Spot Fixing

A candidate writes…

“During the recession of 2009 my company stopped paying me salary and eventually closed down. For nearly a year I was unable to get a break which I period I used to catch up on some over seas travel and some voluntary work. In due course I landed a job ( in July 2010) that paid much less than what I was earning. I tried renegotiating my salary now – but that is not working out. I tried looking out but the problem I face is that I am being turned down mentioning very low salary as a reason. I am in a fix.”

Bit of a Tight spot to be in.

This candidate had worked in some very good companies before the recession which made the situation that much more ironic.

the way I looked at was that there was no easy solution. I suggested a staged approach to getting out of this low salary fix.

First was to apply to some medium and small companies which would consider his low salary to be a bargain. In case he got into a good medium sized firm take it and continue and maybe – try renegotiating after 6 months or so. Or get the offer negotiate whatever increase is available 20-30% is the least you could manage. Continue looking and see if you can get a better offer in another firm. The market is really booming so this is the time to cash in when your services in real demand.

Plus, in your resume if you have used your non employed time to do some travel or whatever – display it on your resume. It is n-times better than saying i was taking care of my parents or getting married or some such.

Does it help?

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Transit your Enthusiasm

I happened to read this phrase after quite some time – and immediately it rang a Bell.

This phrase forms a part of a larger para which goes like this :

My goal is to transit my enthusiasm, creativity & experience into a position, where I continue to provide the strategic and tactical leadership critical to retaining valued customers of an organisation. I am certain that my presence in your team will prove to be beneficial to your organisation.

This phrase and the para – filled with abundant eloquence has gone truly viral, atleast amongst the resume touting public in India.

A random search on the phrase turned up 3300+ responses with the para sometimes – completely pasted , in other cases reproduced in part.

Sometimes if not all copy/Paste has its pitfalls. You might wonder who holds the copyright to this phrase – he should feel proud – if you go by another phrase – imitation is the best form of flattery.

But, if he (the copy right holder) floated his resume with with this para included – his resume might be received with a little less enthusiasm – than if it were otherwise ( minus the para).


you guessed it – the line is no more an original – and there is just this tinge of untruth attached to it.

Guess what – googling this phrase – turned up quite a few linkedin profiles.

So, Beware – stay away from this phrase.

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Managing your Boss

We recently placed a candidate at a reasonably responsible position – but, within a month he called us up saying that he was no happy.

A bit of digging revealed that he was not alloted any responsibility. And when he met his boss about it – our man coolly responded that what he was doing was ok – that what he was currently doing was his only responsibility.

Unique situation to be in. where not having anything to do is part of your job profile.

Well, my guess was that this candidate being highly qualified the Boss might have been jittery about sharing too much responsibility- just in case he himself was left without a job.

In such a situation – I don’t have too many options. the first is to look for an alternative opening and take it up at the earliest. If that is not happening fast enough – the person could let go a bit , take it easy – and try to build trust with the Boss. Not easy – but at some point he has to come around.

Offcourse going to the HR and lamenting your situation is an option.But,
Some how I am not too much in favor of running to the Rule book for every digression.

I may be wrong – correct me. but lets face it – in an organisation – working together involves – handling the idiosyncrasies of your colleagues and even the Boss in certain cases.

That is part of your moving up the Totem Pole..

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Holding Cards close to Your Chest

This conversation happened with a candidate after 3 rounds of interview were over.

Recruiter : so based on all our discussions and your understanding of job facts – what would be your Salary Expectations.

Candidate : See you please make the offer – after going through the details I will take a call.

This was a unique case in the sense that the job was a consultant contract for two years so the normal rates of increase don’t work.

But, even giving concession for that if a candidate is not willing to commit a figure when all the necessary details of the job are laid upfront – it does’nt seem ok.

It shows a certain amount of cageyness in the approach. If you are going to be so cagey – what is the likelihood of your gelling in the team.

Better option would be to quote a reasonably high expectation – if you seriously want to cover all your bets ( considering the job being of a contractual nature ) .

But, a response like the one stated above – doesn’t bode well. The employer is likely to read through the lines – as someone who is out shopping.

Na Da.

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Pavakkai Poriyal ( Beef up your Resume)

I was reading this interesting article on the Hindu – Why is Jazz Like Pavakkai when my mind wandered on its applications to resumes and careers.

Tried Various permutations and combinations and correlations but nothing substantial enough to merit a post or shall we say coherent enough to merit one.

