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Top 8 Resume Myths

Top 8 Resume Myths


There was a time when myths ruled the world. Myths were used to explain why the crops did not grow or why villagers got sick or why it did not rain. Despite the significant strides humanity has made since the Ancient times, it is very surprising that myths continue to proliferate even in the corporate world of the 21st Century, especially with resume making. Most of these resume myths have handed down from one generation to another by word of mouth, and in writing by some, giving more credence to these myths and making them more believable.



We shall deal with the top eight (8) common resume myths, examine them and expose the folly behind them. After separating the fact from fiction we hope that you will learn something from this exercise and make your own excellent resume




People who give credence to this myth argue that regardless of a person’s experiences or his competencies and skills, it is always possible for a job applicant to reduce all his accomplishments, experiences and skills in a one-page resume format. The basis logic this myth is not difficult to understand. People think that Human Resource Managers and professionals do not have time to read resumes in a more-than-one-page format and that they will prefer a single-page resume compared to a two-page resume.



Nothing could be farther from the truth. While it is true that a job applicant’s failure to condense his resume in one-page resume may leave the impression that the resume is verbose and wordy, there is, however such a thing as a resume that is “too brief.”



A job applicant who has an extensive employment history may find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to actually prepare a one-page resume. We advise you not to make this mistake. You will be committing a serious injustice to yourself by omitting important achievements and significant accomplishments in your career. It is not a one-page resume that the employers what to see but an extensive listing of your accomplishments and achievements that is relevant to the position you are applying for.



In sum, if you are held more than three jobs or have worked for more than three employers, we strongly recommend that you list down all the relevant accomplishments and achievements even if it reaches the second page.





Myth 2 is the exact opposite of Myth 1. Both are equally wrong!



While writing your resume in more than three pages gives you the opportunity to fully disclose all your accomplishments and achievements, the reality is that the Human Resource Manager do not have the time and patience to read everything that is written in your resume. You have to realize that these professionals have to scan through hundreds if not thousands of resumes. With the explosion of Internet technology, the task of Human Resource Managers and employment professionals in scanning through resumes has become more difficult. Writing your resume in this manner will only give these professionals justification for not reading your resume.



Excellent resumes are similar to a woman’s skirt. It should be short enough to attract attention but long enough to cover the essentials. Resumes that are either too short or too long will not do the trick. We strongly suggest that in writing your resume you should limit it to no more than two-and-a-half pages in length.




Advocates of the third myth argue that in resume writing it is absolutely imperative that the job applicant captures the attention of the Human Resource Manager. As a result, job applicants have gone to great lengths just to attract the attention of these professionals. Some have used orange resumes or black resumes. Others have gone as far as attaching a full-body picture on their resume. Others have made a collage out of their resume. Do not make the same mistakes as these job applicants.



While it is true that these kinds of resume attract the attention of Human Resource Managers, it does not necessarily mean that they will automatically schedule you for an interview. On the other hand, this plan may even work to your disadvantage as the manager may think that you are not serious about your job, or you are eccentric or you are immature. We do not believe you want your Managers to have this kind of first impression about yourself!




People who give credence to the fourth myth argue that by including a list of your character references to your resume you personality will be enhanced. They think that this will give the Human Resource Managers the impression that the job applicant is more qualified than the other candidates. While it is true that listing two or three of your references in the resume may give you the appearance of being reliable and trustworthy, it is equally true that references are not as important as listing all your achievements, accomplishments and qualifications. It will be better for you to wisely use this space and include therein everything that has relevance to the position being applied for.



Reality check: employers will not ask for your references unless they have actually shown interest in you as a potential candidate. You will not get their interest simply by enumerating your references. The key is to convince them first that you are the right man/woman for the job.



Supporters of this myth argue that if you have received substantial salary raises throughout your career, then you must include your Salary History. Their reason is obvious. They think that by showing your salary progression you create an image in the Human Resource Manager’s and employment professionals’ mind that you are important in your own company. It creates an impression that you are a contributor and are valued in your own company.



The following reasons however will suggest that it will be better for you to make good use of the limited space in your resume by including your accomplishments and achievements:


1. It is suggestive that you are more interested in money that the kind of work that you do

2. Human Resource Managers would rather see in your resume what you can give them not what you want to receive from them.


3. Focusing on you high value before convincing them that you are worth the money may turn off your employers


The better marketing strategy is not to immediately reveal how costly you are instead let them know first how important you are and what you can contribute to the company.




Another myth that found its way in the corporate world is that it is a must for you to include your sports, hobbies and other extra-curricular activities in your resume. The advocates of this myth would want you to believe that Human Resource Managers and employment professionals are looking for well-rounded individuals whose skills are not limited to what they are applying for. They want you to think that you will have an edge over the other job applicants if you will create an image that you are multi-talented, physically active, and interesting individual.


We strongly advise against this plan. While we believe that you should continue with your sports and hobbies, we do not find it necessary for these topics to be included in your resume. You should realize that an extensive enumeration of all your sports and hobbies in your resume may even create a wrong impression about you. Your employer may think that you are not interested in your job. Or they may think that you devote more time to extra-curricular activities rather than your job. Or they may think that you have an unhappy marriage and you make sports and hobbies as your outlet. We do not believe you want your employers to have this first impression on you.




Of all the Resume Myths this is considered as the worse. Age, Sex, Marital Status, Height and Weight have no place in a resume. Please be reminded that because of the enactment of civil rights legislations decades ago you no longer need to include personal information about yourself. The Civil Right Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 have rendered this idea obsolete. From the point of view of employment professionals and managers they are not interested in seeing your personal information for fear that job applicants may later on complain that they have been discriminated against. Besides, including personal information in your resume may even work against you as the Human Resource Manager may even use this personal information as a way of excluding you from the short list of candidates.



We strongly suggest that instead of writing personal information about yourself you should make good use of the limited space by emphasizing your accomplishments and achievements.




Unless you are applying for the position of a commercial model or an actor or actress, you personal photo has no business being included in your resume. No matter how attractive you think you are it is better practice not to include your personal photo in your resume. Again, we would like to emphasize, your appearance simply has no relevance. Instead, we strongly suggest that you make good use of the limited space by emphasizing your accomplishments and achievements.



If you need more help in writing or editing your resume please visit our website at


Photo credits:

Stephen Gilford is a freelance writer of

Image taken on 2009-02-22 15:21:42. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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