9 job search myths that are holding you back


Job searching can be overwhelming and confusing, even at the best of times. But it can become especially difficult with the amount of myths and misconceptions floating around. 

Do employers care if you’re well connected? Do you need a car to get a job? Is a follow up call annoying or impressive? We’ll answer all of these questions and more below. Join us as we debunk the biggest job search myths once and for all.

Don't believe the job search myths

Job search myths #1 – The more applications, the better

It can be easy to assume that the more applications you submit, the more likely you will be to get a job. Statistically, it makes sense, right? Not exactly. 

Sure, it might seem like a good idea to throw your hat in the ring for every job out there, but truth be told, employers appreciate the real deal. Focus on putting more effort into fewer applications. Employers will notice this effort, since most are looking for a candidate who cares about the position and is invested in their potential future with the company.

Swag Tip: Make job hunting effortless with Swag SmartMatch, the AI job matching tool that streamlines your search. With 300,000+ employers in our network, you’ll be connected with opportunities before they get posted online. Register now to be an early SmartMatch user.

Job search myths #2 – You’re too old to change careers

Your age should never be a barrier to pursuing your passion or making a career change. Samuel L Jackson didn’t start acting until he was almost 50! Imagine if he had let job search myths like this hold him back.

Sure, your chances of becoming a world-famous actor might be slim, but data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows your chances of replicating his career change success are quite high

Job search myths #3 – Cover letters are unnecessary

Some people think cover letters are old-school, especially in the digital era of online applications. We think differently.

Sure, it’s tempting to think you can slide by without one, but a well-crafted cover letter can be your secret weapon. It’s a chance to explain why you’re the perfect fit. Simply put, cover letters can help you stand out.

Swag Tip: Create personalised, AI-generated cover letters for free with a Swag Candidate profile. Speed up your job search by entering keywords and clicking the magic wand button. Don’t forget to tweak and personalise it to each role!  Swag can create AI-powered profiles in seconds.

Job search myths #4 – Employers only consider skills and experience

In classic job search myths fashion, we’ve been taught to believe that hiring managers only look for skills and experience when picking out their dream team. While these are important, employers are also on the lookout for that special something extra. Employers want to get to know you.

So, if you thought it was all about the resume checklist, think again. The full package includes a mix of skills, experience, and those intangible qualities that make you not just an adequate candidate, but a standout one. Things like your personality and ability to collaborate, leadership skills, and a willingness to learn are just as important as practical experience. 

Job search myths #5 – You’re competing against the perfect candidate

Comparison is the thief of joy. You don’t need those bad vibes. There is no such thing as a flawless candidate, and even if there was, how do you know that you’re not it? 

Of course, it’s always important to consider culture fit when applying to positions. But once you’ve applied, let the hiring managers decide if you’re a good choice for the role. Try to instead focus on more positive things, like boosting your productivity or creativity.

Job search myths #6 – You need connections to land a job

Having connections can open doors. But it’s not the be-all and end-all that job search myths would have you believe. Many job seekers successfully navigate the job market without a little black book of influential contacts. Hard work, determination, and a great application can still be the keys to unlocking that dream job.

Swag tip: Don’t have a huge network? No worries. Swag Jobs gives you access to a personal network of 300k+ employers globally. Our SmartMatch AI technology gives you a personal introduction to suitable employers, matching your profile with great companies around the clock.

Skip the queue and get automatically put forward for open roles, then take your pick of the opportunities you’re interested in applying for. 

What if you do have connections? That’s great! But you should still regularly review your resume to make sure it’s up to date, focused and engaging. While connections are helpful in job searches, they’ll only get you in the front door. The rest is up to you. 

Swag Tip: If you do want to build your connections, jump on LinkedIn and get chatting. Click here to read about how you can grow your LinkedIn network using S.M.A.R.T goals.

Job search myths #7 – You’ll hear back quickly

Out of all these job search myths, this is one that we’d love to be true. Unfortunately, employers can take ages to let you know if your application has been successful. Sometimes, you won’t hear back at all. 

This prolonged waiting game can be frustrating. It’s easy to start questioning your chances. But the truth is, companies often deal with numerous applications, and the selection process involves various stages and multiple decision-makers. So just hold tight.

But hey, that waiting period might be a great time to have another look at your resume.

Job search myth: You'll hear back quickly.

Swag tip: Tired of waiting to hear about the status of your application? With Swag Jobs, you can track the status of your application in real-time on the platform. See when your application has progressed to the next stage, and be the first in the know when it’s time to take the next steps.

Job search myths #8 –  Follow up calls are annoying

Most employers appreciate a follow up call or email after an interview – if done professionally and strategically. A short, genuine follow up conversation allows you to express gratitude, reiterate your qualifications, and ask about the next steps in the hiring process.

But leave it at one and then be done. Don’t spam them with enquiries or reminders. This may come across as pushy or impatient and could ruin the great rapport you built during the interview.

