Things That Recruiters Like to See in Your CV(Resume): A Recruiter’s Guide

Some software engineers are always in touch with me, and they sometimes ping me on WhatsApp for some tips to get more job calls from good IT organizations.

The quickest tips that I share with them is, firstly, keep your profiles active & updated, secondly, add more and more relevant keywords in the ‘skills & keywords’ sections and add the same wisely in the CV.

Now, let’s talk about some more tips and guidelines by which a software engineer’s CV will always appear at the top of the search in job portals; and thus he/she may increase the chances of receiving more job calls.

USE SKILLS & KEYWORDS AT ITS PLACE

All job portals have created a section where you can add as many keywords & skills as you like.

You can even verbose this section if you like. This section works as a propeller for your profile.

Recruiters don’t mind this section filled with numerous keywords.

In fact, this section gets minimized in the search appearance and recruiters tend to ignore it.

A cramped ‘keyword’ section is not for the recruiters but for the search machine (job portals) that uses artificial intelligence to make your profile more relevant to a recruiter’s search.

So don’t shy away from adding more and more keywords in the ‘skills & keyword’ section.

BE CAUTIOUS WHILE USING KEYWORDS IN CV

If you are a software engineer and do coding you must not ignore these handy keywords that recruiters look for: Algorithms, datasturcrue, design pattern, Microservices, product development, hand on coding, etc.  

Also, use various forms of a keyword, for example, datastructure, “data structure”, microservice, Microservices, “micro-services”, angularjs, “angular js”.

STAY ACTIVE OR USE JOB PORTAL FREQUENTLY

Just by logging in to your job portal account frequently, you can increase your chances of getting more views from the recruiters.

There is a filter that recruiters use in the job portals to check a candidate logged in recently.

Recent and frequent logins or visits means the candidate is serious about job hunting. And such candidates receive more calls.

BE MINDFUL ABOUT CURRENT CTC & NOTICE PERIOD

By mentioning current CTC in the job portals, you make a recruiter’s job a little easier.

At least the recruiters would know if their budget constraints match with candidate’s CTC or not.

Thus the recruiter may or may not call you. The same thing applies to the notice period section.

REMOVE SMALL & PARTTIME JOBS FROM RESUME

Small or part-time jobs in CVs can unnecessarily increase the number of job changes, which is not liked by many recruiters.

If possible try to remove the unimportant & short-period employments from the resumes.

Candidates should avoid and remove clutters as much as possible. A good resume is a clean and tidy resume.

Unnecessary words or sentences can make the CV look poor. Also, only a single FONT & SIZE should be used throughout the CV.

Don’t Fall Victim To Fake Job Calls And Job Markets


One of my friends’ brother, a student, lost ten thousand rupees because he could not have missed the lucrative job offer which was being offered based on his current qualifications.

It was too late when he realized that he had been duped brutely. It was too late for me too to educate him about the dangers of fake job calls and markets and the way they operate. I wish had he contacted me once for my opinion, I should have saved him.

A college student losing ten thousand rupees to such traps can make anyone sad. College students are always in need of money, and the money they get from their parents is too little to fulfill their young-age demands.

I wonder how colleges don’t educate and warn their students against such fraudulent job calls and the market which is always after such vulnerable students.

Unemployment is a global problem. Fresh graduates around the globe go through this painful period of job hunting and securing a ‘good’ job.

The unemployment issue is creating the market for the fake job opportunities which is finally cheating the unemployed and poor students around the globe.

About ten years ago in Bengaluru, India, some candidates went to Infosys office with joining letters in hand. The HR guys at Infosys were baffled about these mysterious candidates who had come for the joining.

They make calls here and there, and to each other in the team to know if anyone knew about these candidates. But soon everything got clear: the candidates had ‘forged’ offer letters, and they had been duped by fake job markets.

The human resources guys came to know that these candidates had attended some technical rounds of interview, and even a few face-to-face interviews as well. Later they also revealed that they had paid a huge amount as fees which secured their job offers.

Police came into action as this news had shocked Bangalore and entire IT job market. There were some arrests made, but that didn’t curb the fraud job market.

The fraudulent job market is still strong and cheating more unemployed people and students than before. Also, the fake job market has changed its style and adapted itself according to the current technical scenario. They have become smarter.

Despite them being smarter, there are many ways to protect oneself from these fraud job market and to identify their calls:

They Talk Too Sweetly:

When genuine recruiters call you, they will come straight to the point. After introducing themselves briefly, they will tell you about the job profile, and after getting your acceptance will leave for the next procedure to take place.

