Your resume only has one purpose, to secure an interview.
While in theory, it's a compilation of your experiences, it is not meant to replace an interview. Some things are better left to be discussed in person.
An effective resume needs to appeal to the reader. Each situation is different, each reader is different and each time you send it, your resume is probably going to be different.
Know your audience, know what they're expecting to see and make sure they can see it at a glance. If they have to read details, parse, digest and discover, it's not going to be very effective and in this busy world, you can't count on them to do the work. Make it easy for the reader to see what they're looking for and your chances of being noticed and moved to the front of the interview queue increase.
The world has changed and people's expectations have changed.
Twitter gives you 140 characters to make your point; a fifteen second advertisement on a YouTube or Facebook video will most likely not be watched.
People expect instant gratification and expect to see what they need to see in fractions of seconds and your resume is no different.
When your resume gets to a company's HR department, it sits with hundreds of others. HR's first goal is to eliminate the backlog and reduce the number they need to read to a manageable amount.
Their first step will be to look for reasons to eliminate resumes from the pile so they will remove any that are hard to read or appear not to be a fit. Unfortunately, sometimes the best person for the job will be eliminated and no one will ever know.
Having an effective resume means that, if you're right for the job, your resume will make sure it's visible at a glance. You can't count on it being read and appreciated at this stage.
It starts with a job description. The job description is, in the company's opinion, 95% of what they're looking for.
Boil down the job description to its critical components, remove the soft skills and boiler plate requirements, add in some industry specific knowledge that they probably take for granted and you'll be left with the key points they are expecting to see.
Make key points easy to see at a glance, remove anything that waters down or obscures what they're looking for and your resume will be effective.
While we can and do tune up resumes to make them effective, we also have the advantage of credibility. Candidates that we work with will generally skip the line.
Our clients trust that we've prescreened candidates and can speak to the qualifications and cultural fit so that they don't have to begin the process from square one.
Chances are very high that if we submit you to our client, you will get an interview.