Isn’t life always easier when we’re able to come up with a list or set of guidelines to follow to complete a specific project? Whether you’re checking off items on your grocery list or using a checklist to pack your bags before a big trip, this level of organization is great when trying to accomplish a goal.
As a person cranking out multiple resumes a day, a checklist is a good way to ensure you are incorporating key elements into the document that will help get you hired. If you want to create your own checklist, here are some basic guidelines you can follow that work for most industries and fields:
It’s a good idea to take a good look at your resume to ensure that the first impression you present can convince a hiring manager to continue reading. Here are some questions to ask about the first impression a manager would have when reviewing your resume:
- Is my headline/job target (the brief one-liner that advertises why you’re the right person for the position) catchy enough to lure the reader in?
- Have I included a career summary that provides the reader with an immediate value proposition?
- Does my resume look original—or too much like a template?
- Are the individual sections easy to identify?
One great section to add to your checklist is appearance—simply because this is such an important element in your resume. Here are some great questions to ask as you develop your checklist:
- Does my resume contain appropriate professional fonts?
- Have I bulleted, italicized, and bolded words, sections, and important details to make them stand out?
- Have I created enough white space to make the resume easy to read?
- Are my margins even on all four sides?
The Message (Your Experience, Accomplishments, and Education)
Next, it’s important to look at the message you’re delivering in your resume. Have you thoroughly proven that you’re the right person for the job?
- Does my resume list all relevant job history and individual experiences that show I’m qualified for the position?
- Am I using action words (operated, developed, implemented, etc.) instead of passive phrases (duties included …) to describe my prior experience?
- Have I quantified accomplishments and shown that I’ve overcome major challenges in the workplace?
- Have I listed degrees, training courses, and all other relevant education?
- Did I list relevant awards and recognitions?
- Have I added a couple of testimonials to provide backing for my expertise?
Finally, you want to ensure you’ve taken one last look at the resume before submission.
- Are the dates of my employment and training accurate?
- Does my resume contain any typos or grammar errors?
- Have I incorporated my contact information, LinkedIn profile link and blog information (if applicable), and other pertinent details?
After running through this list of items (and any others you can think of), you should feel better about submitting your resume. By keeping a resume checklist by your side, hopefully you will find the writing process easier than before.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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