Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

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Resume Writing – BCR Notes CA Foundation

Seeking job is an important part of life for most of us. A job seeker may have to send application letters and resumes to several organisations. Each employer wants to know details about the applicant’s qualifications, work experience, interest, etc. Therefore, resumes and application letters are essential writing for job seekers.

Applications and resumes are drafted for seeking the first job as well as for change of jobs. Earlier details about the job seeker’s education, skills, experience and personal information was included in the application itself. But now the trend is to write a resume and apply on a covering letter.

Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

Concept of A Resume:
A resume is a summary of the qualities and qualifications of a person. It is a brief record of one’s personal history and qualifications prepared by an applicant for a Job. It is an informative and inspiring piece of written communication. It is drafted to provide necessary information about the person to the prospective employer. Resume is known by several names e.g. personal profile, personal data sheet, qualification sheet, and so on.

Preparing a good resume is the first step in acquiring the dream job. A resume is usually attached to an application letter. Usually, people keep their resumes written in advance. They mail a copy along with cover letter to the prospective employer. The purpose of a resume is to get you a job interview mot to get you a job.

A resume is a persuasive summary of your qualifications for employment. Therefore, resume should be written specifically in terms of the job’s requirements. An employed person can take advantage of better job opportunities by having an upto date resume. A resume should be meaningful, well organised and interesting for the potential employer. All resumes cover the same points but the details regarding each point may differ.

The resume is an inventory of the applicant’s personal details, education, training, job experience and other relevant information. It should not only inform the employer but ‘sell’ the applicant. Due to tough competition in the job market, the traditional way of writing bio data has become outdated. All the facts in the resume should be written in a logical order. The general type of resume fits a number of companies and jobs. On the other hand, the personalized resume fits a particular company and the job.

The terms Resume, Bio data and Curriculum Vitae (CV) are often used interchangeably. But these differ from each other in certain respects.

Resume vs. Biodata:
The term bio data has become almost obsolete. The emphasis in a bio-data is on personal details such as date of birth, marital status, gender, nationality and address. After these details, educational qualifications, work experience, hobbies, etc. of the applicant are given. In a resume and CV the focus is more on skills and knowledge rather than on personal details.

Resume vs. CV:
Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a Latin expression and it means the course of my life. While a resume is brief and concise, a CV is longer and more detailed. A resume rarely exceeds two pages in length but a CV can run upto ten pages. A CV is more common for academic and research jobs and fellowships. It contains a detailed,account of all the papers published, research projects completed, etc. But a resume merely states the number of papers published, number of projects completed, etc. A resume is more skill-oriented whereas a CV is more knowledge oriented.

The main features of a resume are as follows:

  • It is usually written in points.
  • It contains a summary of educational qualifications.
  • It includes employment history of the candidate.
  • It indicates the skills and professional affiliation of the applicant.
  • It is written in a formal and objective manner.
  • It is suitable for any position and for almost all types of organisations.
  • It is purpose is to get a call for the interview.

Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

Relationship Between Resume And Application Letter:
The resume and application letter are sent together but they perform two separate functions. The resume communicates in brief all relevant and important information about the applicant. The application letter interprets the information contained in the resume. In the letter the applicant writes those facts from the resume which show that the applicant is most suited for the job.

It is not desirable to combine the resume and application letter into a lengthy document. The prospective employer will find it time consuming to locate the relevant information.

Steps In Resume Writing:

  • Select all the facts that will help the reader evaluate you.
  • Organise the facts under appropriate headings and sub-headings.
  • List the facts in an interesting and effective manner.
  • In education include institutions, dates, degrees and subjects of study.
  • In job experience, include firms, places, dates, duties.
  • Extra-curricular activities reveal one’s personal interests and qualities.
  • Select the right references
  • Give accurate mailing address, telephone numbers and job titles.
  • State your career goals.
  • Do not use personal pronouns e.g. I, we.

Most recruiters prefer one page resume for entry level positions.

Types of Resume:
Resumes can be of three types:
1. The Chronological Resume:
The conventional style is to begin with personal details and end with references. But the modern style is to begin with the category which needs to be highlighted. For example, a candidate with good education but little work experience should begin with education. On the other hand, another with strong work experience should begin the resume with-work experience.

In a chronological sequence, the work experience is placed immediately after the name and address. In work experience, jobs held are listed sequentially in a reverse order, beginning with most recent position. This helps to focus the attention of the employer on the most recent accomplishment.

The following details are given for each position:

  • Employer’s name and location.
  • Dates of your employment (month and year of start and end)
  • Position(s) held in each company.
  • Responsibilities and accomplishment in those positions

The chronological resume is appropriate in case you have a strong employment history and aim at a job that requires such history.

Write it Right:
The brief one to two pages resume communicates the wrong message to many international employers who either feel you have little in depth experience or you are not interested enough in the position to take the time to detail your qualifications and experience. Many international employers expect to receive a five to eight page resume, commonly referred to as a curriculum vitae (CV) – from serious candidates. After all, should a big job not be the object of a big resume from those who have ‘big’ experience and skills?

The improved chronological or combination resume for international jobs. These resumes have the best potential to meet the expectations of international employers as well as to clearly communicate your international experience and qualifications to them. The functional resume is too vague for most serious international jobs. It often says little or nothing about work-content skills and qualifications other than providing some highly generalised and somewhat “canned” resume statements about experiences that anyone can include on a resume regardless of his work experience.

