Bio data(a door opener for interview opportunities)

Deepak Gupta (CA Student) (15857 Points)

19 October 2011  

BIO DATA – A DOOR OPENER FOR INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES

(with A to Z DON’Ts)

Article written by CWA, CA, CS, Rammohan N. Bhave

with 28 years industrial experience India and overseas

 

1. Title

Bio-data words - most simple and suitable. One makes errors in spellings of curriculum-vitae. Writing name itself has again gone out of fashion.
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2. Sequence

> Name,

> Cell,

> Email,

> Education,

> I.T. Literacy & extra courses,

> Experience,

> Achievements,

> Hobbies,

> Personal Details
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3. End

Left with Date and right with name in bracket to sign above it. With I.T. Revolution writing place has become outdated concept.
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4. No. of pages

After long thoughts I have derived following formula. A professional fresher’s CV should be one and half to two and half pages say average 2 pages. Subsequently, add half a page for each 2 years (or part of it) experience, add half a page. The maximum pages will be 6. Thus by above formula, number of pages will not increase after 16 years experience. Also note that one should constantly replace latest in place of old data even after 16 years.
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DON’Ts
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a) Father’s name – outdated and irrelevant from professional perspective
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b) Mother’s name – same as above (pl. do not be emotional)
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c) Last sentence “I confirm that above information is true and correct etc etc etc” Not needed at all. One is not writing a legal statement. And in any case one is legally bound.
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d) Decimal points in marks – not needed
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e) Outdated achievements e.g. prize in essay competition during 3rd standard
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f) Gender
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g) Nationality
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h) Languages known (unless one knows any foreign language)
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i) Marital status
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j) Present Or expected CTC
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k) Drop everything which one cannot speak about
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l) Scanned photo – this was in fashion during I.T. Boom, now outdated for Indian jobs
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m) Passport no and validity date not needed – nowadays in global scenario, one must have it. If one does not, pl. apply immediately (overseas jobs, mention “hold valid passport”)
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n) DD, MM, YYYY not needed. Only MM, YYYY is enough. Do not write 13th Oct 2006 to 27th Dec 2007 mention “Oct 2006 to Dec 2007”
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o) Covering letter – with emailed CVs gone out of fashion. If something very very specific to be highlighted which is your special USP, then exceptionally covering letter may be useful to serve some purpose. So 99.99% cases NO
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p) Words like “JUST” showing casualness, ‘no” “not” showing negativity.
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q) Pursuing a course – does not add value, unless at least some prelim or entry or first level or first group is completed.
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r) Strengths – do not write. But rather state them indirectly by examples of experience or achievements in CV.
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s) Weaknesses – Interviewer will find any way some of them. But you should be able to show cool, humble and improving mode likes for same.
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t) References – write them only if very very strong. Or else leave them for giving in interview when asked for or while filling company’s standard form which is normally green. But carry with you for interview.
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u. Height
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v. Weight
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w. Chest
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x. Colour of eyes, hairs
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y. Skin colour
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z. Last but not the least,

> drop everything on which you cannot speak on – word, line, sentence whatever,

> Drop everything on which speaking in interview will go against you,

> Drop everything, speaking on which will appear a time-waste for interviewer
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THEN WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT PART OF CV, WHICH SHOULD BE FOCUSSED FOR CONTENTS
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A. EXPERIENCE

