Friday, September 24, 2004

Résumé Galore (part 2)

Hmm, I've been going through several résumés, and some are good, some are bad and some are downright quite sad to see. I had meant to reply back with a detailed rejection letter, but realized that it would not be wise to do so owing to several reasons. But I just figured that I would offer the points here for all to see - 1. Always include a good short, semi-formal covering letter and an understandable nice subject line - a subject line that says - BE/80%/Team Player - does not mean much, and we would not know what the mail is about. However a mail that says, "Résumé: Ref. Hindu Ad" means a whole lot more. 2. Avoid exaggerating your achievements and experience, it is usually evident when a candidate claims to have done things s/he has not. 3. Try and stick to good English, any mistakes in your letter or résumé has an impact on the first impression that we may have of you. 4. A lot of you had explicitly specified your academic achievements -- we do understand that academics are a fair measure of your skills, but they are not the only measure. Highlighting other factors would sometimes help you, and set you apart from the rest. 5. Please do not provide an excessively long résumé - a résumé is a short document (usually 1 page, 2 pages maximum if you have done several important projects and the like). A résumé that has been made 5 pages long by adding meaningless content, using a bigger font and adding extra-space does not look good. If we wanted more details, we would have asked you for a Curriculum Vitae, or CV. You could blend the two, too, and the following is a good example of that -- Tanzeem's CV -- neither too short, nor too long. 6. Avoid the use of words which sound big, but mean nothing -- words like team player, fast-learner, energetic, positive, etc. mean nothing. They will only make us feel that you are adding words to fill up your résumé, and making up for lack of any genuine substance. 6. We would strongly recommend you to have a look at Joel Spolsky's article on how to write a résumé, which is available online at -- Getting Your Résumé Read -- following the points that he has mentioned would greatly improve your chances of acceptance the next time around. Well, that's about it. More updates later.