Rather than just provide an eight-page resume with long listings of experience, job titles, and skills, write a one to two-page improved chronological or combination resume that essentially synthesises the information or documentation found on the remaining pages of the resume. These other pages should be well organized by functional information categories that summarise and list important accomplishments relevant to your education and experience.

These might include the actual titles and date of speeches and presentations you gave or articles you published; the formal duties and responsibilities of your past jobs along with a listing of actual accomplishments and any special recognition received for your performance; a listing of honours and awards, complete with dates and a summary of their significance; information on your professional memberships; and contact information on three or four references.

Remember, international employers want to know a lot more about you than just your skills. They are interested in looking at you as an individual with many characteristics, which may or may not qualify you for both the job and the international living situation.
Excerpts from the complete Guide to International Jobs and Careers by Ron and Caryl Krannich. Impact Publications.

2. The Functional Resume:
In a functional resume, skills and accomplishments are emphasised. Academic and job experience are given, in subordinate sections. This style focusses on individual areas of competence. The focus is on your skills, rather than where and when you used them.

The functional resume is appropriate for fresh graduates with little work experience. While a chronological resume may indicate job hopping, the functional resume avoids such an indication. A fresh graduate can mention experience of organising events in his college/ institute and summer project in the resume instead of writing ‘no experience’.

3. The Combined Resume:
A combination resume combines the best features of both chronological resume and functional resume. However, it tends to be long and can be repetitive. The right way to decide the format of your resume is to put yourself in the employer’s shoes. As an employer what would you want most from the person you are hiring? What would be the most important information you would look for in the resume? The right degree? The special training? The job experience? Show how your education and experience have prepared you for the job.

Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

Specimen of Resume:
Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes IMG 1

Listing of Employment History In Your CV:
(It is an important section and most employers would maximum time reading this. Essentially, your employment details ensure your suitability for the job. Follow these tips for success) –
Agreed  the CV in totality is the most important tool in your job-hunt, hence every section should be well-written to publicise the brand YOU But it’s the employment history section that generates the most interest in an employer as he/she spends maximum time reading it.

Many tend to scoff at the significance of BIG brands, but puritans, trust me, would swear by them, Though the places where you’ve worked don’t create as much of an impact &s your educational, professional qualifications and work experience. So, employment history should be made in such a way that it convinces a potential employer of your suitability for the position advertised. Also, it must market you effectively; charting your future career goals.

There are different CV formats that can be used effectively to communicate your employment history and what’s most suitable for you depends on the years of work experience you have, the level at which you’re looking to move, career breaks you may have had etc.

We take a look at different types of CV and when best to use each one.

Functional CV:
This is usually for people who have been out of the active workforce for quite sometime due to whatever reasons. It’s also effective for people contemplating a career change. This format focuses on the experience and skills you have that are commensurate with the job you are applying for, instead of the employment dates perse.

The company name, designation, and joining dates are substituted by the most important skills and experience that you have developed over a period of time through your previous employments, or even free-lancing, voluntary work, and general life experiences. Here, relevant information regarding your expertise and experience are focused on. Though you need to mention briefly the positions you’ve held before, you don’t need to go into details or showcase them upfront.

Chronological CV:
If you’re pursuing a similar kind of work profile, or you’re applying for a job in line with the one you currently hold, and want to portray the track record of your advancing career, this format of CV is ideal for you. Try and name the employer and incorporate dates you’ve worked with each one, also mentioning designation you held and achievements.

But list these in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent employment detail. With this format, it’s easy for an employer to read and get a snapshot of how your career has progressed and makes it easy and comprehensible as to why you’ve applied for the position and your suitability for it.

Combination CV:
Redundancy, pink slips and job-hopping have become common place these days but brief employment dates still signal red flags for potential employers and dampens your prospect. So, you can use a combination CV in that case.

Also if you are looking to move to the next level in your career this is a good format to use, as you can use it to highlight your skill sets for the next position and also showcase your move upwards in terms of years and designations. Put your varied roles in a cluster and figure out what edge you’ve with certain skills that make you the most desirable for the job applied. Mention the names of organisations, enlisting achievements and experience gained there.

Whatever format you use, be sure to quantify achievements e.g. “… have been instrumental in earning a whopping 60% profit which grew the client base significantly.” Another important aspect is to incorporate phrases from the job description you are applying to, so that the employer is able to immediately see the value you bring.

Remember employment history is the main section, so never try to fib to gain mileage as it is likely to land you in a soup. With the tips above, make employment history relevant to your career interest. Keep these in mind before preparing your resume – the passport to your dream job.

– Rajashree B Mustafi

Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

Contents of A Resume:
A resume usually contains the following information:
1. Personal Details:
These include the full name, date of birth/age, marital status and complete postal address with telephone number. Personal information on religion, race, sex, etc. should be avoided unless specifically asked for or relevant to the job.
An example of personal details is given below:
S. Madhavan
152, Defence Colony
First Floor
New Delhi – 110005
Mobile: 9898989898
Email: madhavan@yahoo.com

2. Career Objective:
State briefly your career goals. This will indicate the focus that you desire in making a good career. Avoid use of the pronoun T in the career subjective line instead use action words or verbs. In your objective statement include the job title for which you are applying, the field in which you wish to work and the length of the association you are seeking. Do not write vague statements such as “I am anxious to join a challenging position in a renowned company where I can prove my ability”. The employer is interested in your practical objective not your ambition.

For example:

  • To be involved in providing software solutions for best healthcare.
  • To work in a company that provides a challenging work environment and career growth opportunities.

3. Education:
Give degrees/diplomas/certificates, areas of study, institutions and grades/ divisions obtained.
This section also includes non-formal achievements like seminars and conferences attended. Additional skills such as professional/specialised courses/training must be mentioned. Technological, computer skills and proficiency in business communication may also be highlighted. Start with the most recent qualification and work backward. Specifically mention the courses which are most relevant to the post you are applying for.

4. Work Experience:
Identify all the jobs held in reverse chronological order mention dates, places, names of the company and responsibilities held. This section is very important as the prospective employers wants to know how you can be of use to them. Employer’s name joining and leaving dates, title of the job held are important. Job responsibilities must be specifically mentioned. Recent job must be given prominence. Therefore begin with your most recent position. Highlight the position(s) held that are most relevant to the position you are seeking. Show how your work experience qualifies for the job you are applying.

5. Personal Qualifications:
These include hobbies, interests, sports, social and civil activities. Employers nowadays attach great importance to emotional quotient. Reading habits, social activities, personal awareness and general interest reflect a person’s nature.

6. Achievements and Honors:
This section should display your leadership abilities and communication skills. You may mention the prizes and awards won.

7. Professional Membership:
Membership of professional bodies provide an idea about your interest in the work in addition to names of professional associations, social organisations, club and community, programmes may be mentioned. This section adds to your total personality.

8. References:
Some employers insist on references of persons who are well aware of the candidate’s personality and work. Select references who can comment and evaluate. Take permission before including any names as references as a part of protocol. Give accurate contact details and job titles of references. Avoid giving references, unless asked for.

Time to Update Your Resume:
Here is checklist of 10 signs that say that it is time to update your resume and look for new opportunities:

  • Salary envy : The fellow in the cubicle next to yours just got a job offer at twice his current salary.
  • Pink slips in the air : Rumours of company layoffs are circulating, although your boss says there’s nothing to worry about.
  • New career path: Your old resume lists your previous jobs as massage therapist and personal trainer, even though you now have eight years experience as a commodities trader.
  • Time flies: Your most recent bio data does not include your last two years of work and accomplishments at the present company.
  • New priorities : Your profile lists more fraternity and university sports awards than job achievements.
  • Less is more : With the addition of your present job role, the document is now three pages long.
  • Moving on : Your resume mentions the address and telephone number of your previous residence.
  • No personal stuff: The document includes hobbies and personal information after the education section.
  • High tech update : Your resume does not list any list any of your computer skills that you have learnt to use.
  • Opportunity knocks : You just saw an ad for a terrific job and the deadline for responses is Friday. Do you know where to find the current version of your details on the hard drive?

Get The Most Out of Your Cover Letter:
Make an effort to impress the recruiter and ensure you interest him enough to read on further:
Your cover letter must specifically talk about the position you are applying for. It is important for you to write separate letters for each/position job you are applying for. A resume cannot be customized for each job, but a cover letter can and must necessarily be so. Also, remember a cover letter should complement and not duplicate your resume.

The purpose of the cover letter is:
→ To tell the employer the type of position you seeking, and how exactly you are qualified for that position. This information also tells the hiring manager how well you know the organization and the position you are applying for.

→ You need to also tell the hiring manager what has led to your applying for the position; whether an advertisement, the recommendation of a friend who works there, or your own interest in the’company.

→ Further, you cover letter can explain things that your resume can’t. If you have large gaps in your employment history or are re-entering the job market after a break, a cover letter is the best way to explain these circumstances and project things in a positive way.

→ Again, if you are changing the focus of your career, or planning to relocate and are conduct¬ing a long-distance job search, the cover letter can explain your outlook on your new career path and the kind of employment you are seeking and why.

Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

Introductory paragraph:
This states why you are writing to the recruiter/employee. Some basic options are:

  • “Please find enclosed my CV, which I am forwarding to you as an application for the position of…”
  • “In reference to your advertisement in…dated… attached is my resume.”
  • It may also include a synopsis of why you are a top candidate for the position. Some examples:
  • “Your position advertised on Shine.com is an excellent fit with my qualifications, as the enclosed resume will attest.”
  • “My background includes…years of successfully managing.,.1 offer particular expertise in…. with in-depth knowledge of…”
  • “My extensive experience in… and my commitment to achieving the highest qualify aligns extremely will with the … position that you are currently advertising.”
  • “My extensive top-level background in …makes me exactly the kind of value-added executive you need … as advertised by you in…”

Main body of the letter:
It should be two to maximum three paragraphs. Here you must summarise key experience and skills. Your also need to highlight your area of specialisation, number of years in the industry etc. You should also highlight any unique points that you might have and include a brief description of your personal skills.

