Michael M. Fox, NRWA, CPRW, MBA
The first of the resume myths that bears addressing is that no resume may be more than one page long. Most candidates believe this to be true, so they either omit vital information or use silly formatting methods (such as using unreadable fonts and microscopic margins) to fit as much onto a single letter-size sheet as possible. Perhaps the one-page rule is useful for a brand-new graduate with a dearth of experience, but any person who has been in the workforce for a few years undoubtedly has more to share. The opposite page-count problem arises when a job seeker inflates their resume to several pages longer than it should be. Basically, it’s one of the common resume myths that length is of more importance than content. Use good judgment.
The second of the resume myths is that a background check may not “catch” an invented degree. Background checks are very sophisticated these days, so it’s unlikely that a lie of this type will go undiscovered for more than a matter of hours. In this reputation-based era of high information, telling material lies on a resume is a very dangerous business. In a matter of moments, your reputation could suffer irreparable damage on account of this resume myth. Don’t fall prey to this misconception.
The third resume myth is that one must list one’s professional references directly on the resume. The best practice is to use separate page to list your references, clearly defining the reference’s relationship to you and stating the reference’s contact information. This has two benefits for the resume. First, you’ll save valuable space to focus on your excellent qualifications. Secondly, you’ll guard the privacy of your references. If you list them directly on your resume, acting on this resume myth means that you’re essentially posting your references’ best contact information all over the internet. Make sure to check the validity of the contact information before you publish the reference list. It won’t look good for you if an email address comes back undeliverable or a phone number doesn’t work.
The final resume myth is that a resume must always have a stated objective. Since there’s an “objective” section on most resume templates, many job seekers feel compelled to fill it with a generic, lackluster statement such as “to find a position that will allow me to use my skills in a mutually rewarding arrangement,” or something along those lines. Space is extremely valuable on a resume. Wasting it in this way is deeply misguided, but it’s a common resume myth that it’s compulsory. You may forego the objective altogether or, if it works for the position to which you’re applying, replace it with a statement that emphasizes a couple of unique strengths that position you perfectly for the job.
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