Monday, April 20, 2009

Resume 2.0 : Stand Out From the Crowd

Using Social Media to Find a Job

As we all struggle with the one of the worse economy of last 35 years, this experience could be really awful for the job seekers of current time. In last month (March, 2009) itself, USA economy has shaded 663,000 more jobs, putting the total job losses beyond 5.1Million mark. 2008 was the worst year for Fortune 500 companies in the history (since inception of this list). Government’s various incentive programs including deployment of billions of dollars (close to 787Billion$ are in pipeline as stimulus) has been put on strenuous test by the severely hit global economy.

Though it is extremely difficult to predict what is going to happen in near future, lately we’ve been observing quite a few positive signs. In last month (after a long time) people have seen some black on their portfolios (on month to month basis), real estate market is stabilizing in quite a few of the states and first time in the week of April 4th USA govt. has found lesser number of new people filing the unemployment benefits (in the week of April 4th 654,000 people filed for unemployment benefits, where in the earlier week total 674,000 claims were filed.. it is important to state that number of people filing continuing claims is still hitting high in last 11 straight weeks).

Lately (Brent Rasmussen, President of Career Builder USA shared a few latest employment related figures in one of TiE Houston’s speaker session has observed more than 60 applications on average per job against about 20 applications per job in good times and so it is quite important to take innovative approaches to stand out in the crowd.

Lately Jamie Varon secured a job at She has tried all traditional approaches but was failed to reach to the right connections at twitter. She has started a website, where she has put on her resume, recommendations and a regular blog discussing her credentials, interests and intentions. Very soon she has received a lot of support from the social media and at present she is a twitter employee. Last time I’d taken a look at her site, more than 30,000 unique visitors were visiting it on monthly basis. A few clones have been created by other job seekers including, and I wish them a good luck.

My friend and business partner Deepak ( and our other team members have done quite a bit of thinking on Resume 2.0 , i.e. a web2.0 Resume. We firmly believe that the world is moving towards a complete digitization and embracing upcoming technologies like web2.0 much faster than ever before and future resumes and hiring process is bound to see a complete overhaul. Latest survey results also supports that recruiters are paying more attention to the candidates who possess significant web presence.

[Recently we've given seminars on "How to Build an Eye Catching Resume" in a job fair ( in Houston TX. Slide set of our presentation could be accessed at :].

Resume 2.0

For sure, a recruiter would not be reviewing web 2.0 profiles of all people whose resumes he has received for a particular position but at the end his job is to identify the potential 2-3 good candidates whom he can send to the hiring manager or to the end client. I cannot speak for others, but once our recruiters identifies 2-3 good candidates whom we wish to send to our clients, then as a next step we do pull their profiles from facebook, linkedin and if we find anything suspicious, we do discard their resumes. On the other hand, if their facebook, linkedin profiles show something out of the box (trust me even a great looking background page with value added postings on makes a big difference), self consciously we starts liking these candidates over other.

For Resume 2.0, linkedin appears as one of the prominent place, where one must have his account. As discussed before, more and more recruiters are looking or at least verifying one’s resume with their online identity and linkedin is one of the first one, what comes to a recruiter’s mind. Beside your profile details and experience (if you think you might be emphasizing certain pieces of your work experience on your resume differently for different jobs), I might advice you to leave details/specifics of your work experience on your linkedin/facebook profile to avoid inconsistency.

Recommendations on Your Resume 2.0:

One must also pay close attention to linkedin recommendations, where positive recommendations from your previous bosses and influential people of your area of expertise may play a critical role. An “ideal” resume 2.0 must not be put together the day you lose your job, but should grow organically overtime. We often observe linkedin profiles, where pretty much all of recommendations were posted within the same week. In such profiles it is easy to identify that one has requested for recommendations (may not be negative all the time), but more and more recruiter prefers to see more natural/organic recommendations on such platforms.

Web 2.0 Job Portals:

Linkedin is also becoming quite a great resource for job search. On Linkedin beside the HR, technical managers and entrepreneurs are also posting jobs directly these days. The best thing about linkedin is as soon as you identify a job (you can use linkedin’s job search), it tells immediately how you may be connected with the person who has the job position.