Further, you need to demonstrate how your credentials, motivation level and track record will benefits the company’s operation. You can begin by “Highlights of my credentials include.” Or “key strengths I offer include…”

Closing paragraph:
It should ask for action from the recipient. It should also thank the recipient for giving you the opportunity to apply. You can add things like:

  • “Should you require further information…”
  • “Look forward to a face to face discussion”.
  • “Thank you for your kind consideration.”

Use the above tips to get started. Remember you need to tailor-make each cover letter for the organization you are applying to.
– Shailja Shah Purohit

Common Resume Dilemmas And How To Tackle Them:

Employment gaps or job-hopping:
Both these situations reflect instability. When a candidate is hired, the company puts time and resource into training him/her for the job. CVs that show periods of unemployment or job-hopping tendencies raise doubts about one’s value to the company.

If you already have frequent breaks in your career, then try to show how effectively you spent that time. Mention any sort of training, workshops, freelance assignments undertaken by you during the time. Keep yourself updated on the changing market trends.

If job jumps is your problem, then try mentioning it together with other experiences, so as to remove focus from it. If the time spent in a particular job is too short, then avoid mentioning it at all.

A long break:
So you are back after a hiatus and find yourself trying to explain the reason behind your sabbatical. Pick a format of resume that takes the focus away from organisation names and dates and, instead, highlights key responsibilities. Mention the positives in the job synopses and emphasise on key words. Use your covering letter to explain the reason behind the break and what you did when you were not working.

A lay-off:
Still struggling to get a decent job that can match your skills? The recent economic turmoil caused a great deal of upheaval in people’s careers. It is best to be honest if you are among those who got retrenched. You need not mention it in the resume but talk about it during the interview, if asked. In the CV, talk about your projects, achievements, cost-saving initiatives, new processes defined, awards won, teams managed etc.

No experience:
A fresher normally finds herself/himself without a solid foundation on which to build a winning resume. Here are some tips to use while less writing the CV do not make your objectives too flowery; keep them businesslike; write about your internships, projects, workshops attended; mention awards and marks (only if it is first class).

No degree:
It is possible to get a job without a degree, but as you progress, you will require it for a fast-paced career growth. If you are short on laurels, then stress on the practical training you have received over the years. If you are studying for a degree, then “mention it under academic qualifications.”

Never hesitate to send your resume because of the lack of a degree. If you are competent and right for the job, you will be hired anyway.

-Namrata Ekka

Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

Five Resume Basics You’ve Overlooked:
Five basic resume rules and the mistakes you make that break them. Thousands of job seekers make these mistakes. Are you making them too?

Include a cover letter:
Not attaching a cover letter to a resume is like shooting in the dark. Hiring managers receive hundreds of unsolicited resumes every week. Tell them specifically what opening you are applying to or the position you’re inquiring about. Do not presume they will figure it out from your resume.

Using an Objective:
Point-blank objectives are bad form, self-serving and will get you nowhere in this job market. Instead of telling the employer what you want, show them what you can do. When you buy something the store doesn’t tell you what they want from you. You know what they want; they want your business and your money. Employers know what you want – you want a job. Instead utilize a career summary that will ‘show’ not just ‘tell’ the employer how you can meet their needs and a completely customized personal branding statement.

Utilising headers:
Titling sections (career summary, qualifications summary) uses up valuable real estate on your resume. Space you could be using to advertise your unique value, talent, passion and vision. Instead, create catchy personal branding statement that immediately tells the employer who you are and what you offer.

Use specific Keywords:
Forget keywords and you’re neglecting key audiences that will review your resume. Even worse you’re excluding yourself from being found in candidate databases, job search engines, social network and more. First, your resume has to make it through the software scan, then the secretary or administrative assistant scan, then on to the hiring manager who actually knows what you’re doing and how you are supposed to do it – you need the right key words.

Here’s a hint: check the job description. They are in there. I guarantee it.

Proofread:
One small mistake and you’re out of the running. Proofread your documents carefully. Take a night to sleep on it and then read it again. When you go back to read the resume the second time read it backwards one work at a time. Experts say this simple trick will catch any mistakes you would normally read right over. Use this checklist to determine if your resume passes the “basics” test. If it does, you are well on your way to a professionally written resume. If it doesn’t adjust what you can and if you feel like you’re hitting a brick wall check out few samples of professionally written resumes.
– Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

Source : www.careerealism.com

Guidelines For Preparing A Good Resume:
A good resume provides the necessary information to the recruiter in a systematic form. It helps the employer to judge your qualifications quickly and short list the suitable candidate. A well planned resume can therefore open the interview door for you and provide your career opportunity. Some do’s and don’ts for writing resume are given below :

Do’s:

  • Give a specific job objective
  • Highlight your achievements – scholarships, awards, etc.
  • Emphasize any education/training/experience related directly to your job objective.
  • Mention your professional activities that support your career objective.
  • State your interests and strengths.
  • Give all the information under suitable headings.
  • Make the resume attractive with sufficient open spaces.
  • Project yourself as a stable and efficient employee. Use a clear and simple format.
  • With plenty of white space, use a simple and easy to read type face.
  • Use standardized paper (81/2 by 11 inches). Avoid brightly coloured papers.
  • Be honest in whatever you state in your resume.

Don’ts:

  • Do not mention the salary you expect
  • Do not leave any gap in your job experience
  • Do not state reasons for changing your earlier jobs
  • Do not send a hand written resume
  • Do not be too lengthy or too brief
  • Do not give irrelevant personal details such as marital status or number of your children.

