Three Ways to “Audit” Your Resume Before You Use It

Audit your resume

Have you ever written your own resume but then decided it didn’t properly represent you?

That’s entirely understandable. You are not a professional resume writer, after all. So, what else should you be doing to make your resume the best it can be? Guess what?! There is another step you’re missing: doing an “audit” of your resume.

It may seem easy to write a resume, but there can often be inconsistencies that take away from its impact. Maybe your writing overstates or understates your qualifications. Or it might not align very well with the way the job description is written.

As a professional resume writer for 16 years, my writing process always includes an “audit” where I stop reading the document as a whole, then separate out several things for individual review. For example:

  • Noun audits: The nouns in a resume describe what you know. They are sometimes actual “things” but not always. Look at the nouns in the job description. Are those same words in your resume? A job for an automotive technician might list nouns like brakes, transmissions, air filters and tires. If so, those exact keywords should be in your resume.

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  • Verb audits: Verbs are important in positioning you because they describe an action. Review your resume sentence by sentence. “Recruited into the company” is stronger than “Hired into the company.” The word “initiate” is a higher-level word than “implement.” Then compare the verbs in your resume with the ones in the job description.
  • Dates: Make sure the dates in the resume follow a clear chronology. This strategy works well if you have had straight corporate positions over time. It becomes more challenging if you have had a corporate job, but have been involved in a family business on the side.

All of this is just the beginning. Other things can be audited in your resume, such as parallel sentence structure and consistent punctuation. Take the time to do this. You will be surprised at how often some words should be edited or deleted for tighter writing. Your resume will have a more professional look if you do this.

If you still aren’t sure what you’re looking for in a resume audit, I’d be thrilled to help. I’ve been helping people land jobs for 20 years now, and know exactly how to structure a resume to catch the eye of recruiters and employers! Call me today for a no-charge consultation, and we can go through your entire resume together!