Friday, October 17, 2008

Resume Writing

If you recorded interviews you might get to hear something like this:

Interviewer: Your Resume speaks of a lot of activities in the project. What’s your part in it?
Candidate: We (team) have shared equal responsibilities around development, testing, bug fixing, etc.

Interviewer: I understand, but, what was your role in it?
Candidate: We (again the team!) played equal roles in the progress of the project

Interviewer: Hmm…so help me understand your individual involvement in the project?
Candidate: We (for the last time!)…..continues talking about collective approach towards accomplishing goals!

Interviewer: Thank you for your time! We’ll get back to you… (Never!)
Candidate (Extremely satisfied): look forward to hear from you… (I’ve got the job!)

If you are an interviewer, the answers might sound very familiar. If you are a candidate, your answers have just ruined your chances of making it to the next round.

Maybe, the resume contents were indicative of the thought process of the candidate. A resume is a great start point to tell someone about your achievements. You definitely don't want to mess that up. Here's a quick glance from a recruiter's point of view at a standard template of a resume which might be useful. Off course, use your creativity and intelligence to better it for your own good.

1. If there is anything at all that a resume should speak about – it must be you!

- It’s great that you accomplished the task as a team, but if you cannot clearly explain your role, then you might as well send your team for the interview!

- Listen to the interviewer, your resume is almost writing itself during your discussion. Get back & make those changes.

2. The resume should have a certain flow or method in it:

- Start with a Summary/Objective: What is it that you want from your next job? Link it to your short-term and long term goals.

- Mention your strengths: Both technical & non-technical. Keep it in line with the job requirement.

- Followed by a table with your skill sets, preferably with self-rating againt each.

- Start by mentioning your work experience in reverse chronological order along with timelines in each company
· Brief about the project
· Technology used in the project
· Mention your role in the project. Be specific. Telling more about your role and responsibility will help the recuiter and interviewer understand your contributions a lot better.
· Achievements in the project (if any)

- Education Details: Most companies want to know only your highest achieved degree. Stick to mentioning just that, unless asked for previous degrees.

- Mention about certifications/awards/patents/presentations/articles/Whitepaper etc.

- Any significant achievement in your line of business? Ensure that your work has positively impacted a sizable number of people.

- References

3. The resume should be ‘to-the-point’ and should best capture your work in the least number of words possible.

4. Ensure there are ZERO spelling errors, else it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

5. Please read through your resume a hundred times & get to know it like the back of your hand! You'll be suprised at the number of candidates who forget what's on their own resume.

6. Finally, if you think your resume needs professional help, ask for it! Get yourself a resume-writing professional. It won’t hurt to spend a little to put your best foot forward in an interview!

All the best!