The evolution of the resume has been quite extensive and trends change as fast as those of technology or fashion. Add to that an increasingly competitive job market and more and more highly qualified individuals applying for the same jobs. So, why are so many people using old, antiquated resume templates? More importantly, what can you do to break away from the boring old resume template your counterparts are using? Here are some innovative, but acceptable ways to break the old resume rules:
Breakable Rule #1: Resumes must be one page. This rule flies out the window once you gain ten or so years of professional experience – especially if you have a lot to show for your experiences. However, the old rule still stands that it needs to be either one or two full pages – never present a page-and-a-half as it looks like you ran out of steam along the way.
Breakable Rule #2: Resumes must start with an objective. No, no, no! Objectives are passé and focus too much on you. Start your resume with a bold, attention-getting title and a short, concise summary paragraph stating what you have to offer – not what you want from your career. This sets a commanding and powerful tone for the rest of your resume.
Breakable Rule #3: Resumes should give a detailed account of your history. Wrong. You should leave the reader interested in learning more about your history instead of explaining every detail in your resume. Tell them you increased sales by 50% after orchestrating a massive marketing campaign, but save the details for the interview.
Breakable Rule #4: Resumes must present employment, education, and tech skills. Period. There are so many other relevant talents and experiences you have to offer! Not only should you list memberships, awards, additional languages, corporate trainings, certifications, etc., but you should list them in order to present yourself in the best light. If you just finished your Master’s degree and your work experience is limited, list education first. If you are in IT, list your technical competencies first. Grab their attention right away with what YOU have to offer.
Breakable Rule #5: Resumes should be in Times New Roman. The fastest way to bore a reader is to use Times New Roman like everyone else. It is okay to get a bit creative with Garamond, Book Antiqua, or even Candara. However, stay away from fonts that may be difficult to read (Mistral, Vivaldi) or are too cutsy (Lucida, Pristina).
Your resume is your best marketing tool and it should be organized, compelling, and unique. Don’t be afraid to make yourself stand out by breaking the old, outdated resume rules!
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.