But, the fraudsters will talk to you very nicely as though you are a long lost friend. They ask how’s your life going on, what do you do, what would you like to do. Sometimes they’ll be so fake that you’d burst into laughter and disconnect the call. And this is what you should do, you should disconnect the call once you find them being funny.

The recruiter could be from directly a company or a consultancy (recruitment) firm. The perception of consultancy recruiters being fraud is not true; many companies assign their recruitment jobs to consultancy firms for cost efficiency.

They Generally Hire for Various Companies:

One general thing that you would notice is that they’d say they are hiring for multiple companies, thus your job application will go to various companies.

The fraudsters avoid telling you the job description, because they don’t have one, and since they are not qualified recruiter they don’t understand the job profiles.

The genuine recruiter will proceed with your application for only one employer/client and only one Job Description at a time.

They Don’t Have Access to Popular Job Portals:

Though anyone can have access to any job portals by paying for the subscription, they (fraud callers) don’t generally have access to popular job portals. They’re two reasons: first, the popular job portals like monster.com are costly enough to meet their demands; secondly, these well-known job portals follow protocols to filter such fraudster.

There are various job portals with a cheaper subscription, and these job portals become victim to such fraudsters and scammers. This is why alert job seekers should avoid posting their profiles on cheap or not so popular job portals.

They Finally Ask For Money:

Well, this is the final catch!

Make no mistake: once they ask for money, disconnect them and mark them as Spam. Your money is the thing these fraudsters look for. Note: No reputed or even a registered employer will ever ask for any money for providing any job.

Well, the fakers use a smart trick to get your money. They will ask you to register yourself online by paying a nominal amount. This amount could by any amount, this is the amount they survive on. Such amounts are generally small, and the poor job seekers fall into the trap by giving it a try. With these small amounts, these fakers accumulate a huge sum of money by the end of the day.

THINGS TO BE DONE BEFORE ATTENDING AN INTERVIEW

No interviews should be taken lightly. Attending an interview without preparation could turn disastrous. Thus, you will not just lose your confidence for the next interview; you’d also lose a great chance to learn some importent interview skills.

Overconfidence can ruin your interview, so can the nervousness and fear. In most cases, candidates go tongue-tied in interviews which they are not prepared for. Also, they gasp for air, struggle to find the right word and answer when the questions are asked.

You would never know which interview is important and which is not. You can never predict which interview would be cracked and divert your career to the next level. Thus, attending or not attending an interview can be a life-changing moment, so always be well prepared before going for an interview.

A ‘war’ always requires some warm-ups and preparations. So, let’s see what we should be doing before attending an interview and how we can prepare ourselves.

1. Decide On the Dress & Groom Yourself

Attending interview is all about presenting yourself; you present or show almost everything: your knowledge, your communication style, your attitude, and most importantly your dress. Your dress or dressing sense is the very first impression you make. They say the first impression is the last impression.

However, the dressing sense for an interview has nothing to do with fashion sense. Because, it’s very simple: dress like a gentleman, that’s all. However, this matter should not be taken lightly. If you think your dresses and accessories will be ready on the very day of the interview, then think again. Your interview dress and shoes must be ready at least two days before.

You should strictly appear in formals. No T-Shirts, no sports shoes. Blue denim would only be acceptable only in urgent cases. You should have a close shave and get your hair and nails trimmed before. And, don’t forget to wear an analog or formal watch.

2. Brush up on basic and common Interview questions and answers.

Most people don’t believe in this fundamental element of interview art. Thus people, out of smartness, attend interviews without preparing on basic questions asked in an interview and return with long faces.

It is always difficult to explain one’s role and responsibilities in the current job unless one has prepared beforehand. People generally fail to tell their three strengths and weaknesses in interviews generally asked in interviews. Experienced candidates fail to tell their achievements in their career. So prepare well on the basic and the subject oriented quiestions asked in interviews.

3. Update Your CV (Resume) and Take Print Out(s)

Our resumes are generally made up with lots of copy & pastes. However copy & paste job it could be, one must know what is written on it. You cannot mess with the information provided on those papers. The dates, designations, education, role & responsibilities must be updated.

I have been into the recruitment industry for years and I can tell you what importance a beautiful resume holds for human resources personnel. A decorated and well-edited resume catches the sight of a recruiter. One must trim one’s resume to make it look light and fresh.  Most importantly don’t postpone taking the print outs of your resumes. Running to shops to take the printouts is a bad idea, it can ruin your day.

