Freshers – Getting to your first job interview!

India is at a cusp of a unique phenomenon. On the one hand the number of students graduating from the mushrooming Technology & Engineering colleges is growing exponentially. On the other hand the quality of these budding ‘engineers’ is getting questioned all around. The vision of why one wants to take up an engineering course does not even go beyond getting entry into an engineering college.

At one extreme we have the biggies from India (and VC funded start-ups), the likes of Infosys, Wipro, TCS, picking up their choice of engineering graduates at never-before-heard-salaries, at the other end of the spectrum we have qualified engineers who end up taking up roles of data entry operators (if not embellishing the so-called “Bench” of an IT company).

Misaligned curricula design, course content biased towards theory (than live projects), short sighted priorities of students, and lack of basic etiquette towards approaching the potential employers completely mar the opportunities of even bright minds to make it big in the world of information technology.

That brings us to the most important thing that’s ignored – Language and its power! In today’s day and age, English remains an important tool in cracking any problems in the technology world. The problems come to you in English, the solutions come to you in English, and you will be solving them in English. Bleeding edge technologies, programming languages, scripts are being developed and refined every day to be closer to English.

No matter how bright you are, use of inappropriate language and lack of some basic etiquette can snatch the opportunities right from your hands. As they say, “Resumes make or break your careers”. In most cases, first impressions about candidates are made just by the Resumes – how they were sent, the kind language used, and how people choose to present themselves.

It was just today when we got a mail with an attachment but no message or any signature that could address the sender. Now why would someone open this mail? (Employers don’t really fancy playing a “Boojho to Jaane” or “Hide-n-Seek” game)

Every employer seeks the answer to this ‘why’ – why should I look at this mail? Did you, as an applicant, provide answer to such questions in the message body of your mail, something that could have left us curious to open the CV attached with the mail? Never forget that this first email can be your greatest opportunity to make the difference. With thousands of emails that companies go through every month, maintaining the basic etiquette is the simple solution to get heard.

Some common mistakes that drive applicants’ resume to the Trash

Carpet Bombing! Sending an email with a huge list of email addresses in cc shows the lack of your interest in being a part of any of the organizations in your cc list. Needless to say, the companies classify these candidatures as “not-interested” or “applied through hit-&trial”.

Just One Attachment! As mentioned earlier, sometimes we get messages with just one file attached with it. What is an employer likely to think of it – A mail from a bright prospect for the organisation, or someone trying to span his/her mailbox? It is just like you are walking on the road and a stranger comes, hands you over a bag and leaves.

I Work 24 hours! How would you like if someone rings your doorbell at 3 am for a cup of sugar (matter of life and death cases notwithstanding). Similarly, your email in the middle of the night or at 4 o’clock in the morning is very unlikely to ring the bell (pun unintended) in the right way.

So how should you go about this business?

Build good knowledge about your future employer and the role
Developing at least a basic knowledge about the organisation where you are applying to, nature of its business, the role that you are considering yourself for and how you see your future in that organisation is the quintessential Step1.

A proper email is no less important than a well crafted Resume
Your email should clearly show your interest in the job and organization, and the reasons thereof. Your key message should represent your sincerity, interest, and etiquette by letting the receiver know that how much you know them. And, after knowing everything about the company and its work how much you are interested in working with them.

What do you bring to the table – The Resume
The most essential thing the employers come across is, your Resume. Your Resume is the image that you want to create in front of any employer. And yes, the details that the Resume should avoid carrying are as important as the ones that it should definitely carry.

So how should you build your Resume/profile

Before we start talking about how your resume should be, let’s have a look to this list of funny errors employers shared from some of the resume they receive. There are a lot more examples of resume disasters. But instead, let’s talk about how to turn your resume into your best impression. And, trust me nobody is looking for a hard-core “Resume of the year”. The employers look for the Resumes which are simple, to the point, and do not contain the bulk of unwarranted details about your fishing skills!

The recipe to create an impressive resume is very simple – you just need to be yourself on your Resume.
Simple is Powerful. No one bothers to read your life story, until and unless it is about how you were a superhero or how you survive ‘the journey to the mysterious island’. In general cases, employers would be pleased to know the things about you that-
– Match the profile they are hiring for
– Are the most impressive things that others should know

Customize. Never send one copy of your resume to a bunch of companies without making changes according to their requirements. Remember that each organization is unique with its unique work and working styles (even if they are all working in the same stream). Your study of organisation and the role would be of key significance here. Don’t forget to mention your interests that match well with the profile’s requirements.

Value your LinkedIn profile. Today organisations explore every piece about you from social networks even before you are invited for a job interview. Your blogs, LinkedIn profile or any other social media network profile give them enough cues about you. So make sure you have a properly created profile, and you do not have any kind of unprofessional / controversial content there, before giving the links.

Utilize tools for creating an impressive resume. Experimentation may not be the best friend here. If you are having a tough time creating a suitable format for a Resume, simply use the websites that offer the tools to create resumes online. These tools have formats of the resumes that are preferred by most of the employers.

Seek Friends’ Help Always run your Resume past a few close friends/associates/seniors. See if you had a few blind spots, factual or ‘typo’ errors that you missed out on correcting.

Hope the information here would help you stand out of the crowd and bring you closer to ace the interview. Click here if you’re looking to apply for a job at arroWebs. If you have any query or suggestion regarding this post please feel free to comment below and let us assist you further.