Resume Checklist: 13 Things You Should do Before Applying for a Job

Following are 13 steps you should take before applying for employment using a resume. Using these ideas from the below resume checklist will give you the added boost you need to make sure everything is clear, concise, and professional. These are the same steps that professional resume writers adhere to when you hire them to help you. By following the advice of professional resume writers, you can be on your way to a new career with much less stress.

  • I, me, or my should never be used in a resume.  It may take restructuring sentences to get this right. Those reading your resume know whose resume it is and pronouns only cloud the waters.
  • Use correction action verbs. As you develop bullet points in your resume, specifically on the professional experience section, use verbs or adverbs that show action.
  • Edit your resume to remove any words that are unnecessary.  These words are often called “fluff” words and include the, that, or too many ands and therefores.
  • Determine whether or not you have included all your personal skills and attributes. Include these in your professional summary and be sure to include all the important skills. Check out sample resumes here online if you need more ideas on what to write.
  • Target specific qualifications. Make sure your resume includes descriptions to the job you are seeking. Do not apply for jobs that you are not qualified for even if you are justify applying.
  • Prioritize your achievements and skills. The most important and pertinent skills and achievements should be listed near the top of your section. Use bullet point to make these skills stand out to an interviewer or someone who is reading your resume for qualifications.
  • Keep relevant information on your resume and delete those skills and attributes that have nothing to do with the job you are seeking. If you must include irrelevant skills, list them toward the bottom of the list.
  • Use subtitles and categorizations if you find that you have too many achievements or skills. Make subheadings such as responsibilities and/or achievements.  Keep the resume clean and concise.
  • Check and possibly edit sentences. Include specific information about what you have done, where you have worked, and how you accomplished your given responsibilities.
  • Double check that your achievements and skills include challenges you faced, any actions you took to help the company or solve problems. Make sure your list the results of your valuable actions.
  • Mix line lengths.  Bullet points can be redundant when everything is the same length and style.  Vary the length to create interest. In your bullet points show what you did for the company, how you accomplished the task, and list the benefits provided by your actions.
  • Double check grammar and sentence structure. Nothing is more glaring than poor grammar, wrong punctuation, and misspelled words. There are hiring managers who will toss a resume for grammar mistakes. Have someone else proofread your resume before sending it out.
  • Adjectives can spice up a resume. Make sure you are using adjectives correctly.  Use descriptive words to describe your work.

Read your resume as if you are the hiring manager. You may find that by taking this step you will find ideas that can make a difference.  Proof read over and over until you resume is perfect.  Again remember that grammar mistakes can cost you a job.

Free Resume Clinic by JobStreet.com

JobStreet.com Malaysia is organizing a free Resume and Career Clinic this weekend, to be held in Wisma JobStreet.com, Jalan Sultan Ismail.

The clinic session will be run on Saturday, 2nd August 2008, between 9am to 12pm (half day).

All are invited to attend the session. If you think your resume is impressive enough to capture the attention of employers, it’s time for a second opinion. And if 50 of your last job applications were gone unreplied, most likely you need someone to ‘diagnose’ you.

Just bring a copy of your resume and a team of consultants will be there to assist you in fine tuning your resume, create better impression and improve your job hunting skill.

Additionally, a personality test worth RM118 will be offered for free during the clinic. Better, each of the attendees goes home with a pack of job hunting kits.

This is not the first of its kind offered by JobStreet.com as the team has done similar arrangement in public career fairs organized in Mid Valley, Kuala Lumpur and Penang before.

Consultation is offered on first come, first served basis, and to make sure you can be attended in a fairly manner, send email to marketing-my@jobstreet.com, or call their representative, Raymond at 03-2176 0419 or Sun at 03-2176 0402 to get an advanced arrangement.

Click here for location map to Wisma JobStreet.com.

Resume: Objective or Executive Summary?

The use of Objective has been a popular option as a prefix to a resume until the Executive Summary (or Professional Summary) started to take over in the recent years.

An objective is a statement made by the applicant to indicate his or her interest for a specific career field, position, or industry. Objective is normally written in a one or two sentences, occupying a few short lines.

