Is your resume really being read by a machine, not a human being? Do hiring managers really ignore every resume submission and just hire the candidate they happen to know in person? Will employers laugh if you submit a resume by mail? This week, LiveCareer sent a few common resume myths to the employers in our network and asked them to weigh in.
Most resumes aren’t really read by people, they’re read by keyword scanners . If you insert the right words, you’re in. If you don’t, forget about it.
“I don’t know why this myth is so stubborn. I can’t speak for every employer in the world, but here at our company, we read resumes. Of course we do. How else could we make a smart decision about who we bring on board and trust with our business? First we read them, then we pass them around and share them with each other and read them several more times. Then we choose about seven candidates per position to call in for interviews.”
Nobody cares about resumes anymore. You land a job based on who you know, not what you know. Some companies post the position and request resumes as a mere formality, even when they already know the person they intend to bring on board.
“Some jobs work this way, sure. It’s not unheard of that resumes might be collected as a formality only, especially for some government contracting positions with very clear rules about how the selection should be conducted. But most positions don’t work this way at all. Here in this company, we don’t collect resumes for our health. We study them carefully and use them to staff high-stakes, high-responsibility positions that can make or break our business.”
No employer wants to receive a resume by mail, and even email attachments are becoming passé If you want a job, you should post your resume on your blog, LinkedIn profile, or Pinterest page and just text a link to the hiring managers.
“No, that’s nonsense. Read the post carefully and follow the employer’s instructions for how to submit. It’s not rocket science. If you don’t see any instructions on the post, go to the company’s website, go to the “contact us” page, and send an email with your resume attached as a Word file. Use your problem-solving skills and find a way around this minor obstacle. And after you’ve done so, follow up. Make sure your message is received by the right people.”
Formatting and layout don’t matter. Unless you’re applying for a position in graphic design, skills are skills, and facts are facts. If I’m great at what I do, employers won’t care how beautiful or presentable my resume looks on the page.
“Untrue. When you apply for a job, every single thing you do, every word you choose in a written document, everything you say on the phone, and everything you wear to your interview will give your employers insight into how you’ll deal with their customers and clients. If you cut corners and think presentation doesn’t matter, most employers would rather see you working for their competitors.”
Visit LiveCareer for more tools, formatting software, templates, tips, and insights that can help you tune out the job search rumors and land the position you’re looking for.