Swag Tip: With the Swag App, you can follow up with hiring managers directly with 1:1 messaging! Create a candidate profile to get started today.

Job search myths #9 – Don’t reapply if you’re unsuccessful

The job market is dynamic and circumstances change. Sure, you may not have been successful the first time around, but if you see the position pop up again then don’t let job search myths like these hold you back. 

If you believe you’re a strong fit for a position, there’s no harm in reapplying. Your new application might now align perfectly with the company’s evolving needs in a way it didn’t last time.

Swag Tip: The same job getting posted over and over again indicates high turnover. This could be because the role is not as advertised, or the company culture is lacking. Check out more hiring red flags here.

Overcoming common challenges when job hunting

Challenge 1: Motivation

Job searching can be tough, and rejection is part of the process. Try to keep positive when you can. It’s good to take a realistic look at your situation, but catastrophising (expecting the worst and only the worst) may stop you from landing your dream gig. 

Here are three ways to overcome motivation plateaus while job searching:

  • Create a schedule: Establish a daily or weekly routine for your job search activities. Having a structured plan can help you stay organised and focused.
  • Seek support: Share your job search journey with friends, family, or a mentor. Their encouragement and advice can provide a fresh perspective and motivate you to keep going.
  • Reward yourself: Acknowledge your efforts along the way. Treat yourself when you accomplish a significant task or reach a milestone. It’s a simple way to reinforce positive behaviour.

Challenge 2: Transport

This one might not be a challenge for everyone, but it’s an important thing many job seekers have to consider when applying for jobs. Low income, regional or young entry-level applicants may not have access to transportation for a whole bunch of reasons.

This is where it’s time to get creative. 

Okay, so you don’t have a car and the interview location isn’t within walking distance. Consider riding a bike, taking public transport or asking a friend or family member for a lift.

If none of those solutions work for your situation, don’t stress. Virtual interviews are extremely common, with 82% of employers using them in 2023. It never hurts to ask if your interviewer would be willing to keep the conversation going online.

Challenge 3: Lack of open positions

Finding suitable job openings in your desired field can seem impossible. But things are not always what they seem —we can add this to our list of job search myths to debunk.

Be proactive in reaching out to companies you’re interested in, even if they haven’t advertised specific openings. Send through your CV or even just have a casual chat with someone on LinkedIn. Whatever you do, this proactive approach can put you on their radar for future openings.

Swag Tip: Did you know 80% of jobs are never publicly posted? Swag connects you to hundreds of unadvertised roles from our community of 300k+ employers. Be one of the first to trial Swag SmartMatch.

Additional resources for job seekers

We’ve busted some job search myths and found solutions for common job seeking challenges. What’s left? We’ve got a few more pearls of wisdom to share. 

Here are three of our favourite resources for job seekers who want to level up their job search:

    • Google Interview Warmup: There are lots of ways that AI can help your job search, but this one is great for those who want to ease the interview nerves. You can build your confidence for interviews by practising with this free AI-powered tool. Select a specific industry or opt for ‘General’ to tackle 5 typical interview questions. Type or speak your responses and receive AI feedback on points covered, industry terms, and impactful power words. 
    • LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Learning offers a whole bunch of online courses and tutorials on a wide range of topics. Upskilling through online courses can make you more competitive in the job market.
    • Canva: Designing a resume from scratch can be difficult. Seriously, it can take ages formatting all the business names, dot points and dates to sit nicely on the page. Canva solves this problem for you by giving you access to a bunch of professional templates for free.

And, of course, we can’t forget Swag. Swag helps you level-up your job search with AI-powered profiles, access to the hidden jobs market, 24/7 job matching and direct communication with employers —all from one powerful app. It’s your career’s secret weapon, and it fits in your pocket. Now, great jobs can find you anywhere. Even on the couch. 

Make jobseeking easy with Swag

Chat with hiring managers directly during your job search

Want an easy breezy job search experience with less competition than a regular jobs board? Swag connects you directly with real hiring managers, 24/7 —individually selected from our network of 300K+ employers. You get to skip the queue and be the first one considered for roles before they get posted anywhere else. Create a free candidate profile in less than 5 minutes today to get started. 


The information in this article is current as at November 2023, and has been prepared by Employment Hero Pty Ltd (ABN 11 160 047 709) and its related bodies corporate (Employment Hero) for its Swag brand. The views expressed in this article are general information provided in good faith to assist job seekers in the current market, and should not be relied on as professional advice. Some Information is based on data supplied by third parties and whilst such data is believed to be accurate, it has not been independently verified and no warranties are given that it is complete, accurate, up to date or fit for the purpose for which it is required. Employment Hero does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracy in such data and is not liable for any loss or damages arising directly or indirectly as a result of reliance on, use of or inability to use any information provided in this article. You should undertake your own research and seek professional advice before making any important career decisions or solely relying on the information in this article.


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