Fake news is becoming a huge thing today in America. If you hear a news story, there is a chance that it may not be true; especially in the political world. In 2016, Rolling Stone magazine printed a totally fake story about a sexual assault at the University of Virginia in which the reporter knew was false. It hurt many people not to mention the reputation of the magazine. Even though fake news isn’t true, if it is reported by normally reliable sources, people will still believe it.
Job seekers have to deal with “fake news” all the time when it comes to your job search. You have to understand what it is and how to avoid it like the plague!
What am I talking about? All the fake advice you find out and learn on the internet and from family and friends while you are in the middle of a job search. So much of the information you are getting is wrong even though the source may be someone you really trust. The internet is full of so much career crap that I almost think it is harmful for your job search. There are over 259 MILLION results for the keywords “career advice”! You will spend a lifetime trying to figure out what is accurate and what actually is 100% incorrect (even though it sounds right)
To fully understand what I am talking about, here are some common fake job search news stories:
1. Your resume has to be one page.
Fake News. Your resume has to be optimized to fit the jobs you are applying to. The first half page of the resume is the “bait” to get make sure the employer quickly knows what you are all about. The next page or two (try to get it to two or three pages max) are just there to expand on your relevant experience and jobs. If the first half page of your resume does catch the employers interest, relevant information on two or three more pages becomes very valuable real estate.
2. Employers will not hire you because of something they saw on your social media.
Fake News. Employers have Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Twitter accounts as well and in 2017, understand that it is just a way of life. However, so many career professionals, news outlets and family members can overwhelm you with anxiety that the reason you are not getting the job you want is because of your social profiles. Their “sources” are news stories like the job seeker who sent a naked selfie to the hiring manager after getting an offer. Or the famous “party pictures” on your social profiles that are costing everyone jobs. Here is the real deal. Employers don’t have time to check your Facebook profile. I tell job seekers all the time I wish they did have the time because they would find out very quickly that you are a normal, social human being (plus you have total control of what they would see!). On top of that, larger companies have policies against doing social media reference checks due to the fact they must follow strict hiring protocols and HR audits.
3. You have to have a killer cover letter.
Fake News. Yes, you need a cover letter but no employer will ever read it unless you have a good resume that captures their attention. A good cover letter is just a couple sentences stating interest in the job and super brief summary of the reason you’re a good candidate. Spend all your time on the resume (especially the first half page) and you will have great success.
4. Apply to as many jobs as you can because you just never know.
Fake News. Take this one to heart. Apply to jobs that you can actually get. I am looking for a business development professional with a sales background. I received over 50 resumes which only 16 had actual sales experience that was required. As a job seeker, I know many apply to one job hoping the employer sees something in your resume for possibly a different position within their organization. With my job, maybe it was the company cruise and half price sushi benefits that job seekers felt they should apply knowing they didn’t have the experience. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you to just apply to jobs. Spend most of your time finding jobs that really are good matches and make sure your resume is optimized to get noticed.
I will continue this article next month with more fake career news. The bottom line is this, if you are getting job search advice, ask that person how many people they have hired in the last couple years. If they don’t hire, their advice will sound good, but most of the time it is just fake news. Knowing the real deal with your job search is the key! Please let me know if you have any questions.