There are many misconceptions about resumes…

❌ They can only be one page.

❌ They should be saved and submitted in PDF format.

❌ They should look “pretty”.

❌ They should include all of your past work experiences.

❌ There should be an overview section.

❌ There should be a skills section.

But many of these things aren’t based on experience or fact.

✔ Someone with 5+ years of related work experience likely can’t fit everything on one page. (1-2 or 1-2.5 pages is the max).

✔ Many AI bots cannot read PDF formatted resumes and many applicant tracking systems (ATS) cannot format or parse a PDF resume well. (Always best to stick with Word or .docx).

✔ Resumes need to tell the story of the job you want in 8-12 seconds…being “pretty” is not essential. (Being effective is far more important).

✔ Focus your resume on the job you WANT…not the jobs you’ve had. (Only include experiences that align with the common keywords and phrases of your desired role).

✔ Overview sections can serve a purpose if you use them to add value or are transitioning careers. (Many overviews or profile sections just summarize everything on the resume – this is not effective).

✔ Skills sections are generic and don’t add value. No one is going to say they aren’t detail oriented or a team player. (Those can be important skills to highlight by adding them into examples under the related roles in your work experience section).

When you are receiving advice on creating an effective resume, be careful where the advice comes from.

For example:

❓ Does the person giving you advice have experience working with 10+ hiring managers?

❓ Has the person giving you advice worked in HR or recruiting?

❓ Has the person giving you advice ever been responsible for training managers across different organizations?

If the answers to the questions above are no, then you may not be getting the best advice.

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