Beside linkedin, facebook could be very powerful as well. Even though facebook is often perceive a platform to maintain personal network and activities, lately various demographic distributions supports that it is getting quite strong positioning as a professional network in the employment community. When we review facebook profiles of two of our potential candidates for a particular job opening, where one appears with a glass of beer on every other picture vs. other who has posted pictures of his work place, while receiving awards, with influential professionals/speakers, volunteering activities etc. we tend to pursue the later candidate being more sincere potential employee (which could be completely wrong.. but we can’t help it most of the time).

Lately we’ve observed a new stream of web 2.0 job portals, which lets you build your personalized “visual” profile. does a pretty good job building your Internet-based resume that includes your past work experiences along with work samples, audio & video profile and images which can be shared via email.

Our own community based knowledge platform (alpha site could be accessed at helps users in building their extended profile (resume). An user can associate any content on the web (doesn’t need to be his own content) as an expert thus builds extended resumes of hundreds of links (or thousands of pages) indicating what he knows. Our patented tagging algorithm extracts the summary from these profiles for particular job requirement. Along with extended resume eZdia also lets you find solutions via live experts, learn from their recommended contents and monetize your expertise by offering solutions to the information seekers. For a potential employer eZdia presents an expert’s profile along with his work samples (paid as well as unpaid), ratings by the customers and community, associated knowledge base & recommended contents, his audio-video profile (would be available in the next revisions).

Blogs as a Resume 2.0:

In near future blogs are going to be part of your resume, especially blogs in area of your your current/future jobs, skills, experience and anything what may show a “value add” to the potential employer etc. Blogs can really help in building your online identity among employment communities. If you write a topic which can be really useful for people in area of your expertise, today or tomorrow potential employer/recruiter would know about you (we’re seeing this trend at our earlier startup, where often our recruiters reach to a potential candidate by following his blog).

Besides writing blogs, it is highly recommended to follow others blogs, especially of people who are in area of your expertise. Commenting to others blog, where it adds value or may start a positive conversation also add tremendous value in your online identity. You may also answer questions on various q&a sites including linkedin, yahoo answers etc. on topics in area of your expertise. Please make sure to link your blog with your online profile and your email id so people can contact you.

Twitter (heaven for micro-bloggers) can be another fantastic tool to know what is happening in the job market and getting word out about you. More and more companies are opening job boards (accounts, which are put together specially to advertise thier job openings) with primary intention of spreading awareness of a company’s work culture, job openings and to follow the potential employees. Job seekers should follow these job accounts, for example jobs at Intel could be followed @ Besides following these jobs, you may also follow others who are following similar jobs; very soon you may make quite a few friends who will become one of your greatest resources to get insights of a particular company, work culture, potential upcoming job opportunities and their recruiting processes.

As each person is unique, their resumes should be unique and the new world is going to embrace innovative formats of your resume. A lot of innovative web2.0 players are trying very hard building your resume based on your activities over the Internet and your own friend “Google” is part of it. For understanding of how to build an eye catching “classical” resume and how to get the word out, please follow my earlier blog’s posting “Creating Resume to ‘Resume’ Your Life” (

Certainly my blog doesn’t provide any guarantee that following it will lead you to a job. These are just my honest opinions with limited understanding whatever I’ve of this space (and so please your discretion) and I sincerely hope that some of you may find it useful. Happy creative resume/profile writing/building!.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Creating Resume to 'Resume' Your Life

Current Job Market and Your Resume

Current job market is not great and accomplishing a job opportunity in area of one’s liking in current time requires a greater amount of energy, preparation and perseverance. In this market, it is imperative for a job seeker to be innovative enough to stand out in the crowd from creating a better resume to posting it to the right places to getting connected to right people to creating a lasting impression during the interview and so on. I’ll try to devote my blog post to how to get an “eye catching resume” and “how to take it fast to the right hands”.

In employment industry, a resumes usually gets 20-30 seconds of initial attention (like an elevator pitch) from a potential employer or recruiter and so it is very important that a resume must make enough impact in these few seconds to get the needed attention.

A resume is a self marketing tool or a personal advertisement and it must show the “value add” to the potential employer. When any employer (no matter how big it is) hires a new person, their company’s net value either goes up or down and so it is very important that a potential employer should able to identify potential “value add” from your resume in a quick time span.

What a resume should have:

Resume should have: Summary/Objective, Accomplishments, Work Experience, Skills and Education (it is advisable to keep the recommendations for the later, unless it is a web based resume 2.0).

