Hiring Process Myths

5 Hiring Process Myths You Need To Know

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We’ve all heard hiring process myths, but how do you know what’s bologna and what’s fact? Let me dispel a few myths job seekers should be aware of.

Hiring Process Myths

Here are five myths you should know about:

Myth #1: All Job Openings Are Posted On Job Boards

This is definitely not true! In fact, a lot of hiring managers and recruiters are hesitant to post an opening on a job board today, in fear that they’ll receive too many applications. A lot of jobs are filled in-house, through employee referrals, or by handpicking candidates from an existing talent pool (which is why networking is so crucial to your job search strategy).

Myth #2: No One Will Read Your Cover Letter

For each job you apply to, you need to create a tailored cover letter (and resume, for that matter) that specifically states why you’re the best fit for the job. I always read a candidate’s cover letter first thing, as it is supposed to pique my interest in moving on to your resume. Your cover letter gives you a unique opportunity to convey your passion for the job, along with a compelling story (or two) you’d like to share with the potential employer.

Myth #3: Simply Applying To Jobs Will Land You An Interview

You already know how tough today’s job market is. So, why would you think merely applying to a job opening will get you an interview? You must be proactive in your job search in order to be considered for job openings. This includes following-up on applications you’ve sent in, networking with other professionals who can help you in your job search, and maintaining a positive presence online.

Myth #4: The Most Qualified Candidate Will Get The Job

When it comes time for an interview, you might be thinking you’re a shoo-in for the job. Your education, skills, and experience perfectly fit in with what the hiring manager wants. But don’t congratulate yourself so quickly—it’s not always the most qualified person who ultimately lands the job. You also must fit into the culture of the organization. Often, an interviewer determines this “fit” based on how well they get along with you and how they see you fitting into the workplace.

Myth #5: If You Haven’t Heard Back, The Position Has Been Filled

Although this can sometimes be the case, it isn’t always. Many times, job seekers forget or avoid following up with an employer after applying for an opening. However, follow-up can be one of the most important aspects of the job search. Since so many people don’t do it, it will set you apart from other candidates.

It also gives you another opportunity to sell yourself to the employer and show you are passionate about working for them. So, don’t assume the position was filled! Follow-up to inquire about the status of the position instead.

What other hiring myths should job seekers be aware of?

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder of Come Recommended, a content marketing consultancy.

14 comments

  1. I think not all company’s are applying the 5 Myths. One example is a Japanese & Chinese company, when i got my first interview-degree is one of basis & yet they are focus not only by what they can give to the company but to the character also. Most of their exams is psychological & not in skills tests. & for them everyday is a tests.

  2. IN response to: Myth #4: The Most Qualified Candidate Will Get The Job

    When it comes time for an interview, you might be thinking you’re a shoo-in for the job. Your education, skills, and experience perfectly fit in with what the hiring manager wants. But don’t congratulate yourself so quickly—it’s not always the most qualified person who ultimately lands the job. You also must fit into the culture of the organization. Often, an interviewer determines this “fit” based on how well they get along with you and how they see you fitting into the workplace.
    *** So if I do not have sex with others or drink alcohol or worship the devil, then I can’t get the job? Because it seems the corporations are becoming more evil, greedy and elitist all the time

    • I went for an interview about 6 weeks ago at a company that blasted videos for recent artists such as Bieber, Bulldog, etc. The interview was scheduled for 9:30.

      At 10:30 I asked the receptionist why people coming in AFTER me were getting interviews and was told I still had 3 people ahead of me. It was a cattlcall.

      I left after wasting almost an hour of my day.

      Why did I leave? The music was annoying. The other appolicants were under 30. The office personnel were no older than 35.

      I knew even if I did get the interview by 11:30 (2 hours after I arrived) I would have been rejected on the spot. Why? I knew I wouldn’t FIT with the company culture and would have had NOTHING in common with the staff due to my age. I’m 54.

