Thanks again for participating in our Job-Seeker Job Skills Quiz.
Job Skills Quiz Answers Explained
Here are our detailed explanations to each question in the quiz. Once you’ve read each explanation, total up your correct responses and go to the scoring section below to see where you stand in your preparation for job-search success.
1. Finding a new job should not take any longer than one month.
Answer: FALSE. Like anything worthwhile, job-hunting takes time and patience. The average time spent looking for a new job is about two to three months; longer in a weak job market. Your experience may be shorter or longer depending on your specific circumstances and the current job market for people with your skills and experience.
The key is simply to know you have time ahead and plan accordingly — both in terms of finances if you were laid-off or otherwise unemployed, as well as in terms of your mental outlook and preparation.
Reminder: You can find many more career and job-search tools, resources, and guidance in the Career Resources Toolkit section of Quintessential Careers. And for the specific needs of different types of job-seekers, go to the Jobseeker-Specific Career and Job Sites.
2. It increases your chances of getting a job by applying for a lot of different jobs than to just go after the job you want.
Answer: FALSE. You may feel more productive spending hours online applying to various job postings and uploading your resume and cover letter, but in reality the best — and most efficient — job-search technique is to focus narrowly on the type of job you seek (and are qualified for) and put all your efforts and energies into getting interviews for those limited openings.
If you know exactly the jobs you seek, then used a combination approach of searching for those jobs (and applying for them), asking your network of contacts to keep their eyes open for job openings, and use a cold-contact approach to contact employers directly.
If you don’t know the type of job you seek, take some time to conduct research on yourself and the types of jobs that most interest you — and that you are qualified for. (Visit our Career Exploration Resources for more assistance in finding your ideal job/career.)
3. The best way to find a job is looking through online job postings and want ads.
FALSE. According to most research and job-hunting experts, only a very small percentage of people find a new job from responding to a job postings. Almost half find new jobs from referrals from friends or relatives — your career network; about a quarter find new jobs from direct contact with employers — what we call cold contact with employers; and another quarter from school or alumni placement offices, employment agencies, or temp. agencies. So, what have you learned?
You need to build and nurture your network of friends, associates, and contacts and use their network to even greatly expand your network. Visit Quintessential Careers: The Art of Networking for more information and resources.
4. Networking is always an important activity — even when you’re already employed.
Answer: TRUE. It can’t be stressed enough in any job market: network, network, network. Even if you are thrilled beyond belief with your current job, you should stay active with your network, partly to help others who may need your help and partly because you never know when the company may run into financial trouble or a new boss is hired above you who makes your job unbearable. Continue to cultivate and grow your network at all times.
Grow your career network by joining professional and social organizations — both online and face-to-face. Community organizations are also a great way to get involved — and build your network.
Learn lots more in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Career Networking.
5. Social networking sites are fine, but you should always be doing more than simply updating your status or commenting on others.
Answer: TRUE. Networking with friends is easily done online — and while social networking is a solid base for keeping in touch with your contacts, the best job-seekers use multiple networking sites — and multiple networking techniques.
Beyond a social networking site, such as Facebook, you should also belong to at least one professional networking site, such as LinkedIn. If you also want to promote your expertise, you may wish to blog and Tweet.
Finally, remember it is also important to network in person. In fact, the strongest bonds are made with people we meet and see on a regular basis — not just communicate with online.
Read more in our article, >a href=”https://www.livecareer.com//next-level-career-networking.html”>Taking Career Networking to the Next Level: Getting Your Name Out There.
6. Your regular (formatted) print resume should be no longer than one page in length.
Answer: TRUE… and FALSE. The answer really depends on your level of experience. Most experts agree that if you have under 5 years of experience, that your resume should be one page in length. Of course, there are exceptions, but make sure you have a legitimate reason to have a resume that is longer than one page — and that you’re not just being verbose. And generally speaking, except for very senior and executive-level job-seekers, resumes should not be more than two pages in length.
The resume page length rules do not include additional pages that you might include, such as a project summary page, references page, salary history, or other “additional” information pages.
For a comprehensive overview of all things resume related, check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Resumes: The Complete Job-Search Resume FAQ.
Find more information and resources on all types of resumes, including a large number of resume samples, at Quintessential Careers: Resume Resources.
7. A text resume is just a stripped down version of your regular (formatted) resume.
Answer: FALSE. First you need to think about the purpose of a text resume — large employers are putting resumes into massive job-seeker databases for storage and retrieval. When a company has a job opening, resumes are retrieved from the database based on key skills or qualifications of a position.
Keywords become essential to text and scannable resumes.
Keywords are nouns or noun phrases that relate to your experience and qualifications. Read more about these types of resumes by going to How to Write Job-Search Text Resumes.
Read more about the power of keywords in our article, Tapping the Power of Keywords to Enhance Your Resume’s Effectiveness.
