Your resume is the chance for you to put your best foot forward. It is a physical or digital representation of your career, skills, and expertise.
You need to make sure you pay attention to all the little details so your resume doesn't get tossed on the NO pile due to a spelling or grammar error.
I highly recommend you draft your resume, save it and then walk way for a while before you come back to refine it. When you look at the same document over and over, you will likely miss little details or errors. Next, refine for details, wording, and continuity and take another break.
Now you are ready to do a final review and check the small details.
Pay Attention To Little Details On Your Resume
Here is a short checklist to complete before you send your resume out to anyone.
❏ File Name
- Use something like JohnDoeResume.doc
- The name should be generic and professional
- ‘Final version' might keep things organized, but looks bad
❏ If multiple resumes make sense use simple names
Spelling and Grammar
❏ Review for spelling and grammar errors
- Run your resume through spell check programs
- Don't blindly follow spell check, it can suggest errors
❏ Read each line of the resume carefully and slowly
- This isn't the time to skim, you want to catch all errors
- Make sure you aren't overusing certain words
- Each bullet should flow into the next idea easily
Consistency And Style
❏ Look for continuity in punctuation and bullets or numbering
- Don't use different styles, try to keep it simple
- Bullets all either need to have a period at the end or not
❏ Verify consistency of style
- Check you use the same font or set of fonts throughout
- Verify headings and paragraph sizes are consistent
❏ Add bold and italic fonts to draw attention and focus
Feeling good about it? Great!
I would recommend you take another break and print out a copy. I often find errors on paper that I missed on my computer. Think about what you are trying to highlight and make sure it stands out. Read it with the hiring manager in mind. Is this resume going to knock their socks off?
Next, have someone you trust review your resume. If you know someone who excels at writing and grammar, it wouldn't hurt to use them! Once you have it back, make the necessary changes.
* A word about reviews – keep in mind this is your resume and you want it to put your best foot forward. You've lived this life and grown this expertise so don't make changes unless you fully agree with them. It is easy to get bad advice from a well-meaning person.