The rules for resume-writing aren’t set in stone.
However, new terminologies and methods are being introduced in the recruitment world at a neck-breaking speed and it is difficult to identify what is fact and what is hearsay.
So, it is important to know the facts from the myths and adhere to only those guidelines which will help you write a flawless resume with an ideal resume format.
In this article, we have covered the 8 most common myths people encounter while drafting their resumes and also show you how to get past them.
Myth 1: The ideal resume length is one page
One of the most popular resume myths circling for a while now is that an ideal resume should wrap up under one page and recruiters frown upon a resume that exceeds this length.
This might be the case with freshers but professionals who have been in the workforce for a while should take this with a pinch of salt.
People with an extensive work history will find that a single page is hardly enough to list all the skills they have acquired throughout the years and even if they managed to pull this feat, the resulting document would lack information and more importantly would not do justice to their job application.
So, we advise you to be as crisp as you can while listing your skills and responsibilities, however, do not leave out crucial details from your resume just so it does not extend to two pages.
Myth 2: More the jobs, the better the resume
Recruiters hire you based on merit and the skills you possess rather than the number of jobs you have held in the past. Hence, eliminating the need to mention every single job that you have ever worked at.
Remember that summer you worked as a babysitter? It does not need to go on your resume unless you are a fresh graduate with nothing substantial to put in your resume.
If you have held a lot of jobs in multiple industries in the past, only highlight the jobs that are relevant to the current position you are applying to keep your resume crisp and to the point.
Myth 3 A resume with career gaps will lead to no jobs
It is alright to have career gaps. What’s not alright however is hiding these gaps as it can make hiring managers suspicious and make them doubt your candidature.
Hiring managers are people like us and understand that life can present circumstances where a person’s job can take a backseat. Consider using ‘functional’ or ‘hybrid’ resume format to hide these gaps without it looking fraudulent and be honest about them if asked in the interview. You can also draft a cover letter and briefly describe your career gaps in it, this will be a testament of your honesty and show the recruiters that you are trustworthy.
If you have done freelancing or gained some certifications during this time, you can mention these to bridge those career gaps neatly while making your resume look impressive.
Myth 4: One resume is sufficient
Online job boards have made it easy to apply to multiple jobs at once. Most people build one standard resume and mail it to every recruiter out there. It might seem like you are saving a lot of time but in reality, you might be sabotaging your chances of getting an interview call.
Customizing your resume according to the job you are targeting will put you a step ahead of the competition.
Myth 5: Resume formats are not important
Use popular resume formats like reverse-chronological or hybrid resume formats to increase your chances of getting shortlisted. These formats are both recruiters and ATS-friendly.
Resumes that do not follow a particular format makes them hard to navigate and can turn off the interest of recruiters by being unorganized.
Myth 6: Writing ‘References Available Upon Request’ in your resume is old -school
There has been a constant fight over whether it is better to mention references on a resume or just give the recruiters the option by writing-‘’references upon request’ on your resume.
According to expert opinion, it is better to write ‘references upon request’ because of the following reasons:
In the modern world where the majority of the population applies for a job online, it is not a viable option to provide your reference’s personal details for the whole world to see.
To Create Influence
By writing the phrase-’‘references available upon request’ you are buying yourself more time as you can discuss your terms with all the people backing you up.
You can discuss clear ideas on how they can pitch for you if a potential recruiter contacts them asking about your professional experience.
Myth 7: Stuffing a resume with industry-specific keywords can help you land a job
There is a lot of misinformation about how to make your resume ATS-compliant out there.
One of the most common suggestions you’ll encounter is to stuff your resume with industry-related keywords. This is not entirely incorrect as carefully choosing keywords related to your work experience can boost the chances of your resume getting parsed by the ATS.
However, mindless insertion of every keyword present in the job description can lead to an unrealistic resume with poor human readability and make you look like a dishonest candidate.
Applicant Tracking Systems are just gatekeepers that your resume has to pass through before landing in the hands of a human recruiter. The fate of your application, in the end, lies with them so you should optimize your resume in a way that is not only easy to read and understand but also honest.
Myth 8: A resume should include everything about your life
Truth be told, employers are not at all interested in your life journey from birth till present and will hire you purely based on the skills you possess.
A resume should not read like an autobiography. This document is an overview of your career history that displays the skills you have acquired over the years so that a potential employer can decide whether you are suitable for the job they are offering.
So, rather than filling up your resume with irrelevant details, focus on demonstrating how you are the perfect fit for the job role by solely focusing on your experience and technical skills with relevant numbers backing them up.
Knowing resume myths before you start drafting your resume can save you a lot of time and effort. In fact, it can significantly bolster the effectiveness of your resume because you are not bound by misleading “facts” anymore. You can avoid these myths by simply being conscious of them. We hope that this article has been of help!