When it comes to proper resume writing, many people feel that they are experts, though few actually are. In fact, myths about how you should write a resume are constantly circulating the Internet, making it hard to decipher between fact and fiction. Luckily, the team at Chic Resumes by Grammar Chic is here to help. It’s time to shed some light on these common resume writing myths and debunk them for good:
Myth: Your resume must have an objective statement
While this used to be a standard feature on resumes, objective statements are no longer a necessary part of your resume. Think about it this way—your objective is to get a job. Instead, use that space for a Summary of Qualifications section that provides a 30,000 foot overview of who you are as a professional. From here, you should present a core competencies section, which is a keyword-focused area designed to appeal to resume scanners and parsers many organizations now employ to identify potential interview candidates.
Myth: You should always add skills like “leader” or “strong communicator”
You probably see these skills on everyone’s resume, regardless of the industry they work in, which may make you think that they are essential for your own resume. In reality, quite the opposite is true. If you can almost guarantee that the skill will be listed on the majority of resumes, then it means that you should delete them from your own. Instead of these broad, general skills, get specific. Do you know Photoshop? Do you speak another language? Swap out generic soft skills for abilities that will really set you apart from other applicants.
Myth: Never add elements of graphic design
Graphic design elements should be added with care, but there is certainly no rule that says they are never acceptable. If you are applying for a creative position at a fashion house or an ad agency, this sort of creative flair will be appreciated. However if you are hoping to be a paralegal or a stockbroker, it is best to keep the document traditional and formal. Understand the industry you are targeting. If you do, you should be able to get a good feel for how much creativity is reasonable.
Myth: Do not make your resume too narrow
In reality, targeted resumes are smart and much more effective than a resume that could apply to varied fields or industries. You want to make it easy to show a hiring manager exactly how and why you are qualified for a specific job. You do not want to leave them wondering what kinds of other jobs you used this resume for. Get specific, and incorporate keywords from the job description into the document.
When you find a good action word, use it
If you continually talk about how you spearhead, collaborate, or manage projects, eventually your resume will lose its power. While action words are important, you do not want to be using the same word over and over. Find other, equally powerful ways to make a statement and keep the hiring manager engaged.
When it comes to resume writing, you want to find the perfect blend between professionalism and personality. This means getting rid of the clip art, but not making the document so generic that it doesn’t show who you really are.