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Incorrect information passed on without referring to legit resume writing examples is the sole reason why misconceptions are spread on how to write a resume.
These misconceptions often take such solid places in the minds of resume makers that they try to stick to these ‘advice’ they received from various sources.
But how do we find out if the resume writing tips that we are following the way we follow God’s gospels are actually going to come to our aid? It is scary to imagine following a pattern that gets you rejected rather than selected, isn’t it?
While awareness about resume writing gathered from verified and authentic sources is one way of avoiding falling into the following misconceptions, the other way with long-term advantages is to go through various resume writing examples and resume outlines.
Cross Checking the resume writing tips received with resume examples not only clears your misconceptions but also makes you aware of the resume format that professional resume writers use.
But before you dive into the massive expanse of resume writing examples out there that await your attention, let us brief you on the 14 most common resume misconceptions so that you avoid them in your own!
Resumes are read
Put yourself in the place of a recruiter who has about 250-300 job applications before him and he has to select just a handful from them. Will you have the patience or even the time to go in detail through them all?
Obviously not! And that is the reality. Your resume is likely to read for less than 30 seconds. That is why it is imperative to make it eye-catching so that the recruiter is compelled to read it for a little longer.
The misconception that resumes are actually read makes many resume creators take up a light-hearted approach at the beginning of their resumes. But if you fail to furnish your major achievements, skills, and experience right at the start or in a way that attracts attention then I am afraid you are likely to face rejection.
Good resume examples shall give you a fair idea of how to go about this so as to have the recruiter’s attention for more than those 30 seconds.
Confine your resume to one page
This is what we come across most often and believe me, it is a sheer myth! You do not have to worry about limiting your resume to one page!
Even resume examples will hint the same way. It is true that unnecessary details should be avoided in a resume to keep it brief but you need not deliberately do so.
It is unperceivable to my mind as to how can a job-seeker with saying about 10-15 years of experience put up all his skills, achievements and work history in a single page if he goes by this legendary advice that we are talking about!
This might be applicable to first-time job seekers who have little or no job experience but for someone with experience in the field, the focus should be more on highlighting his/her skills instead of trying to fit everything into one page.
Objectives statements no longer hold the importance that they had earlier. The misconception that adding objective statements to your resume helps convince the recruiter works disastrously for an applicant.
Even resume examples suggest that you consider providing a professional summary that gives a quick hint to recruiters as to what you can offer them instead of having objective statements stating what you expect of the firm as it’s clearly not a very good idea.
Recruiter and author of Unbeatable Resumes, Tony Beshara says in this regard: "Companies who are interviewing you don't care about your objective, they care about their objective."
All experiences add to your resume
‘Brevity is the soul of wit,’ said Shakespeare and we second it! You may have a lot of experience of working or interning with companies of repute and that is indeed commendable. But you should always make it a point to be job-specific.
Mention only such details which the recruiter might be interested to know (don’t worry, there are other ways of letting them know that you have worked with a certain firm). But so long as you are at resume writing, try to be precise and try not to blow your own trumpet.
If you minutely observe then you will find the exact thing being followed in resume examples or resume samples that are available online or otherwise.
If the unveiling of this misconception of adding all your achievements and skills to the resume has increased your dilemmas then you can consider seeking the help of our experts at CV Owl who is always upbeat about providing resume help.
A common resume is good enough for all jobs sought
Another very common misconception is that a common resume is good enough for all jobs sought. Confused? Well, there are many people who are of the belief that framing a good and satisfactory resume for once and sending it out for every job will serve their purpose.
But the truth remains that it’s a world where a difference of even 0.1% can bring you down from being the top rank holder to the second or third position. You just can’t take a chance with your resume that will probably be compared to 200 others.
Every resume that you send out for every single job has to be altered according to the needs, demands, and requirements of the job sought. This alone would increase your chances of being shortlisted.
The key to improving resumes lies in a close observation of resume examples by the resume maker.
Color in a resume is a big no
Resume experts feel that color is a representation and extension of your personal brand. “In today's career world, a fully functioning and eye-catching resume includes an inclusive marketing strategy including splashes of color and tightly written copy. All colors, when used appropriately, have their place on resumes; from CEO's to entry-level,” said resume writer and executive career coach Tina Nicolai.
