Resume Advice You Can't Take to the Bank

Today we are delving into several ill-advised resume strategies that you can't take to the bank. Don't worry because we're also sharing solid advice based on proven job search principles.

Sometimes you see advice often enough, you accept it as valid. Why is some of this advice so rampant? Just because anyone can post advice online – does not mean anyone is qualified to share resume advice. Secondly, tactics that were effective in 1999 may not be in step with today’s job market. Lastly, advice that is suitable for someone else’s situation may be disastrous for your situation.

Let’s examine the five worst.

Your resume MUST be one page.

Not Necessarily.

Readability is critical. If you create a one-page resume, but it is difficult to read, it is less likely to be read. When writing your resume, strive for your resume to be long enough to concisely share your relevant experience, education, and expertise. For most professionals that is two pages. One-page resumes are rare and generally only suitable for candidates with very limited experience, such as new graduates.

It is smart to include hobbies and interests so the reader can connect to you.

Not Really.

From top to bottom, your resume has the primary goal of proving that you are the ideal candidate for the target job. Consider each item of information for relevance. Remove content that is a distraction, such as sports, interests, hobbies, and social activities. The exception is an activity or achievement that supports your goal. For example, if you are a club tennis champ applying for a job with a major tennis shoe company, your tennis accomplishments would be relevant.

I only need to add my current job to update my resume.

Not An Effective Strategy.

This may be the worst advice of all because it can decrease your chances in a job search. If you only add new job details over time, you are not promoting yourself as best you can. Instead revamp your resume to reflect your current career goal. Update all parts of your resume to feature accomplishments relevant to your goal. Streamline content in past jobs and possibly truncate the earliest history. Update your skills and take a moment to revise your profile.

More skills on my resume equals more interviews.

Not usually.

More is better, right? Wrong! Listing every technology, technique, and expertise from the span of your career will result in a long resume, one that may not be entirely read. It also means that outmoded, less relevant skills may distract from the top skills the target employer is seeking. This is a case of quality over quantity. Focus on the skills relevant to your job target.

Copying and pasting your job description is a great idea.

Never.

This may save you a bit of time. However, your resume will be more compelling if you use the description as inspiration when writing your resume. Each job shown on your resume should include an overview of your major functions, scope of authority, and most importantly, your major accomplishments. Accomplishments are not likely found in the corporate job description. These are your unique contributions, often things above and beyond the job description.

Excellent resume writing is based on best practices. One of these practices is that each job seeker’s case is unique. The decisions regarding the length of a resume, content, and structure are determined by the job seeker’s goal and all aspects of their history. If you have questions about your resume strategy, contact me at td@seekingsuccess.com. I would be happy to help you.

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