In my previous post, I started to share the top resume myths that are standing in the way of qualified executives getting noticed. I previously listed these three myths: someone will read your resume front to back no matter what, listing your job summaries and objectives are essential, and fonts are no big deal. Ready to avoid more common resume myths? Here they are…
Resume Myth #4: Everything Must Be Included
Less is more. Your resume should not be a data dump of your entire career. Too much information eliminates the element of curiosity that makes a reviewer want to learn more about how you achieved such wonderful results in a particular role. The old saying, “less is more” is true on a resume. However, on the flip side, don’t leave questionable gaps in your resume. Include enough information in your resume to compel the reviewer to discover how you made a positive impact for your current and/or past employers.
Resume Myth #5: Your Resume Should Fit on One Page
Most executives have a decades-long career history, so don’t try to cram twenty years of experience onto a single sheet of paper. Don’t be overly concerned about extending your information onto at least a second page, or possibly a third. Whatever you do, avoid using a tiny font in an effort to make your resume fit to a presumed maximum length. For the most part, your resume should be less than four pages, unless you’ve written a dozen publications, been a presenter, won a number of awards, and have a patent or two.
Resume Myth #6: Keywords Can Be Made Up
Can keywords, sometimes referred to as buzzwords, be any word you think best describes you? No. Keywords are nouns, verbs, acronyms, and key phrases about your experiences as they pertain to a particular role, functional niche, or your career experiences, and are used to attract what your audience is looking for. They also play a big role in the social media realm and should be used when building your LinkedIn profile or posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others. Although most executive-level roles are not advertised online, social media nonetheless plays a big role in identifying suitable candidates, and you will be remiss if you don’t include appropriate keywords on all your brand-identity / marketing endeavors.
Resume Myth #7: Graphics, Photos, and Colorful Text Make Your Resume Stand Out
While it is tempting to use graphics, photos, and colorful text in an effort to make your resume stand out—don’t do it. Skip the headshot. Instead, make sure it’s on your LinkedIn profile. Colors and graphics should only be used on resumes you are going to send by snail mail or hand to someone in an interview.