By Rachel Pelta

After spending hours perfecting your resume, you apply for the job only to be told, “No, thank you.” Or worse, you never hear anything at all.

It happens to all of us. But that doesn’t stop you from wondering what you did or didn’t include on your resume that may have prevented you from getting an interview.

To avoid these scenarios the next time you apply, here’s a handy resume checklist that will help ensure you include all the right things on your resume.

Resume Checklist: What to Include

  • Research the company and the role before you apply to ensure you’re a good fit for the job and the company’s culture.
  • Customize and tailor each and every resume specifically for the company and job you’re applying for.
  • Highlight your professional strengths and explain how your unique skill set will benefit the company.
  • Include links to your LinkedIn page and online portfolio.
  • Use action verbs to help the hiring manager picture you in the role.
  • Update your resume to include only your most recent and relevant work experience; consider deleting any work experience that’s 10-15 years old.
  • Make sure your resume is no longer than two pages (with rare exceptions).
  • Select a font that humans and machines can read easily.
  • Keep your formatting simple, clean, and easy to scan.
  • Write your resume with the applicant tracking system (ATS) in mind.
  • Choose the right kind of resume for your circumstances.
  • Include keywords from the job description.
  • Hard skills are important, but so are soft skills, so include them too.
  • Quantify your achievements with specific, concrete examples (e.g., raised revenue by 40% each fiscal year).
  • Proofread, edit, then proofread again.
  • Embellishing your accomplishments is one thing, but lying is another (and definitely out).

Checking It Off

There you have it! This all-encompassing resume checklist will ideally put you in the position of turning down job offers and out of the role of wondering where you might have gone wrong.