When it comes to resumes, many people feel confused about how to make sure theirs doesn’t end up in the rejection heap.
“There are quite a few mistakes with resumes,” says Paul McDonald, senior executive director with Robert Half. “Resume myths sometimes outweigh the facts.”
From thinking your resume will get you the job to sending a separate cover letter, here’s a look at seven resume myths recruiters and career experts see far too often.
Myth 1: Never have gaps in your resume
The economic downturn left many people unemployed who are now dealing with gaps in their work history. While the first inclination is try to explain away the gaps, McDonald says it’s better to save that for your initial email or during the interview. “Don’t put in your resume for an 18 month gap that you traveled abroad, sought employment and suffered the downturn,” he says. “Fill in the gaps when you are in front of the hiring manager.”
Myth 2: A good resume will land you the job
A popular misconception is that your resume is what gets you the job, when the truth is its how you do on the interview, says McDonald. “The resume should outline your accomplishments…and in the interview you expand on those points and show how they fit within the organization,” he says.
Myth 3: It’s ok to use the same resume over and over
Many job seekers will boast about sending out thirty resume in one day but then end up wondering why they got zero calls. The reason in most cases is job seekers are using the same resume for multiple job opportunities, which is a big no no. It’s better to customize your resume to each job you are applying for. The more you customize your resume to the opportunity, the greater you stand out compared to your competition.
Myth 4: You should give everyone and anyone your resume
You may think the shotgun approach is the best way to find a job, but focusing on a few companies and/or jobs is a much better way to go about it. Take the vision of what you ideally want to be doing and identify the 5-10 companies that you’re seriously interested in.
Myth 5: Resumes should include all your work history
Hiring managers and recruiters have short attention spans and have no desire to read a multiple page resume that includes every job the person ever had. Instead, less is more when it comes to your resume. If it’s not relevant remove it. Job seekers may think their entire job history will get them the position, but hiring managers are largely interested in the information that pertains to the current job opening.
Myth 6: Social media is the best way to network
Social media sites have made it much easier to connect with people in our industry. But when it comes to networking to get a job, nothing replaces face-to-face meetings. Job seekers should take advantage of professional associations and other networking events that will put them in front of people that can help them get a job. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ignore social media. Know that recruiters are looking at all social platforms to get a sense of your skills. Make sure you’re posting industry trends and interesting stories relating to your area of expertise to Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram.