Almost everyone has an opinion about almost everything. But listening to each and every one of them would only showcase our inability to think and opine for ourselves. People usually have a lot to say when it comes to your career and future and it isn’t much different when the subject of discussion is your resume. So what is the most bizarre Resume Advice you can think of that someone you know had given you? What is the peculiar tip that made you go rolling on the floor laughing?
True advice is that which comes from personal experience. Any random thoughts that one’s mind presumes or formulates should not be given out as advice as it might misguide and mislead someone who is looking out for some genuine guidance. Resume writing tips from any random being can do you more harm than good. So beware of accepting tips without verifying whether the information is genuine!
Obscurity can be better dealt with when discussed and shared, hence we bring to you our list of the worst advice we’ve ever heard on how to make a resume. Read on, you might find points different from the ones on your list!
1) Frame a common resume and send it out to all job-providers
Needs and requirements of all jobs differ. You may have limited skills which can be described i, a single resume however, if you are not job-specific while sending out resumes then you might get rejected in spite of having the most desirable skills and achievements. What needs to be done by a job-seeker is to indulge in resume preparation for every single job that he applies for, and mention his skills in line with the expectations of the employer in order to create a perfect resume.
Anyone advising you to send out a common resume for all jobs is definitely not the well-wisher he/she claims to be. Nobody has the time or the patience to go through the skills that you nonchalantly mention in the common resume that you’ve prepared. Any employer seeing that resume is sure to not even consider you for the job. You need to highlight skills that the employer is looking for, even if that means changing the arrangement of sentences or layouts and categories of your resume.
Résumé Writers’ Ink CEO and founder Tina Nicolai says about common resumes: “This is similar to fishing for a specific fish and using the wrong bait. Far too many candidate leave off pertinent information such as metrics, achievements, business results, number of employees on their team, year-end fiscal results, and leadership competencies. The more specific the résumé is to the targeted job description, the better chances the candidate will be selected for an interview.”
2) Make it no longer than one page
“Make it no longer than one page” is another peculiar and nonsensical advice that job-seekers receive and one can only wonder why this can be considered following! It is obscure to tell someone with 15-20 years of experience to shut up and not mention his many skills and achievements lest the page number rises! It seems as if letting the employer know of your capability and suitability for the job doesn’t matter at all; all that counts is that you are presenting a short resume that won’t piss the employer off.
Someone workforce to the work force may keep his/her resume limited to a page but someone with experience should definitely not bother about the length and must proudly furnish all that he has accomplished, keeping in mind the requirements of the job. These words by career strategist SJ Sawhney are apt for those in the pursuit of writing a good resume: “Make sure the first page captures the hiring manager’s interest, whether or not there’s a second page.”
Resume writing does not involve these petty things that some people claim to be so significant. A resume can be long as long as it is readable and content specific. Remember the words of Amy Adler (a certified master résumé writer, management coach, and CEO of Five Strengths) on how to write a resume: “Two to three pages is a fine number for more experienced candidates, if that’s what’s needed to ‘deliver a comprehensive, compelling résumé.’ A readable font and an appealing design are particularly crucial for longer CVs.”
3.) Have an Objective Statement
Many old school people still follow and advice others to have an “Objective Statement” in their resume which is very much obsolete in today’s world. While it is imperative to have goals and objectives for life and your career, presenting them on your resume is not the way to materialize those as doing this only skims down your chances at convincing the employer to hire you. Renowned author and workplace expert Lynn Taylor reiterates the same point when he says: “putting an ‘objective’ on your résumé can limit your chances of landing a job.”
Rather than explicitly stating what you want right in the beginning of your resume, try building an impressive cover letter where you can mention your motive and expectations behind approaching that particular job and organization.
4) Mention Soft skills
Everyone possesses soft skills like written and oratory skills, multi-tasking, professionalism etc. Mentioning these on your resume doesn’t highlight the skills as unique to you as these are very general in nature and the employer will easily find them in any job-seeker. Anyone advising you to include the soft skills category in your resume is undoubtedly giving out the worst of all resume advices! Do not even consider such advices as they will only lead you towards doom. In a professional resume, you should rather focus on the skills that exclusively possessed by you.
5) Short summaries
A lot many suggestions pertaining to resumes talk about having short summaries. Seeking resume help from the wrong sources often leads one to receiving such perfunctory tips. More than keeping it short, your summary should be accomplishment-specific and answer the how much, how many, and how often questions regarding your achievements, tenure of service, designation etc. The key to creating the perfect resume is to not let it be boring and vague. Any out-of-place information makes your resume prone to these vices.
6) Conceal career gaps
Never lie in your resume! That’s your key to a happy life. If Joey had paid heed to this important tip then he sure would have got the part in the musical A Tale of Two Cities. In case you didn’t get this F.R.I.E.N.D.S reference, I am only trying to say that you should avoid concealing the real facts about your professional career as much as possible because if you are caught by the prospective employer in this act of yours then you will be in serious trouble. You might have some career gaps and that really is okay as long as you don’t choose to lie about it on your resume.
Consider any advice asking you to conceal your career gaps as a horrible and deadly one as it is likely to attract the attention of the employer rather than repelling it. Executive resume writer Lisa Rangel speaks in this regard, “This is horrible advice for a few reasons. First, anyone with a progressive, linear background will use a reverse-chronological format. So when someone does not use this format and uses a functional format, you are bringing attention to the non-progressive aspects of your background. It’s a resume-equivalent of screaming, ‘I am trying to hide something about my background!’”
“Before you go to the interview, try to identify a few things you gained from your time away,” said Mack Gelber. You should try being honest and constructive in your resume. In your period of work, there must have been learning a skill you learnt or knowledge you acquired. Effective resume writing is all about focusing more on this aspect rather than putting in efforts to hide your career gaps.
7) Use eye-catching designs
A proper resume format demands information to be stated categorically and in fonts that are readable and designs and layouts that do not scream out “unprofessional”. Founder and CEO of job site The Ladders, Marc Cenedella, said: “While stories about unusual or unconventional résumés might be popular, it’s important not to go too crazy with your design. In most cases, your creativity will just annoy, rather than impress, the hiring manager. Don’t use design to show you’re clever. Infographics, clever fonts, interesting styles, all make it tougher for recruiters, HR people, and machines to read your résumé. Unless you’re applying to be a creative, don’t get clever with your design.”
Hence it is wise to avoid any such advice that asks you to be creative and use unusual fonts, layout and designs to make your resume stand out. Doing so will surely make your resume stand out but not in the way you would want it to. One can always refer to resume examples and get resume assistance if required, but resorting to advices from random people can turn out to be a sheer misadventure!
Last modified: September 14, 2018