True Or False: What To Know When Writing Your Resume

October 8, 2020 Catherine Tacopina

As concerns over the job market and unemployment continue to grow, many professionals are finding themselves in the position of having to find a new job. For a professional who hasn’t been in the market for a new job in years, the pressure of this search can be magnified. Not only do you have to adapt to new methods of job seeking, but it might have been quite some time since you’ve paid any attention to writing your resume. If you’ve neglected your resume, know that the first step to a successful job search starts with this simple document. 

There is a lot of conflicting resume advice out there, so how do you sort through the noise and determine what’s fact and what’s fiction? Here are some commonly-held beliefs about writing your resume, and whether or not they’re actually true:

Your resume should only be one page

Answer: FALSE

Many professionals worry about the length of their resume when applying to a job. While professionals earlier in their career likely don’t have the experience to constitute multiple pages, professionals with many years of experience shouldn’t feel like they need to limit themselves to one page. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be concise as you’re writing your resume! Even if your experience and technical skills can’t fit onto one page, you still want your resume to be succinct and easy to read. As a general rule of thumb, professionals with less than 10 years of experience should aim to keep their resume to one page. Those with more can include additional pages in order to accurately portray their experience and skills they’ve acquired over the course of their career.

Typos and grammatical errors will automatically disqualify your resume

Answer: TRUE

With an influx of job applications, many hiring managers are looking for ways to streamline the hiring process and make the number of applications less overwhelming. Because of this, any mistakes on your resume can automatically put you out of the running. As a result, you want to take the time to review your resume for any grammatical or spelling errors. If you submit a resume with a ton of mistakes, this can raise some serious red flags about your attention-to-detail—something that can cost you the job. 

It is okay to embellish your skills on your resume

Answer: FALSE

You may find yourself struggling to find jobs your experience qualifies you for. When you’re in this position, you may think that it’s okay to slightly exaggerate your skillset in order to get noticed by a hiring manager. As tempting as this may be, you want to be completely honest about what you would bring to the table should you get hired. Not only is it likely that a hiring manager will catch on quickly that you aren’t actually qualified for the role, but it will quickly burn any bridges you may have been trying to build within that company. Read also: Limited Experience: 5 Resume Writing Tips To Land The Job 

You should tailor your resume to an ATS

Answer: TRUE

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a tool used by companies to quickly source and identify candidates. Since companies are seeing a high volume of applicants, they’re relying on their ATS more than ever to find the best talent available as efficiently as possible. With this in mind, you should be mindful about how you can align your resume with the job description in question. When you’re writing your resume, you should use the same wording from the job description, analyze the description to find the right keywords, and send your resume in the appropriate file.  Read also: How To Make Your Resume Stand Out (And Get Past The ATS)

You should include references in your resume

Answer: FALSE

While you may be tempted to include a high-profile reference on your resume, a hiring manager isn’t concerned about getting references from you at the beginning of the hiring process. If you do include references on your resume, a hiring manager may question why you didn’t use that space to include more details about your work experience and professional skills, which can raise some red flags early in the process. Instead of listing references, use that space to talk more about what you bring to the position should you be hired. 

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