Over the years, I have strategically studied professional resume writing and its dynamics. Doing so allowed me to change my writing style according to the contemporary practices of the industry.
In the early years of my exposure to this industry, I have spent hours crafting the so-called ‘perfect’ resumes for each client. Day in and day out, I bump into resumes from clients which at first glance seemed ‘perfect’, but looking at it closer from a professional resume writer’s point of view – it shouted out a whole bunch of resume writing mistakes – clearly transgressing or complying with the so-called ‘resume writing myths.’
Here are a few of the most common resume writing myths that job hunters should take note of:
Myth #1: Forget the referees, not.
So true! Writing down ‘Available upon request’ will not necessarily make your document stand out from a sea of resumes an employer receives each day. If you are aiming to get hired, might as well make sure to add at least two reliable referees in your resume.
Myth #2: One-page resumes are a hit!
So not true! A well-written resume should be well within three to four pages.
Question – ‘What if I’m a fresh graduate? Should I stick to one page?
Answer – No, not necessarily. You may have a different career in mind after college, but that doesn’t mean to leave out the ‘non’ relevant work information behind. Why? It might be screaming heaps of information about your skills that could easily be transferred to the new post.
Question – ‘I have a long list of previous jobs. Do I write them all?’
Answer – Yes, you may, BUT only highlight those positions that are relevant to the present role you are applying to. You may simply list the previous roles.
Myth #4: Spelling errors immediately disqualify you.
Not entirely true BUT simple spelling and grammatical errors can speak a lot about you. Recruiters or employers may be after your work experience. BUT then again, you can never be too complacent with your document. The trick here is to read and re-read your resume whenever applying. You may not see mistakes on the first pass, but you can definitely see mistakes – either major or minor – on the second. So keep on reviewing your document before you finally decide to submit.
Myth #5: Graphs and numbers can matter.
Yes, they definitely can. It is best to take note of the percentages, the amount, the number of people or team members – and make these speak for you. Numbers and graphs are definitely not space wasters – they convey a more reliable you. So go ahead and use those numbers to your advantage!
Myth #6: Fancy formatting matters.
Not entirely true. It does catch the eyes of the recruiters, but do not use layouts and colours that would cause too much strain to the eye. I am not entirely against colours or a bit of graphics – just make sure it doesn’t scream out ‘UN-hire’ me in the process. Be careful in adding graphics and colours as they might give out the wrong impression. These might even cause some problems to the employer should you submit it in the wrong format. Solution? Be safe and choose a simple layout.