The CV is the first thing that a prospective employer gets to see about a candidate. Hence, it is only wise to spend hours/weeks together to put together this important document of one’s career.

  1. Name as in official records, contact information – address, contact nos, email id, a tag line [tag line similar to IT Sales Professional or Siebel Certified Architect or Oracle DBA [production] or Program Manager]
  2. Objective [In one sentence or at the most, two sentences, what is the objective in your career at this point? Where do you want to go from here and do what? And why ?]
  3. Summary [What is the sum total of your experience and skills, what are you good at, what skills do you have, what experience do you have, why should someone simply hire you] {needs deep thinking} [Can include Sub Sections like: Bullet Points of Exp and Skills etc, then Core Competency, then Technical Skills etc]
  4. Employment History [Where did you work and from when to when]
  5. Work Experience – Employer, Projects Worked and Dates thereof, Role, Achievements [ This should clearly indicate how you have progressed in your career so far]
  6. Areas of Interest [Work in Progress]
  7. Awards & Recognitions
  8. Pet Projects, if any
  9. Professional Memberships
  10. Publications, Research Papers, if any
  11. Training and Certifications
  12. Educational Qualification [Degree Passed, Year of Passing, Uty name, CGPA]
  13. Extra Curricular Activities
  14. Community Service
  15. Personal Information [Name, Father’s Name, DOB, Sex, Nationality, Language, Hobbies]

You can have a one page short resume with the following details:

  1. Name
  2. Brand Statement for you [what does Brand you stand for and why]
  3. Vision, Mission, Values for you [need not name it Vision, Mission, Values – but that is what you need to convey here, you may wish to call it by some other name]
  4. What strengths do you have
  5. What motivates you
  6. Why are you looking for a change [tricky]

I request you to read a book called: “Career Distinction” Stand Out by Building Your Brand By William Arruda & Kirsten Dixson

CV Format: Please use a clean format without any graphics or too many lines. Keep it simple with lot of white spaces. Highlight only those you think are critical. Generally using Calibri Font, 11 point size, justified makes a resume look good. But you can choose your own font. Pdf is looked at with respect. Word .doc .docx are also fine. There are no rules like number of pages that a resume should have or should not have. But in general practice 4 page resumes are the most common. 10,11,12 or 15 page resumes are boring. Content is the king. It is like copyrighting. You have only space of 4 inches by 2 inches or let us say 140 characters and you still need to convey what you need to, with a punch. That is called Brevity. Same applies to CV also.

 

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Building your own brand takes time and it is a “Work in Progress” [WIP] always. While your Brand building is happening in parallel, you should effectively communicate your Brand. Some of the steps to follow are:

  1. Have a headline for your resume, just like “Chief Marketing Officer” or “IT Sales Professional” or “Program Manager – SAP” or “Cloud Evangelist” or “Chief Trouble Shooter” or “Chief Crisis Manager” or “Chief Strategist” etc. This headline may or may not be your official designation but it should convey your position in essence. This can generate interest in your profile.
  2. Design a Business Card for yourself and have that card [should be readable and not an image] displayed at the top of your resume.
  3. Have a tagline for yourself. Just like Companies. For example, “Passionate about Recruitment” or “Driving Sales Up in a Crowded Market” or “Innovating in a Competitive Software Products Market” or “Architecting Solutions gives me a kick” etc.
  4. What are your Core Competencies ? Please mention that in bullets and easy to read sentences.
  5. Use Words like but not limited to – Designed, Implemented, Was Creative, Was Innovative, Executed, Been Effective, Focussed on Problem Solving, Possess Managerial Excellence, Dynamic, Self Motivated, Motivated team, Have a Track Record, Did Original Thinking, Devised new methods etc.

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100 Best US Companies to Work for in 2012 – List compiled by Fortune

Top 100

Rank ?

Company

Job growth

U.S. employees

1

Google

33%

18,500

2

Boston Consulting Group

10%

1,958

3

SAS Institute

8%

6,046

4

Wegmans Food Markets

5%

41,717

5

Edward Jones

1%

36,937

6

NetApp

30%

6,887

7

Camden Property Trust

-2%

1,678

8

Recreational Equipment (REI)

12%

10,466

9

CHG Healthcare Services

17%

1,312

10

Quicken Loans

20%

3,808

11

Zappos.com

70%

3,003

12

Mercedes-Benz USA

2%

1,680

13

DPR Construction

18%

1,265

14

DreamWorks Animation

8%

2,151

15

NuStar Energy

6%

1,512

16

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

4%

6,996

17

JM Family Enterprises

-1%

3,685

18

Chesapeake Energy

23%

10,502

19

Intuit

9%

7,102

20

USAA

7%

23,211

21

Robert W. Baird

5%

2,509

22

The Container Store

11%

3,495

23

Qualcomm

6%

13,353

24

Alston & Bird

3%

1,645

25

Ultimate Software

15%

1,209

26

Burns & McDonnell

5%

3,165

27

Salesforce.com

39%

3,802

28

Devon Energy

-6%

3,286

29

PCL Construction

-5%

1,262

30

Bingham McCutchen

-7%

1,489

31

Scottrade

9%

3,139

32

Whole Foods Market

6%

60,213

33

Goldman Sachs

N.A.

