Sufi Stories

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Resume: Giant Checklist

  1. Does your resume answer the job advertisement?
  2. Have you identified what are the hiring manager’s pains (needs)?
  3. What would you be able to do in your job which would make his life easier?
  4. Is your resume tailored for the specific job you are applying?
  5. Have you interwoven in your resume the keeywords and phrases which appear in the job advertisement?
  6. Do not leave out necessary facts – nor do you need to share everything. Use your judgement to create a resume most relevant to the employer while leaving out facts which might confuse & distract.
  1. Employers want a quick summary of your relevant skills & expertise followed by experience history.
  2. Avoid pure chronological or pure functional resume. Always use hybrid.
Check grammer, spelling, punctuation, paragraph transitions, facts & figures, clarity, layout, margin in the resume. Use a proofreading checklist or ask someone to review your resume to ensure you have not missed some typos etc.


  1. Not more than 3 pages.
  2. Do not make fancy resume. Minimalism is the norm – it is always safe and effective – even with creative professions.
  3. Don’t make it cluttered – avoid fancy fonts etc.

Sending Resume

  1. Don’t send resume to HR (unless explicitely instructed to do so by the job advertisement) – send it directly to the hiring manager.
  2. Check the advertisement regarding how to send resume – follow instructions.
  3. Do a virus scan before sending your resume.
  4. MS Word format, html or ascii formats may not render properly. pdf will always render. Send your resume in pdf format.
  5. Use pdf compression etc to reduce size – do not send too big attachment.
  6. Do not send zipped file attachments. Many email servers are designed to deleted .zip files to prevent viruses, spam etc.

Copyrighting Techniques

  1. Do not simply rely on resume creaters or online agencies. Create it yourself. Getting the resume in a cookie cutter machine robs it of personality.
  2. Be specific – provide very specific details always. Clear objective. Specific for the projects (including their names) you have worked on – even if you can not share the names of the clients due to confidentiality agreements.
  3. Do not use cliches & do not list soft skills like – communication abilities, worked with cross-functional teams etc. Instead share the specific work done which proves that particular soft skill. Use quantified examples that distinguish your unique promise of value from others competing for the same jobs.
  4. Use active voice – “I created the design” vs ” the design was created by me”.
  5. Use strong action verbs – “Designed the sales strategy” vs “I was responsible for sales department”
  6. Make a list of 10 action verbs which are most relevant to the job. Here are some examples:

    • A project management job (or any management job) would have action verbs “organized”, “planned”, “coordinated” etc.
    • An admin assistant may have action verbs “analyzed and reported”, “coordinated”, ‘scheduled” etc.
  7. Identify & use keywords –

    Keyword are nouns – some examples include: “SAP”, “PMP”, “Sandler’s Sales Training etc”. Your keyword nouns may be related to:

    • Hard skills
    • Industry jargon
    • Job related buzzwords
    • Job titles
    • Previous employer/company names
    • Degrees ,certifications,,college/university names
    • Computer lingo

    Review 6 job advertisements and make a list of the 15 most common keywords in these. From these 15 keywords choose a few which are most relevant to you.

  8. Quantify your results. Use facts and figures – even if you need to use approximations like “exceeded 4M in sales” etc.

Resume Best Practices

  1. You must make sure your phone number on the resume is your personal cell phone number with voicemail. Avoid using family phones where you run the risk of other people picking up the phone and responding unprofessionally to a call from some recruiter,
  2. Do not use “unprofessional” email addresses. Examples of unprofessional email addresses: (embedding your year of birth in the email), etc.
  3. Avoid unwanted, unnecessary personal information in the resume. Examples include your marital status, ethnicity, sex, DOB, SIN/SSN etc etc.
  1. Don’t list toolkits on resume.
  2. No need to write – “Toolkits available upon request” – It is expected that you will provide toolkits.
  3. Identify and prepare your toolkits in advance. Let your toolkits know that they may get a phone call. Give them a copy of your resumes.