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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Swot Analysis..

A married couple was asked to present their SWOT Analysis.

His reply:

My *S*trength is my wife.
My *W*eakness is my neighbour's wife.
My *O*pportunity is when the neighbour goes out.
My *T*hreat is when the neighbour comes back unexpected!

Her reply:

My *S*trength is my beauty.
My *W*eakness our local plumber.
My *O*pportunity is when pipes burst.
My *T*hreat is when my husband starts reading plumbing "Do It Yourself" book!












Now get serious

Your Personal SWOT Analysis and Preparing your Curriculum Vitae


Everyday, recruitment firms go through hundreds of resumes…resumes of people having 10-20 yrs of experience…resumes of people passed out from institutes like Symbiosys, XLRI, TISS…and just one word comes out of my mouth…"PATHETIC". People, have knowledge; they have experience but don't know why, they are not able to put it on a paper. Your resume is the first thing that will go to your prospective employer and based on that you will get a chance to speak to him and if your resume is not proper, forget about job, you will not even get a call for interview. Here, I am trying my best to put-in as what we should and what we should not write in a "Curriculum Vitae"

Possible reasons for RESUME REJECTION

No name is listed at the top of your resume.
Missing phone and/or e-mail address.
Education category is missing dates, no major and/or degree is listed, the universityname is missing, and/or abbreviations are used inappropriately.
Employment accomplishment statements should be no longer than 4 lines if stated in paragraph format, no dates of employment are listed, no employer names are listed and/or resume does not include accomplishment statements.
Your resume should not exceed 3full pages in length.
A single page resume should be ¾ to 1 whole page in length.
Do not use a font that is smaller than 8 point.
Fonts should be traditional; do not use italics, script or more than one font on your resume.
Check spelling and grammar.
If you have an objective statement, consider including some of your skills. The resume should show the employer what you have to offer them, NOT what you want to get from them.
Avoid using personal pronouns - such as I, me, and my
Your name should stand out - consider putting it in a larger font size
Font size 10-12 if generally acceptable. Anything else is hard to read.
Under educational information - List your CGPA only if it is 3.0 and above.
Under educational information - Put the type of degree AND the major (E.G.Bachelor of Arts in Psychology).
Write out the name of the degree that you are receiving (E.G. Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts)
Avoid abbreviations - the employer who is reading your resume may not necessarily know what you are referring to.
Your high school information is not necessary.
You should list your most recent college education only.
Your information should be in chronological order - most recent experience should be first.
You should not have duplicated information. If you have information in one place, you should not repeat it somewhere else in your resume.
Use bulleted points under your experience and/or accomplishments. This makes it easier to read.
Under work experience - you should include the position/job title, the Month and the Year, you should reflect results-oriented accomplishments (E.G. increased sales by 20%).
You do not need to list your supervisor's name and the company's complete address.
It is not necessary to include you birth date, marital status or a picture
You should list your awards/honors (if work related) under a separate category.
I recommend having a one page resume - unless you have significant "relevant" work that warrants a longer resume (Such as if the experience relates to your objective).
Consider adding an "Additional Information" category - and list your job titles and dates. This way you can eliminate clutter and still account for employment gaps.
Don't mention the names of your parents, spouses, relatives and their occupations, take from me, nobody is interested in it.
Don't write your present, permanent and temporary address; nobody is interested in it.
Don't mention the details about your references, in your resume, if you are able to get through the interview, your prospective employer will ask you to give references.
Personal SWOT Analysis is necessary to prepare your Curriculum Vitae

Internal positive aspects that are under control and upon which you may capitalize in planning

·Work Experience
·Education, including value-added features
·Strong technical knowledge within your field (e.g. hardware, software, programming languages)
·Specific transferable skills, e.g., communication, teamwork, leadership skills
Communication: Speaking effectively

Writing concisely
Listening attentively
Expressing ideas
Research and Planning: Creating ideas ; Gathering information; Solving problems ; Setting goals ; Analyzing

Human Relations: Developing rapport

Being Sensitive
Conveying feelings
Providing support for others
Sharing credit Organization, Management and Leadership: Initiating new ideas; Handling details

