Here are a few simple tips for making your resume a much stronger weapon in your job-search arsenal. These are the basics, things that all of us could use a reminder of from time to time.
Keep your resume recent and relevant
To make your skills seem current (and avoid potential ageism), limit your work history to the last 10 years or so – unless that previous experience is particularly relevant. If there is a gap between the dates you received a degree and your job history, don’t include the date you graduated.
Limit resume length to a page, maybe two
Concise, bullet-pointed resumes that highlight relevant skills and experience are all you need. I immediately discard any resume that is 4-5+ pages. Trust me on this one.
Customize your resume to the job you're seeking
Read through the job description of the position you are applying for. Update your resume to highlight where you have had relevant experience. This will be particularly helpful for companies that use software to screen resumes. It is important not to embellish, however, as there is a good chance you will be asked about said skills once you start interviewing, not being able to articulate the skills listed on your resume is a good way to be taken out of consideration.
Your resume is no place for fancy fonts
Stick to traditional fonts (Times New Roman, Arial, etc). Keep formatting simple (avoid tables, inserts, and headers/footers) so your resume will display cleanly on a variety of machines, from iPads to PCs. Or save it as a PDF, which will look the same on every device.
Incorporate your online presence into your resume
Include hyperlinks to your work, but use a service like bitly.com to shorten the string. List your LinkedIn profile, sure, but add your Twitter ID only if your posts there are professional in nature.
Clean up your lines of communication
Make sure your voicemail message is pleasant, clear and upbeat. Make sure your contact email is appropriate (studmuffin83@gmail is not the best way for a potential employer to contact you). I suggest keeping a Gmail account that is specific to your search where you can manage everything in one place.