There’s so much resume advice out there for job seekers, just googling “resume advice” returns over 158 MILLION results. Yikes! Plus there are those pearls of wisdom from your mum, your dad, your professor, your neighbour, your old colleague… the list goes on.
Unfortunately most of the advice out there is either outdated or just plain wrong.
Below is some common bad resume advice that you should feel free to ignore!
Your resume MUST be one / two / five pages long
We’re not saying that resumes should be ten pages long. They should be as concise as possible, most are around two pages. The problem with this bit of advice is assuming that one size fits all and that your resume will be ignored if it’s not the exact number of pages based on their arbitrary rule. A one page resume may be fine for a new grad with no work experience, but it will hardly be sufficient for someone with 15 years’ experience. Conversely someone with 30 years’ experience may need two pages or they may need four. The point is to include what is relevant to the job you’re applying for.
You should have a Functional Resume
We’ve written a whole separate post about the reasons why you should have a chronological resume over a functional resume. But the bottom line is: functional resumes are confusing to read and normally raise suspicions about what a candidate may be hiding i.e. job hopping, large employment gaps.
You need to have a Resume Objective
The reason we’re saying skip the popular Objective section is because most of them are very poorly written, like this: “Innovative problem solver seeks full time position with Fortune 500 company.”
They’re usually filled with buzz words and don’t add any real substance to your candidacy. Plus the whole point of a resume is to showcase why a company should hire you – not what you want out of the deal. Instead, we recommend a Overview/Profile/Introduction section that serves as a brief overview of your professional strengths that relate to the job.
You should mail your resume / deliver it in person
This is one of the most outdated pieces of advice out there. It’s normally given as a suggestion to help the candidate stand out from the pack. While it may make you stand out, it’s generally for the wrong reasons. Most hiring managers find receiving hard copy resumes annoying as it means your details aren’t available electronically. Most large companies use an online applicant tracking system to help manage their hiring process. The only reason to mail your resume would be if the job description explicitly asks you to apply in that manner.
As with all resume advice (even this post!), not one rule suits all situations. Just ensure you follow the basics of having a concise, relevant and readable resume; the rest is personal preference.