The Not-To Do List:
CV sleuth Ajay Trehan gives tips for a ‘clean’ resume:

  • Never try to inflate your credentials. They can always be verified.
  • Never try to cover gaps between employments or between education and employment. It is perfectly fine to state that you were out of a job, as you will get a fair opportunity to explain.
  • If you are doing a course, not yet completed it. Mention clearly that you are pursuing it.
  • Do not elaborate project-work in the body of the CV. Have a crisp CV – a two-pager at the most. Projects and other details can be attached as Annexure.

Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

Essentials of A Good Resume:
A good resume should be characterised by the following features :

  • Proper Size : A good resume should be neith’er very long nor very short. It should cover all the necessary facts yet be of proper size.
  • Clear and True : It should be clear and easy to read. It should contain true information.
  • Correct Heading: Write ‘Resume’ as a heading. Give your name, address and telephone number.
  • Clear objective : Resume should state clearly your career objective and the type of work you want.
  • Education : Focus on your strongest and most relevant qualifications. List all the courses in descending order of importance. Also mention relevant seminars and workshops attended and certificates obtained.
  • Right Format: Details should not be verbose. Use facts not opinions. Avoid personal pronouns. Do not mention the date of preparation.
  • Correct Grammar : The resume should be grammatically correct. It should bear no spelling mistake. Avoid personal pronouns. Use action verbs and short phrases.
  • Skilful: The resume should indicate your skill and awareness of business world.

Tips for applicants:

  • Include only those as referees who have known you professionally or academically for a year or more.
    Seek permission from your referees before giving their names.
  • Brief them about the company you have applied to, the job and who is likely to contact them.
  • Give them you resume and covering letter or at least apprise them once again of your employment history, educational qualification, etc.
  • Visit them, if possible, so that they have a refreshed ‘personal’ idea about you.
  • If you don’t want certain people (especially your present boss) to know you want to jump the boat, then write, “References will be provided on request” at the end of your resume.
  • It is not a bad idea to keep ‘standby’ references in case the once you are banking on are not available during the designated period.
  • Whether you receive the appointment letter or not, don’t forget to thank your referees for their help.

Electronic Resume:
An electronic resume is a resume that is stored in a computer data base designed to help manage and initially screen job applicants. It provides many benefits both to the recruiter and the job seeker:

  • The job seeker’s resume is available to a large number of employers
  • The job seeker may be considered for job vacancies of which he/she is not even aware
  • The initial screening is done by a bias-free computer
  • It saves the recruiters from the drudgery to manually screen and acknowledge resumes
  • It is possible to conduct a focused search quickly
  • Information remains available until the resume is deleted from the system.

In the process of job search, electronic resume is the latest tool. In an electronic resume the keywords that describe the person’s skills are placed in the beginning. The keywords should be those which employers commonly use. When trying to fill vacancies.

These can be found from jobs advertisements and brochures of companies. An electronic resume can be scanned into a database and retrieved whenever necessary. Unlike the paper resume, nouns rather than verbs are used in electronic resume. This is because the resume is retrieved from the database with the help of nouns.

Keywords, correct nouns and bold presentations are helpful is preparing an effective electronic resume. When a job is to be filled, the computer is fed a list of keywords and phrases. It then looks, thorough the database and prints out a list of candidates with the most key word matches.

Guidelines For Preparing Electronic Resume:

  • Use industry specific descriptive nouns that accurately reflect your skills. Use concrete words rather than vague descriptions.
  • Put keywords in the right context.
  • Use a variety of different words and do not repeat the same word.
  • Save your scannable resume as a text file.
  • Make the format as plain as possible to ensure accurate reading by computer software.
  • Use no more than 70 characters per line.
  • Do not divide words at the end of a line.
  • Press the space bar (not the tab) to show any needed indentions.
  • Make the resume as long as necessary.
  • Submit a clean, laser printed copy, do not fold or staple.

Improve Your Visual Resume:
As companies try to break into new markets and win global contracts, image has become very important. A powerful ‘executive presence’ exudes a high level of professionalism in attire and conduct. Clothing in a business environment covers 90% of the body, so it’s inevitable that it makes a powerful statement.

Formal Business Attire:
Men: The business suit is the most important item in your wardrobe; therefore invest wisely in a couple of high quality labels. A well-cut, two/three-button suit in navy blue/charcoal grey (textured or solid) works best across the globe. The quality of the material is important, best being the finest merino wool.

Pure silk ties in simple hues add a touch of elegance to the suit. A solid white or light blue formal shirt with long sleeves (double cuff and a subtle pair of cufflinks for a touch of class) teams well. Business suits go best with simple, well-polished lace-ups’ shoes. The more pattern and colour you add to your attire, the more the focus is on your clothing, rather than your professionalism.

Women: Business attire should not be a reflection of the latest fashion trend-you should be noticed for your professional expertise. Globally, most women favour the business suit but in India, an elegant sari is rated on par. A conservative suit in navy blue, burgundy, charcoal grey or black, (pinstripe/solid) works across all borders.

Internationally, a skirt is preferred but trousers are a more practical option if you are constantly on the move. Team the suit with a formal office shirt, a pair of low- heel comfortable shoes and a trendy leather bag.

