Whether you are just beginning your job search or are looking to switch careers, a professional resume is invaluable. Your resume is the first chance to make a good impression on potential employers, so you need to create the best resume you possibly can.
The first and most basic rule to remember when creating a professional resume is that it should be concise. Keep the resume to one or two pages -- if it is longer than two pages, you need to consolidate the information and put it in a quick and easy-to-read format. The resume should also be free of any grammatical or spelling errors. Have someone check your resume for you, or you can send it to a professional service if you want to be certain.
Most professionals recommend using "action statements" when writing a professional resume. This means that when writing descriptions of previous work you have done, begin the statement with an action word -- such a word might be "initiated," "developed," "provided," etc., depending of course on what you did day to day. Describe the work you did and the positive results of said work. As opposed to simply writing lists of your responsibilities, action statements demonstrate the actual work you performed and paint the picture of a more motivated individual.
As much as possible, a professional resume should be tailored for the job for which you are applying. Detail the skills and qualifications you have that you will bring to the company -- remember, they are not doing you a favor by hiring you. You should be able to clearly illustrate how you will benefit the company and what specific talents you will bring to the position. Be sure to include any extra abilities you have, such as the ability to speak a second language.
Register a professional e-mail address for yourself, which should be as close to your first and last name as possible. If you anticipate potential employers calling your home phone or cell phone, make sure your voicemail message is equally professional. Remember that creating a professional resume that is neat, clean, concise and informative is the first indication to your potential employer that you are a professional person. If your resume has multiple errors and seems messy or irrelevant, it is highly unlikely that an employer will still take the time to meet with you in person.