Myth #1: Should I include every single experience I have had on my resume?
As we mentioned in our previous article about the sale approach in interview, the same “sale” approach applies to resume as well. Will a sale representative at a clothing store show you everything in the entire store? No, he/she will only show you what you are looking for, such as some jackets if you want to buy a jacket. Similarly, you don’t want to bring every single experience you have on resume. The goal is to keep recruiters reading. If they can’t find what they are looking for within 5 second, they will just move on just like you walk out of that clothing store.
You should treat your resume as a “space-limited” property. When space is limited, you should only put experience and skill that are directly relevant to what recruiters are looking for. Given you have less than 5 year of “relevant” experience, you should only have 1-page resume. The advice is “less is more”. When you focus on 2-3 positions that really demonstrate all skills and experience (relevant to the position you apply), you can elaborate each position in great details to increase both depth and relevance that target exactly what recruiters are looking for.
Myth #2: My resume should not include “small jobs”
We always got asked “I only work as a part-time waiter for 4 months and that is not related to accounting/finance, should I include?”
The answer is YES, there is no such thing as “small job” or “big job”. Recruiters are interested in the overall experience you have through different jobs. A waiter job might have nothing to do with accounting/finance, but it demonstrates other generic valuable skills such as communication and interpersonal. All jobs require communication skill regardless.
Myth #3: Resume is not that important, connection or internal referral is the key to get a job
Well, it might be true some times, definitely not all the time.
If you apply for big corporations, it is likely that your resume will not be reviewed or it gets “lost” somewhere in a 200-resume stack that a recruiter needs to go through for one position. Guess what? He/she might be working on 4-5 positions.
Does that mean there is no reason to spend hours and hours to create a competitive resume? Absolutely No, resume is the only piece of information recruiters know about you. They might not look at it, but when they do, you want to make sure your resume will secure you an interview. Job hunting is a number game, you want to capitalize on every single opportunity when recruiters review your resume.
While internal referral might play a big role in getting your resume to recruiters’ desk, a messy and poorly-organized resume will not get you far.
Last but not least, when someone agrees to refer you to a job in his/her organization, a well-organized and well-written resume is a must to make his/her life easier in presenting you to the hiring manager.
The TGH team – January 31, 2018