Myths About Job-Hunting in a Recession

As expected, the news today about unemployment was gloomy: 8.1 percent for February (up from 7.6 in January), as the economy lost 651,000 jobs last month.

But you have to remember that statistic doesn’t tell the whole story. The rate may be lower in your local area, and you may work in a resilient industry.  Or you may have skills (e.g. accounting, engineering) that make you employable in a number of different industries.

It’s easy for the bad news about unemployment to generate notions that become accepted as true, even though they have little basis in reality. For example, “nobody is hiring.” That is simply not true.

The government report today noted that the health-care sector continued to add jobs, along with educational and social services. And if nobody was hiring right now, then all the job-board sites on the Web would be shut down.

A new article, “6 Myths About Job-Hunting in a Recession,” has more good examples of widely accepted notions that are not entirely true these days.  For example:

  • Companies aren’t interested in hiring anyone over 55
  • You should expect a salary cut
  • Experience and advanced degrees guarantee a job

If you’re in the mood to read about more job-searching myths you should not believe, check out Liz Ryan’s latest column, “10 Job-Search Myths Exploded.”

My favorite: “If the job ad says ‘No Calls,’ you should call anyway — it’ll show that you’re really interested.” I guess something about those two letters — N and O — can easily be misunderstood. Happens all the time with little children.TM