The last time I redesigned (not updated) my resume was 2009. Since then, my understanding of ease-of-use, information architecture & win-loss has grown several fold. Late last year I realized that my resume looks archaic and needs a revamp.
The need was to create something that was:
information rich yet not cluttered
comprehensible yet not funky
likely to get past through the recruiter’s clutter.
Several opinions & tweaks later, I finally published a release candidate that I wanted to share. Yes, sharing definitely looses the competitive advantage at a PM opening, but what use is creativity that’s kept to yourself. I hope this bit on the design rationale helps all.
📰 The importance of Page 1
It’s a no-brainer how crucial the first page is to recruiters, considering their daily swim in the resume swarm. The key was to summarize everything that mattered to them on Page 1, while deferring details to following pages. More importantly, it also acts as a printable summary to save some paper.
You have every right to question my proposal – haven’t projects at work already tamed our lives for the worst? Well, yes definitely. But I’m not talking about work-related projects, or even the side projects that your cool workplace encourages. I’m talking about every other little project that needn’t advance your career or make you money (at least to begin with). The reason I’m distinguishing this from hobbies is because a hobby can keep you amused for an entire life-time – like numismatics for me. Projects on the other hand will usually have an end-result.
The result is what is crucial to creating a sense of achievement & satisfaction. It is only one of the benefits you would you see while engaging yourself in a pet project. Here are some more:
There is so much talk about how to go about quitting your job, but there is such little focus on what you should take with you after you’ve quit your job. I’m not asking you to violate policies or steal data; but just reminding you to carry stuff that belongs to you which is going to come handy in the future.
From the payroll system:
Copies of last 6 salary slips If HR/Admin co-operates, get them stamped with the company seal. This helps if you’re still looking for a job. You should also look for any Loss-of-Pay (LOP) days in there (see below).
Form 16s for the years you’ve been with the company This has to be on your file! It is mandatory to process loans, and also required for visas and insurance at times. If not available in your online HRMS, Finance or HR will surely have a copy.
Copy of the Tax slip for the current year This highlights the heads under which you were paid and how much tax was deducted. This will be a life-saver when filing returns (if your old company delays/denies you a Form-16) in the following year, because your CA has to access salaries received from both companies.
From the leave & attendance system:
Snapshot of leave balance in each leave category This will allow you to reconcile the balance days you’ve been paid for in the F&F (full & final) statement.
Track of Loss-of-pay days Whatever your company calls it: leave-without-pay or loss-of-pay, keep track of these days by going over salary slips for the past months. If possible, regularize these days, get them approved and reconcile in your F&F.
PF account number/office OR PF deposit slips Good news! In India, your PF account is now online on the EPFO website; all you need is your PF account number & office/zone to keep track of the balance. You can get this info from your HR/Finance department. They would also have a deposit slip for each year Continue reading Things to carry when you quit your job→
Foodies love buffets. I love buffets for 2 reasons: I get to try out a lot of dishes which I would otherwise never order; the other being I can hog as much as I like. Often times, amateurs at a buffet regret not having enjoyed their money’s worth.
After several tummy-full buffets, I have put together this list of tips for those interested.
1. Stay hungry & reach on time
Call this Buffet 101 if you wish to, but even if you don’t wish to hog, make sure you have enough hunger for a full meal. If you reach on time, you are likely to have the best lot, well-marinated, well-cooked and pampered by the chef. Refills are sometimes done in a hurry to meet the demand.
2. Browse the menu before starting
I’ve seen folks get excited by a Live pasta counter or Chicken Lollypops in the appetizer, only to find a their favorite main course or dessert for which they have no space left. Know the menu and plan your meal 🙂
1. Keep copies of travel docs
Nothing is worse than losing your passport or tickets and getting stranded in foreign land. Always keep a copy of your passport in every piece of baggage. An extra copy of air ticket & visa won’t hurt if you recycle them when you return.
2. Distribute your currency
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; spread money across your bags and some in your wallet. Use a spare purse or a self-sealing bag to keep the currency of the port you’re leaving that you can move back in when you return.
3. Check local weather
Weather can be a real spoiler. Quite a few parts of Asia & Europe are infamous for random showers. Be prepared. A folding umbrella or a monkey cap – or at least, the right pair of shoes – can really save a day.
4. Know about your consulate
It is essential to know how your country is represented in places you are visiting. It could be an embassy, a consulate or served by the diplomatic mission of another country. Fortunately, I have never had to use this information. But this is the first place and your last resort if shit hits the roof.
5. Download offline maps on your device
Avoid messy paper maps by downloading local road & public transport information on your smartphone, tablet or pad. If Google doesn’t let you, use Maps (-) on Android to save maps offline. And then if you have a local SIM, Continue reading 10 international air travel tips→
To be very honest, I don’t see a reason why someone should stray away from innovation. Thinking ‘New’ keeps your idea muscle toned for tough challenges. But here’s 3 reasons why you should innovate all the time: not just on the professional front, but also in relationships. After all, as LinkedIn says, relationships matter.
