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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  • Karen Horton has been amazing! 

    She found me and helped me get my desired position.  She’s pleasantly meticulous, hard working and very friendly which makes talking with her easy.  I would definitely recommend her to anyone who needs help.  

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    David Kohlasch was instrumental in securing my recent placement as a sales manager. He set up interviews quickly, helped me with my resume, spent significant time with me discussing the position and answering all of my questions. I highly recommend his services!    

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    To be honest, I couldn’t be happier having someone help navigate me in changing jobs because for one, that's a crazy thing sometimes. You know the current system your in and are comfortable, but you want something more that's why your looking for a new job no matter the reason. But having someone help you and give you advice for real life is even more valuable. Mr. Bruce Leininger has been the biggest helping hand I could have ever encountered, great person and businessman! I’d also call him a great friend through all of this process.          

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    When working with Sally Kennedy, you can tell she is very experienced and knowledgeable about the interview process and what employers are looking for.  She kept me updated and had thorough communication throughout the whole process.  She truly cares about your career and your own personal interest, and it shows in her work. Could not be more pleased!    

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  • Let me just say Allison Sullivan was exceptional!

    Allison contacted me after locating my resume.  She was very professional, kind and wonderful to deal with.  She followed up with me numerous times to check in and make sure the interview process was going smooth.  I got hired and even then, Allison made sure everything was moving along.  If you need a recruiter, she is your person!    

    Dorothy Santiago

    Let me just say Allison Sullivan was exceptional!