Now, I'm not looking for work or anything, but I do like to keep my resume up to date. What are your tips for resume writing?
What works for you?
Here's my tip: Know your Reader.
This may not always be possible, but if there's any way you can find out who will be reading the resumes and what they are looking for you will know where to focus your efforts.
For example, I do a lot of hiring so I have to read tons of resumes. I also have a very strong "engineering" type personality, so fancy resumes with long descriptions are a waste on me. I'm looking for raw data in very clear direct format. When I receive resumes in .doc format the first thing I do is "Select all" copy, and paste the whole thing into an Email without any formatting, then Email it to myself and stash it in the list with all the other resumes (so they all look the same).
When I go through the list I summarize them into "Name", "Geographic location of individual", "Skill level", "unusual notes of interest". All the highest skill levels are filtered into a particular list and sub-filtered for geography. Everything else goes into a backup list. I rarely find myself needing to go to the backup list, usually all my hiring is done from the correct geographies with the highest skills.
If Geography and Skills are equal, then I look into anything personal comments which were included to try to figure out who is the friendliest person (because I require personable behavior for the job I'm trying to fill). The top candidates then get a phone call and I evaluate on communications skills. In-person interviews are last.
I'm sure some managers are looking for pretty resumes (I only look for correct punctuation and writing skills), but I don't care about format at all, and the harder it is for me to summarize the skill set, the less likely I'll spend time on it.