the role. Your most important information should be included on the first page of your resume. Your cover letter should also be tailored and express why you want to work for this specific organisation.

‘What I do in my personal life won’t affect my professional life’

While your personal life should be separate from your professional life, it is important to remember that “every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand” (Amy Jo Martin). According to research, 70% of employers use social networking sites to research candidates during the hiring process. Of those employers, 57% have found content that caused them not to hire the candidate.

Consider going through your social media accounts to check you would be comfortable for your posts and photos to be viewed by an employer. If there is something that could be incriminating it is probably best to remove it. This is also something to keep in mind for future posts – it is best to avoid posting anything too personal or controversial.

‘Job search websites is where I will find the majority of available jobs’

The reality is that only about 20% of jobs are advertised (on job boards and company websites). The majority of jobs (80%) fall into what is known as the ‘hidden job market. This is because it is expensive and time consuming to advertise jobs, so employers often reach out to their network or ask their team for recommendations. So how do you access these jobs?

Start by speaking to people you know – let your network know you are looking for work. They may know about a role you are suited to or could connect you with people in their network. You may also consider ways to grow your network. You could try joining clubs at UTS to meet like-minded students, finding a mentor through the UTS Professional Mentoring Program, or reaching out to UTS Alumni via LinkedIn to speak with people working in an industry or career you are interested in pursuing. By building your network in these ways, you never know what future opportunities will open up!


As you can see there are many myths out there when it comes to finding and applying for jobs. Hopefully that by discrediting some of these common misconceptions and following the alternative advice it can help you to improve your job search strategies!


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

By Courtney Sue

By Courtney Sue

Recruitment Advisor

Courtney Sue works as a Recruitment Advisor for UTS Careers. She enjoys working with students to support them in their career journey and help them to improve their employability skills. Courtney has previous experience working in HR and Recruitment.