Tuesday, January 19, 2010

7 Things about Resume Writing (that won’t get you the job).

Note: Something I wrote for my present workplace that I thought could be useful for all.

7 Things about Resume Writing (that won’t get you the job).

1. Resume gets you the job.

Nope. It does not. It gets you the interview. That is if you are shortlisted. No use moaning that you have a fantastic resume yet you didn’t get the job, as you were not even invited for an interview. Take a look at the resume again. Is there any goof up? Have you added your contact details properly? There might be an “S” missing in your email address. Or that you have changed your phone number due to stalkers. Have you updated the dates? Have you accidentally cut and pasted a passage from romantic teen vampire fan-fiction? Clean it up and try again.

2. It’s cool to include your blog/website address

It’s great that you have a blogsite or website of your own. It may be about your pet subjects, like stamp collecting or your obsession with poodles. At the same time, think again. Is it going to help with your interview? There are high odds against the HR managers with affection for poodles, and even so they are trained to be unbiased, poodles or not. Or worse, you might be an amateur political analyst with vocabularies of a football hooligan. Forget about it, there is no better turn off than a very off-putting web/blogsites. You better remove them.

3. List all your hobbies/interest.

In addition to the above, think very carefully, how is it your love for collecting teddy bears going to get you that dream accounting job? Or would your penchant to party all night long over the weekend excite the HR managers to the point they hire you immediately as SAP consultant? If the interest corroborate with the job, like reading books if you applying the position of a journalist, or collecting technical manuals if you are a technician, it will be a great boost for your resume. Just make sure they are relevant manuals, not the one about making homemade bomb or something.

4. Fantastic design and great writing skills wins the interviewer.

Sure, if you are applying for the post of designer and writer respectfully. Even then, it’s the content that matters. Putting a cute picture of little pony on every corner at all pages is nice, but not if the HR has allergy to little ponies, even the pictures. He or she is only concerned with what you want to tell them, and tell them in simple manner as possible. Writing lines and lines of skilfully crafted prose would only drive them to either tear their respective hairs or your resume apart.

5. Completing Online resume form once is good enough.

You registered in online career portal like JobsDB, fill up the forms and click “done”. And you don’t go back for years and you end up thinking, “hey, I did upload my resume, filled up the online form, why the heck am I not getting any calls, or any mails”. Only the latest gets to the prospective employers eyes. If you last updated it back in 1999, chances are it is at the bottom pile rotting away to no one’s attention. Online resumes are sorted by computers first, so you have to be careful in what you are putting in there. You better take another look at that online resume of yours, especially if you are looking for IT technician position and you get mail saying that you have been called for an interview for nursing position.

6. Pix of you in cool pose is, err…cool.

No it is not. Just a usual passport sized picture would do. Ask the studio folks to give you a soft copy and insert it on the resume. We have seen some pictures which seemed to be more suited for matrimonial page than a job page. Go easy, willya? It’s okay if you don’t attach your pix if you think you have a face of a handsome horse. Who cares? It’s your experience, your skills, your education and your enthusiasm as an employee that matters…the HR manager can deal with your face later. You know what they say about don’t judge the book by the horse face.

7. There is a magic formula on resume writing.

Yes, it can be found in a spot marked with X in some strange island somewhere. Give yourself a break, there is no magic formula. Ultimately the magic is you, yourself and well, you. Resume guides online, workshops like the one conducted by JobsDB are merely helping hands. These help you to Find Your Voice. We don’t have a lab that makes magical formula that you sprinkle on your resume and voila! A Guaranteed For Job resume that works like love potion with HR managers. If you have what they want, and you have it there in the resume, you have greater chances of getting that job. If your resume is filled with words like “Abracadabra” or “The Force Says You Will Get Me The Job”, prepare for long, silent wait.

For more tips, guides, articles & announcements on career related stuff, check out www.jobsdb.com.my. Happy job hunting, and if you are not looking for one, wait for the head-hunters to look for you. The job head-hunters. What were you thinking?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sherlock Holmes (2009): SherLock, Stock, Barrel and A Smoking Pipe

When someone approached Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about reviving Sherlock Holmes in a play and whether he can get the Great Detective to marry, Doyle said, “Marry him, or murder him for all I care”. Hundreds of pastiche, plays and films that followed did that. Director Guy Ritchie certainly took note of that.

Having read and seen them (except the plays), I conclude that Ritchie’s very entertaining Sherlock Holmes to be vastly very faithful to Doyle’s works.

Look, first and foremost, they are not great work literatures and Doyle worked hard to establish himself as a serious author as opposed to the magazine series writer (he admitted that he may have given birth to fictional series). In fact, commenting on great mysteries, Raymond Chandler dismissed the story in Sherlock Holmes adventures and said they were all about “attitude”, which is precisely the reason why many of us loved Sherlock Holmes. Forget the plot, we love the guy.

He is antithesis of all the Victorian era fictional heroes. He is nastier than David Copperfield, darker than Heathcliff, bolder than Quartermain, more vicious than the Count Dracie, and definitely more charming, if need be, than Jane Austen’s heroes (my wife will kill me for saying this).

All the actors who ever played Holmes, and he ranks among the character played by most actors next to Hamlet I believe, have shown one side or more. Downey Jr’s Holmes is moody, arrogant, intelligent, untidy, sometimes unhuman (not inhumane), funny, engaging, brilliant, sarcastic, athletic and strangely sexy. Okay, Holmes in the original was not meant to be sexy and yet he seemed to have what Doyle describes, mesmerising power to soothe distressed women.

Sherlock Holmes does not look like Peter Cushing, he was envisioned by Doyle as looking more like a Red Indian, and it was the original’s illustrator Sydney Paget’s fault. He does not wear Deerstalker hat, and we have to blame Paget again. So, why bother about how Downey Jr’s look. In fact, we are not even bothered with his Accent as much as it bothered the heck out of us when utilised by Kevin Costner or Keanu Reeves.

We forget that Holmes is the ultimate badass of the 19th and early 20th century. He died and came back to nail his “murderer” in two short stories. Criminals are scared of him, policemen envy him and foreign royalties come in disguises to seek his services. The man was the superhero of that time and the Holmes in this film confirms us that, only with 21st century film goers’ taste incorporated.

You get to see lots of fisticuffs, of martial arts variety, chase scenes, and stunts you wouldn’t have expected the definitive big screen Holmes, Basil Rathbone, to do. Downey Jr’s Holmes would make us believe that he could. And so did Jude Law playing Dr. Watson the way the Doyle intended, tough guy and ladies men who never failed to carry the revolver on Holmes’ behalf. I never liked Law like I did in this film, very likable indeed.

We got a lot to thank Guy Ritchie for updating Holmes for the 21st century, never mind the whining so-called Holmes fan who probably only saw the Universal movies. And we really have to thank that American actor for playing a very memorable Holmes. And God, if you exist, please don’t let anything happen to Robert Downey Jr.