+91-80-42023484 contact@sincera.in
Recruiters’ Alert: Red Flags to Watch out for in CVs

Recruiters’ Alert: Red Flags to Watch out for in CVs

As a recruiter, one of your most fundamental (and potentially boring) tasks is to screen through all the CVs that come your way, and identify which ones to scrap and which ones to move ahead with. At times this can be tough, when you have scores and scores of CVs to go through, and there’s only so much your brain can process. However, to make your job easier, you can train yourself to look out for certain Red Flags in the CVs that come your way. This will make it infinitely easier for you to sift through the CVs, while shortlisting the very best potential hires.

So what are some of the red flags you need to watch out for?

  1. Does not address the basics of the job description

    Even if you may have listed out the specifications you are looking for, very clearly, you will still receive applications that do not heed the basic requirements. For example, one of the easiest ways to short list CVs is to check the work experience of the candidate. If you are hiring for a senior position, you have very specific conditions in mind. Or certain language requirements that may be a precondition. This way, you’ll be able to filter the CVs much faster.

  2. The format of the CV

    One of the easiest and most obvious ways to tell whether or not a candidate is a potential hire is by simply looking at the format of the CV. If it is sloppy and untidy, you know that the concerned candidate is not really serious about his application, because they clearly haven’t spent time trying to make an impression through their application. This reflects a great deal about how professional the candidate is. While the CV does not need to be elaborate and decorative, it definitely needs to be clean, well formatted and definitive.

  3. Unexplained gaps in employment

    Gap years are perfectly acceptable. And at times, even desirable. But that depends on how the gap year has been spent. Volunteering, internships, traveling, freelancing are some of the most common reasons for taking gap years. If the overall professional record of the candidate is alright, this shouldn’t be a cause for worry for a recruiter. However, what you can’t take a chance with is unexplained gaps in employment. In that case, you have no knowledge about how the candidate spent that time, and worse, you don’t know if they’re hiding something.

  4. No achievements

    The candidate might have been educated at the most prestigious institutions, and may have been employed at fairly reputed organizations; however, without achievements these aspects don’t really matter. They certainly do not account for achievements in themselves. In order to decide whether the candidate can be an asset to your organization, you need more tangible proof. While the candidate might have been entrusted with a lot of important roles and responsibilities, it is also important to get a gauge of how the candidate delivered on them.

  5. Lack of definitive  targeting

    A good CV is one which definitively targets all the job requirements, and responds to each one by stating the skills necessary for the requirements. A CV without intent, or target, is not something that you can short list as a potential hire. While the candidate might be a good all round candidate, specific roles have specific requirements. As a recruiter, it is your foremost responsibility to not compromise on this very crucial precondition for hiring.

Even the seemingly “small” things do make an overall difference to the quality of hire. The way a CV is written up, speaks volumes about the overall personality of a person. While you can’t get a thorough gauge of the professional unless you call them in for a personal interview, the CV can give you enough of an idea about whether or not the candidate should even make it to the next round. Want more tips on how to recognize a great CV in two minutes? Read this great article on Undercover Recruiter.

Social Media Resume – The Basics

Social Media Resume – The Basics

Before we delve into the basics of the Social Media Resume, and what makes for a great one, let us understand what a social media resume really is. Simply put, a social media resume is your online presence, across platforms of social media. Lets tweak that a little bit, a social media resume is the ‘quality’ of your online presence.  It is the quality of your social media cv that attracts recruiters and hiring managers to you, rather than you scouring for job opportunities. About 80% of job opportunities are channeled through networking, and a strong social media resume is a powerful way of changing the meaning of networking in the current day context.

Simply existing on various forms of social media, most importantly on LinkedIn does not qualify for a great social media resume. It is your engagement, and the quality of content that you put out which determines the strength of your social media resume. Earlier, we ran a hugely popular series on personal branding. Building a good social media resume is strongly intertwined with the principles of personal branding. Through social media, you put out who you are, i.e., you put out your personal brand, because you are your own personal brand.

