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Resume Checklist

Personal information

Located at the top of the page and does not take an excessive amount of space. Includes:

  • First and last name in larger font (typically 14-16)
  • Use one phone number and one professional email address
  • Address is optional, unless it is required (federal resumes)
  • Include the URL to your LinkedIn profile if you are active on LinkedIn

Objective (optional)

  • Provide a focus for the content of your resume
  • Targeted toward a specific position or career field
  • If you are seeking an internship, include the term during which you would like to work

Profile (optional)

Incorporate your major skills (strengths) as well as an outcome (based on employer’s needs). Should include:

  • Jobs
  • Your skills/abilities

Education

Begins with the university at which you are currently enrolled. Includes:

  • List the formal name of institution, city and state of institution
  • Most recent degree, accurately
  • Date or anticipated date of graduation
  • Complete title of majors, minors, licensures and certifications
  • Cumulative GPA (if above 3.0), chancellor's/dean’s list, academic awards or scholarships
  • Relevant courses, listed by title (not course number), if substantially different than major (optional)
  • Remove your high school no later than your 2nd year of college

Experience – employment, leadership, and volunteering

Includes:

  • List employer name/organization along with city and state where employed
  • Dates the position was held (month - year to month - year)
  • The title of the position held
  • Create strong bullet points by describing your experience using action skill statements that emphasize your relevant skills and accomplishments
  • Each action skill statement begins with an action verb
  • Action verbs are the appropriate tense – present tense to describe current positions, past tense for prior positions
  • Where possible, measure your achievements with numbers, percentages, and results
  • Experience is listed in reverse chronological order (starting with most recent)

Skills

  • If you show skills, organize them similarly (e.g. put all technology skills together, list all Microsoft programs together).
  • Highlight skills in which you are proficient, including technical and language skills, certifications or trainings applicable to your industry.
  • Avoid adjectives such as hardworking and punctual as these qualities would be expected of any candidate.
  • If you are in a field that requires that use of technical skills as the main part of your job (e.g. computer science, computer engineering, graphic design), then it is best to move your skills section below your education, especially if your document is two pages.
  • Rule of thumb is that if you speak another language, you would list either fluent in or conversational in. You could also note if you are bilingual.

References

  • Your resume does not include references’ names and addresses (references are listed on a separate page).
  • Reference information should include name, organization/title, address, phone number and email.

Other things to avoid

  • Don’t include text boxes, shading, photos, graphs, headers, and footers.
  • Avoid using passive phrases like “worked with” and “responsible for."
  • Avoid repetition; offer something new when describing similar experiences.

Content, punctuation, and grammar

  • Does this resume look original and not based on a template?
  • Is the resume inviting to read, with clear sections and ample white space?
  • Is the length and overall appearance appropriate given the career level and objective?
  • Are margins even on all sides?
  • Are design elements, like spacing and font size used consistently throughout the document?
  • Are all resume sections clearly labeled?
  • Are sections placed in the best order to highlight the applicant’s strongest credentials?
  • Is the work history listed in reverse chronological order (most recent job first)?
  • Are accomplishments quantified by using numbers, percentages, dollar amounts or other concrete measures of success? Do accomplishment statements begin with strong, varied action verbs?
  • Is the resume keyword-rich, packed with appropriate buzzwords and industry acronyms?
  • Is the resume written in an implied first-person voice with personal pronouns, such as I, me and my, avoided?
  • Is the content flow logical and easy to understand?
  • Is the resume as perfect as possible, with no typos or spelling, grammar, or syntax errors?

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