The point of a resume is to present one’s self to a stranger in a way that the stranger is reasonably convinced that the person represented by the resume is a person sufficiently skilled and experienced to fill the job position and successfully perform the job as needed. Just as if one is doing a presentation, the same approach of knowing one’s audience, what does one want to convey to that audience, keeping the presentation and the information sufficiently simple yet simply sufficient to properly perform the task wanted, which is to get the audience to invite one in for an interview, and get an opportunity to get the position. Current thinking on resume length is one page if possible and two maximum. Search online for current (within a year, two max.) for recommended formats. Look into job and resume sites to refresh one’s ideas on developing one’s resume.
Certain criteria for any presentation, especially text, are for it to be spell-checked and error-free. Grammar and sentence structure must be straightforward and crystal clear. Use no slang, no weird and undefined terminology.
Getting back to current thinking … group the experience for a particular job requirement together. This makes it very easy for the audience to see the extent of one’s experience. One wants to leave no doubt as to the ability one has to accomplish a job requirement, especially those job requirements that are clearly the crux of the job itself. Current thinking also states to only go back ten years in details of past jobs, but to list all companies where one worked to allow the audience to learn the industries and breathe of experience of the presenter. Insure that all worthwhile experience is mentioned clearly and that all of the job requirements are covered as best as one can with one’s experience.
Be inventive for different types of jobs – make the resume and presentation fit the audience, which is the job position. Also, make the resume better fit the different types of jobs one seeks and to which one submits one’s resume. Always be aware of the job’s focal point – identifying what is that one (or two) key point in the job description. Play to that point! One’s resume must focus on that point in the same way as the jobs focuses on that one point.
Have a number of different friends and acquaintances and job-knowledgeable peers read and challenge the resume. Just like iron, the test of fire and pounding makes the final product that much more ready to pass the upcoming test. Leave the ego in a drawer at home when writing and having others trash it. Take nothing personal – these people are here to help. Take their help and say “Thank you!” Those who see the resume with very fresh eyes will very often see things that the author would not see until hours of study. Again, use a number of different people, and come up with a format and content that give a strong sense of confidence. One can tell when one’s resume is going to do the wanted task well.