If you are an IT professional on the job hunt, there are several rules and myths and you will hear along the way. The rules are universal and understood, then as time has progressed with the advancement of technology, job search myths have been created. What should you believe when you are in this situation? Who is right and who is wrong? In this month’s blog, we will decipher eight myths that you will hear throughout your job search and we hope that you follow our advice!

1. It’s who you know, not what you know.

A good referral goes a long way as an applicant but in the end, it all boils down to your skill set and experience. If you know someone in the company, it can help you get your foot in the door, but the hiring manager will be the one to determine if you are suited for the job.

2. There’s no need for a cover letter. No one reads them anymore.

Do not be fooled by this myth! The cover letter is the most crucial piece of your resume. It is an introduction to who you are as the hiring manager reviews your resume. The cover letter is your opportunity to impress and motivate the hiring manager to want to know more about you. Customize your cover letter as well to reinforce that you pay attention to detail and are truly interested in the company. In addition, generic cover letters tend to get overlooked so be sure to add a personal touch. Remember, hiring managers sift through hundreds of resumes so in the end, quality wins over quantity – Make that cover letter shine!

3. Resumes must be one page.

False! For instance, if you have been an IS Security Risk Analyst III for over 25 years, your resume will NOT be one page. On the contrary, if you have less than 10 years of experience, your resume will fit onto one page. At maximum, resumes should be no more than three pages but if that is the case, you must have exceptional skills and certifications. Key points: Your resume must include your education, experience and applicable skills. The resume is also an outline of your qualifications so you do not need to include over ten bullets listing detailed descriptions of each individual project that you worked on. Keep it concise reinforcing your achievements, skills, and expertise.

4. Employers rule out candidates who switch jobs frequently.

The name “job hopper” is applicable to those individuals who change jobs often. Over the course of time, job hopping has become more acceptable as companies downsize. In addition, companies often hire temporary and contract employees due to their staffing budgets. In these situations, several IT professionals change jobs frequently while gaining new skill sets and experience. The majority of qualified professionals are also eager to climb the corporate ladder to increase their salary but it is highly recommended that they commit themselves to the company for at least one full year. The commitment and dedication are also attractive to hiring managers.

5. As long as I upload my resume to the online job search engines, I will be fine. They can find me.

That’s great that you are social media savy and have your online profile up to date along with your resume on Monster, CareerBuilder and LinkedIn but you cannot rely on this as your only job search strategy! You still need to network and continue with the thorough job search by selecting opportunities that meet your skills and experience. Be proactive, not reactive.

6. Hiring managers never look at candidates online. They don’t have time to Google or use Facebook.

As you already know, if it’s on the web, it’s out there. You need to be extremely careful about what you post or share on the internet, especially if you are trying to get a job! The posts on your Twitter or Facebook page show a lot about your character and who you are. Use good judgement and if there is something that you are trying to hide from the employer, make sure you use precautious measures and remove this content from the web. Hiring managers hire professionals, not people who portray themselves inappropriately.

7. Companies chose candidates with degrees over certifications and experience.

This is not necessarily true within the IT industry. Often the degree holds more value than a certification but the experience is crucial. Certifications are always an add on bonus as they demonstrate passion and interest within the field. In last month’s blog, we covered the Top 7 Most Profitable IT Certifications. Click on the title to read more!

8. Certifications have lost their value.

Wrong! Again, please reference the above link for last month’s blog, the Top 7 Most Profitable IT Certifications. Although most certifications must be renewed every year, the value of the certification steadily increases along with salaries.

We hope that you follow our advice and are not fooled by these eight job search myths that you will hear throughout your next job hunt.