In today’s ultra-competitive employment market, you might be up against hundreds of other prospective candidates for a given position. This is why your resume is important. It’s a document that aims to convince prospective employers you are worth interviewing. But if you’re like most job seekers and career switchers, almost everything you think you know about resumes is wrong.
|Popular myths about resumes, along with the reality-based facts|
Fact: With LinkedIn, infographic resumes, video resumes and other online career marketing tools, resumes may not be the only docu ment you have in your arsenal. But it is still the most critical tool job seekers possess. When a company is interested in your profile, they don’t ask for your blog, YouTube channel, or fancy website, they will still ask for your resume.
Fact: A resume is important but not sufficient to land you a job. I regularly hear candidates complain: “I sent out hundreds of resumes and haven’t gotten a single interview!” That remark is really common because the interviews (and the jobs!) mostly go to “people who know people.” Your resume usually comes into play after you’ve made the connection with the relevant people at the organisation you are targeting. Broaden your professional network and build connections!
Fact: If you’re an entry-level candidate, then this probably holds true. But if you’re applying for a senior level position, you’ll have a lot more information to include. Trying to cram it all into one page looks untidy. You want to include everything that is relevant to the position, but keep it as concise as possible. Typically, a resume should be no longer than 3-4 pages. Interestingly, in the U.S. a single page is the most accepted format.
Fact: Your resume must describe results accomplished. Recruiters and hiring manager want to see how you’ve helped and contributed to your previous employer, not what you’ve done. When putting together your resume ask yourself the question: “How is the company I most recently worked at better off as a result of me having been there?
Fact: Recruiters and hiring managers don’t want to read through every job you’ve ever had to find the ones relevant to the job you’re applying for. If a job isn’t relevant, then cut it out. Listing all your work experience is a real turn-off. It demonstrates lack of focus and possibly a lack of understanding of the skills and experience needed for the role.
Fact: Your resume needs to highlight relevant and/or transferable skills. You need to take the time to tailor your resume to each individual job and employer. A general one-size-fits all resume shows you haven’t bothered to do your research and haven’t taken the time to consider how and why you are a good fit for the role. These kinds of resumes are easy to spot and will land in the ‘no pile’ in no time. Invest the time and energy in putting together your resume– it’ be worth it!
Fact: If you’ve undertaken voluntary work, participated in community events or done internships or self-study, it’s worth putting down on your resume. You do need to be selective though. Only include roles that are relevant and can support your candidacy. Also, if you’ve been out of work for a while, unpaid experience can demonstrate the kind of commitment, drive and enthusiasm an employer wants, and will get you over the line.