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Five Ways to Critique Your Resume Before Submitting It

Before sending your resume off to a hiring manager, make sure there are no mistakes. Look out for some of these main resume critiques.

Ho Lin Profile
By Ho Lin 5 minute read

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Do You Have to Have Your Resume Critiqued?

Looking for a career change and just starting with your job search? Before you submit your resume with a job application, it’s usually a good idea to have someone look at it first. This way, you can have a chance to make edits before it’s in front of a hiring manager.

You always have the option of sending your resume and cover letter to a resume expert to have it analyzed, critiqued and edited for success. Or just follow the below five steps to critique your own resume.

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How Do Resume Critiques Benefit Job Seekers?

Resume critiques benefit people who are looking for a new job in many ways. For example, a professional resume reviewer will take the time to analyze your resume just as an employer would. Then they’ll give you their suggestions of edits, so you have a chance to revise your resume before sending it over to a hiring manager.

Additionally, constructive criticism from a professional resume reviewer allows you to find areas of improvement and an unbiased perspective on your resume writing skills. Overall, getting a second opinion on your resume and cover letter can be crucial to creating an outstanding first impression.

Five of the Most Common Resume Critiques

Creating a resume from scratch is challenging. Luckily, you can use a template as a guide for formatting your resume content creatively. However, using a template doesn’t ensure a perfect resume—there is still room for error. Let’s go over five of the most common resume critiques.

  1. Poor choice of fonts, design and formatting
  2. Misspelled words and grammatical errors
  3. Irrelevant job descriptions
  4. Forgetting relevant non-work-related experiences
  5. Too much or not enough information

Poor choice of fonts, design and formatting
An excellent first impression is crucial, even with your resume. So if your resume looks busy and messy at first glance, that’s usually not a good sign. Use a modern font and design to make it visually appealing, and leave enough white space to keep it readable. Additionally, aim for a resume that’s around one page long, concise and formatted correctly. Using bullet points and brief phrases throughout helps make it easy on the eyes and simple for recruiters or hiring managers to read.

Misspelled words and grammatical errors
Misspelled words and grammatical errors are easily noticeable on your resume. It’s imperative to eliminate these types of errors. After all, if you let these simple mistakes slip, it may send a message to employers that you lack the right attention to detail in your work.

Irrelevant job descriptions
Another critique you may encounter if someone reviews your resume is irrelevant job descriptions. It’s essential to focus your resume on the skills and experiences that best qualify you for the job.

Forgetting relevant non-work-related experiences
It’s critical for job seekers to include any relevant non-work-related experiences on their resumes. For example, incorporate volunteer hours, certification training and internships you’ve completed if they show specific skills or experiences that can contribute to your next job.

Too much or not enough information
Often, when writing a resume, less is more. After all, the average recruiter spends about six to seven seconds looking at your resume. Keeping it short and concise will allow recruiters to assess the most important information quickly. For example, it’s not necessary to include your marital status, nationality or other personal information. On the other hand, you don’t want to submit a blank sheet of paper. Write thorough, brief bullet points with enough action words to display your work history and experiences accurately. Using bullet points for your skills section is a good way to make your resume easy to read. For example, you can list your resume skills using action verbs in bullet points, such as:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Written communication skills
  • Management
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Resume Critique Checklist: Don’t Forget These Key Elements

Although not all of the following are completely necessary, some of the most common elements of a resume include:

  • Contact information
  • Objective statement or summary
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Soft skills and hard skills
  • Certifications and memberships
  • Hobbies, activities or extracurriculars
  • Achievements

FAQ: Can a Resume Critique Improve Your Resume?

Have questions? We’re here to help.

It’s always best to submit a cover letter along with your resume. Before you submit your cover letter, you can have someone review it to make sure there are no spelling mistakes or formatting issues. Having another person proofread and critique your cover letter and resume is a great way to improve your job applications.

Some of the most common resume mistakes include spelling errors, grammar mistakes, poor formatting, leaving off important information, and writing too much for each section. 

While you don’t have to send your resume to someone else for review, it’s always a good idea to. After all, it’s easy to breeze past simple mistakes if you’re the one who made them.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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