I hereby DECLARE that my Résumé

Date: 11-JAN-2011
Time: 4:00 PM
Place: A growing town-city in India

Scene: Interviews going on for multiple positions at an organization. I am on the interview panel, talking to potential candidates since 10:00 AM.  
A young man (YM), suitably dressed as per his best knowledge of what-to-wear-for-an-interview (which is an entire topic in itself) airily walks in. I am actually relieved and happy to see his confidence. After having talked to numerous young men & women who cannot even say “My name is ….”, YM looks like a promise.
 Breezily, I dish out his résumé. My co-interviewer has one glance at the two-page history and I know this is a gone case. My hopes shattered, I too look through and am alarmed at the blunder in this résumé.
Where YM declared “that the above information is true to the best of my knowledge”, he mentioned the place as “Chennai” (oh! really!) and the date as “10-OCT-2005″ (excuse me!).  And the tab called “Signature of the Candidate” was blank.
Well, of course, without further wasting YM’s time, I tell him his skill-sets do not meet our requirements. And he walks away, muttering Thank You, with the same confidence that I first fell for.
This is only one case of the several potential candidates we rejected – based only on the “declaration” part of the résumé.

DECLARATION – is one amusing part of résumés (in India). I am almost certain it is not a feature in other places like US, Europe or even in most of corporate/urban India (Please correct me if I am wrong about this). 
A classic example of declaration would be – “I do hereby DECLARE that all the information provided above is true to the best of my knowledge and belief”, followed by the signature, date & place.
But WHY! Is this some kind of a ceremonial oath or an asset-declaration or affidavit? 
If you really want to go ahead, then stay and move with the future groups. “Declaration” in a résumé is not necessary.  Think! Let common-sense prevail over copy-sense.
There are hundreds of different formats of résumés available on the web. You might even get a copy of one used in 1943!  Whether you want to stick to your father’s 1950s’ golden rules depends on your judgment.
 However, if you have decided to include declaration in your résumé after all, please ensure that -
 a)      You sign it – If you do not vouch for your statement, then who will! What is the purpose of the “Signature” field?
b)     Provide the correct date -
·       Physical – If you are going for an interview on 17-FEB but if you are making your papers ready on 15-FEB, sign 17-FEB only. 
·       Pre-submitted – Mention the date as per the date of mailing the résumé.

c)      Provide the correct place - 
·       Physical – Mention the place of interview; not from where you are travelling. 
·       Pre-submitted – Mention the place as the same as where you are located when you mail the résumé.

d) Verify and cross-verify that these fields are filled in.
 If one of the signature, date or place fields is either not filled-in or inappropriate, there is an ideal chance of rejection.

Attitude
Eventually, I would ask the candidates – WHY. Why did they do this to their résumés? 
The most common and dumbest ever reasons I heard were –
1)  I was in a hurry, sorry.
2)  Actually, I wanted to use this résumé on so-and-so date, at so-and-so place. Since this copy was extra, I used it for the current job application (followed by a sheepish smile).
3)  Well, I copied my résumé from my friend. So…
(No smiling now. Please.)

Neither I nor you can beat those reasons!

When one cannot completely verify a two-piece paper for a job application, how and why should an employer trust one to handle more complex and important documentation?

We rejected one such candidate who used reason number 1.  Support for the candidate came in from unexpected quarters saying “He does not know. He has little exposure to world-class résumés. Please excuse his ignorance.”

Unfortunately, we are not talking “world-class”. We are talking common-sense and carefulness. A graduate is expected to fill in a blank field in his resume. And that is all.

Yes, these small acts of neglect can cost you a job.

 It is not just a matter of what you write on a piece of paper, but your attitude and seriousness towards the job itself.  When you are serious, you will be more careful. And it is that simple.  


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