7 Myths About Resumes That a Lot of People Still Believe
26 January 20228 min read
Arpad Szakal
Arpad Szakal
Multilingual Executive Recruiter

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
  1. The resume is dead.
  2. A resume will get you a job.
  3. A resume should be a single page only.
  4. A resume should describe positions you held in the past.
  5. A resume should list all your work history.
  6. One size fits all – “I only need one resume”.
  7. Only paid experience should be included.
Myth 1: The resume is dead.

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.

[fig 1] 7 myths

Myth 2: A resume will get you a job.

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!

Myth 3: A resume should be a single page only.

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.

Myth 4: A resume should describe positions you held in the past.

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?

Myth 5: A resume should list all your work history.

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.

[fig 2] 7 myths

Myth 6: One size fits all – “I only need one resume”.

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!

Myth 7: Only paid experience should be included.

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.

Good luck!

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Arpad Szakal
Arpad Szakal
Multilingual Executive Recruiter
Arpad is an Executive Search & Leadership Assessment professional and a former aviation lawyer based in London, UK. He is an experienced consultant with specialized expertise in the engineering, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.