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  • Writer's pictureSarah Seavey

Four Myths of Resume Writing Debunked!

As the country continues to grapple with the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and temporary furloughs become permanent layoffs, there’s a significant increase in talent entering the job search market for the first time or the first time in a long time. Now more than ever, a sharply written resume is essential to stand out in a dynamic, adept applicant pool.

MYTH 1: You should only apply to opportunities that align with your most recent industry or job title. New job roles are emerging as companies adapt to a changing landscape. As these positions are being developed (many for the first time!), any candidate that has experience or the core skills necessary for success in the role should feel confident in applying. I stand firmly behind the belief that ALL skills are transferable across verticals and applied to new opportunities. Don’t disqualify yourself before anyone else does.

MYTH 2: Your resume is one size fits all. No two job opportunities are the same, and your resume should be a direct response to that opportunity. Preparing different versions of your resume will help you highlight the most relevant experience to the role in which you’re applying. Start by tackling the version of your resume that you’ll use most, and then create additional versions for different industries or job descriptions; for example, Sarah Resume Finance or Sarah Resume Project Management. Tailoring your resumes to frame your relevant experience upfront expertly will streamline the application process.

"The resume (or networking) gets you the interview, and the interview gets you the job."

MYTH 3: Your entire professional experience should be featured on your resume. The resume (or networking) gets you the interview, and the interview gets you the job. A resume is a highlight reel of the skills and experience that make you the best fit. Composed of career highlights, tangible results, and meaningful impact, a general rule of thumb is to include work history from the previous decade - with a maximum of 15 years in the past. Taking a critical look from the employer's eye to identify the most resonating experience with hiring managers will elevate a resume to stand out from the crowd.

MYTH 4: You’re solely responsible for the development of your resume. A dynamic and productive resume is never created in a silo. Professional and accredited career coaches are a worthwhile and affordable investment for anyone on the job hunt. However, if it is not the right fit or time for you, make sure to have a mentor or an industry expert look over your resume. Whether it's a professional career coach or an industry expert, an experienced perspective helps ensure the best chance possible for a resume to elicit a callback or interview.

PARW/CC is the longest-standing professional resume writing and career coaching association in the industry with more than 2,000 members and four career management credentials.

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