Like every other set of rules, resume rules are sometimes meant to be broken. That is to say, there are no rules that cover every single circumstance that might arise during your job application process, and knowing when to toe the line and when to show a little flexibility can mean the difference between landing a great new position and staying on the market for another six months. Here are four resume rules that applicants should break often and wildly (except, of course, when they shouldn’t).
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1. “The Only One Page Resume” Rule
Here at our resume builder, we advise job seekers to limit their documents to one page, but we’re not the resume police. There is no resume police. If you have something that really needs to be shared and it can’t fit onto one page, don’t agonize until your hair turns white just use two pages.
2. “The One Typo Will End Your Chances” Rule
Yes, a typo in a resume may cost you a job, but a bad case of perfectionism that keeps the resume in your hands when it should have been submitted three days ago can also cost you a job. When it’s time to let it go, let it go.
3. “The No Irrelevant Jobs or Responsibilities” Rule
We usually advise job seekers to omit any former job or accomplishment that has nothing to do with the position at hand, but you’re not a mind-reader. You don’t know everything that this job will and won’t entail. If you want your reviewers to know about your babysitting and lawn mowing summer jobs, by all means, include them.
4. “The Gracefully Take No for an Answer” Rule
When it comes to rejection, our advice is simple: move on gracefully and quickly. However, as an alternative, you might decide to do neither of those things. If this job means everything to you and you just aren’t ready to move on, then by all means, do the opposite. Call and follow up, make a strong argument, and keep doing so until you’re specifically asked to stop. Now that you know which rules to break, you can put them to the test with our Resume Builder.