Evaluate your resume according to these ten factors:
1. Appearance. Stick to one or two conventional fonts such as Times Roman or Arial. Use font sizes 10 pt or higher. Keep colors to a minimum. Be consistent in the use of color, font, size, and style (bolding, italicizing, underlining). Use ~1” margin widths. Information should be listed in order of importance to the reader. In other words, use the following order: job/degree title, organization, city, state, date range. Eliminate clutter: unnecessary dates, parentheses, “references available upon request,” articles (“a,” “an,” “the”), superfluous adjectives and adverbs.
2. Completeness. Resume should give a complete picture of why you should be called for an interview for a particular job. However, you shouldn’t include all jobs worked. 1-2 pages is normal.
3. Layout. Use standard headings: Contact Information (name, address, email, phone), Objective (optional), Education, Experience. Never include names of supervisors, salary information or references.
4. Focus. Arguably the most critical element is a resume’s focus. Your resume must be tailored pointedly to the target position and employer you are seeking. Leave off all extraneous information. Your resume must be written in such a way that your job objective, as well as what you’re good at, is obvious to anyone reading your resume.
5. Format. Chronological, functional, or chrono-functional. Job-seekers with a steady employment history in one field looking to advance within that field should use a chronological resume that focuses on employment history (starting with most recent). Recent college grads with a variety of work experiences and job-seekers changing careers sometimes use a functional or chrono-functional resume.
6. Perspective. Review your resume from the perspective of a specific hiring manager with just a few seconds to review your resume. Your resume must be attention-getting and sharply focused. Provide employer enough reasons to invite you to an interview.
7. Professionalism. There is no excuse for typos. Employers often discard resumes with even one error. Honesty is also critical. Do not fudge dates of employment, job titles, certifications, or educational achievements. It’s not only wrong, but many employers conduct background checks.
8. Accomplishments. Nothing is more important than documenting your relevant accomplishments. Quantifying those accomplishments is even better. Writing about “accomplishments” is much better than writing about “duties” or “responsibilities.”
9. Keywords and action verbs. Action verbs make your experience jump off the page. Keywords tied to a job description are vital because many resumes are run through databases that filter out candidates lacking certain requirements.