Don't believe everything you read, especially when it applies to job hunting. You’ve read, digested and memorized more information about looking for, finding and obtaining a job in the financial industry than you ever imagined you would in a lifetime. Much of it has been valuable, but some if it is very misleading.
So, to help keep you on the right path, let’s bust a few common job-hunting myths:
Your resume should be kept to one single page. Busted. Length is relative. There are novels and there are short stories. Brevity is always appreciated (time is money) but never short-change yourself. Whatever story you tell, make sure it is free from errors, interesting to read, and tailored to the position to which you are applying. You may, however, try to keep it to two pages if at all possible.
Candidates with the best credentials get the job. Busted. Employers do look to hire financial professionals with the requisite skills, but truth be told, skills and experience often stack up very similarly during most searches. There is another half to every selection process. Skilled hiring managers look beyond the resume to identify good team members, or a great leader, but at the very least, someone with the right personality to fit into this particular group.
A well-crafted resume represents you well. Busted. Even within the financial services industry, every job for every company is different. Though it will take time and effort, you should tailor your resume for each and every position to which you apply. Not only will this make your submission more likely to appear as a custom fit for the position, but including relevant keywords or phrases from the job description increases your chances of being identified as a close match by the tracking software prevalent today. Your one-size-fits-all resume could render your resume electronically invisible.
They never check references or details on resumes. Busted. While not all businesses are set to check all your references and accomplishments between the time you apply and the first round of interviews, as the process continues, the odds increase that your academic and professional statements will be verified, and that your references will be scrupulously reviewed. And thanks to the emergence of social media, Google, and similar tools and technologies, the world has become a smaller, faster and more collaborative environment. Companies are reducing their risk by ferreting out white lies, exaggerations and phantom entries. No matter how small or harmless, these will be seen as a character defect and more likely than not end any relationship without further discussion.
Holidays, summer and vacation times are down times for hiring. Busted. Never put your job search on hold. The 24/7, 365-day world of business competes hard for profit, and just as hard for talent. Companies looking for an edge take any opportunity to find, engage and attract the right talent to their organization. These companies know that any day they take off from looking for the right new hires could be the day their competitor is talking to them. Take advantage of the fact that other job seekers are laying low and press on. As Woody Allen once said, “Ninety percent of success is showing up.”