Limit your accessories to a conservative watch, a wedding band/ring, a quality leather briefcase and a branded pen to complete the look. This may not seem like terribly exciting attire but remember that you are not trying to stand out for your cutting edge look, but for your good judgment in a business environment.

Source : Shital Kakkar Mehra

In today’s competitive market, after qualifications and work experience, it’s a candidate’s achievements that make him or her stand out in a crowd. The importance of packaging your resume right – to project yourself as a result-oriented candidate- cannot be underestimated. Here are three quick ways to turn your resume from that of an average candidate to one who is achievement- oriented.

Convert responsibilities to achievements:
One of the smartest ways to do this is to make use of power verbs, even when you talk of work responsibilities, thus converting them achievements. What I mean by power words and how these make a difference is demonstrated below:

  • Before: Responsible for sales in North region.
  • After: Spearheaded sales of entire North region.

Seehow changing the work “responsible for” to an action verb “spearheaded” makes somuch difference to the image conveyed. If a resume only details responsibilities, it is merely telling the recruiter what you were supposed to do – and not what you actually did. Delineate your responsibilities with powerful action words such as Med, ‘initiated’, ‘spearheaded’, ‘controlled’, ‘accelerated’, ‘attained’, ‘conceptualized’, ‘conducted’, ‘devised’, ‘directed’, ‘drafted’, ‘executed’, ‘enhanced’, ‘established’, ‘ensured’, etc.

These words effectively portrays you as a person in action, thus creating a positive impact. When you talk about how you achieved something rather than just handled some work, you project yourself as a candidate who takes initiative and responsibility at work, rather than one who simply does what has to be done.

Delineate how well you discharged responsibilities: It is important for you to give the employer a sense of how well you handled your job. To do this, again you need to use more than just ‘responsible for’ as delineated in the example below:

  • Before: Responsible for MIS interface in the company.
  • After: Interfaced with MIS to develop technology enhancements to facilitate new markets and better serve existing clients.

In the first one, there is no clarity in the recruiter’s mind as to how effectively you handled the responsibility. In the second, the use of the word “interface” shows you as an action oriented candidate. The addition of what you achieved by this interface shows the contributions you have made – and, therefore, in the recruiter’s mind, the contributions you can be expected to make in the future.

We are pretty quick at putting together a basic resume with contact details, an objective a synopsis, work experience, extra-curricular and other information. But where we most often get stuck is the point where we need to talk about the contributions we made.

Yet, the key element of a powerful resume is the ‘evidence’ that you will live up to-your value proposition and this evidence lies in the vital states, that is quantifiable facts and figures or results obtained, that substantiate your earlier words as an achiever and a doer.

Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

How to quantify your achievements:
Whether you are in HR, a technical division, administration, marketing or editorial, you can always quantify results if you put thought to it. Here are some questions to help you look at your achievements – keeping numbers in mind.

  • Did you save costs for the company? How and how much?
  • Did you increase sales? How much?
  • Did you recruit new hires? How many? How soon?
  • Did you launch a new product? What was the reach and impact?
  • Did you run campaigns? How may, which places and through which medium?
  • Did you help improve productivity and efficiency? By what percentage?
  • Did you put in place new systems or processes? What was the impact?
  • Were you able to achieve more with (same or fewer) resources?
  • Did you give inputs for any technical/operational improvements?
  • Did you manage faster turn-around time on any project/delivery?
  • Did you resolve any pending issues? How soon?
  • Did you undertake or get selected for any training programme/workshop or conference?
  • Are you a member of any committee/board/special projects?

Use these questions to figure out your contributions to the company -then portray these effectively by using action words. This will help you prepare in achievement oriented resume.

-Shailja Shah Purohit.

Drafting The Application Letter:
The job application or the employment application is the letter which is written to seek an interview. It is a sort of sales letter and should be drafted as a persuasive message. It should stimulate the reader’s interest and project confidence of the applicant. The application letter should show why the applicant is interested in the position applied for and his suitability for it.

Its main purpose is to attract the employer’s attention, create interest in the applicant, build a desire to read the resume and inspire the employer to take a positive action. In order to write an impressive and effective application letter, the following points should be kept in mind :

  • Focus on major requirements of the jobs applied for
  • Highlight the points that separate you from other applicants
  • Show that you know something about the organisation.
  • Make your application letter professional
  • Address the letter to the right authority
  • Avoid personal information not related to the job
  • Express your sincerity to make a good job
  • Ask for an interview
  • If there is an application fee, enclose it in the form required, e.g. draft, postal order, etc.
  • Avoid slang or a gimmicking layout
  • Keep the letter short and straight forward
  • Make it neat and attractive, using good quality paper and clear typing
  • Edit the letter carefully before finalising it
  • Enclose copies of all the testimonials required.

Characteristics of A Good Application Letter:

  • The job application letter should contain the basic qualities of a good letter.
  • The tone should be natural. Avoid being too informal or casual.
  • The letter should convey a clear and complete message.
  • It should be short, usually one page.
  • Adopt the ‘you attitude’.
  • Show an interest in the company.
  • Address the letter to the correct authority.
  • Draft the letter according to the wording of the advertisement.
  • Show keenness but keep an open mind.
  • Ask for the interview.

