First impressions are everything. Does yours resume represent you as the consummate professional you are? Before you send it off, take a few moments to put it through the professional’s “Resume Checklist”. The extra few minutes spent here could make all the difference to your resume’s impact and your subsequent job search success.
ð Does your resume have impact from the outset? Will it grab the employer’s attention, telling him/her who you are; what you bring; and a snapshot of your career highlights and strengths? Make sure it doesn’t waste valuable space with personal details. Condense your personal details to 1-2 lines and use the rest to sell you as a quality potential candidate.
ð Is your resume effectively targeted to the type of job you are seeking? Every resume should be written with a target type of job in mind. Is yours? Read through the job advertisements for the type of employment you are seeking. Does your resume immediately paint you as “just what the employer is looking for”? Have you highlighted all the relevant skills, experience and qualifications you have that the employer may be seeking?
ð Does your resume start with a powerful header and profile? Your header should immediately tell the employer who you are. Experienced Sales Professional. Motivated Business Graduate. Qualified Training Auditor. It should be followed by a strong profile highlighting your unique experience, skills and benefits (or otherwise known as your unique selling proposition). Use this section to stand out from the others in the resume pack.
ð Is your employment background written in an achievement-orientation? Is it focused on the challenges of each role and your personal contributions? Have you replaced accountabilities with achievements? Don’t bore the reader with a list of accountabilities that they probably already know – give them details on what you have achieved and the value you brought to each role. Draw them in on a journey packed with innovation, results and dedication. Don’t forget to make sure you include the title of the position, name of employer, and dates of employment, and ensure any gaps in your employment record are addressed.
ð Is your resume evidence based? Have you backed up your unique selling claims by highlighting in your employment your accomplishments including exactly what you did, how you did it and giving firm indications of the result. Eg slashed staffing costs 30% through restructured rosters that better matched staff ratios with peak period demands. Make sure it’s accurate and truthful. Be able to back up your claims.
ð Is your writing style energetic and filled with action verbs to create impact? Try starting your achievements with actions words. For example increased, lifted, slashed, reduced, eliminated, grew. This will bring power to your resume and increase its effect on the reader.
ð Does your resume include all licenses, qualifications, skills and credentials relevant to the job you seek?ð Does it exclude all personal information, such as date of birth, marital status, etc. Make sure it avoids any negativities about past employers and never include reasons for leaving. Is your contact information up to date and accurate? Have you included your home phone, mobile number and email address.
ð Does the overall layout of your resume look pleasing to the eye? Is it clear, logical and free from jargon. Is the layout simple, well structured and professional? Avoid graphics, keep fonts simple (just 1-2 at the most) and keep plenty of white space. Is it error-free? Check for grammar, spelling errors and grammar consistency.
ð Is your resume scannable? Ensure your layout can be scanned. No text boxes or graphics. True type fonts no less than 10 pt.
ð Have you proof read your resume? Have you prepared a powerful cover letter to go with it? Are you using good quality paper? Have you developed a separate referees sheet and included on your resume “Referees Available on Request”.
If you have done all of the above – congratulations, you are now ready to start your job search. Good Luck!