Resume Checklist

Checklist To Determine If Your Resume Is Boring


Does your resume resemble a checklist, to-do list, a laundry list? Have you desperately tried to convince your prospective employers of your qualifications by including everything but the kitchen sink on your resume?

Related: How To Transform Your Resume From Vintage To Viral

Don’t. Believe me, hiring managers know what a job description is… they have seen thousands of resumes.

While the HR/hiring authority’s goal is to screen resumes and identify qualified candidates, the person doing the screening, well, is a person—and no one enjoys being “bored to death,” especially not by sifting through long-winded resumes that regurgitate all-too-familiar job descriptions.

Here is a little secret: Many hiring managers actually write job descriptions. So, you are not doing them (or yourself) any favors by including a sea of bullets with your daily job accountabilities.

Understand your resume’s job is not to give away every little detail of what your job entailed. No siree, Bob.

Instead, your resume’s job is…

To list your employment, so they know you have experience; include job titles, so they know you have done the job before; include dates, so they gauge your loyalty and employable record; and, include education, certifications, and professional development, so they verify your credentials.

The rest of the resume is marketing, so you outdistance other job seekers. How do you outdistance other job seekers? With differentiating, interesting, and attention capturing copy that gets into the mind of the hiring authority and motivates them to “buy” what you are selling.

So, before you decide to use your resume to tell HR what an Operations Manager does, what a Creative Director is suppose to do, what Sales Managers are in charge of… opt to instead capture attention by telling them (concisely) how well you did it. Tell a story of what challenges you faced, how you creatively overcame them, and paint a picture of the bottom-line your efforts produced.

Now, that, will ensure you are memorable, entertaining, and worth an invitation into the office for a personal interview.

Resume Checklist For Any Job Seeker

Here is a resume checklist to help determine if you have said way too much and if the “HR Lady” is snoring on the other end.

1. Is your summary longer than 5-6 sentences?

Keep things concise and employer-focused. It helps to write this section last.

2. Have you included more than say 2-3 soft skills (personal traits) in your Professional Summary?

Soft skills are usually adjectives and while they add pizzazz and energize your writing, too many of these also weaken your candidacy. On the flip side, substantiated and concrete skills (hard skills), strengthen your candidacy.

3. Is it difficult to identify your hard skills?

Technical skills, experience listed through the use of industry jargon, and proficiencies such as staff management, operations improvement, and sales cycle. These should be clearly identified.

4. Does your employment history resemble a job ad?

Have you just defined what your job title means by recounting the reason you were hired? Don’t do this. Instead, focus on how you performed in this role, how you owned the role, and tell a story of the magnitude of obstacles you faced and how you better positioned the department or company.

5. Do you have more than say 6 bullets under each job description?

Remember accomplishments are to be bulleted. While you may have more than a few accomplishments under each role, a skilled copywriter can combine similar triumphs, identify which are worth mentioning, and “umbrella” some. There are a myriad of ways to convey your milestones without having to list 20 bullets under each job title. Try using some of these resume power words.

6. Have you left them with questions?

You must, but be very careful. You must say enough on your resume not to sound vague but conceal enough to ignite interest and plant a need for them to know more about you.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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Top 100 Most Powerful Resume Words
4 Easy Steps For Creating A Targeted Resume
4 Ways To Turn Resume Fluff Into Marketable Facts


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Rosa Elizabeth Vargas

Rosa Elizabeth Vargas is the owner of Career Steering, an executive resume writing service. She's an Elite Master Resume Writer, Certified Expert Resume Writer, Nationally Certified Resume Writer, and Academy Certified Resume Writer.


  1. Samples are great, but I think you can use these tips to build up an existent resume. Or eliminate the boring or useless points. A recruiter usually spends 6 seconds looking at your resume. Sure, this is the worst case scenario, but you should be prepared for that. I’d also add a tip about design, content can be awesome, but if you use tinny fonts and shady colors, you won’t be doing yourself any favors.

    • We’re glad you found this helpful! We don’t have a resume sample to show you, but you could get a resume, cover letter & social media evaluation through our sister site, CareerHMO (with a service called “Am I Money“?).

  2. Great article Rosa. The information helped me as I simultaneously updated my resume to incorporate your tips. I am very detailed, but this challenged me to be more strategic. Learning is great.

  3. Thanks for this. It’s helping me change my thinking and writing skills. But please, I can you kindly help my by sending a resume format into my mail box(

    Thank you.

  4. This article is good, but would have been better if it included sample resumes in accordance with the checklist.

    The advantage over writing a good resume yourself, versus buying, is that you do not need to rehearse and memorize, and it is with your own words. Also, you work on getting to know yourself (i.e. the product) that you want a prospect employer to buy (hire).

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