Your resume is intended to be a verbal picture of you, designed both to give an employer your factual data and to create and leave a favorable impression. It connects you, the prospective employee, with the employer, so it must be written in a language commonly understood by both. Put yourself in the shoes of the person who will be reading your resume and write it from that perspective.
We could throw some frightening statistics at you, like employers spend less than a minute screening a resume and then discard 95-99% of those screened. Rather than become discouraged by such ominous numbers, however, recognize the importance of attracting the employer's interest through a concise, attractive presentation. It is crucial that your resume reflects your personality and individuality, yet there are general principles which should serve as guidelines regardless of your choice of format or style. It is also important to remember that resumes may be "general" (useful for seeking positions in a variety of career fields) or "job specific" (a stated objective is usually present at the beginning of this type of resume). Resumes that are job specific tend to get the best results. Often, people have more than one resume; each emphasizes particular skills and experiences.