In a recent post, we gave you the real scoop on 5 common resume myths. We thought you could use several more to craft your document into something that truly reflects your brand and your value proposition to potential employers. So here we go with myths 6-10…
Myth #6: “A Chronological Resume is the proper way to format.”
Truth: Rarely. According to resume experts Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark in their best-selling book, Modernize Your Resume,” “90% of all great resumes are combination resumes.” This means a blend of the traditional Chronological format and a Functional resume—in which the emphasis is on skills, qualifications and achievements.
Myth #7: “The correct universal font for resumes is Times New Roman.”
(This is a true gutter ball…)
Truth: You do want to use a universal font, but Times New Roman is way overused. You may want to try Arial, Georgia, Calibri or Verdana instead. And although you typically don’t want to go smaller than 10-point, try out different fonts for optimal readability.
Myth #8:”A resume must always contain dates—otherwise a hiring manager may think you’re trying to hide something—or could believe you didn’t even graduate.”
Truth: Remember this is YOUR marketing document—and as such, you can present information whichever way you believe shows you in the best light. Although employers are used to seeing information presented in a typically way, you can deviate with very positive results. For example, I always recommend that older candidates only use dates going back 15-20 years. You can state graduated by defining the degree earned (Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science, etc.) without stating the year.
Myth #9: “A resume should always be 1 page long.”
Truth: A resume should be as long as it needs to be to showcase your skills, knowledge, abilities, and accomplishments. For newer workers, that is probably one page. For more experienced folks, it will generally run to two pages. Career expert Martin Yates, advises in his book, Knock ‘em Dead Resumes, “The length of the resume is less important than its relevance to the target job.” ‘Nuff said.
Myth #10: “The proper way to close your resume is with a professional statement regarding references.”
Truth: That is a waste of prime real estate. Of course, you have references—but hiring managers already know that. So, you will have your reference page prepared to bring to the interview—formatted to match your resume in a nice tidy package. But there is no need to reference them in your resume.
Armed with these truths, you should score a 300 in your career game—or at least garner a call for an interview.