Resume Myths: Debunking 3 Misconceptions About Resume Writing
The rules of resume writing remain elusive for both graduates and experienced employees alike. No matter how many resumes you’ve written in a lifetime, you’ll always be left with conflicting advice on what makes the perfect one. And, with employers spending an average of just six seconds looking at each resume before making a decision, the pressure is really on to get it right the first time. So before you start on your first graduate resume, be sure to know fact from fiction when it comes to writing it.
Myth #1: A Unique, Flashy Resume Will Catch The Employer’s Eye
With so much competition about, it’s sometimes advised to stand out in any way possible; but that doesn’t mean making a spectacle of your resume. While you may be tempted to fill it with flashy graphics and colour schemes to grab the employer’s eye, it’s more important to not distract from the content. Clearly and professionally designed resumes actually increase your chances of being hired. If your resume is easy to read, employers are more likely to take in the information and will focus on the relevant skills rather than the distracting design elements.
That’s not to say you can’t show off a bit of flair, creativity and presentation skills. A simple two-tone colour scheme, sectioned and labelled headings and simple design elements such as bordering will leave you with a layout that can breathe. Readability is key, and can, in fact, be one of the elements of your resume that piques the employer’s attention.
Myth #2: You Have To Include All Of Your Past Experience
After finishing a degree it’s easy to forget that you will have a whole host of new skills that could be added to your resume. You can now cash in on that effort by compiling those skills, backed up by your qualifications. But keeping your resume up-to-date doesn’t just mean adding in these new details; it also means cutting it down.
Those outworn facts or experiences that were perhaps relevant a year ago won’t be relevant to you at graduate level, so cut them down. You have to be harsh when you are deciding what to keep and what to chuck. Executive resume writer Louise Kursmark aptly puts it in a succinct piece of advice: “keep it short and sweet.”
Myth #3: Sending One General Resume To Multiple Employers Improves Your Chances
Employers notice resumes of the generic kind that seek to cover all bases, and so tailoring your resume for each and every individual job will put you ahead. Busy graduates with a lot of responsibilities will not put the time in to target the individual job requirements from the job post, meaning there will be a plethora of similar, indistinct resumes that just won’t grab the employer’s attention. Make sure your resume isn’t one of them.
You can show that you have an understanding of the exact position you’re applying for by writing targeted resumes. Keep a keen focus, use the keywords listed in the job requirements, and tailor-make a resume for your future employers. The number one thing that piques interest in a candidate is simply that they know what they’re applying for.
Resume writing is far less complicated when you don’t get bogged down in the “do’s and don’t’s” of it all. As long as you genuinely focus the content on the job at hand, make things readable for the employer and only tell them what they need to hear, then your resume will get the attention it deserves. Following these three goals when building your first graduate resume, in particular, will set you off to a flying start, and put you in the leagues of even the most seasoned applicants.