How Do I Conduct a Resume Review?

20 September 2018 Reading Time: 4 minutes

You’ve spent time developing your resume, you’ve decided on a page length, and you’ve tailored your skills as much as possible to the job. That’s all you need to do, right? Well, there’s a few more steps you can take.

Reviewing your resume can be a tiresome process – who wants to reread something you’ve already spent so long on? Trust me, I get it. I hate doing reviews and I hate editing. However, the review process is arguably one of the most influential parts of the process.

What can a resume review do for me?

A resume review allows you to take a step back and see the impression your resume leaves on someone when read in its final form. Something we can all struggle with when writing resumes is focusing on its segments and not taking a minute to see the bigger picture. You might find that your skills section needs refinement in light of your achievements section and so on. We’ve heard it all before but we don’t listen. The reality is, you need to proofread.

What should I look out for when reviewing my resume?

We’ve analysed hundreds of resumes from our users and spoke with recruiters on the common mistakes people make. Our post on resume mistakes to avoid in 2018 talks about this in detail, but in brief it’s best to:

  • Avoid cliches and overused buzzwords
  • Edit typographical errors
  • Tell the truth
  • List achievements, not duties
  • Tailor your resume for each position
  • Only include relevant experience
  • Keep your format consistent
  • Balance paid and unpaid experience (don’t ignore your unpaid volunteering)
  • Show your personality
  • Draft multiple resumes

What tools can I use to review my resume?

Content analyzer

One of Enhancv’s premiere features is our content analyzer. It catches errors such as spelling mistakes and will give you tips on how to improve your content. For example, if you’ve forgotten to quantify an achievement you’ve listed, the content analyzer will flag this with you. It’s based on thousands of resumes and will ensure you’re putting your best-foot-forward.

Referral link

Getting the opinions of your friends and colleagues on your resume can be incredibly influential. One of the best things you can do is send your resume to someone that has previously worked in your potential role, a recruiter, or those that work in the company you’re applying to. To do this, you can research the company on LinkedIn or join Facebook Groups for employees with the company in question. Simply reach out with an introductory message and ask if they’d have time to give an opinion on your resume.

With Enhancv, you can utilize the built-in referral link that allows your friends and colleagues to add comments that can be addressed by you later.

External reviews

There are many resume review services available online. Accessing these will give you an expert’s opinion on how well you’ve constructed your resume. One thing to remember when using these services is everything that has been innovative has violated expert opinion. While getting the feedback of people who have worked in this field is helpful, it is not all-knowing.

We believe it is best when you write your own resume rather than paying someone to do it for you. There’s no one that knows your career history as well as you.

Checklists & the job description

Before writing your resume, set a checklist of things you want it to accomplish. For example, you want to describe your significant achievements in your last role, convey your culture fit by describing your personality through interests and so on. Once you’ve written your resume, review it with your checklist in front of you. This way you can ensure you haven’t forgotten to address key points. You should also always keep the job description in mind. This sets out the general duties that will be expected of you and the competencies you need to perform well. Use this as a guide to package your experience and highlight the most relevant accomplishments. Above all else, review your resume in light of four main questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What experience do you bring?
  • Why are you motivated for this position?
  • How will you make an impact in your role? 

Quizzes

Compared to external reviews, resume quizzes can give you all the feedback you need without the cost of hiring an expert and the pressure to automatically conform to advice. Quizzes act as a third-party checklist from which you can benchmark how well you’ve crafted your resume against industry standards. We recently launched our resume grader that questions how well you’ve utilised your resume space, how effectively you’ve linked your experience in, and more.

Tip: Continually use the resume grader as you make edits to your resume until you’ve perfected it.

Come back another time

Taking time to sleep on things and editing your resume after moving away from the screen will do wonders for spotting mistakes. Think about all of the assignments you’ve written in college, how many benefited from taking a step back and revisiting it later?

Taking fresh eyes to your resume will mimic the experience of a third-party reading your resume. Something I like to do is take enough time away from my resume that I forget what I’ve written on it. This way, it’s like I’m reading something someone else wrote, and the mistakes stand out more clearly.

Reviewing your resume

There are many things that recruiters hate to see on your resume. Without taking the time to write your resume, take a step away, and review it in light of industry standards and expectations, your opportunities will suffer. There’s no need to get overwhelmed, however. We’ve given you six ways to review your resume – and they’re easy to do! So go out there, review your resume, and apply for your dream job with confidence.

Illustrations by: Gergana Mincheva

Dean O'Reilly

Psychology student with a keen interest in LGBTQ+ activism and social change. Currently exploring the world of Marketing with a focus on content creation and marketing distribution. Can usually be found anywhere there is drag, a protest, and/or the opportunity to sleep.

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