— October 18, 2018
Ask just about anyone, and they’ll probably all give you different tips for writing your resume. While aspects of resumes have stayed the same over the years, there are others that have changed. Even the way you apply for jobs has evolved since so much is possible online now. And with all of these changes emerge many myths and misconceptions about resumes, some of which could actually be hurting your job search efforts.
Debunking Resume Myths
We’re taking a look at some common myths that often trip job seekers up.
1. Your resume should be no more than one page.
This is a hotly debated topic. Yes, hiring managers are only spending a few moments skimming your resume at first, but cramming everything onto one page could be doing yourself a disservice. A single page will usually suffice for new graduates or individuals without a lot of experience to point to, but if you’re well into your career, trying to fit everything onto one page could mean leaving out important information that could influence a hiring manager’s decision. Executives may find it difficult to effectively demonstrate their leadership and management experience and how they have grown in their career in such a small space. Two pages, and even sometimes three, are acceptable.
2. Include an objective to show your goal.
When submitting your resume for a job, the goal is obviously to land the position. Objectives can be redundant and self-serving. They tell the hiring manager what you want, but not necessarily what you have to offer. Employers want to know what you bring to the table, and why they should call you for an interview over another candidate. Replace your objective with a well-crafted summary statement that highlights your key strengths and abilities and is tailored to the role.
3. You must list every job you have held.
Your resume is a snapshot of your career, not an autobiography. Think of it as a highlight reel showing your strengths, training, and what you have accomplished. If you’ve switched careers, have done some part-time work on the side for extra income, or have worked some positions that are irrelevant to what you want to do now, you may be able to leave them off. Focus on the last 10 to 15 years and what you have done in that time. However, when filling out online forms, make sure you list every job if that is what the document asks for; your resume is often a separate document you’re attaching.
4. You should be creative with the format to make it stand out.
Not necessarily. Traditional formats are widely accepted and work very well. There’s no need to add a lot of color, fancy fonts, or graphs to your resume. These will often be stripped by an applicant tracking system (ATS) anyway. Plus, it can be a turnoff to employers, especially if you’re not applying for a creative role.
5. A great resume will get you a job.
A great resume can get you an interview. It’s up to you to land the job. And don’t forget, there is a lot more that goes into the decision-making process than just your resume. If you don’t get the job, there may not have been anything wrong with your resume, but rather someone else was a better fit for the role, the position changed, or countless other factors came into play.