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Saturday, March 2, 2013

How to Prepare Good Resume

Points to Remember for Preparing a Good Resume

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When I was part of interview process then I have seen that profile/resume is the first thing which impacts a lot. So it’s very important that profile should be good and well explanatory. I mean to say that now a day it’s very difficult for hiring people to spend time with you as a face to face and try to understand what exactly you are doing, whether you are the best for their requirement or not.
So, all the things should be well structured in such a way that they can extract the information as per their convenience / requirement. If, I have less time and don’t want to go into the details of project, even then I should be able to follow you resume and if I am interested in your profile and want to know the details then also I should figure out without setting any phone-screening or face to face screening.
I have tried to capture few tips with suggested template for preparing the resume. It doesn’t mean that this is the industry standard but most of the time people love to see such type of resume. I hope it will help everyone.
Before we start we should understand the flow of the Interview process.

  • Manager request for Job position and sent a Job Description (known as JD) to respective HR person.
  • HR people either handover this to consultancy firm or post in the internal/external job portal. Some time they directly talked to candidate and forward them the JD through mail.
  • In parallel, consultancy firm / HR team search the Suitable candidate on job portal.
  • Once HR team got the list of candidate/s, they start the screening process.
  • Once they select few candidate, they handover the same resume to respective manager for further screening. (Note- if manager received a profile directly from any employee, they forward that to HR team after doing screening of their level)
  • Once screening has been done from HR and Technical Manager, one more screening happen, known as Telephoning screening. (Sometime this is merged with face-to-face interview also).
  • Then there may be several round of Interview, which may be telephonic or face-to-face or may be both.
  • Then finally, they choose the cheap and best candidate.

You may be thinking that why have I discussed all these things here. The reason is very simple. Your profile/ resume are the thing which is representing you in your absence. And in all the above said steps, it plays very very important role. If, Resume is good and well-structured/written, 50% of your work is done for cracking an interview.

So there are different levels in each process and you have to prepare yourself and your profile to qualify those levels. Let’s list down those first and then we will discuss each one by one.

  • Screening Process-
    • First Level: By HR of company/ Consultancy firm.
    • Second Level : By Technical manager
    • Third Level: Telephonic screening.
  • Interview process-
    • First Level : Few rounds of Telephonic Interview
    • Second Level: Few rounds of Face-to-face Interview.
    • Third Level : Salary/Compensation/Package Discussion with HR
  • Hiring Process-
    • First Level: Internal discussion between all the interviewer and they rate the candidate as per their point of view. They have to justify the reason of their rating also.
    • Second level: Discussion between technical manager and HR team in terms of technical feedback, compensation/package, experience and comparison between different candidates
    • Third Level: Once candidate is decided, release the offer to candidate and then if candidate accept then close the position else restart the whole process from the beginning. J.

Screening Process-

First level: By HR of Company or Consultancy firm

  • They hardly know the technical stuff. Especially in the VLSI domain, most of experienced HR/consultancy firm know only about 10% (which is on higher side). I am not blaming them because that’s not the part of their job. But those are the one who are doing first level of screening. So we have to prepare our resume considering these people also.J
  • They search your profile online by using the KEY WORDS as per the JD. And everyone knows in the “search-world”, KEY WORDS are more important.
  • So point is your resume / profile should have KEY WORDS as per your skill set.
  • Question is how? Ans is very simple. Follow following steps.
    • List down all the most important keywords. Like STA, Static Timing Analysis, EDA, Routing, PD, Physical Design, Power Analysis, RTL, GDS, Tapout… etc.
    • Check different type of JDs (JOB DESCRIPTION) and see the keywords listed there. Please see the snapshot.
    • Try to use these keyword in your profile which are matching with your work.
  • Important thing is how to use them efficiently. For that the most important section are “Tool and Language Details” and “Technical Skills” in your profile. Please see the following example.
  • If you are applying for higher position, then you should have 2 more section- “Soft Skills” and “Management Skills”.

