Thursday, May 22, 2008

Things not to do when applying for jobs via email

I have been going through several hundred resumes for the past week since our company ran an advertisement for recruitment. The response had been fabulous if you take the sheer number of applicants.

In this day and age, the most preferred way to accept resumes is through email. Email is fast, both for the applicant and to the company, and it allows rules based processing of hundreds of applications. So if you are not careful in how you send your resume across via email, chances are your resume may not go to the required person.

Your job application to a company created the first impression about you. So you have to be careful about how you do that.

Make sure your name that appears on the email is your proper name. I was not impressed by the emails coming from names such as 'cool dude', 'slgirls', etc.

Make sure the subject of the email is proper. Sometimes the advertisement will ask you to put a reference number or a particular text as the subject. Do as exactly as instructed in such cases as these may be processed by email routing rules. So if you don't follow their instructions, chances are your application will get lost!

Even if the advertisement was not specific about the subject line, use a proper subject for the email. The name of the post being applied for is a good bet.

Never send out emails with blank subject lines or generic ones such as Resume, CV, etc. That doesn't appear professional or gives a good impression about you. That will certainly give the impression of missing out on details.

Multiple To Addresses
There were emails which were sent out to several companies in one email. That is not a good thing either. If you were trying to create demand for yourself, you better think of better ways of doing that. It certainly gives the impression that you could not be bothered to send out separate emails for all the jobs you were applying. If that is your attitude when applying for the job, what will recruiters think of your conduct when you get the job?

Mail Body
There were several errors made in this aspect, which could have definitely been avoided if you were a bit careful. Some email bodies had previous mail forward information included, which showed me what you had been applying for over a few weeks. All it would have taken is the simple task of deleting the previous email history from the body.

There was one email which had a cover letter addressed to a different company!!! What does that tell me about the applicant?

It is always a good idea to write a short cover note on the email body, highlighting your experience or qualifications or skills which are relevant to the vacancy. Telling me about thing that I am not interested in, certainly will not score any marks for you.

Make sure that you attach your resume before you send your email. I had a few mails without resumes. Some had cover notes, and some didn't have anything to go by. How do you expect a recruiter to asses your suitability if there is no resume!

Then there were two resumes which were password protected. What are you expecting me to do? Email you back and ask for the password?

As much as possible avoid sending your resume is rare file formats. There were a few file formats which could not be opened. Good examples are avoid latest .docx or the .odt formats. You may be using the latest MS office or the another application, but don't expect your receiver to use the same. Also avoid sending them as zip files.

Send them as RTF or more common doc formats. The best bet is PDF.

Resume Content
Make sure your resume highlights your skills, qualifications and experience necessary for the job. If the advertisement had asked for specific skills, tools or technologies, highlight them in your profile. For example, we specifically asked for people with .NET/C# experience or expertise. I got a load of resumes which highlighted their Java experience and expertise, with no mention of .NET/C#.

When I was scanning through the resumes, I was looking for specific keywords; .NET/C#, ASP.NET. And when it came to looking for work experiences, we were looking for specific experiences. I had hundreds of resumes to go through, I could not spare hours on one!

Also, always list your most recent or most relevant qualifications first. Starting your qualification list with the first public exam you faced will surely bury your more relevant qualifications! Same goes for experience profile as well.

But most of the resumes failed to address the requirements we had listed in the advertisement.

These are general comments I thought of sharing after me experience of processing the resumes. Always keep in mind that you need to make sure your email reaches the right person and once it reaches that person, make it easy for them to open and view your resume.

We hope to start the interview process somewhere next week. More on that once we conclude that.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wesak, Wesak, Wesak!!

Happy Wesak everyone. At least those of you who are in Sri Lanka are enjoying an extended weekend of 4 days this weekend. Some of you have been lucky enough to go out of Colombo. But I am in Colombo for several reasons as there were a few things we had to attend over the weekend.

To start off with there was a ‘bana’ and an alms giving on Friday and Saturday. Then there was Vidara and Thedara’s birthday party. Then there is the fact that my parent company being in the US, requiring me to be in Colombo with broadband connectivity in order to support thier operations. This is one of the things that I will have to do, working on US calendar as my head office. Something I figured would nt be much of a hassle. But in the long run I will have to get some Sri Lankan holidays, at least ones like the Sinhala New Year.

Coming back to Wesak, the recent bomb blast and the security situation in the country will put in a lot of restrictions on the Wesak celebrations. At least people will be a bit reluctant to travel to see the wesak celebrations due to security fears. Even my mother did not go to the usual temple that she goes to obtain SIL as today there is some big program with a lot of big shots in attendance and hence she was scared about being at a locations which is a prime target.

So on this noble day my wish is for peace in this paradise island. May we be allowed to celebrate wesak in peace and harmony next year wihout the fear of bombs and loss of life!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A tribute to a father

Dear Thaththi,

I remember that day, four years ago. The day that changed our lives in a flash. Can't imagine how time flies and how we coped up. But life goes on and we have come to terms! Thought I'd write a short note in your memory!

I am what I am today, because of what you made of me. The values you instilled and the love you bestowed. You taught me to live by principles and values. You taught me that knowledge is more important than money. You taught me love is unconditional. You taught me the virtue of patience (I was a brat and a half, wasn't I?). Above all, you taught me what a father should be to a child!

Today, when I stand in front of my kid, I ask myself, is this how thaththa dealt with me. Because I know, if I parent my kid, the way you parented me, nothing can ever go wrong!
It's been four years since you took your leave from us. The gods must have thought that your place was among them rather than among us! But what they failed to see was the impact it would have on us, how we would go on without you around!

We depended on you for everything. The mere fact that you were around was so much of a relief, we knew you would be there to put things right, if we messed up! Now that we are left to mend for our selves, I had no idea of the weight you were shouldering. Responsibilities you bore, with so much ease, you made it look like it was a breeze. Once they fell on our shoulders only did we realize the breadth and depth of them all. But with the grooming we received from you, we are managing!

We are all doing good Thaththi. I am sure you will be proud of us all. Then again, you must be knowing that! You gave us what it takes to live honourably and justly in this world. It wasn't money or assets. But it was an education!

I am not wishing you the bliss of Nirvana purely for selfish reasons. That is because I want you as my father in my journey through Sansara!

Till we meet again,
Loku Putha

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Photo blogging with moBlog

moBlog now supports photo blogging!

Posted from moBlog – mobile blogging tool for Windows Mobile