11 questions to ask yourself before submitting your resume
You’ve found a posting for a job you want and you’re about to send in your resume and cover letter.
Before you do, go through this list of questions to ask yourself, to be sure you’ve covered all the bases.
“Do I meet 75% of the qualifications?” It would be silly to expect you to meet all the qualifications for every job these days, when employers are stuffing postings with ridiculous, unnecessary demands. But do meet at least three quarters. Otherwise you’re wasting everyone’s time.
“Does my summary match the job posting?” You’ve already ditched the objective statement and replaced it with a summary, I hope. Now make sure that summary matches the job posting – ie. If the job is for a marketing manager, make sure your summary highlights your marketing expertise and not, say, your journalism experience.
“Did I proofread?” After your resume goes through 100 edits, it probably has typos. Find them. They’re one of the top reasons you won’t be hired.
“Did I address it to the right person?” If you can find the name of the hiring manager – maybe it’s even in the job posting – address your application to that person. Make sure to spell it correctly.
“Are there clichés or useless buzzwords in my resume?” If your resume says you’re a “team player” or are “results oriented,” change it. Those mean nothing to anyone and will not get you a job.
“Do I list my accomplishments?” Have you given examples of what you have achieved, or have you just explained what your “duties” and “responsibilities” were in previous roles? Employers want to see you shine, not know what your “duties” were.
“Did I include my contact information?” It actually happens that employers get resumes with no contact info. Just make sure it’s there – on every page. And that it’s up to date.
“Did I follow the instructions in the job ad?” Did the ad ask you to address a specific person, answer a specific question in your cover letter, or submit portfolio examples? Do it to the letter. Details are important.
“Did I use the proper keywords?” Most big companies use some form of applicant tracking system which will scan your resume for the proper keywords and either reject it or save it before it is even seen by human eyes. Use keywords from the job posting in your resume. It helps get past the software.
“Would I call me in for an interview? If you were the hiring manager, would you want to talk with you based on your resume and cover letter? Answer honestly.
“Why not?” If not, ask yourself why, then fix it.
OK, you should be good to go. Hit send.