Based on the strength of your social media resume, you can attract your dream job opportunities. Here are 5 ways of building a strong social media resume.

  1. Consistency is everything

    You may have an account on every social media platform that exists. However that is to no avail unless you are consistently active on them. Being regular and updating frequently is an imperative to having a consistent and powerful social media presence. Make sure your profiles are updated. It is also important to engage in conversations and discussions relating to topics of your interest. The form of engagement could range from commenting on articles to writing your own articles and posting them.

  2. Understand the unique use of each platform

    Every social media platform has a unique selling point. In order to make the most of the social media platforms you use, understand the uniqueness of each of these platforms. For example, Instagram is a very visual platform, allowing you a number of tools to express yourself and the work you do through photographs. Facebook is a multipurpose platform that also allows you to network. While LinkedIn serves as an information base, and the best place for off-line professional networking. By understanding the unique use of each platform, you can curate the content you put out accordingly. This also helps you to keep in mind the very specific target audiences for each kind of platform.

  3. Integrate your social media profiles

    If you have a blog or a website, you could integrate all your social media profiles into it for keeping them all synced, and easily accessible to recruiters. Most platforms allow you to create social media badges which you can embed into your blog/ website. One pointer before you go ahead and integrate your social media platforms is to keep in mind how your profiles would appear to a potential recruiter. Before you integrate your social media profiles, go through them with a fine tooth comb and scour for anything that may come across as unprofessional. In short, look for any social media mistakes that may stand out for a recruiter.

  4. Be responsible

    We began this post by stressing on how a social media resume isn’t very different from having a personal brand. A social media cv is powerful because everything about you, your qualifications and your aspirations are out there. This kind transparency and outreach lend a kind of validity to ‘you’, which is why a powerful social media resume has the potential to attract recruiters.

    Being responsible about what you speak and choose to put out is a ground rule for not just personal branding, but any form of social media interaction (and otherwise!). Remember that when you put out or say certain things on interactive platforms, people listen to it and engage with it in a conscious as well as subconscious manner. That is the power of personal branding and social media. Therefore while you have access to a wide range of liberties to make speak your mind and make yourself heard, make sure that you do so responsibly.

The secret to a great Social Media Resume is having an impressive online presence. Have you come across a great social media cv, you’ve had a chance to learn from? Comment with links below and we’d be glad to feature your thoughts in our upcoming blogs!

7 Things “NOT” to have on your otherwise Perfect Resume

7 Things “NOT” to have on your otherwise Perfect Resume

The resume is a faithful journal of your career trajectory – a record of all your successes and learnings at every stage of your working journey. A reminder of where you started, how far you have come and where you still need to go. So whether you need to apply for a job right now or not, it is always a good time to perfect your resume.
While we’ve written extensively on how to craft the perfect resume, we wanted to emphasize through this post on what to leave out of a resume to make it truly perfect. Here are seven things to leave out from your resume:

1. An unprofessional Email Address

If your email ID is still the one you had in high school, i.e., hellboy_irock@ya***.com, it is time to get another one. Make sure the email ID you share on your resume is a professional one. What is meant by a professional email ID? One that ideally has only your name and your last name in it, and in case that’s taken, a simple combination of your name and maybe a number, or special character or two.

2. Your Achievements in High School

Won third prize in an elocution competition? Aced spelling bee? Well, let’s put those achievements behind us and make space for newer achievements to show the world. Unless it is something of great significance and necessary, refrain from having your high school achievements on your resume.

3. Fancy fonts and colors, or anything fancy –

are an absolute “no”. Use a simple font, uniform font sizes and keep it unicolor. Unless you belong to an artsy profession and how you design your resume matters, keep your resume as simple and legible as possible. Even if you are a graphic designer, or a fashion designer, we’d say share links of your work on your resume, but maybe refrain from making your perfect resume a work of art itself.

4. Skills you are expected to have

Don’t add skills just for the sake of adding them and fluffing up your resume. Remember, at times, less is more.

5. Postal Address

Having your postal address on your resume is an unnecessary use of space. We have seen resumes which list their permanent address and current address as well. Your contact information should ideally just include your phone number and your professional email ID.

