INFOCUS

Bharat Gopalan

Bharath Gopalan specializes in Learning & Development and works with Madras Cements. He holds master degrees in Human Resource Management as well as in Psychology. He is deemed as a national resource person by Training Division (DoPT) of Government of India for conducting Direct Trainers’ Skills course.
I am looking out for a job. The internet has so many ways to write a resume and it’s pretty confusing. Could you suggest a format that I could follow? - Thaigarajan K, Chennai
Yes, I agree, there are myriad ways of putting together a resume. But essentially, formatting of resumes can fall into two or at the most, three broad types: the functional format, where you emphasize on your specific skills and accomplishments in the order of relevance and importance to the position you are applying; second is chronological format, where you list your experience and education along with details preferably, in the reverse chronological order starting with the recent one first; and the third type of format is a hybrid of the first two. Choosing the right format should depend to a large extent, on your career history vis-à-vis your target job. If you have breaks in career or have diverse work experiences that don’t align to a clear career path, then the functional format comes in handy. Since this format focuses on competencies and accomplishments, the career discontinuities get conveniently camouflaged. Chronological format is probably the most commonly used one. Since there is complete transparency about the career history, most interviewers prefer this over the functional type. You can also use a combo or hybrid type, where you can highlight your specific skills and accomplishments as in functional type and follow it with brief listing of jobs held with dates as in chrono format. Though there is no hard and fast rule for formatting your resume, you must remember that all your resume can do is to take you to the next stage of selection process. Most recruiters, who end up scanning hundreds of resumes everyday hardly spend about a minute on each of the resumes. So, it is important that the right words pop up from your resume before they decide to hit the ‘delete’ key. So, it would do you a lot good, if you keep in mind the good old dictum of communication: accuracy, brevity and clarity.

How much value does an MBA have these days? -Kumaran, Chennai
Your question sounds like if an MBA is worth considering at all, a natural apprehension probably arising out of the mushrooming of all kinds of B-schools with different kinds of management degrees. The value of an MBA would depend largely on what you expect out of it, which apparently is dependent on the present stage of your career. If you are looking at a full-time MBA option for getting a head-start in your career, then you should be choosy and select a handful of probables that enjoy a good placement record and brand name with due consideration for other factors like affordability and your confidence to slog through the selection grind. If you want to derive the value you expect from your MBA, you should compulsorily do the necessary research and introspection before jumping in to a B-school and be rest assured that any and every MBA can’t take you to where you want to go. If you are already in a job for some years now and wondering whether an MBA could hitchhike your pay and position, then it would depend a lot more on you than on the MBA you acquire. If you do a bit of survey around, you maybe surprised to find a good number of seniors who have failed to salvage their stagnating careers with their add-on MBAs. Your employer will be ultimately interested in seeing how your new degree can contribute to the bottom line. So, any which way you get your degree, be it on-line, part-time or distance mode, all that matters is not what you get but what you do with it. So, pursue a course which is not just another tag to your name but one that can help in building your capabilities that can manifest as visible performance in your work.

INBOX 1305 | MARCH 2010 | 41

Photo Courtesy : Yos Wiranata