Thursday, July 30, 2009

Top 10 Online Job Sites in Malaysia

Finding jobs has never been easier these days. More than a decade ago, almost 80% of jobs are found through newspapers but now, the easiest and most convenient way of looking for jobs are not through print media but online job sites. This is especially true for fresh graduates as most entry-level jobs are advertised online.

This list is compiled by Jobzing

According to them, the 10 Best Job Sites in Malaysia are:-

1. JobsDBMalaysia

2. JobStreet Malaysia

3. Job Clearing System (the link cannot be found)

4. Best Jobs Malaysia

5. JenJobs

6. Malaysia Jobs Directory (not a job site per se but listed some suggested sites)

7. Malaysia Central (again, not a job site per se but Info Portal & Malaysian Local Search Directory)

8. Allyhunt

9. Recruit Malaysia (again, not a job site but using search technology to crawl the internet to find job listings from other sites)

10. TipTopJob Malaysia

Since four out of ten in the above list are either not job sites in the actual sense or link not found, let me replace them with others that I believe are quite good and active ones. Before that, let me caution that there are other smaller job sites out there but credibility may be questionable, i.e., jobs advertised may be scams or not real jobs but put up by the site owners without the permission of the employers or recruiters.

The additional four:-

1. Monster

2. Star-Jobs Online

3. JobsBroadway

4. Kareer.com.my

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

10 Career Blogs by Malaysian Bloggers

The majority of Malaysian bloggers blog about personal stuffs, with a few popular bloggers that did well in topics related to politics, entertainment and latest technology/IT gadgets. I scouted hard to find some good Malaysian bloggers that blog about career and work but unfortunately, only a handful was found. Some posted good articles but have not been blogging for the past few months and therefore did not make it to this list.

I think fresh graduates should read career blogs, not only to obtain some information about job interview tips and career guide but also a glimpse of the real working world especially in Malaysia context that you may not get them from reading books alone.

The 10 Career Blogs by Malaysian Bloggers. Check them out and bookmark if you like them.

1. Ally Blog

Two Categories: Work Talk & Take Five. Work Talk is on tips sharing from attending interviews to picking the right talent, relevant to both job seekers and employers.

2. Alvin Lim – The Dreamer

Categories include business, career, jokes, office life and other general stuffs.

3. AsiaPartTime.com

Their tag line says it all- Your Trusted Part Time Job & Freelance Job Community Blog

4. Black Zedd

A corporate satire blog, updated with satirical and humorous commentary on the corporate world, including career advice, management tips, business strategies and marketing tactics.

5. Blogstreet

From Jobstreet.com

6. Career Blog

From Jobsdb Malaysia

7. Jobsbroadway Career Blog

Using the blog to connect job seekers with their job site.

8. SkorCareer

Providing quality career information for its visitors in casual and hopefully enlightening ways. To help their readers to build, enhance and develop their own future.

9. Strategi Kerja

Blog in Bahasa Malaysia, on career development and some sharing from the blogger’s personal life.

The 10th? Aha… you guess it right - this blog. The Working Gal is essentially a career blog and the blogger is 100% Malaysian.

Any other career blogs by Malaysian bloggers to recommend?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Twitter Story: should we beware?

“Let’s tweet it!” – a new phrase is in town! Lots of people predicted Twitter is the next big thing after Facebook. A lot of publicity was given by the media to Twitter and so far it has been good news for them.

Until I read an article in the Cyberspot, Malay Mail Daily today.



Twitter apparently has been intruded by hackers with news of Twitter accounts belonging to celebrities being hacked. Not only that, an intruder called “Hacker Croll” has even managed to break into various accounts owned by one of Twitter’s owners, Evan Williams and his wife, including PayPal, Amazon, Gmail and MobileMe. But more frighteningly is this – this hacker apparently had managed to make off with hundreds of confidential documents connected to Twitter’s operations and plans, and sent them to other online media sites including rival, TechCrunch.

