Resume Critique Checklist

Resumes normally get less than a 15-second glance at the first screening. If someone has asked you to review his resume and you want to help him ensure it gets read — or want to know if your own is up to par — be sure you can answer yes to the following questions:

First Impression

  • Does the resume look original and not based on a template?
  • Is the resume inviting to read, with clear sections and ample white space?
  • Does the design look professional rather than like a simple typing job?
  • Is a qualifications summary included so the reader immediately knows the applicant’s value proposition?
  • Is the resume’s length and overall appearance appropriate given the career level and objective?

Appearance

  • Does the resume provide a visually pleasing, polished presentation?
  • Is the font appropriate for the career level and industry?
  • Are there design elements such as bullets, bolding and lines to guide readers’ eyes through the document and highlight important content?
  • Is there a good balance between text and white space?
  • Are margins even on all sides?
  • Are design elements like spacing and font size used consistently throughout the document?
  • If the resume is longer than a page, does the second page contain a heading? Is the page break formatted correctly?

Resume Sections

  • 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)?

Career Goal

  • Is the career objective included toward the top of the resume in a headline, objective or qualifications summary?
  • Is the resume targeted to a specific career goal and not trying to be a one-size-fits-all document?
  • If this is a resume for career change, is the current objective clearly stated, along with supporting details showing how past experience is relevant to the new goal?

Accomplishments

  • Does the resume include a solid listing of career accomplishments?
  • Are accomplishments quantified by using numbers, percentages, dollar amounts or other concrete measures of success?
  • Do accomplishment statements begin with strong, varied action verbs?
  • Are accomplishments separated from responsibilities?

Relevance

  • Is the information relevant to hiring managers’ needs?
  • Does the resume’s content support the career goal?
  • Is the resume keyword-rich, packed with appropriate buzzwords and industry acronyms?
  • Is applicable additional information, such as awards and affiliations, included, while personal information like marital status, age and nationality unrelated to the job target omitted?

Writing Style

  • 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 careless typos or spelling, grammar or syntax errors?

 

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What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Michael Kunkle helped me out so much!

    I will forever be grateful for him! He sent my resume out and had interviews set up for me the very next morning. I am so excited for this career move and I owe it to him!     -Hailey Morton Michael Kunkle helped me out so much!
  • It was a pleasure working with Eric Coultoff

    Eric Coultoff was extremely helpful to me in obtaining my new career. We worked together on my resume. He prepared me for the interviews. He was timely in his communication, always gave me updates.

    Thank you,
    Mark Denham
    It was a pleasure working with Eric Coultoff
  • Helen Nourai THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!

    After being COVID laid off in 2020; I spent the next year floundering, and looking for work. I had my resume up on all the different sites, and applied to anything that was even close to a good fit. No luck, and very few calls or email responses. Until one day out of nowhere Helen contacted me. Helen was extremely personable, positive, and prepared. After speaking for some time, completing the initial introductions, and basic information. Helen already had a position in mind for me. I sent her all of my relevant documents, and she worked her magic. Just a couple days later she emailed back my beautifully reworked resume, and double checked that I was ready for her to submit to potential employers. Then things went very fast! The next day on a Tuesday I had 2 phone interviews. Then Thursday another interview with the Director. Helen kept in touch every step of the way; calling even when I had forgotten to keep her posted. Then the General Manager contacted me on a Saturday followed by the VP!! Less than a week after Helen had submitted me I had completed the interview process, and was waiting on an offer pending reference & background checks. Helen, again was in amazing communication with me. Discussing my needs from the offer to ensure that when the offer was made; it included everything I wanted. It worked out exactly like that too! In the midst of the whirlwind offer that was exactly what I wanted (something I've never experienced before), and all the different company leaders reaching out to me. Helen was right there with me too. Checking in, sharing in my excitement, and giving me all her congratulations. Again, I had never experienced a hiring process with this much of a personal touch before ever! Definitely never one that was this smooth, and fast. If the Company went a day not talking to me, Helen was on it and reaching out to push the process forward.
    13 months of the unconscionable COVID under employment; with all the stress, worry, and insecurity, doing anything and everything to scrape together as many dollars as possible, to finally land a dream position that is a perfect fit, in my ideal location, industry, and salary. It is all still so unbelievable, and I know Helen was more than a major player. She was the key! The difference maker! I cannot express my level of gratitude for her help, and perseverance. Helen is the most gifted recruiter I have ever interacted with, and should I ever be looking for work, Helen will absolutely be my first call.
    Much Gratitude,
    Ben Whetstone
    Helen Nourai THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!
  • Jonathan Litt is a wonderful person and great recruiter!

    Thank you for all the assistance you provided me during my job search. I appreciate the information and advice that Johnathan Litt had given, as well as the connections you have shared with me. Your expertise and help have been invaluable during this.  I’ll never forget your help and your friendship, you are one and only one, thanks again.
    Sincerely,
    Shahriar Lou Mehrdad
    Jonathan Litt is a wonderful person and great recruiter!
  • I’m still in awe of Gary Kinsinger's abilities!

    It has been such an honor to work with Patrice & Associates, but more specifically with Gary Kinsinger. I’ve worked with recruiters in the past, however none as detail oriented and diligent as Mr. Kinsinger. From the moment he initially reached out to me, all the way to my first day in my new position, Gary was and is still very present in making sure my comfort and needs are met. I truly can’t put into words how beyond grateful I am to have worked with Gary. And with no doubt in my mind would recommend his services to anyone in the market. Gary matched me with the role of my dreams in just one and a half weeks. Thank you so much, Gary Kinsinger!
    Best,
    Angela L DeFalco
    I’m still in awe of Gary Kinsinger's abilities!