Whether you are updating your resume and happy in your job or revamping it to land a new gig, you should check that you aren't following these commonly held, but false, myths.
Objectives only state what you want (likely the job you are applying for). Summaries outline how what you offer can meet the needs of the prospective employer. Simply put: nobody really cares what you want only.
While I put charts and graphs in executive resumes for some of my clients, it is not the norm. Most clients can have achievements properly outlined in well-written content. Charts and graphs are often not digested by applicant tracking systems (ATS).
While this may actually work, when the recruiter reads your keyword-stuffed resume, they will think you are spending more time trying to game the system versus outlining why you are qualified. Not every company uses an ATS, but most do in some way. So while you don't want to stuff your resume with key words, it is important to optimize it with a few relevant keywords.
As a general rule, I do not go back more than 15 years. Even if what you did 25 years ago is applicable to what you are targeting today, no company will hire you for what you did 25 years ago. I believe, in most cases, putting 20+ years experience on your resume only dates you and does not really help your candidacy.
It is never guaranteed that your resume will get read no matter how long or short it is. Keep your audience interested in five- to 10-second increments to keep the scrolling and reading. If that is one page, so be it. If that is three pages, okay.
A great resume with an excellent job search plan, robust network, superb follow-up skills and an amazing attitude land you a job. The most fabulous resume alone will not get you a job.
You can find out what your neighbor ate for dinner last night on the Internet. You don’t think today’s background-check technology can find out that you are fudging dates? Yes, they may not find out, but they also may find out. Don’t do it.
Put your references on a well-crafted reference sheet. And don’t put: "references available upon request" at the bottom either. It is implied.
Customize each submission showing how you meet the needs of the job description. One size does not fit all.
The same way your shoulder-padded jacket or skinny tie will work at the company party this weekend. Go for it.
—Lisa Rangel is the Managing Director of Chameleon Resumes, an Executive Resume Writing and Job Search Service. She has been featured on BBC, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes.com, Fox News, Yahoo Finance, US News, Good Morning America, and is a moderator for LinkedIn’s Job Seeker Premium Group. Follow her on Facebook.
[Image: Flickr user N i c o l a]