If you are currently, or expect at some point to be, in a job search....keep reading.
After dinner the other evening, I look up from the paper because my wife is muttering across the table from me. "What's up?"
She's reading resumes.
She's on the search committee for a non-profit educational institution seeking someone to fill its #2 slot, a very senior position.
She's not listed anywhere on the web site or the job posting. She was asked by the board of directors to participate because of her knowledge in the field and her incredibly rich network. No one applying for the job knows that she's reading the resumes.
What's aggravating her?
A resume that hasn't been updated in years. They tacked on the latest roles to an old copy, but didn't go back and read the whole thing. It's obvious.
Another candidate claims membership in a professional organization. My wife is a leader in that organization. "The candidate only came to one meeting!"
Another candidate doesn't have a PhD. This is listed as a requirement. Some jobs, maybe a PhD isn't really a requirement. Educational leadership, when even people working for you have them...it's a requirement.
And don't even ask about the spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes.
So what's the point? This is a rare opportunity in this field; for the right candidate, it is the foundation of an entire career. Taking an extra hour to go over the resume looking for errors, cleaning up the historical sections, and making it professional is required. You will not pass the first screen without this.
Don't claim accomplishments that aren't real. The person reading your resume could well know you, your boss, or your thesis advisor. Overinflated claims may look good on paper, but they can eliminate you. And you'll never know why.
Finally, know your field. Know which "requirements" are really required. Applying when you are obviously unqualified hurts you twice: you lose the opportunity, and your judgment is also in question: you don't know what matters.
So, who's reading your resume?