Hiring managers look for resumes that are straightforward and easy to read. So don't worry too much about creating a document filled with fancy graphics and formatting; in fact, those flourishes may work against you if they aren't expertly prepared. Here's what you should focus on and some tips to maximize your resume:
The format – Job seekers should typically use reverse chronological order, which lists the most recent jobs first, followed by previous positions. However, if you are a recent graduate and/or lack extensive work experience, you may want to try a functional format: Begin your resume with a summary of your skills and education and then list your work history.
Some applicants use a combination of the two formats, presenting an overview of their most important qualifications and accomplishments along with a chronological work history.
Highlighting your accomplishments – Give hiring managers a sense of why you would be a stellar employee by highlighting specific examples of past successes, including ways in which you improved productivity, reduced costs or otherwise improved the bottom line. Don't undervalue achievements outside of your main field. For instance, the fact that you developed a newsletter while volunteering as a marketing assistant for a local community organization shows initiative and creativity, which are valued qualities in any job candidate.
Keywords – Many employers use resume-filtering software that scans for keywords and evaluates how closely resumes match the preferred skills and experience. To minimize chances of your resume getting filtered out, incorporate terminology from the job ad — if, of course, it honestly describes your abilities.
Accessibility – When applying for a position online, paste a plain-text version of your resume into the body of an email to ensure recipients can read your material on any computer system.