A resume will be the way you sell yourself to employers. It is how you will demonstrate to employers what you can do and how you can add value to their company. You must keep in mind though, that a resume’s main job is to create an interview. A resume on it’s own will rarely get you the job outright, so you must aim for the interview. Your resume will be a summary of your strongest points, how you learn on the job, and how you earned your credentials and/or experience.
All of your potential will be wrapped up in your resume. Again, this makes it crucial that you think of it as showing your value to your employer. This applies regardless of where you are in your career. People new to the job-market, employees with a checkered background of work history, people changing careers; in the end, all that matters is showing exactly what you can do for the employer.
To stick out from the crowd, you must become an expert at reading job listings. This requires you to constantly change your resume. Your resume should be not only unique to you (Not some template off a website-how many other people are turning in boring resumes like that?), but unique to each job listing you apply for. Your general formatting and style may not change in each resume, but the keywords and phrases you use to describe your past work-history and skills should vary depending on the job listing.
For example, if a company is emphasizing certain skills in the job listing that you don’t normally see often in similar companies’ job listings, that may be a sign they’ve had trouble in the past with that issue. Another area job seekers can improve is how they view their past experience. Even if you are not seeking a career change, when applying for new jobs it is crucial that you connect what you’re doing or have done for a company to what you can do for your future employer. Always be looking for the experience angle.
One key is to recognize specific action statements about what your job would entail were you to be hired. You may have done something similar in a past job, but it wasn’t a 100% match. Be able to compare likenesses in past and future duties and responsibilities. You will need to research the job thoroughly enough to do this anyways when it comes time for the interview. If you can begin to do that on your resume, I’d consider you a step ahead.
Your resume will answer three basic questions from the perspective of the employer that will become our mantra when we talk about building a resume: Who are you? What can you do for me? Where did you learn what you can do?