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'How can I improve my accent?'

July 24, 2009 10:12 IST

How important is a well-written CV in the job hunting process?

How can you make your CV more dynamic?

Should you follow up with a prospective employer after you send them your CV?

Is your accent preventing you from landing your dream job?

What are the requirements BPO companies demand from new recruits? 

To address these and other related queries, Nasha Fitter, communications expert and author of the recently launched book You're Hired! How to get that job and keep it toohosted a chat with readers on July 10. For those of you who mised the chat, here's the unedited transcript:   

Nasha Fitter says, Hi everyone! Thank you for joining the chat! I'm ready to take your questions now.

Nasha Fitter says, Sneha, Good places to search for jobs are sites like TimesJobs and Naukri. Additionally local newspapers can be helpful. Last, there are various training companies that also act as recruitment firms for BPO's.

sharad asked, how can communication be continuously be improved?

Nasha Fitter answers, Sharad, good question. To improve communicatin continuously, there are lots of things you can do on your own. First, start reading everyday, for at least thirty minutes. Good magazines like the Economist or BusinessWeek are great. Or, just read anything you like. Practice reading passages out loud. Take into account the way sentences are constructed and if you understand them. There are plenty of tapes that help you improve your English as well, and that may also be an inexpensive solution. And lastly, watch television shows -- American or British sitcoms and news shows.

neeta asked, i will be applying to a voice bpo. any tips on questsyins to expect?

Nasha Fitter answers, If you are going for a voice based call center job, then how you communicate is very important. Focus on brushing up grammar, pronunciation, pace and tone. Also, look through tips I have given others on Rediff for preparing for interviews.

PagalAadmee asked, Hi Nasha, What do you suggest to neutralize accent ?

Nasha Fitter answers, Accent neutralization means achieving an accent that is "neutral" and therefore understandable to a global audience. You can start neutralizing your accent by breathing more while you speak (especially for the "P, K, T, TH" sounds) and by bringing your tongue down for the "R" sound.

raj asked, how to make a dynamic cv?? there are many experts to make but which shud b preferred??

Nasha Fitter answers, An excellent resume is comprised of good content and presentation. Make sure your content is relevant, clear and easy to follow. Do not simply list what you have done -- each bullet point should include what you did, how you did it, and why you did it (how the task helped your organization). Presentation consists of structure and formatting. For example, margins should all be aligned, the same style of bullet point should be used for the entire resume and fonts should be professional. The best thing to do is buy a book on putting together resumes -- choose a book that has a good amount of sample resumes. Look on Microsoft Office online for templates to follow.

mayank`1 asked, GM Madam 1. what is the importance of CV. Should the CV be written by professional exert. 2. during interview what is the best answer for giving reasons for change of job. 3. what are contents in your book and how it should be beneficial for job aspirants. 4. when shall the book be available in market. 5 what is the future of BPO industry for the next decade and whether TELECOM backend process shall grow further thanks in advance.

Nasha Fitter answers, Mayank, let me try and answer a couple of your questins. First, Human-resource managers are concerned with attrition and want to make sure you will not "jump ship" if lured with extra money. If you are genuine about the reasons you want to work in the company it will be evident that you won't be tempted to leave quickly. When talking about changing a job, always focus on the positives. Convey that you are enjoying your current job but are looking for new growth opportunities. In terms of content of my book, the book covers everything a young job seeker needs to find a good job, or keep the job they have. It covers English grammar, pronunciation, interpersonal skills, how to apply for a job, how to tackle an interview, and basic etiquette. The book is also already available in the market!

tk asked, my biz requires to be self motivated all time ( life insurance and investments ) -- Pls. can u suggest some autobiography books which i can read to keep my motivation level UP , as in my biz to many rejection - u get demotivated fast !! thxs

Nasha Fitter answers, I love this question, thank you for asking it! I myself always read autobiographies as I find them very motivational. Right now I am reading Barack Obama's autobiography which is very good. I just finished India's 50 Most Illustrious Women by Indra Gupta which was also excellent.

misha asked, hi, is there an optimum lenth for CVs. i usually submit a 6-page one

Nasha Fitter answers, 6 pages is very long unless you are a PhD! My suggestion is always to keep your CV under 2 pages.

ramesh asked, I am always in doubt about the important question in any intrw : Tell me about yourself?? where to start and when to end. what all the points to mention.

