‘Make it personal’ seems to be the key guideline for every job applicant, but today’s youngsters are shunning the traditional methods of applying for jobs by opting for innovative methods to grab the
‘Make it personal’ seems to be the key guideline for every job applicant, but today’s youngsters are shunning the traditional methods of applying for jobs by opting for innovative methods to grab the interviewer’s attention. These creative applications are unique and definitely stand out from the crowd.
Recently, Aakash Neeraj Mittal, a student of ocean engineering and naval architecture at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur created a resume modelled on Flipkart’s product page. He used the resume to apply for the role of a product manager at the e-commerce website. He listed out his qualities and called himself a “highly utilitarian product that comes with several features”, in the product description section. And instead of the price of the product, he listed the salary (Rs. 27.6 lakhs) the company was offering. Aakash explained the reason for this creative application on his Facebook page stating, “When you are a 6-pointer and competing with the best minds of the country, you know how hard it is to land a job. You start doing some crazy and random stuff to stand out from the crowd. This is my resume for Flipkart’s APM Profile.”
But the e-commerce giants did not call him for an interview. This has started a discussion around what exactly recruiters are looking for, as out-of-the-box thinking has always been a key route to success for newcomers in the corporate world, especially in today’s ‘start-up’ universe. Explaining the point, Sagarika Chakraborty, CEO, IIRIS says, “The trend of being different in terms of resumes has different levels of acceptability across the industry. While some indeed view it to be attributable to the innovative and out-of-the-box thinking skills of the candidate, on the other hand, the more traditional employers view it as overt self-promotion.”
She adds, “Though not a risk per se, these are definitely noted under pointers of behaviour analysis (social media/media) pertaining to the candidate by companies — who are now keen to understand the online footprints of their employees and therefore opting for detailed checks.”
The creative application must be charming and relevant to the industry or position the newcomer is applying for, so that it does not seem like a desperate attempt to land a job interview, shares Satya Sharma, VP-HR, TO THE NEW. He says, “There is definitely a rise in sketch resumes where young applicants are using animation as a medium to speak about their education, experience and personal details. These resumes are interesting from the perspective of a recruiter as they are presented in a storyboard format and are eye-catching. Another trend that is gaining popularity is that of personalised cover letters wherein apart from achievements, the applicants are also sharing personal information that candidates usually shy away from, like saying ‘I am a foodie’ or ‘I hate to work on Saturdays’.”
Preet Arjun Singh, Web Designer, DesignSingh.com, who is popular for his visually creative resume, said in an interview recently, “As a designer, I had to design a resume for myself that justifies two areas I was equally passionate about — design and marketing. It also gives the recruiter a fair idea about my skills.” Preet’s creative resume has helped him get overseas clients in countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
It is important to provide details of relevant professional experience only. Also, the applicant should focus on what matters for the future job, as it gives him/her better chances of getting noticed, shares Vivek Jain, Chief Product Officer, Naukri.com. He also encourages students to express themselves in different ways using all creative fields to enhance the probability of being called for an interview. He says, “Visual presentation of accomplishments definitely enhances a traditional resume and differentiates a candidate in a competitive market. In the recent past, we have seen a rise in the number of candidates being selected for various positions because of these interesting visual resumes as they make a lasting impact on the recruiters.”
However, cautioning new-age tech driven applicants, Satya says, “It is very important for the applicant to know where to draw the line because even for the role of graphic designer or product designer, if one goes overboard, then he/she might be raising the expectations of the recruiter. At the same time, there are also chances that the recruiter can find you over-qualified for the position. For roles like finance and operations, these kinds of resumes would be adding a little disadvantage because they might give out a sense of a lack of seriousness.”
Another rising trend is the video resume that aims to make the search for a job simpler, fun and more rewarding while giving companies a place to find social and service-minded talent. Sagarika points out, “Video resumes are currently not very common in India. They cannot really replace a traditional resume, however they can definitely be seen as a refreshing take as they can help the hire check experts assess the candidate better through his/her body language, gestures, accent and even choice of words — so the risk analysis of the individual is better.”