Your resume must be clearly organized. Separate out your resume into sections and list out items in each section in a chronological order.
A typical chronological resume should have the following sections -
Make sure that your resume is legible and appropriately spaced. A resume with a lot of words jammed together is almost impossible to read. Likewise, a resume with lots of empty space and too few words looks flimsy and unimportant. Your goal should be to have an adequate mix of white space and words.
Be consistent in your use of line spacing. It is recommended that you use a double line spacing between headings and the body of text and a single space within sub-headings.
When indenting text, make sure that your vertical alignment is consistent. Use either tabs or spaces. Having a mix of tab stops or spaces in different sections can ruin the appearance of a well-written resume.
Many companies use a automated resume filtering software that looks for specific keywords in a resume. It is crucial that your resume has the keywords that the HR department is looking for. Read the job description carefully and include the details that the recruiter wants to hear from you.
Make each page a full page. A partial page suggests deficiency and gives an impression that information has spilled over onto the second page. In such a case, try to compress your resume in one page. If the second page has considerable amount of information, try to use the full page.
Serif fonts (fonts with small line extending from the top and bottom) are much easier to read on a computer screen. Use serif fonts if possible. Here is a list of some common serif fonts -
If possible, refrain from using monospaced fonts like Courier as these fonts are difficult to read.
NEVER use all-caps (all uppercase letters) in your resume. It makes your resume almost impossible to read.
Use italics and boldfacing moderately to make certain sections more evident. Refrain from underlining text as it makes your resume lose some visual clarity.
HR managers spend less than 20 seconds scanning a resume and they might discard your resume if they find it too vague. Make sure that your resume is concise and pertinent. Avoid including irrelevant information. Arrange your information in such a way that the most important points are easily visible.
Since you get less than 20 seconds to showcase your qualifications and accomplishments to your potential employer, make sure that your titles stand out. Try to make them as descriptive and attention-grabbing as possible.
Include an effective and focussed Profile section. This section should be such that it grabs the readers attention. Use this section to indicate what you hope to do for the company. Using a bulleted list is preferred.
It is hard to overstate the importance of proofreading your resume. Read your resume twice and look out for common spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Also get help from a friend if possible.
In the Experience section, highlight your achievements and accomplishments instead of listing out your duties and responsibilities. Also, whenever possible, present your work experience as challenges or problems solved. A recruiter would already know the responsibilities of the job but would be more interested in what you have done for your previous company.
Wherever possible, use numbers to quantify your achievements. Statements like - "Increased the revenue by 20%" add more credibility to your resume.