4. Confirm Your Availability / Absence for the Interview through Email

Acknowledging the emails is one of the best things that could be done to avert communication breach. Most professionals tend to ignore email acknowledgment that cause lots of confrontations.

There are people who ‘run away’ and ‘disconnect’ from the scheduled interviews. It wastes everybody’s time. If you are not ready on interested for an interview, be clear about it, and tell the recruiters. If there were some changes SMS or email to them.

If you are not going to attend the interview tell the recruiter, he/she will not bother you again. If you are going to attend the interview intimate the recruiter a day before so that backend side also would be ready. The communication breach could occur from either side, after all.

5. Read a Few Chapters of Classical Novels or Short Stories

You must be wondering about how reading classical novels or short stories can help you in interviews. Well, in fact, we should always read such classical and verbose novels, or at least in a few times in a week. It’s a tried and tested trick to improve oral communication. This helps in making better sentences and choosing better words.

Better oral communication does matter in a great deal in interviews. It can change the whole game, indeed. Afterall, successful people do read good books and novels. There are many books that are available, but one i recommend personally is Dracula, by Bram Stoker.

6. Wake Up Before Sunrise

You can reach you office late and make excuses to your bosses, but reaching late to your interview is a bad idea. Waking up early is one of the best things that should be done to be an achiever in career. City traffic is one of the biggest deterrents for those who run for the job interviews.

By waking up early in the morning, you buy more time for yourself. This time should be utilized for mind and body connection. Feed your mind with knowledge in these early morning hours, and strain your body to its boundaries: exercise. 5:30am is the time to wake up early in the morning.  Only in a few day, you would be able to make this a habit.

7. Don’t You Dare to Skip Your Breakfast

Having breakfast keeps your energy lever up and mind alert. This also avert sleepiness in day. Well, it may appear a small thing, but skipping breakfast does affect your interview performance significantly. It directly affects your alertness in interview.

Let’s Not Ask These Stupid and Meaningless Interview Questions

When I was young and in school, I used to fondly hear interesting interviews stories generally from the Civil Services examinations. After all, the Civil Services was everything back then for the job aspirants.

As far as I can remember, most of the interview stories back then were quite funny and stupid in nature. Of course, those rumored interview questions were meaningless.

Time has changed, so have the interview stories.  The interview questions have changed and become more sophisticated. Interviewers have become smarter; they know what they are asking, and what they should be asking.

But again, there are some interviewers who are still suffering from ‘colonial hangover’.  They sometimes confuse themselves with someone with better or superior intelligence. And in this confusion, they forget about interview etiquettes and ask some really stupid questions. Let’s have a look at those interview questions.

Stupid Question Number 1: Tell me about three weaknesses and three strengths of yours.

We are human beings, so we have got, indeed, more than three weaknesses and strengths, which one you want to know of? This question is also stupid because no one tells his/her actual weaknesses and strengths. In fact, no one should.  In most cases, the interviewee comes with some weird and cooked up stories and tries to be politically correct. A person’s weaknesses and strengths are personal or private matter, no one should question about it, at least in interviews.

Stupid Question Number 2: How/Where do you see yourself after five years from now?

A candidate had rightly said that I’d like to see myself in your seat after five years. Because a stupid question requires a stupid answer. No one should be interested in my future plannings and goals. The interviewers should be interested in the company’s future and, more importantly, his own future, not someone else’s future. Most importantly, the interviewer should worry about candidate’s suitability in current requirements.

Stupid Question Number 3: You have done your graduation in Political Science, Tell me how many articles are in the Indian Constitution?

What the hell man, I had done my graduation five years ago, and I’m applying for a sales job! Now I know nothing about the constitution and the federal structure of our county anymore. It would be more interesting and meaningful if you ask why I’m looking for jobs in sales after doing graduation in Political Science/Chemistry/History.

Stupid Question Number 4: Could you sing me a song or tell me joke?

No, your majesty. I’m not going to sing a song or crack a joke for your entertainment, because you are under hallucination of your authority. Ask me about my sales strategy, my coding skills or my teaching skills, but please do not expect me to entertain you just because I’m in a need of a job.

Stupid Question Number 5: Are you Married?

Well, in European and American countries, a candidate’s marital status is considered a private matter. The same applies to gender and sexual orientation. But, in India, the condition is really bad. One of my old managers openly brags about an interview where he asked if the candidate had any girlfriend, and how he caught the candidate’s lies about his girlfriends. We used to grin to his story; we had to save our jobs, for we had no other choices.

Stupid Question Number 6: Which political party do you support?

