Friday, Jun 23rd

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Resume Format for Experienced

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Off campus interviews are completely different from college placements. When you appear for an interview with a Resume showing 2-3 years experience, your new 'potential' employer is definitely not expecting to spend company money on your training. He wants you to be PERFECT. The technical rounds get tougher, and each round is an interview with a senior person in the company ultimately leading to the Directors and the AVPs.

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My advice to experienced people is to always stay on the lookout for a better, if not great, opportunity and always give an interview even though you don't plan to join. Reason, you get to know first hand what these guys are asking and what skills the industry is looking for. So, when the BIG opportunity comes your way, you are already prepared. And anyways, interviews are free. :)

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Resume again makes a big difference to your get or not get (ing) the call in the first place. Your resume should not only be very impressive but should have "This looks like the best candidate for this job" shouting from all over it. If you logon to naukri.com and check the profile of candidates applying for the same job you will find numbers ranging from thousands to ten thousands. That is the kind of competition you face. HR executives have all those resumes to screen.

So your CV has simply got to be the best!

Thumb Rule # 1: STICK TO A 2 PAGE RESUME, STRICTLY. Even better, if its 1 page. Understand that nobody has the time to read your biography; you only have 30 seconds to impress!

Thumb Rule # 2: Your CV should be in the Reverse Chronological Format. That is, start with your latest or current project first and go on till your first project.

Thumb Rule # 3: Think of specific keywords which are unique or important to the job you are applying for and highlight those throughout your resume. 

How to structure your Resume

  • Though an objective statement is not necessary for software engineers even at this point, you do get extra points if you have one (and which is not copied!). Start with it.
  • The OBJECTIVE should actually state your true objective. Please avoid lines which tell the employer how you strive to become a better individual in his company and how you plan to grow with it! If you are from a, say, Telecom background and the new place you applied to is working on the latest in 4G technology, state your objective as "To gain an understanding of the latest in Indian Telecommunications sector and apply my present domain knowledge to create value and at the same time, learn about upcoming technologies"
  • Follow the objective with your BRIEF PROFILE. The brief profile is for HR executives who want to quickly screen resumes. Mention 3-5 bullet points highlighting your experience, skills and your present role. If you have any major certification like CCNA, highlight it here. But remember to keep the Brief Profile brief :)
  • Follow this up with you TECHNICAL SKILL SET. Programming languages you know, Platforms or OSs you have worked upon, other skills.
  • Now come your PROFESSIONAL PROJECTS. In reverse chronological order. For each project, give a brief, very short maybe one-liner, about what the project was about. If it was a product, what part of it did you make and how was it exceptional. Many times your new employers would not understand much about your last projects. So keep descriptions short. And even if they do, don't give them paragraphs to read. Let them ask questions face-to-face. 
  • Follow this description with what skills you used in the project (skills like which programming language, environment, and what OS you worked on) and what your role was in this particular assignment.
  • Many times employers are also looking for Team Sizes. Mention that if you want to. Managers want to see if you are a team player or an individual party. Both have its pros and cons. So show some projects with large team sizes and some with small. Be ready if asked to justify which team size you were comfortable with.
  • After your projects, mention the details of your EDUCATION along with your percentage or CGPA. Mention your 12th and 10th marks if you scored decent enough; anyways, the HR guys will ask about them (I fail to understand though, why are 10th std marks relevant!). Also mention about any certification or other professional courses you might have done.
  • This should be followed by your ACCOMPLISHMENTS or details of awards you received at your workplace or even college. Make a mention of your phenomenal  achievements in the Brief Profile as well. Explain how your performance resulted in the overall good of your present employer.
  • Then write about your EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES in the present company as well as during your college time.
  • End the resume with your HOBBIES and INTERESTS. Or you can avoid these and instead mention about your STRENGTHS and OTHER SKILLS and give the resume a corporate image.

When you are mentioning details of your professional projects, avoid mentioning about your college or final year projects (which would come at the end chronologically) unless you think they were really good and are relevant for this profile. If you are a 1 year experienced person you may want to mention about your graduation projects; for 3+ year ones, time to move on guys. And yes, be prepared to be grilled on all the projects you mention.

Contact Details: Mentioning contact or your personal details at the end of the resume takes up a lot of space. So try to mention these at the starting. The best place is the top right corner, in the form of a letter head. This would leave a lot of room for the actual content of your resume. Another thing, you don't have to mention your Father's name in your CV, unless they specifically ask for it.

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