Get Hired Series: Resume Checklist

Resume ChecklistTime and again I have blogged the tips and tricks of how by following some simple guidelines job seekers can become employable, freshers and experienced alike. In the spirit of providing even more precise information I am starting a series of checklists that a job seeker can consult and get a competitive edge over others and stand out. I will try to cover all topics from creating resume to closing the deal. I will try to be as concise as possible but will provide explanations wherever needed. So here we go. My comments in italics.

  • Is the format of the file standard and will open on all devices and platforms uniformly? I personally prefer pdf but a neatly formatted word doc is good too.
  • Is the name of the file sensible and descriptive and “not stupid_”? Never send “new_resume(3).doc” to anyone. Always prefer “{Yourname}-resume.pdf” ex ‘Akhil Gupta – Resume.pdf’_.
  • Is the formatting of resume uniform? Use fonts, font sizes and colors uniformly. Comic Sans MS is a strict no-no.
  • The images (if any) in the résumé are not skewed.
  • Do I need an “objective” in my résumé? If yes, is it unique? Do I know what it means and will I be able to repeat it if I am asked to? I always ask an interviewee the objective and have never found anyone who remembered.
  • Are my educational qualifications clearly mentioned? Never try to hide/obscure your educational details even if you did not score very well.
  • Are the details in a proper chronological order? I have seen resumes with last job at the end. Always mention everything latest-first.
  • Am I highlighting my past projects clearly?  Mention clearly the team size, your position and role in the résumé. Rest of the details will be asked in the interview, if needed.
  • I am not including any useless past achievements. No, the fact that you came 2nd in a recital contest in class 7 does not impress me enough to hire you as a developer.
  • I am not using any generic hobbies. Don’t stop at “listening to music and reading books”. Specialize. Find a genre. And no, surfing the web is not a hobby.
  • My contact details are clearly mentioned? Also please get a separate email id but don’t send me
  • Last and most important – I have run a spell check on the file and have taken care of every squiggly little red underline before sending it over.
    That’s about it when it comes to building a résumé. There are a lot of resources on the internet which can help you a great resume but if you at least follow these steps you will avoid getting rejected at a lot of places just because your résumé had a silly mistake. In the next post of this series I will discuss the checklist for the email that you send to recruiters/employers. In case you feel anything else can be added to this list please mention the same in the comments box below or catch me on twitter at @akhilrex

Second Post : Get Hired Series: Job Application Email Checklist

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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex