Resume Checklist

Dr. Vincent Wilding, before joining the chemical engineering faculty at Brigham Young University, was the president of Wiltec, a chemical research company in Utah. As president he saw hundreds of resumes and was responsible for hiring for the company. The following is from an interview with Dr. Wilding and represent his personal views of what makes a great resume.

There are three critical aspects I look at as an interviewer when considering a resume. These include initial impression, critical information, and proof of soft skills. Time is everything for a recruiter and will look for key bits of information, disqualifying a resume whenever it doesn't match. Your strategy is to give the recruiter what he or she is looking for without disqualifying yourself. Here's a checklist to see if you are on the path for an effective resume. It is set up as if a recruiter was looking at your resume, mentally checking items off to see if you are the candidate they are looking for.

Initial Impression:

  • Is the resume neat and clean?
  • Is the layout attractive and well organized?
  • Is the font type and size appropriate?
  • Is the spelling and grammar flawless?

Critical Information:

  • Are the address and other contact information where they should be?
  • Is education information listed first?
  • Does it include GPA, major, expected time of graduation?
  • Is work experience listed next?
  • Does it describe skills and responsibilities clearly and concisely?

Soft Skills:

  • Does the resume indicate good communication skills?
  • Leadership skills?
  • Does it show your ability to work independently and as a team member?
  • Does volunteer work (mission, church callings, community, etc.) demonstrate leadership and interpersonal skills?
  • Do hobbies or personal interests indicate a well-rounded individual?

Additional Suggestions:

  • Different jobs require different qualifications. Research these qualifications make sure your resume addresses these qualifications.
  • Recruiters know you are only a student but want to see work ethic. Your resume needs to show that you are working and are willing to work by listing past jobs. The type of job is important, but in my mind, the work ethic that is demonstrated.
  • Remember, recruiters come to BYU and the Chemical Engineering department they know our students, like students from other ChE departments, have the technical skills and tools. Recruiters like our students because they also excel in the communication, interpersonal, leadership, and teamwork skills. Much of this excellence stems from church and missionary service. Make sure your resume highlights these aspects.