As the dynamics of the labor market change, so should your approach when it comes to job applications. There is a whole bunch of advice about writing good resumes that are long out of touch with the reality at hand. It’s time to let go of everything about your resume that doesn't count towards boosting your chances of landing your dream job. Here are the common stereotypes that resume professionals
strongly advise against plus the underlying truth behind each misconception:
Objective Statements are Important
Objective statements do no more than table whatever message you are trying to pass along. Ideally, the potential employer already knows that you are interested in the position he/she is offering, hence the reason you applied. Worse, your objectiveness may ultimately be off the mark concerning the position you're applying for. Instead, provide a clear career aspiration inside your cover letter. A good recruiter is quick to distill from your cover letter everything you seek to achieve.
Skip the Cover Letter
A cover letter is often not a requirement when applying for jobs online, but this isn't a step you would want to skip. Michelle Tillis Lederman, an author and CEO of Executive Essentials, insists on the cover page as an essential part of your resume. She affirms that it's the cover page that answers the question 'why.' It explains your interest in a job and tells a potential employer why you're a good fit and why you want to work at a particular company. "I have hired people based on their cover letter," she says.
Tillis Lederman advises that you take your time to craft a resume cover letter
that establishes some level of connection with your recruiter. It should also showcase your personality. Tillis Lederman further recommends that you should combine your cover letter and resume into a single pdf file if the job portal restricts uploads to one file.
Your Resume Should Have Your Entire Professional History
Yes, relevant information definitely comes in handy, but don't clutter your resume with details that make it more like an autobiography. Limit your professional and personal background to the essentials like abilities, your future goals, and the plans you have about your career. Your next employer is not going to waste time probing into your career far beyond 15 years. Be sure to highlight the past experiences that you feel are relevant to the job you are applying to.
Use One Resume for Various Job Position
Wanting to save time by sending out the same copy to every vacancy may save you the hustle, but will only be hurting your chances of securing a job. It's best if you customized your resume to uniquely reflect the needs of the company you want to work for. Mass mailing generic resume to every job vacancy is an effort as futile as trying to get hold of a specific fish with the wrong bait. Many candidates ignore pertinent details such as achievements, metrics, leadership competencies, and end-of-year fiscal results. The closer your resume comes to the targeted job description, the better your chance to land an interview.
Fill Up the Gaps in Your Career
You don’t have to force your skills-set to fit the job description. Honesty comes first. All you need is a brief explanation along each gap in your cover letter. Note that volunteering is quite known to bridge those gaps on your resume and give it a better look. Also, it's never easy to hide the gaps in your resume. Candidates attempt this using fixed functional resume format
. But you might end up drawing unnecessary attention, and this could go wrong in the case where your recruiter realizes that you are lying about some of your skills.
No More Than One Page
One page is enough to carry all the essentials of a resume for some people. But at no point should this be a limitation if you still have some valuable achievements that may sway a significant advantage your way. Ensure you have enough content to fill the two or even three pages of your resume. Most job levels maintain a two-page cut off, but one page is as acceptable, especially if you are fresh from college. Experienced professionals who have been in the field for a while may have a long list of qualifications, skills, and job experience. In this case, you have all the freedom to go beyond one page and include everything that counts.
Go Creative with Catchy Designs
Ideas about unconventional resumes have enjoyed growing popularity in the recent past. However, Marc Cenedella, founder and CEO of Ladders, firmly advises against too crazy designs on resumes
. In most cases, going overboard with your creativity will only put off, rather than impress your recruiter. Infographics, exciting styles, smart fonts, all make it harder for hiring managers and machines to read the contents of your resume. Clever designs can only be closer to an option if you're applying for a creative position.
Press On. Keep At It
You need to be persistent when looking for a job. But you don't have to keep emailing the company you just dropped your application a few days ago. If you haven't received a response, give it a couple of weeks before you can reach out. Ask for an internship if they did not offer you the position. Remain at your best if none of these works and target other companies. Besides, you can utilize the time between to enhance your skills for your next job, such as registering for a related course, volunteering, or mastering new skills to enrich your skills.
Now that we've sent packing the most common misconceptions about resumes: You now have what it takes to craft an ideal job description that will land you your dream job. All the best!