>Over the years job seekers have encountered numerous myths that prevent them from being effective in their job search.
Many of these myths relate to the basic definition of a resume. Other myths indicate a basic lack of understanding of how the job market operates and what employers are really looking for in today's job market. These myths affect each resume stage, from writing to production, distribution, and follow-up.
The most important myths include:
Job Finding MythsMYTH 1: The best way to find a job is to respond to classified ads, use employment agencies, submit applications, get your resume into online databases, respond to Internet job listings, and mail resumes and cover letters to human resources offices.
MYTH 2: A good resume and cover letter will get me a job.
MYTH 3: The candidate with the best education, skills, and experience usually gets the job.
MYTH 4: You can plan all you want, but getting a job is really a function of good luck.
Resume Content and Writing MythsMYTH 5: The best type of resume is one that outlines employment history by job titles, responsibilities, and inclusive employment dates.
MYTH 6: It's unnecessary to put an objective on the resume.
MYTH 7: Most employers appreciate long resumes because they present more complete information for screening candidates than short resumes.
MYTH 8: It's okay to put salary expectations on a resume.
MYTH 9: Contact information (name, address, phone number, email) should appear in the left-hand corner of your resume.
MYTH 10: You should not include your hobbies or any personal statements on a resume.
MYTH 11: You should list your references on the resume so the employer can check them before conducting the interview.
Resume Production MythsMYTH 12: You should try to get as much as possible on each page of your resume.
MYTH 13: You should have your resume typeset and professionally printed.
MYTH 14: The weight and color of the resume's paper and ink are unimportant to employers.
MYTH 15: You should make at least 100 copies of your resume.
Writing Letters MythsMYTH 16: It's okay to send your resume to an employer without an accompanying cover letter.
MYTH 17: The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce your resume to an employer.
MYTH 18: End your letter indicating that you expect to hear from the employer: "I look forward to hearing from you."
MYTH 19: The cover letter should attempt to sell the employer on your qualifications.
MYTH 20: Handwritten cover letters have a greater impact on employers than typewritten cover letters.
MYTH 21: Letters are not very important in a job search. The only letter you need to write is a formal cover letter.
Distribution MythsMYTH 22: It is best to send out numerous resumes and letters to prospective employers in the hope that a few will invite you to an interview.
MYTH 23: When conducting an informational interview, you should present your resume at the beginning of the meeting.
Follow-Up MythsMYTH 24: Once you distribute your resume and letters, there is little you can do other than wait to be called for an interview.
MYTH 25: The best way to follow up on your application and resume is to write a letter of inquiry.
Electronic and Multimedia Resume MythsMYTH 26: Electronic resumes are the wave of the future. You must write and distribute them in order to get a good job.
MYTH 27: Individuals who include their resumes in resume banks or post them online in resume databases are more likely to get high-paying jobs than those who don't.
MYTH 28: The video resume is the wave of the future. You need to develop a video resume and send it to prospective employers.
MYTH 29: You should develop your own home page on the Internet and direct employers to your site.
SOURCE: Ron and Caryl Krannich, The Savvy Resume Writer: The Behavioral Advantage (Manassas Park, VA: Impact Publications, 2000), pp. 13-37. All rights reserved.