Many well-meaning friends and family are all too happy to share advice about your job search that may or may not be beneficial to you. You can’t blame them, really. After all, they usually have your best interest at heart.
When respected professionals share erroneous advice, however, that’s another matter entirely. Below are some examples of so-called “professional” advice that should be ignored more often than not.
1. Resumes Should be Kept to One Page.
Using this logic, shoe companies should choose only one size shoe to sell since there are many people who wear a certain size. The shoe company that adopts this program likely won’t last long. So, how can anyone suggest a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to something as personal as your resume?
The only hard-and-fast rule you should concern yourself with when it comes to resume length is the relevancy of the information being imparted. As long as the story being told is pertinent, you are not going to be passed over based on having “one page too many.”
2. Resumes Should be Written in Your Own Voice.
Whoever came up with this one probably believes someone who speaks a different language than you will suddenly be able to interpret what you’re saying if you simply raise your voice a few octaves. Does this sound logical?
The tone, or “voice,” of your resume should reflect that of the profession you are entering, woven with a bit of marketing pizzazz. It needs to be clear, concise, easily decipherable by the reader, and interesting. Anything less will have little chance of leading to a position with your targeted company.
3. Embellishing Your Skills is Perfectly Acceptable.
Lying on your resume even a small amount is never “acceptable.” At some point, you will be found out, and your reputation may be irreparably harmed. Lacking a certain skill set does not automatically disqualify you. Admitting this shortcoming early on can lead to some additional training provided by your employer as long as you are honest about it. This is especially true if the rest of your skills are in line with the needs of a particular position.
So, instead of focusing on your areas of deficiency, consider and write about what makes you a sought-after candidate. Demonstrate how your skills and challenge-action-results stories line up with the target company’s current areas of pain. Not only should you show (not tell!) how you have solved similar problems, but you should also show how this pain-relieving work helped reduce their bottom-line ache by cinching more market share, earning more revenue and bolstering the profits.
Telling this story will help draw the reader away from your shortcomings and drive them to call you in for an interview. No embellishing is necessary when you are intimate with, and able to influentially communicate your value-laden story.
4. Write a Blog to Show Off Your Expertise.
While some careerists and job seekers will benefit from creating and nurturing a professional blog, many won’t. Don’t automatically jump online to showcase your talents through blogging unless you are a decent writer and communicator and also are ready to commit to a writing strategy routine.
Being a solid writer and communicator means you must a) know how to write a complete, grammatically correct sentence; b) complete a full thought; c) construct a meaty, yet concise post with a beginning, middle and end; and d) promote your work across social networking channels. Further, you must be able to pledge yourself to a regular blog-posting schedule. Posting five times in July of 2014 and then never returning to refresh content will likely do your professional reputation more harm than good.
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