A View From the Other Side

For the first time ever, a few days bck, I was involved in looking at resumes for campus recruitment, and helping people in coming up with a shortlist. These were resumes from IIMB and we were looking to recruit for the summer internship. Feeling slightly jobless, I ended up taking more than my fair share of CVs to evaluate. Some pertinent observations

  • There was simply way too much information on peoples’ CVs. I found it stressful trying to hunt down pieces of information that would be relevant for the job that I was recruiting for. IIMB restricts CVs to one page, but even that, I felt, was too much. Considering I was doing some 30 CVs at a page a minute, I suppose you know how tough things can be!
  • The CVs were too boring. The standard format certainly didn’t help. And the same order that people followed -undergrad scores followed by workex followed by “positions of responsibility” etc. Gave me a headache!
  • People simply didn’t put in enough effort to make things stand out. IIMB people overdo the bolding thing (I’m also guilty of that), thus devaluing it. And these guys used no other methods to make things stand out. Even if they’d done something outstanding in their lives, one had to dig through the CV to find it..
  • There was way too much irrelevant info. In their effort to fill a page and fill some standard columns, people ended up writing really lame stuff. Like how they had led their wing football team in the intra-hostel tournament. Immense wtfness. Most times this ended up devaluing the CV
  • Most CVs were “standard”. It was clear that people didn’t make an effort to apply to us! Most people had sent us their “finance CV” but would you send the same CV for an accounting job as you will for a quant job? Ok yeah I understand this is summers, but if I see a CV with priorities elsewhere, I won’t shortlist them!
  • By putting in several rounds of resume checking and resume workshops, IIMB is doing a major disservice to recruiters. What we see are some average potential corporate whores, not the idiosyncracies of the candidates. Recruiting was so much more fun when I’d gone to IITM three years back. Such free-spirited CVs and all that! This one is too sanitised for comfort. Give me naughtyboy123@yahoo.com any day
  • People should realize that campus recruitment is different from applying laterally. In the latter, yours is one of the few CVs that the recruiter is looking at and can hence devote much more time going through the details. Unfortunately this luxury is not there when one has to shortlist 20 out of 180 or so, so you need to tailor your CVs better. You need to be more crisp and to the point, and really highlight your best stuff. And if possible, to try and break out of standard formatI admit my CV doesn’t look drastically different from the time it did when I was in campus (apart from half a page of workex that got added), but I think even there I would make sure I put a couple of strongly differentiating points right on top, and hopefully save the recruiter the trouble of going through the whole thing.
  • I think I’m repeating myself on this but people need to realize that recruiters don’t care at all about your extra-currics unless you’ve done something absolutely spectacular, or if there is some really strong thread running  through that section. So you don’t need to write about all the certificates that you have in your file

The bottom line is that recruitment is a hard job, especially when you have to bring down a list of 200 to 20 in very quick time. So do what you can to make the recruiter’s job easy. Else he’ll just end up putting NED and pack you.

22 thoughts on “A View From the Other Side”

  1. Hi there,
    I am a Placecom member from IIMK. Your comments are really retrospective. However I am not able to transfer those into actionable points and I would like to contact you for further details.
    It would be great if you could provide me your contact number or gchat/gmail id so that i can get in touch with you at the earliest.
    You can also reach me @ bharathkumart12@iimk.ac.in; bharathkumart@gmail.com. My mob no is 9946884666.
    Awaiting for your response,
    With Regards

    1. why? why do you want to get in touch with me? and i think i’ve put all possible fundaes that i can in this post

  2. Someone once told me this
    “The company needs you just as much as you need a job”
    so next time when you actually sit down to recruit understand that your company is actually paying for your time and put in a little more effort than a resume a min.

    Grow up

      1. don leave such arbit replies… first try and understand what i have written… i guess u never take time to read anything… again… grow up

  3. “So do what you can to make the recruiter’s job easy. Else he’ll just end up putting NED and pack you”

    Very good. It’s not the candidate’s skills, or the possible value he may add, or even seeing if he’ll work at all. It’s about who makes you ‘put NED’.

    When I was applying for my driving license, I was told, “Forget about the test, do what you want to make the clerk’s job easy, else he’ll just end up packing you”. It’s gratifying to see everything stoop to the level of corrupt Government offices.

    I’ll-suck-whatever-you-want-just-give-me-the-job comments like #1 are the reason why companies can screw fresh recruits however they please.

  4. Some very high level insight provided here…thanks for the awesome piece of knowledge.
    In the world of materialism ppl have forgotten how to be different and creative…just getting lost in the crowd seems to be today’s norm.

  5. The recruiter should understand that an IIM student applies to hundreds of companies for summers and it is not humanly possible to customize each resumes for each companies. As the onus is on a student to put forward her best credentials in front of the recruiter, the recruiter is similarly responsible for picking out the best from the lot. I agree when somebody said you’re being paid for the job. If you have decided to select an IIM grads for your firm, you have to lend time and effort for it…obviously more than a minute a resume!

  6. “The recruiter should understand that an IIM student applies to hundreds of companies for summers and it is not humanly possible to customize each resumes for each companies.”

    Well yes, but you should understand that it is the company’s prerogative to shortlist however they wish to. And judging if you should incorporate any of the suggestions mentioned in this piece is your prerogative. So good luck.

  7. so, u want some differentiating factors? spectacular points? wtf!?
    is it an auditioning for a movie or some lame idol series?

    just say that u r too lazy to go through resumes.

  8. I always thought corporate sector hates outliers
    You might short list her/him, cos u might find the CV..hmmm.. interesting, but you/your people are never going to recruit that fellow

    Most of them would rather play safe and stick to the conventions, even though most of them hate it.
    So, basically conventional stays!

  9. Btw, how many CVs you ended up making when companies came visiting your campus?? It is good to not forget good ol’ days! Come on now stop acting so cocky, I’m sure you can do a better job than that

  10. Dude, i cant believe the rubbish some of these people are giving you. i got a few IIM resumes to go through and they lacked ‘edge’ (for the lack of a better word). I agree with you broadly. there should be resume building workshops but let the candidates express themselves.

    1. I guess it has to do with the assumption that once you’re in IIM the world owes you the job you want, and everyone else should work towards it! I think this got posted on some IIM forums (just guessing) which explains the volume of comments etc.

  11. Whoa – can’t believe the sense of entitlement some people have! Just because you spend a lot of time on your resume, I need to spend an equal amount of time reading it?? LOL!

    The “standard” format that placecom forced down our throats was a bad idea indeed.

    I remember a batchmate who ranked in the teens in JEE wanting to leave a lot of “white space” after his rank (so that it stands out). Big Brother didn’t allow it!

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