Thursday, January 11, 2007

New age CVs

I recently received an impressive CV for a writing position at JAM. I scanned it quickly and noted several professional and educational qualifications. And then, under 'interests and activities':

Launched a group on as an opportunity to meet like-minded people and enhance my leadership and writing skills in the process.

At first I was a bit amused - it's the first time I had come across someone mentioning starting a yahoogroup as an achievement of sorts. But on second thought, why not? It does show some initiative and leadership. Unless the group was composed exclusively of the initiator's kindergarten classmates.

In fact, I wished the applicant had mentioned the specific yahoogroup so I could check it out...

On a broader note, I wonder whether in times to come people will mention I have '48 fans' and '2162 scraps' on orkut. In certain kinds of jobs - like media - being well networked is an asset, after all!

So perhaps it's time we stopped including hobbies and interests such as 'reading, dancing, painting, cooking...' in resumes. Coz these are mostly fake and/ or pheku.

Reading, for example, should be qualified with the kind of books you read. Or one can safely assume it's Archies double digest and Mumbai Mirror's 'ask the sexpert' in the loo each morning.

And cooking is relevant only if you promise to share your dabba with your colleagues in office. But hey, not if you're the kind who's partial to veggies like turai and tondli...

On a more serious note, given the utter and complete lack of time people have outside their jobs to cultivate esoteric hobbies, it should be perfectly acceptable to list 'sleeping, eating, watching Discovery Travel & Living.'

If honesty really is the best policy...


  1. Anonymous9:52 PM

    wat about...'i persuaded x girls unknown to me to become my friend on orkut' displays the convincing power of the person

  2. Wow! From the tone of your article it does not appear that you were mocking the "new age" content of resume, hence I will display my shock. I am amazed to see that you trust and interpret them so positively! If only all HR people are so...

    As you know that starting a Yahoo Group is hardly a feat, so is starting a community in Orkut. What happens there, and who does it, matters all. Fellow conveniently left out those details. And it would naive, IMO, to even think that number of scraps and friends in Orkut reflect "networking", given what happens to nearly all community? Guys add 2 and gals substract 2....

  3. Anonymous8:21 AM

    lol@ ur post...

    Speaking of strange things that people write in their CVs...

    I had read a CV of a guy who had mentioned in the achievements column that he was the 4th ranked badminton player in his colony...

    I wonder who stays in his neighbourhood- Gopichand & Aparna Popat?

  4. Anonymous11:59 AM

    I think the basic question is What's the purpose of the CV?

    1. To "introduce" oneself to a complete stranger.

    2. To "imporess" the person reading the CV.

    3. To "differentiate" oneself from the crowd.

    4. To "earn" an opportunity to get interviewed.

    There may be many more options. But i think the most probable is the 4th one. What say?

  5. How about this...

    My mother had participated in Miss India contest.,,

    Stupid but true...

  6. Anonymous3:30 PM

    The orkut stuff u wrote is surely gonna been seen soon:)

  7. Anonymous6:03 PM

    Nice post,

    With advent of technology we'll definately see these kinds of hobbies and achievments.

    - The-Ignorant

  8. Anonymous7:53 PM

    Have we gone crazy or what? What kind of yahoo groups do we come across?Or community on orkut for that matter.
    Can u seriously think that it could be ever be included in a CV and impress the employer as well? Would you ever get impressed by some qualities as vague as these?
    One can possibly mention these as achievements, but it's sure not going to be taken as achievement by at least me. There are numerous more activities that would certainly qualify as a better reason of choice than these stupid so called achievements.
    However hightech we are...there is still a long long way to go before we can think these timepass activities as Qualification...

  9. Am I seeing the addition of dare-devil hobbies (Chaiyya Chaiyya on Bombay locals) next? Hey - that is definitely a feat. One can state - hey - look I am dumb f**k but I chaiyya chaiyya on Virar local everyday.

    I wouldn't even consider giving a thought to such a hobby.

    On a more serious note, given the utter and complete lack of time people have outside their jobs to cultivate esoteric hobbies, it should be perfectly acceptable to list 'sleeping, eating, watching Discovery Travel & Living.'

    Rashmi - that line is very closed considering you are assuming people need time everyday to pursue their hobbies. One can hike on holidays or go swim on sundays or play instruments at social gatherings.

  10. Anonymous6:26 AM

    People (especially students) try hard to find ways to occupy the whole page when writing their resume, and in the process they end up putting such things on there. I wouldn't list something like that on my resume but hey, to each his own.

  11. Anonymous10:10 AM

    Nice post :)

  12. Anonymous11:27 AM

    Here I would like to mention the lady I came across, looking for a role of a counselor. Her interest was tarot reading..which is fine and achievement was on orkut having her own community,some dwarka comm with more than 1000 members or so & having regular meets with them....mmmh now thats quite a BIG achievement..pss. After sometime people would be writing orkuting,chatting on their Interets.

  13. Anonymous11:34 AM

    This post is damn good. short n sweet.

    Btw - I started a yahoo group a year ago. I forgot the name though. Do I qualify for JAM?