B. ACHIEVEMENTS

C. EDUCATION - DEGREE AND ABOVE
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HOW TO WRITE EXPERIENCE
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HERE IS A SCIENCE CREATED & TESTED WITH SOME RANK-HOLDERS
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a) First make or convert all points into bullet points, with sub-titles. (it means – NO FULL SENTENCES, Starts with verbs like completed, e.g. Cost Audit - done for sugar company etc)
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b) Put yourself in interviewer’s shoes and think
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c) Rank all points in order of importance from interviewers eyes
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d) Ruthlessly drop point no 11 onwards (for a fresher)
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e) Out of first 10 point put them in sequence 1 to 10. (Rethink if required)
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f) For first 3 points make 3 sub-points each say a, b, c
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g) Then imagine that you are asked a question on any of the 10 points plus 3*3=9 sub-points i.e. total 19. So prepare 3 sentences on each of them. No sentence should exceed 10 words each. Thus you will have 57 (19*3) sentences written with you. Literally memorise them. Wherever you cannot write, pl. consider removing those points or else go back to those scenarios and recap back knowledge by studying or interacting.
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h) Print and compare your old and new CV. You will find amazing results.
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HOW TO WRITE HOBBIES
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Another science created out of experience below.
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Hobbies can be classified in 4 types
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A) Having professional synergy - like internet, reading professional books, magazines, journals, chess, traveling (shows exposure). If you have these hobbies it is best. But go prepared to prove them with some examples.
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B) Physical/mental strength-peace related - e.g. of course my pet squash, Tennis, badminton, Cricket, football, swim, gym, long walks. These show that you have hard working capacity and fitness. State them if you have and have been practicing during last one year. Mental stress related - yoga, meditation, art of living, singing, dancing (more for girls), cooking.
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C) Social nature hobbies – NGO participation, Rotary, Lions, CRY, Blood donations, Animal anti-cruelty, handicapped children help etc
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D) Some examples of hobbies not worth stating (out of my experiences in taking interviews) - reading comics, watching movies, chatting, playing carom, housie stated in hobbies — better avoid.
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Maximum hobbies to state 3 to 4.
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One from A, B, C each is all-round personality – marketing, HR, Business development positions prefer this. Two from A and one from B is career oriented personality – Finance, strategy, Operations, costing prefer this.
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SOME TIT-BITS & LIVE EXP. TIPS. SOME FAQs
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1) Address can go at end
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2) Mention % only if they are good. If not, put marks in subjects where they are best for CWAs 55% & above
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3) Stating achievements is a must
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4) Put table for education, if it is on fast track. If it is on slow track then put descripttive and bullet points
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5) At least put blue or brown/red colour for few words to highlight and be best at that points
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6) Better to write computer skills than computer proficiency - (computer is such a vast field, nobody can be really proficient. so better be humble)
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7) Do not write tally 5.4 - you must know latest version also. SO write just tally, but be conversant with latest version by studying from tally website
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8) Do not make box and table for whole CV
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9) In the end, put personal details which should include address & birth date, age (and family background, if strong). Begin with name, cell and email only as stated before
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10) Inter, foundation, FY, SY Commerce - generally not needed unless you are topper or so.
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11) Have simple name based email id. Don’t use collegian id for professional purposes. e.g. manisha_cutiepie @ yahoo.com OR coolme_rakesh @ rediffmail.com. Do not use such ids for professional purpose.
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12) Long career objectives with nothing special (and can be copied by anybody is meaningless to put) Better do not put any career objective.
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13) If at all put career objective, from which your specialties and USP or differentiators can be identified. Otherwise DO NOT PUT.
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14) Any sentence anywhere in CV more than 10 words, just break it or shorten it.
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15) For a CWA CV mention of “key areas” stated as “costing, management accounting” not needed. It is too generic.
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16) NO DATES exact.
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17) Should you mention college name or university name - mention only that which has higher brand value.
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18) The date at the bottom of CV should always be latest one. For that purpose use commands in “word” insert date & time” and “update automatically”
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19) Whether family background should be mentioned - generally NO. Exceptionally “yes” if it is educationally or industrial position wise is very strong.
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20) Put cell no. as +91 XXXXXXXXXX & landline no as +91 22 XXXXXXXX. Prefix of +91 shows your understanding of global nature, so put it that way.
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21) “Passed Senior Secondary Examination (Commerce with Maths) from C.B.S.E (2001).” Such Sentences make NO meaning. It should be part of education table. Even if it is bullet point make it as “S.S.C - CBSE - 2001” The remaining words are redundant.
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22) Stated in CV - “won many prizes in public speaking” is stated as achievement. When interviewer asked question which subject you spoke on and in which year. It was in school in 8th std on a subject of about water drainage system in amaravati. Suggestion - do not write such achievements. Better drop them. Anything which is more than 5-7 years old is almost irrelevant nowadays.
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23) Stated in one CV – “DESIRES: TO WORK HARD AND DEVELOP PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE.” This is not needed, simply drop it.
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24) Stated in CV – “I am currently working with a Practicing Cost Accountant and have handled following work:” This is waste of space. Simply put title or sub-title “work profile”
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25) Check how many times the word “I” appears in CV. Simply drop it. No need to have full sentences at all. e.g. “I was awarded .... prize” replace by – “ prize in.....”
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26) Do not give landline no. if it is likely to be lifted by family members who are not industry oriented. Only give cell no. There are experiences by HR managers - when they rang up landline nos. the previous generation family members talked in somewhat rough tone “kaun baat kar raha hai, kya kam hai” the opportunity for interview was lost by the person.
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27) Address stated as “vadodara, Gujarat, India.” address at the end should be given which postal dept or courier can find. It means give full address.
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28) Should CV be different for each position? - CV may not be very different. However, CV should be in tune with goal set or job profile demands.
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29) My CV is too long. What do I do?
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> Convert all sentences into bullet points.
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> use command find and replace and find all places where “and” word is used and replace it by “&”
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> check all words which make no meaning & drop them
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30) FAQ - should I have more than one CV?
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a) Yes, precisely that is why naukri.com or monster encourages 5 CVs CV should keep changing with respect to
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i) experience gained over time
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ii) new developments happening in your profession & your updation about that query - how frequently CV should be updated
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iii) Saying daily will be aggressive - try it weekly initially & then monthly.
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iv) Regular updation of CV will become a professional mirror for you. If here is no updation in CV in each month then think what value addition you are doing?
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v) Regular CV updation also ensures that employers & placement consultants who keep searching latest CVs give search on CVs which are in last 15 days. Your updated CV will always get picked up as latest CV.
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31) No need to state “The Institute of Cost and works Accountants of India, Kolkata” – ICWAI, Kolkata” is enough. This is an example of how to state maximum meaning in minimum words/letters.
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32) Should I state my University name or my college name? State one of them which has higher brand value.
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33) No need to state Bachelor of commerce (B.Com.) – stating B.Com. is enough.
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34) FAQ - 250 hours compulsory Computer course HOW TO STATE?

