You only have one chance to make a first impression—so you don’t want to send your resume to a recruiter or a hiring manager until you’re sure that it’s perfect. Pause for a minute before you upload your document, and make sure your resume is polished. We’ll show you how.
Before You Send Your Resume: A Checklist
- First, proofread, proofread, and proofread! Yeah, you know this already—a single typo or grammatical error can cause the hiring manager to move on to the next resume in the pile. Yet countless resumes are sent with major errors, and it’s all because jobseekers don’t allow plenty of time to proofread. Get a second and a third set of eyes to help you spot any typos or sloppy mistakes!
- Check for correct verb tenses. This is simple: If you did something as part of a prior job, use the past tense. If it’s related to your current position, though, the present tense is more appropriate.
- Verify readability. It’s imperative that your resume is clear and easy to navigate. You might even share it with some friends or family members to get their take on it. Make sure your font choices, margins, and layout all make your resume easy on the eye!
- Ensure consistency. Do you use multiple fonts in your resume? Do you use bold and italic text inconsistently? Be thorough in reviewing these elements and ensuring steady, unchanging design choices throughout your resume.
- Eliminate technical jargon. Is there anywhere in your resume where you can substitute plainer, more user-friendly language for your high-level industry buzzwords? Generally speaking, you want to minimize jargon to keep your resume widely accessible.
- Look at the job description you’re applying for. Are there any words, phrases, or key skills listed there that you could incorporate into your own resume? This is almost always a good idea!
- Don’t forget the cover letter! If you have an opportunity to send a cover letter along with your resume, that can go a long way toward getting your document read! Of course, you’ll also want to ensure your cover letter is well-proofed, well-formatted, etc.
This article originally appeared in The Red Ink.