Coordinating tasks Work Survival: Being punctual

Managing time
Attending to detail
Meeting goals
Enlisting help
Accepting responsibility
Setting and meeting deadlines
Making decisions.
Personal characteristics (e.g., strong work ethic, self-discipline, ability to work under pressure, creativity, optimism, or a high level of energy
Good contacts/successful networking
Interaction with professional organizations

Internal negative aspects that are under your control and that you may plan to improve

Lack of Work Experience
Low GPA, wrong major
Lack of goals, lack of self-knowledge, lack of specific job knowledge
Weak technical knowledge
Weak skills (leadership, interpersonal, communication, teamwork)
Weak job-hunting skills
Negative personal characteristics (e.g., poor work ethic, lack of discipline, lack of motivation, indecisiveness, shyness, too emotional

Positive external conditions that you do not control but of which you can plan to take advantage

Positive trends in your field that will create more jobs (e.g., growth, globalization, technological advances)

Opportunities you could have in the field by enhancing your education
Field is particularly in need of your set of skills
Opportunities you could have through greater self-knowledge, more specific job goals
Opportunities for advancement in your field
Opportunities for professional development in your field
Career path you've chosen provides unique opportunities
Strong network

Negative external conditions that you do not control but the effect of which you may be able to lessen

Negative trends in your field that diminish jobs (downsizing, obsolescence)
Competition from your cohort of college graduates
Competitors with superior skills, experience, knowledge
Competitors with better job-hunting skills than you
Competitors who went to schools with better reputations.
Obstacles in your way (e.g., lack of the advanced education/training you need to take advantage of opportunities)
Limited advancement in your field, advancement is cut-throat and competitive
Limited professional development in your field, so it's hard to stay marketable
Companies are not hiring people with your major/degree
Preparing your Resume

While no "right" or "proper" design for resume content exists, a few guidelines for resume format are commonly accepted practices. Following these structural rules for your resume will help you present a professional impression to prospective employers.

Resume Length
One page is the accepted rule for resume length. A three-page resume should only be used if you have extensive experience or qualifications relevant to the position for which you are applying. If you do choose to develop a two-page resume, be sure to organize your content in a manner that places the information most likely to impress an employer on the first page. If the first page is not impressive, then an employer may not even look at the second page.

Type Size and Style
A resume should always be typed with the font size between 10 point and 14 point and with absolutely no information crossed out or handwritten. In regards to the type style, use a style that is professional and easy to read. Dense styles and styles with curlicues should be avoided. A few common font styles are Times, Schoolbook, New Century, Optima, Palatino, Helvetica, Futura, Universe, and Courier.

TIP: Prepare your resume using a computer word processing program. It will be much easier to edit and to create different versions of your resume if you have it saved to disk.

The margins of your resume serve two basic purposes. First, the margins can contribute to the visual appeal of your resume. Overly narrow margins can make your resume appear jumbled, and overly wide margins can project a perception of emptiness in your resume. The standard rule of thumb is to set your margins at one inch (1") on all sides to create a well-balanced design. If you are in a crunch for space, try decreasing the top and bottom margins slightly, but avoid decreasing the side margins. Side margins are the key to the second purpose of your resume margins, to provide your prospective employer with space to make notes on you resume.

Sentence Structure
"To the point" is how sentences should be written when constructing your resume. Sentences should be brief and informative rather than long and excessively descriptive.

Short sentences are easier and faster to read and to understand, showing that you value the time the prospective employer is taking to review your resume. Also, be sure that the grammatical structure of your sentences is correct and consistent. Past tense should be used when describing experiences you have already had or activities in which you have already participated. Present tense should be used only to describe those activities you are involved in now, such as your current job. You should also avoid beginning sentences with the word "I"; the employer already knows that the resume is about you.

Word Choice
Be active in your word choice on your resume. Begin your sentences with action verbs that describe exactly what you did, or are still doing, in your experiences and activities.