As there can be many ways to review a resume, so be multiple ways of writing an eye catching resume. In subsequent sections I’ll try to provide my recommendations about how to build a better resume. Even though we’ve tried hard to provide as good information possible, there can always be multiple alternatives ways to achieve same or better results.


For a job, which requires years of experience.. more and more recruiters are preferring to see the Summary instead of Objective on the resume. Where objective could often be too vague or too specific, summary often goes straight to the point. Summary usually presents what a job seeker has done in the past and may give glimpse what he/she may wish to do next. For fresh graduates it may be better to write an objective rather than a summary. Also for contract jobs summary is often preferred over objectives.

Skills Summary:

Depending on the area, certain jobs are very focused on specialized skills, i.e. an IT programming job, which may require experience of specific programming languages and so skill summary is one of the “eye catching” element for such jobs and hence should come right after the Summary/Objective section.


This section may not be always necessary, but can be really powerful or a big help under certain circumstances. If one has one-two outstanding things in multiple past jobs, which are key for the potential job requirement then clubbing them into one section as “accomplishment” which can be put right after summary/skills section could be really “eye catching”. Also if required skill/experience of potential job opportunity lies in one of your early experience (for example, something what you may have done 5 years ago), then highlighting it in accomplishment section may be one of the best way to put it right on line of sight then using just the chronological ordering.

Work Experience:

Work experience should put together in the chronological order. In case if there is a gap in between jobs, some of it could hide by using only stating year than month and year (for example, a person who lost his job in March 2007, if starts a new job in August 2007 may hide gap on his experiences by stating first experience from 2004-2007 and latest experience from 2007-current).

Also various job experiences don’t need to be defined with the equal weight age. If you’ve held more than one function within a company/job title, you may just emphasize (or may include) only what is important for the potential job opportunity.


Though there is no rule of thumb, it is preferred to have education at the end of the resume for an experience person (putting education in the beginning of the resume sometime gives an impression of a fresh graduate, which can be diluted by indicating number of years of experience clearly in the summary section). In case if education brings absolute credentials for a particular job, i.e. an MIT graduate (Information Technology), who is looking for a programming job should mention his education credentials in the summary/accomplishment section itself.

Let’s build an eye catching resume:

Identifying the Key Words:

So let’s build an eye-catching resume. I’m positive that most of the readers do agree, one resume can’t fit for all the jobs. Once you know your target job, try to identify critically needed skills, education, experience, and any other specific details for this job and try to match whether some of your credentials may support this. Once you identify a few common “key words” from the requirement and your credentials, try to update your resume including summary (make it look like more on target) section, skills summary (try to highlight key skills, which are needed for this potential job) and accomplishments section. While writing work experience in the chronological order, make sure that required “key words” are emphasized at multiple places/work experiences.

How big the resume should be:

Even though it is preferred to have a one pager resume, depending on the jobs and potential work areas resume sizes may vary. Two pages resume is quite accepted for most of the employers for full time positions (unless it is indicated). Some of the consulting/contracting jobs may accept (sometime it is advisable) lengthy resumes (example including information technology consulting), as the potential employer often wishes to see “exact match” of work experiences at multiple places as it is presumed that the contractor would become productive pretty much from the day one for such positions.

Also word of caution, often employers do run resumes to screening software which looks for specific key words/skills and if your resume doesn’t content those words it will never get any attention. So it is important that you do review the requirement in detail and may indicate these key words one way or other (i.e. have used similar tools like).

Action Words:

Resumes should not be written in complete sentences. While defining the credentials & work experiences, one should make sure to use as many “Action Words” as possible. Example of actions words are: Defined, Developed, Pioneered, Accomplished, Analyzed, Presented, Spearheaded etc. For example; “Forecasted yearly budged and presented to the management team”. One must not try to write wordy paragraphs on his resume.

Measurable Achievements:

One should also try to include a few “measurable achievements” in the resume (in accomplishment/summary/work experience sections). Measurable achievements could be % or dollar savings in cost/time/labor for a company/department. Example including: “Achieved 10Million$ in annual savings by atomizing payroll system”.

Resume should have logical flow and carry consistent tenses. Formatting should be simple and one should try to avoid use of italics, shadows, multiple columns etc., especially if you’re planning on providing your resume in the physical (paper) format as well. A large number of employers scans the paper resumes and these scanning software often don’t do a very good job with shadow, italics, multiple column etc. and formatting of the end results gets quite jumbled up.

