By Faye Katz
Like everything else, resumes have come a long way since they were first introduced. Leonardo da Vinci is credited with creating the first ever resume in 1482 to show potential employers what he could do. By the 1950’s, resumes had become a staple of the job-seeking arena, according to BusinessInsider.com.
Today, employers are trained to filter through hundreds of resumes to find the most relevant applicants. So how can you get to the top of the pile and achieve that coveted interview? Start by debunking some common resume myths.
Myth: The One Page Resume. In an attempt to fit decades of professional experience onto one page, many clients eliminate standard margins and use font size .8 for the text. The result is definitely not the look you’re trying to achieve.
Fact: Although there is some room for creative expression regarding font and layout, employers appreciate reading a well-laid out document with lots of white space, clear headings, and a font that doesn’t strain their eyes, two-pages notwithstanding.
Myth: Resumes Are All About Me. Many job seekers mistakenly believe that they need to write everything they’ve ever done in every capacity to avoid leaving out any potentially relevant detail.
Fact: Employers are human beings with limited attention spans, so only list information that is relevant to your current job search. Begin each bullet with a strong action verb and use clear and concise text. Purposefully edit your resume to express your ideas fully, but in “half the words.”
Myth: Boasting is Bad. Try to forget your parents taught you to be humble and not to brag.
Fact: Employers are looking for employees who can add value to their organization. It is imperative that you promote yourself as a dedicated, high-achieving employee by listing accomplishments and achievements. Incorporate statistics, metrics, numeric facts and figures and any other quantifiable or measurable results wherever possible, since employers love metrics! Above all, focus on achievements that are relevant to your career goals.
Myth: Format doesn’t matter. Microsoft Word is a wonderful writing and editing platform, but sending or uploading your resume in .doc format could result in major alterations to your original document.
Fact: Don’t let your resume get stuck in someone’s inbox by not choosing the correct way to upload or send your resume! When submitting your resume, carefully follow the instructions listed on the job ad. Save and send your resume as a PDF to ensure document consistency throughout the transfer. Convert your resume into Plain Text format if you are cutting and pasting it into a text box online.
In today’s competitive marketplace, modern and effective resumes are more of a marketing tool than a document detailing your professional history. Try to focus on what employers want to see in a potential candidate and craft your resume with that target audience in mind. Using this line of thinking when creating your resume will resolve much uncertainty as you try to decide what to include.
By Faye Katz, Resume Writer
The JCS Career Center is hosting “Resumes That Get Results,” a free workshop Wednesday, August 31, 7:00-8:00pm at the Baltimore County Public Library, Owings Mills Branch. Professional Resume Writer Faye Katz, MBA, will share insider advice on creating a modern resume for today’s competitive job search. For information and to register click here or call 410-843-7353.
The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment assistance that helps job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance.