Writing a Resume is really a cakewalk. It is a no-nonsense transcription of your entire life’s academic and professional acumen. Therefore, a strict set of do’s and don’ts are very much applicable to this solitary sheet of paper.
An improper resume can weaken your chances of getting a job. Today, most resumes are posted online. A poorly formatted and phrased resume will not even rank among the best resumes that get shortlisted. You may miss out good opportunities because of a poor or weak resume.
There are a few myths for preparing a resume that needs to be exposed clearly before one sits down to type their Curriculum Vitae. Some of them are as follows:
Shocking Resume Myths Busted:
1. Nothing but your qualifications matter: This is an absolutely misleading piece of information. There are many things that matter quite as much as your qualifications. These include basic facts about you like the name of your parents, your communication channels, the name of your university and the career goals you aspire to achieve.
So maintaining a lackadaisical attitude about mentioning the same is not recommended. You may also have to mention about any prevalent medical condition that may affect your work or performance in your professional life. People who stick to just listing out their qualifications but missing out these important facts may suffer. A good background matters in many professions. If that is not mentioned clearly in the resume, you may simply not get the job.
2. Make it eye-catching: It is true that the resume needs to be presentable and the information presented in it should be comprehensible. But eye-catchy or attractiveness is just another absolutely unnecessary attribute when we speak of resumes. The very name ‘curriculum vitae’ has a somberness about it. So the importance of the information on the paper is no less.
Decorating the resume to give it unnatural beauty would be really foolish. Highlighting with markers, practicing ornamental writing or calligraphy is a strict no-no. Your employer has no interest in it! He just needs to know about your qualification and experience before he can decide whether to hire you or not.
3. Add an extra zing to get noticed: There is no doubt that the modern work environment is much more casual than those of the past. The rules and restrictions are much less and the environment is somewhat people-friendly. Yet, this does not mean that you can add an extra zing to your resume by using a casual tone. A job resume’s seriousness does not alter with times.
Maintain a curt manner about your tone. Do not write your resume in a tongue and cheek manner. The latter might lead to a wrong impression if the employer is not too liberal and more often spell disaster than success. A curt resume has a time-tested utility in job searches. You must strict avoid the abbreviated language often used in chats and messages these days.
4. Details count: Your resume is your resume and not your biography so no need to mention everything you learned since the first day at school till your last day at college. A short gist of the reason behind your association for any given institute should suffice. Do not be verbose, do not be redundant.
A perfect resume maintains a balance between being elaborate and being concise. It includes all the vital information while maintaining a curt tone. You must remember that a resume should not run into pages as no recruiter has so much time. It should be simple yet include everything that is significant from the job perspective.
5. Extra-curricular activities don’t matter: Since the past many decades, people have been brought up to believe that extra curricular activities do not matter or count. This might have been true in the bygone era but today things are way different. There are many creative careers coming up each year and they require people to be talented and possess different skills. Textbook knowledge may not really count in such professions.
Extracurricular activities do matter otherwise there would not be a whole industry around sports management and the creative arts. Also, ever heard of terms like the ‘sports quota’? Those are the kinds of jobs that bank more on extracurricular activities and achievements than your depth of textbook knowledge.
6. The same resume for all jobs: Many people make the mistake of sticking to the same resume all their life even when they change their field or enter a whole new profession. A resume should be phrased to emphasise on your skills, abilities and knowledge regarding a certain field. If that goal is not achieved through your resume, it is really a worthless piece of paper.
Jumping careers is not a career suicide but it does take guts to do so. Therefore, the reason to prepare a new curriculum vitae emphasizing your skills with relevance to your new trade, is imperative. It is not really suggestible for a programmer to present the same curriculum vitae when he is trying to get signed as the editor to a news journal! So, make it a point to prepare a whole new resume to match your new job profile.
7. All Employers Look for Same Things in Resume: This is a gross misconception that many people have. As the employer changes, what they are looking for will also change. You need to place the facts in the resume after understanding the needs of the new employer. If that is not always possible, you must assume the same based on the general requirements in a certain field. You may seek the assistance of a career counsellor for the same.
Emphasizing on the requirements of a job may have you missing crucial parts of your CV and adding new ones, even though the role is the same. Different employers seek different elements in a prospective employee so even if the core competency requirements remain the same, the additional skill sets required by your future employer might not be the same as those required from you by your current employer.
8. Chronological order: Many people fail to understand the significance of the right chronological order while writing a resume. The best way to present the information regarding your job experience on the resume is in the reverse chronological order. It simply hurts your eyes to have to jump from the second page to the middle of the first page and gets tedious after a while. When you choose the reverse chronology, the recruiter gets to see the most recent experience first.
If he finds the relevant information first, there are chances of you being shortlisted for the job interview. On the contrary, if pushed too hard to go through an improper resume, it may even erase your employer’s interest in hiring you for the job. So maintain a chronological order for noteworthy moments in your career.
9. Cover letter and CV are same: Many people in the modern world do not realise the significance of a well written cover letter. There are people who even assume that a resume and the cover letter are one and the same.
A cover letter is a formal application as opposed to a biodata of your qualifications. So do not confuse it with your curriculum vitae. The two are different and serve separate purposes. A cover letter provides the recruiter a brief idea about your job application and qualifications but the resume and cover letter are surely two different things.
10. Salary expectations: People are often hesitant to reveal their salary expectations on their resume. They think that this may affect their career prospects. Being honest about your salary is not a shortcoming. It only proves that you know the value of the hours put behind the desk.
The other benefits of mentioning your salary expectation clearly is that recruiters who cannot afford to hire you won’t waste their time calling you for an interview. You must demand a salary based on your qualifications and experience. So quoting a low salary only sells yourself short.
11. More qualifications equal more jobs: There may be some truth to this but no more degrees does not equal more jobs. Practical applications of those degrees is equally important. You also need to make sure that the different qualifications are linked to each other. It won’t help you find a good job if you know to cook as well as correct the circuits.
12. Format no bar: This could not be more misleading. While there may be many formats of biodata, the right format always counts. If you are writing a hard copy of your curriculum vitae, that is a different matter altogether. The rules regarding resume format are different for hard copy and soft copy.
13. Your resume is your final pitch: Your resume is most certainly not your only pitch. That’s what screening rounds and cover letters have been introduced for, as well. So do not rely completely on the curriculum vitae. The resume is just the first stage. You still need to clear the interview rounds to make it to the right job.
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