    --- Subu (

  14. Anonymous9:06 PM

    lol... instead of writing default things eating, sleeping for the sake of honesty, why not leave some white spaces!

  15. i dont think it is too bad to mention about anything as long as it gives a bent of the job is applying for and how much does this hobbie or achivement makes you better than others for this job.

    starting one or two yahoogrpups can also be a good achievcement if supported with facts like:
    (i)so many people joined in such small period(this gievs a heads up about the power to sell).
    (ii) the topics and what is being achieved out of the group.
    (iii) due to this if anything was achieved outside the group which is resulting into some valuable contacts(this would help in media).

    i would say anything on a resume is fine as long as it makes the reader to call you for an interview, and the reader will call if he things out of the 1000s if he has to call only 50 then you atleast shown some thing in ur resume that other 950 do not!!

  16. Anonymous8:42 PM

    loved the post, i guess its time we are open to the new age CV.

    of course, the stuff will have to be authentic, and the pitch interesting and relevant like in the old age CVs:-)

    i agree in fields like media/ etc., the number of fans and contacts will definitely be an asset!

  17. Anonymous11:03 PM

    well moderating group and motivating peoples to keep posting in groups is a big responsibility . i know few peoples earning millions of dollars from forum's /group's ..So if that person group is very much populor i will consider it as a great success (he/she may make good money from advertisor's)

  18. I don't know how great is this - But I have mentioned my blog and photo blog where I feature my photography skills. And the last few interviews people have wanted to know WHAT blogging is all about?

    So it's a great conversation starter too.

  19. Anonymous4:00 AM

    A few more examples of how you can be diplomatic in your resumes. The bold words show what is written in the resume. The brackets shows what is actually meant.

    Hobbies & Extracurricular activities
    Traveling (daily in the packed Virar Borivli local)
    Photography (taking voyeur pictures through a mobile cam)
    Communication skills (yakking away at the back of the class while the professor is teaching.
    Team player (ability to copy successfully in the exams without the supervisor finding out
    Computer skills (surf the Internet simultaneously while programming that useless piece of software)

    Dayum! This calls for another post. Will have to add this to my blog.

  20. Anonymous7:13 AM

    Nice pages here. Great information. Will visit again and recommend.

  21. Hi!!
    The "yahoo group and orkut" is not just adorning CVs these days, it has also become a requirement in job postings. If you visit the google is hiring section, you can find that they require someone who has demonstrated interest in technology and communication by having a blog/ sharing photo files on net etc..

    Am not posting the link as it would tantamount to advertisement.

    This chap is just ahead of his times, for the rest of you sign up for a blog today.


  22. Anonymous10:58 PM

    well, as long as what u have written in ur c.v is true, there is no harm.its anyday better to be honest rather then writing crap (the books u havent read).this is what new generation is doing in their free time.i guess it will take some time to accept new age cv' they say HONESTY PAYS...

  23. Really a great effort by you. Very nice and informatic blog
    Keep doing it. write something to make this world beautiful.

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  24. Anonymous12:48 PM

    You are right. There are a lot of useful communities on Orkut. I recently gave the GRE and did very well. It was largely due to my involvement in a google group meant entirely for the GRE verbal preparation. Numerous other people have also benefitted from the group. I am convinced that the benevolent lady who started the group deserves to leverage her success on that frontier.

  25. Anonymous12:48 AM

    I know of someone who was the moderator of a well known CAT forum and wrote the same on his IIM I form.He made it thru.
    I guess being the moderator of such a forum is worth mentioning.
    Ya, regarding Orkut, I am sure HR managers are checking scraps ,testimonials and profiles 'coz most of the recent HR junta from various B Schools are on orkut.Also, have seen some senior HR guys on orkut.

  26. Anonymous8:05 AM

    orkut is surely the greatest network ever. im a crazy fan.. n i am glad that u like it too :)

  27. Anonymous11:41 AM

    It’s Re-inventing India. Gone are days, when Westerners freak out spotting a recluse hermit roaming the city roads while the exasperated West eagerly awaits him to perform the ‘rope-tick’. India emerged and re-defined itself, since then. No more snake charmers or elephant-ride, swords are back into sheaths and worn-out. The New Age sensitivity or e-Sensitivity grappled India and Indian’s.

    The cyber-conscious India who make somewhere between 40,000-50000 a month, carry the latest mobile phones, use i-pods to update on the business or elegantly sermon anybody on the latest and emergent technology. India is to be re-invented. So, does the new age CV.

    I woke up the other day asking 'why can't I do that too?' To my amazement, my Western counterpart (an American) was in a shock despite of being a geek he could dare to do that. But, that’s the good face and surely to be appreciated. On a reality check, however, many still prefer the traditional format like many of the million Indians who invent their e-Status inconspicuously. Like one of the commenter [here] said, “…does not appear that you were mocking the "new age" content of resume, hence I will display my shock.” [Hope, I am not misinterpreting]

    I praise the person for sporting a new age CV so brazenly. It’s adding a new dimension to the personality comparing person who acquired 4th position in neighborhood badminton championship. What’s next? “Holding a record of watching every Balaji sitcom religiously and remember the names and relation of each character”.

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