Saturday, October 31, 2009

I am an extraordinary person aspire to be ordinary

Wednesday 10/29/09 - 12 PM The Lab Z4-029 - Toastmasters meeting running backwards, from future, the end, to present, the beginning. A bunch of us were there. Some had roles, some had to deliver a talk. I had to deliver a talk. My first talk, the Ice-breaker in Toastmasters' lingo. Since everything was going backwards, my talk was last of the three. It was so painful to wait. Finally, I was introduced. I went up and faced my biggest fear. Public speaking!

"Fellow Toastmasters, dear guests. Today, I am here to tell you about my extraordinary life and how I aspire to be ordinary. I live on Avenue Road, in a two story house. I drive a CLK320. I am married. My husband is a university Professor. I have two kids, twins, well-behaved. They are 10 years old. I am a CIO, Chief Intelligence Officer. My job is to put intelligence back into products. The product that my team and I work on is called IComp. IComp stands for Intelligent Compiler. IComp takes the user specification, requirement orally or in written form and translates it to an efficient, high performing executable for the target hardware architecture. There is no need for the user to write high level, abstract, unintelligent program. In fact, high level languages such as C, C++, or Fortran are so yesterday. Today IComp supports 143 languages and is widely used around the world. It's perfect. Except there is one problem. IComp doesn't exist. IComp, the gorgeous house in the posh neighborhood, the Mercedes, the professor is all in the future!
Today, I am a software developer. I develop code for the compiler back-end. If you ask me what does the compiler back-end do. I'll tell you short and sweet, it does everything that the compiler front-end doesn't do. The effect the long and detailed description of the back-end of the compiler has on people is, let's just say, not good! One of my hobbies is to learn new languages. I have a feeling that it may come handy in the future, given that compilers may one day support up to 143 languages. I know German, ein bisschen, and French, un peu. I live in a condo that I call home. I have to admit, I do prefer houses over condos. But, I can never see myself living in a posh neighborhood, I am far too logical to feel comfortable with showing off. ;) I take public transit to work. It's far better way of getting to and from work. I am a book fetish. Public transit means more time to read. My boyfriend is a PhD student. I do believe teaching is a good profession for a man. It's amazing how extraordinary my life has become now that I have lived it backwards. I do have to say one thing though, no matter how ordinary I sound at present, I feel extraordinary. Thank you.
Madam, Toastmaster."

Done. Complete. Sigh.

Time for speech evaluation. Let me know what you think. :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

How can you write your resume in 10 minutes or less?!

A dramatic shift in the topic chosen for this blog; it clearly demonstrates that play time is over! :)

Each time I have done my resume I had to go through (re)learning the trends and techniques of resume writing. I find this exercise extremely inefficient and superbly time consuming.

In order to make this process a bit easier and the future iterations much faster, (claim is 10 minutes or less), I decided to summarize and record my interpretations of the rules, design the template that is flexible to upcoming trends and future changes.

First the resume type: there are four types (as far as I know) of resume. These formats are only suggestions and do sound old school. I can select and apply (conservatively) a bit of each to my resume. After all, I want my resume to survive the 30 seconds glance.

The Chronological: in this format I will list all the positions I have held starting with the most recent to demonstrate my depth in the knowledge area and breadth in the industry that I have been applying my professional self to.
If I have been consistent in choosing employment positions (breadth) and projects and responsibilities within each position (depth), the finished chronological resume should show continuity, growth, advancement and accomplishments.

But what if I was hit by a resource action, or decided to voluntarily retire, resign, quit, there are so many ways to describe the same action; or I have decided to start fresh in a new knowledge area; what then? In that case, the chronological format cannot demonstrate and highlight my abilities and convey my true worth.

Functional format emphasizes on skills, abilities, credentials and qualifications first. Later in the resume I can insert opportunities that I have had to apply the qualifications to or develop and improve the skills and abilities. The message here is to let the audience know that I have a defined career goal, I have given the return, or the change careful thought; and I have a set of skills and abilities that can assist me in achieving it (the goal).

The next resume format is CV. This type is used by select group of professionals, such as doctors. The CV consists of a list of credentials such as medical schools, residences performed, internships, fellowships, and hospitals they worked in.

What I need to learn next is how to position facts and information about myself through out this document.

Introduction: I like to always start with an introduction that summarizes my qualifications, skills, and abilities relevant to the job I am applying. This section should be crafted intelligently. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to use brainstorming techniques: a piece of paper, a pen, a few keywords from the job description and an open mind is all that I need. Avoid Google!!

Qualifications: Depending on the resume type, functional, chronological, etc, I will enclose a history of positions and education or certifications after the introduction.

Closing: I close with the miscellaneous: awards, volunteer activities, and hobbies; stuff that can show a bit of personality.

That should be all that goes in my resume.

Once the organization of the resume is clear, I have to think about vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation.

A quick tally on time, I have spent 2 days so far on writing my resume; it is definitely not a 10 minutes task!