Mention you are looking for a job and friends and family will be quick to lend advice. The problem with friendly advice is that you can’t tell the good from the bad. The same goes for searching online for job search tips. Misinformed articles and outdated opinions are at your fingertips in a nanosecond.
When your goal is to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be –your dream job—you’ll want to steer clear of myths and outdated advice that will prolong your job search.
Myth: Keep Your Information to One Page.
This advice works for a new graduate light on experience; however, if you are an experienced professional it is ‘normal’ to have a two- and sometimes even a three-page resume. The goal is to use the space you need to tell the story of your career in as concise a way as possible while still capturing all of the relevant pieces of your experience and accomplishments.
Myth: Include References.
Unless the job posting specifically asks for your references upfront, don’t include them. It goes without saying you should have references available upon the employer’s request; therefore, don’t waste line space on your document to denote that you have yours ready to share.
Myth: Everyone Lies on Their Resume
Steer clear of creating a resume that is more fiction than fact. Background checks and social media platforms are two key tools employers use to vet candidates. Make sure the information you include on your resume, LinkedIn profile, and other social media platforms is a factual representation of your experience.
Outdated Advice: A Broad / Generic Resume Will Open the Door to More Opportunities.
In today’s job market, a generic resume will work against you. Employers are looking for candidates who can solve their unique problems. Take the time to identify your target audience and research what pain points they are experiencing. Align your experience and qualifications with their needs using information and keywords from your research.
Outdated Advice: Open with Your Objective.
Objective statements (your employment goal) is old-school. Today’s modern resumes are employer-focused—highlighting how your skills and experience are aligned with the role you are seeking. Use the top-fold to highlight the value you bring to your next employer and highlight experience related to the job opening.
Outdated Advice: Include Your Entire Career History
Your resume should focus mainly on the past 10 to 15 years of your experience. For the most part, the skills used your early professional days are outdated (think of how technology has evolved in the past few years). Employers want to know how your skills will help them with their current challenges so stay focused on relevant points and mention prior experience when it aligns with current goals.
We have access to information from so many different sources, writing your own resume and tackling a job search can be quite the challenge. No matter who you ask or where you look, you will find an opinion. The truth is, the job market and techniques to search for a job have evolved. The best advice for today’s job market is to align your skills and experience with the employer’s needs, emphasize accomplishments rather than responsibilities; integrate keywords throughout your document; and leave off common information.
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