If you think you have the resume basics all worked out, but you’ve never actually written a resume or relied on one to land a job, you may be surprised. Some of the most important rules or guidelines for an effective resume don’t necessarily line up with the clich es and generic guidelines you’ve heard over and over again. In fact, some of these resume rules are the kind we can’t even share with you; you’ll just have to pick them up through experience. Check out the rules below for a good starting point.

Resume Rule 1: If a Rule Isn’t Working, Break It

Here’s a resume rule that might blow your mind: Almost ALL of the resume rules you’ve ever heard are breakable. If something doesn’t work for you, or a certain convention or tradition doesn’t suit your industry, your personality or your target job, let it go and don’t look back.

Resume Rule 2: Your Resume Serves You First and Your Potential Employer Second

Your resume works for you, not the company with the open position you’d like to pursue. If you find yourself stretching the truth or reframing your expectations and personal goals because you think you’re telling your reader what they want to hear, change course. Be honest with your needs and plans and you’ll get better results.

Resume Rule 3: Be Careful With Sensitive Information

Your employers would probably like to know exactly what kind of salary offer you’re looking for. In fact, they’d probably love to know what you made at your last job, so they can offer you that amount plus one dollar more. They may also want to know why you left your last job. Were you fired or laid off? If so, why? However, they don’t have a right to this information, and you have no need offer it at this stage in the process. Don’t share extra details that haven’t been requested and may actually hurt your chances or your leverage at the negotiating table. Now that you know all the rules, apply them as you use our Resume Builder to write the resume that is sure to help you land your dream job.

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