Sufi Stories

Celebrating innovation, creation and entrepreneurship

Cheatsheet: Professional Experience

Brainstorm and recollect the different ways in which you have contributed to your company’s success in the past.


  • In your Achievement section, you don’t need to use the usual story format.
    The usual story format is “situation – action – result – quote”. But in the Achievement section you can first describe the Result and then the Situation & Action.

    Here is an example of a short story which you can include in your Achievement section:
    “Organized 10+ successful events with 300+ guests and average budget of $55K. Entrusted with project manager roles in official, community and social events. Proven success in managing events with aggressive time scales, limited budget and special requirements (including bylaws and guest security).”

  • In your Experience section remember to highlight how the skills you have gained through each past experience will benefit your future employer.

You can use the following table to create your accomplishment stories which you can then use in both your Achievement section as well as your Experience section of the resume.

Business Acumen

At any level of job, your understanding of and synergy with your company’s business is the most desirable asset.

  • Illustrate how you helped to develop new business – through your contacts, skills, creative ideas, energy or enhancement of company’s brand through community work.

  • Your understanding of key competitors and marketing strategy of your own company.

Planning, Organising, Logistical
  • Experiences which highlight planning, organising, logistical capabilities.

  • Events: Include shows, conferences, large meetings etc) you planned & organized: Provide info regarding dates, number of people who attended, budget and where was the event held.

  • Do not forget personal projects: Highlight individual entrepreneur or personal projects that you may have done which add to your experience. For example a project manager or event planner may highlight how she/he efficiently organized her sisters wedding including the budget allocated for it.

  • Purchase decisions: Your involvement with purchase decisions – vendors/suppliers you dealt with, the criteria you used to make decisions regarding products/services and budget.

Team work & Collaboration

Human Relations

  • Collaboration with offshore teams: provide details regarding nature of work, tools used for collaboration, challenges faced and how you facilitated success of such a team.

  • Any other examples where you mentored people and helped them succeed.

Integrity & Ethics

  • Highlight scenarios where your commitment to ethical business practices earned the trust and business of your customers and benefited your company.

Communication & Presentation
  • Give examples of trainings, presentations, speaking engagements you have done: Provide details about topic, size of audience and venue/event.

  • External Relationships with Customer & Partners
  • Internal Sphere Of Influence in Your Own Company

Provide examples of your relationships with customers and within your own organization.

  • Do you have any example of any customer who was specially pleased with the service you provided?

  • How did your work with this customer benefit the company?

  • Examples of how your inovolvement pacified a hostile customer turning him into an ally – did it bring more revenue for the company – how much?

  • How did you help in reducing customer complaints?

  • Who were the major customers you were involved with?

Provide examples of how you have been able to get things done because of your relationships with other teams in your company.

  1. Leadership

  2. Business Acumen

  3. Initiative & Energy

Are there examples which highlight you as good with money and budgeting:

  1. Cost reduction

  2. Capital asset management

  3. Risk management – How you identified risks and advance and planned for them?

  4. Compliance with government and other regulations

  5. Your contribution to business model innovation.

  6. Revenue planning

Are there examples which highlight you as a business leader:

  1. Consultative leadership skills

  2. Strong ability to influence at the executive level

  3. Creativity, Vision, Strategy

  4. Global thinking

  5. Dedication

  6. Focus on sustainability

  7. Integrity

  8. Modernization

Are there examples which highlight your capabilities in the Information Technology arena:

  1. Your contribution to business process management

  2. Your contribution to the information management strategy – did you help to unify communications? Social Media?

  3. Business Intelligence & other business applications

In your previous work experience:

  1. Did you supervise others – If yes, then what was the size of your team, budget etc

  2. Did you hire/fire employees?

  3. Give examples of scenarios where you recognized a problem in advance of everyone else and took the initiative to build a solution.

  4. Any special projects you have been involved in (or volunteered for) outside of your job description. What was the outcome?

  5. Was there a difference – in terms of revenue, expertise or business efficiencies – in your team/company/project when you first joined and when you left? Can you quantify the difference?

  6. Cost of the projects you were involved with?

  7. Did you help to generate repeat busines or increase current business?

Innovation & Initiative

Think of scenarios where you took something close to your heart and made it come alive – in a way which benefited the organization.

This specially relates to things which you did outside your job description.

Example: Did you develop new ideas and marketing promotions that generated more business?

  • Any re-architecture, re-organization, relocation projects you have been involved with. Mergers and Acquisitions etc
  • Changes that you dealt with – organizational changes, personal changes etc.

Provide examples of how you helped your organization beat competitors for your customer’s business.

Knowledge & Mastery of Products/Services
  • How well do you know your company’s products & services

  • How did this knowledge benefit your company.

  • Give examples of your work as it relates to some of the common trends in your industry or technology area.

  • Did you take a manual process (paperwork etc) and used technology to make it more efficient?

Results & Goals
  • Did you exceed the goals set by your management?

  • Can you quantify?

  • What level were you compared to your peers – for example #2 out of 20 sales reps?