7 disastrous myths that are hurting your job search

The recruiting game has changed, as have the rules for jobseekers. Here are seven particularly antiquated notions to scrap.


As “The Great Resignation” rolls on, corporate America is starting to resemble a massive game of musical chairs.

It may not be as intense as “Squid Game,” but the stakes are still high for companies  increasingly desperate to keep staffers on board—and for workers, who are seizing this unique opportunity to find more meaningful work (increased pay and benefits, too).

If you’re one of the millions who’s searching for a more desirable “chair,” Flexjobs offers seven pieces of outdated job search advice to consider—along with alternative suggestions. We distill the guidance below, and bust some common job searching myths along the way:

Myth No. 1: Your resume should be only one page long.

Look, a recruiter’s not going to read multiple pages’ worth of your experience and accomplishments. But you don’t want your CV to be too skimpy, either. Alas, there’s no magic number here. Focus on quality not quantity.

As Flexjobs advises, “Focus on customizing your resume (and cover letter) with keywords from the job posting to help explain why you’re the perfect person for the job.”

Myth No. 2: Include every job you’ve ever had on your resume.

You might be very proud that you were a sandwich artist from February 1998 – March 1998, but listing all your old jobs won’t win you a new one.

Rather, “Ditch the early jobs in favor of filling that space with more recent and in-depth examples of why you’re perfect for the role.”

Myth No. 3: When your interviewer asks about your weaknesses, offer a positive that’s framed as a weakness.

Flexjobs suggests:

“Be honest and acknowledge you have a weakness. This can show the hiring manager you’re willing to examine what you’re good and not good at, as well as mature enough to admit it.”

It is a relief that we no longer have to say nonsense like, “I just care too much!”

Myth No. 4: Write your resume and cover letter using formal language.

Was writing like a robo-humanoid ever a good idea? You probably don’t want to get too loose and conversational in your cover letter but do feel free to remove words like “stakeholder,” “enterprise” and other inane jargon that real humans don’t typically say aloud.

Flexjobs puts it more eloquently: “Research the company and its culture before applying for the job, and use language that matches the tone and voice of the company or industry when writing your cover letter and resume.”

Myth No. 5: Include an objective at the top of your resume. And don’t forget to mention that you have references available upon request. And include a photo.

Instead, “Replace outdated objective statements with a resume summary or summary of qualifications, which includes a few sentences that will capture the essential reasons why an employer should hire you.”

Flexjobs also advises against including a photo or references. I can agree with leaving references off, but what’s wrong with a nice headshot? Most people are “visual” learners, are they not? And wouldn’t a face stand out more than mere text? Agree to disagree on that minor point.

Myth No. 6: Always wear a suit to an interview.

Unless you’re auditioning for a formal wear brass band or a Wall Street-themed tag-team wrestling gig, this probably isn’t necessary.

Flexjobs says to simply, “Find out what the company wears and dress accordingly. When in doubt, it’s better to dress up slightly, as it can show the company you’re serious about the interview and the job.”

 Myth No. 7: Stay at a job for several years, and don’t bounce from job to job.

This just isn’t a huge issue anymore. Or at least it shouldn’t be. You can, and should, use your varied, diverse experiences to your advantage.

Flexjobs writes:

“People who hop from job to job or even career to career are no longer viewed with suspicion, as long as they can explain why they changed jobs and how it benefits the employer.”

Outdated employer tactics

The job hunt is a two-way street, of course, and employers also must adapt to new norms. Brie Weiler Reynolds, a career development manager and coach at FlexJobs and Remote.co, shares two unwise practices that companies should no longer implement:

Withholding details about flexible work options.

Stating that your company offers “flexible work options” or “workplace flexibility” doesn’t really cut it anymore. As Reynolds points out, “The pandemic has completely changed how people search for jobs. Professionals now expect to know more details about the flexible work arrangements they might have available to them.”

She also adds that specificity behooves recruiters, too, as clearly stating in the job description what your company offers (or does not offer) saves everyone valuable time. She adds: “Whatever benefits the employer can offer, it’s important to talk them up in the job description and display them on the company website to help candidates understand what the company provides beyond a paycheck.”

Using creative job titles.

That’s great if you’ve worked your way up from Customer Service Ninja to Chief Ideation Wizard or whatever, but those goofy labels aren’t doing your company any recruiting favors. For instance, if you insist on advertising for your open “Happiness Sorcerer” position as such, job seekers might not find your listing. Instead, Reynolds suggests, “Use the types of job title keywords job seekers might be searching for.”

So, feel free to go bananas with the zany job titles in-house. You just might want to button them up a bit before you post.


One Response to “7 disastrous myths that are hurting your job search”

    Ronald N Levy says:

    It’s a mistake to admit weaknesses instead of reporting the
    truth that (a) if you recognized weaknesses you’d certainly
    work fiercely to neutralize them, and (b) what some people
    may see as your weakness—impatience—you don’t want to
    change because you always have a yearning for results that
    are better and sooner and growable.

    It’s a blunder to be a job hopper no matter how much
    personnel firms deride company loyalty as being a “tree-
    hugger.” The recruiter interviewing you cares whether you (a)
    can do superb work, (b) will take direction instead of rebelling
    or suing, and (c) will stay on the job instead of hopping.

    What normal recruiter wants to hire a job hopper? A job
    candidate with a history of quitting or being fired is like
    a potential date with a history of socially transmitted diseases.
    Why take a chance?

PR Daily News Feed

Sign up to receive the latest articles from PR Daily directly in your inbox.