I haven’t done an MBA and I definitely don’t know anything about human resource management, but I really think I could write a book about the-art-of-writing-a-resume.
I spent my day today looking at potential employees and laughed enough for someone to consider me nuts.
At any rate, here are some of the horrors I got and therefore some lessons:
1. Photographs: Unless the application is to a modelling agency, don’t bother. Nobody cares about your face – in particular nobody cares for a full length photograph.
2. References: Do not put down your husband/father/cousin etc., as references and then explain the relationship. In addition to being useless its also stupid.
3. Get the name of the organization right: You cannot apply to the UN when we are not the UN.
4. Referring to your ‘selves’: Avoid talking about yourself in multiples. Its disconcerting.
5. The personal attributes/interests column: If you don’t know how to use it, take it out. Seriously, I don’t care if you enjoy watching NDTV in spare time. Oh sorry, I do care. It means I won’t hire you.
6. Using words you do not understand: If you don’t know why ‘transparency’ is important, don’t use the word. I feel flabbergasted at your stupidity. Especially if you call yourself transparent.
7. Do not beg for the job: Do not say “I surrender my application”. If I wanted ‘surrender’ I would be hiring for love, not work.
8. Cover Letters: If nothing else, write a good cover letter. A blank e-mail with an attachment just shows laziness.
9. If you have no direct experience: No sweat. Just don’t send me a CV with experience in ARM technology and Ghz processors. Tell me instead– why you want to make the switch and what skills you have that are transferable.
10. Don’t be a saint: Just because you want to work with the development sector, doesn’t mean you have to be “selfless in every endeavor”. Saints don’t get things done.
11. Applying for multiple posts: Don’t apply for every post that the organisation advertises. They already have your CV on file once, its only irritating to see the same cover letter/CV five times.
12. Interviews: Give telephone numbers on your CV that work and that you are reachable at. Speak in whatever language you are comfortable in – if English was a requirement, it would have been stated in the job description. When called don’t ask “what company are you calling from”?…have you not been listening?!
13. “Mr.” : Don’t automatically assume your recruiter is a man!
14. FWDs: Do not send an application with “fwd” in the title. Its obvious someone wrote it for you. While you are at it, make fonts consistent.