1. Not all ideas from the past scale
There could have been some things that worked very well for you in the past. But everything changes with time, ideas get stale, and they won’t always scale to match the situation – if at all they still work. A 20 picture photo album might have made for a lovely Valentine’s day, but that does not mean that a 200-slide story board – full of pictures and promises – can save a relationship. You have to think fresh! Eat Subway if it takes that 🙂
2. Not all ideas click (plan for failure)
I once had to put some things together in a paper bag (like the McDonalds carry bag – sorry can’t think outside food), and snail mail it. I had to attach a note, and trying to be creative, I decided to use the inside of the bag. So, I cut the edges of the bag to make it one long sheet of paper (kinda rotulus), wrote the message on it (in black so it would be noticed) and stitched it back with tape. Outcome? It hit the trash can – unnoticed. I failed to deliver the message. Don’t be shy of failure, the world today is chasing failure, and the Tata’s are even giving out awards for failing. But make sure you have enough alternatives to compensate for the failure, without really having to start over.
Make yourself a promise: I will always have 5 alternate ideas or planned for 5 un-happy scenarios (what does not fall on the happy path) before executing an idea
3. Competition is catching up fast
Need I say more?
Innovate or perish. Sharpen your axe. Work out your idea muscle. Have coffee, or Subway, or whatever helps you think. Do something special for that special one: be it your better half or your project/product. It’s up to you to save it!
Marginalia: If you are planning to make them coffee, remember that if you make a heart with Hershey’s on it, it will sink. Instead, try rangoli (sprinkling) with coffee powder.
Share/Tweet: @prasadgupte: 3 reasons you should keep innovating, even in relationships http://bit.ly/e2uxLh
I’m a cleanliness freak – to the extent of cleaning up my Facebook wall. Over the last week, there’s been a lot of spam with wall messages that read: “Hahaha! Mine is hilarious. Check out yours”? Familiar? Yes, that silly app which tells you how you would look in the future. I never tried it, but tired of the requests, I urged friends to avoid it via a FB update. 13 people liked it, but I only hope its the latter of these 2 messages it conveys: how awful I look, and how useless that app is. (I take everybody’s privacy too seriously, hence some masking)
It just occurred that we all face criticism one or the other time, and either gulp it down, react strongly or get defensive. Not only is time wasted reacting to it, valuable inputs are lost when criticism is not consumed. What can be done with it? Is it really helpful? Can it be consumed? Yes, to bring in a change, and to evolve oneself. And here’s how-to.
3 tips on consuming criticism effectively:
1. Accept that its good
If you let criticism hurt your ego, you’re not going anywhere. Understand that it’s really the best source to reflect and learn more about yourself. It will expose things you never knew or sensed. So don’t shy away, and encourage constructive criticism & confrontation!
2. Work on the negatives, forget the compliments
Flattery received (or given) adds up to nothing, ignore it. Compliments tell you what you’re good it, which helps motivate yourself an a bad day. The action items lie hidden in the negatives. Spend time to identify, investigate, verify and plan the change.
3. Know whom to listen to
This is perhaps the most important one. Don’t confuse like-ability and trustworthiness. Not everyone you like, likes you and in this world, there are a ton of people willing to compromise integrity to get their way and put you down. Listen to those whose advice you trust and still use your brains to filter what you hear.
For the record, this post is not the aftermath of some serious criticism or embarrassment 🙂
In my last post, I spoke about unwanted surprises in life and how the human mind usually deals with them. In this part, I will share some guidelines that will help retain focus in tough situations. As I said before, I am no authority on this subject, but I will share what I learned (the hard way) & feel.
1. Stay in control
You will often find yourself in a state of shock when you experience something that you never thought of. The sooner you release yourself from this lock, will you find yourself with the capacity to deal with the situation. Motivate yourself to live life and tackle this situation.
Do not loose control of your mind, else you will find yourself being too dependent on others.
Do not make a compromise or you will find yourself slipping into a dream world, that you will never want to leave in the fear of reality.
Do not leave things to time or just dream that someday this will fall in place, or you will repent later for not having tried enough.
2. Don’t mix the past and the current situation & think fresh!
Introspection is the key to dealing with situations. It is always worthwhile going back in time to see what happened, and try to determine factors that must have given rise to the current situation. But it is not at all necessary that those factors alone triggered the situation. Hence, it is as important to deal with these two information elements (learning from introspection & info about the current situation) separately, as important it is to understand them. Continue reading 7 tips on dealing with situations!→
This is not a blog post, but just sharing the report template used for the final semester dissertation/project at BITS, Pilani. I guess this is common to MS SS & MM courses offered by DLPD (WILPD). This is the result of the numerous email that keep floating during the semester, only adding to the confusion. So I created a Word template that one can use right away, for lazy bums like me who start late. Just define custom properties, and the report template will automatically fill itself up.
On Windows, right-click, go to ‘Properties’, then the ‘Custom’ tab
You will see all the fields used in the document like Report Title, Mentor Name, Student ID, etc.
If not, in MS WORD 2007, go to ‘Prepare’ > ‘Properties’ from the OFFICE menu. Then ‘Document Properties’ > ‘Advanced Properties’ on the yellow band and ‘Custom’ tab on the pop-up.
To modify a value,
– Click on the field name in the field list
– Change the ‘Value’ above
– Click ‘Modify’
– Repeat this procedure for all fields
Do not delete any of the fields.
Open the document now, select all the text (CTRL + A) and press F9.
I have taken care of the fonts, page numbers, table of contents, etc. You can copy-paste one of the existing chapters to create a new one. However, if something is missing as per the checklist, please bring it to everyone’s attention. We can discuss this via comments below.
Wishing you all good luck without your report & viva!
This intelligent template is dedicated to Sonal Purandare who motivated me to get started on the report and offered immense support in difficult times.