Hackers have been around for ages and for any website owners or anyone that has an account with any internet sites – we are the vulnerable lot and are not spared from the threat of having our private information being exposed. To those who believe our private information stored in internet will be 100% secured need to think again. If it can happened to Twitter, one of the best technology companies, it can happen to anybody!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Top 10 Job Interview Questions

Someone who has just graduated and has less than one year experience asked me to blog about the common job interview questions to be expected for fresh graduates or graduates that have less than 3 years of working experience.

First off, there are a few interviewing techniques that are being used at present, depending on the type of organization, position and job level. Most established companies or multinationals may already embarked on what we called competency-based or behavioral interviewing techniques to help determine how competent candidates are in the key areas critical for success. However, many have not migrated to that approach and still use the traditional approach in which questions were asked to help employers make decisions about candidates based simply on whether or not they like them. And some professional firms such as accounting and law firms may focus on whether the candidate meets their basic credentials in terms of qualification and grades.

In Malaysia, most employers use a mixture of competency-based and traditional methods of interviewing techniques. The following is a compilation of top 10 basic interview questions that you would expect, commonly found in your first interview.

1) Tell me about yourself.

Take this question seriously as it is usually asked at the very beginning – remember, interviewers almost made up their minds about you during the first five minutes. This question allows you to express almost anything and that’s the problem, because you have to make the decision on what the details to include and exclude about yourself. So, the right thing to do is to write down a summary of your career goals, qualification, experience and skills/talent before you attend the interview. A summary gives a bird’s eye view of the type of person you are projecting. It should be concise, yet contains all the information that’s needed, and should not come across as long-winded.

Tip: It’s best to stick with your “professional” history, i.e., do not include your goals of marrying before reaching 28 or having 3 kids after. View this question as an opportunity to “sell” your talent!

2) Why did you leave your last job?

Employers usually do reference checks before a hire. So, cheating or being evasive is not such a good idea. Nevertheless, it is equally a bad idea to tell-it-all when the reason of leaving is due to a fall off with your superior or colleague – for such cases, keep the explanation as brief as possible. Do not whine or criticize unnecessarily. The interviewer is not a place that you should find solace with and believe me, you won’t get much sympathy even if you are a true victim of company politics.

3) What are your greatest strengths?

Share your strengths by quoting past experiences. If possible, use the result of your past evaluation form to make your case stronger. A letter of testimonial would work powerfully here. An interviewer would be more convinced of what other people said about you than you blowing your own trumpet.

4) Why did you choose this career?

Pay attention to this question for any serious interviewer will ask this to establish the link between your motivation to apply for the job and the criteria of the position. If you apply for the job merely because there wasn’t anything available out there, you have just cut off your chances to be hired.

5) How would your superior describe you?

When was the last performance appraisal exercise? Do you have a copy of the results? If not, are you able to recall what was transpired? Highlight the positives and play down on the negatives but make sure you do not lie as a quick reference check will spill the beans anyway.

6) What is your greatest achievement so far?

There may be many achievements in the past but select one that gives you an advantage for the job that you are now applying. If possible, identify the competency for the applied job so that your example of the past achievement increase the likelihood of you repeating the same results in the future.

7) What do you see yourself in three to five years time?

Talk about in terms of growing together with a dynamic company or work towards a position of higher responsibility indicates to the interviewer that you are a serious worker that plans his/her career ahead.

8) Why should we hire you?

Talk in terms of your strengths and how you can contribute to that position with your experience and skills. The key is to show to the interviewer the confidence that you exudes but avoid “over selling” that portrays desperation. A brief summary should suffice and make sure your points jive well with the earlier questions on your career goals and a summary of who you are. As you would notice by now, some questions are inter-linked and you must ensure your answers do not contradict each other but rather, consistent throughout.

9) What can you tell us about our company?