NIIT program 250 hours - ICWA institute program based (all other words are redundant)
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35) Worked with A & B (Partnership firm) in Bank Audit, Internal Audit and Individual Taxation from December 2003 to June 2004 as a part of ICWAI training curriculum.

State as follows:

Professional training - a & b, CWA firm Dec 03 to June 04

Work exposure - bank audit, internal audit, individual taxation
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36) Stated in CV “Passed M.Com. in Nov 2003” impact - our education system is Apr to Mar. So interviewer is bound to ask about passing in Nov. The discussion in NO case can go favorably to you. So better state “passed M Com in 2003”
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37) Stated in CV

Reference

Mr. Manoj Parikh

VP Baroda Textiles

Ensure to write cell (if not landline office/home), email, phone, designation, company of reference person while address not needed.
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38)The references should not be and need not be given in CV at all. Give them only when organisation gives you their standard form which is normally green. But if at all you give.
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39) Some are doing boxes for whole CV. in that first column contains only titles like, name, age, experience. Since 2nd column has lot of lines, first column contains lot of empty space. On the other hands, the second column contains sentences which are really congested. So avoid box format.
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41) Highlights in exams are represented by rank all India, – topper in city, college, branch, etc – first attempt in case of professional exams, in all exams or in finals or in inter or in foundation – if not overall marks high GPA in MBA or more than 55% marks in professional exam – if not, look for subject marks which are maximum - say about 80 or 70 or 65 or at least 60 state those with subject name.
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42) USP – Differentiators must be noticeable – show your CV to friends or relatives or mentors - to know whether these highlights are immediately noticeable or not. Bigger or different font size or colour will achieve that purpose.
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43) With all previous tips you have ensured following
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a) making CV short
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b) omitting useless and meaningless words
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c) cut out long sentences
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d) removed unnecessary details
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e) avoided anything which leads to finding negative points by interviewer.
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This provides you space to write more so as to focus on experience and achievements which is a key to good CV and most freshers are missing that part.
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45) One student had passed B Com in 2001, CWA in 2004 and M Com 2007. I recommended to drop the M Com qualification from the CV. Any question asked on that would have led to uncomfortable answers and frankly this additional degree does not show great highlight beyond CWA.
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Computer related
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1) Email body with attached CV in word file is normal way (no ppt, no pdf., no excel)
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2) Arial or times new roman fonts
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3) Font size 10 max 12
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Best wishes to get interview calls doors open.