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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seven errors common to an average resume

Resume Writing : Seven errors common to an average resume

•    Too wordy. A résumé should be one page in length (one side only), or two pages at the most. A résumé is primarily an introduction - in the same way an advertisement is primarily an introduction - and should be under conscious control every inch of the way. Basic outline: Position Desired; Summary of Qualifications; Education; Skills; and, Employment. 

•    Contains salary requirement. This is a big mistake. If you list a salary requirement it may well appear, to someone who has yet to appreciate your real value, to be too high or too low, and you may never get the chance to explain or elaborate. The thing to do is first make a favorable impression, and evoke some corporate response. There will always be time later to negotiate your salary - after the company decides it likes you and wants you and you're in some kind of bargaining position. It may be that their offer will not require negotiation. 

•    "Me-oriented" Excessive use of the word "me", or "I" and prominent use of the phrases such as, "I seek," "my objective," etc. are to be avoided. Employers want to know what you can do for them. You must lead off with and elaborate on your benefit to the employer; plays up to what you think are the employer's objectives. 

•    Assumes too much reader comprehension. This takes the form of listing and explaining numerous accomplishments, courses taken, etc., not necessarily related to your position objective. 

•    Contains unnecessary and confusing information. (Different from being too wordy). You must be specific. Everything in your résumé should support and point to a single skill/expertise. In advertising, the simplest ad is best. No ad, no matter how high-powered, can sell several concepts at once. Neither can a résumé. 

•    Stiff, formal language. Don't be flip, but make it readable. Aim for your audience and the people you want to impress. In short, communicate. 

•    Includes personal information. Do not include any personal information. Name, home address, and home voice phone that's it.

Finding Your First Job

Finding Your First Job
Winnie Shing Wei Hsia

To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.  Bishop Richard Cumberland

The experience of looking for your first job can be quite harrowing. Where do you begin? Who do you speak with? How do you know which job will be right for you? Here are some tips on how to find that perfect first job...

(1) Self Assessment. What do you enjoy doing? What is your skill set? What’s important to you and what motivates you? Self-assessment is the first step in the journey to find the right job for you. The four key aspects of self-assessment are:
•    Values: The things that are important to you, like achievement, status, and autonomy
•    Interest: What you enjoy doing, i.e. playing golf, taking long walks, hanging out with friends
•    Personality: A person's individual traits, motivational drives, needs, and attitudes
•    Skills: The activities you are good at, such as writing, computer programming, teaching
Once you’ve come up with a ‘profile’ of yourself, then you can determine what sort of careers would fit you best. One great resource to help you get started on this step is the guide to self-assessment:

(2) Use your resources. Especially while you are still in college, the best place to launch your job hunt is now. Talk with yourplacement officers, check out career postings, get a sense of what is available to a student with your training. Go to information sessions for various companies you are interested in (if available in your vicinity). Read up about a company on their website and through brochures. Use your social network: ask your friends, family, significant others, etc for advice. Above all, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

(3) Enhance your skill set. There isn’t much you can do to change your values, interests and personality and no one expects you to! However, one thing that you can do to make yourself more appealing to your potential employer is enhancing your skill set. Read up on topics you may not have covered in school, but that you know might be valuable to your future employer (examples: new programming languages, foreign languages, presentation skills, etc). Stay up to date on current events, locally and globally. And best of all, if potential employers offer free training, take advantage of them! Nothing makes you more appealing to a company than showing interest in learning relevant skills.

(4) Be proactive. When it comes to getting your first job, you have to take an active role throughout the process. Don’t just send your resume to your target companies – follow up with a phone call, talk to company contacts you’ve made, follow up all meetings and interviews with personal thank you letters. Make sure that you will be remembered when it comes time for hiring.