Nasha Fitter answers, You must introspect and figure out why you would be interesting to a potential employer. Are you ambitious? Are you hard-working? Are you lovable? What is it that makes you different from others? Sit down and seriously analyze this question. Make a list of personality attributes. Then pick the ones that would most likely be seen as important at a work setting. For example, perhaps you are friendly – an employer would view this as an essential attribute for seamless integration with team-members and superiors.

upendra asked, hi madam, my english grammer is very good but i fear before talk to others plz suggest me some tips to speak in public

Nasha Fitter answers, Don't be too hard on yourself, most people think speaking in public is frightening! Your level of confidence is probably tied to your level of English fluency. My guess is that you become too conscious of the way you speak and this lowers your confidence. So tackle this problem first. Start reading business magazines out loud in front of a mirror. Ask others how you sound when you speak. Tape record yourself and see where you can correct yourself and improve. In the end, good public speaking takes lots of practice.

keyur asked, hello nasha..i wil be joining a job in few days.have got my joining letter.pls advise on what shud be my strategy and approach towards the job initially?

Nasha Fitter answers, Here are a few tips for you: 1. Be positive, always. 2. Don't take things personally. 3. Dress well and professionaly. 4. Take initiative and show drive and passion for whatever it is you are doing.

anu asked, hi!....i have one query that 'tell me abt yourself' should include my family details also

Nasha Fitter answers, I do not believe in including family matters in a resume as it can be seen as unprofessional.

raj asked, After sending CV to the company , shud follow ups b done to know abt the status??

Nasha Fitter answers, Yes absolutely! As I explain in chapter 28 of my book, I suggest waiting 3 days before following up. And when making your first follow-up phone call, I would suggest saying something like, "Hi, my name is X. I emailed my CV to you this Monday regarding a possible position in your X department. I just wanted to confirm you received my CV".

Debasis asked, Good afternun, Well Madam, in my work exp I think 98% probelm is effective communication and 2 % technical ?? what r ur views

Nasha Fitter answers, Well I definitely agree that effective communication is very important. The sole reason I wrote my book is that I noticed many of my students with very good technical skills would get rejected from jobs because of their communication skills. That is why just having strong technical skills is not good enough.

himmet asked, my friends tease me abt my south indian accent.. will it be a prob in job interviews?

Nasha Fitter answers, Don't worry that your friends tease you. :) There is nothing wrong in having a strong accent. It only becomes a problem if you are unclear to the other person. You may just want to focus on softening a few of your consonant sounds. Especially for the P, K and T consonant sounds. Also it is important to elongate vowel sounds and slow down your rate of speech.

eee asked, what is the name of your book Natasha?

Nasha Fitter answers, It is "You're Hired! How to get that job and keep it too."

shu asked, If I have done around 10 projects in my past experience. Should I include all the projects in my CV? if yes should I need to briefly explain each project or just I need to give project name and my role in that project?

Nasha Fitter answers, No, you should not include all 10 projects. Only include the ones that are the most impactful, and the ones that you can explain briefly. Also choose the projects that are most relevant for the job you are applying to.

sgupta asked, nasha, i want to make money in a BPO - can I say that's the reason why?

Nasha Fitter answers, To answer this question you really need to ask yourself why you want to join the BPO industry. Many young people make the mistake of taking jobs only for the money without thinking of their long term career goals. When you are just starting out in your career, it is important that you are in a place where you will learn the skills you lack. So, think about what, other than money, you will gain from working in a BPO.

rupal asked, Hi Mam, good afternoon, i am not geeting the type of job which i want so will it be right for me to do a different job which is also equally challenging

Nasha Fitter answers, If the equally challenging job will help you to achieve your long term career goals, then I would go for it. Always keep your longer term career goals in mind when making short term decisions.

avinash asked, hello madam. i have good communication skill but i m quite by nature and makes me less important in crowd. Can you give me some advice madam what shud i do...

Nasha Fitter answers, It is not how much you speak, but what you say and how you say it!

Nasha Fitter says, Thank you everyone for joining that chat! It is time for me to log off. I wish you all the best as you look for your dream job, or try to advance in your current one.

Nasha Fitter says, Also, I will be hosting more chats. Join us next Friday at noon.