Paper Selection & Printing
When you are ready to print the final copy of your resume, a professional quality paper and printer should be used. A bond paper with a watermark in a solid conservative color, such as white, ivory, or light gray, is the best stationary to use. Dark colored paper and patterned paper should be avoided because more than one person will likely photocopy your resume for review, and dark or patterned paper does not copy well. A laser printer should be used to print your resume with the watermark of the stationary right-side up and face forward.

TIP: Don't rely on spell check to catch all of the errors in your resume. Be sure you proofread your resume, and have several others proofread it as well. Errors imply you didn't put your full effort into your resume, therefore the job isn't important to you.

Content of your Resume

Personal Details
Obviously every resume will have this section to start it off. Remember however to keep these details to a minimum. Your name, phone number and email address are all that is required.

You do not need to indicate your date of birth, marital status, number of children, or supply a personal photo. Other details should only be included if they are required. Otherwise you can address specific criteria in a covering letter.

Career Goals
If you are applying for graduate positions this just needs to be a short statement that broadly outlines both your short and long-term goals. It demonstrates that you have started to think about the directions in which you would like to go and is not something that potential employers are going to hold you to for the next 10 years.

Start with the most recent qualification and work backward in a chronological order. List the title of the degree(s), name of the institution and date of completion. You may also want to include your CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) or current GPA. Be sure to explain the scale of 1 to 7 e.g. GPA of 6.5 on a scale of 1- 7;7 being the highest. You may also include your major(s) so that the employer is more familiar with your qualifications. Do not list all of the subjects you have studied and the grades gained at this point in your resume.

If you have been awarded certificates for training include these details in this section. Remember to check the relevance of the certificates with the requirements of the positions you are applying for.

Employment History
Information under this heading can be organized in a number of ways depending on what you wish to highlight. Many start with their most recent position and work backwards throughout the years. You may have taken a position some time ago that is relevant to your current interests, therefore place it on top of the list to ensure its prominence.

Regardless of order, be sure to include information such as your position, the name of the organization, the time you were employed with them, and a brief outline of the duties you performed and the skills, abilities and knowledge you developed as a result of the work (give the most detail to jobs which are professionally relevant or have transferable skills).

Specialist Skills
This section can be in point form, to highlight how your studies are relevant to the position you are applying for. Include any relevant projects, thesis or assignments you have completed and any skills that you have obtained throughout your degree that will make the potential employer interested in your application. For example they may be degree specific skills, general skills such as communication, research abilities, computer knowledge (say what packages etc), and familiarity with statistics. Looking at a range of job advertisements will help you to identify what to include in this section.

Membership of Associations
If you are a member of certain (usually professional) associations that will be relevant to the position you are applying for, include them.

You can include any academic awards achieved where relevant. List these in point form and make sure to identify those that were tertiary or secondary.

This section is used by employers to identify that you have set various goals for yourself and worked to achieve them. Achievements may be academic, sporting, personal or community based. In essence, an achievement is anything that was a milestone for you or demonstrated leadership and initiative.

When you have finished your draft resume, go back through it and make sure that the majority of it is in a point or brief format. Be sure that you are emphasizing or highlighting the main aspects you want an employer to note. Look carefully at the layout and order of your resume to ensure that you are doing everything you can to make it an easy to read document.

Note: Use this as an example and change the format to suit your needs.


Understanding how employers use resumes and the basic structure and contents of a resume can help you write a winning document. When putting together a resume it is important to put yourself in the employer's shoes. What would make an employer read one resume over another?

Employers in essence want to know how hiring you will benefit their business now and in the future. It is therefore very important to research and understand the position for which you are applying. Decide what skills, abilities and knowledge are needed to be successful in the position within the organization.

The information contained in your resume should represent a succinct time line of employment (paid and unpaid), education, training, skills, and personal attributes that you have been developing. Always draw attention to your abilities, knowledge and your skills that relate directly to the position or are transferable to the position.

Employer is busy; he is not having enough time to read your resume, so just "Keep It Simple and Sweet". As they say, your resume must be like a mini-skirt of a girl,- "Should give enough information to get interested in you and hide enough to explore, "Across the Interview Table".


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