Cover Letters:

Often you may find situations, where you wish to emphasize a certain things on your resume or about yourself for specific jobs.. But you may not wish to change your entire resume every time. It is always a good idea to have a few cover letters ready (most of the job portals allow you to have multiple cover letters on file), so you may use them during specific instances.

Must avoid mistakes on your resume:

Grammar and Spelling Check:

Grammatical and spelling errors are the number one “must avoid mistakes” on ones resume. One thing is to keep in mind that resume may not be written in the complete sentences, so grammatical error due to this reason is acceptable.

Use of Abbreviations:

Use of abbreviations, slang or detailed technical jargon’s must be avoided as well. Remember that your resume may pass via multiple HRs professional (via HRs of recruitment agency, HRs at the end client/company), and they may not understand much of technical details. One should try to write a resume keeping an outsider in mind (sure, certain abbreviations are well accepted in the market (i.e. for a telecom domain use of CDMA, GSM technological abbreviations are appropriate).

Personal Details:

Please do not including personal information including ethnicity, sex, marital status, picture and certain information about the previous job including reason for leaving the previous job, past salaries, salary expectations, past supervisor’s name etc.

One may stay a bit tactful, but try to be as authentic as possible, especially in today’s digital era. In current times without even your awareness, internet is building your profile at multiple places on day by day basis and you’re much more visible than ever before. I’ll discuss it in detail in resume 2.0 section.

Sample Resumes:

An example of a sample resume for an executive position could be accessed at:

On above resume, after reading first few lines (i.e. the summary section), it becomes quite clear what the candidate has done in the past and a recruiter can make out whether he may be a suitable candidate for a particular position or not. His skills summary follows right after the summary section, which are followed by recent accomplishments, professional experience and education. The resume looks good and clean, flow is quite logical and sell clearly in 20 seconds of a quick glance.

Additional sample of resumes, for specific positions and work areas could be found at:

Where to post your resume:

In the employment community it has been observed that only about 20% of the jobs are advertised using print/major job portals where remaining ~80% of the jobs gets advertised and filled via internal referrals and connections. The world is getting better connected day by day and this number is going to get reduced even further in the near future.

Major Job Portals:

Some of the largest job portals including; (largest in the USA), (second largest in the USA, but bigger than worldwide), yahoo etc. Quite a few portals focus in niches and often they are one of the prominent players for specific jobs, i.e. for certain Information Technology contracting positions and are great resources. You may also get connected with a few local recruitment agencies, who may educate you on the job search process including bullet proofing your resume, preparing you for the interview and also may negotiating on behalf of you.

Job Aggregators:

Job aggregators including, fetches job openings from various job portals and company’s websites and hence are great players for job search. Most of the large job portals requires money for job postings (anywhere from 200$-500$ or more per job), and due to this expensive process employers tends to post their requirements only on a handful of places. Job aggregators really do a great job in bringing positions which may not be advertised well or are posted at very limited places.

Inside Story:

Resumes are expensive:

Recruiters pay money to see your resume. Monthly accounts on, or may cost anywhere from 900$ to 2000$ or more and on average each resume cost ~$2 for a recruiter. At same time it is very important to keep in mind that almost all of the job portals let a recruiter see any number of resume summaries, including availability of a candidate, title of his resume, high level skill summary etc. which doesn’t count against the limited number of resume downloads/views on monthly basis.

Keeping above in mind it is extremely important to fill your details including title of the resume, skills summary, availability etc. very vigilantly beside the resume upload. Our recruiters fetch resumes only if high level resume summary (which doesn’t count against limited resumes fetch) fits in the potential job criteria’s. Please also make title of your resume to close to the target role, i.e. “A 10 years experienced project manager, specializing in risk management and forecasting”.

Keep your resume fresh:

Try to update (or just a blank update, i.e. upload again without any changes on it) your resume frequently on these job portals. As a rule of thumb recruiters pay more attention to the latest resumes as well as some of the job portals tends to show the recently uploaded resumes as top results (default) with underline assumptions that the availability of the people with recent resume/profile updates may be higher.

Lately there has been a slew of web 2.0 websites, which are changing the outlook of resume writing & posting entirely. A few good examples of a few Resume 2.0 sites including;,,, etc. and I’ll share their details in a subsequent blog post.