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Six Resume Myths Debunked + What You Should Do Instead

Career Coach and Resume Expert Kathy Hubler, founder of Ladies Against the Grain, sets the record straight on the biggest resume misconceptions that may be holding you back.


"Your resume isn’t just a document thrown together to present your career history to potential employers. It is a strategic marketing tool that you can use to highlight the value, skills, and experience you bring to a new role– even if you are transitioning career paths," explains Kathy to hertelier. Read more of her expert resume advice, specifically designed for women in hospitality careers.


Kathy Hubler, Career Coach and Resume Expert Ladies Against the Grain
Kathy Hubler, Career Coach and Resume Expert

Whether you are looking to pivot in your career this year, hoping to take the next step, or simply want to feel prepared just in case, make sure to utilize the right advice when it comes to preparing your resume. What makes my advice 'the right' advice? In addition to being a Career Coach for women in the hospitality industry, I am also the Lead Career Coach & a Career Consultant for a leading executive resume-writing company. I know what it takes to help you land your next job and career, even if you aren't sure what that is yourself just yet. And I know the following tips will help you as you start to prepare for your upcoming job search:


Myth #1 –– Keep your resume to one page

I seriously can’t believe I’m still hearing this in 2023. This is simply unwise and untrue. Sure, one page is great for someone with only one or two jobs in their background or less than 4-5 years of experience. But if you are a professional that has held multiple positions, has been working for more than seven years, or has challenged yourself to keep learning and growing (and therefore has more to add to the resume), chances are you'll need a resume longer than one page. This is because you need to:

  1. Ensure you have as many keywords in your resume as possible in order to get it through the applicant tracking system (ATS), which is computer software that reads your resume before it even gets into the hands of a human being.

  2. Show your audience all of the valuable skills, strengths, and achievements you have so they can see what you bring to the table.

  3. Show a variety of skills & functions throughout your career without repeating the same thing.

Myth #2–– Use a modern template to stand out

While modern templates with columns, images/icons, room for a photo or logo, and unique or different fonts to draw one's attention to important details look modern/fresh/cool to some, I do not recommend using them for the following reasons:

  1. If you are applying for jobs that are using the ATS to filter out resumes/candidates, a modern template is not wise because they are not ATS compliant. ATS reads from left to right. When you submit a resume with columns, images, icons, etc. the ATS does not “read” the resume the same way it does a more traditional format. Why take the chance that you’ll immediately be rejected just because of the format of your resume?

  2. There are biases from professionals making hiring decisions based on the look of your resume, and the majority of the time a modern template is not one that works in your favor. That's because...

  3. With a modern template, sections of the resume are in different places than your audience (recruiter/hiring manager) is used to seeing them. You are making them do more work to find the right information. If your audience is spending too much time looking for the information they need, they may just decide to pass and move on to a resume that is easier to read.


Myth #3 –– Focus on highlighting the functional aspects of the job

Yes, it is important to showcase the ability to do a job by telling your audience that you’ve already done it. However, this is not the best way to position yourself in your job search. Instead, think of the areas where you made an impact––to the organization, team, or for guests/customer experience. Think of things that are unique to you (What did you accomplish? What do you get recognized for? Where have you made a difference?). For example:

  • Maybe you increased wine sales by 30% within a three-month period of time by highlighting wine pairings with menu items.

  • Perhaps you were able to decrease labor costs, food costs, or beverage costs

  • Consider mentions in publications, as well as awards and recognitions

These are significant contributions that you've made that show how you add value to an organization. Take the time to think about where you’ve made an impact and add that to your resume. And if you can, quantify that impact!

Myth #4 –– Employment gaps or shorter roles will hurt you

Maybe you lost your job unexpectedly (like so many during the Covid-19 pandemic). Or perhaps you had an epic trip planned. Maybe you took time off to attend to family matters (have a baby, take care of a sick family member, or in need of healing time yourself). Life happens, and when if does it happens to your career too and that’s ok. Don’t be afraid to use the correct dates, leave off short roles, or just be completely transparent (vs. fudging the resume). You can add a short line after your title to explain why left, as well as create a personal experience section to fill in a gap.


Here are some examples of explanations used after the title to explain a shorter role:

  • Left position to relocate back to Chicago for family reasons.

  • Position eliminated during company-wide restructuring.

  • Laid off due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

  • Left to pursue other personal and professional interests.

You can also create a "role" to explain gaps between roles: Instead of a place of employment followed by one bullet to explain:

  • Career Break / Professional Development: Pursued professional development opportunities in marketing and communications while planning next career move. * or *

  • Career Hiatus

  • Philanthropist & Family Caregiver (as the “job” title) {no bullet(s) to follow, which is perfectly ok OR you can add a bullet, or several bullets if they show a skill you acquired that will be beneficial in your next role}

Myth #5 –– Only paid experience counts

Any experience, paid or unpaid, counts as experience and can be added to the experience section of your resume if you need to show skills that you do not have in your work experience. For example, maybe you decided to volunteer to pursue interests and see what it was like, and now want to turn that into a full-time, paid role. Or maybe you have not yet been in a leadership position in your career, but you show leadership in your volunteer opportunities. Use your volunteer experience to showcase another set of skills to bump up your resume when you need to.

Myth #6 –– Apply for each and every opportunity to better your chances of getting an interview/job

This advice couldn’t be any more wrong. Your resume is a living document. It should be tailored to each and every opportunity you are applying for. Applying for a job is about quality over quantity. That means tailoring your resume to each opportunity you are applying for so that it aligns you with the job itself. Sending out only one version of your resume does not work in your favor because it doesn't always highlight the skills specific to the job that you're applying for. Do yourself a favor, and strive for quality over quantity as you apply for jobs. If you really want the job, there's no such thing as taking too much time to align your job search materials with the role and the organization you are applying to. Quality over quantity (I seriously can't say this enough)

There is no sugarcoating it…writing a resume is not easy or fun. But with the right approach, you can stand out in your job search this year. The 5 Things You Might be Getting WRONG on Your Resume & How to Fix Them article I wrote for hertelier still hold true, so check out these tips as well. And if you are still struggling to create a standout resume, feel free to reach out with your questions or concerns to kathy@ladiesagainstthegrain.com.


Kathy Hubler is a Career and Development Coach at Ladies Against the Grain, where she specializes in helping women in the food, service, and hospitality industries to find freedom, energy, and a zest for life through a career they love! Kathy is a Certified Life Coach (CLC), prior to that she worked in some of the world’s best restaurants in New York City after getting her associate’s degree from The Culinary Institute of America and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, specializing in the yummiest scholarly topic ever, “The Science and Culture of Foods of Italy.”

1 Comment


Billi Jean
Billi Jean
May 25, 2023

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