Ask five different people about your resume and you’ll probably get five different responses. Everyone has their own opinion on what should or shouldn’t be included, how it should be formatted, and what employers are looking for. The truth is, there is no magic formula. What worked for your friend, may not work for you. However, there are some common myths about resume that it’s time to move past:
- Your resume should never be more than one page long.
This may have been a rule of thumb in the past, but it has long since been busted. Depending on your experience and the type of job you are applying for, you may be better off going onto a second page so that you can clearly demonstrate your abilities and potential. Using a microscopic font to cram everything onto one page or cutting out important information about your experience can work against you. Don’t add fluff just to make your resume look more impressive, but also don’t skip over valuable details just because you’ll go onto a second page.
- A gap in employment is an automatic red flag.
Life happens. The job market is tough. Employers understand that from time to time you may have been out of work for a while, whether you relocated, took time off to raise your kids, or were caring for a sick parent. It’s not an automatic trip to the “no” pile. Focus on your achievements and why you would be a good fit for the position. And if it comes up in an interview, be prepared to give an honest answer. If you’re really concerned about it, add a line on your resume that says you were caring for children or a parent from 2012-2014, or whatever the case may be.
- Creating a generic resume will help you gain traction for multiple types of jobs.
Whether you’re unsure exactly what you want to do, or are open to several different roles, it’s still a good idea to make your resume focused. Showing that you’re a jack-of-all-trades can also come across as being a master of none. Your resume may end up being so vague and generic that you don’t fit well with any role or give a strong impression of your success and potential. Tailoring your resume for each job is essential.
- You must include every job you’ve ever had.
Employers are typically most interested in the past 10 to 15 years of work history. They don’t care that you worked at Blockbuster right out of high school or the four-month stint you spent waiting tables or packing boxes while you were between full-time jobs. Focus on the jobs that are most relevant to your current career path and build upon those. List just the years of employment so short-term positions don’t leave noticeable gaps. Of course, if you’re filling out more detailed application materials, you’ll want to list each job you’ve held even if it’s not on your resume.
Getting past some of these common hang ups can help you to feel more confident in crafting a powerful resume and searching for your next job. Still concerned about what you should or shouldn’t include or the impression your resume gives? A professionally written resume from Grammar Chic can put your mind at ease. Contact us at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to get started.