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The Ultimate Resume Checklist
By Kristine Penning, AgCareers.com

 

If you have a resume, you know that everyone has an opinion about it. There are lots of different rules to follow, but the basics should all be there. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate resume checklist for you! You’re probably thinking that this is also subjective. And you’re right, it is. But we’ve talked to hundreds of agricultural employers over the years and can say with certainty that this list is fairly agreed upon. You’re welcome.

The Ultimate Resume Checklist (according to AgCareers.com)

  • Name at the Top: Loud & proud.
  • Contact Information: List this below your name at the top where it can easily be found including:
    • Your most permanent address (where mail will reach you no matter what)
    • Your email (keep it professional; try to avoid using school emails as those will eventually expire)
    • The best phone number to reach you at
    • Any professional links (online portfolio, professional blog, LinkedIn profile, and social media – if and only if they are professional)

ADVICE FROM THE COMPANY:

“Get excited about your resume! If you do, it will come through to the recruiter reviewing your resume. View your resume as your personal branding.

Tip 1: Spell and grammar check before sending! Always ensure your name is spelled correctly. Accuracy matters.

Tip 2: Your resume is not a job description; don’t line list tasks, tell me your accomplishments. I want to get to know you. A resume is your opportunity to boast on your achievements. Take advantage of the opportunity!”

Debra DeFreece – Wilbur-Ellis Company

Experience

  • Only list relevant experience to the new position you are applying to.
  • List chronologically by your most recent experience.
  • Include your job title.
  • List the dates (years) that you spent at each position.
  • Include the company/organization you were employed by.
  • Include the location of this employment.
  • Share your achievements in bulleted or short-sentence format below each position.

Education

  • List where you completed your advanced education. Do not list high school experience unless you did not complete post-secondary education.
  • List the years you spent studying at each institution.
  • List the degree(s) you earned (i.e. Bachelor of Science in Agronomy).
  • If still a student, include all this information but list expected graduation date.

Skills

  • Any software, technology, or tools you are proficient in
  • Any special talents or skills you possess that are relevant to the position

Optional Sections (the following are not typically necessary to include on a resume, especially if you have a full resume already)

  • Objective (this is one we see a mix of; if you have an objective or profile section, keep it brief, clear & focused)
  • Awards & Honors
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Notable Achievements

Now that you’ve had the resume checklist of items to definitely include, here are some questions to ask before you start sending it out to employers and applying to new roles:

  • Is my resume one page?
  • Have I used easy-to-read, non-decorative, computer-friendly fonts?
  • Have I written it or exported it into an easily shareable document like a PDF or a Word document?
  • Have I included keywords from the job description in my resume?
  • Is my resume honest? Or did I embellish?
  • Is my resume free of potentially discriminatory information?
  • Have I spellchecked? And spellchecked again? And read it over for misspellings myself?
  • If printed, do I have resume paper to print it on?
  • Have I had at least one other trusted person proofread and critique it for me?

There you have it! We hope this simple resume checklist aids in your job search. Get a great start by uploading your resume to the AgCareers.com Resume Database.

AgCareers.com is here to offer support. To assist our employers and job seeker community, we have compiled a list of resources regarding COVID-19 and the agriculture industry. You will also find employment resources to help navigate through these difficult times.
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Last Updated: 04/01/2020