Friday, April 5, 2013

Top 5 Resume Myths

Writing the right resume



     

From screening job applications to conducting interviews, hiring practices have undergone a dramatic transformation over the past decade. Despite all the changes, common resume myths continue to plague job search practices at all levels. The article attempts to debunk some of these myths.

Myth 1: It's all about the number of pages

The one-page rule is probably the most common myth about a resume. Candidates, even senior executives, use microscopic fonts, leave off important information, use 0.1 inch margins, and resort to a myriad of unhealthy practices -- all in an attempt to restrict their resume to just one page.

Many well-meaning college counselors advise their students to be concise and limit their resume to one page. That was important when you were a student with little or no experience, but why subscribe to the same wisdom after rising to the ranks of a senior executive?

There is an opposing viewpoint. Some job seekers mistakenly believe that if they can somehow balloon their resumes to four or five pages, they will probably be considered for higher-paying positions. What? Will someone offer me $250,000 simply because my resume is ten pages and redundant to the point of boredom?

Content rules. The quality of experience should influence the length of the resume, not hearsay. If you have held only one job, then don’t try to create a five-page resume, but if your background merits a lengthier resume then don’t use eight point fonts in a desperate attempt to fit everything on one page.

If you are too concerned about the length of your resume, consider creating a one- or two-page resume with additional pages serving as an appendix or addendum. I have done that for many researchers and academicians. The first few pages focused on their background, while their publications and presentations were presented as an appendix.

Myth 2: Make up that degree -- no one will know

Lying on a resume is the worst mistake a candidate can make. Even if you pass the background check (very unlikely considering how sophisticated background checks have become), a savvy employer will discover the deception within days, if not sooner.

Apart from the legal ramifications, we live in a professional world that is influenced by social media. At the touch of a button, HR managers across the country can discuss their experiences. Maintaining a good reputation is more important than ever.

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