Resume myths

When searching for information about writing a resume, you will come across a lot of information on what makes a useful resume. There are many useless resume facts which often do nothing to help, which is why a resume fails to do the job.

What makes a useful resume? A resume is a simple tool which is part of a strategy used to get an interview. A resume uses facts and benefits which highlight how your abilities help the employer solve their problem or handle their needs. It is not meant to impress, that is your job; a useful resume helps to introduce you to an employer. The reason why a resume can fail is that it is used to achieve either more than it is supposed to, or for the wrong reason.

Here are a few myths about resumes, and facts which make a resume useful to the employer.

Myth: Your resume is the big tool that gets you hired
Fact: The purpose of the resume and cover letter is to introduce you to the employer

The most useful resume will serve as part of the introduction to the employer of you, your abilities and your experience with the use of facts. Resumes are not a stand alone tool or useful as a marketing gimmick. The reason why many resumes fail is they are not used properly as part of the bigger message.

Myth: The Perfect Resume
Fact: Your resume is a sales tool which represents a solution, being you, to an employers problem

One fact about resumes is that there is no perfect resume for any type of job. The useful resume is a document which the employer can clearly see how your experience and ability can help them. A resume fails when it can not do this single function.

Myth: You're not supposed to rewrite the resume
Fact: Resumes are not irreversible

Another fact of resume writing is that your resume is always changing to match the message you are conveying to the employer. One of the reasons why a resume fails is that it does not match the current message you are presenting to the prospective employer.

Myth: Your Objective doesn't matter
Fact: The Objective does two tasks:
  • Unifies the resume into one organized message
  • Gives a statement of what you want and what you expect from the job

The objective of a useful resume is used as a presentation to the rest of the document. When you write a letter, or other message, you state in the beginning the points and information you want to present. The Objective in a resume tells the employer what they will find. This fact of resume writing provides the focus for the entire document.

Myth: Having an Objective limits your options
Fact: The Objective is used as a focus point for the rest of the resume

As stated above, the Objective of a useful resume is used as the focus point for the rest of the message. The facts of your resume support the Objective which is used to support the overall message you want to convey.

Myth: Personal statements and summaries are essential
Fact: Your resume should not focus on you, but on your ability to solve the employers problems and needs

The reason why most resumes fail is that the applicant makes the message about them when it should be about the employer. Personal statements and summaries only succeed in showing how great you consider yourself when the employer likely doesn't care. A useful resume fact to remember is that the entire message, including the resume, must keep the focus on what you can do for the employer.

Myth: Job Descriptions tell all
Fact: A list of duties isn't enough

Another reason why resumes fail is because applicants use them as glorified job applications, listing job duties and history. A fact employers want in resumes is how you used your job to help solve previous employers needs. A useful resume does more than tell a prospective employer what you did, it tells them how you did it and what success you had.

Why a resume fails is that the applicant forgets the basic rule of getting a job; the process isn't about showing how good you are, but showing how you can help the employer achieve their goals.