Over decades of reading and editing resumes, we’ve assembled a checklist to help you compose an effective resume.
Is the font easy to read and professional?
- President and Gaming Placement Specialist Jim Bright says: “I prefer Calibri 11 point or Arial 10 point.”
- Is spacing and font size consistent throughout the document?
- Are design elements such as bolding, italics, and capitalization used carefully?
- Is there enough white space to balance out text?
- Are margins even on all sides of the document?
Is the resume length appropriate for your career level?
- Vice President and Gaming Placement Specialist Ben Farber says: Some suggest that a resume be kept to one page. However one page is only sufficient for individuals who have either under five years experience or have been with one or two employers for a long time. Generally, candidates with more than five years of experience can use two to three pages.
- If your resume length is more than one page, does the second page begin with a heading? Once printed out, the pages should be easily ordered.
- Are the name, address, phone number, and email address listed at the top of the document?
- Is the email address professional? For example,”email@example.com” might not be the best message to communicate to an employer.
- Does the listed phone number have a professional voice mail message?
- If the resume includes an objective, is it specific and relevant to the job description that you are applying to?
- Does your most recent job experience have the longest descriptions? The only exception to this rule is if your older experience is significantly more relevant to the position.
- Have you eliminated outdated work experience?
- If the resume includes interests, will they enhance an employer’s overall impression of you as a candidate?
- Are personal pronouns such as “I,” “me,” and “my” avoided?
Does the resume avoid using passive tense?
- For example, instead of “Sales were increased by 150%,” write “Increased sales by 150%.”
Does the resume include industry terms and keywords from the job description?
- Executive Vice President Lucy Farber says: It’s essential to remember that many companies and executive recruiters use search engines to search for resumes.
- Does the resume include numbers and quantifiable information to highlight your accomplishments?
Are strong action verbs used often?
- Examples include: “developed,” “improved,” “directed,” “enhanced,” “upgraded.”
Have you spell-checked the document?
- Senior Vice President and Hospital / Healthcare Placement Specialist Roberta Borer says: “Remember to carefully check words in all capitals for typos, as spell check will miss them.”
- Have you printed out the resume to check for errors? Have you given it to a friend or family member to proof-read?