From my background as a hiring manager and recruiter I have learned three of the more important ones are:
1-Be responsive to the hiring managers’ needs. While a resume is all about you it must also be responsive to the needs of the hiring manager. If it isn’t you can be sure your competitions’ resume will be.
2-Focus on your accomplishments and results; not just what you did but what the outcome was. Because hiring managers are results oriented, resumes should focus on accomplishments and the results of one’s work. Boiler plate that only tells what your responsibilities were will give the competitive edge to the others responding to the needs of the hiring manager. Results should be placed in the resume where the readers’ eye will pick them up early/quickly/easily.
3-Make sure your documents are ATS-ready. You may run into ATS systems and you may not, but will you know when you are likely to encounter it? The playing field has changed, requiring resumes to be compatible with ATS software used by many companies today to reduce HR costs. All resume writers should know this means making sure appropriate key words and phrases are included. Unfortunately that's not all there is to ATS. Word processing software enables the use of many features which cause attributes which can confound parsing software. Unless you understand the attribute issues regarding ATS you can unknowingly contribute to the rejection of your resume.
There are people who take a cavalier position that not every company uses ATS software or that very few do, therefore there is no point in making them ATS-ready. Actually they are quite wrong. They argue one shouldn’t apply online anyway. I agree, applying online is not the most productive approach to job searching, but I also recognize it may be the easiest way, so from a practical standpoint, people will do it. Not only that, even if you get your resume into the hands of a hiring manager at a company without applying online, that person is likely to pass it to HR in order to comply with company protocol. If the company uses ATS the resume will likely be scrutinized by the software anyway. Thus I feel very strongly that all resumes should be made ATS-ready!
If you think you may need help, send me your resume (kl@hoochresumes,com). I'll review it and respond at no cost to you. For more information please visit http://www.hoochresumes.com.