Monday, June 30, 2014

No Pictures on your Resume

By C.M Russell

If you've ever considered putting your picture on a resume, forget about it. I recently posed this question to some HR folks. Here are their responses:

Unless the position was one specifically for facing the public (like an actor, on air personality etc...), I think that photos on resumes are not warranted & would hurt more than help.

Not a good idea. First impressions are so important and a photo is a distraction. Your resume should market your skills, experience and education - not your looks.

I agree that a photo can be a distraction on a resume, and I am a photographer! For Creatives, I would recommend a resume with good graphic and information design that is clear, relevant to the desired position and succinct.

Never a good idea. A good looking person will appear as if they are trying to get a position based on their looks rather than their qualifications. An ugly person runs the risk of frightening a prospective employer.

I would not mind the photo. I'm 100% committed to getting the absolute best person for the job. While there is some information in the photo that some may use in a stupid fashion (make decisions based on skin color, for instance), there is other more meaningful information there as well. I know that if an applicant comes to the job interview looking shoddy, it's not a positive sign. Information that comes across in a photo is just as valid as information that comes across in a face-to-face interview.

Pictures on resumes are problematic for all except actors and models - where people are being hired for looks. 

Currently, with anti-discrimination laws and lawsuits, companies are supposed to hire candidates without considering race, sex, age or looks. If you attach a photo to a job application you now have an employer who knows most - if not all of these items. They may now reject you based on knowing this - since the search is supposed to not include these items. 

The whole purpose of using a resume is to get an interview. Since, based on my networking with other resume writers, recruiters and hiring managers at companies - a resume with a picture is more likely to screen out, rather than screen in a client - I recommend for my clients NOT to include a picture.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Mother Teresa
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God; It was never between you and them anyway.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

What is Sacrifice

Chat between a Solider and Software Engineer in Shatabdi Train ......

Vivek Pradhan was not a happy man. Even the plush comfort of the air-conditioned compartment of the Shatabdi express could not cool his frayed nerves. He was the Project Manager and still not entitled to air travel. It was not the prestige he sought, he had tried to reason with the admin person, it was the savings in time. As PM, he had so many things to do!! He opened his case and took out the laptop, determined to put the time to some good use.

"Are you from the software industry sir," the man beside him was staring appreciatively at the laptop. Vivek glanced briefly and mumbled in affirmation, handling the laptop now with exaggerated care and importance as if it were an expensive car.

"You people have brought so much advancement to the country, Sir. Today everything is getting computerized."

"Thanks," smiled Vivek, turning around to give the man a look. He always found it difficult to resist appreciation. The man was young and stockily built like a sportsman. He looked simple and strangely out of place in that little lap of luxury like a small town boy in a prep school. He probably was a railway sportsman making the most of his free traveling pass.

"You people always amaze me," the man continued, "You sit in an office and write something on a computer and it does so many big things outside."

Vivek smiled deprecatingly. Naiveness demanded reasoning not anger. "It is not as simple as that my friend. It is not just a question of writing a few lines. There is a lot of process that goes behind it."

For a moment, he was tempted to explain the entire Software Development Life cycle but restrained himself to a single statement.

"It is complex, very complex."

"It has to be. No wonder you people are so highly paid!," came the reply.

This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A hint of belligerence crept into his so far affable, persuasive tone.

"Everyone just sees the money. No one sees the amount of hard work we have to put in. Indians have such a narrow concept of hard work. Just because we sit in an air-conditioned office, does not mean our brows do not sweat. You exercise the muscle; we exercise the mind and believe me that is no less taxing."

He could see, he had the man where he wanted, and it was time to drive home the point. "Let me give you an example. Take this train The entire railway reservation system is computerized. You can book a train ticket between any two stations from any of the hundreds of computerized booking centres across the country. Thousands of transactions accessing a single database, at a time concurrently; data integrity, locking, data security. Do you understand the complexity in designing and coding such a system?"

