Busting 5 Myths That Weaken Your Resume

Posted by Kathi Guiney on August 24, 2017, Job Searching | No Comments

In the last YES! Your Human Resources Solution blog, we talked about lies you should never tell on your resume. This week, we’ll move from telling resume lies to following resume myths—resume “rules” job-seekers follow that aren’t really rules at all, or at least, they aren’t anymore.

Let’s bust five of the biggest resume myths:

Mythbuster #1: Job-hunting is not about your needs. Burn your resume if it opens with, “I want to find a job that utilizes my strengths and offers opportunities for….” Your resume isn’t about what you want from a job, it’s about how a company can benefit from your talents. Showcase your skills and achievements against what the company needs; you can get this information from the job description and from the company’s website or recent press.

Mythbuster #2: One resume does not fit all. Would you send the same resume for a mid-level accountant at a large fashion retailer as you would for a COO at a tech startup? (Short answer: absolutely not.) Gone are the days when you had to type and fax resumes en masse. Computers and online applications give you every reason to customize your resume for each position you apply for. Yes, it’s more effort up front, but quality over quantity reaps more rewards in the end.

Mythbuster #3: Your references do not need to be referenced. If your resume includes references’ contact information, or even that pesky “references available upon request,” you are wasting valuable real estate! Since nobody ever said, “Nope, prospective employer, I won’t share my references with you,” employers expect you to provide references at the appropriate time in the hiring process.

Mythbuster #4: Your resume can have work gaps. That time you took to backpack through Europe or to raise tiny humans has left an unsightly work gap on your resume. But never fear—gaps aren’t the giant red flag they used to be. A lot of established professionals only include the most relevant experience on their resumes—it’s part of the tailoring process up there in Mythbuster #2. And if a prospective employer asks about a gap in your work history, simply explain that you were “working in a different field at the time.”

Mythbuster #5: Your resume will not explode if it is more than one page. Instead of obsessing over length, worry about including the most relevant information in the most concise manner. Many young professionals will have a one-page resume because they are only starting to gain experience. But a mid-level professional may have two pages, and an executive may have three. Don’t make a prospective employer dig through college fast-food jobs. Remember, the key is relevance!

Which of these myths does your resume need to bust?

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