What are the top best tips for a resume in India? Is there a certain resume format in India? Read on to find out more.
The team at Resumeble.com has been inundated recently with requests to write resumes for jobs based in India. People are very concerned about getting the correct resume format in India and are worried that their resume is not good enough to get a job in India. Who can blame all these people for being anxious? The Indian economy is at an all-time high, leap-frogging developed countries to the point where India is close to becoming a global superpower. People are itching to get a job in India, so here are a few tips to help you.
1. Some Formatting Advice is Incorrect
The first job of this article is to refute some of the tips you are going to read elsewhere, especially when it comes to your resume format in India. Here are the specific things that are incorrect:
- Make your resume attractive
- De-clutter your resume
- Add color to your resume
- Include personal quirks and details
- Extend your margins to create more space
None of these tips are true. If you were to use all of these tips, or even a few of them, and then send out your resumes to 30 different companies around the country, your success rate would be lower than if you sent a normal professional-looking resume.
Even the common-sense advice like, “De-clutter your resume” doesn’t matter because cluttering is rarely a problem to most normal people. If you are setting out your resume like a broadsheet newspaper, then perhaps you are over-cluttered. Otherwise, just keep your resume professional looking and you will be fine. Keep your resume simple and professional-looking, and you will not need any extras like added colors, personal quirks, and so forth.
2. Start With Your Employment History in Reverse Order
A common resume format India trend is to start with your name, and then your personal details, and then a profile picture in the top header. Then, you may add an objective section if you wish, or perhaps two lines summarizing yourself and your goals.
The next section should be your employment history. A resume format India trend includes having your work history come first, and come in reverse order, which means your most recent job is at the top.
The only time you would break this convention is if your last job were undesirable. Let’s say you are applying to work in a bakery because you worked in a bakery 2 years ago. However, between that time, you have been a spot welder. Despite welding being your most recent job, you should still (in this case) put your bakery experience at the top of the work experience section.
3. The Germans Laugh Harder Than The Indians
The common stereotype is that Germans have no sense of humor. However, an Indian manager, boss, or HR worker would give that stereotype a run for its money. Such people seem to have no sense of humor when it comes to job applications. They will happily laugh along with you if you are an employee, but if you are applying for a job, then even a hint of humor makes you seem somehow weaker. This is especially true if you are a younger person.
If you are over the age of 50 and you sneak a small quip or funny line into your resume, then it will raise a dry smile when it is read by the HR department. However, if you are young and you try to be funny, your resume will be disregarded.
Obviously, this is not true of all Indian companies. People are different everywhere, but the experience will teach you that trying to be funny or even trying to add too much personality to your resume will increase your rejection rate in India. Try it yourself if you wish. Even the happiest workplace or HR team will not respond well to you trying to be funny in your resume.
4. Be Truthful With a Twist
Again, one doesn’t want to get into making broad statements about an entire cultural group within a country, but there is a mild air of suspicion when applying for a job in India. You will notice this more in your interviews as you get them, but also be aware of it when writing your resume.
No matter what you write, no matter how innocuous, if it makes you look good, then the employer will assume you are lying or you have cheated in some way. This can be quite jarring to people from the West who may take any comments of suspicion as an insult. However, you shouldn’t take it personally.
Think of it as salesmanship. Did you ever hear used car salespersons say that a car has only been driven by an elderly lady owner, and how somebody else is also interested in the car? This is salesmanship, and it is the sort of thing that Indian managers and HR departments are expecting from you. Ergo, they will treat whatever you say on your resume with the same suspicion you treat used car salespersons.
In truth, most job applications sent in by people in India will have embellishments and a few lies. It is almost a cultural tradition, like tipping in the USA or being polite to strangers in the United Kingdom.
Be truthful with stuff that can be verified, and perhaps twist the truth with things that cannot be verified. For example, you have a trophy for winning a soccer match in college. You would state, “I got a trophy for the soccer match,” which is a truthful statement. You may also say that you scored from the half-way mark (the embellishment). This is just a silly example to show how you may twist the truth a little when you write your resume for an Indian company.
5. Lose the Lists
Some resume writing services in India are adding list after list into the resumes they write. They add a list of your qualifications, a list of your best traits, a list of your awards, a list of your hobbies, and so forth. It is true that a resume India document should have a list or two, but do not add too many. Adding lists, especially bullet point lists, is a big trend that has become annoying for employers.
If your resume already has too many lists, you can turn some of your lists into power statements. For example, if your list says that you are:
You could turn the elements of that list into a power statement where you would say, “I am a dedicated, hardworking, and loyal person. I am punctual, friendly, and very honest, and am perfect for the role you have on offer.”
Even though the list looks nice, you have to admit that the power statements have a bigger impact. Rather than listing your selling points like the menu at a cheap restaurant, you are stating elements of your character within a sentence that compounds the compliments with more compliments.
Summary – Keep it Simple
One of the big reasons why so many online articles give out bad advice about applying for jobs in India is because the application process is so bland, clinical, and normal, that people assume there must be some sort of added trick to help gain traction when applying for a job.
In reality, the way you write your resume for a job in India need not differ very differently from if you were writing a resume to submit in France or the UK. With the exception of putting your work experience at the top of the page, and perhaps with the exception of adding embellishments, writing a resume for a job in India is very similar to writing resumes for anywhere else in the world.