(reposted from the NY Times, By
IT’S tempting to think of a résumé as a low-maintenance aspect of your job search. Just list where you worked, what you did and where you went to school, attach that to each application and press the button.
In fact, though, you have considerable flexibility in how you structure your résumé. The decisions you make about what it says and how it looks can affect whether you get the job you really want, or get a job at all.A résumé is a marketing document that “can serve as a magnet to draw job opportunities to you,” said Susan Ireland, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Résumé.” That’s largely because more résumés are now on job boards and social media sites, and are included on company databases, she said.
Often, people place too much emphasis on the parts of past jobs that they hated — and get new jobs they end up hating, too, she said. “Your résumé is about your future,” she said, “it’s not about your past,” so stress experiences that are most relevant to the position you aspire to hold.
Let’s say you were in a data-entry position but want to move into project coordination. Give your true job title, she said, but you can highlight the parts of your job that involved projects.
You aren’t obliged to list every single job you have ever held. If a job is 15 or more years in the past, stop and consider how much it’s worth mentioning, or how much space to give it, said Wendy S. Enelow, a résumé writer for executives and co-author of “No-Nonsense Résumés.” Read more…