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Common Resume Myths & Misconceptions
For the person crafting their first résumé the task can seem a little bit daunting, even a bit frightening. Human Resources [HR] specialists, résumé writing professionals, school advisors, and even friends and family members all have their say. When it comes down to it you must have a résumé you feel comfortable with especially since you will be the one to read it the most. Let's take a look at some common résumé myths and misconceptions you need to be aware of before writing your first résumé.
1. Pictures are a no-no. In most European countries it is customary that a head shot photograph be included with your résumé. In the US, most résumé writing professionals frown on this practice or are outright hostile to résumé photographs. Let me tell you they are wrong to be so rigid. If you are in the fashion or aviation industries your picture is expected to be included especially when it is stipulated as part of the application process. Yes, there are state laws against discriminating, but there are none that I am aware of explicitly forbidding you from including a photograph!
2. Leave off your website address. Just below your name, address, contact telephone numbers and email address you can include your world wide web home page. Your website is an attractive 'addition' to any résumé as long as it meets the following two criteria: (a) that it is indeed attractive; and (b) that it isn't overly controversial [too political, too suggestive, etc.]. Please keep in mind that for some positions controversy is warranted. If in doubt, ask!
3. Hobbies and Interests. For the person who has built up a lifetime of work experience, I suggest they leave this information out. For the person entering the workforce, this type of information can be useful, even necessary. You don't have a solid work history to list and the HR people need to have some idea about who you are. Emphasize awards and achievements over specific hobbies and interests if you can.
4. You should only use white or off white business paper. This suggestion does apply to most fields, but if you are in creative fields -- such as music or fashion -- alternate color schemes can get you noticed. You may want to run your idea by a friend first; electric pink copier paper just might annoy even the most open person!
5. Font color must be black. Okay, let's not get crazy here. If you want to use colorful paper, don't use crazy font color schemes. You do want someone to notice your résumé, right? Oh, they will notice it alright! Stick with black, but use a dark navy if it matches the paper. All other colors can cause eye strain!
Ultimately, you must create a résumé that makes you feel comfortable. Try not to get boxed in by a rigid set of rules, especially if you are just starting out. Let flair and creativity have their place as you are marketing yourself and not a concept.
Matt writes on a variety of business, travel, health, and web management issues in addition to managing the Aviation Employment Board at http://www.aviationemploymentboard.net and the Corporate Flight Attendant Community at http://www.corporateflyer.net
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