Useful websites:

Team Work and Teams

6/26/2005 Team Work and Teams
Sophia Sinha, Assistant Manager Corporate Marketing Newsletter Home
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”
Theodore Roosevelt

How many times have we been asked to work in groups and end up feeling like it’s our worst nightmare come true? We watch the fights, arguments, varied points of view and participate in them but what we fail to find out is where they are stemming from and what we can do about them.
According to Harvey A. Robbins, author of Why Teams Don’t Work, “A team is a group of people doing something together. The something does not make a team; it is the together that makes a team”. We all know that no two persons are completely alike. Also, being randomly assigned to a group, with half of its members unknown to you, can be frustrating and unnerving. But we also realize that no man can live as an island and that eventually, either in school, college or at your work place you will have to work as part of a team.
So what can you do to achieve that harmonious relationship that extends beyond just meetings and roundtable discussions and converts into friendly camaraderie and helps get the best out of your abilities?

Good teams are made, not born. Just as in any relationship, it takes effort to make a team run. Here are some things that can be kept in mind while working in a team:

  1. Make an effort: Try to get to know your team members. Breaking the ice over coffee or some other informal activity really helps. It is important to have some kind of a relationship going with your team mates. This does not mean that you have to spill your emotional problems to them but it does help to tell them a bit about yourself before you venture on that month long project together.
  2. Find out objectives: Find out from your teammates what they want to get out of the project. High grades, a résumé opportunity, a job? This will help in figuring out commitment levels in your team.
  3. Set Goals: Try to figure out what has to be done, by whom, by when and then set timelines. Make sure to set these on paper and keep updating each other on what is going on. Setting it in print will make it tough for the slacker to get away with not doing the job.
  4. Discuss problems / issues: It is important to keep your peers informed of any problem you may be facing with regard to your work. If there is something that does not make sense to you, ask your colleague to help you figure it out.
  5. Ask Questions: There is nothing wrong in asking questions. Would you rather keep quiet out of embarrassment or face the wrath of your team later? Ask them to clear your doubts. You are in a team, they will understand.
  6. Answer Questions: Just as you expect them to answer your queries, do the same. If a teammate is not able to understand something, help him / her with it. Not all of us are born geniuses; some help always goes a long way and hey, you may just end up making a friend for life!
  7. Evaluate: Always evaluate your peers. It helps to know what you think of the work done by your team. If your college does not have this system, incorporate it. All universities in the United States have a system by which students evaluate their peers. This helps the professor know how the team worked and what each student contributed. If not possible, then integrate it within your own group.
It is important to know that “The most egregious toxins in team atmosphere are competition, tyranny, and assorted forms of team foolishness, including mob behavior. There is no such thing called “friendly competition.” (Harvey A. Robbins, Why Teams Don’t Work). Leave the competition outside unless it is healthy competition and the team benefits from it.

Teams that work together succeed; there has been no team that has won without team spirit and unity. Recognize the flaws and appreciate the good. Finally always remember, “There is no ‘I’ in the word TEAM!”

Sophia Sinha
Corporate Marketing
Infosys Technologies Ltd.

What You Need to Know About Interviews

6/26/2005 What You Need to Know About Interviews
Newsletter Home
Narsimha Prasad (Manager, Human Resources and Head – Global Entry Level Hiring and Campus Relations)

1. What are the va
rious types of interviews?
Interviews range from telephonic and videoconferences, to the traditional face-to-face. Infact, changes in technology are such that some companies conduct interviews over the web, as well.
2. What is the dress code for an interview?
Your appearance tells the employer how you see yourself and is closely associated with your professional image. Business formals are a must. Men could opt for a full-sleeved shirt, formal trousers, formal shoes and a tie. Women could opt for western formals or Indian formals. Although it is important not to over-dress, it is equally important not to be under-dressed for an interview. Remember, first impressions are best impressions.

3. How much difference is there between a telephonic and personal interview?
The personal interview is personal. It allows the interviewer to assess the non-verbal communication, body language and overall personality. Normally, a telephonic interview is carried out to assess the subject knowledge of the candidate and is for the purpose of initial screening while the personal interview assesses both, the knowledge as well as the personality. Ideally, the telephonic interview is succeeded by a personal interview.

4. What kind of preparation should a student do before an interview?
The student must know about the organization he/she is applying to and the reason for doing so. It is important that one be mentally and physically fit before the interview schedule. One should always assess if he/she is really interested in the job and if the profile meets the same. Represent fact and be sure you have back up data to prove the same. Finally, honesty and confidence are indispensable.

