Resume Readiness Checklist

You have worked on your resume, and you think it’s ready to submit, but you aren’t quite sure. Here is a quick checklist to help you determine if your resume is ready to submit to employers:

This checklist is also available as a downloadable PDF.

Checklist

Contact Information

  • Do you have your name, phone number, address, and email address listed at the top of your resume?
  • Is your contact information up to date?
  • Is your contact information professional, such as your email address and voicemail message?
  • Do you regularly check the email address you have listed?
  • Is your mailing address the one you will be living at when you expect to hear back from the job?

Education

  • Do you have your degrees listed in reverse chronological order, or the most recent first?
  • Have you listed all degrees after high school?
  • Do you have the name, city and state of each school listed?
  • Do you have a graduation date or expected graduation date listed?
  • Did you list your degree type and major?
  • Did you spell out your degree, rather than abbreviate?
  • Did you include other relevant information, such as GPA or class experience if trying to supplement work experience?
  • Did you list any major degree requirements, such as theses or dissertation including title and a brief description of the subject?

Experience

  • Have you listed all relevant jobs and positions in reverse chronological order for chronological resumes, or in order of emphasis for a functional resume?
  • Did you include the name of your position, the company you worked for, and the dates of your employment?
  • Did you include a short explanation of achievements or duties in each position?
  • Are your achievements and duties specific and measureable where possible?
  • Do you have no more than three bullets about each position?
  • Will your explanations make sense to hiring managers and human resources even without industry knowledge?
  • If listing non-traditional work like freelancing, have you listed several major projects, the dates completed, and what the projects entailed?
  • Have you properly formatted temporary jobs by adding the name of the temp agency?

Skills/Awards/Honors

  • Are all listed skills relevant to your desired position?
  • Have you included all your skills, such as software and language proficiency?
  • Have you correctly represented your skill level with phrases like proficient, expert, fluent, conversational, etc.?
  • Are dates and organizations listed with awards and honors?
  • Are awards and honors explained if they are not commonly used terms, like “Dean’s List”?
  • Are descriptions of activities and honors short and easy to understand?

Objective

  • If you are including an objective, is it narrow enough to focus on your goals, but not so narrow that it limits your options?
  • Does your objective fit the desired job?
  • Does your objective state your career goals?

General

  • Have you used strong action verbs throughout your resume, rather than verbs like “is, be, has, am, etc.?
  • Are your tense and tone consistent throughout?
  • Is your format consistent through out, such as indentions, use of month and year in date, etc.?
  • Is your resume easy to read?
  • Have you used traditional fonts like Times New Roman or Arial?
  • Is your font no smaller than size 10?
  • Is your information organized into coherent sections?
  • If your resume goes over a page, is all the experience necessary?
  • Can you reduce the page length by adjusting the formatting within professional guidelines?
  • If you go over one page, do you have at least half a page of information on the second?
  • Is everything listed accurate?
  • Is everything listed relevant to the desired job?
  • Have you targeted your resume to the specific job desired?
  • Have you included industry and company specific keywords?
  • Are all sentences clear and grammatically correct?
  • Have you proofread your resume?

The Most Important Question

  • Will your resume generate enough interest to get you an interview?
Peggy Carouthers

Author: Peggy Carouthers

In a previous life Peggy worked as a human resources and hiring manager for a major national retail chain. Her expertise is in job hunting, hiring, and HR. These days Peggy works as a writer, crafting content for a range of publications.
Peggy Carouthers