Sriparna Chakraborty
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
As the industry's demand for engineers' have increased over the year, the ingredients essential in an effective resume have proliferated. The Smart Techie spoke to some HR managers' to ascertain what constitutes a well-crafted resume.
"A resume should follow a chronological format and convey the candidates' objectives and skill sets in a manner that is clutter free and crisp," says Smita Sah, HR Manager, e-infochips.

HR managers suggest that dumping modesty is the first step in drafting a resume. A candidate should evaluate his performance in each of his previous jobs and ask himself 'What was my contribution to my division and company?' the exercise would help the job seeker identify his accomplishments, and including it in the resume would help him prepare an effective pitch for the position up for grabs.

Since accomplishments are none in the case of entry-level candidates, their resumes must portray skills and enthusiasm. Experienced candidates, on the other hand, are often guilty over qualifying themselves. "They dump their resumes with huge amounts of data believing that that it would fill in the gaps and project embellished image that is capable of performing well beyond the applicant's capabilities," says P.D. Divaker, HR Manager, SAIC.

Agrees, Chaitanya Nadkarny, Director—Operations and HR, ThoughtWorks "They pile their resumes with all the unimportant projects and assignments they have undertaken since their college days, which makes their achievements almost incomprehensible from the pile. Further, if a resume is more than three pages long, one does not generally move beyond the second page."

For a senior managerial post, the role the candidate played and the responsibilities he handled with his ex-employee must find an elaborate weightage in the resume. However, stating his reasons for joining a new organization along with the years of experience speaks volume about the candidature of the applicant, adds Sah.

Keying right keywords
Recruiters' suggest that having the accurate keyword in the resume acts as an advantage. In a world where resumes get scanned by computers hunting for certain 'correct' phrases; the right phrases help place the resume on top of the recruiters' pile.
Divakar recommends placing generic keywords like 'good communication skills', 'problem-solving abilities' and 'ability to work in a team' as apt ones.

The absence of keywords can often be a dampener to a candidate’s prospects. L. Pius Maria Prasad, Senior HR Manager, Huawei cites an example: In cases where a candidate has led a team in finishing a project, he talks about the project in detail in his resume, but leaves it for the imagination of the recruiter to devise that he was not only the project leader but the team leader as well.

Keywords are also important to show that the candidate can produce results. IT skill sets including .Net, SQL Server, XML, Javascript and C, C++, which the applicant is familiar with should be fitted accordingly in the resume.

Charles Ferring, Recruitment Manager at Google observes that junior level professionals in India have a notion that putting all the technologies and languages they are aware of, in decreasing order of their expertise, would fetch them jobs. However, he makes it a point to pick on the last mentioned language in the list, and often comes across cases where candidates are not familiar with it.

Resume writing
A resume should say a lot more than facts from the past. While advertising success can be a winning strategy, formatting and integrating the accomplishments in each job listing can be a challenging job, feel résumé writers at the premier job portals like Monster and Naukri. Most job portals these days offer resume writing services in addition to hosting them.

Naukri follows four steps while providing their services. The resume of the candidate is worked on according to the data provided by the candidate and then sent back to him for an approval, for a price of Rs. 1,400. It is later sent to placement agencies that in turn direct these resumes to companies looking out for candidates, this stage cost about Rs. 900. And lastly it's on display on the job portal for a year, again for an additional Rs. 800. "The candidate moves beyond the resume piles and gets a better chance," says Delphine Meyn, Manager, Resume skills, Naukri.com.

A resume, as many know, is the face of the candidate as well as the passport he holds to his professional life. Therefore, HR managers feel that an impressive, crisp and simple resume rather than an embellished version of his accomplishments eventually does the trick.
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