That left me googling for ideas which threw up another interesting article relevant to this Blog – Fun Ways Beef up your resume . As the title indicates – some fun ways have been suggested and some not so fun – depending on which side of the river you are coming from. ( something wrong with the phrase there)

But have a look at it – you might find some quite wacky – whether or not you are in the midst of “Gap” . And what would be a better time to start on something entirely new – than at this time of year.

You never know these variations to your career could help inducing an acquired taste in your resume.

Cheers !

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Some Definitions

Here are some definitions which might come in handy when you are talking o a Recruiter and wish to drop a few industry Jargons.

Recruiters can be broadly divided into 3 types. Of these one type outnumbers the others by a ratio of 10:1:1.

Contingency: This is the prevalent species amongst the recruiters. the chances are that if you have interacted with a recruiter – this is the type you are most likely to have dealt with.
This recruiter does an Employee search on a contingency basis.( Meaning : dependence on chance or on the fulfillment of a condition; uncertainty; fortuitousness). the recruiter gets his fee only on the successful placement of a candidate. The payment is usually a percentage of the 1st year salary or a flat fee(rare). the key thing to note is that the Job Seeker does not pay a fee.


This type of recruiters are a rarer breed found mostly in the stratosphere and come with fancy anglicized names.
Here the client firm pays a fee to retain the services of this recruiter.
Part of the search fee is paid upfront at the start of the search and the remainder after the placement has been made. Typically very senior level positions in the corporate go in for retained searches.

there are a few other kinds of recruiters which do not fit into any specific definition – those will be discussed in future posts.

and then there is the mighty dragon – called the “Head Hunter” which everyone would have heard about but never met face to face .

all that will be discussed in due course ..

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Non attendence

Another Interview Non Attendance – Monday.

Well what do you say for a someone with 20 years experience comes up with excuses like personal problems when it comes to attending the interview.

Grow up Buddy!!

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A Question for your Recruiter

A candidate asked me this question and I felt it a good way to understand what is being expected of the candidate in the interview.
It is basically straightforward question which can throw more light on the interviewing process.

“If any candidates have already been interviewed – what reasons were given for their not being shortlisted. ”

If you can get the recruiter to share with you the details as to why his/her earlier candidates were not shortlisted – you can accordingly modify your presentation.

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Spell Check

There are no word processing applications without this feature – though there are many of us who have not yet found the necessity of using it after typing a document.

One still finds mistakes in the Resume which could have been easily removed if only a routine spell check was done.

So simple advice for the day – Run a Spell check after you have typing your resume. Also do run a check after every up-dation. You never know where a minor mistake would sneak in.

As I write this post Indians seem to be in a comfortable position to draw the match. They have another 40 overs to go with eight wickets remaining.

On the sidelines – lot of heated exchanges about the Indians having thrown the match away by defensive play.

Its so easy to find mistakes criticize the team whatever they do. And we are the Top Test Team to boot.

If they can be found fault with – i can safely say that it would much much more easier to find fault in your resume – especially if a recruiter is tuned to doing – which most of our tribe are.

So just take that extra care – it wont take much.

Came across this interesting poem on spell checking .. Am sure you will like it.

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Tees Maar Khan

Whats My Name
Whats My Name
Whats My Name…..

You could go on asking this question forever – if your resume is structured like the the plot of Tees Maar … (TMK) the . even the lowsiest of stories can be presented in an engaging way – if we devote some thought to it.

Like our Friends at TMK – most of us refuse to take the trouble to engage the Recruiter or the Client with a script built around our experience.

You might thing that jotting down the list of Tasks you engaged in chronologically, plus a few trainings undergone + qualification is sufficient to carry the day.

My friend that may suffice sometime – but the shortlisting and interview process has so many variables – that if you have been let down by your resume – you will never get to realize it until much much later.

No one is going to be able to tell exactly why your resume didnt get shortlisted or post interview why you were not shortlisted.

So if you are taking the trouble to look for a Job change/Career change why not put you best foot forward with a well scripted resume.

for a start – tell your story in a way such that you can engage your audience – in this case – the recruiter and next your prospective organisation. To do this better – it helps to have some more knowledge about the company you are applying to. Get some dope on the Job details and then – your could script and chisel and fine tune your story.

Just for the record – TMK is a brain dead movie – dont fall for the marketing blitz. Just download a video of – My name is …. and enjoy the number 🙂 .

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