Resume Checklist

You only have one chance to make a first impression with your résumé. So after writing it, proofread your résumé for the items below. Next, get feedback from the Writing and Communication Centre, the Centre for Career Action, friends, and family.

Proofreading Strategies

  • Put your work aside for several hours before proofreading so the words seem new to you. Read from a hard copy.
  • Read your paper out loud.

What Do I Look for?

1. Capitalization and Spelling

  • Make sure you have capitalized proper nouns. Proper nouns name a specific person, place, or thing.
    • e.g., University of Waterloo, Elisabeth, Paris, Microsoft, Sidong, etc.
  • Double or triple check that you have spelled everything correctly, especially proper nouns.
    • e.g., Powerpoint, powerpoint, PowerPoint, powerpoints, Power Point or powerpoint?

Go to the source if you’re unsure whether a word is capitalized or spelled correctly: open up the program or go to the official website.

Verb Tense

  • Are your verbs in the correct tense (past or present) based on when an activity occurred?


Past Tense

Graduate Teaching Assistant

September 2018 - December 2018

  • Worked collaboratively with professors and other teaching assistants.

Present Tense

Graduate Teaching Assistant September 2018 - Present

  • Work collaboratively with professors and other teaching assistants.


  • Parallelism (parallel structure) ensures that the tenses, structure, and start of each item in a list are the same.


Program Assistant

  • Gained proficiency in commonly used administrative and event-oriented software.
  • Created internal protocol documents to increase efficiency in program interaction.
  • Demonstrated excellent oral communication skills while providing customer service.

Assistant Event Coordinator

  • Developed and executed online, print, and social media marketing strategies.
  • Prepared reports that interpreted consumer satisfaction.
  • Planned and coordinated the annual Open House event for 1,500 attendees.


  • Use words you know. If you want to use a word you are unfamiliar with or are unsure of, be sure to look the word up in an English dictionary. You can use the Corpus of Contemporary American English (CoCA) online to check how the word is used in context. Lastly, look at how people in your field are using the word/term.
  • Avoid repeating the same words for skills, achievements, and activities. Check out UWaterloo’s Centre for Career Action’s CareerHub for strong résumé verbs.


  1. Either use periods or don’t at the end of bullet points, but be consistent.
  2. Either use articles (and the) in all bullet points, or leave them all out.
  3. Look at the internal design or formatting consistency with regard to such elements as...
    • spacing between words and sections
    • dates
    • headings/titles
    • font and font sizes
    • alignment – left, centre, right, full