The man was awe stuck ; quite like a child at a planetarium. This was something big and beyond his imagination. "You design and code such things." "I used to," Vivek paused for effect, "but now I am the Project Manager."

"Oh!" sighed the man, as if the storm had passed over, "so your life is easy now." This was like the last straw for Vivek. He retorted, "Oh come on, does life ever get easy as you go up the ladder. Responsibility only brings more work. Design and coding!

That is the easier part. Now I do not do it, but I am responsible for it and believe me, that is far more stressfu! My job is to get the work done in time and with the highest quality. To tell you about the pressures, there is the customer at one end, always changing his requirements, the user at the other, wanting something else, and your boss, always expecting you to have finished it yesterday."

Vivek paused in his diatribe, his belligerence fading with self-realization. What he had said, was not merely the outburst of a wronged man, it was the truth. And one need not get angry while defending the truth.

"My friend," he concluded triumphantly, "you don't know what it is to be in the Line of Fire".

The man sat back in his chair, his eyes closed as if in realization. When he spoke after sometime, it was with a calm certainty that surprised Vivek. 

"I know sir,..... I know what it is to be in the Line of Fire......." He was staring blankly, as if no passenger, no train existed, just a vast expanse of time.

"There were 30 of us when we were ordered to capture Point 4875 in the cover of the night. The enemy was firing from the top. There was no knowing where the next bullet was going to come from and for whom. In the morning when we finally hoisted the tricolour at the top only 4 of us were alive."

"You are a...?"

"I am Subedar Sushant from the 13 J&K Rifles on duty at Peak 4875 in Kargil. They tell me I have completed my term and can opt for a soft assignment. But, tell me sir, can one give up duty just because it makes life easier. On the dawn of that capture, one of my colleagues lay injured in the snow, open to enemy fire while we were hiding behind a bunker. It was my job to go and fetch that soldier to safety. But my Captain Batra Sahib refused me permission and went ahead himself. "He said that the first pledge he had taken as a Gentleman Cadet was to put the safety and welfare of the nation foremost followed by the safety and welfare of the men he commanded. ..his own personal safety came last, always and every time. "He was killed as he shielded and brought that injured soldier into the bunker. Every morning thereafter, as we stood guard, I could see him taking all those bullets, which were actually meant for me . I know sir....I know, what it is to be in the Line of Fire."

Vivek looked at him in disbelief not sure of how to respond. Abruptly, he switched off the laptop. It seemed trivial, even insulting to edit a Word document in the presence of a man for whom valour and duty was a daily part of life; valour and sense of duty which he had so far attributed only to epical heroes.

The train slowed down as it pulled into the station, and Subedar Sushant picked up his bags to alight. "It was nice meeting you sir."

Vivek fumbled with the handshake.

This hand... had climbed mountains, pressed the trigger, and hoisted the tricolour.

Suddenly, as if by impulse, he stood up at attention and his right hand went up in an impromptu salute.

It was the least he felt he could do for the country.

PS: The incident he narrated during the capture of Peak 4875 is a true-life incident during the kargil war. Capt. Batra sacrificed his life while trying to save one of the men he commanded, as victory was within sight. For this and various other acts of bravery, he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the nation's highest military award.

Live humbly, there are great people around us, let us learn! Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

You Can Make A Difference

Author Unknown

A top business leader who made waves in the Information Technology industry was on a business trip to Tokyo. He was always very humble and shared all his success with his employees. After all his meetings, he went to a shopping mall to buy chocolates and gifts to his employees back in his country.

As he entered the mall a little lady gave a warm smile and welcomed him,he was very touched, felt good, and was not able to forget the warmth in her smile. He was noticing her as he was shopping; she was giving the same smile to all the customers who walked into the mall.*

*The business leader started wondering if she was every fed up doing the same thing again and again, he walked up to her and asked, “My dear lady, are you not tired of doing this job, and how long have you been doing this?”

*The lady smiled and said, ” No sir, I am working here from the last 10 years and I like my job.”

