Before you even begin writing a resume or updating your old resume there are some things you need to know and do.
Doing some simple job research can make a big difference in writing your resume as well as when you do the interview. When writing your resume, you want to be job specific. This makes me think back to the quote "Know what you want and go after it", meaning you want to know the company your applying for and the job position you want.
After doing some research about that company and the position your interested in getting, you should have a brief knowledge about the company and what they do. This will make it easier for you to customize your resume for that company and job position.
Note: The more information you have about the company and position you are applying for will make the process of writing your resume, getting an interview and the job.
Make Each Resume Unique
This is an important step that many people don't do, most of these people are lazy. But think about it this way, would you submit the same resume to McDonalds to become a hamburger flipper as you would submit to Google to be a programmer. No, of course not!
Each skill or past experience you have can be customized to fit any company or job position you are applying for. For example, if you worked at McDonalds on the counter / cashier taking orders, you would have experience dealing with cash and customer service. Also if you did a count or end of shift paper work, you have experience with accounting. Basically, you want to go through each skill, activity or experience and word it so that it benefits that company or position you are applying for.
I used these techniques about 10 years ago and received great results. These techniques are more important today as there have been so many improvements over the years and many more qualified applicants for those positions. So every chance you get to stand out or stay in the back of the company's mind (as long as it's on a positive note) gives you a greater opportunity at getting the interview and the job.
Note: When you finish writing a resume and are ready to submit it to that company, make sure to dress the same way you would if your were going for an interview. Look the part, this is another way to stand out in a positive way.