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Bad Resume Advice People Give All the Time

Being able to write a good resume is an invaluable skill. It can help you secure employment more easily, get you more interviews, and reduce your risk of unemployment. But it’s also a skill that a lot of people struggle with, which is why top rated resume writing professionals are rarer than you might think.

So, when writing resumes and preparing job applications, many people ask for advice. Maybe from family members or friends. Or perhaps from colleagues and peers. Sometimes, they just look online for tips and tricks to make their resumes better.

Unfortunately, not every piece of resume advice is worthwhile. In fact, an awful lot of “resume tips” do more harm than good to your chances of getting the jobs you crave. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most common pieces of bad resume advice you should ignore.

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Always Stick to the “One Page Rule”

There’s been an unwritten rule in the world of resume writing for as long as people can remember. It says that your resume should only take up a single page. Anything over that is a no-go, according to this concept.

Well, let’s dispel that myth right away. Many business experts agree that the one-page rule is dead. And, while it can be helpful to be concise and avoid needless filler in your resume, you shouldn’t feel the need to omit important and relevant info just to keep your resume on one page.

In fact, in many industries, especially for more senior roles that demand a wider range of skills and a longer list of experiences, multi-page resumes are increasingly expected. So, if you’re applying for a complex or higher-up role, feel free to extend your resume to two or even three pages.

Use a Creative Layout to Stand Out from the Pack

Naturally, in today’s competitive world, many job hunters want to find ways to help their resumes stand out from the rest. And you might have had someone recommend you play around with your resume’s structure, font, or style to catch a recruiter’s eye.

Often, that’s a big mistake. These days, a huge percentage of resumes get fed through Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) systems before even being looked at by real people. And those systems work best with resumes that adhere to certain standards and formats.

If you submit a resume with a weird and wacky layout, lots of visual clutter, or unusual font selections, you’re harming your chances of passing ATS. And all that hard work you put in will be for nothing if your resume never even gets seen.

man holding a resume with the words "rejected" on it with his briefcase sitting next to him

Always Include an Objective Statement

There are certain essential elements that every resume needs to have. It must list your key skills, for example. And it’s always important to provide some background information about your previous roles and responsibilities.

Some people will also tell you that every resume also needs an objective statement at the top, telling recruiters about your career goals and aspirations. While that might have been true in the past, objective statements are far less valuable these days.

An objective could damage your chances of getting a job, especially if it lacks relevance to the role for which you’re applying. Instead, it’s much better to use your cover letter to talk about your short- and long-term goals, using the extra space and word count to explain how that aligns with the job you’re going for.

Send Your Stock Resume to as Many Places as Possible

“Want to get a job quickly? Make a stock or generic resume and send it to as many businesses as you possibly can.” If any friend or colleague has ever given you a piece of advice like that, you might want to stop listening to them.

While it might seem logical to mass-send your resume to lots of places and increase your odds of landing a job, this process is counter-intuitive. Most of the businesses that receive generic resumes will simply toss them out without a second thought. And that’ll gradually decrease the number of potential employers available to you.

Instead, when it comes to writing and sending resumes, it’s all about quality over quantity. It’s much more effective to take your time and tailor each resume according to the company and role for which you’re applying. That shows effort and interest, and it’s much more likely to catch the eye of a recruiter.

woman slapping her face in disappointment because her resume got rejected

Be “Creative with the Truth” to Hide Career Gaps or Embellish Your Achievements

Some colleagues or acquaintances might also recommend that you lie on your resume to cover up gaps in your career or to fill out certain sections, like experiences and qualifications. Again, that’s a big no-no.

Lying on your resume can lead to countless negative consequences. And, often, it won’t take recruiters long to spot that something is amiss as they read through your application or sit down with you for an interview.

It makes much more sense to simply be honest. Even if you’ve got gaps in your career or areas of weakness you don’t want to draw attention to, recruiters will appreciate candidates who are up-front with them.

Plus, there are always ways to turn negatives into positives. If you spent a year or two out of work, for example, you could bring that up in an interview to talk about how it gave you extra motivation or time to focus on what you really want from your career.

Get the Best Resume Today

There’s a lot of bad advice out there. And it’s important to be able to separate genuinely useful, practical guidance from myths and misinformation. Hopefully, this guide has helped you to see how some so-called “tips and tricks” aren’t useful or even outdated.

But, even when you know the right way to write a resume, it can still be a challenge. Many people struggle with what to include, how to format it, and the best way to sell themselves to prospective employers.

If you’re in that same boat, finding the best resume writing company can help. Our experts have years of experience in writing and fine-tuning resumes to help candidates get the best chances of landing their ideal jobs. Get in touch today and see how we can help to elevate your next job application.

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