Common Resume Myths (and how to dispel them)

Do you still believe these resume myths? 

We have reported a few times on different types of common errors and mistakes that people make on their resumes. No surprise, spelling and grammar are big ones. However, there are some common misconceptions or resume myths that people still believe that just aren’t true in the modern world.

These have to do with what your resume is for and how it is used. Make sure you aren’t still clinging to these outdated ideas.

Related: Oh, the Mistakes I See! A Resume Writer’s Top 10 of Resume Errors

#1. Gaming the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

If you have applied for a job in the last decade, most likely you came across an ATS. Automated processes and technology cut down on the time it takes to vet applications and resumes. However, there is a way to stuff your resume too much with keywords and phrases in an attempt to push it through the ATS. While it may work to get past the ATS, once the recruiter or hiring manager reads your resume it will be clear what you have done. A resume that is chock full of buzz words and key phrases isn’t necessarily working to portray your skills optimally. A few choice key words and phrases are enough. Don’t go crazy or it will just look like a thesaurus threw up on your resume. Trust us, they will be able to tell what you did.

Related: How Emerging Technologies Can Improve The Hiring And Retention Process

#2. Have Your Friend Edit Your Resume

Let us clarify. It is a good idea to have someone else edit your resume. It is very hard for even the best writers to catch all of their own mistakes. However, is your friend the best qualified? Is she a resume expert? Does he know anything about the industry you are interested in? Our guess is no. Lucky for you, Career Resumes offers a FREE RESUME CRITIQUE. Yep, FREE.

Why would you NOT take advantage of this? Have a professional look at your resume before you submit it. Everyone else is, and you want to beat them out with your amazing skills and magnetic personality. You do not want to miss out on your dream job because of a spelling error or an incorrectly organized resume. The same goes for your cover letters. We’ve seen it happen too many times.

Related: How to Choose the Right Professional Resume Writing Service

#3. Include Your Entire Work History

No and No. You should only include your work experience that directly relates to the current position you are applying for. Of course, you don’t want to leave gaping holes in your timeline. There are other ways to address gaps in your work history. In addition, putting more than twenty years of work history dates you. And let’s be honest–your part time job in high school is not going to get you hired in your 30s or 40s for a sweet corporate job. Nobody cares. If you did something way back when that did help qualify you now, bring it up in the interview.

#4. The Length of Your Resume

If you take our advice about not including your entire work history, then the length of your resume will be adequate. However, there is no hard and fast rule that says your resume should only be one page long. It really is OK if is longer. In fact, most of them are. If you have over a decade of experience, your resume will almost always be more than one page anyway. The real key here is to capture the reader’s attention in the first couple of lines. If he or she isn’t hooked within about 15 seconds, they might not read the rest and you won’t get the interview. That is much more important than the length of the entire resume.

#5. Your Resume is the Magic Key to Getting You the Job

Nope! Not even close. Your resume will get you past the ATS and added to the interview list–but it won’t get you the job. That is YOUR responsibility. The following things play very key roles in landing you the job:

The Resume Myths Wrap-Up

Gone are the days when you simply typed up your work history, filled out an application, and got hired. There is an art to getting hired and it is more important as you advance in your career. The corner office doesn’t come easy–you have to work for it. Your resume is just one of the many tools that gets you there. We want to help make sure that tool is as sharp as it can possibly be. We are here to help you!

Happy job hunting! Let us know how we can help. 

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