This could be among the most useful and practical tools you’ll ever come across when you are searching for a job.
Our team of experienced resume reviewers, as well as former hiring managers, have been working for the past couple of weeks to identify the essential elements of a successful resume. The outcome is this checklist carefully-curated set of actions to help you create your most impressive resume
The checklist covers everything from formatting structure to writing about your working experiences.
The checklist is best viewed through Optimized Resume, but we’ve also included it below.
Consistency of the alignment of dates, fonts, and spacing
Make sure you are consistent with your use of bold underlines, italics, underlines formatted dates, and bullets. Also be consistent with font sizes and bullets.
Remember that your resume’s material is the most crucial element on your resume. Actually, Harvard offers the template (Word documents) on their career page (Notice the way everything is standardized and consistent!). 500+ resumes of high-performing candidates were analyzed to come up with Resume Worded. Each was based on a basic template, similar to the one above.
Make sure you use a machine-readable font (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial). A lot of companies employ automated systems, such as one called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to analyze your resume. A common intersystem font will ensure that your resume is interpreted properly. Make sure to use a font that’s between 10-12.
One Page Resume
A common rule of thumb is to limit the length of your resume to one page when you are less than 10 years old experience , or two pages if you’ve got greater than 10 years of expertise.
If you’re currently in college or are a recent graduate, format your resume as follows:
Name, Personal Information, Education, Work Experience, Leadership / Extra-curricular Activities, Additional Info (Skills, Languages, Interests)
If you’re an experienced hire make your resume look like this:
Name, Personal Information, Work Experience, Projects/Activities (Optional), Education, Additional Info (Skills, Languages, Interests)
Take out an Objective and Summary from your resume.
* Summary: Often summary documents don’t provide an employer any additional information. They are only required in the event of a career change and need to point the prospective employer in the correct direction.
“Objective“: Your business already has an idea of what you’re looking for since you’ve been a candidate for a certain job. A section on objectives could be a reason to exclude you from similar jobs that could interest you.
Take these unneeded things from your resume
* Photo: You’re not judged by the way you appear. Some companies will automatically deny resumes that include photos.
* References (or “References available upon request): This just adds another line. Employers will inquire to contact them directly in the event that they ever have to reach out to your references.
* Personal information such as marital status, religion, gender, ethnicity, and age
Include all colleges/institutions you’ve attended, along with your major, minor, and graduation year
Here’s an illustration of an education section.
Incorporate your GPA if it’s higher than 3.0 out of 4.
If your school has an alternative scale (e.g. from 10 to) then convert this to the conventional 4.0 scale. If you opt to list your GPA for your major rather than your GPA cumulative, make sure to specify that it’s your major GPA. Also, you should only include tests that are standardized (e.g. SAT GMAT, SAT) in the event that your score falls within the 20th or top 20% of the.
Work Experience (most crucial!)
Use Action Words
Each bullet point should be introduced with an action-oriented phrase (e.g. Developed, managed, etc). Here’s a free list of action words that are powerful for your resume. Each bullet point is a quantifiable point. When you can measure your accomplishments with numbers. Below is an illustration of an effective resume:
Oversaw a project of process re-engineering to enhance and streamline the end-to-end process of service; improved the flow of communication between 10 departments and reduced paperwork by 75%.
Note how the applicant defined the results of his work cutting down on paperwork by 75 percent and 10 departments’. Other methods of quantifying your line are “reduced cost by 15%”, “reduced the need for 3 FTEs”, “reduced process time by 20 hours/week”, “increased revenue by $5,000 “
Reverse chronological order to organize your work
Your most recent or current job should be the first to appear.
Make sure that each line is achievement-oriented and not a focus on responsibilities.
Check each page of your resume over again. Be sure that you aren’t simply listing your duties. Instead, make sure every bullet point is focused on the accomplishments you have made and the impact that you had action words and quantitative results can assist you in this. It’s your resume, not an employment description.
Can you see the reasons why this isn’t a great sample of a resume? :
Responsible for the coordination and management of multiple projects related to strategic business goals and other objectives of the organization. It’s not very specific and doesn’t show sufficient impact or essential abilities. It’s more of the job description than on a resume.
To find out the best ways to create more powerful lines, check out this article.
Within each job arrange your bullets according to the importance and significance
The first bullet point you write should be a description of your most memorable experiences at the company or your experience pertinent to the position you’re applying for.
Please include your company’s name, the positions you hold and a brief description of your company if necessary.
If your company’s name might be unfamiliar to your prospective employer, then use a simple phrase to explain the company. Here’s an example.
Use keywords to help you pass the applications for resume screeners and an ATS
Large corporations often depend upon applicant tracking system (ATS) to assist in filtering resumes prior to when they reach the hands of a recruiter. They scan resumes for key words, numbers, and key phrases, and then sending only the best candidates through to be reviewed by a human. To make sure you are able to get past the automated systems, make sure you include the words and phrases you use to describe your skills within the description of your job on your resume. Be careful not to go overboard. It’s very easy for recruiters to see if you’ve put in keywords that don’t work when viewed in conjunction with your resume. Here are a few examples of the most relevant keywords for your industry (not the entire list).
Demonstrate skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Click here to see examples of resume lines that showcase a variety of abilities, including teamwork, leadership problem solving, and analytical skills.
Projects, Extra-curricular or Leadership Experiences (optional)
Include any your extracurricular, leadership or other experiences that relate to the job you are in.
Particularly for those who are currently in college or recently graduated, you may write about other experiences, such as volunteer work, leadership or university-related projects. You can change the title of the section based on the details you’re listing.
* Ensure that every line is achievement oriented
The same tips we discussed on our Work Experience section goes for this section as well. Each bullet point must focus on the accomplishments you made and the impact you made actions words and quantified value help to accomplish this. Find out more.
Additional Information (optional)
Include technical and language skills, languages professional associations / memberships or other interests
Here’s a common illustration of an easy additional information section. Here’sanother. Be aware that there’s no standard format that you can follow. It may vary based on what you’re trying to convey. Interviewers usually make use of your interests as a small talks to begin the interview.
Don’t make up stories about your qualifications (or any other information you list on your resume)
Do not lie about your resume Don’t lie on your resume. Be aware that you’ll be asked to verify your resume during future interviews.
The final things you need to remember before you click the send button.
Proofread, proofread, proofread!
It’s obvious stuff however, you’d be shocked by the number of resumes we’ve seen with spelling or grammar errors. Request a colleague to look over your resume!
Make sure you tailor your resume to match the company and industry
For instance, don’t use the exact same resume on jobs in finance or marketing applications. Visit our main website for samples of resume formats that have been used in various industries.
Send it to us in PDF format
Use FirstName-LastName-Resume.pdf (or similar) as the filename.
Include your email address and telephone number at the top
Make sure to include it as a header right below your name.
Allow some white space, and leave some margins
We understand that you’ve struggled to trim your resume to one page. If your resume doesn’t look appealing for the recruiter to read it won’t be able to spend much time looking through it. Make bullet points about at least a couple of lines long, and break them into several bullet points when necessary. Also, leave some space to let interviewers and recruiters make notes in.
And you’re done!
This information was provided by professional resume reviewers and former hiring managers from companies such as Google as well as McKinsey to help you turn your resume to one that is able to get interviews.