5. What is ‘Interview Etiquette’?
Interview Etiquette is being polite, respectful and at the same time being firm. Keep the cell phone on a silent/switched off mode. Be attentive to the task on hand.

6. What are the common errors students make while interviewing?
The most common error is lack of preparation. Arrogance, carrying an unprofessional attitude, beating around the bush, blowing one’s own trumpet and not following the etiquette of interviews is the common errors students make.

7. How can students improvise on their communication skills?
Reading habits ought to be inculcated and students should utilize their libraries for books (fiction and non-fiction), journals and newspapers. Participating in discussions debates and extempore enables the students not only to improve on diction, pronunciation but also improve the quality of their writing. Email etiquette can be improved by reading articles on the same. Presentation skills must be honed with the knowledge of MS Power Point and students should grab any opportunity to employ these skills. Finally, as the old adage goes - practice makes a man perfect.

Contributor: Narasimha Prasad (Manager, Human Resources and Head – Global Entry Level Hiring and Campus Relations)

Prasad has been with Infosys’ Human Resources Department since April 8, 1999 and operates in the capacity of Head- Global entry-level hiring and campus relations. Prasad manages a team which handles all campus (E-Schools and B-Schools) and off-campus initiatives, world-wide. Before moving into his current role, Prasad has had experience in various other HR functions, in India & US.

Prasad has a base degree in Civil engineering from Bangalore University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management, (specializing in HR) from T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal, India.


By Umesha S, Infosys

Education today is highly pedagogic in character and its primary aim is employment and bread winning. Education in the largest sense of the term means an opportunity for learners to participate usefully and efficiently in different departments of life.

In the post independent India, industrial advancement is taking place rapidly. Therefore an earnest attempt has to be made to supply the best available talents from the portal of the higher education to the growth of industry. Industry compared to education is moving forward by leaps and bounds. No doubt education is not only popular but widespread. Still a lot has to be done to bridge the gap between the two.

Industry requires not merely brilliant students from the academic field but also brilliant students who can efficiently cope with the responsibilities that may be assigned to them in an industrial establishment. Merit, experience, independence of thinking and participation are vitally essential from academicians to contribute something worthwhile so that industry doesn’t feel the poverty of matured and right men with vision and training.

To bring about a healthy, harmonious and integrated social advancement, education and industry will have to cater to each other needs. It is unfortunate that the courses of study and the opportunities for exposure to practical needs of industry are not easily seen or available. On the other side industries are growing so fast that knowledge of yesterday becomes a little outdated and practically irrelevant.

In order to make the education the backbone of industry the best brains from both the fields have to explore the possibilities with a workable program. In this connection industries themselves have to reach out to centers of technical and industrial education quite early and help academicians prepare promising talents to acquire suitable knowledge and experience to fulfill the needs and strengthen the hands of industry.

One center of excellent education set up by Infosys is the “Global Education Center(GEC) “ at Mysore. GEC has a pattern of training the young engineers which is not be universally same in character but it is specially oriented to satisfy and keep pace with industrial advancement.

In the ultimate analysis industry and education should work together in harmony to produce altogether new kind of curriculum and syllabus for the growing generation so that there will be no education which is time consuming but the finest talent are made available in the shortest span of time. An earnest attempt in this regard is the new Infosys initiative “Campus Connect”.

Along with these initiatives good number of campus selections and trainings will have to be opened so that eligible candidate for industry is caught quite early and inspired to take up the challenging industrial advancement.

The initiation for translating the dream of growth of both education and industry must come from the sponsors of industry because it is commonly realized that industry have the necessary economic status and vision for industrial growth. Thus industry themselves have to year mark a certain amount of their own time and plenty of infrastructure so that educational centers can give talented people hope, growth, and security after their training.

The future of industry should have the centers as their backbone and therefore one always grows with the assistance and co-operation of the other. In short it is going to be a rewarding and a richly beneficial joint endeavor.

Public Speaking

Public Speaking 101
Sophia Sinha, Infosys

Every time I go in front of an audience; however small, my heart beats faster, I have butterflies in my stomach and my hands go cold. Trust me it happens to the best of us. Only a few lucky ones are blessed with the ‘No Nervousness’ gene. So if you suffer from the “scared of audience” syndrome just remember you can over come it because, “NOTHING is impossible, the word itself says so – I’M POSSIBLE.”

