Resume Tip: How to Self Assess Your Resume

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Below is a guide that you can use to self-assess your resume. For each of the pointer, you have the opportunity to evaluate your resume by giving marks for each section. In this work you will be needing a pen or pencil, and a scrap paper to note down your marks. Apart from assessing your resume, the guide is also useful for you to immediately making the necessary changes to your resume based on the guidelines given.

1. Grammar and Spelling

Are there some obvious spelling and grammar mistakes detected across your resume? Spelling mistakes in your resume can cost you job interview as you’ll be seen as a clumsy person who does not seem to care to get things done right. You can run the spelling and grammar detector in your Word document. You can also get someone to take a look at your resume and proof read it. Sometimes, we missed to realize the mistakes because the spellings are very much close to the correct one. For example;

Maintaining (not maintaning)
Transcribing (not trascribing)
Liaising (not liasing)
And so on.

Now, on the scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 the perfect score), how do you rate your resume in terms of Grammar and Spelling?

2. Objective and Profile Summary

Refrain yourself from writing too short and meaningless objective or profile summary such as

“A highly motivated engineer looking to work with an established organization”.

Think of a way to summarize your professional or educational experience in a few sentences to give the prospective employer a grasp of your overall career development & expertise. For example, here’s a professional summary of a Production Specialist for a manufacturing firm which should give you a clearer picture:

“A highly experienced production specialist with more than 10 years of experience in production covering preventive maintenance, yield control & improvement, R&D, failure analysis and machines troubleshooting. Wide experience with product and technology transfers as well as machines and testers set up & calibration in the production floor.“

Do you see the difference?

Now, on the scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 the perfect score), how do you rate your resume in terms of Objective and Profile Summary?

3. Use of Verbs and Tenses

Check the consistency of tenses you’re using across your resume, especially on your job description part. For a better picture, which is the style you’re using? Is it

a. Assist team members (most common – it is suggested you use this)
b. To assist team members
c. Assisting team members

Are you using mixed tenses at different places and parts in your resume? If yes, then it’s time for a change. Just pick one tense, and use it all across. Also, are you using repeated and duplicated verbs to explain your roles and responsibilities? For example, perhaps running out of ideas, many candidates choose to use the verb involve in their job descriptions. For example;

Involve in credit assessment of new businesses, credit review of business and risk profiling for consumer landing.

Involve in periodical review of current portfolios and initiate proactive measures.

Involve in marketing and business development in the Cyberjaya area.

The repeated use of verbs not only degrade your credibility, it also makes your resume sounds and looks boring. It translates you as being someone with a lack of creativity as well. Here, try to replace those duplicated verbs with a better use of ‘power verbs’. Instead of repeatedly using involve, try to use other varieties of verbs such as administer, oversee, manage, organize, perform, produce, supervise, facilitate, improve and so on.

Now, on the scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 the perfect score), how do you rate your resume in terms of

Use of Verbs and Tenses?

4. Achievements

Are your major achievements clearly indicated in your resume? Achievements can be put on together with the job responsibilities (where the roles are rephrased to underline your achievements). The achievement list can also be separated with the job responsibilities as long as you can keep the presentation neat.

Do not miss to list down major achievements in present and past employments. For instance, have you been involved in any major business engagement project? Was it successfully implemented within the budgeted time frame? Does it contribute in producing some high volume of revenues to your organization?

Achievements are best described in numbers and figures in terms of percentage, how fast, amount of expenses saved or sales generated, number of headcounts involved and so on. You may not know all the figures, but you can always use a sensible estimate. Some simple examples:

“Participate in a successful, major cost-saving IT transition project that in July 2005 which save the company’s annual IT expenses by 20%.”

“Secured a major contracting agreement with Telekom Malaysia in 2004 for broadband infrastructure set up across peninsular Malaysia, contributing to total revenue of RM1.2 millions.”

Now, on the scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 the perfect score), how do you rate your resume in terms of Achievements?

5. Resume Presentation and Layout

Is your resume influxed with many number of those annoying text boxes? This is especially true when you copy and paste your online resume from your online job portal account into Word document. Not only it is not user friendly, the alignment will also come out in all sort of forms. Don’t overdo it.

If you put up your photo in the resume, does it project a professional image, or does it make you look like you’re joining the Scorpion rock band?

Now, on the scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 the perfect score), how do you rate your resume in terms of Resume Presentation and Layout?

Your marks and overall evaluation.

40 and above: Excellent work on the resume. But never stop short of finding ways to continuously improve it. Well done.

35 – 39: Above average. Your resume is a decent effort and ranks at the better half of the candidates in the similar field. Keep it up, and continue to work to perfect your resume.

30-34: Average. Nothing much to be proud of and with this resume you will be facing challenges in your quest to find the next job.

29 and below: Poor. It is highly suggested you work to improve your resume before applying for jobs. Otherwise you will find that, in many of the cases, you will end up in disappointment of not getting the job interview.

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About Zul

Zul is the principal contributor of SKORCAREER. He has featured in other media and publications that include, among others, Reader's Digest, The Star, JobStreet.com, Men's Health, WorkAwesome.com and DailyBlogTips.com. You can reach him at zulkiflimusa[at]gmail.com.

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