Some Don’ts:

  • Don’t beg for the job.
  • Don’t boast.
  • Don’t make false claims.
  • Don’t write on both sides of the paper.
  • Don’t blame your present or previous employer.

What is in a letter:
Cover letters are a chance to expand on what is in your resume, said Judy Colburn of UWT’s Career Development Center. Here are a few tips on how to get your letter noticed:

  • Address each letter to the company and job.
  • Provide new information about yourself instead of repeating what is in the resume.
  • Highlight your skills, any special training and accomplishments
  • Tell the employer what you can do for the company and why you want to work there.
  • Include your contact information.

A resume cannot be targeted to each job, but cover letter can, and must necessarily do so. A cover letter tells the employer the type of position you are seeking, and exactly how you are qualified for it. It also tells the hiring manager what prompted you to apply; whether it was an advertisement, the recommendation of a friend who works there, or your own research, etc. This information tells the hiring manager how well you know the company and the position.

More importantly, a cover letter can explain things that your resume can’t. If you have large gaps in your employment history, are re-entering the job market after, a sabbatical, are changing the focus of your career, or relocating and conducting a long-distance job search, a cover letter can explain these circumstances and project things in a positive way.

Get noticed by recruiters with a world-class Shine resume. Sms Resume to/54242, or call 0124 3954713 or 395 4868 during office hours, or else log on to shine.com for prices and packages.
→ Achieve maximum impact by understanding how busy people read Resumes and by reflecting on exactly what you want to highlight in your achievement section.

→ Finding it difficult to sum up your value proposition in a two-or three- page resume? In addition to annoying employers, a too-long resume can quickly lose its potency and dilute your brand message leaving decision- makers confused about why they should hire you for a leadership role. Here are some tips-offs to a too-wordy resumes that fails to distinguish your skills:

→ Your bullet-point sentences are longer than two or three lines, making them nearly impossible to scan quickly.

→ You’ve started many phrases or sentences with the same word, which weakens your message.

→ Your performance results are buried all the way at the end of each sentences, and are there-fore hard to find, with minimal brand impact.

→ You’ve added too many adjectives and adverbs, with every achievement noted as “outstanding”, exceptional, and worst of all, “successful”.

Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

Contents of Application Letter:
The job application letter consists of the following parts:
1. Opening : The opening paragraph should gain attention of the employer. Address the letter to a specific person by name rather than to the “Human Resources Department”. This personal touch distinguishes your letter and demonstrates your interest in the organisation. In responding-to an advertisement, specify the position advertised as well as the date and name of the publication. The opening paragraph of your application letter should also state your reason for writing.

2. The Body : This part of the application letter should build interest and describe strongest personal traits in terms of their potential benefit to the organisation. Emphasize your strongest qualifications and show how they fit the job.

3. Closing : The final part of the letter should include a request for an interview. Never use your present employer’s stationery for writing application letter. Be specific and do not repeat the information contained in your resume. Do not beg for favour and never boast about yourself.

Specimen Application Letter:
Mr. S.S. Murthy
110, Kohat Enclave,
Pitampura, Delhi – 110034
March 11, 2006
The Recruitment Officer
ABC Enterprises
New Delhi-110034
Dear Sir,
Your advertisement for Accounts Manager in The Hindustan Times on Sunday, January 21, 2006 interests me considerably. As you can see from my attached resume, 1 have the right qualifications and the requisite experience for the job.
I am sure, I would be able to make a significant contribution in your forward looking and expanding organisation. I would, therefore be grateful if you give me an opportunity to be interviewed.
Thanking you,
Yours faithfully
R.M. Gupta
Enel.: Resume
Wanted for a permanent post at our Fort Office Receptionist-cum- Telephone Operator. Write your application giving full details of age, qualifications and experiences to the Personal Manager, New Appliances Private Ltd., United India Building, P. M. Road, Mumbai – 400001.
Ans.
From:
Miss Anita K. Parikh
Flat No. 10, Silver Park,
Santacruz (W), Mumbai-400 054.
The Personal Manager,
New Appliances Private Ltd.,
United India Building,
P.M. Road, Fort,
Mumbai-400 001.
Dear Sir,
I wish to apply for the post of Receptionist-cum-Telephone Operator at your Fort office.
For the past five years I have been working with a small private concern as the Receptionist-cum- Telephone Operator. Besides being a shorthand-typist, I have qualified as a telex operator.
A copy of my full bio-data is enclosed.
I look forward to being called for an interview.

Yours faithfully,
Sd/-
(Miss Anita K. Parikh)

Bio-Data:
Name : Miss Anita K Parikh
Address : Flat No. 10, Silver Park, San tacruz (W)
Mumbai – 400 054.
Date of Birth : March 20, 3978.
Marital Status : Unmarried
Language Spoken : Gujarati, Hindi, English and Marathi
Hobbies : Reading and Hiking.
Education:
S.C.C. Second Class, from New English School, Dadar.
H.S.C. Second Class, from Ruparel College, Dadar,
Attended classes in Typing, Filling & Telex for six months at Parle Commercial Institute, Mumbai.
Experience:
July 1998 to date: Office Assistant-cum-telephone operator in Vikram & Sons, Dadar, Mumbai – 400028.
Reference:
1. Prof. R. R. Khare,
Hindu College,
Mira Road,
Thane-401 107.

