Write your resume to the job you want, not necessarily the job(s) you had. Highlight the things that qualify you for your preferred job. They won’t disqualify you from others, but not doing so could preclude you from the one you want! Don’t go back more than 15 years if it isn’t absolutely necessary.
The truth of the matter is most recruiters won’t waste a lot of time doing your work for you. Ouch. Cold. Well why should they? They have to pore over hundreds, sometimes thousands of resumes in a week’s time. They want the resumes to quickly say to them you have the relevant experience for the job.
Don’t make it tough on them. We like it when you make our lives easier. Not because we are lazy (well usually not), we just need to process a lot of paper and we need your help to tell us you are “the one.”
It doesn’t mean you have to play fast and loose with the truth on your resume to make it relevant, you just have to be creative in accentuating the things you have done that you believe qualify you. It isn’t always self-evident. For example, you were a software engineer that was part of team that was quasi-anarchistic with no defined leadership. Deliverables and deadlines were being missed, clients (whether internal or external) were not happy, and quality was suffering. You, as an individual contributor stepped up to the plate and took the lead to turn the ship around. SAY IT! Make sure you are able to back the claim up with a reference but take that credit. See what happened? You are now you are a possible development lead candidate at a higher pay grade! So often people tend to understate experience and accomplishments. I will talk more of that in a future tip post.
In summation, help us help you to help us…or something like that.
Next Tip: Be Active, Not Passive (I can hardly wait)