Prashant's Weblog
Random Brain "Droppings" of yet another software engineer

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Job Hunt begins

So after the cliffhanger regarding my resignation was resolved, I had a very interesting question for myself. What next? Well I had no answer for that. I had absolutely no clue about my next job as I did not have any. So as usual I pressed the panic button.

The first thing on my to-do list was to get myself a decent resume. It was 2 years since I last spelt the word resume, so the previous resume was in a very bad shape. Probably one key take away from this experience is that


(OH! I can see the halo. Earthly soul attains enlightenment).

So after lots of copying, borrowing and stealing reusing material from other resume and websites, the mission was successfully accomplished. So after demonstrating the hard-to-master skill of coupling reuse strategy with years of coding best practices experience (ctrl-c/ctrl-v), I successfully "assembled" my resume. I was surprised to see that within no time I have copied/pasted/aligned 7 pages of matter, yep surprised because I never knew I had worked so much as to fill in 7 pages.

Now the next task was for a peer review of my resume. Thanks to the information super highway, within no time made sure that my resume is floating in most of my friend’s inbox. So within minutes feedback started to trickle in, based on the feedback it was clear that things were not quite right with the resume. Few of the things I goofed up in my resume were;

1) Length of resume. The first comment from a friend was "CEO's have one page resume". Well mine had 7. I realized it the hard way that having 7 pages in ur resume does not mean you are 7 times more competent, but it implies you are 7 times in competent. So had to put my resume on a diet and after some prodding and nudging was able to slim it down to 4 pages. Ran out of patience to continue further.
2) Use Verb phrases rather than bombastic language. I had used lots of "empty words" in my resume like Hard-working, Ambitious, and Innovative etc. Though these sound great they fail to make any impression at all, as both employer and employee know that these are false most of the time. Instead I put in verb phrases like "Completed a job that requires 3 days in 1 day" for Hard working. "Using so-an-so method in Oracle was able to efficiently query hierarchical data" for Innovative etc.
3) Alignment of data. I had randomly arranged data in my resume. But people really don’t have time to scroll through pages of your resume to get the relevant data. So as a rule of thumb, a person looking at the first page of resume on a 14 inch monitor should be able to see details like Name, address, contact details, your objective, your key skills, total relevant experience and the name of the current employer without scrolling.
4) No history. Keep project descriptions short. I had put in lot of details regarding project. People really don’t have time for this. So aim of the project, the action points you have worked on, technologies you have worked on, team size and duration should be more that enough.

So made all the necessary corrections and said to myself, Hello World, here I come. My resume was ready to go.


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