Before you submit your resume or make your next application, make sure you go through this checklist. Here is the last-minute resume checklist that will help you avoid embarrassing mistakes and boost your chances of getting that first interview!
As mentioned, today’s article is the final checklist you want to reference before you submit your CV next if you want to avoid common pitfalls, grab the readers’ attention immediately, and maximize your chances of securing the meeting. Plus, it only takes a few minutes. Sounds helpful? Let’s go!
- Professional Summary
The first thing to check is your professional summary. Professional Summary is the top section of your CV, right below your name and contact information. This is like the 30-second pitch of your background and is what most people will read first when opening your resume. Therefore, writing a strong summary will go very far in terms of capturing the reader’s attention.
For the purpose of this article, I recommend checking for two things. First, the professional summary needs to be short. If the summary is too long, people will lose interest and will not want to read it. Keep it to max 3-4 sentences. If longer than that, it is losing its effectiveness, so choose your top 3 and remove the rest.
The other point about Professional Summary is that it needs to be specific to the job in question. It’s much harder to stand out if your content is generic. What you want to do is to read the JD inside and out and then, based on the keywords from the job description, make your summary specific to them.
- Work experience
The key to writing a successful Work Experience is to make them interesting and engaging. How you can achieve that is by making your Work Experience achievement-centric. I see so many CVs that only include job duties and responsibilities.
There is hardly anything intriguing about the list of daily duties because those things are what you’re supposed to do anyway. Rather, what will help you stand out is your accomplishments – the difference and the change you made for the better as a result of your being there.
Another thing you want to check is whether all the dates and titles are accurate. This is necessary for background checking (which happens after you accept the offer and is based on your resume). So double-check and make sure all the employment dates & job titles are correct.
Depending on the number of years of experience you have, your CV should be 1-3 pages long. Anything longer than this, you run the risk of your resume being considered verbose. If you don’t have much time to shorten your resume, I have a great video to help you with that. You can watch it here so you can trim down your CV with minimal effort. I will also leave the link down below in the description.
Is your resume ATS proof (Applicant Tracking System)? If it’s not, it may never reach an actual human being. So it is imperative you check for that. The simplest way to make your resume ATS ready is to use a Word format (instead of PDF) and to remove all tables from your CV – what ATS does is parse all the content in your CV into a text format which is why if you have many tables, the words or the order of your content may get jumbled up.
Another easy way is to use an online ATS checker. One such website is jobscan.co. Here you can simply upload your resume and the JD of the role you’re applying for, and the website will assess for you how ATS-friendly your CV is. Isn’t that a time saver?
And lastly, I cannot stress this enough – check and double-check for any spelling mistakes or grammar errors. There is really no excuse for such careless mistakes. Your resume is really what forms your first impression, so make sure you present the best version of yourself by ensuring your CV is error-free. You can also use free or paid tools such as Grammarly, which can make your life much easier too.
- First, keep your professional summary short & sweet. How you make it sweet is by making your summary catered and specific to the job in question.
- Make your work experience achievement-centric instead of just listing your daily job duties. Also, please double-check and ensure your employment dates and job titles are accurate.
- Keep your resume short. Maximum three (3) pages, and that’s it.
- Your resume needs to be ATS-proof
- And lastly, proofread. It’s a great idea to invest in readily available tools such as Grammarly.
The next time you are about to submit your resume, check it this post again and maximize your chances.
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