The items listed below represent those elements that will ensure your resume best represents and sells you. Each item has an entire, researched rationale that goes with it based on numerous job search experts, hiring managers and recruiters.
The suggested use of this checklist is to read it in its entirety to understand each item. If you are updating an existing resume, review that resume against this checklist and identify, by checking them off, those items that are inconsistent. You can then use the checked items to modify your resume. If you are creating your resume from the beginning, then use this as an outline to help produce the resume.
____ NEVER more than 2 pages.
____ Use simple block font style like Arial or Calibri. Roman can be hard to read and invokes “out of touch.”
____ Font size at least 11. Easier to read.
____ Bold where appropriate and need for emphasis.
____ Skip titling your resume as “Resume.” They know it. Don’t waste the space.
____ Format and layout make it easy to skim and easy to find key information.
____ Accomplishments are bulleted.
____ Spell check! Nothing worse than looking unprofessional.
____ Be honest. Do NOT put in false statements or information. Make sure the resume and any online profile (like Linked In) don’t create contradictory statements.
____ Use bold, descriptive words. Don’t be vague, high level or use jargon.
____ Avoid acronyms and abbreviations or letter-only designations.
____ Don’t write in first person.
____ NEVER put your social security number on the resume.
____ Do not include references; those may change over time and should be provided as requested.
____ Don’t try to be cute or entertaining. Don’t use pictures, graphics or “alternative” font.
____ Personal contact information is accurate and includes full name, mailing address, phone numbers and email address.
____ Includes a clear professional objective or summary of qualifications.
____ Uses strong verbs.
____ If you are a boomer and have a ton of experience, don’t display detail beyond ~15 years prior. Summarize the older and less relevant background.
____ If you’ve been in the work force five years or more, drop hobbies, unless directly pertinent.
____ Skip “reference available upon request”, unless you just have the space left. They know you will give it to them.
____ Uses keywords and alternative key words.
____ 2-6 statements per job
____ In addition to job title and responsibilities, includes accomplishments and impact statements. Avoids routine duties/tasks
____ Accomplishments demonstrate the use of key skills
____ Includes any awards for outstanding performance or results.
____ If job experience doesn’t allow displaying other skills acquired, outlines those in a skills section.
Your job search is more than your resume. An effective job search is well thought out and planned in order to get a job in the shortest amount of time possible.
- Is your job search yielding you the results you expected?
- Are you clear your job search is covering all the bases?
This checklist was provided to you by MBA Highway. We hope you have found it useful to your job search and resume development.