Writing a résumé is stressful. There is enough advice and helpful tips out there to choke a horse. In fact, the amount of tips, tricks and hints can be so overwhelming that the average person simply checks out of the entire process.
Another problem is that there are many myths floating around in the form of seemingly helpful information. However, their points go against best practices (or even common sense) and, therefore, just cause confusion. For example:
Résumés Should Only Be One Page
This is a hard one. Everyone has heard this rule. However, this “guideline” has caused many job seekers to use mini-fonts, apply 1/8 inch margins, and leave off vital information just to try to meet this “rule”.
One page résumés are fine for students or recent graduates with little or no experience, but candidates with some work experience under their belts need room to tell their story.
However, going over 2 pages is a little too much….unless you work in IT or some other highly specialized area where having up-to-date certifications and relevant work experience is extremely necessary.
Length does not equal quality. The key is to write a persuasive and compelling résumé, finding the perfect way to filter and highlight your skills and achievements.
Make up that degree — no one will know
Never, ever lie on your résumé; it is the worst mistake a candidate can make. If you are discovered (and you probably will be, given the sophistication of background checks today) you will lose your job immediately. No one wants to work with another person who is considered less than truthful (or worse yet, deceitful).
Claiming that you graduated from college when you are actually 6 credits shy or that your degree is in information science when it is actually in hospitality management is a mistake that can haunt you forever. Remember, we live in a world that is saturated by social media and the Internet. Hiring managers, no matter where they are located, can (and do) share their experiences with both good and bad candidates. Stay on the good side by being honest and truthful.
One good resume is all that is needed to apply for multiple jobs.
Not true. Your successful job search will depend upon your ability to communicate your value to potential employers. While you know that your skills are transferable and your personality would be a good fit for any organization, recruiters/hiring managers do not know that. They’re looking for a particular candidate who possesses every skillset that they have outlined in their particular job posting. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have got to present that picture to them, and a generic one-size-fits-all résumé cannot do that. A customized résumé can.
A résumé is not even needed. Everyone applies online now.
It is true that many job applications are completed online today. However, there are still times where you will need a physical, printed résumé.
- The interview. The person who you are talking to might not have received your résumé from the recruiter who pulled it off the Internet. Not having one makes you look unprepared, and unprepared people do not receive job offers.
- The job fair. Job fairs are a two way street. Employers are there to meet and judge candidates and to sell their company and culture. They will pass out materials selling themselves as an “employer of choice”. Candidates are there to meet hiring managers and to sell themselves. As you present yourself, hand the recruiter your résumé. It is your main marketing tool to sell yourself as the “employee of choice”.
- The application. If you are applying in person, you will be asked to fill out an application, even by those employers who accept résumés. After you are done, attach your résumé to the application. It is just a little something that will help you differentiate yourself in this crowded job market.
Creating that perfect résumé is one of the most important aspects of your job search, but it can also be one of the most overwhelming aspects too. Snelling can help. Our Candidate Resource Hub contains an entire section of Résumé Tips and Tricks – no myths – that you can use to create that perfect résumé – for every job, for every situation.
Visit it today, and if you have any other myths that you would like to ask about, let us know and we will get you the answer you need
By Christiane Soto, Snelling.com
NOTE: A full-color, downloadable PDF is available.