Most people who are in the job hunt are shocked to learn that most recruiters spend roughly 5 seconds viewing your resume. One must understand that one monster or careerbuilder posting alone can yield hundreds of resumes depending on the position posted. A recruiter will have anywhere between 10-50 different positions they are recruiting for. When I'm viewing your resume, I skim looking for what I can buzz words for the industry or position. If I am looking for an Accounting Supervisor I might look for words like Accounts Payable, General Ledger, and AS400. Do your research and make sure to include your skills and qualifications.
There are many different styles and formats you can use for a resume and lots and lots of opinions. I suggest doing some research because your resume should reflect the position you are applying for the industry for which it is in. I am a fan of a resume that lists skills and qualifications first. Forget the objective. It's a waste of time and valuable marketing space. The Skills and Qualifications section is what I consider a candidate's billboard and gives the recruiter a quick picture to intrigue their interest. Use buzz words here to get the recruiter's attention and what sets you apart from the rest. What comes next depends on your experience level. A newly graduated professional should place their education next especially if they have little experience in the field they are looking to work in. If you are a seasoned veteran, list your work experience before your education. Does one need to include their references? Depends on what the job posting requests. Generally, I don't unless absolutely necessary.
One of my biggest resume pet peeves is pasting and copying the crappy generic resume from monster or careerbuilder. It does nothing for you so don't do it!! Treat your job search like a marketing campaign. Your career and job is an investment you wouldn't buy a house without researching the interest rate or touring the house. Come up with a plan. Searching for your career takes a lot of effort and time. Gear up and get ready.
Next week . . . The 5 P's