It is a question to test your seriousness in working with them. A serious jobseeker would do his homework by doing some background findings. Finding out the background of the company has become easier now as most companies have a web presence.

10) What is your expected salary?

This usually takes place at the end of the interview. If you have put down the figure in your resume, the interviewer is likely to ask as a matter of confirmation. The interviewer is checking to assess whether the hiring of you would meet or exceed their budget. If you are not sure the market rate for the position now, it’s always wise to check around prior to the interview so that you won’t look like a fool asking either too little or be seen as over-demanding.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Top 30 active employment agencies in Malaysia

How do I qualify “active”? It can be quite subjective and let me begin by saying that this directory is not exhaustive. I deem these employment agencies as active when they are seen visibly hunting for people through advertisements in print media as well as online job sites. Therefore, this list does not include those that are doing high-level head hunting work that often do not advertise their positions in any of the mentioned media.

1. Adecco
2. AMI Management Services
3. Asia Recruit
4. Beyonder
5. Bon
6. Bostonweb iPlacement
7. Bright Prospect
8. Career Medi
9. Career Telstar
10. ChrisJac
11. Cityrecruit
12. Crest Force
13. GMP
14. iFORTE
15. Intelek
16. JAC
17. Job Hunt
18. Jobsmart
19. Jobsworld
20. Kelly Services
21. Manpower Staffing Services
22. People Source
23. Peoplenet Associates
24. Prestasi Unggul
25. Recruit Express
26. RecruitFinder
27. Select Appointments
28. Selection Search
29. TG Malaysia
30. Volt Asia Enterprises

Click here for Jobs in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malaysia


DISCLAIMER: Note – The above list is not compiled using a well-researched methodology or process. It is solely a compilation based on the blogger's personal observation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Career Fair - Snap-A-Job 2009


Snap-A-Job 2009 is a joint-event between the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and Prestariang Systems Sdn Bhd, together with its partners to provide on-site job matching for all IT-related graduates from public universities especially those who have attended Prestariang’s Program Pentauliahan Profesional (3P).

Prestariang’s 3P partners and employers from multinationals, government-linked and local firms including MSC-status companies will take part in this event. Graduates will have the opportunity to speak directly with Human Resource representatives from the organisations, thus giving them a greater chance to be employed on the spot.

During Snap-A-Job 2009, representatives from different organisations will accept CVs, answer questions about job opportunities as well as conduct interview sessions. In addition, there will be soft skill seminar and career talks from the industry.

Target is to have about 40 participating employers from:
• Multi-National companies
• Government-linked companies
• Local firms including MSC-status companies

Some of the confirmed exhibitors are as follows:-
Allyhunt.com
• Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad
• Dell Global Business Center Sdn Bhd
• Great Eastern Life Assurance (M) Bhd
• Hewlett Packard Malaysia
• Mimos Berhad
• Silverlake System Sdn Bhd
• Telekom Malaysia Berhad


So, head your way to PWTC, Kuala Lumpur tomorrow (Thursday, July 23rd 2009), from 8:30am to 6pm.

Happy JOB shopping, eh...:)

Top 10 dumbest things ever said in an interview

When you did not plan for your job interview, you plan to fail. It’s as simple as that.

In my years of experience as a recruiter, I've seen plenty of candidates sabotaging themselves during job interviews. Many in fact determined their destiny in the first five minutes. Ramblings about your problem of getting a parking and a limp hand shake are things that you should avoid.

And here are the top 10 dumbest questions or statements made. Avoid these gaffes that could cost you a great job.

1. Before we begin, may I know how much you can pay me? Salary package should never be raised at the beginning of the interview. Always leave it at the end or sometimes, defer it till you are short listed for the second interview.

2. May I know what does this company do? You don’t know what the company’s business is and dare you ask the interviewer? Do your homework before the interview. This question implied that you are not serious about the job at all.