The business leader was shocked and asked, ” Why you have been doing this for 10 years, and why do you like your job?"

The lady smiled again and said, ” Sir, because I am serving my country.”*

This was a little amusing for the business leader. He said,” You are serving your country by smiling?”

*The little lady said, “Yes sir, I smile and all the customers coming to the mall fell happy and relaxed. They shop more, my boss is happy, and pays me more. Since I am paid more, I can take care of my family. Since I can take care if my family, they are happy. As all the customers buy from us,the demand for goods is more and since the demand is more, there are many factories. Since there are many factories there are many jobs. Since there are jobs, people in the country are happy.

As most of our customers are foreigners, there is foreign exchange. Since there is foreign exchange, our country has lot of money and is richer every day. And people like you who are happy with our service visit our country more often and some time you will tell your family and friends too. My country gets more visitors, more money, more jobs and has more happy people. That’s how I serve my country.”

Amazed with her attitude, the business leader thanked her and came back to his country. He worked hard to incorporate the same attitude among his employees, and today his company is one of the best companies in the world.*

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


By Author Unknown

NTE was a training company. It provided training solutions to its client. Recently a client gave them contract of training its customer care teams in several states. NTE had several associated trainers. The training was on Excellence in Customer Care. NTE Director wanted its trainers to get that feeling of excellent customer care as an internal associate. He wanted to practice what they were going to preach. He wanted the trainers to feel what excellent customer care is. The director was thinking what to do? What can he do for the trainers? What will you suggest him??? 


Think harder………………….. 


The director called his team and asked them to simplify the process of making trainers’ payment. He asked them to make ‘trust’ as a major thrust while dealing with various trainers. He also asked his client account manager to speak to the client and try to reduce their requirements which the trainers & they would require to comply with. They implemented a lot of things. First, they eliminated the need of attendance sheet of the program. Since feedback forms already had names, dates etc. Later, they spoke to client and eliminated the need to send the hardcopy of feedback forms. The client agreed since they were already getting soft copy report from each trainer which had names of each participant and their rating and comments given on the form. They chose to trust the reports submitted by trainers. Later, they eliminated the need for giving supporting bills of conveyance, food & stationary up to certain amount. Most of the claims were falling under
that amount limit. So it reduced quite a big burden in making, processing of bills. End of the day, the trainer needed to send just an online report of the program and expenses thereof without any supporting. It saved hundreds of communications, paper work, administrative work, accounting work and printing, photocopy & courier charges. 

Learning- Can we trust? Can we make it economical for everyone? 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

True Leader

         By Author Unknown
In the eighteenth century, in a stormy night, a huge tree got uprooted and fell across a busy road in Baltimore in the state of Maryland in the USA. A team of soldiers were deputed to clear the block. They cut the branches of the tree and tried their best to move the large log from the road.But they could not move it as it was very heavy. Their superior officer, a stout and strong man on horseback, was watching their work, giving strong directions and stern commands, without any physical participation in the work. 
A passer-by on a white horse saw the scene. He asked the officer why he did not lend a helping hand to the sweating soldiers instead of giving loud oral orders. The officer replied in a rage, “I am the officer in command of this operation. I am their superior officer. It is below my dignity to work with them.”
The traveler readily removed his hat and coat and joined the soldiers. Toiling together, after much effort, they could remove the log and clear the block on the road. 
While departing, the traveler told the officer, “When you have a difficult work, you can call me. I will come to help you.” 
“Who are you?” asked the officer. 
“I am George Washington,” replied the stranger as he sped on his horse. The officer was struck with wonder and shame. The stranger was the President of the USA and the Commander-in-Chief of the US military.
George Washington (1732-1799) who commanded the American forces during the historic War of independence was the first President of the USA. He was a principled leader, a great statesman and a renowned philanthropist.
Moral of the story: A leader is one who knows the way, shows the way and goes the way. He should not be like passive sign boards which show the way silently, without active involvement in the movement……..