Myths are fantastic because they’re fantasy.
Dragons, trolls, and winged horses might not be an everyday occurrence. But myths have a way of permeating our lives nonetheless.
One of these ways is through common misunderstandings about common occurrences. The more trivial the occurrence, the less seriously we challenge what we know about it.
For instance, I could tell you that Australia actually has two national animals instead of one, or that Napoleon always held his glass with his left hand, or that writing a resume is difficult. Of course, none of these are true, but some of you might just believe me in the right context.
That’s why it’s important to dispel fantasies that might have snuck in without us fully knowing. And today, we’re going to look at 10 of the most common myths people believe when it comes to their resume, so we can go from fantasy to fact — and get your career on the fast track!
You need to put down all your contact information.
Truth be told, this trend is a bit old.
You should ensure it’s easy for your recruiter to find out how to contact you, but in an era where we have a million different ways to connect through the internet, you only need to focus on a few.
It’s also not relevant to include your address. In fact, in some cases you could be subjecting yourself to unnecessary bias by doing so, as your neighbourhood can suggest things about you that less fair-minded recruiters might be quick to judge.
Instead, stick to a professional-sounding email address, and any relevant social media handles, such as LinkedIn. If you have your own website, include that too!
You shouldn’t repeat the same words.
When conversing we don’t want to converse using the same words for conversing because then our conversing sounds like dry or meaningless conversing. See what I mean?
But your resume isn’t a conversation. It’s an organized list of information about you. And if you want to sell a certain aspect of yourself, then it is ok to continue to refer to it the same way again and again.
In fact, you should be identifying keywords in the job posting and reiterating those throughout your resume. If each of your past jobs can be described with the same action words, and those action words match up with the job requirements, then repetition can be your friend.
Put all your achievements in one place.
You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. Because in this case, it’s likely that recruiters will skip the basket entirely.
Having a section specifically for achievements means that your work experience section shows less value. It’ll just be dates, titles, and a brief summary. But recruiters almost exclusively focus on the work experience section of a resume, and will look only briefly (if at all) at other parts.
So don’t cut the achievements out and paste them all into one neat little section. While it might look impressive, chances are recruiters won’t even look. Keep your achievements in your work experience section, attached with the jobs at which you achieved them.
Colour is cliché.
It’s actually the opposite.
Almost all job seekers are told that resumes should be black and white because it’s professional. But the RIGHT use of colour is better than no colour at all! Especially if you work in a creative industry.
That said, you shouldn’t turn your resume into an eye-bleeding painter’s palette full of neon and high contrast colours. Instead, you should give your resume an accent that makes it pop, makes it easier to read — and that matches your personal brand.
Even using different shades of grayscale can help draw the eye of the reader to the most relevant info on your resume. Try making your most important and relevant info bolder by comparison to other sections, and you won’t be the only one pleased by what they see!
Objective statements are objectively good.
Objective statements, to be fair, were popular at one time. But that time is long gone in the eyes of employers.
An objective statement is sort of your own personal mission statement. It’s usually a very short (1-2 sentence) blurb that appears at the top of your resume about what your goal is in applying for this job.
Instead, professionals are switching to a professional summary. This is also a short blurb, but instead of saying what you want, you just highlight who you are as a professional. Instead of making it about your goals, you describe your value so recruiters can quickly understand why they should make hiring you a goal of their own! Alternatively, focus on your cover letter, draw employers in with personal statements drawing on your work experience and aligning it with their company goals, mission and objectives.
Your layout needs to be loud.
Your content matters more than your format. When it comes to your layout, less is more.
Besides making your resume more confusing, things like multiple columns, fancy bullet points, icons, sideways text, and fanciful fonts are often stripped away by Applicant Tracking Software to help present recruiters with what they perceive to be the most important info.
Complicated formatting can actually make it more difficult for ATS (and the human readers it serves) to read your resume right.
Resumes are text-only.
There is definitely a time and place for images in your resume.
Designers and creatives would be wise to imbue their resume with some of their own design elements. But it’s not just people whose careers are visual who can benefit from visual aids.
Graphs, charts, and tables are an excellent way to quickly convey the statistics that strengthen your claims. Did your efforts help grow revenue for your past employer? Show them that upward trend in a graph!
Recruiters are trying to read as much info in as little amount of time as possible when reviewing resumes. The right visual tool can make it easier for them to get the right info about you.
Typos mean you won’t get the job.
Nothing makes us panic more than realizing we’ve sent out a dozen resumes with a spelling error!
But if this has happened to you, don’t worry. Unless it’s a typo in your contact information, errors aren’t actually as big of a deal to most recruiters.
Chances are, if you didn’t catch a mistake after going over your resume for hours, they aren’t going to notice it in the few seconds they spend with it.
That said, it’s always a good idea to edit your resume regularly to catch such mistakes. You can also have someone else look it over for safety, like the resume-writing experts at ReStart! We can help you proof your resume until it’s a foolproof way to catch the attention of your next employer.
Resumes have to be one page long.
So many job seekers sacrifice important information for the sake of space.
Unless clearly specified, no recruiter is going to throw away your resume because it’s two pages instead of one. The key is making sure you aren’t cramming too much information on there.
You shouldn’t have to throw away relevant information just to get to a single page. But you shouldn’t keep irrelevant information just to fill up two, either. And don’t go to three or more pages.
There is one exception to the 1-2 page length rule, which is if they are requesting a CV (Curriculum Vitae). A CV can be several pages long, as it should be a complete history of all experience, not just the most relevant.
You should include your references.
It is unusual for recruiters to request references prior to an interview. It’s also a waste of valuable space on your resume to write them out in advance.
Instead, just bring a printed copy of your references and their contact info to hand to your interviewer.
Some recruiters may hang onto resumes for future opportunities. If that happens to you, you should be making sure you provide the most up-to-date references anyways, so your old resume could lead to confusion if it has old references.
Overall, it’s just bad practice to be giving out your references’ info without having met with a potential employer and made sure it’s a job worth getting a reference for.
The biggest myth about resumes? It’s that you have to write them alone.
ReStart has free resume (and cover letter) services to help you make yourself look as professional on paper as you are in real life!
Book your appointment today to get started!