One of the JD from one of the MNC… (BOLD and underlined the KEYWORDS in this)

Essential Functions:
Self driven individual will be responsible for activities related to full chip (and/or block level) floor plan, power grid design, IO ring design, clock tree design, place and route of full chip and/or critical blocks, cross talk analysis, IR drop analysis, timing optimization, physical verification, and interfacing to cross functional teams for complex low power and hierarchical chips in advance technology nodes. Candidate should have strong basic concepts to over challenges in the different part of Physical design and should be able to overcome those based on different experiments and data.

Desired Skills & Experience
  • B.E./B.Tech , M.E/M.Tech/M.S preferable
  • Candidate will be required handle end-to-end Physical Design responsibility for several areas of large (>100M gate) High speed ( 1Ghz ) multi-core IC’s at 28nm & below technologies including partitioning , floor planning , Clock-grid design , power distribution , block implementation and top-level integration.
  • About 6-10 years of experience in IC Physical Design from RTL-to-GDSii, handling tape-out responsibilities of complex modules or blocks on hierarchical designs at 45nm and below technologies.
  • Physical design experience in taping out High Frequency, Multimillion gate designs in 45nm and below technologies
  • Expertise in Chip level Floorplanning , Hierarchical design , Placement , Clock-Grid-Distribution , Power distribution, Routing , Extraction , STA and Physical Verification
  • Expertise in block level PnR and closure (high performance/Low power/Physical verification in advance process nodes)
  • Strong Scripting capabilities in Perl & TCL
  • Expertise on any of the industry standard place and route tools like Atoptech, ICC , Cadence
  • Strong analytical capabilities and Ability to work with a broader team

Section in the Resume – which helps HR / Consultancy Firm to search the KEY words…

Tools and Languages details:

Scripting Language                           : PERL, TCL, GMAKE, Cadence Skill Language,
HDL                                                     : Verilog-HDL
Synthesis Tool                                   : Design Compiler (Synopsys)
Pre layout Simulator                          : ModelSim (Mentor Graphic); PSPICE; Matlab
Post layout Simulator                       : Eldo (Mentor Graphic)
STA                                                     : Prime Time (Synopsys)
Layout Editor                                    : Custom Design (Synopsys); Virtuoso (Cadence).
DRC/LVS Tool                                  : Hercules, ICV (Synopsys); Caliber-DRC/LVS.
DFM/DFY Tool                                : Prime Yield (PY-LCC & PY-CMP) (Synopsys).
Parasitic Extraction Tool                 : StarRCXT (Synopsys); Quartz RC, Quick Cap (Magma);
Tool Kits                                           : IC compiler (ICC) (Synopsys); IC Station (Mentor);
Board Design Tool                          : Protel, Orcad
Load Balancing Tool                      : LSF (Load Sharing Facility), GRD

Technical Skill:
  • Thorough knowledge of Physical design concept from anything ranging from RTL to Tapeout.
  • Flow clean-up for Charted65nm, SMIC90nm, TSMC40nm, CP32nm process nodes.
  • Comprehensive understanding of methodologies of floor-planning, place & route, timing closure, signal integrity closure, DFM closure, physical verification, deep sub-micron issues.
  • Familiar with ASIC Back-end Design Methodologies and verification flows.
  • Experience in resolving various Block level/chip level Timing (STA), Noise, Place and Route, DRC, LVS, DFM, DFY related issues.
  • Proficient in Hercules and ICV (DRC/LVS), Prime Yield (PY-LCC & PY-CMP) Synopsys tool.
  • Hand on experience of developing various Hercules and ICV decks.
  • Developing experience of Routing and Parasitic (RC) rules for nodes ranging from 45nm to 350nm.
  • Working experience in over different nodes ranging from 32nm to 350nm and different library processes like G, GT, MS/RF, LP, HP and LPHP.
  • Closely working with Foundry’s like TSMC, CP, CSM, UMC, SMIC, FIJITSU, TOWER, LSI and HHNEC.

