Some things never go out of style on a résumé, but your pager number? That’s not one of them.
Some items never go out of style on a résumé — for example, your name, your job titles and your accomplishments. But your pager number? No.
Here are seven résumé myths you may have heard over the years that are no longer accurate, along with a few new approaches. Remember: There’s no such thing as universal résumé advice — a résumé may look different for a recent college grad or a candidate with 20 years of work experience, says John Davidsson of Olympic Résumé, a Puget Sound-based career-strategy service.
“I avoid saying ‘always’ and ‘never’ when talking about résumés,” says Louise Kursmark, author of “15-Minute Cover Letter” and co-author of “Cover Letter Magic.”
MYTH: Put ‘references upon request’
You don’t need to take up résumé real estate with this information. Employers assume you will provide references if asked.
MYTH: Be wordy
“The most important trend that we’re seeing now is the need to present information more concisely — shorter sentences, less-dense paragraphs, tighter bullet points,” Kursmark says. Consider a short paragraph describing job duties followed by bullet points listing specific accomplishments. Position the most vital information at the beginning of the bullet point, not at the end.
MYTH: Include your home address
A home address and multiple phone numbers could date you, according to Davidsson. Instead, use the header space to list your LinkedIn bio or professional website.
MYTH: Stuff it with keywords
“It’s great to include all the keywords that are relevant to you and your career, but be sure to back them up with specific examples of when you’ve used those skills,” says Kursmark. Play to both audiences: the applicant tracking system and the human eyes. “It still has to be interesting” to read, Davidsson says.
MYTH: Keep it to one page
“A classic formula is one page for every 8-10 years of experience,” Davidsson says, although items older than 15 years may not be relevant. Nonetheless, you should “edit your résumé so that it contains only the most relevant information and save additional details for your interview,” Kursmark says.
MYTH: That 20-year-old template is a keeper
“You want your résumé to appear fresh and current, not stodgy,” Kursmark says. Take inspiration from well-designed websites and print ads … with clean content, simple typefaces, ample white space, tasteful use of color and easy readability.”
MYTH: Avoid color
“Color … will help your resume stand out,” Kursmark says. “Just be careful that it looks professional and that everything is readable. I tend to use black for all text and use color as a design enhancement in a border, graphic or shaded area.”