6. Hobbies

“My hobbies are cooking, reading and gardening” – this is something your resume would probably look better without. We’ve traditionally been taught to include it in our resumes, but there is actually no need for it. Your interview is when you get to speak about yourself and weave all this in. Unless there is something really specific about yourself which is also relevant to the job, refrain from having this section. Even if you do end up sharing what is akin to hobbies, put it under a section called “other Interests” or something of the like and not “Hobbies”.

7. Incorrect or false information

The first and foremost prerogative of writing a resume is ensuring the information you provide about yourself isn’t false or misleading. Regardless of whether or not a background check will be done, in the interest of professional integrity be completely honest in the information you furnish through your resume.

At OBOlinx, we believe that a great resume is one which is always a work in progress. There is always something you can do to make it better, regardless of whether you are writing one for the first time or if you have been a professional for years now. Here is an omnibus we have put together to help guide you to craft the perfect resume. But don’t forget the things you should “not” have on your resume!

How to Write the Perfect Resume – Your Essential Guide!

How to Write the Perfect Resume – Your Essential Guide!

Anytime is a good time to write the perfect resume. The beginning of the year is an especially good time since it leaves you feeling hopeful for a year full of opportunities and possibilities in the World of Work! And helps you to recap all your achievements and accomplishments of the year gone past. We strongly believe that the resume is not just a document to be written or rewritten for applying to job opportunities. The resume is a faithful journal of your career trajectory – a record of all your successes and learnings at every stage of your working journey. A reminder of where you started, how far you have come and where you still need to go.  So whether you need to apply for a job right now or not, it is always a good time to perfect your resume. For all of you who’ve missed our previous posts on resumes, and for the rest of you who may have enjoyed reading them, here is our essential guide for everything you need to know about resumes and how to write them right.

Write the Perfect Resume – Decide the kind of resume that suits your profile the best

Spend some time deciding the flow that your resume should follow so that your experience and skills are displayed to their best advantage.

Chronological Resume – This format of resume is most popular and common, and is always sought after by the employer for its efficient timeline layout. The contents, i.e. your work experience, education and other details are listed in a reverse chronological order – the most recent being on top. Each position you list has to be supplemented by the qualifications you hold for the position and accomplishments achieved while in that position. Your education section is to have your latest degree first followed by any other degrees you may have acquired previously, and information about your schooling (up to 10 +2). Additionally a Skills section would help you to highlight any additional skills-centric workshop/certificate courses you may have participated in (again listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent one being on top).

Functional Resume – Going by the name, a ‘Functional’ resume is one which focusses more on an elaboration of your skills and experiences rather than a timeline format of positions held by you. Thus, if you have skills in the categories of Human Resources, Communication, Customer Service, and so on, your skills, experience and accomplishments pertaining to these categories are to be listed in bullet points under each heading. It has to be followed by a separate heading – ‘Employment’ in which you list your work order in reverse chronological order. This format gives more focus to skills than your work experience, however any kind of resume has to have a section in which your employment history is listed.

Combination Resume – This format lets you have the best of the Chronological Resume and the Functional Resume. It helps you highlight your skills as well as your progressive work experience in a timeline format.

For more on types of resumes, sample formats and how to tailor yours to suit your profile, have a look at our post, here.

Write the Perfect Resume – Get your Basics Right!

It does not matter whether you are writing your resume for the first time or brushing the dust off your long forgotten resume to make it perfect for today, keep these basics in mind.

Template for your resume : Start with a professionally designed template. There are a number of free templates on the internet, we recommend you check out the ones at Microsoft:  Unless you are in the creative fields, we recommend choosing a simple template that does not have a lot of graphics and unusual fonts/icons on it. Most companies use automated systems(Applicant Tracking Systems) to process your resumes and if you don’t stick to the standards, the system may not recognize parts or all of your resume.

Use Appropriate Headings: It organizes the content of your resume making it easy to read and drawing the attention of the reader to the most important parts (remember the short attention span of the recruiter while filtering through hundreds of resumes). Here are some great dos and don’ts for the resume headings that you must read.