  3. Hi, the Myth#2 actually is incorrect, because it is the truth. I’m a Recruiter and Career Coach myself. Many Applicant Tracking Systems automatically remove the cover letter. Recruiters & HR professionals rarely take the time to read it if they do receive it anyways. Also, if they phone interview you to qualify if you’re a fit, and your information gets forwarded to the hiring manager along with an interview summary, they rarely attach the cover letter.

    For entry-level positions, internships, career changers, or if it’s explicitly requested in the job posting as instructions it is important to include a customized cover letter. Otherwise, it’s a waste of your time, and regardless, instead you should follow up directly with the hiring manager or recruiting by writing a brief message, email, or phone call with marketing content similar to a cover letter. Attaching a cover letter along with your application is generally not helpful.

    • So much conflicting information out there! It’s no wonder I don’t get any follow-up from my resume submissions.

      DO send a cover letter. DON’T because no one looks at it.

      DO follow-up to your submission. I do and my email bounces back; job posting says no calls. How do I know if my submission will be looked at?

      DO include your employment information including number of years. DON’T because it’s too much information and the number of years says you’re OVER experienced.

      DO apply for positions you’re not/over/under qualified for. DON’T because no one will look at your resume.

      I’m really confused. Please clarify.

      • Re: Myth #2 and the cover letter.

        It really all depends on who is recruiting for the position. I’ve heard things both ways. Some people are adamant about reading cover letters. Others never do. When I recruited I never read them either.

        My recommendation. If you are a job-seeker applying online, follow the application instructions of the company you are applying for. If they don’t ask for a cover letter, don’t include it as an extra page in your resume. If a cover letter is required, think of something original to say why you would be a good fit for the job. Don’t copy & paste from the resume. Recruiters see through it and will find it a waste of their time to read regurgitated information.

        If you have a direct email to a hiring person, do not, I repeat, do not attach your cover letter to the email. It should be the email itself.

      • Network, by-pass recruiters and don’t pay attention to them… HR only exists to put barriers and try to make themselves more important they really are… that’s the reason of A says a and B says b the contrary of a…. creating confusing is one more strategy to make barriers…

  4. Another myth would be that just because a good candidate has applied for the job, it does not mean the recruiter needs to stop looking for more applicants. I get it all the time where an applicant has been interviewed by me and I am thrilled to present them to my client. I have ads or notifications on auto-post and when the position is re-posted, I get calls from those candidates asking if they lost the position. No, you did not miss out on the position. We are still interviewing and if you are a perfect fit, the hiring manager just wants to make sure that they have the best person on the market.

  5. Searching for a job that is well suited to an individual is, and should be, hard work. This is a well written list and one which I strongly agree with. One item I would add is to ensure all your statements are factual. If even a date is incorrect, it could cost you the job.

  6. How do I hide the fact that I was at the same company for 25 years and in the same postion, with upgrades, for 20 of those 25 years?

    I cannot and SHOULD NOT LIE but I also know that a recruiter is going to ask why I’ve only listed the last 10 years on my resume. It looks like I’m not telling the COMPLETE TRUTH and therefore not worthy of being interviewed.

    If I include all 25 years, which I did until recently, I’m seen as OLD and OVER QUALIFIED.

    Where’s the balance? Does it exist?

  7. Love the “All job openings are posted on job boards” myth. Nowadays, job seekers definitely use job boards as a crutch far too often. Sometimes, you gotta go out there and pound the pavement.

    One I’d add to the list:

    -“I don’t want to bother them with a thank you letter. They remember me.” Truth is, who knows how many candidates a hiring manager sees. Keeping your name on their mind is always a good thing. Not to say that you should email them daily.

  8. -Another myth that people think is true is that you must convey to the employer that you are desparate and you will be willing to do anything if that person was hired.

    -That your resume is what is going to get you the job.

    • Desperate applicants won’t be hired. No one will look at your resume if you’re over qualified. I know that from experience.

      That’s why I will not apply for positions I don’t want just because I need a job. If that’s the case, I’d be working at McDonald’s.

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