Though many of us would probably keep using the same resume we used for our first or second job throughout our career, we can’t. Why? For two reasons: first, we have to update our resumes as our skills and experience changes; and second, the rules of resume format and creation are constantly changing, and to be considered in the current job market, we have to keep abreast of these changes. What are these changes, and what is expected of a 2010 resume? Read on for the latest dos and don’ts of the successful professional resume.
Do include a professional summary. A professional summary basically highlights the most valuable and notable aspects of your career experience, education, and skills; and does so in a concise and easy to reference manner for employers.
Do make your resume into 2-3 pages when you need to-meaning not because you want to list everything you have ever done in your career, but rather, when you have many achievements and career highlights that should be included and can’t do it in a page.
Do use bullet points for skills and achievements and anything else that you need to list in a resume. Employers find it easier to read and reference, and would prefer this over paragraph form any day.
Do customize or target your resume to the position to which you are applying. Companies want to see that you are interested in their specific establishment for employment, and are not just another blind application.
Do quantify your skills, achievements, and qualifications with as many pertinent details as possible. Employers don’t just want to see that you have communications skills, but how you used them for an achievement at work. This is much more compelling than just listing great communication skills.
Don’t just list responsibilities as you might in a standard resume; employers know what duties are required of a certain position. They want to know what value you gave your position through examples of specific achievements and growth.
Don’t be modest in your resume. Sell your career worth for all its worth.
Don’t leave out important details in the employment history section, such as dates, employer name, and job title. Employers want to know these details.
Don’t submit your resume if it isn’t updated to your credentials, qualifications, and education.
Don’t send in a resume for consideration, and believe that you don’t need to first introduce it with a properly addressed and formatted cover letter. Though they may not ask for a letter of inquiry or cover letter, it is implicitly always required for any kind of further consideration.