I could be a right-winger or a left-winger, or a liberal. My social or political ideology doesn’t really matter in an interview. Ideologies and religion create bases for differences and can hurt sentiments, so let’s avoid such topics in interviews.

Stupid Question Number 7: Asking Logical & Reasoning riddles.

Like, there is no practical use of algebra in real life, asking logical and reasoning questions have got no meaning in interviews. I could be worst at solving riddles, but I am a way better sales/marketing guy. No one should be judged on his IQ or riddles solving abilities.

The crux of the matter is, in interviews, no one should ask irrelevant questions. Only those questions should be asked which have a real connection with the job profile. Yes, we can ask about one’s family and other such matters indirectly only after having a good conversation.

Also Read: Smart Answers To Ten Stupid Interview Questions – Forbes

The Complicated Time Of Resignation and Notice Period

The Question: Hi, I’m about to resign from my current employer soon. Though I didn’t have such plans, but the company’s current situation makes think that the time has arrived to take this decision. My company, as I hear, has not been doing well for past a few years. The employees have been resigning from time to time. Some of them have been asked to resign.

My performance has been good; I also have been appreciated for my current performance. It doesn’t seem like they would ask my resignation any sooner, for two reasons: first, my performance has been praiseworthy, and secondly, the project I’m working on is crucial for the company. Please guide me to do the right thing at the moment. Should I wait, or should I resign?

The Answer: The private company is not a Titanic that you should wait till last moments for it looks bad to quit a sinking ship. When it comes to the career, one got to be a selfish guy to end up as a successful person in life. It’s always advisable that you stay with the employer for a longer period for it adds up to your resume as a stable candidate. Companies love stable candidates, though the stability of a candidate depends upon the companies’ treatment towards its employees.

NO EMOTIONS:

When the time comes to leave, you leave; leave with authority. I’ve seen employees getting emotional and crying on the last day at the company. I don’t say it’s bad, but we got to differentiate between the corporate world and the private life. Emotions are good within private life sphere, but equally detrimental in the corporate world.

WORKPLACE IS ONLY A MONEY MAKING PLACE:

When the company doesn’t do well financially, it starts doing cost cutting. Cost cutting is the early sign of company’s deteriorating health. Then, the company starts targeting senior employees with heavy salaries. This is the time when every employee should worry about his/her position. The first thing an employee should do is to update the CV in the job portals. Remember, you company is just a place where you get you money that fuels you life. A company is not a community hall where we share and deal with our personal problems.

SECURE YOUR PLACE FIRST:

Never think of resigning before securing another job. Some cases are understandable, but one should always keep in mind that finding a new job after quitting is a big mistake. Job hunting has never been an easy task in history. Quitting job without securing one is like getting stuck in mud. It would be too late, by the time you realize that you are in deep financial trouble.

NOTICE PERIOD IS NO FUN TIME:

Once you resign, don’t go reckless in your notice period. One must be honest towards one’s duty. The job you do is the backbone of your life. Once you begin taking your job lightly, you develop a subtle bad habit bad, bad for your career in long run. Yes, the notice period is cooling down period, but the line must not be crossed. Coming late to the office, leaving early, not finishing the task, being always absent from the seat, not coming to the office regularly are a few general mistakes employees make during their notice period.

NOTICE PERIOD IS NO BACKSTABBING TIME:

I’ve also seen employees taking Notice Period as an opportunity to take revenge and doing some back-stabbing. They write mails to their bosses (CEO, COO etc.) complaining about their colleagues, team leads or managers. It should be avoided; as such mails might not be taken as seriously, or it may even fireback.

LEAVE WITH GRACE:

Why you leave there shall be no blemish on your reputation and record. If possible, one should take the notice period time as a period to clean the stains on the career and performance. In your farewell, if it is there, you shall be applauded and honoured for that. And, that’s an achievement, a personal achievement.

PEOPLE REMEMBER YOU:

Also, if you keep your performance and record impressive in your last days in the company, there would always be fare chances that your old bosses will remember you in needs, or you can call them for help in bad times. When I was jobless, I called my old manager for help, and he got me a great job at a very bad time. It really feels good when your old managers call you back to take you in their team just because you were a performer. So remember, notice period time is no fun time or the time to play around.

It is also noticed that after quitting some employees visit the office to meet their old colleagues to catch them on tea or coffee break. This should not happen. One can visit or meet the old colleagues on weekends or after office hours, but not on tea or coffee breaks. It just looks bad, and presents one’s poor attitude.

ALSO READ: Resignation – how much notice? – Fair Work Ombudsman