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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    Amy contacted me in a time where I was unhappy where I was but wasn’t doing anything to change it. She was very informative and if she didn’t have the information at hand, she got it. She revamped an old resume making it more about achievements than responsibilities. She coached me on interview tactics before multiple interviews and was there to talk about them afterwards. Every conversation we had felt more like a friendship than business. She is genuine, honest and has a passion for what she does. She also helped boost my confidence through the entire interview progress. Whatever she is doing, she must be doing it right because I got the job! Thanks Amy for a life changing experience.
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    ...for all the time he spent helping me acquire my new career. He has helped by assisting me with redesigning my resume and keeping in contact with me throughout the entire process.  His actions showed that he really cared and wanted the best for me. Thanks again, Dominic Almanza I want to thank Tim
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