Format of your resume: Use a PDF format, unless otherwise told. However, it is best to save three copies of your resume, one in PDF, one in rtf and another one in a word format, so that you can use whichever is required and don’t have to fumble around for it.

Sync your Resume with all your Online profiles: This is crucial because it makes you appear consistent as well as authentic. This will also have your back in case of a background check.

Invest in your stationery: While you would have sent out a soft copy of your resume already, you will still be required to carry a hard copy of it for face to face interviews at most places. Use the best possible paper and ink to print out your resume, believe us, subtle things like this do make a statement.

Don’t make it an autobiography: Draw the line between the personal and the professional in your resume. Things like your marital status, parents’ names, their professions, your height, weight, et all are of no consequence in your resume.

Write the Perfect Resume – Do’s and Don’ts while Writing

Once you have the content and template ready, keep in mind the following points while editing your resume:

Always keep the design of your resume simple and readable. Avoid any fancy frills, those are always distract the reader away from the substance of your resume. Use ample white spaces and always prefer putting the information in bullet points, rather than in paragraphs, it is much more readable that way. Use a font size of 11 or 12, not too small, not too big!

Curate your digital footprints. Update your LinkedIn profile, and your other social networking accounts, cleanse anything you may not want your employer to ‘stumble upon’!  (for more on why this is important, read the social media mistakes you need to avoid while job hunting).

Is your objective clearly stated? If not, make sure it is. Do not beat around the bush. This is one section that you can customize for the position and company that you are applying to.

Use ‘Action Words’ like ‘growth’, ‘build’, ‘driving force’, to make an impact on the reviewer.

Edit, edit and edit until you have done away with every redundant syllable! Keeping your resume as short and crisp as possible will always make it stand out!

Avoid typos at all costs. Take all the care to avoid any grammatical and spelling errors in your resume. It could be a real dampener!

Use a professional email id. If you are still using ronitdarockstarrr@iamuseless.com from your college days, switch over to a professional email id with your full name in it, and without any adjectives or other unnecessary words.

Always furnish genuine information. Remember in this digital age, your original credentials are just a click away. So it is best to be honest to the core while writing up your resume. You don’t want a background check to be contradicting the information you have shared with your prospective employer.

For more on Do’s and Don’ts while writing your resume and a great infographic on the topic, read here .

Write the Perfect Resume – Some cover letter basics before you Send your Resume!

In this digital age, the cover letter has been replaced by the cover email – but be it a letter or email, an introduction to your resume remains as important as ever.

Do your research on the organization/company you are applying to. Most of them have detailed instructions regarding what they expect you to write in your cover letter. If you know someone who works in the organization, get in touch with him and take his advice. If there is a referral system in place, see if you can get your resume submitted through it.

Address your email to the appropriate contact person. Find out the name of the person you are mailing your resume to. Even if the organization has a generic email to send resumes, they sometimes mention a contact person who handles all recruitment requests.

Your cover letter/email should convey succinctly your interest in the organization. Introduce yourself briefly and go on to mention why you are writing the email. Be sure to be explicit about how your skill set compliments the position you are applying to. Describe your skills and experiences, as required by the organization. Be careful not to copy as is from your resume: it shows you are lazy. Remember to write complete sentences and do a thorough spell check.

If asked by the organization, mention the name of your referees and how they are related to you. Give correct contact addresses for these people and make sure you notify them in advance regarding your application. Also include your own contact information at the end of the cover letter as well as in the resume so that the recruiters can easily get in touch with you.

A fine way to murder your job application is by making your cover letter generic. The reader should feel that you have read about their organization before mailing, and not simply sent a generic mail to all companies that you are applying to. Browse the organization website and get to know about their work culture, ethics and history. You should write how these qualities match your own beliefs, and how this would help you thrive in the organization. Customizing the cover letter according to the organization grabs the reader’s attention and gives you a definite edge over other applicants with generic letters.

For more on cover letter basics, read here.

