8 Resume Myths

29 Oct


How important is the resume? Not as important today as you think…

The 8 Resume Myths:

1. I need to spend days on my resume.  People overestimate its value and spend way too much time or money making it “perfect”. It is a piece of black and white paper and it alone isn’t going to get you a job. It probably won’t even get you an interview.

2. I should submit it to everyone. Don’t. Pick 20 targets and work them as hard as you possibly can. Don’t fill out online applications unless the hiring manager tells you to do so. Don’t apply to the HR people who don’t know you.

3. People will spend a lot of time reviewing my resume. Nope – recruiters and HR people usually look at it for 60 seconds and then you end up in file “A”, “B” (which they will probably never get back to) or “C” (it’s dead). Is your resume that good that you’ll end up in the “A” stack? This is what they are looking at: (a) The top paragraph (b) Your length of employment at each position and (c) Your previous companies/job titles.

4. I’m just competing against 10-20 people. No, it’s more like 100+. If you aren’t perfect for the job, your resume isn’t going to get you in for an interview. However, if you contact managers prior to their job posting, you will be competing with less than five.

5. At least the person screening my resume is qualified and capable… HR assistants or Administrative Assistants are viewing over half of the resumes. The other half are being read by HR generalists or hiring managers. Again, human resources who doesn’t know you, won’t get you “a leg up”. The hiring managers don’t really understand how to properly screen candidates because they only do it a few times a year – and they tend to procrastinate their hiring search because of other priorities in their position.

6. But I have the formula and know how to create the best resume… You typically write your resume from YOUR perspective instead of the company’s need. Back to my 20 targets in #2, you need to customize it for every organization you present it to. I’d suggest starting with “I want to work for Blue Octopus LLC because…”. The rest of the content on your resume should be catered to the needs of the position (which you found out from the job description and/or a conversation you had with someone working inside the company).

7. I need to look smart on my resume. Ha! The Wall Street Journal is written at a 5th grade reading level. Your resume should be clear to a 4th grader (hire my son to read it!). Use the Flesch-Kincaid index when editing your resume in Word or other programs (included in most spell checks).

8. It’s okay that I have a gap on my resume. No, unless you have an “in”, they will screen you out for being unemployed for three months or more. Unfair? Yes, but that is the reality. You need to show freelance projects, volunteering or consulting happening during that gap. They “think” you’re sour grapes if you show any instability or staccato in your employment. If you didn’t stay with a company for at least three years, that may also be a red flag against you.

All of this said, a resume is a necessary evil. It better not have typos, missed periods or other inconsistencies. Your job is to write a professional and specific 1-2 page document. If you do need a good resume writer, I have some great connections that can do it for just $300. Next week, I will follow up this blog with my recommendations that make a great resume.

 Companies hire capable, work-ready professionals prepared to help them achieve their goals and solve their problems. Answer these problems on your resume and LinkedIn profile. If you follow my steps and don’t end up getting a job in three months or less, I’d be flabbergasted.

It’s time to grow faster.

~Drew Schmitz

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Twitter: @drew_schmitz

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