More Bad Resume Rules, Tips and Advice You Should Ignore

In my quest to debunk much of the resume myths and disprove many of the supposed resume rules out there, I want to spill some more resume tea.

In this video, I’m going to clear up some more of your resume worries so that you can get back to focusing on the most important part of resume writing, and that’s the writing part.

Bad Rule #1: The More Keywords the Better

The first resume rule that I’d like to blow some holes in is that you need to include every key word that you find in the job ad or that the more keywords you have, the better.

While keywords are helpful, you don’t just want your resume to be a regurgitation of the job posting. That’ll look very, robotic.

Your resume is going to be viewed by a person, so keywords help them search for you. But over doing it with the keywords, which is very possible, will be a red flag to the reader. They’ll wonder if your qualifications are legitimate, or if you were just, keyword jamming.

So don’t break out a word cloud app to uncover the most commonly used keywords. Instead, review the job posting closely and thoroughly and notice which keywords jump out to you. What skills, strengths, and qualifications does the employer want? Insert these keywords into your resume that embody skills and characteristics you actually embody or have. Back up these keywords with accomplishments that show you demonstrated these keywords in your work. 

I talk more about keywords and what they really mean to the Applicant Tracking System, ATS, or resume screening software what hiring folks use in my ATS tea video.

Bad Rule #2: Cut Short-Term Jobs

The next rule that I’d like to obliterate is that you should cut short-term jobs.

In the last video where I debunked resume myths and disproved bad resume rules, link in the description below, I talked about why you definitely don’t want to cut what you think its irrelevant work experience.

Similarly, you don’t want to cut short-term jobs merely for the fact that they were short term.

When you just cut work experience, you risk creating career gaps for yourself. 

Instead of cutting work, we need to reframe the work and the accomplishments so that they make sense toward where we’re headed.

A few videos ago, I created a tutorial for how you can write about short-term jobs on your resume.

Bad Rule #3: Cut Early Jobs to Appear Younger

While we’re talking about not cutting work experience, if you are a more experienced professional with over 20 years of experience, you may have heard advice to chop any work experience that pre-dates the last 15 years.

You don’t want to do this.

This advice is to try to help prevent you from looking “old,” but when we’re more experienced, we are often going for more senior roles. We don’t want to lose the early part of our story and show our first job as being say, in management. That’s just not realistic.

Instead of cutting this work entirely, consider instead showcasing the best highlights from your early career, without dates. 

Honor how you got your start. 

The next rule you may have heard is you need to use visual appeal in your resume in order to stand out.

Not true.

You need to have a strategic and well-written resume in order to stand out.

Check out my video on why resume templates ain’t it.

Hiring folks can see through visually-fancy resumes very quickly. 

Check out my training on my YouTube channel that guides you through a simple resume structure and formatting. 

Bad Rule #4: Multiple Versions of Your Resume Are Necessary

Next “rule” you may have heard that has made your job search drive you crazy is that you need multiple resume versions.

While you need to customize your resume in certain ways for each application, you shouldn’t have to have separate versions of your resume.


Because if you have separate versions of your resume, that’s usually a symptom of another problem.

The problem is that you aren’t clear on what job you’re targeting.

A job search happens in this order:

1. Identify your target job

2. Write and tailor your resume to your target

3. Apply

3 cannot come before 2.

2 cannot come before 1.

That doesn’t mean your target job has to be your dream job.

Your target job can absolutely be a temporary or bridge job.

Whatever the job, make sure you’re clear on what it is so that you can write your resume towards it.

If you’re struggling with identifying what job you want to target, check out my interview with career expert and best-selling author Kristin Sherry.

Check out my videos on resume formatting. I show you how to build the structure of your resume. The scaffolding if you will. 

This is not a template but a guide to build your resume in Word, on your own. So that you can focus on writing your resume and writing it well. 

Kamara Toffolo

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