8. Using action verbs should be a key part of writing your resume and cover letters.
Answer: TRUE. Action verbs refer to the use of using strong verbs to show employers the strengths of your experience and qualifications. Job-seekers should use action verbs in your resumes and cover letters. Action verbs can be generally used with all types of experience and skills, such as communications, financial, management, helping, organizational, teaching, technical, and more. Learn more about action verbs by visiting Quintessential Careers: Action Verbs.
Before we leave this subject, one more tip: identifying and listing transferable skills on your resume is also important. What are transferable skills? Simply put, they are skills you have acquired during any activity in your life — jobs, volunteering, classes, projects, parenting, hobbies, sports, virtually anything — that are transferable and applicable to what you want to do in your next job. Read more here: Transferable Job Skills for Job-Seekers.
9. You don’t always need to send a cover letter with your resume when applying for a job.
Answer: TRUE. We literally wrote the book on cover letters (see, Dynamic Cover Letters), so it is with a bit of a heavy heart that we admit this trend. Because so much of job-hunting is now conducted through online employer databases, many job postings only accept a resume.
That said, whenever it IS possible to submit a cover letter — or when you are applying for a job via a network contact or through the cold-calling method — you should spend time crafting a very specific and compelling cover letter that highlights why you are a good candidate for the job. (The purpose of a cover letter is to entice the reader to then look more closely at your resume.)
Read more about the use of cover letters in your job-search in our article, Cover Letter Reboot: A Crowdsourced Update of Traditional Cover-letter Advice for Today’s Job Search.
10. When possible, you should follow-up all your job applications with a phone call or e-mail to the employer.
Answer: TRUE. Follow-up is crucial in the job-search process. Very few employers are going to call you, so you need to tell them in your cover letter that you are going to call to set up an appointment — and then you need to make sure you do call.
Follow-up, but do so politely. Remember the old adage — the squeaky wheel gets the oil. By following-up with employers, you continue to show your interest in the position and the company. Read more in our article, <“https://www.livecareer.com//following-job-leads.html”>Follow Up All Job Leads: Don’t Wait by the Phone (or Computer).
Remember, too, that in today’s longer job-search timeframe, job-seekers may be required to follow up several times with prospective employers before any decisions are made regarding job interviews. Keep in regular touch with the employer during the entire process.
And don’t take no for an answer. If the employer thinks you are not qualified for the position, ask if you can still come in for an informational interview to learn more about the company and about careers in that field. Learn more about this type of interviewing by visiting Quintessential Careers: Informational Interviewing Tutorial.
11. Sending thank you e-mails/notes/letters to every person you interview with is a nice gesture, but not really necessary.
Answer: FALSE. The one consistent gripe we hear from employers is the small percentage of job-seekers who bother to send thank you notes/emails to the people they interview with. Will a thank you letter get you the job offer? No. Will a thank you letter give you an edge in a level playing field? You bet!
12. What you wear and how you look has an impact on job interviews.
Answer: TRUE. Okay, maybe this one was too easy. We’ve all heard the phrase “dress for success,” right? First impressions are so important in job-hunting, so make sure you invest in at least one high-quality outfit — more if you can afford it. And it’s not just how you dress, it’s also about how you look and act; first impressions are critical to your interviewing success.
Need more information? Read When Job-Hunting: Dress for Success.
For a detailed overview of interviewing, see our tutorial: Job Interviewing Tutorial for Job-Seekers.
And find more interviewing tools and resources in this section of Quintessential Careers: Guide to Job Interviewing Resources.
13. It is extremely important to prepare for interviews by preparing questions to ask as well as preparing answers to questions you may be asked.
Answer: TRUE. Recruiters and hiring managers generally agree that one of the worst things you can do in a job interview is not ask questions. By not asking questions, you give the impression that you are not really interested in the company or the job. Try to develop questions that show you have done research and have knowledge of the firm. Check out these Questions You Can Ask at the Interview.
You also need to prepare for the questions you expect to be asked in the interview. We have numerous lists of the top questions asked in job interviews. Your goal is to prepare responses — rehearsed but not memorized — that demonstrate why you are the ideal candidate for the job. One of the best tools for preparing for a job interview is our Job Interview Questions Database for Job-Seekers.
And read more on the subject of interviewing by going to our Guide to Job Interviewing Resources.
14. A basic knowledge of the organization and the industry (or industries) it operates in is not crucial when job-hunting.
Answer: FALSE. Having little or no knowledge about the company or the industry it operates in sets off a warning bell for many recruiters and hiring managers who perceive this lack of information as disinterest — or worse — laziness on your part.
Many research resources are available to the job-seeker, and lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of great Websites and other resources, so all you have to do is visit Quintessential Careers: Guide to Researching Companies.
For a more how-to guide, read our article, Step-by-Step Guide to Researching Companies.
15. Once you’ve been offered the job, you can start negotiating your salary.
Answer: TRUE. It’s a cardinal sin of job-hunting to start discussing salary before an employer ma es a job offer, but once an offer has been made, you may start negotiating for the best salary and benefits package you can get. That said, you should know your worth in the marketplace and the salary you are seeking BEFORE you interview with the employer. During the interview, you a b