Since the time I left my job and started a placement consultancy, a lot of water has flown under the various Yamuna bridges. I never felt the need for a resume and, at best, I used to give my bio-data ( "Resume ? what’s that?" ) to companies and consultants.
So what’s the difference?
A Bio-data is just like historical data with maybe, or maybe not, a passport size photograph and absolutely nothing else.
What was most important yesterday? The man who is going to interview you (how well you knew him or his Chachiji’s behnoi for instance), and how much he thought you were from a decent family (bhadralok - I suppose!).
The biodata was also normally carried along for the interview.
The biodata contains information in a set parameter — your name, father’s name, nationality, father’s occupation, date of birth, followed by details of your education in a set tabular form. This table is followed by proofs of your lineage from a decent family elaborating on what your mother is doing and what your brothers, sisters and their spouses are doing or have done, if they have studied in or teaching in Welhams School or St. Stephens College, blah blah... well, that was important yesterday.
Today, Competition has set-in in the job market and the biodata is passe’. Today, a resume has become a necessity for getting the job.
A resume is a marketing document intended to sell you in the job market, and is designed specifically to highlight your skill-sets for a particular job / career.
It is sad that candidates still spin out a bio-data and send it to companies or consultants under the new title of resume. It is all the stinking old bio-data minus emphasis on family lineage. All the rest is the same... the same tables, the same historical data. Nobody reads it and it is simply thrown into the dustbin.
Just put yourself in the position of a HRD head of a company that releases an ad for the position of, let’s say, Manager-Accounts.
You (as HRD head) get as many as 20,000 applications from candidates all over India. You conduct a first scan and around 95% resumes find the graveyard of the dustbin. And mind you, they are all Bio-datas under the garb of resume.
The applicant blames God. Or, if he is less God fearing, the theory of probability, when, all along, the fault is his own.
Should you write your own resume?
Well! that is a million dollar question.
You admire Amitabh Bachhan for his dialogues in Sholay; you still remember Shah Rukh Khan for his great dialogues in Baazigar. But they never wrote their dialogues. Though they are great actors, everything is outsourced to professional scriptwriters or dialogue writers like Salim-Javed etc. Do you go for a haircut with scissors in your hand and cut your own hair? How silly! But isn’t that what you actually do as far as your resume is concerned?
If you care a damn for a good resume and your dream job, your dream job cares a damn for you (I think it’s Newton’s Third law — For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). In today’s environment, it is very much a good investment to get a professional resume writer to plan out your resume.
Of course, in case you do not come across any sound professional resume writer, here are a few tips for writing a great winning resume: