Monday, August 25, 2014

Building the NRI Resume

A long, long time ago I made hubby a resume to help him find a job in India. I remember having to search quite a bit to get an idea of how resume's were written in India at that time. As I'm sure you can imagine, they're different from American resume's just like almost everything else about India is different. His old resume looked something like this  (personal identification redacted of course):

Clearly, that's not the type of resume an American company would know what to do with. We don't use your father's name, your address doesn't go at the bottom and what does 64% even mean (from the "Academic Credentials" section. I know these things now and as a quick explanation: 64% is the "marks" obtained in the course out of 100. There's simply no way to equate this with the American GPA system which ranks up to 4.0. I can also imagine that 64 doesn't look like a promising number to someone who doesn't understand the Indian grading systems.

Also,  something I didn't know back then was that I was missing half of his education credentials! Lol. A lot was lost in translation between someone who knows very little (or nothing) about IT who was trying to make the resume and a non-native English speaker. Ahem....yeah, I didn't know my *ss from a hole in the ground when it came to his skill set.

So when hubby came here, I attempted to make him a new resume in a more American format. Still being IT ignorant, I copied a lot of the same wording, ideas, etc. FAIL! Needless to say his resume sucked and many of his NRI friends told us so.

Now that I'm off work and can spend hours (over 3!) helping hubby completely retype his resume and make it presentable to the world (still IT ignorant btw), we sat down to do so together and made a much better resume.

First step for anyone not skilled in the art of resume crafting is to Google. Find examples, look at wording choices used in your specific fields. DO NOT COPY AND PASTE. I saw way too many resume's that were just copied and pasted and this is the fastest way to make yourself look like a lying idiot and get yourself fired (or never hired in the first place). Read the resume's online, think about how to make the sentences fit you, your background, your experience, etc.

Current standards also want you to use action statements. So rather than just saying what you can do, they want you to say what the result of this is. When listing your degrees, they are typically separate from your certifications. We also want to know more details about your skills and knowledge, which is a sneaky way of also testing your grammar, spelling and MS Office proficiency. The more you have to type, the more potential you'll make a mistake that tells the recruiter you are not as good as you say you are.

So now hubby's resume started out looking like this:

What do you think? Much improved eh? Of course, we hadn't finished it yet when I took this snapshot. I got the idea for this post mid-way through our work. His resume is now includes a much broader scope of who he is professionally.

We'll likely have to modify this a little bit as needed based on each individual job he applies for but in the mean time, this basic resume is sufficient.

One thing you'll notice is that instead of including the 64% marks, we've listed him as being in "First division" which is how his diploma's were worded. This may seem a bit strange but will give the interviewer an opportunity to ask him questions about it's meaning which in turn gives hubby a chance to show his English speaking abilities in translating and explaining it.

Have any of you ever helped your husband make a resume? What was your experience like?

You can find some great tips on NRI's transitioning into the American workforce over at Authentic Journeys.