Here are a few tricks from the trade of public speaking:

1.    If you are writing your own material, then make sure you have done ample research on the same. This will make you feel more confident as you will know the topic inside out.
2.    Whenever given a topic to speak on, make sure you write your own speech. It is seen that when you write your own speech you tend to remember what you worked on rather than getting the material and reciting it as is.
3.    If material has been given to you to speak from, find out if you can change it to suit your style.
4.    If the material cannot be rewritten then go through the article / material thoroughly and do your own research on the topic to feel more comfortable with it. If possible write it down once so you can remember it better.
5.    Once you have made yourself comfortable with the material you can now begin practicing. The best place to practice is in front of the mirror. This way you will see yourself in action and can change your posture, expressions, etc.
6.    Always make sure to have your grammar and pronunciations are correct.
7.    Spoken English is different from written English so make sure you have your punctuations where they are meant to be.
8.    Pauses should be well timed and not too often and definitely for not more than a few (3 – 4) seconds.
9.    Practice in front of your own audience. Get you family or friends to listen to you before you face the real audience. Tell them to be objective in their criticism and listen to them when they give their inputs.
10.    Finally rewrite the speech without looking at it; this way you will be able to figure out how much you remember.
Remember a good presentation / speech will work only if you are confident and believe in what you are speaking about. A smile also takes the speech a long way. So smile, practice hard and talk to your audience. Good luck!

TCS Interview

The test got over by 10pm. Result announced at 11.45pm. they shortlisted very few. From class of 100, only 2 or 3. our class had 145 students of which, 5 selected. Interview at tcs office. A form was given to fill. Be careful when filling this form. Only enter what u know. Don’t try to fool them. U’ll be fooled.

One very imp. Thing: be specific when writing career objective & write something that u know abt… I wrote abt being a team leader in 3yrs. & becoming a design analyst in 5yrs. If u write this, they’ll definitely ask abt sdlc. U should have an idea abt it.


Be cool, they’ll not kill u. there were 2 guys for my interview.
1st person: Tell something abt urself..
Me: I introduced myself, my educational background with all percentages(imp!), told them abt my hobbies
1st person: abt ur family
Me: I told abt my father, mother & brother & where they r presently working.
2nd person: what abt ur project in media player ( that’s my mini project)
Me: I explained what it was, how it was done, it’s features, etc.. (he was satisfied, after which he left, he didn’t come back)

1st person: aked abt main project
Me: explained it in a detailed manner. It’s functionalities too.
He: he asked which was my fav. Sub.( he’d seen in the form tht I’d put c & c++), he asked to specify one.
Me: I said c

How many types of dbms?
I said abt rdbms, network dbms, hierarchical dbms..

Where they r used?
Rdbms-where relation betn entities exist, hierarchical where data represented in tree structure, n/w I frankly told I’ve no idea.

Then he asked my objective at tcs, what I would want to be in 3-5yrs. I said exactly as I’d written in the form. He was impressed. He asked many things abt sdlc. Importance of design in s/w.

What u know abt tcs?
I started from beginning, established in 1968…. India’s 1st billion $ co., annual revenues in 2004 stand at more than $2billion… abt it’s vision…. Has employee-friendly hr policies.
At this pt, he was impressed

How do u know?
I said abt attrition rate being lowest in the industry-6%

What u want to contribute to tcs?
I told them abt the products developed by tcs, many patented products, how I’ll use my technical skills in future productions.

What r u interested in other than curriculum… like he’s interested in physics?
I said I’m interested in analyzing current topics(one of my hobbies-reading news magazines).

Will the UPA govt. last it’s full term?
I said yes & gave my reasons on how the left is bound to support it.

Is BJP a communal party?
(Even if u think so, don’t say yes) the BJP as a party has it’s own principles. The congress & the left r naming it as communal for their own benefits and bla, bla, bla….

Any problem with relocation?

R u aware of the agreement?
We’ve not been told but I’ve heard there’s a 2 yr. bond.

