Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Interesting Analysis :D

I found this on a friend's Gtalk Status and I couldnt stop posting it here...

Taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment,explained:

Q.What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A.It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q.Where will the government get this money?
A.From taxpayers

Q.So the government is giving me back my own money?
A.Only a smidgen.

Q.What is the purpose of this payment?
A.The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set,thus stimulating the economy.

Q.But isn't that stimulating the economy of China?
A.Shut up

There's an obvious pun to it, but fun and hilarious nevertheless :D

Monday, February 02, 2009

Making your Resume and making it Great!

I've heard it from a lot of college students, especially when they enter 2nd year, that they've got to start working on a resume. Everyone seems to be worrying about it. I worried about it too. But guess what, its not difficult to make a great resume. Its as simple as presenting yourself in the right way and selling yourself to your target employer / internship provider. Its also a skill, which when mastered not only gets you a great resume but also teaches you not to over hype or undervalue and yet convey convincingly.

So here are some myths that should be dispelled:

  • Making a Resume is a one time process: Its not. Its a continous process. Even 5-10 years down the line you would find yourself fine tuning your resume and making it better. Every new revision makes it better than the previous; a step closer to perfection.
  • I can copy off a great template and be done: You cant. The more personalized your resume is the better and more impactful it is. You must devote time and energy if you want a great resume that presents you the way you want to be seen.
  • A resume should not be attractive, decorative or graphic: Only partly true. But yes, people prefer to accept resumes that are not flowery and digress from the norm. But standing apart from the crowd with sleek and classy resume esp for the role of a layout artist or animation is not a bad idea. But of course where ever professional matters are involved, like student internships or job applications, you should stick to a simple textual resume format.

Apart from these, few additional tips:
  • Prefer to send pdf version of resumes wherever not mentioned.
  • If you submit resumes to job search sites like monster.com or naukri.com, make sure to include searchable keywords like
    - Experience
    - Responsible
    - Skill set
    - (Specific skills like Java, C, C++, portfolio management, Adobe Creative Suite etc etc.)
    but make sure that if you're not submitting your resume to public search sites, do not include phrases like "experience of x years" or "I was responsible for xwy". Instead, you should write "I was the business consultant of abc company from 2005 to 2009 where I consulted 30 firms and 20 individual clients ..." and "I handled 30% of sales from xyz department"
  • For students, you must learn to supplement project details with credibility, like a web link or mention of a certification, grade etc. Rather than explain a lot about the project and what you learnt, write your contribution to the project and briefly touch upon what you picked up and learnt.
  • Do not attach resumes with your mail while mailing professors for internships or for a job. Instead, upload your resume on google sites or another such free hosting service and provide a link within your mail. Most professors receive a bunch of spams with attachments that fill up their inbox. As a result they have stringent anti spam filters. You dont want your application going into their spam list, do you?
  • List jobs first, and in reverse order.
    List your most recent job at the top and the rest in descending order. This is the order employers/recruiters expect to see your experience; don’t disappoint or confuse them. A rare exception to the rule: if you are graduated from a prestigious college and you’re working at a filler job. All you Harvard degree graduates who are scooping ice cream, list your Harvard education first.
  • Omit your mailing address.
    Who is going to contact you by snail mail anyway? Your email address and cell phone number is all anyone needs to contact you. With your resume floating around the internet, keep some information private.
  • Include accomplishments in addition to responsibilities.
    If you made a suggestion that your boss used, if you saved your company money, if you streamlined the work process, it counts. Don’t be shy about highlighting accomplishments on your resume. Back them up with statistics, if possible. How much money did you save the company? What percentage of the budget was it?
  • Keep the resume concise.
    Stick to one page, unless you have been working ten or fifteen years. If early jobs are not relevant, leave them off.
  • Never stop revising.
    As I said earlier, your resume can always be improved so keep tweaking it. Add a better word, a better phrase, a new accomplishment. Keep old versions of your resume in case you need information that you previously deleted.
  • Don’t Lie.
    You knew this would be on the list. Employers routinely check job histories and education claims. Lies about either your job history or degree are the easiest for employers to uncover. The newly named dean of admissions at MIT lied on her resume when applying for a clerical job twenty-eight years ago. With the promotion in the works, her lies were discovered and she was fired. Never lie!
  • Omit the Ugly.
    Mediocre grade point average? Leave it off. Have a 4.0? Put it front and center. Not all information is mandatory. Some people omit listing jobs they only held a short time or that might give them a bad reference. However, if the omission creates a gap that you are asked about in an interview, remember tip number one: don’t lie.
  • Mind the Gap
    I know someone who waitressed a couple of years after college. She omits her graduation year from her resume so there is no obvious hole, but no lies either.


The resume is a tool with one specific purpose: to win an interview.
If it can do that, its a great resume. If not, it isnt. simple. Theres no great formula to it. Its just art and practice, but if you follow the right guidelines, more often than not it will work positively.

Most importantly you should learn that a resume convinces the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career.
Also, it should be readable. The reader should want to read more. Not throw it away in favour of the next resume in the list...

Remember that these are not end products. They are the starting points. You must personalize and build on them to make your great resume.

College Students:


Additional resources:
Resumes arent everything. At many places, you will need to supplement them with a cover letter and a good email (esp if you're mailing a professor for an internship). Here are some good websites for that:
Instead of giving you tips for cover letters, here's what an employer said about the 12 cover letters he received for a job post:
11 of the 12 resumes had cover letters which is actually pretty good because if you skip that step, you simply look unprofessional. The problem is that they all of the cover letters looked exactly the same and had the same message.

" Blah, blah, blah very qualified and a good fit into your company...blah, blah..."

There was nothing at all that made me want to read the resume. It's unsettling because the last thing I want is an "ordinary" salesman. I want to hire someone that stands out a little and the cover letter is your one chance to make a connection with someone you may never meet.

Some Resume FAQs: http://www.resume-help.org/resume_faqs.htm

So begin your resume writing journey now, and enjoy the benefits. All the very best.