JobSeeker's Checklist to Make your Resume Perfect

John Krautzel
Posted by

Your resume is the key that gets you in the door to an interview. Unless this vital document is flawless, selling your skills and qualifications to the hiring manager and convincing him of your ability to do the job, it's likely to end up on the reject pile. Use this job seeker checklist to make sure your resume is perfected before dropping it in the mail.

1. Contact Information

The first section of your resume is the header, providing all the information hiring managers need to contact you for an interview. Be sure to include your full name, phone number and email address. If you have a LinkedIn profile, include the URL. It's not necessary to list your full street address; the city and state are fine. Make sure your email address is professional and appropriate; listing or isn't likely to get you an interview.

2. A Summary Statement

The summary statement hooks hiring managers, letting them know who you are. Keep the length to five sentences, explaining your skills, achievements and value to the hiring organization. Show enthusiasm, and tailor each summary statement to the position for which you're applying.

3. Top Skills

Your resume should list all of the skills that make you valuable to the hiring organization. Include all the hard skills you honed through training or education, and be sure to add soft skills, such as team player or excellent public speaker. Only list skills that are relevant to the position, and scan the job posting for ideas and keywords.

4. Relevant Work Experience

List any job you've held in the past 10 to 15 years. Include only those that are relevant; if you're applying to be a marketing director, you can leave out the bartending job you had in college. Be sure to list each position in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent, and include the company name, job title, employment dates and a few bullets describing your duties.

5. Educational Background

The education section of your resume should list colleges and universities in reverse chronological order, starting with the one you attended most recently. Detail the college or university name, its city and state, and the degree you earned. Include any academic honors and list the GPA only if it was over 3.5.

6. Formatting

Make sure your resume has a clean, consistent format throughout. Stick with a professional font, such as Arial or Calibri in 12 point. Organize lists into bullets and avoid using fancy colors or images.

7. Attention to Detail

Your resume should be flawless before you send it. Check for spelling errors, grammar issues and formatting problems. Ask a trusted friend to proofread your resume so you can get a fresh perspective.

When your resume lands in a pile with those of other hopeful candidates, it has to be among the best to ensure you get an interview. This job seeker checklist can help. Make sure you're including everything necessary to leave a stellar first impression.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Bobbie H thanks for your comment. It's a really tough situation. I did a little bit of digging and found some things for you to consider: Even though you are under no legal obligation to disclose, there are a number of things to consider:

    " Not declaring a disability in an application can lead to problems in the future if there is an employment case. An employer cannot be expected to make reasonable adjustments if they do not know that you have a disability.

    The revelation of a disability at the interview can lead to the interview being all about your disability and not about your abilities.
    If you don’t declare, how do you explain gaps in your CV? (You also miss the opportunity to explain that you are so super-amazing that you managed to finish every project on time despite having to rest or deal with inaccessible environments)."
  • Bobbi H.
    Bobbi H.

    I am not sure how to do that. I am on SSI. I can only make $1600 a month gross working. I do not want to tell them about being disabled until I get an interview notice. I have severe asthma and just had a kidney transplant 2 years ago . Do you have any suggestions. I want to be totally honest but not waste anyone's time. I also want a fair chance at a job without being judged for being disabled. Thank you

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