Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The "Will My Resume Be Read?" Checklist

Everyone knows that first impressions are everything when you meet someone new. That same rule applies when you submit a resume to a prospective nonprofit employer.

You only get one shot to impress a hiring manager, so it's imperative that your resume gives him a reason to want to read it more carefully. That's where the resume checklist comes in handy. Take a look at the following questions; if you can answer yes to all (or at least a majority) of them, your application will have a better chance of success.

  • Does your resume look original and not based on a template?
  • Is there enough white space and clearly marked sections (i.e., career history, skills, etc.)?
  • How much thought was put into your design? Does it look professional and not rushed?
  • Are you highlighting important content with bolding, lines, or bullet points?
  • Is your work history written with the most recent jobs listed first?
  • If your resume is more than one page long, does the second page contain a heading?
  • Is the information you included relevant to the job?
  • Does the content support your career goals?
  • Is your career goal something more interesting than "getting a job"?
  • Are personal pronoun such as I, me, and my avoided?
  • Did you include ample keywords relevant to the position?
  • Are you avoiding corporate lingo that is irrelevant to the nonprofit sector?
  • Did you include any relevant awards or achievements you earned?
  • Do you introduce your accomplishments with strong, action verbs?
  • Are accomplishments separated from achievements?

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