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Check Your Resume Before You Send It

You’ve edited and tweaked your resume many times, and you're ready to send it to a prospective employer. You're positive it's perfect and ready to go. Wait! Mistakes can still happen. Use this checklist before you send your resume to identify any issues that might diminish your chance of landing the job.

The checklist highlights critical aspects of your resume, from general guidelines about style and content, to specific section-by-section pointers, and reminders about appearance and readability.

DIRECTIONS:  As you proceed through this list, be sure each statement is true (or that you have a good reason for ignoring it).

GENERAL

  • No typos or errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, or word usage
  • No unnecessary words or repetition
  • No use of I, me, my, or mine
  • Length is one or, if necessary, two pages
  • No unexplained acronyms or technical jargon
  • Bullet items or paragraphs are short (no more than 2 lines for each bullet; 5 lines for each paragraph)
  • Punctuation is consistent throughout
  • No mention of race, religion, politics, age, lifestyle, disability, or medical conditions 

CONTACT INFORMATION

  • Full name, street address, phone number, and email address are clearly stated
  • Email address is professional-sounding (If it’s inappropriate or personal, get a new one based on your name for use during your job search)

OBJECTIVE AND/OR SUMMARY

  • Demonstrates your potential value to the company, not just what you want in a job
  • Lists the two or three most compelling qualifications that match the employer’s needs

EXPERIENCE

  • Job titles are descriptive (e.g., Retail Sales Associate, not just Associate
  • Sentences/phrases begin with strong action verbs
  • Verb tense is consistent (present tense for current positions; past tense for former positions)
  • Descriptions of skills and accomplishments include keywords from the job description
  • Results are expressed in numbers or percentages, if possible
  • Jobs from more than 10 or 15 years ago are summarized or omitted unless highly relevant

EDUCATION

  • Grade point average (GPA) is included only if it’s impressive (3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale) and recent (graduated within past three years) 
  • High school information is omitted if you have a college degree
  • Incomplete education is expressed in positive terms such as "Earned XX credits toward diploma/degree."

APPEARANCE

  • Your name stands out for easy recognition
  • Section headings are easy to read and distinguish
  • Font size and spacing are uniform throughout
  • Margins are wide enough to allow note-taking when resume is printed

 

Related Reading Links
Resume Writing Basics: Building Blocks of a Good Resume
The No-Excuses Way to Submit an Error-Free Resume
Sending Your Resume? Make It a PDF

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