8 Job Market Myths and Truths

by Ron Haynes

Finding a job in the midst of a dismal economy can be a daunting task. The job market seems confusing, positions scarce, and applicants plentiful while the myths abound more than ever.

interview-suit I believe the key is to seek more than just a job, but to seek a position. A job is general, whereas a position is specific to its role and responsibilities.

8 Job Market Myths

1. If I can’t find the right position for me, it probably doesn’t exist

This is a typical, though inaccurate conclusion drawn by many frustrated job seekers. According to study after study, over 85% of all job vacancies are not available through traditional resources. The fact is managers and CEO’s create positions for the right people every day.

The truth

Don’t worry about a lack of available positions, concentrate instead on how to find what you really want and honing your interview skills.

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2. I know how to position hunt

Most people position hunt with a resume, the traditional but ineffective method for finding a job. Consider this: standard resumes produce one inquiry for roughly every 85 resumes a company receives, but only half of those inquiries result in an interview. Since one interview takes place for every 170 resumes received and the average company conducts 10 interviews before making one offer, 1,699 resume senders are very disappointed.

The truth

Put old ideas behind you and learn to network

3. I can always go to an employment agency

Of course you can, but remember that less than 7 percent of all professional, managerial, and executive positions are ever listed with agencies. One survey I read revealed that he average employment agency is able to set appointments for only one of every 20 candidates who contact them. The others just don’t match their active position list.

The truth

Don’t rely on traditional employment agencies for help since over 93 percent of the available top positions are not listed with them anyway.

4. A recruiter will actively market me to potential employers

That may have been true at some point in the past but today’s reality is that the average recruiter is in the business of filling vacancies for companies. There is a big difference. As a position seeker, understand that companies pay big commissions (up to 50% of first year salary) to recruiters and that cash buys loyalty as well. Instead of marketing a candidate to the company, recruiters may try to fit an available worker into a vacant position.

The truth

If you aren’t careful, a recruiter or job agency may try to manipulate you into a position you aren’t looking for. If the recruiter starts “selling” you on a company or position, move on.

5. The Internet or the classifieds are where I should look

The Internet is a great resource for information, but if you’ve ever posted a position on one of the major job boards, you know how many resumes and application you get – thousands, sometimes tens of thousands. You may indeed find a position through the Internet, but chances are much better that there will be someone more qualified than you. If you desire a top position within a company, there is only a slim, tiny, miniscule chance the company is even looking to the Internet for an employee.

The truth

Answering ads and sending online applications is fine, but don’t get your hopes up. Newspaper and Internet classifieds account for only a very small percentage of available positions so spend only a small amount of time here.

6. Employers have all the power

Ha-ha, umm, no. While it’s true that employers have the power to hire and fire, they’re as concerned with finding good employees as position seekers are about finding good positions. Recruiting and training costs are a major concern to all industries. Part of the problem is that many position seekers postpone position screening until after they’re hired. Too many people find out their job ISN’T what they wanted only after working for a few months.

The truth

An employer needs you as much as you need him. Instead of going after a single position, run yourself a job campaign and pursue a number of offers. You are in the driver’s seat.

7. The higher up I go, the more secure my position

This myth isn’t even funny anymore. More than 500,000 middle managers and senior executives got the ax within the last few years and with the economy continuing to slide backwards despite Washington’s failed efforts, they probably won’t be alone. In fact, as you climb the ladder, you’re held to a higher and higher standard as you become responsible for the actions of more and more people under you. It can truly be frightening.

The truth

Be prepared. Develop your job search strategy now before you have to create a plan B. This is a great idea even if your position seems secure today.

8. The best-qualified people always get the best positions

Not true. The people who get hired are the ones who first learn HOW to get hired … and then they practice and hone their skills.

The truth

The ones who get hired are the ones who know how to research their target company, uncover it’s greatest needs and wants, and can adapt their skills and experience in such a way that the interviewer believes they are the answer to their prayers.


About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.