Critiquing a resume

A few months ago, Ali Zahid, my son and ceo of, created Resume 5.0, in an effort to help people create better, more visual and prettier resumes.

We published the post carrying the resume on our blog here and on LinkedIn. Both posts were viewed by nearly 6,000 people.

Hundreds of executives wrote to me and Ali, and dozens emailed their resumes for critique. Most even offered to pay for CV revision services, which Ali politely declined. The original post and this are only meant to be an awareness assistance.

Last night, a friend asked Ali to critique a design. Here is the resume (above), and below are Ali’s thoughts, from top to bottom. Hope this can help you on what to include or avoid in your resume and how to design it.

Ali Zahid critiquing a resume

The header is taking too much space. That’s more than a quarter of an A4 page. The photo needs to be cropped and made part of the design, and not just thrown out there.

A small bubble in the center, with the name and title below it would look nice. What’s that border doing there? The copy needs to go, pronto. Whenever we’re asked to write about ourselves, we just muck it up. Best to avoid it entirely.

Ah. Negative space. Who doesn’t love it? And yet, there’s a thing as “too much negative space” as seen here. And the worst part? It comes at the cost of readability. So, I’d say less negative space and bigger text size here would do. Maybe also cut years down to two digits and have them on the same line.

I’m not entirely sure about the redundant number of years, if a range is specified. Same goes for skill percent AND level.

Maybe try the four sections linearly and not in a grid? See how that looks. Also, need color on the top and bottom borders.

I have to admit I’m a fan of copy length throughout. Whoever creates a resume based on this design should keep their text short. No one reads them anyway.

Also, is it me or are the colors dull? Whoever said gold says premium hasn’t seen this. Give me some green, red, or blue!

I have no idea what’s happening in the last section.

The text is too small, the grid isn’t consistent with anything else on the page, icons are too small, the postal address is irrelevant in this day and age, social icons have too much data on them when just the Facebook username and Twitter handle would suffice. Not to mention four items would make sense grid-wise.

Also, this needs to go to the top, possibly in one line so it doesn’t make the header too tall.

That’s all, folks. Did I miss anything?

PS: All we have is a 6-second attention span of the recruiter! Why kill it?

See the above post on Ali Zahid’s blog here.

See the above post on LinkedIn here.

Our earlier blog post: Resume 5.0: The new face of CV

Our earlier post on LinkedIn: Resume 5.0: The new face of CV

Resume 5.0 website

Sample CV in downloadable PDF: ali zahid

  • Khalid

    Simply elegant; but does it worth-reading info for HR People before offering employment…??

    • nazma khan

      Yes it is…symmetry in resume reflects applicant understanding about recruitment. An important point is this that one must know and knowledge whatever is written in.resume.

  • nazma khan

    Ali’s observations are good ,really useful but something is missing in this article which is modified resume….if you would add it at the end the article would be more useful
    Well thanks for.sharing