You’re looking for an internship, found a company you love and went to their website hoping to find some vacancies. You found them! Now, the recruitment process begins. You open the link and start filling out the forms. Because you love this company and share similar values, writing a motivation letter is a piece of cake. But then, you reach the step where you must upload your resume. Panic strikes, what if my resume is missing something or isn’t professional enough?
No need to panic, this checklist is here to help you out!
It's true, your resume is really a representation of you. You want this document to be as perfect of a candidate as you are, well-organized, well prepared and up for the task. However, in the process of creating/updating your CV you will look over it so many times that you simply can’t spot any mistakes anymore. And precisely for that reason we have created this simple, yet crucial CV Checklist. Call it the checklist of all checklists.
Disclaimer: don’t worry if you haven’t thought about some of these steps before, writing your CV will always be a work-in-process. Several top managers have admitted to having multiple CVs on hand and even still working on them, so don’t worry if you feel like yours is not perfect yet! We’re here to help.
Professionality & General Checks
First, we will start off with the overall professionality of your resume. This entails whether the overall look, feel and content of your resume are up to corporate standards. Let’s see how many of the following points you can check off!
- Have you included your basic contact information: name, address, email address, and phone number?
- Is your email address professional and from a well-known domain?
Companies prefer email domains like Gmail as opposed to more outdated domains like Yahoo, tech companies will especially take note of this
- Have you included links to social profiles (LinkedIn) or a personal website, if relevant?
- Is your resume similar/the same as your LinkedIn profile
Hiring managers will probably check out both, so keep this in mind
- Have you checked the social profiles you include to ensure that the content on these platforms is professional?
- If you're sending your resume over as a Google Doc or on a Drive, have you granted the recipient permissions to view it?
Next, we’ll move on to the general writing style and tone of your resume. Most importantly, you want to include formal writing and keywords that spark interest. Read along and make sure to check off the following points!
- Have you included relevant information about your education?
- Have you listed not only the name of companies, but a short description of what that company does and what your specific job entailed?
- Have you included the accomplishments and responsibilities concisely under each job?
Start with the previous point and then write some down what you accomplished and what you were responsible for. This is very important to firms and should be easy to ascertain when scanning your resume.
- Have you included figures to better illustrate your success?
- Have you customized your resume for the specific job you're applying to?
If you’re interested in a marketing position, for example, we suggest framing your resume to the job by adding interesting photography terms, design or visually appealing lay-out to your resume.
- Does the tone of your resume match the company culture?
For example, while always writing professionally, you might want to consider using a different tone when applying for a marketing position in a start-up versus applying to a renowned bank or consultancy firm
- Have you added something specific to your personality or interests outside of work?
Think about including projects, extracurricular activities or volunteer work you’ve done, something that will show what type of person you are!
Lay-Out & Design
Now, moving on to the overall lay-out of your resume. Make sure your resume is easy to read and appealing to the eye. This will send a subconscious message to whoever is reading your resume. Overall, make sure that your resume has a clean and functional formatting style.
- Is your resume visually appealing and easy to read?
- Have you selected a good font?
The most popular, functional font is Times New Roman, Black, 12pt. However, look for a font that you like and that fits your resume best.
- Have you made use of formatting conventions that makes your content easier to read?
Think for example about bolding/underlining your heading and adding bullet points.
- Has your formatting remained consistent across all headings?
- Are your margins even and is your text aligned?
- Is your resume readable on all different devices?
We recommend, if possible, converting your document to a PDF file. This way, your formatting will be the same across all operating systems.
- Have you included keywords in your resume?
Most companies these days use automated system, so adding keywords might be critical to getting past filters. It might be advisable to include synonyms of the skills mentioned in the job description.
- Have you kept your resume to about one page?
As a starting professional, your resume should preferably be kept to one page.
- Are sections of your resume in the order that best highlights your skills and what you can offer your future employer?
- Have you edited out generic action verbs for more specific ones and made use of synonyms to prevent monotony?
- Is everything 100% true?
If you write that you're fluent in a foreign language on your resume, you should be prepared to speak that language during your interview. If you say you like baking, you should be ready to answer which dishes you like to bake.
- Have you done a spell check and grammar check?
Make sure that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes in your final versions!
- Finally, have you asked someone to provide a final glance for errors, inconsistencies, or confusing phrasing?
If you've been able to check every box thus far, you should be ready to send your resume in! You just successfully completed the checklist of all checklist, congratulations. Good luck in your recruitment process!