Webinar Wrap-up: Creating the Ideal Resume & Mindset for a Tech Job in 2021

On February 4, 2021, Sarbojit Mallick of Instahyre joined Simplilearn to talk about how today's top companies recruit and hire. He gave advice on creating the ideal resume and mindset for a technology job in 2021.

As Co-founder and CBO Organization for Instahyre, Sarbojit Mallick is responsible for anything that is required to make customers happy, including both hiring companies and job seekers. Sarbojit previously founded Triphippie, a travel and tour booking company for trekkers and adventure travelers. He is an alumnus of NIT Durgapur in Engineering and holds an MBA from NITIE, Mumbai.

Instahyre's technology is designed to present companies with the best candidates for their job openings. Amazon, Walmart, PayPal, VMware, Uber, Shriki, BookMyShow, and many other tech companies hiring in India use Instahyre. In all, Instahyre works with over 10,000 companies, and 50 million candidates are registered on the platform.

In this session, Sarbojit addressed two main points for job seekers:

  • What makes a resume compelling to hiring managers
  • What mindset companies want to see in an applicant

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What Motivates Job Seekers - and Hiring Companies

In the session, we polled the audience about what motivates them to seek a new job. The audience mentioned gaining new experience, seeking challenges, and learning new things - but very few cited money as the primary motivator.

We asked Sarbojit to describe the recruiting process job seekers will encounter today. Sarbojit pointed out that companies generally hire for two reasons:

  • They need people to help build something new
  • They need people to scale up something that is already working

The pace of digital transformation and the very high growth rate of digital consumption in India mean that more companies than ever are seeking tech talent to help them build new things. In the current environment, people excited by the prospect of working on new challenges have many opportunities, and they can work on those opportunities remotely.

Interviewing has changed from in-person interviews to video calls. Because many companies have converted to remote operations in so many functional areas, they now have access to a much bigger talent pool than just the people who live near (or are willing to relocate) to their offices.

How do companies looking to build new and exciting things from scratch assess candidates? They will look into your resume for the projects you have built. For example, if you are a developer, they will look at the content and quality of your GitHub repository. They'll also look at how you contribute to the developer community and how you engage in Open Source projects. They want to see that you are a hands-on contributor, so be sure to include those details in your resume. Be sure also to use the keywords that highlight the skills you have used and the types of projects you have done so that recruiters can find these quickly in your resume.

Companies looking to scale up things they have already built to take it from 10,000 users to one million to one hundred million are looking for two main things. Do you have the particular skills they need for their scaling work? Have you seen scale? For scale, they will look for experience like taking an architecture handling one million transactions a year to the level of ten million a year or transforming a platform from ten to fifteen signups a day to one that can do ten thousand signups a day. If they see this in the projects listed in your resume, a hypergrowth company may take the chance that you can help them go from one hundred million transactions to ten billion.

It's essential for you to define scale as you have seen it. You want to describe it in absolute numbers and percentages or multiples: from ten to ten thousand is smaller in absolute terms than from one million to ten million, but the first is 1,000X, and the second is only 10X. You need to be crisp and brief in your descriptions and avoid long paragraphs. Sarbojit recommends the book "Blitzscaling" by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh to learn about the importance of scale.

The Ideal Resume

The ideal resume is one page long. You will need to do "word-smithing" to compress the number of words in your resume (rather than printing it in a tiny font size). You want to focus your resume on your skills and your aptitude. Aptitude is your ability and willingness to grasp and apply new concepts quickly: you demonstrate this in your resume by showing that you have engaged in ongoing learning. If your resume reflects that you have worked on a series of projects with greater responsibilities and using new skills, you show that you have the aptitude for learning and adapting to new challenges.

Instahyre has surveyed the hiring managers it works with to find out what they look for in resumes. 48% look for experience in similar companies. However, over 70% look for experience with similar technologies. It's vital that the project descriptions in your resume highlight the technologies and skills you have used.

You should understand that your resume is like an "elevator pitch," or what you would say to a hiring manager if you were riding the same elevator from the tenth floor to the ground level. You have under a minute to make that great first impression, so you need to highlight your best points in a way that makes them easy to see. You want to use bullet points to highlight your skills, the technologies you've used, and your experience with scale. You want to describe the projects where you used these things most successfully. Very importantly, you want to describe the business impact of each project and what benefit it provided your company. Because people read from left to right, you want to put the most important points at the start of each bullet point or sentence.

Be sure to highlight only the skills you are confident in. If you claim a skill but aren't fully competent in it, it will show in the interviewing process, and you will make yourself look bad. However, you should definitely show that you are learning new skills by saying which courses you are taking to show that you have the aptitude Sarbojit mentioned.

In a remote working environment, companies are also looking for management and leadership qualities. Have you built a team? Can you work independently? Are you good at communicating and reporting progress? These qualities are essential when managers don't get to meet with employees in person.

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"Doing Your Job Might Be Hazardous to Your Career"

Concerning your attitude and mindset, Sarbojit quoted renowned Argentinian economist Fred Kaufman: "Doing your job might be hazardous to your career." That means that if you are only focused on doing what is necessary for your day-to-day work, you will probably always do that same day-to-day work. To advance your career, you need to demonstrate that you want more responsibility and challenges to show that you can handle more important jobs. If you are willing to take ownership of a problem that is somewhat outside your current job and solve it, you will be on a much better track than someone who only solves the problems within their narrow area.

Sarbojit offered much more excellent advice on presenting yourself and supporting your career, including using storytelling techniques and networking with people in your field. Sarbojit also responded to many questions from the live webinar audience. To see the entire event, including the Q&A, watch the video above.

For more Simplilearn career resources, including articles and ebooks, browse https://www.simplilearn.com/resources. And if you're planning to boost your career by adding specific skills and certifications, look at the courses and Master's programs Simplilearn offers.

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