Don’t miss the best job opportunities – Your Resume

by Rajesh Nambiar

PART I : THE RESUME

These are extra ordinary times. Lay offs, salary cuts, limited opportunities, professionally perhaps the toughest phase we have ever gone through. Finding a job that suits your abilities might be even more difficult. Remember, when things get better, the best jobs will be taken first, leaving the less desirable jobs for people who did not prepare in time. You must be ready when the right opportunity comes knocking. So, how do you prepare yourself so that you don’t miss the best job opportunities ?

Let me explain this from the perspective of an employer

During my 25 years of working in the travel industry, I have been responsible for recruiting for about 19 years. A major portion of the interviewing that I have done was in an organisation which believed strongly in keeping their team above anything else. I have had the pleasure of seeing many of them grow with the organisation to take leadership positions such as Executive Vice Presidents, General Managers and HODs. During all these interactions, my only goal was to identify a prospective team member who displayed willingness to learn and for whom our organisation would be the ideal match. Believe me, at an organisation that has been constantly growing, this was not easy.

I have attempted to compile a few lessons from my experience as a recruiter and I hope it helps jobseekers prepare for the next opportunity

  1. Your resume – Get your basics right
  2. Optimise your profile on professional career and networking sites like indiatraveljobs and LinkedIn
  3. How to be relevant in the industry
  4. How to find the right opportunity
  5. Preparing for the interview
  6. What to do if you did not get the job

I will cover the above points in a series of article starting with this one so that you don’t miss out the best job opportunities

Get your basics right – Your resume or CV or Biodata

Your resume is the first filter that any recruiter would apply when screening all applicants. Hence you must put your best foot forward. Be it for a fresher or an experienced professional, every resume should be created with enthusiasm. * The resume must include personal details and contact information, * All your work experience in chronological order with the current / latest experience first. * Express your professional objective in 1 or 2 sentences and a section with additional certifications or non-academic qualifications. * If possible, add a section on key achievements in your career so far.

I have shared links of online resume building sites at the end of this article.

What else should be on a resume ?

Honesty and truth

I trust a resume 100%, and I assume as a default all recruiters do. This makes the resume screening easier, but there is a lot of responsibility on the candidate as the resume is a declaration of truthfulness, honesty, and sincerity. Including any false information on your resume will put you in a legal liability with your organisation with disastrous consequences. Today, many organisations cross verify the authenticity of the candidate’s qualifications and even check with their previous employers.

Accuracy

When you enter any information, read through again to check its accuracy. This is particularly concerning any mentioned dates, qualifications and contact information. I have come across resumes with wrong email ids resulting in interview appointments getting missed. Keep your resume updated.

Complete educational and professional qualifications

I mean “Complete”. Do not leave out the name of your school or college and preferably its location (and do not include the address). Use expanded initials instead of acronyms for your qualifications. With colleges and institutions constantly bringing in new courses, there are times when the same acronym stands for two different courses. Do not give any room for confusion. You may be a young fresher on the prowl, but the recruiter may be from an older generation with a little less understanding of latest acronyms.

Neat presentation

A recruiter gets hundreds and sometimes thousands of resumes depending on the vacancies. When the ratio of applicants to number of vacancies is high, a lot of time is consumed to read through every resume hence recruiters will try to expedite the process. They will look only for the highlights in each resume and shortlist based on what impresses them most. A clear and consistently formatted resume with the right headings is what will catch the eye. Be creative but stay professional and never be “fancy”. If you think you are best suited for the job that you are applying for then work on your presentation to ensure a guaranteed reading by the recruiter.

Always create resume in editable software and share it as PDF (never as a picture file). You must have a standard version of your resume, that is handy to share to network and friends..

Here is a tip: Include a recently shot, professional looking & smiling picture of yourself in the resume. It will speak of your confidence !

For every opportunity that you apply consider these 2 important steps.

  • Customise the resume to highlight your skills related to the job requirements. Something that the recruiter would be looking for and easy to spot on your resume document.
  • Always send the resume with a covering note (email or pre-fixed with the resume document) personalised to the recruiter and mention a) those areas that match with the job requirements and b) Additional qualities or value or experience that you can bring in.

Take this first step to ensure you don’t miss out on the best job opportunities when the market bounces back.

Links for resume building websites: 1. ResumeBuild 2. EnhanCV

Cover image using photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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