3. I was very busy the past few days and can’t get the resume updated. I have also forgotten to make copies of my certificates. In other words, you are telling your potential employer that you are disorganized and probably cannot see through any project or assignment. You have just shown yourself the exit door. (read my entry on 10 Things You Bring To An Interview)

4. Before we go too deep into the discussion, can you tell me upfront what exactly the job is all about? Never asked this too early in an interview unless you are faced with an incompetent interviewer that is not leading the interview to any direction.

5. This is rather confidential but I am going to share with you anyway. Never go overboard in sharing private and confidential matters about past or present employers. You will make the interviewer wonder if you can be trusted.

6. I don’t like to talk bad about my boss but…. Being negative and critical about your current or past employers or colleagues is a major turnoff and will make your value as a potential employee drop immediately.

7. You didn’t ask me this question but let me tell you…. Giving answers to a question that was not asked because you have been preparing your perfect answer the whole night. Mistake!

8. I don’t really have any weaknesses oh yeah…you’re right! Are you implying we finally found the perfect person in the whole wide world?

9. I’m not the type that likes to wait too long for an answer. Can you tell me NOW whether I got the job or not? Aggressive candidates can be quite scary and interviewers probably not keen to have you as a colleague either.

10. I have no question - when asked whether you have any question to ask at the end of the interview. No question even given the opportunity to ask indicates your level of interest right away. Do you care about the job in the first place?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Top 10 things you must do to qualify as internet citizens

“Do you use the internet?”

If this question is posed to professionals, probably 10 out of 10 people will tell you they do.

“How often do you use?”

Perhaps 8 out of 10 will tell you …”almost everyday”.

“Why do you go into internet?”

Ahhh…this is where the answer varies.

The most common one would be, “To check my mails.”

The second, “To google search something.”

The third reason probably, “To read news.”

Of course, there is no internet organization that tells us, “Hey users, you want to apply for citizenship with the Internet, you got to fulfill these criteria!”

But, let’s say there is a list of activities you must have done in the internet for you to get the citizenship, would you qualify?

Check yourself with these 10 activities. Have you or have you not?

1. Possess a web mail account – and using emails to do your correspondence.

2. Use instant messaging such as Yahoo Chat or MSN Messenger to get into real time virtual conversations.

3. Make use of E-commerce to make online purchases and not afraid of leaving down your credit card number.

4. File sharing – a simple example is using YouTube to upload your video and share with the world.

5. Member of social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster, MySpace, Twitter and etc. to get connected with friends and associates.

6. Own a blog or at least visit a number of regular blogs that you read and participate actively by making comments.

7. Registered and belong to some live communities or user groups.

8. Participate in online games.

9. Check out forums or sites that serve to hold discussions on specified topics.

10. If you are in employment, you should at least have an account with an online job portal. If you are a business owner, a website - if not, you should at least dabble with online advertising.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

5 Things To Check Before You Get Into Self-employment

With the economy slow down, it had affected the performance of many companies. The morale among employees in such companies is generally low and many may felt frustrated with their job and some fearful of losing their jobs. A handful may take this time to toy with the idea of self-employment. But before you leave your day job, it’s good to pause and check these 5 things before you take the plunge.

1. Do you have enough cash to last for the next 12 months? You read success stories of self-employed people who made it. Most would tell you to let go your fears and pursue your dreams. It’s not as simple as that. Self-employment means you won’t enjoy receiving your steady monthly pay check. It usually takes some time to build your client base, longer to send out your first invoice and do not be surprised that the payment does not come in within the agreed time frame. In between, remember you still have your bills to pay and commitments to honor.

2. Do you have a business plan in place? A lot of businesses failed because there was no business plan. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. As clich├ęd as it sound, this is the first thing that you need to do. Check your motivation of getting into self-employment – is it merely due to frustration in your employment? If it is something that was decided at the spur of the moment and not something that you had been thinking for years, your business is unlikely to succeed. Working for yourself takes a lot of motivation – perseverance or staying power is easy said than experienced.

