Making It Happen

Reviewing + Refining

When your resume is complete, you’ll want to give it to someone to review. We have extensive experience in this area and can make suggestions on content, layout, and wording, as well as make sure the message you’re conveying is on point. Reviews can be done in a quick 15-minute session, even if your resume is still in progress.

Call 617-353-3590 during regular office hours to check availability or stop by during review hours. These reviews can be a big help, but don’t rely on them to catch all typos or errors. Do yourself a favor and have another pair of eyes give your resume a thorough once-over.

Be careful about phone numbers and numbers in addresses and ZIP codes. Digits aren’t easily proofread, and people have been known to mistype their own contact information.

Resume Critique Guidelines

Format + Appearance

  • Does format choice (chronological, functional, or mixed) effectively present your background and support your career goals?
  • Are general headings (education, experience, etc.) presented and emphasized with consistent capitalizing, underlining, spacing, or boldface?
  • If the resume is chronological, are the items in reverse order, with the most recent first?
  • Does the resume have a neat, readable appearance? Is it easy to scan visually? Is there balanced white space?

Content

  • Is the information presented relevant, specific, and concise?
  • Are accomplishments and career-specific and transferable skills emphasized?
  • Is your name, address(es), and telephone number(s) at the top of the first page? If there is a second page, is your name and the page number at the top?

  • Is all relevant information included to support your target, whether a specific internship/job or a more general career goal?
  • Is extraneous information eliminated?
    Extraneous information includes health, marital status, age, information that is assumed (such as high school for a college graduate), and out-of-date information (such as college extracurricular activities for a person who graduated many years ago).

Style

  • Do descriptive phrases begin with action words?
  • Is writing style consistent throughout the resume?
  • Are current activities written in the present tense and all completed activities written in the past tense?
  • Is choice of vocabulary appropriate to your job target (i.e., avoid using the jargon of your current field if you are making a career transition)?
  • Are grammar, punctuation, and spelling correct?
  • Are sentences a readable length?

Word to the Wise:

Be prepared to revise your resume for each position you apply to. You want to make sure you are highlighting the most relevant information, with appropriate keywords, for each position.

Submitting Your Resume Electronically

There are three common methods for submitting your resume information electronically:

  • By email, as an attachment (PDF is best)
  • By attachment through an online application system (PDF is best)
  • By cut-and-paste into an online application system

Resumes submitted as attachments by email or through online application system will keep their formatting for the most part. To ensure that they appear to the reader just as they appear to you, submit your resume as a PDF.

Resumes submitted to an employer’s database as cut-and-paste generally lose all formatting, including bolding and underlining. Instead, create a text-based version (using asterisks and capitalization instead of bullet points and bolding, for example) to improve readability.

When sending a resume by email, make the subject line clear (include the job posting number or job title). If you’re also sending a cover letter, most employers prefer that you only send one attachment, including both documents together as one PDF. The body of your email should be professional but brief, indicating the reason for your message and what is attached.