Most of us had the privilege of enjoying a sheltered life when we were in school and colleges, but when you enter the job market, you realize that it is a whole new ball game. Even though we have heard the adage “Jo Dikhta Hain Woh Bikta Hain” all our lives but we fail to follow it most of the time. You may be the best candidate for the job, but don’t forget that your CV does the first communication with the organization!
Born and brought up in Kolkata, this woman does know how to fix the worst resume problems. Life Beyond Numbers spoke to Reeti Roy (29) about her startup ‘Aglet Ink’ and she says, “Learn every single day, from every single person. Either learn what to do, or what not to do. Hustle and be consistent in the quality of your services. No matter what, do not compromise on the quality of your services/ products.”
Reeti grew up in Calcutta and spent her formative years in London, Edinburgh, Delhi, and Bombay. What contributed to her linguistic proficiency is largely due to her first degree in English Literature, and her school, which laid great emphasis on the humanities and the social sciences.
“Culturally, we were exposed to a lot of art, literature, and theatre growing up and an affinity towards the arts enables you to be creative and have an entrepreneurial streak from very early on in life.” Adding to this she says, “Running a business from scratch at a macro level is quite similar to fundraising for a school play on a shoestring budget, so those values and those skills were inculcated in me from very early on. London taught me to be disciplined and rigorous in my research, while Delhi and Bombay were the cities where I cut my teeth on professional endeavors.”
What is ‘Aglet Ink’?
The word ‘Aglet’ means a small metal or plastic sheath, which is typically used on each end of a shoelace, cord or drawstring. ‘Ink’ is a play on the word incorporated.
“When I started Aglet Ink, I realized that there was a dearth of quality resume writers operating in this space. Mine is a boutique CV services firm- I don’t do a simple cut and paste job. Anyone can do that. My work is understanding the client’s needs and making decisions after consulting them which will help them land their dream jobs,” says Reeti.
Aglet Ink was born in 2014 when Reeti realized that many professionals had the required qualifications, but were unable to present themselves well on paper and express themselves through their cover letter. As the resume and cover letter is usually the first point of contact, it could be a ‘make or break’ situation for the thousands of prospective job hunters.
How to Tailor your CV?
Every resume must be tailored to suit your employers’ needs because “if you want to stand out from the crowd, give people a reason not to forget you.”
Aglet Ink carefully handcrafts each CV and cover letter. “We get to know the person, the sector they are applying to, and their strengths and weaknesses“, says Reeti. If they have gaps in their CVs, we also help them understand how they can represent their time off as a strength, rather than a weakness. Further, they also help clients strategize for interviews and provide other customized services based on the client’s requirements.
So far, their team has worked with lawyers, private equity analysts, bankers and college students. The organization has clients ranging from mid-career people in top multinationals to senior professionals wanting an update of their CVs. They also work very closely with school and college students, who are looking to write essays and want guidance on structure and format.
Their CV, Cover Letter, and Linkedin Profile clients have included senior professionals who have worked in the following companies: Deloitte, Accenture, PWC, HSBC, Boston Consulting Group, Welspun Group, Discovery Channel India, Maersk Line and IIM Calcutta.
What not to do?
Unless explicitly asked for, do not attach a photograph with your resume, or add your date of birth. The biggest mistake that people make in their resumes is that-
- They do not tailor their resumes to suit a particular job
- They list out their responsibilities but do not focus on quantifiable achievements in their roles
On asking how to create a perfect CV? Reeti feels, “The notion of a ‘perfect’ resume is subjective. It depends on your industry, your years of work experience and whether you will use it for academic or non-academic purposes. An academic resume can be 5-6 pages long whereas an industry-related resume must be 1-3 pages.”
Adding to this she says, “I ask professionals for the first draft of their resume, and send them a questionnaire that I need them to fill in, which helps me put together their CV.” She also asks them to share potential job descriptions with me, so that I can fashion their CV accordingly.”
Freshers, See this! If you are applying for your first job doesn’t mean your CV has to look pale. Reeti says, “Young people today are quite self-aware and have a definitive vision for what they want to do. A lot of times I also get asked to help them navigate their career paths, which I do happily. My favorite clients are very young people on the verge of beginning their careers, CEOs/COOs of organizations and creative individuals, regardless of their field.”
Reeti’s Varied List of Amazing Achievements
Reeti was chosen as one of the 40 young Indians to assist Members of Parliament in a unique initiative called the Legislative Assistant to Members of Parliament (LAMP) Fellowship. She was assistant to Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development and was responsible for Parliamentary Legislative Research such as 377s and zero hour speeches.
Upon completion of her Fellowship, she worked with Pratham Education Foundation and co-authored a case on BRAC (Building Resources Across Communities), as a research associate at Harvard Business School’s India Research Centre. At the HBS India Research Centre, she has also worked with Columbia University’s Global Centre in Mumbai and with the UNICEF.
She is also the recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship, The Choice Fellowship conferred by the Seagull Foundation for the arts, The Matador Network Travel Writing Scholarship and most recently, the Goethe-Institut/Zubaan fellowship for creative writing on the topic “Children Understand More.”
Reeti has been a writer and freelance journalist since she was sixteen. She has written for The Telegraph (Calcutta), The Statesman (Calcutta), The Times of India, Femina, Tehelka, Chicken Soup for The Indian Soul and Northern Lights (an Edinburgh Publication) and others.
Currently, she works with the British Council, takes on consulting assignments with large firms and writes resumes. She says, “Writing (like editing) is an integral part of my life, and I will continue to write as long as I live, probably!”