Write the Perfect Resume – Apps that can make it easier

Did you know about these awesome free apps that can help you in building your resume?

Resume Now – If you are a rookie at resumes, this is the perfect app for you. The app has a simple interface which gives you step by step instructions on how to proceed with your resume. It has a range of templates you can pick from and allows you to save your resume in multiple formats. This app is the official resume building app for the site Live Career. You will first have to sign in (hassle free) and then you can even create cover letters, take free tests, save and download the resume you’ve worked on.

Pocket Resume – An easy to use app, with features that enable you to create, maintain, update and email your resume on your phone, on the go!

Career Igniter Resume Builder– A free android app you can use without even having to create an account. The app lets you export your resume in a word format, it also lets you save it and email it. However, their format is inflexible, meaning it is mandatory for you to fill in all the headings they have.

Resume Writing Secrets – A great app which gives you exposure to a lot of helpful tips and tricks for building a resume. Particularly handy when you have a lot of transit time!

Resume Genius – The USP of this app is that you can select from over fifty thousand professionally written resume phrases to incorporate seamlessly into your resume templates. Also, you don’t need to create an account, all you need to do is click “Create My Free Resume” and get started.

This article on techrepublic has a lot more interesting apps you could try out, have a look here.

We hope you enjoyed reading our exhaustive compilation on everything you need to know to write the perfect resume! Your resume and your cover letter are your marketing pitch to get your foot in the door. Remember that while you may have a kickass background, it may mean nothing unless you are able to communicate it effectively in the form of an articulate and well-structured resume. Craft a resume which inspires them to hire you, and we hope this article was full of the inspiration you needed to start cracking on the perfect resume!

Bonus Infographic from essaymama.com : We have included this smart checklist to help you assess your resume and make sure that you have got it all together. Check it out!

Five Tips on Following Up On your Job Application

Five Tips on Following Up On your Job Application

Your resume is perfect, you’ve attached a great cover letter and you’ve sent it across to the people concerned. Now you are waiting to hear from the hiring company. We do agree that this is the most trying phase of all when it’s a dream job you are chasing.  It is quite frustrating sometimes to have to just wait for people to get back to you. However, we have some tips for you to get through this waiting period successfully. Here are five simple things to keep in mind on following up on your job application:

  1. Patience:

    Be patient. If that job is meant for you nobody is going to take it away from you. Recruitment processes are generally long and complicated and the company scrutinizes many aspects of your profile before rejecting or selecting you. It is a standard practice for prospective employers to contact previous employers and people who know you to validate what you have written about yourself. So things can take a while. But if you think the process is taking too long and want to remind them about your application, you can send a polite mail to the organization.

  2. Do not Spam:

    If you want to follow-up, be sure not to spam! The person you sent the resume to is not necessarily the person you have to follow-up with. Find out about the recruitment process if possible and contact the person who is in charge of your application at the moment. It will save futile attempts of following up on your part as well.

  3. Be mindful in your language:

    Phrase your mail carefully. It sends across a bad sign if you sound desperate or impatient. Be very polite. Also, stating your previous interaction along with the date and asking for the status of your application helps.

  4. Help from the Referee/Third Person:

    If you know someone in the company, try to find the status of your application unofficially. If someone has referred you, they can generally check the status of your application. So do not waste your time in that case and get in touch with these people instead. Even then, be sure not to show impatience or desperation. Be polite and courteous. Also, be sure that the source you are using is credible, i.e., if it is a particular acquaintance you are asking to help you follow-up, do so only if you are sure that they are going to be efficient about it and the whole process wouldn’t cause damage to your reputation. It usually become messy when a third person is involved.

  5. Networking:

    Try to connect with other people who have recently applied to the same company. Getting in touch with them, if possible, is a good idea. Ask them how long their recruitment process took and if they had to follow-up. If yes, who did they contact and how the response of the management was.

Bonus Tip – KEEP CALM! And keep your options open (i.e keep looking and applying for other dream jobs). After a point you just need to let go and hope for the best! Remember, if not this job then something else – something bigger and better!