This story on Lifehacker that essentially tells you to keep a focused, humble resume has some pretty good comments. I like the one made by Jackhugo722 the most here.
"In short, the people doing the culling are often bean counters and numbnuts. You’ve got to get past their firewall of idiocy to even have a chance . . . especially in the current high-competion market/economically crippled climate." -Jackhugo722
I’ve personally seen that to be the truth sometimes but recently, especially now, I’m interacting with people that have a clue. Even more, they’re very engaging and serious. They understand the position that they’re representing and know exactly how to interface with both client and the applier. It’s pretty refreshing actually. Still, I have my own rules for applying.
Just about every resume is unique. I have one stock that is my longform that lists absolutely everything I’ve done and achieved, a skills based resume and one that is completely blank. I work from all of them and compare them against the ad and what I see to be the scope of the experience wanted. If I meet it or exceed it I’m blazing, if not I have to consider how close I am and whether or not to add a short cover letter to emphasize the strengths.
It’s not that I’m lazy, I just like to write about more than my resume!
I don’t copy and paste data from the skills or long-form sheets, I just use them as reference since it can be pretty easy to forget about relevant experience when you have a diverse history to work with. Tailoring your actual experience, not exaggerating/lying is the focus here. Showing your value in the context of what you’ve done in terms of what the employer cares about is the key here.
You are not guaranteed to ever get a call back with this or any other method but I believe that making a real effort matters. Even when most of the people in your field are using pre-screening tools they matter. Heck, don’t ever underestimate Linked-in. It’s a pretty dang good tool for everyone. Maybe the person you’re replacing is moving on up in the company or elsewhere. How did that person grow their skills and experience? Is it likely that how they grew may be what’s desired of you?
Checking for as much info as possible and answering those questions as well as others is one of the most useful things that an applicant can do. The information is publicly available, you may as well use it to your advantage. Just be honest, really. There’s no point in lying to get a job that you can’t perform. It’ll become obvious soon enough and can even get you blacklisted. You will either end up with a gap in your resume or an employer that you can’t get a reference from.