Here are some tips on how to fine-tune the document that could hold the key to your future.
One class helps job seekers build their resume from the ground up.
Experts say today's resumes need to be to the point.
"Employers are only going to have a few seconds on each resume, and right now it's an employer's market," said Wayne Feuer, with Worknet Pinellas.
Out of work for the first time in his life, job seeker Mike Kelley knows his resume can make all the difference.
"They can take a glance in it, and yea or nay. You're going to go in one pile or another," he said.
"My job was eliminated," said Nicole Andriso.
Andriso is looking for a full-time position in marketing and public relations. She's spent hours tweaking her resume, but knows there's always room for improvement.
"Bump it up a little bit, make sure it gets looked at by the right people and help me with some contacts," she said.
Doug Arms with employment firm ADECCO is putting fresh eyes on Andriso's credentials.
Arms' strongest piece of advice: She needs to tailor her resume to each job she seeks.
"Really matching key words to the position is pretty important," Arms said.
HR specialists and computers work quickly to sift through hundreds, if not thousands, of online resumes. If the job description requires corporate communications experience, make sure that phrase is in your resume. Public relations, for example, may not be an exact match.
Arms cautions to make sure that matching key words doesn't mean stretching the truth.
"Emphasize the strengths, emphasize what aligns with the job, and be accurate, and don't embellish too much," he says.
Other resume doctor tips:
- Highlight key skill sets, include relevant dates in your work history.
- Write a cover letter, even if you're submitting online. It shows your writing ability and gives you a chance to highlight something extra not covered in your resume.
You should avoid:
- Attention grabbing fonts or paper
- A resume longer than two pages
- Grammatical or factual errors
To keep your work history tight, Rashanda Denson of Barry University recommends ditching lengthy job summaries in favor of bullet points.
"I generally list the actual job position and list the bullet points after that, maybe three to four bullet points for each particular job, that highlight accomplishments," Denson said.
Hiring manager Barbara Scribner says above all, make sure your resume reflects your current work situation. Employers don't like surprises.
"If you were terminated and it was involuntary, it wasn't your decision, explain the entire situation to them. You can say it nicely, you can say it calmly, and you can explain the details of the situation," Scribner said.
So when it comes to your resume, experts say keep it tight, and make sure it's right.
The nation's current unemployment rate stands at 9.7 percent.