Sit­u­a­tions va­cant

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Guide - - CAREERSMART -

What are re­sume clichés and how should one avoid them? I’ve had a suc­cess­ful 10-year ca­reer in sales and mar­ket­ing and go­ing by what the word means, I am afraid my re­sume is filled with them.

—Varun

Re­sume clichés re­fer to of­ten re­peated words or phrases in a re­sume that are quite mean­ing­less or do not pro­vide spe­cific in­for­ma­tion about the per­son. For ex­am­ple, sen­tences such as ‘I am ac­tionori­ented’, ‘re­sults driven’ and a 'team player’ are found in al­most ev­ery CV and do not dif­fer­en­ti­ate one per­son from the other. How­ever, if a per­son were to give de­tails of the ac­tion that led to a great per­for­mance, the spe­cific re­sults that were achieved, and the role a per­son played as a team mem­ber, that will be far more mean­ing­ful to the em­ployer. So, if your skills and your achieve­ments back these claims, use them. Clichés like ‘team player’ is fine pro­vided your re­sume an­swers a few ques­tions such as what ex­per­tise you brought in that helped the team and what the team achieved col­lec­tively. Clichés in your re­sume should show what you have achieved as part of a team and make you stand out from other can­di­dates with sim­i­lar claims. The ideal way to de­scribe your­self as a strate­gic thinker in your re­sume should be to say that you came up with a dis­tri­bu­tion model that chan­nelled busi­ness re­sources into prod­ucts with larger pay­back, driv­ing an ad­di­tional 1.5 m in an­nual sales and not sim­ply, “I think strate­gi­cally and can come up with new ap­proaches to serve the needs of cus­tomers.” The for­mer pro­vides ev­i­dence of think­ing strate­gi­cally, rather than mak­ing tall claims, turn­ing a cliché into a valu­able skill.

I have been ap­ply­ing on­line for al­most six months, but with zero suc­cess. This makes me won­der if I have the right CV to get no­ticed. Please help so that I can make sure my re­sume gets tracked right, and I get a re­sponse.

—Vi­van Thakur

The pri­mary pur­pose of a re­sume is to get an in­ter­view. Com­pa­nies screen can­di­dates and re­sumes in mostly two ways. The first is through ATS — ap­pli­cant track­ing sys­tems and all re­sumes, even the ones re­ceived di­rectly by the com­pany are loaded on a com­puter that con­ducts a key word search. Com­pa­nies match the key­words from the job an­nounce­ments, or stated by the hir­ing man­ager, to see whether your re­sume has them. Only those re­sumes that have a good key­word match are se­lected for re­view by the hir­ing man­ager. If a re­sume can­not be read by the ATS, it is re­jected.

The sec­ond method used by the hir­ing man­agers is to find can­di­dates by search­ing on­line re­sumes for pos­si­ble matches again us­ing key­words. If the on­line re­sume can­not be read by search en­gines, it will not be se­lected.

So, avoid putting up a re­sume in jpg be­cause the ATS can read only text or word files with­out ta­bles. Most sys­tems can­not read pdf files. As for search en­gines, they can search a pdf for­mat of an on­line re­sume, but not a jpg file.

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