For students coming out of college and beginning the hunt for banking jobs, private equity jobs or other careers in finance, an impressive resume is the most important thing.
Aspiring professionals work endlessly to pack all of their accomplishments, interests and work experience onto one sheet of paper. It’s essentially an advertisement for yourself – and creating one is hard work. One of the main reasons it’s such a challenge is because there’s no set way to format a resume, and no defined list of what’s appropriate for inclusion. As such, a number of myths have cropped up about how one should write, and what they should include in their resume.
Here are a number of oft-made mistakes young professionals make when crafting a resume. Ensure you don’t fall into these traps, and you could be working your dream job in no time.
Myth: You should keep your resume to one page
There is no perfect resume length – only the perfect length for your resume. If your work experience requires five pages to detail, then don’t be afraid to use five pages. Conversely, if you’re struggling to fill up a full page with your experience and accomplishments, then don’t be afraid to cut your resume short. The goal is to give the employer all the relevant information without any “padding.” If you can do that in a half-page, do so. And if you need more than one page, don’t be afraid to do that either.
Myth: You should list every job that you’ve ever worked
There’s no need to list jobs unrelated to the position at hand. Again, the goal is to limit clutter on every line – so only list the work experience you have that’s significant in terms of the position you’re applying for.
Myth: Your resume should be extremely general
Many would-be workers keep their resume as general as possible, thinking that this will aid them in applying to a wide variety of jobs. But employers aren’t searching for someone who could work any number of jobs – they want the employee who will be perfect for the position they’re looking to fill.
As such, try and customize your resume for each individual job that you’re applying for, including accomplishments and experiences that relate directly to the position at hand. This will help applicants to look like they’re the perfect hire for different jobs – allowing them to book more interviews than they would with a more general resume.
Myth: Cover letters are unnecessary
On that note, cover letters can be your best way of selling a hiring manager on your abilities. While many feel they are an unnecessary part of the application process, in truth, they are the most personal. Versatility is important, but so is being specific. Cover letters are your chance to speak directly to your interviewer or potential boss, informing them of the talents and skills that make you perfect for their job. A personalized cover letter will help them to see that you’re a highly qualified applicant – and it’ll help you to stand out when compared to the competition.