Is your resume ready to submit to potential employers? Here are nine items to check off one by one before you send out your application:
1. You’ve used the correct file format. Most of the time, employers want resumes submitted in recent versions of Word. But every now and then an employer will ask for a PDF or a file submitted via a specific app or website form.
2. Your contact information is complete and correct, including links. Make sure the address and phone number you’re offering are the ones you want managers to use when they decide to reach out to you. And make sure the links you include (leading managers back to your website or blog) are functional and unbroken.
3. Your summary is neat, fluid, full of information, and grammatically correct. In addition to checking your summary one last time for typos, try the following exercises: a) read your summary backwards, word by word. This can help you find small errors that might otherwise go unnoticed. And b) read your summary out loud. This can help you elevate your tone and smooth out tangled sentences.
4. Your education section includes all the institutions you’ve attended, spelled correctly. Your dates of graduation are accurate, and each entry includes a course of study or degree program.
5. Your education section includes all of your relevant certifications. This includes any certifications for IT skills, project management, healthcare, and any courses that may have been offered to you via a previous employer.
6. Your dates of employment are clear, complete, accurate, and easy to find on the page.
7. Your work history section includes your job responsibilities and accomplishments. If your organization is clear and your formatting is consistent, reviewers can easily tell which ones are which.
8. Your skills section includes relevant skills for the target position—plus a unique skill. You’ve included all the programming languages you’ve used, all the foreign languages you can speak or write, and all the formal or informal training you had in this industry. Also share at least one or two skills that let employers know you’re a complex person with interests and talents beyond the workplace.
9. You’ve attached all relevant documents. Review the job post one more time to add all the files requested by your potential employer, including reference lists or work samples. If your employers have asked for information about your salary requirements, make sure you’ve addressed this issue as well.
You’ve worked hard to create a resume and cover letter that represent you well. So once every item on this list is complete, submit with confidence. And then move on. More open positions are out there, and they won’t stay open for long, so don’t sit still while you wait for your phone to ring. Get back work, head back to LiveCareer, and keep looking for the next opportunity in line.