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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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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Why bother having a resume – by SethGodin

On November 26th, 2011, posted in: Resume by

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Why bother having a resume?

– by Seth Godin

In the last few days, I’ve heard from top students at Cornell and other universities about my internship.

It must have been posted in some office or on a site, because each of the applications is just a resume. No real cover letter, no attempt at self marketing. Sort of, “here are the facts about me, please put me in the pile.”

This is controversial, but here goes: I think if you’re remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn’t have a resume at all.

Not just for my little internship, but in general. Great people shouldn’t have a resume.

Here’s why: A resume is an excuse to reject you. Once you send me your resume, I can say, “oh, they’re missing this or they’re missing that,” and boom, you’re out.

Having a resume begs for you to go into that big machine that looks for relevant keywords, and begs for you to get a job as a cog in a giant machine. Just more fodder for the corporate behemoth. That might be fine for average folks looking for an average job, but is that what you deserve?

If you don’t have a resume, what do you have?

How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects?
Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch?
Or a reputation that precedes you?
Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up?

Some say, “well, that’s fine, but I don’t have those.”

Yeah, that’s my point. If you don’t have those, why do you think you are  remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular? It sounds to me like if you don’t have those, you’ve been brainwashed into acting like you’re sort of ordinary.

Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for… those jobs don’t get filled by people emailing in resumes. Ever.

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