Use of color is like conveying to the recruiter a bit more about our commitment to deliver. Thus, it’s about time that we bring in a little vibrancy to our black-and-white resumes which is sure to work positively for us just as seen in resume examples available online.
Write your resume in the ‘proper’ way
No matter how much insistence is on laid upon writing one’s resume in the ‘proper’ or ‘right’ way, the truth remains that there exists no predefined or pre-set format that is universally recognized as the best resume format.
A professional resume is written following certain guidelines which are but perceivable to anyone. Guidelines such as using ATS friendly keywords, avoidance of grammatical errors and typos etc are the very basic things that if followed can bring your resume closer to the ideal resume preferred by recruiters.
To have a more in-depth look at these guidelines refer to our previous blog posts at CV Owl and go through resume examples or resume samples.
Get more action verbs
Lead data scientist at Bright.com, Jacob Bollinger, says about the futility of brainstorming and trying to look for different ways of expressing your achievements at various jobs, “Bright's research has shown that it’s not necessary to come up with three different ways to say that you’ve achieved your goals at every position you’ve ever held.”
The use of different phrases and action verbs though considered crucial by many is not as important as focusing on skills and qualifications. Reusing action points in various bullets of your resume is fine as long as you mention your skills in a compelling way.
If you are a keen observer then you might have already noticed that even resume examples found online often use the same action verbs multiple times to highlight various skills of the applicant.
Separate column for achievements
As has been mentioned already, your resume is not the only one that the recruiter is reviewing. In such a case, having a separate column for achievements might not be the best strategy you want to employ to earn yourself the job.
Try mentioning your achievements alongside the company you worked for and the position you held. Chances are that the employer will just skim through your resume.
Giving him a different column altogether to say that you have been the ‘Employee of the year’ at so-and-so company is like telling him, ‘it’s okay Sir, you can give the job to someone else.’
There might be resume examples or guides online that advise you otherwise but try thinking logically and you would find that indeed having a separate column for achievements makes it less noticeable to the recruiter.
One of the biggest misconceptions people have about how to make a resume is that the use of fancy formats gives you an upper hand. Truth be told, that is a myth!
In fact, using the simplest possible format that is sober to the reader’s eyes is the best way to get yourself that edge that you wish to achieve.
And I don’t think even resume examples or samples available online ever support the use of such fancy formats.
Graphs are a NO
There is a common notion that graphs eat up precious space but the advantage is that they have the ability to better express your capabilities and previous record than words do. Also, graphs are eye-catching and hence grab the attention of recruiters.
In case you are considering using graphs in your resume then go ahead! You might earn yourself some brownie points. And for any assistance, you can always refer to resume examples with graphs that are available on the web.
Creative resume equates to selection
Resumes are not really the place for one to be creative and to show their skills unless of course, it is some design-related job or creatively inclined job. But apart from that, one should avoid being creative on one’s resume.
If you are unable to let loose of your artistic skills while framing your resume then consider seeking the help of some resume builder or go through resume examples yourself because this is a problem that can cost you your dream job.
You don’t need a cover letter
Often, having a good cover letter makes up for resume gaps or other flaws that might be present in your resume. However, not everyone is aware of the significance of cover letters and hence the misconception that cover letters aren’t important persists.
It is a must if you are job hunting. Consider writing one ASAP if you don’t have the outline of one ready. There are ample of cover letter examples available online along with resume examples which might be a great source of reference to you.
Conclude with “references upon request”
Concluding your resumes with the phrase “Reference upon request” may have been important earlier but it is no longer necessary. You can skip this part and focus more on the other important details that can fetch you the job.
The present-day resume examples never mention this phrase and you should follow suit!
The best and most effective way of improving one’s resume is to refer to resume examples so as to learn, adapt and apply the various rules that these resumes follow in one’s own resume.
We hope this piece on the 14 common misconceptions about resume was beneficial for you to find solutions to all the myths you have come across in your life about resumes and resume writing.
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