This is a guide for people who are looking for a job for the 1st time. The whole process is given below. I will be specific to my field.

1) Prepare the CV. Once you decide to look for a job… make a CV. Take CVs of more successful friends for reference. A CV should not exceed 2 pages and please do not use the formats given by B schools. They will not work in lateral placements. The CV building services provided by job sites are useless. Please don’t spend money on them. Even you are not looking for a job, your CV should be updated every 6 months.

2) Once the CV has been made, put it up on job sites like Monster and Naukri. These 2 should suffice. There is no point signing up on others. Every consultant/company scouts for CVs here. Be very specific about the kind of job you are looking for. I knew I would not get marketing profiles in good companies at this stage in my career so I mentioned my preference for sales jobs. You don’t need to contact consultants individually and send your CV. In the beginning, I had borrowed a list of 30 consultants from a friend, called them one by one and forwarded my CV. Not one of them got back with a job call. Every good consultant has the list of employees working in a good organization.

3) Once the CV is mailed to a consultant, it is sent to the organization. If the CV is shortlisted you will get a call. Again, no point in calling the consultant and following up. They will hunt the world to get in touch with you for an interview call. And if you are not shortlisted, the consultant will not be able to give a feedback.

4) The first interview maybe telephonic or video conferencing or personal. It is generally with the person you will be reporting to. In case it is required that you fly down for the interview please avoid booking the tickets yourself. Request the company or consultant to book them. Most companies take months to reimburse the flight expenses. To give an example, I interviewed with a major soft drinks company which is respected world wide. They have not reimbursed my flight expenses amounting to 21k for more than a month now. The consultant has left the job… the HR does not answer my calls… I have contacted the consultancy and will have to follow up like crazy for the money. It will be cheaper for me to fly to Delhi, confront the HR and take the money.

In case you do not clear the interview the consultant will drop you like a hot potato. They never deliver bad news… never call back saying you didn’t get through. If you don’t receive a call the next day with good news… you have not been selected. And no, consultants never give you a feedback on interview. Some questions that are asked in all interviews:

  • Name your strength and weakness
  • Why do you want to move from current company
  • Why do you want to join us
  • Take us through your CV
  • Introduce yourself
  • Where do you see yourself 3-5 years from now
  • What is your expected CTC

5) The next interview is the most important one. You will be interviewed by a very senior person… in my case it has always been the Sales Head… The consultant will make it seem like a casual meeting… but beware, this one is the real test. I have messed up this interview by taking it too lightly. Again, if you receive a call the next day you are in.

6) Next step is salary negotiation with the HR. The consultant will forward your salary slip and package details to the HR. Every HR has a budget for a certain profile. You will never be interviewed by a good company if your package is higher than the budget of HR unless you specify in the beginning to the consultant that you are ready to take a drop. I would recommend that you should not take a drop in package ‘coz you will have to justify it if you move companies few years later. Big companies do not negotiate the package, they send you the offer letter and it is upto you to accept or reject it.

7) Do not declare to your friends till you have received the offer letter. It has happened with me that after the negotiation with HR the company froze their recruitments or maybe they took in somebody at a lesser salary. I was never told the reason. Another company took my salary details, told me “I am in” and a week later denied that they had selected me.

8) If you thought it ends there… think again. You have to put down your papers in current company… which will piss off your Boss and he might try to create some resistance. My Boss refused to let me go before 15 days… I had given 13 days notice period which has delayed my joining by 15 days. And I realized now that they had no intention of moving me from this location (even though I am married and my hubby is in Pune) for atleast another 6 months.

Try not to move from your current job before 2 yrs into it… I don’t know why… but the 2 yrs mark is important on the CV.

Good night… let me know in case of any queries on job hunt.

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