Founder of Virtus Career Consulting, speaker and author of the career empowerment book
RESUME CRITIQUE CHECKLIST
This checklist can help improve the overall quality of your resume.
- The resume looks original and not based on a template.
- The resume is inviting to read, with clear sections and ample white space.
- A qualifications summary is included so the reader immediately knows the applicant’s value.
- Contact is simple with first/last name, email and phone number. Address is optional. City, State only helps with privacy.
- Career summary or branded headline is brief and simple, customized to the position, explains what applicant has that meets employer’s needs, and the value the employer will receive.
- Shows each school, degree, major, and accomplishments. Years are optional.
- High school omitted if a college degree has been obtained
- The font is easy to read and has no more than 3 font sizes.
- Use of bolding and underlines are appropriate and limited.
- Bullets do not wrap to another line where possible.
- Spacing and margins are consistent throughout resume.
- All resume sections are clearly labeled.
- Sections are placed in the best order to highlight applicant’s strongest credentials.
- The work history is listed in reverse chronological order (most recent job first, unless using a functional resume).
- The resume is one page or 1 ½ -2 pages maximum.
- If resume goes to a second page, contact information and the words “Page 2” are at the top.
- Personal pronouns (I, me or my) are omitted.
- The content flow is logical and easy to understand.
- The phrase “References available on request” is not used.
- The resume is free of typos, spelling, grammar, or syntax errors.
- The resume is succinct, without excessive blocks of wordy paragraphs.
- The resume includes a relevant sample of career accomplishments.
- Accomplishments are quantified by using numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts as measures of success where possible.
- Accomplishment statements begin with strong, varied action verbs (present job = present tense or past job = past tense).
- Each statement describing work experience is prioritized in order of importance/relevance.
- The resume is tailored to the job requirements.
- The resume uses appropriate keywords and industry acronyms.
- Applicable additional information, such as awards and affiliations, is included.
Remember: Most resume is advice is personal opinion, but there are best practices such as including results, tailoring your resume to a position, your resume being error free, easy to read, and having appropriate use of white space and visual appeal.