3. Are you willing to get your hands dirty? You will be the boss and every penny counts. If you can save, you will save. That means if you can save the cost of hiring an Electrician to pull the wiring, you would go for it. Are you willing to multi-task and learn to do the menial work as part and parcel of starting out on your own?

4. Are you willing to work long hours? If you think you are already working very hard and spending long hours in your employment, self-employed would demand more of that. Do not be deceived by what you see or hear about self-employed people having a lot of free time. For any starter, there is no free lunch. Even if your hands are not working, your mind is and you can’t help thinking and exploring new ideas to make your start-up worked.

5. Are you the type that can take risks and ready to lose everything? Every business that started out does not necessarily ends with profits and success. If anything, there are more failures than success. Is that something you can handle?

If you are not 100% sure self-employment is for you but your heart tells you strongly to go ahead, perhaps you can consider another option: part-time. Test the water first by giving yourself time to try out your business idea, without getting completely cut off from your day job. It usually works better this way!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

8 Reasons Why You Should NOT Work From Home

More and more people are joining the bandwagon of freelancing nowadays. It’s an attractive idea – tempting in every way especially if that means not having to wake up early in the morning and stuck in traffic jams.

Nobody Bosses Me Around

Freelancers conveniently work from home though not all work from home have to be freelancers. With all the hype and advantages bragged by freelancers, are you tempted to consider this option? I like the idea of working from home and had tried it before. Now, let’s turn to the other side of the coin and consider 8 good reasons why you should NOT work from home.

1. You wake up later and later – and being deceived that it was time saved from the traffic jam. When there is no fixed routine, discipline became an issue. Not everyone can handle that.

2. Not having meals at proper times– in office, you automatically know when to have lunch because there is the usual buzz at certain time of the day. At home, you need an alarm clock to alert you but who would do that?

3. Talking to yourself – and you don’t even realize until it hits you one day. Why took so long to realize because no one was there to tell you!

4. You count your friends in Facebook, LinkedIn and what not – but cannot even name a friend that you can call your lunch buddy. So sad…

5. All the nice dresses are collecting dust – waiting to wear them ONLY when you got invites for some functions. What a waste!

6. Domestic crisis – when your in-laws or kids are in the same house, most likely you will spend more time fixing something in the kitchen and helping with their homework than completing the work you set to do.

7. Work from home almost equates to working alone – you want to test out some ideas but cannot reach out to a colleague right away to share it. Though this can be compensated through msn or yahoo chats, nothing beats having a real person in front of you debating some sticky issues.

8. You may not get your pay check on time. This applies to almost every freelancer I know. When the money is not coming in and the bills need to be paid, that’s when you would envy all the full-time wage earners.



Source: Comics from Allyhunt.com

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

10 signs that you are having too much work stress

Work stress is common but if it’s too stressful, it can be dangerous. The symptoms are usually subtle but here are the 10 common signs – common because I had encountered them in some point of my working life.

1. Sleepless nights – adrenalin running high and your mind refuses to sleep.

2. Headaches – you have been taking on average 2 to 3 headache pills on every other day. Sometimes the pain is so great that you have to take migraine pills or some other stronger pain killers.

3. Coffee or cigarette – are you drinking or smoking more than you should?

4. Alcohol – thought it would give you some “high” and provide a temporary relief from your problem.

5. Forgetful – forgetting where you put your car keys, forgetting your neighbor’s name, and phrases or words escaped you even in simple conversations.

6. Critical and negative – you criticize every little thing that bothered you. People around you find you unfriendly and difficult, and sometimes irrational.

7. Low self esteem – you felt depressed. It seems your boss and colleagues are plotting something behind you. You are imagining all sorts of things including, “Are they finding me incompetent? Are they trying to get rid of me?”

8. Backache and neck pain – due to too much of sitting or leaning in a certain position.

9. No time for TV – and its not because you were having some social functions but all the TV time is now replaced with work brought back from office.

