Top 10 Things to Ensure You Have On (and Checked On!) Your Resume
When creating your resume, after a while words can start blending, mistakes are easily overlooked, and other errors are missed. Here are ten things that you definitely cannot forget to check so your resume can make it past that 15-second screening.
Do not send a resume with grammatical errors. Many people do not realize that the words ‘I’ or ‘we’ or ‘us’ do not belong in a resume. Your sentences should all start with active verbs (Managed, Programmed, Directed, Created, Authored, Installed, Implemented… etc.).
Check, check, and recheck. One spelling error can mean the trash can for your resume. Use a spell checker to check your spelling and manually check any technical terminology. Read and reread your sentences to make sure it makes sense. If you don’t know, seek help. There are many resources available at your local library or online.
#8 Check your contact info
Definitely check that your contact info is correct. This is an area where it’s easy to make a mistake because you write it all the time, and a little typo can be overlooked if you assume you wrote it correctly the first time around. If they are trying to get in touch with you and your email is incorrect, guess what? NEXT!
#7 Remove personal information
Unless you are looking to get into the arts or theatre, your resume should not have a picture of yourself, include your age, race, religious beliefs, marital status, or any other personal information.
#6 Do you have a profile summary?
Definitely include a short profile summary and you can even tack on an objective. This way the reader knows what skills you are offer and what position is of interest to you.
#5 List of Core Competencies or Areas of Expertise
This does not have to be an extensive list and can include hard skills such as certifications, technical skills. Most include those soft skills such as Planning, Communication, Relationship Builder, Solution Sales, Leader, Trainer, Motivator, Organization, etc. This list is great to include just below your summary as, together with the summary, it provides the reader with a quick snapshot of some of the top-level skills you bring.
#4 One page, two pages, or you have more?
Typically, your resume should be one page if you have 5-7 years of experience or less. It should not be more than two pages unless you are writing a Curriculum Vitae.
#3 Targeted versus general
Does your resume include everything you’ve done for your entire career? Or does it focus on the relevant skills and experience that is needed for the position of interest? Checking your resume for relevancy will help ensure your resume is targeted for the position rather than a general resume which does not focus on anything in particular.
#2 Results versus tasks
Have you listed your achievements and tried to quantify those with measurables? Focusing on your achievements rather than the tasks goes a long way in providing more impact and helps the reader better understand the level of your skills and expertise.
#1 Layout and presentation
Once you are all done, print out your resume and gather feedback. Is the layout too busy? Is it too text heavy? What about consistency and flow? Keep in mind this document is the employer’s first impression of you. Let’s make it a good one!
Thank you to our resume expert, Jasmine Marchong, for this article and the resume tips.
Want more Resume and Cover Letter Tips? Watch these helpful videos Hallie has created by clicking here.