R u ready for that?

If the bond is increased to 3 yrs., will u sign?

If it’s 5 yrs., then?
Yes, it’s worth it.

Don’t think u’ll go abroad by joining tcs?
I’m not joining tcs for going abroad.

Any q’s?
Tcs is the 16th company worldwide & u r aiming to be among top 10 by 2010, which co.’s r u competing with?

Do u have any idea which companies r above us?

We’re competing with IBM, Accenture, etc… these r among the top 5. Do u think we’ll be able to do that?

Any thing else?

That’s it!
All the best!
Thank you.


Verbal: Go through barron’s. it’s enough & old papers.
Quant: old papers
Reasoning: barron’s 13th edition & old papers.

Be cool, go through tcs website, it’s a must. Study abt the past of tcs. Vision, mission, all given in site. Be ready for all types of q’s.

Be thorough with C, C++, OS, DBMS, DS, S/w Engg atleast
Above all, have faith in God.Regards,

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What the industry expects from an "Interviewee"?

What the industry expects from an "Interviewee"?
By Girish Aithal, Infosys Newsletter Home  

Interviewing task is an 'art'; but getting through a tough interview is a 'smart art'! Thousands of lines would have been written by hundreds of authors about interviewing skills. But people still fail to impress the interviewers thereby, not getting through it. In fact, many people who have very good academic records too fail to make it through the interview, at times.

It's like learning swimming inside a classroom! No amount of books or teaching sessions could get you there, you had to jump into the water and start swinging & beating your hands and legs. "Practice makes man perfect". But how do you practice facing interviews? Well, to start with read, read & read a lot; not only books on 'interviewing skills', but many others which give you general knowledge, current affairs, latest business & technology updates and interviews of big shots. You can also practice it by taking up mock interviews. Talk to your professors or your relatives with appropriate experience to become the interviewer and ask them to conduct the interview for you. Consider each interview in which you could not get through, as a step towards a better interview! There is nothing to feel bad about it. All these will help build confidence and improve your ‘learnability’.

Confidence is one of the most important characteristics that an interviewer would like to see in an interviewee. Most of the questions put across by the interviewer are nothing but a test to see your confidence. Be confident with your answers. Be confident, even when you reply with an 'I don't know'! There is no 'know-all' person in the world. Nobody will expect you to know all about a given subject. If you do not know the answer to a question or if you are not very sure about it, it is better to be honest and say "I don't know" rather than try and show off that you know the answer and face being cornered by the interviewer. For example, if the interviewer asks you, “What is the capital of Maharastra?” And you reply, “Bangalore”; the next question would be, “What is the capital of Karnataka!?” Now you are cornered! Remember, an interviewer always likes to 'corner' the interviewee during the interview, like a chess player always wants to corner the king!

Another thing that an interviewer looks for is a strong resumes which has overall value. While I was waiting for the bus to go back to Mangalore from a Campus Connect college visit, a young girl came up to me, she said, she had attended my speech that morning in the college. She had come down to the college for a technical paper presentation contest and wanted to know whether such activities would add value to her resume? My reply was positive! I said, “Certainly, it does; though you have to keep in mind that while such activities do add value, they alone may not get you a job. It’s like when we are very thirsty, all we need is a big glass of cold water. After that, we wouldn’t mind an ice-cream or a juice. It is usually not the other way around. We wouldn't want to have an ice-cream instead of water to begin with! Similarly, the water is your education and the ice cream and juice are your extra curricular activities. Such extra curricular activities also will help you build your confidence.

Last but not the least; do focus on practical sessions of the subjects. It is quite common to see students focus on completing the theory part rather than practical sessions of the subjects. In many colleges the assessment of the final year project is done so liberally that there is very little chance that anybody would fail even if the person had not contributed anything to the project!

While interviewing, we do focus on your project work. It is not that we are very keen about the details of your project, but this is usually done so as to check the student’s contribution to the project and his/her practical knowledge.

If all these basics are kept in mind, it becomes easier to face an interview if you are COOL - Confident, Open minded, Obedient/Honest & have good Learn ability skills. Good luck to all of you with your future endeavors.