Getting your resume updated and polished can be a tedious task. This ultimate resume checklist can help guide you through making that career-changing document perfect for your next job application.
Do NOT send in your resume until you can say “yes” to all of the following:
Is everything spelled correctly?
A misspelling, especially if it’s something crucial like your name or your employer’s name, can land your resume in the trash. It reflects laziness and a lack of attention to detail.
Are you using just one page?
Keep everything on your resume concise, to the point and on just one page, unless you have been specifically told otherwise.
Is all of your contact information included?
Make sure that your contact info is clearly listed on the top of your resume. Double-check that it’s correct and updated. If you land an interview, the hiring manager needs to know how to contact you.
Is your current email address professional?
Don’t apply to jobs with the email address “sugarbabby88” or anything that sounds like a 14-year-old made it up. Your resume is the first thing that your potential boss will see, so create a more professional email account.
Is the paper white and ink black?
You are not Elle Woods. Pink and scented resumes are not charming in the real world. Stick to the classic black ink and white paper for your resume and utilize your creativity in another aspect of your life.
Are you using an appropriate font (aka no Comic Sans)?
Stick to easy-to-read, basic and professional fonts for your resume and make sure that everything on your resume is in the same font. Fonts like Georgia, Garamond and Times New Roman are safe bets.
Is previous experience in the past tense?
Any job experience that isn’t your current position should be written about in the past tense.
Are your current job duties listed in the present tense?
Likewise, your current position’s responsibilities should be referred to in the present tense.
Have you eliminated the “I”?
When writing about job responsibilities in your resume, write in the first person but exclude “I” from sentences i.e. “Designed logos for local independent coffee shops”.
Is the experience that you’re listing relevant to the job you’re applying for?
It’s crucial that the experience that you’re including on your resume has been tweaked to directly correspond to the job you’re applying for. When hiring managers skim through your resume, they’re looking to quickly find evidence that you can handle the job you’re applying for. Make it easy for them.
Have you updated your resume with current experience?
Your resume needs to include the most relevant and updated information. Be sure to include your most recent work experience at the top of your resume.
Have you cut academic performance and university accomplishments from your resume?
Avoid including academic information and university experience in your resume. It emphasizes how young you are and isn’t as important as professional experience.
Is everything clear and easy to read?
You want to make the hiring manager’s job as easy as possible. Don’t try to fit too much information into one space. Keep your writing concise and informative.
Are margins aligned and is everything cohesive?
Give your resume a really close look. Make sure everything on your resume is aligned and within the margins, so it doesn’t look sloppy. All writing should be in the same font and mostly the same size, besides maybe your name at the top or a header.
Congratulations! If you said “YES” to everything, your resume is ready to send!
Now that you’ve checked everything off the ultimate resume checklist, apply now to boost your career!