An executive summary, on the other hand, is a short paragraph indicating your background, professionally and academically, as well as a summary of your key skills and ability. Executive summary, which is commonly longer than objective, also talks about skills, results and accomplishment worth showcasing to employer.

While many people are beginning to prefer using executive summary, the objective still remains highly used especially where young applicants, students seeking internship and fresh graduates are concerned. It is a way of expressing their interest with particular field of the job market. And naturally, a fresh graduate would not have too much work and professional summary to make a good executive summary.

Sample of a resume objective:

Seeking to auditing, utilizing my excellent analytical and technical skills.

A simple sample of a resume executive summary:

A proactive, result-oriented accounting professional with extensive experience in internal and external auditing. Broad exposure in liaising with authority and statutory bodies including tax offices, bank officers, lawyers, demonstrating prudent knowledge in related matters.

So, should I be using objective or executive summary instead?

To answer the question, analyze your own strength, weaknesses as well as look at the prevailing situation. If you can come out with both, which one can be better put for use in your resume? While executive summary always sound nicer and provides you more space to articulate about yourself, it may not always be the best option.

For example, if you’re contemplating to change your career, probably a resume objective is a better solution for you.

Fresh Graduate Resume Sample

A fresh graduate resume sample.

A decent fresh graduate resume sample can be viewed below. As a fresh graduate or graduating student, you should make attempt to continually improve your resume by getting feedback from your peers, college advisers, tutors and colleagues who’ve had years of experience in the employment world.

PROFILE SUMMARY

An enthusiastic self-starter with strong leadership and communications skills. Proven academic and curricular achievements, and possess the right technical and soft skills required to propel the organization achieving its goals and objectives.

PERSONAL PARTICULARS

Name: Daniel Arshavin
Address: G-2, Jalan Mewah Satu, Miskin Height, 68000
Tel: 03-40807070 (H) / 012-3456789 (HP)
Email: Ronald_@mcdonald.com
Age: 23

EDUCATION HISTORY

2001 – 2004

University Putra Malaysia
BEng (Hons) Electrical & Electronic Engineering
2nd Class Upper

Major Courses: Electronics I and II, Circuit Analysis, Linear System, Digital Electronics, Microprocessor, Control & Instrumentation, Robotic Systems, Electronic Devices, Magnetic Theory, Linear Algebra, Engineering Mathematics, Physics, Computer Systems & Applications.

1994 – 1999

Muar High School, Malaysia
Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) – 8 As

Subjects: Bahasa Melayu, English, Additional Maths, Modern Maths, Physics, Biology, Islamic Studies and History.

Final Year Project (Degree) – Design of a non-linear control system for a chemical reactor.

The objective of the individual project is to control a system for a chemical reactor in such a way that the rate of chemical reaction in the reactor can be controlled by varying the temperature of the reactor. Simulation is done using Matlab 10.4 and PSpice software.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

  • Vice President, Electrical Engineering Society, UPM, 2004
  • Treasury, Badminton Club, UPM, 2004
  • Treasury, Electrical Engineering Society, UPM, 2003
  • Represented UPM for Inter-Varsity Chess Tournament, 2003
  • Student committee, Campus Zaaba, UPM, 2002
  • Deputy Head Prefect, Muar High School, 1999
  • Represented Muar High School in Football, Badminton and Tennis, 1999

SKILLS

  • Competency in digital and analog circuit design and simulation software e.g. PSpice, Matlab, Altera Max II and Intel Microprocessor
  • Advanced skills in database systems including MS Access, Excel and Lotus Notes
  • Proficiency in C, C++, Java, Java Script and Visual Basic programming languages
  • Familiar with Windows and UNIX platforms

AWARDS/ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Awarded Dean Awards for semester 1, 3 and 5
  • 1st runner up, Inter-Varsity Chess Tournament, 2003
  • District Champions, Football under-18, Muar High School, 1999

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS

Highly Motivated, Pleasant Personality, Cheerful and Hardworking

MISCELLANEOUS

Expected Salary: Negotiable
References: Available upon request
Availability: Immediate basis