Career / Career Development

4 Resume Rules To Break To Get Hired In 2021

. 5 min read . Written by Mubeena Azeez
4 Resume Rules To Break To Get Hired In 2021

Boring old resumes not getting you the job of your dreams? Mubeena Azeez – Talent Acquisition Manager at PwC and LinkedIn Top Voice 2019 – tells us how to write a resume and four resume rules to break to stand out from the crowd!

Getting hired in 2021 might seem like a huge task, especially if you’re not sure how to catch a recruiter’s eye. 

You’ve probably read all the articles on how to write a resume and watched all the videos about what rules to follow to make a resume stand out. But have you considered that there are some rules that you might need to break to turn your boring resume into a showstopper? 

Let’s bust some myths about resumes, and learn how you can give your resume a makeover, and get recruiters everywhere to stop and stare!

Myth #1: Resumes Should Be One Page Only

Reality: Recruiters will read long resumes, so long as it is a good resume and aids their hiring process.

Any recruiter who expects you to put your education, work experience, skills and more on a single page wants to do one of two things (or both!):

  1. They want to squint at a really tiny font size. Because that’s the only way all of that information is going to fit on one page after you’ve worked a couple of jobs.
  2. They want to avoid putting in the effort of doing their job. Hiring talent is not just about matching a resume to a profile, and a one-page resume will not always give insight into the individual.

(Continue reading below.)

A good talent scout will take the time to read a good resume that is longer than a page, so long as it doesn’t substitute value for length.

How to break the rule:

You can make your resume two-three pages long, but make sure that your resume has no fillers. The information you put in should be succinct, and give insight into your role, growth and accomplishments.

Myth #2: Use A Standard Resume Fromat For All Jobs

Reality: Your resume is a brief about your professional life, at best. And all briefs do not suit all profiles.

4 Resume Rules To Break To Get Hired in 2021

Multiple resumes might seem like a ton of effort, but that effort will be so worth it in the long run.

For example: If you are seeking a role directly related to writing or adjacent to it, then you don’t need to apply to all jobs with that same resume. Apply for a content writer’s position with a resume that highlights your skill set pertaining to that role, and apply for a copy editor’s position highlighting the accomplishments relating to that role.

The results for both applications are likely to be better, as opposed to applying with the same standard resume to both.

How to break the rule:

Make a master document with all the things that would go into your resume — education, work history, skills, accomplishments, etc. Then create two variations of your resume using that information, each focussing on a different type of profile. You can update and change these using the master document as and when required.

Myth #3: Never Put Personal Stories In Your Resume

Reality: Who you are as a person can provide a recruiter insight into whether you would fit into an organisation.

Recruiters are seeking people to hire, not cogs to fit into well-oiled machines. Therefore, your resume should represent yourself in all dimensions of your professional life. And in 2021, the personal is also the professional. Especially since so many of us work from home now!

This is a rule you need to break, especially if you fit into a stereotypical role such as HR manager or professor. While your accomplishments can help a recruiter match you to the profile they are hiring for, it’s good to show your other interests to give them a better picture of you as a multi-faceted individual.

How to break the rule:

Include details about your personal life and interests in a way that ties in with your professional profile, and shows you to be a well-rounded applicant. For example, as a professor you may like discovering new YouTube video essayists, or as a financial consultant you might reveal yourself to be an extrovert who enjoys meeting new people.

(Continue reading below.)

Myth #4: Your Academic And Professional Titles As Resume Highlights

Reality: The titles you have held will not convince a recruiter to hire you; your skillset and the value you bring to the table will.

4 Resume Rules To Break To Get Hired in 2021

Academic and professional titles can help you build your skillset. But at the end of the day, your growth depends on how your skillset can be implemented in, nurtured for, and adapted to different workspaces.

So you have to mention what role(s) you have previously played, but keep the spotlight on what you can do and how you have achieved the goals set before you.

How to break the rule:

Use formatting tools to highlight the value you have added to previous organizations, as well as the value you bring to the next one. You can do this by highlighting transferable skills, upskilling opportunities taken, growth in positions due to taking initiative, and so on.

Rules might keep the world going, but there is something to be said about those who disrupt the ordinary and shine brighter than others by taking the road less traveled. This is your chance to become one of those people.

With all these myths busted, and all these resume rules to break, take the tail-end of this year to become a resume rebel, and land that dream job in 2021!

Looking for jobs in the post-COVID world is hard, but making a resume doesn’t need to be. Learn how to make a brilliant resume with Sharang Dhaimade. Head to the community and get your resume game on! Watch Here.

Last updated: 13th May 2021

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