Key Features to Look for in a Resume: A Checklist
Does it make the right flash impression? Employers scan the average resume for just 15 seconds.
Does it target the job? All-purpose resumes are no-purpose resumes.
Does it showcase your successes? It must indicate why you stood out, not just repeat your job description.
Is it specific? For instance, does it quantify your achievements?
Does it include time-related successes, such as "Finished project one month before deadline"?
Does it come with the proper cover letter? This document can be almost as important as the resume.
Is it free of spelling or grammatical errors? Sloppiness is the fast track to the wastebasket, and spellcheckers can't eliminate it.
Does it use strong action verbs? Foggy terms like "facilitate" challenge the employer's understanding and memory.
Is it fat-free? Has it stripped away clutter such as age, health, and "References available on request"?
Is it long enough? Forget the one-page myth. If you've been an executive for 15 to 20 years, you may need two or three pages.
Does it highlight the heart of your career? In most cases, it should cover just the last 10 to 15 years.
Does it have the right keywords? You'll need them to get past computer scans.
Does it look attractive? Or does it resemble the legal notices in a paper? Insist on appealing use of white space, bullets, and boldface.
Finally, does it leave the employer wanting to know more about you?