Five Myths About Writing Killer Resumes
Today’s job market is competitive. Your resume may be competing with hundreds of others—and it needs to stand out. Here are a few outdated or misleading myths about writing a great resume—and how to do it right.
You need an objective statement. The problem with an objective statement is that it states what you want—it doesn’t show that you can deliver what the employer wants. Most objective statements are extremely general, and they deprive you of an opportunity to introduce yourself in a way that makes you appealing to the employer. Instead of starting off with a statement characterizing the type of job you’re looking for, get started with an executive summary that introduces you by presenting three or four of your biggest career strengths—tailored to the job you’re applying to.
You should keep it all on one page. For some people, one page is enough. For others, however—especially those with a longer professional history—keeping a resume to one page could mean you’ll have to leave out important achievements and experiences that could make you stand out to employers. Two pages is perfectly acceptable, and three pages isn’t out of line for some candidates.
You should include your hobbies. Most employers care more about what you can do for them than that you’re well-rounded. And disclosing some hobbies can work against you—especially if you have an interest in activities that are dangerous or are perceived to be, such as skiing, hang gliding, or fast cars. Someone with interests that could lead to hospitalization could be more difficult to insure—and could be more likely to get an injury that would keep them off the job.
You can have one resume for multiple different job goals. If you want to apply to vastly different positions—or positions in two or more different industries—you will probably need a separate resume for each one. The reason for this is that employers may assume that with your diverse interests, you may leave their position as soon as a position in the other field comes along. Also, you’ll be competing against other people whose resumes are completely focused on that career track.
Highlight your “soft skills.” The problem with stating that you’re a “team player” or a “hard worker” or a “fast learner” is that everybody says that. It’s best to highlight only soft skills that are strongly backed up in your resume with specific positions and achievements—and to lead with hard skills, such as sales, inventory management, or financial analysis, that are required for the job.
Writing a resume that gets you in the door for interviews isn’t easy. With these tips, you’re more likely to showcase yourself as the ideal candidate for the job—and land an interview.