The turbulent economy has forced many people to go back into the job market for the first time in years. If there is a thick layer of dust on your resume, it might be beneficial to learn the new rules of resume writing and presentation before you start submitting applications. Even the most qualified applicant might not get called in for an interview if his resume creates the impression that he is out of touch with the current business environment. (Do not assume that an impressive cover letter can serve as a substitute for a poorly written resume. To learn more, see 7 Cover Letter Blunders.)
IN PICTURES: 6 Hot Careers With Lots Of Jobs

  1. References Upon Request
    There is no need to waste valuable resume space on this outdated section. Employers assume that you will provide references if asked. Instead, keep a separate page with the names and contact information of your references ready to supply to the employer, once you have advanced in the interview process.

  2. One Resume Fits All
    While it is smart to keep a master resume on file, you need to customize it to fit each job for which you apply. Job-seekers who take the time to tailor their resume to the employer's needs will stand out from the pack. Eliminate the details that don't apply to the position, and emphasize the ones that make you look the most qualified. It might take a little extra time to apply using this technique, but it will be worth it when your interview offers increase.

  3. Objective Statement
    The professional summary or profile has replaced the objective statement. Employers are focused on what candidates can do for them, not what the business can do for the candidate. You will sell yourself better with a concise bulleted list of the qualifications and accomplishments that make you a match for the position.

  4. Single-Page Resume
    One of the most touted resume rules is that the document must be one page. Many people will go to extremes to follow this command, resulting in tiny, unreadable font sizes just to avoid having a resume that extends onto the second page.

    Unless you are a newcomer to the job market, it is entirely possible that you'll need more than a page to adequately showcase your skills and qualifications. If you have enough job experience that fits the position, it is acceptable to extend your resume length to two pages. Keep your resume succinct and relevant, but don't go under a 10-pt. font size. (Learn more, in Sell Your Skills, Not Your Degree.)

  5. Lack of Social Networking
    Websites such as Facebook and Twitter might be considered distractions in the workplace, but they can be an asset on a resume. Employers want to know that applicants are up-to-date with current technology and communication trends. Links to a professional online portfolio, blog or LinkedIn page should be included in your resume header. There is a good chance that employers will do an internet search to find out more about potential employees, so make sure that all of your social networking profiles project a professional image.

  6. Too Much Information
    It is not necessary to give your life story on a resume. In fact, providing an employer with too much information can be detrimental to your chances of employment. Delete information about where and when you graduated high school. Ditch irrelevant jobs from 15 years ago. Although it was standard practice in some industries years ago, it is now inappropriate to include personal details in a resume such as information about your hobbies, religion, age and family status. Not only does it look unprofessional, but that information could be used to discriminate against you.

    An employer will ask if they want to know why you left previous positions, so don't mention it on your resume. The rule of thumb is to pare down your resume to only include things that show why you are the perfect fit for the specific position for which you are applying.

  7. Outdated Terminology and Skills
    Skills in obsolete computer software and systems should be removed from your resume. Technical experience is critical in nearly every industry, and employers often use technology keywords to find resumes in electronic databases. Listing basic computer skills such as word processing and using an internet browser is not recommended because employers will assume that you have those proficiencies. The job description is the best guide to determine the terminology and technology skills that should show up on your resume.

IN PICTURES: A Bigger Salary Or Better Benefits?

The Bottom Line
In a fast-paced and competitive job market, the parameters for writing a resume continue to change. Resumes that do not reflect knowledge of the current needs in the workplace and the new rules of how to present yourself to an employer will likely end up in the trash.

For the latest financial news, see Water Cooler Finance: Poverty Rates Increase - And So Do Millionaires.

Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisors

    Putting Your CFA Level I on Your Resume

    Learn techniques for emphasizing your CFA Level I status in the Skills and Certifications or Professional Development section of your resume.
  2. Personal Finance

    10 Reasons It Is Time to Look for a New Job

    Learn 10 good reasons for switching jobs, such as major life changes, ethical concerns, job description creep and upwards mobility.
  3. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Business Analysts

    Identify some of the most common job interview questions asked of business analyst candidates, and learn the responses that will make you stand out.
  4. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Compliance Officers

    Prepare to ace your compliance officer interview. Learn how to answer some commonly asked interview questions and what you need to know to come out ahead.
  5. FA

    CIPM: The Key To A Niche Career In Finance

    CIPM designates usually work as investment performance analysts.
  6. Professionals

    8 Things Employers Aren’t Allowed To Ask You

    Frequently, an eager job seeker overlooks certain interview questions that are improper, but there are situations where these questions are illegal.
  7. Economics

    Management Strategies From A Top CEO

    Jack Welch is a legend in the business world: during the two decades he was CEO of General Electric, the company’s value rose by 4000%.
  8. Personal Finance

    How to Manage Corporate Change in the Modern Economy

    Change can make employees uncomfortable, but these keys can help ease the transition and increase morale.
  9. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Data Analysts

    Learn how to prepare for your data analysis job interview by having solid answers to these common questions that measure your knowledge and effectiveness.
  10. Personal Finance

    Overlooked Skills You Need to Succeed at Work

    To succeed at work, you need to master a variety of soft skills.
  1. Does a financial advisor need an MBA?

    Obtaining a license as a financial adviser does not require an Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Certified ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How can an investment banker switch to a career in corporate finance?

    It's pretty easy for an investment banker to switch to a career in corporate finance. The career skills are easily transferable, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I get started with a career in asset management?

    The asset management industry has a variety of different career paths. Depending on what asset management area you would ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. For which kind of jobs is having Magnum Cum Laude most important?

    Having a magna cum laude degree is most important for jobs in the fields of finance, management consulting and engineering. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Other than accounting, what does a corporate finance job involve?

    While a corporate finance job almost always involves accounting in some capacity, there are many additional job duties and ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What qualities are necessary to be an effective member of the c-suite in a publicly-traded ...

    Several qualities are needed to be a member of the c-suite of a publicly traded company. The c-suite is business jargon term ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  2. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  3. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  4. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  5. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  6. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
Trading Center