Checklists for Resume and Cover Letters

Checklists for Resume and Cover Letters

Before you send off your cover letter and résumé, take a minute to make sure you are making the best impression.

Your résumé and cover letter are usually your first impression. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression so make it a good one. These checklists will help you make sure your résumé and cover letter are doing the job.


  • No more than one page.
  • Your objective matches the job.
  • Use bullets and indents to make your résumé easy to read.
  • Use a functional résumé if your experience does not match the job.
  • Your work experience goes back 10 years and includes any other relevant experience beyond that date.
  • In each work experience, you have included the skills applicable to this job.
  • Use action verbs like "handled," "repaired," or "reconciled."
  • Include volunteer or unpaid experience that is pertinent to the job.
  • Check for spelling and typographical errors.
  •  Your telephone number or e-mail is on the résumé in case it gets separated from your cover letter.

Cover letter

  • Keep it short.
  • Address it to a specific person.
  • Use bullet points where possible.
  • Use a conversational tone rather than big words.
  • Go easy on the use of "I" or "me" by restating sentences where necessary.
  • Check for spelling and typographical errors.
  • Focus on what the company needs and explain how you can help.
  • Don't restate your résumé. Instead summarize, explain or show how skills in another type of job apply.
  • Explain any gaps in employment or other questions that might be raised.
  • Follow up.
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