careers advice

General tips for finding and applying for a graduate job in India

General tips for finding and apply for a job in India

Key tips for writing CVs for the Indian job market

CV formats in India tend to be varied with no one specific template formally used by companies and candidates. Candidates are free to use the UK format and keep their CVs limited to 2 pages.

The terms CV and resume are used quite interchangeably in India.

The key is to always have an updated CV which is not too crowded with information. Organise all information under regular headings, such as

  • Personal Details
  • Synopsis/Profile
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Skills
  • Achievements/ Awards
  • Extra-curricular
  • Referees

Ensure your headings stand out clearly and the recruiter does not have to hunt for these.

It is important to follow such standard patterns as recruiters have little time and working their way through an unfamiliar format or a disorganised resume is time-consuming and may just cause them to reject a resume without even reading it.

Also remember that work experience, achievements and other content with datelines must be organised in reverse chronological order.

Several large multinationals in India such as Infosys, Hindustan Lever, Tata and popular job portals expect candidates to upload their CV′s on their website along with following a detailed registration process to create a profile while submitting their application.

Due to the increasing popularity of a few job portals, several employers prefer accessing potential candidate information from popular job portals like Monster.com.

Further Advice

Some tips from Times of India, India′s largest English newspaper

Advice on resume preparation from Shine - Careers in India and Employment in India.

Example CVs
Writing Covering Letters

A covering letter gives a brief introduction of the candidate to a prospective recruiter. It talks about the probable job position, the reason for applying, an overview of one′s work experience (if applying in the same field), skills/qualities and educational qualifications. It should have the capability to convince the recruiter about the potential of the candidate for the position.

Indian employers usually expect to see cover letters as the first thing and therefore, it should have the power to attract them to your profile.

A mistake graduates often make is to create a generic cover letter. It should always be customised and should be addressed to a specific person or department in the company as far as possible.

According to a survey by Shine, 80% of employers reject candidates who don′t provide cover letters or who submit poorly-written ones. The cover letter is your opportunity to explain your interest in the post and company, and describe your experience and expertise for the job you are applying.

Further Advice

Advice on covering letter writing from Shine - Careers in India and Employment in India.

Thank You Letters

A thank you letter is considered an important relationship building tool in India. It is also a way of following up after the interview, which is very important.

Although there are no strict rules, they can be sent at every stage of the recruitment process such as initial interview and post selection. Sending a thank you letter usually helps you to differentiate your candidature from others and may lead to better chances of being considered for the position applied for.

Regular calls and e-mails enquiring about the status of the interview also helps you establish as an interested candidate.

About.com - sample Thank You letter

Finding Vacancies
Online Job Portals

Internet recruiting has given large companies an alternative for recruitment who otherwise used word-of-mouth referrals or campus recruitment.

You should aim to create a profile with the most relevant keywords that will help the recruiters find your profile easily.

Moreover, you can also search for the advertised posts and apply online. It is advisable that you complete your profile 100% and this means completing all given fields as early as possible and to keep updating.

The top 4 online job portals in India that are used by a large number of employers on a national basis, are:

Social Networking

Social Media is a key means for finding graduate jobs. According to the Kelly Global Workforce Index 2011, which covered 97,000 people across 30 countries, about 35% of Indian job seekers scour social networking sites to seek job openings.

Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO, The Head Hunters (India) says "We use social media extensively. In fact, 50% of our turnover is through social sites."

Recruiters use social media in two ways-to find a candidate who matches their requirement and to screen his or her background. Social media websites enable those looking for jobs to connect with potential recruiters. They can enable you to direct documents such as your covering letter, CV and profile to a specific person, rather than sending it to the organisation in general and hoping that it reaches the hands of the relevant person.

To join over 300 million professionals on LinkedIn clikc HERE

It′s even worth considering taking a social meida course to hone your ability to use it in your job search (example

Newspapers

Newspapers have been one of the oldest methods of job searching in India. Companies still advertise vacancies in regional and national newspapers.

The leading national dailies of India such as Times of India and Hindustan Times have weekly pull outs related to careers and jobs.

The classifieds section of the Times of India website advertises vacancies that also appear in the hardcopy of the newspaper. Times Ascent also advertises vacancies from the paper every Wednesday.

India Press links to all the newspapers in India, both national and regional

Shine Weekly - The career supplement of Hindustan Times. This is the only print career supplement which offers both online and print recruitment under one umbrella and one brand.

It is also worth scanning weekly career supplements that are given free with leading English dailies. You might just come across the opportunity you were looking for.

Recruitment Agencies

Depending on which part of India you would like to work in, there are several placement agencies that specialise in various industry sectors.

It is not recommended to rely on recruitment agencies completely since online job portals and direct applications to companies are much preferred now a days.

Key agencies include:

Employers

Almost all the leading online job portals have a directory of employer profiles that is extremely useful to search and use for research. Also it is essential to visit individual employer websites and their career sections to gain more information.

The top online job portals with updated lists of best employers are:

Networking and Word of Mouth

Networking plays a big role in India in terms of getting jobs or at least getting a first interview.

It is worth getting in touch with relatives or old colleagues or classmates who are working with stable organisation in the field you are interested in.

It is also worth joining professional associations that operate in your field of work and networking through these. For a list of these see Networking Groups section for India on Going Global (UWE network only).

  • The Shine website provides further advice on networking.
Job Fairs

The concept of job fairs is fairly recent and has drawn a lot of interest from recruiters and candidates.

Recruiters from various industries come together to meet and hire candidates. This is a good opportunity to float your CV/resume with the hiring companies.

Even if you do not get an offer on the spot, you will at least be able to get information about various companies and park your resume with them for consideration.

A calendar of all relevant and current job fairs can be accessed from The Times Jobs website.

See also the India profile at Going Global (UWE Network only)