2. Smt. S. A. Thakur
Branch Manager,
Dena Bank, Ranade Road,
Dadar (W), Mumbai.

Sd/-
(Miss Anita K. Parikh)

Application letter may be written in response to a job advertisement or when no job advertisement is there. A specimen of such application letter is given below:
2/5 Prem Nagar
Delhi-110007
Telephone: 27777711
E-mail: ashok@hotmail.com
January 11, 2015
The Human Resource Manager
ABC Enterprises Ltd.
7, Nariman Point
Mumbai-44225577
Dear Sir,
I completed my MCA at IP Institute of Technology, New Delhi in July 2014. Since then I have been working in XYZ Ltd. I have hands-on-experience in Java and oracle. I would like to be considered for any vacancy that you have for software engineer. I enclose my resume. I think I have the potential to make a valuable contribution to your company. If you need any further information please do contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Faithfully
Sd/-
(Ashok Gupta)
Enclosure: Resume

Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

Types of Application Letter:
1. Response Application Letter: This type of application letter is written while applying in response to a job advertisement. A specimen of such an application letter is given below:
2/7, Prem Nagar
Delhi – 110007
Telephone : 27777711
E-mail: ashok@hotmail.com
January 11, 2013
The Human Resource Manager
ABC Enterprises Ltd.
7, Nariman Point Mumbai – 44225577
Dear Sir,
I am writing in response to your advertisement in The Time of India dated January 10, 2013 for the post of Software Engineer. I am very much interested in working as a Software Engineer in your company. I enclose my resume and I think my qualifications match your requirements.
I look forwarded to hearing from you.
Yours faithfully,
Sd/
(Ashok Gupta)
Enclosure: Resume
Ans.
From:
Miss Anita K. Parikh
Flat No. 10, Silver Park,
Santacruz (W), Mumbai-400 054.
The Personal Manager,
New Appliances Private Ltd.,
United India Building,
P.M. Road, Fort,
Mumbai-400 001.
Dear Sir,
I wish to apply for the post of Receptionist-cum-Telephone Operator at your Fort office.
For the past five years I have been working with a small private concern as the Receptionist- cum-Telephone Operator. Besides being a shorthand-typist, I have qualified as a telex operator.
A copy of my full bio-data is enclosed.
I look forward to being called for an interview.

Yours faithfully,
Sd/-
(Miss Anita K. Parikh)

Bio-Data:
Name : Miss Anita K. Parikh
Address : Flat No. 10, Silver Park, Santacruz (W), Mumbai – 400 054.
Date of Birth : March 20, 1978.
Marital Status : Unmarried
Language Spoken : Gujarati, Hindi, English and Marathi
Hobbies : Reading and Hiking.
Education:
S.C.C. Second Class, from New English School, Dadar.
H.S.C. Second Class, from Ruparel College, Dadar,
Attended classes in Typing, Filling & Telex for six months at Parle Commercial Institute, Mumbai.

2. Enquiry Application Letter: This type of application letter is written when there is no job advertisement. Several companies maintain databases of potential future employees to fill vacancies as and when these arise. You can get yourself listed in the database by sending an enquiry application letter. A specimen of such an application letter is given below:
2/5 Prem Nagar
Delhi – 110007
Telephone: 27777711
E-mail: ashok@hotmail.com
January 11, 2013
The Human Resource Manager
ABC Enterprises Ltd.
7, Nariman Point
Mumbai – 44225577
Dear Sir,
I completed my BCA at IP Institute of Technology, New Delhi in July 2011 since then I have been working in XYZ Technologies. I have hands on experience in Java and Oracle. I would like to be considered for any vacancy that you have for Software Engineer. I enclose my resume. I think I have the potential to make a valuable contribution to your company. If you need any further information please do contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully
Sd/
(Ashok Gupta)
Enclosure : Resume

Things to Change on Every Resume you Send:
Gone are those days when a person could print out stacks of CVs and send it to the whole town. Now it is the time to personalise. An individual should personalise CVs according to the particular job they are applying for
→ The resume should highlight their most relevant achievements.

→ The CV should be devoid of any job experience that is not relevant to the position that a person is applying for.

→ A person can show in their CV they can help with the company’s core needs.

→ If an individual has shifted residence the CV should not have the current address on them, it would be better if they just mention their city and state or they provide a friends address.

→ A CV should always have a personal hobby that he/she share with their prospective employees.

Draft a job application in response to the following advertisement. Wanted an Electronic Engineer for our Electronic Division at Gurgaon/Graduates/Post graduates or B.Tech/M. Tech, with specialisation in Electronics can apply. Apply to Post Box 777, The Time of India, New Delhi by December 31, 2014.

Resume Writing – CA Foundation BCR Notes

Summary:

  • A resume is a summary of a person’s qualities and qualifications.
  • Resume is enclosed with job application letter though the two serve different functions.
  • Resume can be of three types-chronological, functional and combined.
  • Personal details, career objective, education, work experience, professional qualifications, achievements and references are main contents of resume.
  • A good resume should be of proper size, clear and true, correct heading, clear objective, right format, correct grammar and impressive.
  • Opening, body and closing are main parts of a job application letter.

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