Every college graduate knows that there are certain unwritten rules for making resumes as they learned during their job and resume seminars. But wait. Who made these resume rules in the first place anyway? Are these rules still relevant in the present?
In many cases the answer is no. These rules only became rules to standardize how to make and submit resumes and they have become something of a sideshow with English professors. Unfortunately, many of these so-called “rules” are now outdated myths.
Myth 1: It’s All About You
No, in truth, it’s not about you, it’s how you can make more money for the company. Of course, everyone wants a resume that shows off their skills and experience. Unfortunately, many job applicants try to list down all of the wonderful things they have done. Many of these “accomplishments” may fail to focus on the critical aspects of what employers are looking for.
Myth 2: A Resume Can’t Be Too Long
You were probably taught in school that your resume can’t be longer than one or two pages. That may probably be true if you’re a first-time job seeker. So, what happens after 5 years and you’ve been through 3 jobs? You can forget this myth that never made sense from the start anyway. Naturally, when applying for an entry-level position, you will expect to see one-page resumes because the candidates doesn’t have very much experience, so in this case, the myth is absolutely true. The key is that all resume information, no matter how long or short a resume is, needs to be relevant to the job being applied for.
Myth 3: Resumes Should Never Contain Any Employment Gaps
This myth actually never made any sense 10 years ago, and will never make sense in today’s job markets. There have been just too many recession periods over many decades for employment gaps to become completely impossible. In fact, gaps between employment have become more commonplace beginning in the 2000’s. Realistic employers and human resource hiring managers in fact expect to see these gaps in employment, especially with older applicants.
Myth 4: A Resume Should be One-Size-Fits-All
A resume can’t be one for everything because when you’re applying for two or three different jobs, you need two or three different resumes to fit each one. Job applicants are encouraged to target their resumes based on the career field, job duty, and relevant keywords within the job being applied for.
Myth 5: It Should Only Include Paid Experience
If you’re a fresh graduate or you’ve been out of work for some time, showcasing relevant courses you took up, volunteer experience, and community participation can help beef up your resume. Doing so can demonstrate valuable skills, passion, and drive. It is also sending a message to hiring managers that even when you were still unemployed, you kept busy. Some company cultures actually support charity works and community volunteer work so knowing an applicant has that same type of philosophy will help your hiring chances a lot.