As a job seeker, it is important to know that the content on a resume could make or break your success in the job market. There are a lot of myths out there and I am here to debunk them!
Myth #1: Your resume should only be one page.
FALSE: When you created your first resume, you were most likely advised to keep your resume short and sweet. I was guilty of this as well until I started my career in technical recruiting. I quickly realized how silly that advice was. If you try to stick to one page on a resume, you are more than likely going to miss out on important content that job seekers are looking for. When a recruiter or hiring manager is looking through resumes, they want to see skills or experience that relate to their position so they can determine if you are going to be a good match. If you try to squeeze everything onto one page, you are likely cutting out a lot of information that could be super valuable to a hiring manager. Sticking to one page is just simply not as important as you may think. Just keep it clean and organized.
Myth #2: Less is more.
FALSE: Similarly, to the myth above, less is not always more. MORE IS MORE. When recruiters are sourcing online for qualified applicants, they are looking for keywords, and the more times those words show up on a resume the better fit that candidate might be for their position. If you received a certification or are well-versed in specific software, add it to your resume! If you used Microsoft Project in each position you have had, add it to each position! Your resume is the first impression you make to a potential employer. You need to make yourself stand out on a piece of paper, which means as many relevant skills as possible you can add to that resume, the better! The content on your resume could be the reason that they call you back or you get the interview (where you can truly sell yourself). But you must get there first with a strong resume.
Myth #3: You should hire someone to format your resume.
FALSE: I might get in trouble for this one, but save your money and create your resume yourself! If you are working with a recruiter, nine times out of ten they are going to reformat your resume to a template that they use for their hiring managers or clients. If you have a PDF, it is more difficult for employers or hiring teams to edit or add headers or additional information their clients may require. There are some instances where we omit information for the privacy of the candidate, so if you have an intricate resume that is difficult to edit it makes the recruiter’s job a lot harder. Resumes don’t have to look pretty – the content is the most important!
Myth #4: You should write one cover letter and attach it to each job application.
FALSE: If you are going to take the time to write a cover letter, you will want to cater that cover letter to each position you are applying to. If you use one template across all jobs, a hiring manager or recruiter will notice and most likely not take the time to read it. It is obvious when a cover letter is generic and being used across multiple positions. If you are going to write one, be intentional, make sure to pull specific points from each job description and adjust your cover letter accordingly. If you aren’t going to do that, just take it off entirely. Your resume is truly the first thing an employer will look at.
Myth #5: You shouldn’t add an address to your resume.
FALSE: Similar to keyword searches for skills and experience, one of the first things a recruiter is going to do when looking for candidates is add a location radius. If you do not put at least a city and state on your resume, your information may not generate in a recruiter’s search. For example, if you are a job seeker who is open to positions in the greater Dallas area, make sure you add “Dallas, TX” somewhere on your resume. Zip codes are even better.
Myth #6: I should add every position I have ever had to my resume.
FALSE: Although we do not need to stick to one page, we also don’t want a resume that is ten pages long! At a certain point, it is acceptable to omit past positions from your resume if they are no longer relevant to your career path. Although your jobs from college were great at the time, when you have been in the workforce for over 5 years, it may be time to delete that from your resume. If you made a career change, it is acceptable to remove your early career roles if it is no longer applicable to your current job search.
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