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4 Common Resume Rules That Must Be Broken

While most career advice is written with good intentions, not all of it is worthy of your attention or time.

One such example is when blogs and articles talk about common “rules” you should follow when writing your resume. While these rules may work for some, sometimes they must be broken in order to get ahead.

Read on to find out why!

Rule No. 1: Keep It to One Page

The idea behind the one page resume is that hiring managers and recruiters need to be able to glance at your work history quickly. However, the hard truth is that even if your resume is only one page there’s no guarantee the recruiter will actually read it long enough to get you an interview.

Instead of worrying about page count, try keeping your reader focused in 5 second increments so they keep scrolling down to read more. If it ends up being more than one page… so be it!

Rule No. 2: Stretch Your Employment Dates to Avoid Gaps

This may have worked before the age of Google, but nowadays anyone can find out your work history with a simple internet search. (Yes, recruiters are looking at this online.) And even if your entire life isn’t found online, background check technology can dig a lot deeper than it used to.

The reality is it’s gotten a lot harder to fudge dates and get away with it. So in order to avoid looking like you lied on your resume, you’re better off telling the entire truth.

The same concept is applied to leaving out certain jobs. If you’re concerned about a job seeming irrelevant to the potential employer, or perhaps looking overqualified in the eyes f the recruiter, use a ‘Previous Positions Held’ section in your resume.

Rule No. 3: Have an Objective Statement

Objectives, at least in so far as using them to tell a company why you want the job, are cabout as outdated as acid wash jeans. Because today, companies really do not care about what they can do for you; they care about what you can do for them.

With that being said, make the first part of your resume about showcasing your skill set and expertise in a way that will positively impact the company. For example, consider using a ‘Summary of Skills’ section of five to eight relevant bullets.

Rule No. 4: Use an Abundance of Keywords

Except that annoying objective statement, there is nothing more irritating than reading a resume where the writer clearly did some keyword stuffing. It’s the oldest trick in the online job hunting book, and it often does more harm than good.

Are keywords important? Yes. But they must be used properly in order to make an impact. However, overusing them actually makes it more difficult to find you as new search engine algorithms get smarter about penalizing pages that cheat on SEO. Furthermore, even if a recruiter did manage to find your resume keyword stuffing often means the document won’t read very well. Remember, at the end of the day you are still writing a resume for a human.

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell