CVS / MAR. 15, 2016
version 6, draft 6

Why You Should Break All the Resume Rules

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There is a lot of useful resume writing advice available. But there is also a hell of a lot of useless tips, information and stuff that you don’t need as a jobseeker. In fact, the affluence of advice has probably made you unsure about what you should write in your resume and now you are even more confused about what to do with all these rules regarding creating the ‘perfect resume’.

So allow me to make it easier for you; just forget all about them.

See Also: The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Resume

When it comes to resume writing, career experts will try to tell you what to do and not do. They will start talking about how your resume should be just one page long, that you shouldn’t include your hobbies, or use an objective statement because this will ultimately destroy your chances of getting the job. While these rules may apply to certain cases, they are all relative – not to mention overrated.

This means that you can send out a one-page resume, write down your interests and hobbies and even include a career objective and still manage to get yourself a job. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with doing so as long as you think it helps you bring out your strongest selling points. This also depends on what job you are applying for and what’s the purpose of the resume.

If you are sick of rules that dictate what you need to do with your resume, then it’s okay to ignore them. This enforces the idea you should do whatever feels right. So, in your resume you should write whatever you think will answer the question of why employers should pick up the phone and call you in for an interview.

Here are some tips that can help you write a powerful resume without following any of the strict rules that accompany resume writing:

Think About What Speaks to You

Following a resume template isn’t the end of the world, but it is certainly not as effective as coming up with your own resume structure/format. You can take some ideas from other ready-to-go resumes, but your resume won’t stand out the way you want it to when it reaches the hiring manager unless it is designed and written by you. The secret – and trickiest part of writing a resume is that it has to present your personality. So, your resume needs to speak to you and give employers a genuine image of you.

Think About Your Situation 

Every job applicant is different and employers know that. They have a different story to tell through their resume and a variety of skills they can put on display. But to make yours more convincing, you will need to consider your situation carefully. So, you will need to make sure that you hide weaknesses that may be evident on your resume such as the fact that you don’t have enough work experience or you are going through a career change.

Essentially, this means that you need to determine what’s the purpose of your resume and think about what you want it to say to employers. These could be the rules that you set for yourself to create a winning resume tailored to your requirements.

Think About What Employers Want

While you should always follow your intuition – yes even when writing your resume, you should write what employers want to hear. So it’s not about what you want or need to say, rather what employers want to know. Considering that each employer is different, each resume you send out should also be different. In this way, you choose how you want to present yourself focusing on what they expect from you. Before you write anything down, ask yourself whether employers are going to be interested in it.

See Also: Writing a Resume is Not as Hard as it Seems

Stop stressing too much about writing the perfect resume. If you think breaking the rules will help you focus on providing a comprehensive summary of skills and qualifications employers need to see, then that’s what you should do.

Have you ever broken the resume rules? Let me know in the comments section below…

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