10 Resume Writing Myths
We all enjoy lists, so why not continue with this timeless tradition of providing a top something for your education and enjoyment about resume writing.
Before you get your typey fingers ready to comment that so and so said this was wrong, or what about this situation, we want to preface this article by saying that this is what we experienced over the 12 years or so and related directly to client feedback and our own experiences using resumes. Now you can typey type
10 Resume Writing Myths
Myth 1 – Resumes have to be a specific page length
So, this is false, and we often hear this from groups of clients. For example, around co-op application time, finance students will contact us, and their group will have this notion that resumes cannot be more than one page. We ask where they received this information, and generally, it comes from their school’s co-op advisors. So, we say nuts to that, and once we finish writing their resumes, and they end up being two pages, and the client starts getting interviewers, we know what we are doing works.
Bottom line: resumes can be one, 1 ½, two etc. We like within the two-page range, but if there is enough data to support a page range, and the data is applicable, then go for it. There is no resume length standard.
Myth 2 – You have to use your birth name on the resume
You don’t have to use your birth name on the resume if you prefer to go by a different or some variation of your name. For example, Edward would go by Ed, so Ed is a friendlier version of the name, so Ed is a great choice. Another instance if Linyi has an English name, then she can use that.
Bottom line: Use the name that you like and use every day. Informal names have an approachableness to them, so I would recommend using them.
Myth 3 – You need to write your full address on your resume
Please do not include your full address on your resume. It’s not essential, and it’s no one’s business where you live (exactly). Just write your city and province location, and that will suffice. Since companies never (okay, maybe that one company still sends things regular post) send things through Canada Post or physical letters, if you list your full address, this indicates you are not up to date with current practices (re: people use email and you’re about 100 years’ old).
Myth 4 – You cannot use personal pronouns on your resume
If you forgot what a pronoun is, those are I, you, he, she, we, they etc. Those are fine to use. I cannot find anything with merit that suggests you cannot use these words, and honestly, using these words humanizes your profile and makes you a person, so go ahead and use them. It’s silly that the resume police are still perpetuating this myth.
Bottom line: Use pronouns if you want to, or not.
Myth 5 – If you work in IT or other fields, you need an infographic resume
If you work in IT, marketing, or any occupation, we recommend not using these types of resumes. We see styles come and go and this one is probably the least affective. This version and the resumes that are heavily worded at the top of the document are ineffective.
Infographic resumes fail to communicate key points and by using pictures, this leads to interpretations into your abilities. Three dots out of five in Java is not really useful to determine what you can do.
Bottom line: Infographic resumes can be useful if accompanied by a non-graphic resume, but I would not rely on it exclusively. Clients who contact us and report they are not getting any interview traction and have these resumes do better with the ones we provide (non-graphic).
Myth 6 – You don’t need a resume because of LinkedIn and other platforms
Indeed, you might not need a resume in the sense of having one built using Word or Pages because of LinkedIn, but many companies do not use LinkedIn to hire people. Also, when you print a LinkedIn profile, it does not present how a Word or Pages resumes looks.
Bottom line: LinkedIn is a complementary tool to a resume and visa versa. I would recommend using both as part of a healthy application package.
Myth 7 – PDF is better than a Word or Pages document
The best advice is to go with what the job posting requires. If not stated, then I would use a Word document. Pages is from the Mac platform, and I would not use this as it often causes formatting issues when using MS Word to open and preview.
Bottom line: If you do not have Word, just buy MS Office and don’t renew it once it expires. It’s a small investment relative to the benefit of getting a job and earning a lot more money than the program is worth.
Myth 8 – Hobbies or interests have no place on a resume
Hobbies and interests are what make you interesting and approachable. People who say hobbies or interests are unnecessary are probably the same people you do not want to interact with. Think about the last time you talked to someone who didn’t have anything interesting to say, pretty dull, right? Multi-dimensional candidates are great. You have something to talk about while you are not working, you use creative energies, handle stress, and show human qualities.
Bottom line: who wants to spend eight to 12 hours of their day with dullards?
Myth 9 – It’s great to get advice from as many people as you can
Getting advice from your uncle, cousin, and the dentist could be a big problem. And the big problem is that everyone will have something different to add, and you will end up with a big steamy mess of a document.
Source one person who has proven themselves as an expert and go with their advice, or just go with your intuition and try out the resume. If it doesn’t work, change one thing and try again. If you find that nothing is working, you can reach out to us for a resume review.
Bottom line: The old saying that too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the (insert your food here) is correct. You are going to end up being more confused and dejected.
Myth 10 – It’s okay to keep doing what you are doing, even if it’s not doing what you want it to do
This is pretty obvious, but you would be surprised how many people continue doing what they are doing while still not getting any traction on interviews. Change is hard for some people, but it’s essential to consider other options and different methods.
Bottom line: In other words, if you are applying to jobs in the same way and with the same type of thinking or other and you are not getting anywhere, it’s time to accept some different viewpoints and ideas.
This is the top 10 myths of resumes.