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Resume Critique: Free Checklist For a Resume Review

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A really good resume needs to tick off a lot of check marks in order to be great. It doesn’t help that the competition is at home wondering about how to make their resume just as good as yours or even better. To top it all off, recruiters will give you about 7 seconds of their attention before moving on to the next candidate.


But don’t throw in the towel just yet. We’ve made the ultimate resume critique checklist you can use to make sure that your resume makes a killing in the recruiting process.

Read on to find out how.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

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Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

Why You Need a Resume Critique

A resume critique is a review of your resume to find any improvement areas in your resume’s format, design, relevance, and content. You can do a resume critique yourself or take advantage of several resume critique services online.

It’s not just about doing a resume review by swinging a red pen around or tearing your resume to shreds.

Lots of people don’t see the point in critiquing their resumes, they think their resumes look just fine. But there are two things that don’t play in our favor:

  1. Content side: we’re subjective. We’re emotionally attached to things we create and so judge it less critically.
  2. Technical side: our brains see what we wanted to say and so self-editing is less than ideal.

A resume critique, especially done by a qualified third party can give a fresh, professional, and unbiased perspective on your resume. It can offer constructive criticism not only on the impression you make as a candidate, but also if your resume responds to the hiring manager’s needs. 

And who wouldn’t want that? After all, better resume=better chances of getting that interview.

Read more: The Best Resume Writing Tips

Creating a resume with our builder is incredibly simple. Follow our step-by-step guide and use content from Certified Professional Resume Writers to have a resume ready in minutes.

When you’re done, our easy resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

Resume Critique Checklist

You don’t have to use a resume critique service online. We have a resume critique checklist you can use to work through your resume review and determine whether your resume is ready to send.

1. Resume Format and Style

Choosing the right resume format is critical since it can make or break your chances of demonstrating the right skills and job experience to the hiring manager.

Read more: The Ultimate Resume Writing How To

2. Resume Sections

Resume sections clearly identify what the hiring manager is looking at and helps them navigate your resume. Recruiters spend little time on each resume, so you want to help them find what they’re looking for fast.

Read more: The Best Resume Sections Format

3. Resume Content and Relevance

You checked the sections of your resume, now it’s time to focus your resume review on content. If the content doesn’t refer to the job ad, there’s little chance the recruiter is going to be asking you over for a job interview.

  • Is your resume filled with key achievements and accomplishments instead of a laundry list of responsibilities?
  • Are you using numbers to demonstrate quantifiable achievements?
  • Did you tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for?
  • Have you demonstrated both soft skills and hard skills that attest to your abilities as well as your personality?
  • Does your resume read well (e.g. does it flow well and make sense)?
  • Did you proofread your resume at least twice for typos and other errors?

Read more: What to Put on a Resume

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

Critiquing your own resume may seem like a lot of work, but doing it now will help you refine your resume and save you potential embarrassment and never-ending rejection letters. 

In the end, resume critiques are an investment in the future of your career!

Thanks for reading! Have any tips that you think should be added to our resume critiquing checklist? Let us know in the comments below!

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.


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Oliwia Wolkowicz
Oliwia is a writer and career expert with a solid background in consulting. At Zety, she writes dedicated, advice-driven guides to help readers create great resumes and cover letters to land the job of their dreams.

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