36-Point Checklist To Follow For A Successful Résumé

Creating a successful résumé involves a lot of hard work and attention to detail. Small errors could have a big impact – and create a negative impression! It also requires a strong understanding of how recruiters search for candidates. Make sure you use this checklist before you circulate your CV.

Logical Structure and Flow

1. Make sure your CV is well organized.

2. Each section must have a header like – summary, work experience, personal data, skills, publications, research, etc.

3. For the text, use short bullet points only – avoid long paragraphs.

Updated Contact Information

4. The top of your CV should contain your basic contact information – your mobile number, email.

5. Don’t give multiple contact details as it gets confusing to choose from. LinkedIn, address and other links can be put in elsewhere on the CV, towards the end.

6. Check that all contact details are updated.


7. There is no need for a header or title to your CV. If you have a title saying “Resume/CV” – remove it now. It is stating the obvious, and takes up precious space.

8. Don’t say I am seeking a job or position.

9.  And avoid putting a prominent block label on top – like Award Winning Sales Manager or Creative Designer.

Overview / Summary

10. The content of your CV must begin with a brief overview/summary of your areas of expertise and your industry background to give recruiters a glimpse of who you are.

11. Don’t put an objective on top to state what you desire – no one cares!

What work you handle – the ‘Work Experience’ section

12. Don’t lay emphasis on routine job-functions common to everyone in your field. Instead, focus on what sets you apart. For example, if you are in sales, focus on the products you deal with and the territory you handle and not on routine sales functions like client interaction or liaison with dealers, which is understood.

13. Clearly show which areas you specialize in and what are the areas that you actually handle for the company.

14. Make sure your work experience is in reverse chronological order.


15. Clearly spell out your expertise through your accomplishments. Ensure you have separate “Achievements” sections corresponding to each job you have included in your work experience Do Not create one huge section with all your achievements all put together.

16. Quantify your achievements. Show figures! It’s not enough to say ‘Increased sales substantially’ instead you should say ‘Increased sales by 25%’

17. Numbers must be mentioned in numerical form- not text form – ’70’ instead of ‘seventy’.

Skills Section

18. Make sure your “Skills” section only includes specific details: Like for example, knowledge of a professional software, or a particular type of machinery or handling some specific tool or equipment or a type of surgery or research area.

19. Avoid listing soft skills, such as leadership skills, communication skills. Instead, weave your soft skills into your job description itself by using examples that show that you posses these skills. For example, led a team of 10 people shows your leadership and team management skills.


20. This section should be included after your work experience section. Only include relevant education.

21. Remove your early education as it is understood that you have passed school if you have done a Ph.D.

22. If you are applying for a job that asks for a specific education qualification, also mention that qualification in your summary at the start of your CV.

Personal information Must Be Brief

23. Avoid putting your photograph on your CV unless it is specifically asked for. 

24. No need to put in hobbies and interests.

25. Remove marital status, parents names, details of your family background or dependents.

26. Date of birth, passport, details, nationality can be used.

Reference Section / Declaration

27. Remove these sections. Again, there is no need to state the obvious.

28. Also don’t write references on request – all employers know quite well that if they want your references, you will definitely provide it.


29. After you have finished with the above, make sure your CV fits into 2 pages. If it is longer, trim trim, trim. Anything beyond that gets boring. Employers are more interested in your current level of seniority rather than your role as a trainee 10 years back.

Neat Appearance and Professional Finish

30. Keep your CV well-spaced out, grammatically correct and without too much clutter of heavy text. There must be enough white space between the different sections and elements of the CV.

31. Use black text on white background and do not use more than one colour.

32. Avoid graphics pie charts or bars, flow charts, symbols and pictures. It is distracting.

33. Use a single font. Font size 11 preferably.

34. PROOFREAD extensively. You cannot afford any spelling or grammatical mistakes. It gives the impression you lack attention to detail.

PDF & Subject Line of Emails

35. When applying for a job unless directed otherwise – send your CV in the .pdf format. It preserves the format of your CV.

36. Check the subject line of your email – don’t leave it blank or just say CV or job application in the subject line. Instead – Your Name – Job you are applying for – and reference code if any, should be mentioned

================================================================Will your CV get you noticed by hiring managers? Does it contain any fatal mistakes? How can you improve the impact of your CV? To know, send your CV for a FREE PROFESSIONAL EVALUATION AND FEEDBACK to my email id: 

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