N.A.

34

Nugget Market

8%

1,135

35

Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Co.

3%

1,311

36

Southern Ohio Medical Center

18%

2,276

37

Plante Moran

1%

1,476

38

W. L. Gore & Associates

2%

5,852

39

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

1%

3,580

40

SVB Financial Group

9%

1,349

41

Adobe

11%

5,296

42

Baptist Health South Florida

10%

13,302

43

Novo Nordisk

N.A.

3,961

44

Balfour Beatty Construction

-2%

2,041

45

National Instruments

7%

2,708

46

Intel

4%

44,209

47

American Fidelity Assurance

0%

1,490

48

PricewaterhouseCoopers

9%

30,569

49

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

-1%

6,616

50

World Wide Technology

23%

1,470

51

Allianz Life Insurance

2%

1,711

52

Autodesk

5%

2,798

53

Methodist Hospital

8%

12,152

54

Baker Donelson

3%

1,142

55

Men’s Wearhouse

2%

14,784

56

Scripps Health

2%

12,006

57

Marriott International

3%

108,939

58

Perkins Coie

7%

1,820

59

Ernst & Young

6%

24,347

60

American Express

4%

27,235

61

Nordstrom

6%

52,431

62

Build-A-Bear Workshop

0%

3,564

63

General Mills

1%

16,939

64

TDIndustries

9%

1,554

65

Atlantic Health

-2%

7,255

66

QuikTrip

3%

11,615

67

Deloitte

7%

41,125

68

Genentech

1%

11,592

69

Umpqua Bank

5%

2,244

70

Teach For America

14%

1,469

71

Mayo Clinic

3%

41,949

72

EOG Resources

13%

2,063

73

Starbucks

3%

109,477

74

Rackspace Hosting

37%

3,027

75

FactSet Research Systems

22%

1,663

76

Microsoft

-4%

53,410

77

Aflac

-4%

4,242

78

Publix Super Markets

1%

147,760

79

Mattel

-4%

5,178

80

Stryker

24%

10,368

81

SRC

7%

1,153

82

Hasbro

3%

3,129

83

Bright Horizons Family Solutions

5%

14,343

84

Booz Allen Hamilton

7%

24,819

85

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

6%

12,439

86

Hitachi Data Systems

7%

2,200

87

The Everett Clinic

4%

2,001

88

OhioHealth

4%

12,924

89

Morningstar

8%

1,364

90

Cisco

7%

34,847

91

CarMax

16%

15,565

92

Accenture

9%

34,000

93

GoDaddy.com

25%

3,274

94

KPMG

5%

20,823

95

Navy Federal Credit Union

8%

7,745

96

Meridian Health

27%

9,333

97

Schweitzer Engineering Labs

27%

1,992

98

Capital One

7%

27,912

99

Darden Restaurants

12%

169,516

100

Intercontinental Hotels Group

-2%

14,508

 

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List compiled by Great Place to work in:

 

2012 India’s Best Companies to Work For

India’s Best Companies to Work For

 

1. Google India Pvt. Ltd.

1535 employees
www.google.com
Industry: Information Technology – Software
Ownership: Private

2. Intel Technology India Pvt. Ltd.

3302 employees
india.intel.com
Industry: Information Technology – Hardware
Ownership: Private

3. NTPC Limited

25345 employees
www.ntpc.co.in
Industry: Manufacturing & Production – Energy Distribution
Ownership: Government

4. MakeMyTrip India Pvt. Ltd.

1039 employees
Www.makemytrip.com
Industry: Professional Services – Travel Management
Ownership: Private

5. Forbes Marshall Pvt. Ltd.

1175 employees
www.forbesmarshall.com
Industry: Manufacturing & Production
Ownership: Private

6. American Express India Pvt. Ltd.

6158 employees
www. americanexpress.com
Industry: Financial Services & Insurance – Banking/Credit Services
Ownership: Private

7. Marriott Hotels India Pvt. Ltd.

4600 employees
www.marriott.com
Industry: Hospitality – Hotel/Resort
Ownership: Private

8. Intuit Technologies Services Pvt Ltd.

507 employees
www.intuit.com
Industry: Information Technology – Software
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held

9. Qualcomm India Pvt. Ltd.

1683 employees
www.qualcomm.com
Industry: Telecommunications
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held

10. NIIT Ltd.

3308 employees
www.niit.com
Industry: Education & Training
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held

11. Agilent Technologies

1508 employees
www.agilent.com
Industry: Information Technology
Ownership: Private

12. Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces

13892 employees
www.tajhotels.com
Industry: Hospitality
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held

13. Blue Dart Express Ltd.

7726 employees
www.bluedart.com
Industry: Transportation – Package Transport
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held

14. Godrej Properties Limited

341 employees
www.godrejproperties.com
Industry: Construction & Real Estate – Property Management
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held

15. Claris Lifesciences Limited

1226 employees
www.clarislifesciences.com
Industry: Health Care – Medical sales/distribution
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held

16. HT Media Ltd.

2447 employees
www.htmedia.in
Industry: Media – Publishing and printing
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held

17. PayPal India Private Limited

843 employees
www.paypal.com
Industry: Information Technology
Ownership: Private

18. Monsanto India Ltd.

813 employees
www.monsanto.com
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held

19. NetApp India Private Limited

1909 employees
www.netapp.com
Industry: Information Technology – Storage/Data Management
Ownership: Private

20. Cactus Communications Pvt. Ltd.

231 employees
www.cactusglobal.com
Industry: Professional Services
Ownership: Private

 21. Ujjivan Financial Services Private Ltd.

3652 employees
www.ujjivan.com
Industry: Financial Services & Insurance – Banking/Credit Services
Ownership: Private

22. InterGlobe Enterprises Ltd.

6150 employees
www.interglobe.com
Industry: Transportation
Ownership: Private

23. HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited

13834 employees
www.hdfclife.com
Industry: Financial Services & Insurance – Life Insurance
Ownership: Private

24. SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd.

4132 employees
www.sap.com
Industry: Information Technology – Software
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held

25. Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.

1915 employees
www.godrejcp.com
Industry: Manufacturing & Production – Personal and Household goods
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held

 

Source: http://greatplacetowork.in/index.php

 

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From the other side of the table…..

Having dealt with candidates for quite a long time, I understand the mistakes that candidates normally commit. From my experience with few candidates who positioned themselves very well right from the beginning of the recruitment process, I suggest that a potential job seeker pays attention to the following:

  1. Resume: This is the first thing that a potential employer gets to read about you. So, please spend weeks on it as if it is the most important project of your life. Please take my word on it. Your CV gets at the most two minutes of the recruiter’s [consultant, business partner, corporate recruiter etc] attention. He decides your future in those two minutes. It is not anymore preferable to have an excellent resume but it is utmost essential bare minimum stuff that you need.
  2. Job Portals: Please remove your profiles from all the Job Portals. There are features in almost all the job portals to get your profile removed. If they do not allow you to remove your profile, you can take them head on. They will oblige. Job Portals are at best good at sending you totally unrelated job postings and they will send them in thousands.
  3. Social Networking Sites: Please make sure your online behaviour is decent. Please do not post some picture of yours that is not good for consumption by a potential employer. Your online activities are getting tracked. Most employers are doing a thorough online background check before calling you for an interview.
  4. Phone etiquette: When you attend a call from a recruiter, please project a pleasing & confident personality and do not come across as an arrogant personality.
  5. Keep up the commitment: If you commit to send your resume within a stipulated time, please keep it up. Please understand that the recruiter can help you get ahead in your career and it is important that he / she carries a good view on you. If you commit to attend an interview – telephonic or face to face, please keep up the schedule. After committing if you have an important work at office or at home, please call the recruiter to inform him / her about your unavailability and ensure that he / she keeps the client informed about your unavailability. Please re-schedule and keep up that schedule.
  6. Interview:
  • Please be on time. Traffic is not an excuse for coming late. Please meet the recruiter at the venue and inform him or her about your arrival. And ensure that he / she does not keep you waiting. This can be done by carrying yourself well and showing your professionalism in your body language. No loose talks.
  • Dress up well. Of-course most companies today do not mind to interview candidates in their shorts and Tees. But the dress communicates something. Please make sure that your dress is in line with your profile. If you are an innovator you can dress up casually but then you are running the risk of being judged as someone who does not care much. We have all read that great innovators [like Steve Jobs] do not bother to fall in line. Please read about the potential employer and their corporate culture. If you are appearing for an interview for the post of User Interface Designer with a funky software product company that believes in results and not the rules, then you can afford to go casual.
  • Technical Interview: The usual question asked is: Please tell us about yourself. This is an opportunity to drive the interview the way you want it. Please make sure that you utilize this opportunity well. The interview should focus on things / areas where you are extremely strong and not on those things that needs improvement. And you should ensure this. It is an art to drive the interview the way you want it.
  • HR Interview: Please do not mince words. Please be clear with your expectations. And let them know the reasons / justifications for those expectations, when asked. Trust me, you will be asked to justify whatever be your expectation – be it 10%, 20%, 30% or more.

This post does not attempt to address all the needs of a prospective job seeker in a single post. I will write a series of posts on this topic. We can delve a bit more into each of the above to understand the nuances of why do Managers recruit some candidates and what qualities they seek. Catch you soon…..

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