Resume Checklist! Must Read!

It is like taxes. Everyone has to pay them. Similarly, resume writing is one of those essential components in life that everyone needs to do. Keeping in mind that is an ever-changing document, once you, however, have created a “template,” the rest is rather easy to keep up to date.

So, now we know that a resume is important. With all of the resume templates out on the internet, which one is best? I recommend a simple format that you create yourself in Word. It is best not use a template because the formats are difficult to edit.

Resumes need to be easy to read so they need plenty of white space. Space between each category. Use an Ariel or a Times New Roman Font. For business related resumes, the simpler the better. Don’t use too many bells and whistles. Leave the bells and whistles for the graphic design artists.

If you have less than 10 years of experience, your resume needs to be 1 page. Even when you have 10+ years of experience, it is best to have a 1 page and a 2-page resume. This way, if the job posting requires a 1 page resume, you will have one. Once you have graduated college and have worked one or more years, the Education section moves down on the resume. Remember, whatever is most relevant stays higher on the resume.

Use numbers! Think money. Think time. Think quantity. Did you work with a $5K budget or a $500K budget?

Resume Checklist


  • Standard business letter format.
  • Format matches cover letter. (Same font, style, address, etc.)
  • Header matches cover letter and reference page.
  • Correct spelling.
  • Engaging and relevant content.
  • Unique content – quantify where possible.
  • Not repetitive. (to cover letter)
  • Use keywords relevant to your industry or career cluster.
  • Succinct.
  • PROOFREAD by someone else before you hit the SEND button.
  • Personal pronouns are not used.


  • Optional category – filler or use when objective is different from major.
  • Communicates job target.
  • Communicates key strengths.


  • List degree and date of graduation.
  • List previous degrees completed. 
  • Do not list incomplete education.

Relevant Coursework

  • Optional category – lends credibility including business and writing classes.


  • Focus on results.

Work Experience 

  • List employment here.
  • Focus on results or claim to fame.


  • Optional category – rounds out a resume and adds a personal flair.

One final tip, your resume is a reflection of you. Make sure you like it. Whether or not you use an objective or summary, you need to ask yourself, does this resume reflect the objective. For example, if you are seeking a management analyst position, does the resume reflect the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for this type of position such as advising, preparing reports, performing critical analysis, developing materials, and brainstorming business strategies? For more information on occupational tasks, and detailed work activities, go to

Ruth E. Walton, BA, MPA
Director of Career Services at
the University of the Ozarks | Writer

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