Resume advice isn't absolute, black and white, or universal. You probably know that because you've shown your resume to different people and they have each provided you with different advice and feedback.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The only person's opinion that really matters is that of the Human Resources or the Hiring Manager reading your resume. You don't even know them. So how are you going to write a resume they'll like?
Keep it visually appealing.
Use a simple format and layout. That means don't use really fancy fonts or lots of unnecessary lines or borders. Also make sure there is enough "white space". Use at least 1/2 inch margins on the left and right and bottom.
"One Size Fits All" is great for socks, but not your resume.
Adjust your resume to fit each job posting you send your resume to. This means using words from the job posting. Make sure that your experience clearly matches what the job posting is asking for. Yes, this takes time, but it is worth it.
It's Show and Share Time.
Just like kids going to school to show off their new toy or special teddy bear, you want your resume to show and share the best of the best you have to offer. Use Accomplishment stories on your resume. No one should be using job responsibilities to describe their work on the resume. BORING. Use strong verbs that describe the skill or action you want to highlight for the employer.
Too much of a good thing equals "over qualified"
You will never see a job posting looking for someone with over 20 years experience. (OK, I did see one once looking for an interior designer with over 20 years experience, but that was truly an exception.) Don't flaunt what they aren't looking for. Your work history section doesn't need to include your first job out of high school if you've been working for a number of years. The resume is not your autobiography. It is a document to prove you have the experience and skills to do the job you are applying for. The general guideline is to use the last 15 years.
Have you ever been in a movie theatre when the film was out of focus. It was distracting. If you include everything you CAN or HAVE done on your resume, you are distracting the reader. Sure, we can all do a lot of different things. But the reader of your resume is most interested in what you can do as it relates to their job. That is your focus. Delete or consider eliminating accomplishments, certifications, experiences that do not directly tie into the job posting. But don't leave gaps in your work history. Without lying, include information about that job that would or could relate to the job you are applying for.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.