Second Level: By Technical Manager
  • This portion is tricky and it depends on manager to manager, how they want to see the information. Few like to see the details and few just need summary. But whatever be the type of manager, they always like to screen as fast as possible also.
  • If you are experienced, they will see what you have done in your last 2 company at least and whether that’s significant or not. If you are fresher, they need to know your Mtech/Btech/deploma’s projects.
  • So point it how will you mention all these in your resume / profile. And Ans is simple – follow following steps.J
    • List down all your work irrespective to categorize them in the bucket of small/large, relevant/non-relevant.
    • Best way is to open your self-appraisal of all the previous years or all the weekly/biweekly of all the years and then list down all the projects and work you have done.
    • Once you have an exhaustive list, try to find out high level of similarity in all the projects and come with 2 or max 3 line, which justify your work in that company. (Remember- it’s may not be the same as your JD at the time of joining J ).
    • Write these points in your profile / resume under the section “Experience Summary” or “Synopsis”. Please see the snap-shot. There are different way/Template of experience summary. I have captured 2 way of this section.

Section in the Resume – which helps Technical Manager to understand your work

Experience Summary:
  • 7 years of experience in the EDA and Physical Design domain.
    • Supporting Customer for their design of 40nm in floor-planning,routing, signoff extraction.
    • Helping designer with respect to any issue in the Parasitic Extraction during any phase of the design.
  • Involved in 6 tapout (includes floor-planning, placement, routing, timing closure, signoff extraction, timing and eco) of multiple-million gate design in 45nm and 20nm.
  • Responsible to clean the Design and Reference Flow with respect to Timing violation, DRC/ERC/Antenna/LVS violation, DFM/DFY (CAA/LCC/CMP) violation.
    • Giving training to other Team members related to STA and implementation flow.
    • Playing key role in project planning and execution.


Experience Summary:

Total Work Exp: ~approx 7 yrs    [Aug ’03 – Till date]

ABC <Company name> (<Location>)                                                                                           Aug’10 – till date

[<Role/Designation in the company>]
  • Supporting Customer for their design of 40nm in floor-planning, routing, signoff extraction.
  • Helping designer with respect to any issue in the Parasitic Extraction during any phase of the design.
  • Responsible to clean the Design and Reference Flow with respect to Timing violation, DRC/ERC/Antenna/LVS violation, DFM/DFY (CAA/LCC/CMP)violation.

ABC <Company name> (<Location>)                                                                                           July’5 – Aug’10

[<Role/Designation in the company>]
·         Involved in 6 tapout (includes floor-planning, placement, routing, timing closure, signoff extraction, timing and eco) of multiple-million gate design in 45nm and 20nm.
·         Giving training to other Team members related to STA and implementation flow.
·         Playing key role in project planning and execution.


So, I will say that all the screening are done based on the resume. But still sometime or I should say most of the time manager / senior person (who is going to take your interview), wanted to know the details of the project, so that they can have an idea what you have done and how much those projects are beneficial for them. They also wanted to know how much (Quality and Quantity wise) you have done in your last company. Recently, I was in the  discussion to one of the manage for one of the profile and his point was that since the person has written so many projects that means he/she has done something. Now, you can say that it’s may be subjective but my point is, who knows what type of hiring manager is! J. Anyways, it may be that you have read somewhere or someone told you that resume should not be more than 2 pages but somehow I never agree with this. I would say, we should summarize each and every thing in 2 pages and in the rest of the pages we should provide the details of projects. So that if someone don’t have time, they can get the idea of candidate by first 2 pages else if anyone is interested, they can refer rest of the pages.

Third Level: Telephonic Screening:
Whatever I have just mentioned (in the above para), means details of projects from 3rd page onward, always helps interviewer during the telephonic screening. During the conversation, he will explain you the job and try to understand your level of expertise. He will give you a lot of space, so that you can explain him your work experience and that’s the time when details of project help you and interviewer both. If you have captured those in your profile/resume, it becomes very easy for interviewer to follow you and provide the feedback later on.
Now the point is how to provide the details of projects. There are several ways but few key/important things should be there.
  • Projects name
  • Tools/language/plateform used in the projects.
  • One line description.
  • Your Role (technical and managing is any).
  • Major Accomplishment.

Sample is shown below.

