Finding the perfect job is hard enough, so don’t let common job resume myths hamper your career advancement. Here are three big ones to avoid.
If you’ve ever let so-called “common knowledge” guide a job hunt, then you’ve probably fallen prey to the occasional job resume myth. So what, you ask? Well, you may not have realized it, but ever so accidentally, you may have sabotaged your chances of getting the job of your dreams.
But don’t freak out! It’s not as if you can’t learn from your mistakes. Most resume faux pas are the results of simple errors and misperceptions, which usually boil down to simply not knowing any better. With this article, we aim to fix that.
Myth 1: They’ll Call Me, Right?
This is a basic job resume myth that many people fall for. You send your resume out there, and hope it’ll wow someone so much they’ll pick up the phone and call you right away. Sorry; even if you’re the second coming of Bill Gates, this may not happen. HR departments are notoriously understaffed and overwhelmed.
While your resume will probably get looked at, it may take a while. You can accelerate this process by following up with a polite phone call in a week or so, and then again a week later. Create a chart to keep track of each resume you submit, and whom you need to contact to speed it along.
Myth 2: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Cover Letters!
It’s easy to conclude that cover letters are just so much polite blather, and decide not to bother. But don’t fall for this job resume myth. A well-written cover letter can highlight relevant items and experience, offer cogent personal information, and explain why you’re perfect for the job.
And besides, if you can’t even bother to be polite to the company you’d like to work for, why should they be polite to you? Unless you really are the second coming of Bill Gates, if your resume doesn’t have a cover letter, it’ll probably end up on the bottom of the stack.
Myth 3: Keep It To One Page, Right?
Not necessarily. Unless you’re fresh out of college or have held long-term positions with just one or two companies your entire career (which can look very good on a resume, by the way), this job resume myth can stifle your creativity and make you look like much less than you actually are.
Depending on your accomplishments and current position (not to mention the position you’re applying for), your resume may need to be several pages long — or longer — in order to tell your story properly. Don’t overdo it, but don’t shortchange yourself either.
At the very least, include a note at the bottom of your resume offering to send a detailed multi-page version to those who are interested. It can’t hurt, and it’ll definitely keep you from running afoul of this too-common job resume myth.