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From incomprehensible language to laughable lengths, many Indians are CV-challenged. Here's why it matters.
Many candidates shamelessly embellish their resumes. “There is a lot of puffery when listing out academic and work related achievements,” says Ramanujam. He has seen candidates go through two pages merely to describe a workshop they have attended.
To position themselves for the job, many candidates sound bombastic. “Candidates imagine that if they throw in a lot of big words, they will be perceived to have good English and superior skills,” says Ramanujam.
Then there is the cultural difference. Where a succint, no-nonsense tone is the Western standard, Indian resumes tend to suffer from TMI, or the Too Much Information syndrome.
Resumes often give personal information not just of the candidates but their entire family, including father’s vocation, mother’s occupation, how many brothers and sisters in the family and what they are doing. “I have resumes which talk about candidates’ interests in singing or crime novels, their blood type, their passport numbers, their children’s ages,” says Mathur-Gandhi. Then there are some candidates who will attach a declaration with their CVs. “Often, at the end of the CV, a candidate will proclaim, ‘I solemnly declare that all I have stated is true,’ when it is very likely that every sentence he has written is exaggerated,” says Shankar.
Shankar adds that often the only factual piece of information in a resume is the contact information. He has to wade through a hundred resumes to pick one potential interviewee.
CVs are supposed to make candidates stand out. They do, say recruiters in India, but often stand out so starkly for their bad presentation, overt embroidering and major blunders that they can only end up in the garbage can.