Project Undertaken:
ABC <Company Name>
Project : <Name of the Projects>
Language/Tool: <list of the tool/language>
Description : <one line Description>
·         Responsible of doing top level STA of all the design
·         Communicating with the Vendor, Customer and internal methodology team, in case of any issue.

·         Leading a team of 4 members.
·         Syncing with different team member to release it on time

Major Accomplishment:
·         Tapout almost 4 design with in a time spam of 6 months on technology node 40nm and 28nm.
·         Received a best team player award of the company.

Project : <Name of the projects>

XYZ <Company Name>
Project : <Name of the Projects>
Language/Tool: <list of the tool/language>
Description : <one line Description>
              Technical: ........
Major Accomplishment:

Finally Profile / Resume is ready and you are ready to apply anywhere. Till now, we have discussed only the different levels of screening process and the structure accordingly to that but if you have done this much then there is no need to do anything specific for rest of the process. You have to just keep few things in the mind which I have captured below along with summary/important points.

Summary/Important Points:

  • You should have Keywords in your resume.
  • Resume is just like the mirror image of you, so keep it simple and easy. Don’t use long sentences, tough words (vocabulary). Keep it very simple.
  • Never use any color or any style in your profile. Always try to use same font size and font for entire resume. You can use BOLD and bullets but too much of BOLD is not good.
  • Never try to highlight anything using underline/BOLD/Italic style. If anything is important always mention in the starting of any section. Otherwise let interviewer decide what’s important. If you are confident that no one in this world has more knowledge then you in any specific field, then you can use anything to highlight.
  • Profile should be properly aligned. (No ZigZag). Try to use “Times New Roman” or “Arial” as Font and 10/12 Font size.
  • Everything should be well placed. Means if I want to extract any info from your profile, it should be easy for me.
  • Your phone number, mail-id and current location should be correct and should be at the top just after your name.
  • Fashion of creating tables and putting data in it become outdated. There is no harm in doing so, but try to avoid if possible.
  • Never Ever ask anyone else to prepare/create your resume. Always try to do this work yourself because it is very important that you know everything about your written profile.
  • Try to do spelling check before forwarding.
  • Don’t mention anything which you haven’t done.
  • Categorize the tool/language knowledge into the bucket of “Beginner”, “Proficient”, “Experienced” and “Expert” and use these words so that it will be clear to interviewer about your hold/command over any tool/language. It will help you during the interview. Few examples are
  • Proficient in XYZ tool.
  • Hand on experience in developing xyz flow/methodology.
  • Thorough knowledge of Physical design concept from anything ranging from RTL to Tapeout
  • Getting expertise in ABC tool.
  • Write Experience/Projects/Education from latest to last.
  • Just to increase the resume’s page, don’t insert unnecessary space-line between lines.

I am sure If you have done this much, you will never face issues in getting call. J Best of Luck.


  1. Please keep writing about technical topics . Your timing related concepts were crystal clear .
    Thanks for the excellent job

  2. Proper grammar, punctuation and spelling are also very important.

  3. only thanks is not enough for u boss its an excellence of ur intelli-genice

  4. I have one question: In your article, you're saying that HR tries to search candidates's CV by keyword. But i hardly know any databases that store people's CV on the internet with only exception is LinkedIn Network. But if i dont have a LinkedIn account, how can HR found my resume?

    1. as Such there are several such portal where you can update your profile and HR search the candidate in those portal. Apart of that every company has internal portal also, so if you submit your profile in companies website, searching mechanism is same.
      LinkedIn is the latest trend, and it's my assumption (may be wrong) that it's successful for the experienced candidate. but still you should have your profile in LinkedIn because it also help you in networking with different professional people.

  5. it's a very good article but i doubt that it's for applicant with experience. Can you write an article about how to prepare good resume for freshers. It will be very helpful for people like us.

  6. can you please give some guide lines for freshers to prepare their resume .This helps us alot .

    1. Sure - Soon - I will capture few points related to that also.

  7. All explanations are crystal clear!!!! I was searching for these kinds of things and I a very happy that I found this.... Please continue this great work...I am sure this will help a lot of people ....



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