While writing our resume, we all are subjected to believe some myths and commit mistakes. We are led to believe that our resume must only be a page long and must include all information pertaining to our work history.
So you have finally created that perfect resume for yourself that abides by all those rules of limiting it to a page or writing a clear-cut objective and a huge list of skill-sets? Well, it turns out that these rules are nothing but myths and mistakes that people commonly make.
Resumes do not have any pre-set rules to begin with; they can be made in the way you deem fit, although the information you need to present should be clear and must include the basics: your name, contact, employment and education details.
Have you often ended up giving little or too much unnecessary detail for your resume whenever you have applied for internships and jobs?
Well then, before you start tailoring your resume for your ‘dream job’, let us take a look at the myths often linked with resumes.
Format Myth: Hiring Managers will prefer functional resume more to a chronological one
Functional resume emphasizes on your skill sets and experience details while chronological ones lists down your employment and educational history in a chronological format. While functional resumes may work for people with limited work experience or employment gaps, it may confuse the recruiter as to when you have pursued what activity for people who have had a considerable amount of experience in their industry. A cover letter with your key experience details and prime skills will work better with a chronological resume for giving the recruiter first-hand information about what you are good at and how you can be beneficial to the company.
Length Myth: One page is enough for a fresher, maybe two will work for experienced candidate
It is true that the recruiter’s attention span while reading your resume will not last more than 15 seconds until and unless the document is compelling enough, or yours is the only resume for the day. However, if you are from the technical background or have years of work experience, more than two degrees or several internships/volunteering experiences, it becomes difficult to compress all that information in one page. You may then only be able to mention the dates and years, the chronology that is, leaving out important accomplishments and highlights in a job profile or during your education. These lists of positions you held and companies you worked with might not be able to capture the attention and interest of the recruiter for long. On the contrary, if you give just the necessary details without the fancy words and use succinct, clear language for all your activities and associations right from your graduation to present job details. Your experience, skills and abilities on the resume must give an impression to the reader that you are the ideal candidate for the company. Presenting yourself as an important asset for the company right from the first page where every word would signify a meaning would definitely persuade the reader to go through more than two pages easily.
Objective Myth: Laying out a clear-cut objective in the beginning is a must
While objectives may work for recent graduates and people looking for a different career path altogether, it might give a different viewpoint to the recruiter about you if you go out to mention what you need from the company in the very beginning. You can either try mentioning what kind of assignments you are looking for and in which kind of firm/industry/company you are willing to work at the start, followed by a qualifications summary or a professional synopsis of your professional as well as soft skills. This way you can engage the reader onto your resume as it enlists your key skills and areas of expertise right at the beginning in a summary format. A recruiter who does not mostly have the time to scan through each and every page of your resume can come to know about you in the synopsis and may hire you right then and there, if the skills you mentioned there meet the requirements of the company and adds value to it.
Employment Myth: Only experience that lent you money can be included in resume
If you think that only paid experience counts in your resume, think again! Your volunteering activities, unpaid internships, college events and community participation – do they hold no value? What you learnt in your exposure as an intern or volunteer is useful and should be a part of your resume as nonetheless, you got to learn new things and you were able to work for your passion and showcased valuable skills. If you have actively participated in community events and college functions or fundraising activities, you might be well-fitted in an organization that is involved in charity or works in favour of certain communities.
Work History Breaks Myth: Resume should show continuity in work
Gaps in the employment period are common now-a-days, especially after recession ended up being an unlucky phase for most people. You can instead mention in your resume about how you used this time to your benefit by volunteering for social work, community activities, some course related to your area of interest, travelling plans, et al. This would instead be beneficial for you as the recruiter will think that you have the capability to take your own career decisions and might add some value to the company.
Resume fits all jobs myth: There is no tailoring required in your resume for different jobs
As opposed to the common practice of job-seekers of sending their resume to several companies at the same time, it is always advisable to customize your resume according to the job you are looking for, only because every job has a different set of requirements and your resume should perfectly show how you would bring more laurels to the company through your skills and experience.
Work History Myth: Resume needs to mention entire work history and responsibilities
Your work experiences that are relevant to the job you are applying for should be the only mention in your resume and none of the other part-time jobs and other work experiences that are not relevant to the current job profile should be included. Recruiters have short attention spans and even lesser time to go through each and every responsibility in each of the companies you have worked with previously. Recruiters would only want to know about your jobs that pertain to their current requirements and not your entire work history maybe, even spanning ten years.
Social Media Myth: Social Media is the best possible way to connect to your recruiters
Social Media sites especially LinkedIn and Facebook might give you good job opportunities and easier networking options, however, attending job fairs, networking events and having professional associations open better avenues for job hunting for you. Posting your updated resume on LinkedIn and other job portals or social media sites alongside can increase your chances of getting noticed by recruiters far more. If you post stories or news related to the current trends in your industry on the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or Pinterest, will also give the recruiter a fair idea of your skills and knowledge.
While your resume forms an important opinion of you in front of the recruiter and is the first thing they come across about you, your performance at the interview and/or written exam, if any, is what will eventually get you the job. While you give a broad overview of your accomplishments and achievements along with your skills in your resume, it is in your interview that you expand on those lines and convince the recruiter why you are the ideal candidate who fulfils all their job requirements. So, a good resume does do the trick but your personality as it comes across in the interview makes or breaks the deal for you. Graphs are not a waste of space again in your resume as they can most certainly attract the reader’s attention, although fancy formatting is a big turn-off. Whether you are applying for an entry-level position or a Director’s job, a clear and concise, tightly-written yet with a tinge of colour can enhance your personal branding.
So go ahead and make a statement with your Resume.