Previously published in The Southern Illinoisan.

Looking for a rebrand? Ask about our executive resume writing services HERE.

Your resume is way too long. It’s actually not long enough. I would take away the word “leadership.” I would add the word “ninja.” Actually, replace the word “ninja” with “leadership” and you’re good to go.

Sound familiar?

Ask 100 hiring managers for their opinions on your personal marketing materials, and you’ll get 100 different answers. That’s why it’s imperative that you take any constructive feedback on your resume or LinkedIn profile with a grain of salt.

And while you do that, try to recognize which tips may be actionable and relevant, and adjust accordingly.

Here are three resume myths that have been confusing job-seekers for the past decade or so, along with some reasons we should all debunk them.

Myth #1: Your resume is too long.

Have you heard that recruiters spend 15 seconds or less reviewing your resume? Even if it takes a hiring manager longer to go to the bathroom than it does to read your resume, you can’t dilute your personal brand and flush pertinent details down the drain.

Besides, there are still multiple people whose desk your resume will land on during the corporate review process. And they each have a different preference regarding how “scan-able” your document should be. Some want brevity while others want meat.

Marry the two by being strategic and measured on what you include on your resume. Presenting your job history in three or four pages is probably overkill. But extending your story to a solid two pages is totally acceptable.

Myth #2: You’re using outdated language.

You’ve surely heard this advice. LinkedIn does an annual survey on the most overused words on our resumes. Here’s the latest list:




Track Record






Extensive Experience

Thanks, LinkedIn. There is zero evidence to suggest hiring managers are docking your candidacy for words you’re using on your resume. For words you’re NOT using on your resume? Now, that’s a different story.

Companies use applicant tracking systems to input the key skillsets needed for the job role they are trying to fill. If your resume doesn’t match what they are looking for, the computer spits you into the rejection pile and you may never even reach an actual human reviewer.

There is no software, however, that dings your score if you use the word “leadership.” This is another myth that is only meant to create confusion in the marketplace and leave job-seekers scratching their heads.

Myth #3: You shouldn’t display work experience from before 2000.

I’ll fight this myth with “get off my lawn” gusto. It’s absolutely acceptable – dare I say required! – to include pre-2000s work history if it is relevant to your target position.

Let’s say you graduated in 1995 with a degree in cosmetology and did some exciting work for some major beauty brands. Then your professional journey somehow ended up in customer service in a completely different industry.

Fast-forward 25 years and you’re looking to find that passion and satisfaction that only the beauty sector provided you. Why wouldn’t you include your most relevant work history on your resume — even if it is outdated?

Thanks for reading. Happy hunting!

Looking for a rebrand? Ask about our executive resume writing services HERE.

Joe Szynkowski is the owner and chief writer at The UpWrite Group, which has supported executives and corporations with branding, communications, and public relations. Email for more guidance on work happiness.

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