In the ever-evolving job market, where competition is increasingly fierce, resume self-assessment is an essential step in the job hunting process. Crafting the perfect resume is a crucial task, one that should not be rushed or underestimated. While numerous resume writing services are available to assist you, it is entirely feasible to achieve excellent results on your own, provided you allocate enough time for this important task. Finding the Best Template. Finding the right resume template is a starting point and will help in the design of an impactful resume. There are multitudes of options available, both free and subscription-based. Here, we delve into some of the readily available platforms offering an array of resume templates. Microsoft Word: If you have Microsoft Word, there are plenty of free resume templates available. Just go to "File" > "New" and then type "resume" in the search box. Google Docs: Google Docs also has a selection of free resume templates. Go to "File" > "New" > "From template" and then select "Resumes" from the template gallery. Canva: Canva is an online design tool that offers a wide variety of free resume templates. You can customize the templates with Canva's easy-to-use design tools. Zety: Zety has a selection of free resume templates and also provides tips and advice on how to structure your resume. Hloom: Hloom offers over 400 free resume and CV templates, with a variety of designs from traditional and professional to creative. Resume.com: This site has a range of templates that cater to different industries and experience levels. NovoResume: NovoResume provides professional, creative, and simple resume templates. The basic version is free. Behance: Behance is a platform for creatives and they often share free resume templates that are very stylish and unique. Why is the Quality of your Resume Important? According to a 2019 Jobvite survey, 77% of recruiters rely on LinkedIn to find candidates, emphasizing the importance of including your LinkedIn profile in the contact information on your resume. It also emphasizes the need for an accurate, professional email address, as inappropriate email addresses were a significant turnoff for 35% of recruiters. Following an effective resume structure is vital to make a strong impression on recruiters. Your resume should ideally include these key sections: Contact Information, Objective Statement, Experience, Skills, Education, Quantifiable Achievements, Keywords, Personal Projects or Volunteer Work, and Certifications or Continuous Learning. A 2020 Ladders survey showed that recruiters spend only 7.4 seconds reviewing a resume on average, underscoring the importance of a concise, well-formatted, and easy-to-navigate resume. Additionally, tailoring your resume to fit the job description is crucial, as a CareerBuilder survey found that 63% of recruiters felt a resume customized for the open position is of utmost importance. Proofreading your resume cannot be emphasized enough. A CareerBuilder study discovered that 58% of resumes have typos, which 77% of recruiters would view negatively. To ensure a flawless resume, consider utilizing tools like Grammarly and seeking a second pair of eyes from a friend or family member. Finally, the ideal resume length remains a hot topic. However, a 2018 ResumeGo survey found that hiring professionals are 2.3 times as likely to prefer two-page resumes over one-page resumes, emphasizing the importance of conciseness without compromising on necessary details Resume Checklist: Contact Information: Ensure your name, phone number, email, and LinkedIn profile (if you have one - and we recommend you do) are up-to-date. Use an appropriate email address for a professional audience. Objective Statement: If you include one, make sure it's concise and relevant to the position you're applying for. Experience: List all relevant work experience with your job title, the company name, dates of employment, and a brief list of your duties and achievements at each job. List this in chronological order. Skills: Highlight key skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Ensure that the skills listed match what is mentioned in the job description. Education: Clearly list your educational background, including the school name, degree earned, and dates of attendance. Formatting and Design: Check your resume for consistent formatting (e.g., font size, bullet styles). Make sure it is easy to read and navigate. Quantifiable Achievements: Where possible, use numbers or statistics to highlight your accomplishments in your previous roles. Keywords: Make sure your resume includes keywords from the job description. Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan for these. Relevance: Remove any information that is not relevant to the job you're applying for. Your resume should be tailored to each specific job. This one is important and should improve your success rate. Proofread: Make sure there are no grammatical errors or typos. Use a tool like Grammarly, or ask a friend or family member to review it. Length: Ideally, your resume should be no more than one or two pages long. Keep it concise and to the point. References: While it's usually not necessary to include references on your resume, you should have them available in case a potential employer asks for them. Use of Action Verbs: Start bullet points with action verbs like "managed", "led", "developed", etc. Personal Projects or Volunteer Work: If relevant, include any personal projects, volunteer work, or hobbies that show you have skills applicable to the job. Certifications or Continuous Learning: If you've taken any relevant courses or certifications, be sure to include them. This shows a commitment to lifelong learning. In conclusion, resume self-assessment is more than a cursory review; it's an in-depth process that can significantly improve your chances of landing your dream job. Remember, every detail counts, so take your time and ensure your resume puts you in the best position to be the one chosen for an interview. If you are an executive wanting to further target your resume to a desired role, check out our article what to Includein an Executive Resume.