If you want to impress prospective employers, you need to have a professional resume. Not only does your resume need to include the appropriate qualifications for the position for which you are applying, but it must be visually appealing.
When you look at your resume, you need to do so critically, as if you were the employer reviewing someone's resume for the first time. What stands out to you the most? Is it the font size, the bullets, the white space?
Taking a look at your professional resume from an employer's vantage point helps you see what needs to be changed. For instance, are all of your bullet points using the same symbol and font? Does each of your job titles use capital letters at the beginning of each word? Being consistent is essential. Make sure you use the same tense in all of your statements.
Here is an example of what I mean:
These are all in the past tense. If you mix past tense with present tense, it confuses the reader.
See what I mean? Keep your verb tenses the same.
Another thing you want to consider is the effective use of resume power verbs in the description of your skills and abilities (as well as in your Summary of Qualifications).
Here is an example:
Directed a team of 40 employees in all sales and marketing efforts resulting in an increase of 28% in annual revenues
Is much more effective than:
Responsible for a team of 40 successful salespeople
You can handle a great deal of responsibility, but if you don't word it right on your resume, a prospective employer can only guess that you're truly qualified.
According to the National Institute of Health, "When constructing your explanation of previous experience, you should use action verbs to act as descriptions, expressing how you performed that function and with what result." Source: http://www.jobs.nih.gov/jobsearch/FederalResume.htm
Of course, it would probably be beneficial to show you some professional resume examples, so instead of re-creating them here, I'm going to borrow from a great resource I found recently.
To give you an idea of what some free sample resume templates look like, follow this link to the Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/vets/tap/F-TAPSupplement-CreateanEffectiveResume8.9.07.pdf You will be able to review a Chronological Resume format, a Functional Resume format and a Combination Resume format.
Another item in that pdf that I think is very valuable, especially if you are trying to figure out which resume format to use, is a comparison chart for each of the resume formats. You can see which resume style is best in different situations. I believe this is very helpful.
The whole pdf is very educational.
Make sure your professional resume includes the relevant information employers need to know prior to making a decision to bring candidates in for job interviews. You also need to make sure it excludes anything that doesn't immediately impact your credibility, qualifications, and/or willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Write your resume with the prospective employer in mind. Keep it as short as you can while still espousing your best qualities. Give the employer something to get excited about so that he/she will want to meet you. Your resume can do that, but it takes effort - and time.
If your resume is visually appealing and states your qualifications appropriately, you will be well on your way to getting a call for a job interview. Best wishes!
Here are some additional articles about resumes that you might also find interesting:
You Can Create Your Own Professional Resume
If you would like more information about "How to Write a Professional Resume", the following book is a great resource:
It will show you exactly how to make an exceptional
professionally and quickly.
You'll also find some outstanding articles in the book which will help you with your cover letter and the interviewing process, too.
Since this book is sold as an e-book, you can print off as many copies of the worksheets and forms as you need to help you through the easy-to-follow steps.