Resume Myths

There is a lot of misinformation regarding resumes. And, I think I know where it is coming from. First of all, very few people actually love resumes – and most people hate them. That hate for resumes is manifested in the way we create them, read them and it continues because we teach the next generation to hate them as well. I have sat in on career days and at some point the Teacher, Instructor, or class leaders introduces the resume topic as a “drag” – something boring but has to be covered.

Fundamentally, I disagree with this approach, I believe if we start teaching ourselves and our children to respect, appreciate and embrace the resume (that’s right, show it some love) then we can change the way we look at them. So to debunk the notion that resumes dreaded little documents and need to die here are some common myths about resumes that is still being taught today and needs to STOP!

  1. Resume are boring! No, they aren’t and they don’t have to be. You can make your resume as colorful and vibrant as your personality. The only catch is you must understand that not all hiring managers like colorful and vibrant personalities – which mean you need to know your audience. Create the resume that you want (or have it created) and be selective about who you send it to.
  2. No one reads resume anymore. Again, not true. I strongly believe and based on the feedback from my customers, that if you have a good looking resume, the chances of your resume being read and getting more than 6 seconds, improves dramatically.So if you have unpolished and unprofessional resume, you will not get the calls you want and yes, you will hate the resume too.
  3. Resumes have to be ONE page only. Negative, resumes can be 2 pages or maybe even 3 but probably not more than that. The rule of thumb is for every 10 years of experience you have represents a page, and since most employers only need 15 years at the most, that means your resume should be around 1.5 to 2 pages long, (in most cases). My personal approach is to keep them to 2 pages if at all possible.
  4. If you use big words, lots of adjectives and adverbs you can impress the reader with your mastery of the English language. Nope, not anymore at least. When I see a resume and the “Summary of Qualifications” or “Professional Summary” or “Objective Statement” or “Career Overview” section is full of positive descriptors like, “A seasoned, experienced, talented, top-performer, with exceptional…” I already know thatthose adjectives are self serving and does not impact my decision or any recruiter, hiring manager or HR person’s decision as well. We’ve seen it millions of times. We skip right over all that and try to find the good stuff, the important stuff. In talking with many hiring managers, they all say the same thing, “just tell me what you do, what you have done, the results of your work and let me determine if you are “talented” and “exceptional.”‘
  5. There is only one format that works. Another myth. Reverse chronological order is the most popular but depending on the career, the situation, or the type of employer (government, public sector or private sector) a reverse chronological resume may not be the best option. Just so we are all on the same page here, there are 4 resume styles, chronological order, reverse chronological order, functional, and academic and each can be effective. But I am notorious for creating hybrid resumes. A hybrid resume is a cross between two (or even 3) of the 4 resume styles. For instance when I get a young person fresh out of college and entering the workforce, I like to use a cross between an academic resume and a traditional chronological or reverse chronological resume. If I have someone who has 30-40 years of work experience but still wants to work, I create a hybrid resume using a cross between a biography and resume – so they can land a senior advisory role or board position.

I hope this information helps you or someone you know. If you need help getting your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn in shape contact me at chris@resumecrusade.net and be sure to swing by my website resume crusade.com and vision my Instagram page for examples of my work at instagram.com/resumecrusade