10. If you are married, it affects your…..well, you guess it right!

I’ll blog about my tips on avoiding too much stress some other time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Internet Acronyms In Thank You Note

When I first came across LOL in an email message, I thought it was an acronym of a dirty word, like people would spell s**t to be polite but everyone knows what the ** stands for. Of course, I was wrong and did a research and realized there is a host of other internet acronyms that baffled me. Some examples,

1. “Howru” means “How are you?”
2. “omg” means “oh my god”
3. “Iinm” means “If I’m not mistaken”
4. “imho” means “in my humble opinion”
5. “ttyl” means “talk to you later”
6. “cu l8r” means “See you later”

Or WLE which means "Wah Lau Eh" - that's my version.

Since internet acronyms are so commonly used now whether in emails or mobile text messages, “Is it okay to use them in our emails thanking the interviewer or recruiter after an interview?” In case you did not realize, it’s only polite and a standard practice to write a thank you note after an interview)

Well, the answer is “No.” A thank you note can be done through any form but it has to be composed like any formal letter. A mistake if you think you can make a better impression or trying to be friendly through your knowledge of these acronyms. It’s not appropriate, as simple as that.

You want to present your best professional self and there is no quicker way of destroying that than using these internet acronyms. Again, this is one of those interview ethics that we better heed less we regret later.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Interview Ethics

There is a list of interview ethics I can blog about. But today I am going to say something as simple as “keeping posted”.

Candidate A was short listed for a second interview. Did not turn up for interview and did not call. Employer naturally call me to ask, “Why ah?” And I will be scratching my head. When called, candidate A will come out with various excuses. “Oh, please…don’t give me the ….!”, I would think to myself. Now, for this case - at least, he picked up the call.

The worst case is when candidate A did not pick up the call at all. And you really wouldn’t know what happened to him. He may genuinely get stuck somewhere or involved in an accident (though in my experience, this is so unlikely but yet, I always give the candidate the benefit of doubt). And now come to the part of my job that I hated most - called the client and said, “I don’t know what happened to him. Err…I can’t seem to get hold of him on the phone.”

Why is this happening? Is it too much to ask of the candidates?

My verdict: Malaysian candidates have a long way to go in the courtesy department.



Source: Comics from Allyhunt.com

Sunday, July 12, 2009

10 Things You Bring To Job Interviews

It may seem queer to others but do you know that many candidates when short listed for an interview would still ask this question - What shall I bring for the interview? "Isn't the answer obvious?" - sounds the logical answer but usually, I ended up answering the candidate nonetheless. With this post, I hope to stop being a broken record, eh.

So, job seekers, once and for all, this is what you should be bringing...

1. Your Resume
2. Original Certificates especially your highest qualification
3. Passport-sized photograph
4. Latest payslip
5. I.C.
6. A copy of item (2), (4) & (5)
7. Your best professional attire
8. Confidence
9. Smile
10. Brains with good memory bank (you definitely need to recall quite a bit)

And don't ever get upset if the interviewer did not ask any or some of the items above (no. 1 to 6). It may not be their standard recruitment practice but in interviews, it's always better to be safe than to regret later.

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Top 5 Reasons Why Computers Must Be Female

I stumbled upon this in a joke book.

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
2. Even your smallest mistakes are immediately committed to memory for future reference.
3. The native language used to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
4. The message, "Bad command or file name," is about as informative as "If you don't know why I'm mad at you, then I'm certainly not going to tell you."
5. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your pay cheque on accessories for it.



I've a sneaky suspicion that this was composed by a female, and a married one too. Hmmnn...

Top 100 Career Blogs

Cyberspace made things so easy now. With a click of a button, you can obtain all the information you need. No more excuses, guys! You just need to google search…as easy as that! I did a search on career blogs and noticed there was actually a compilation of career blogs done by someone. Now, that leaves me wonder whether my blog would make any difference since there are so many others out there, rite? Well, in a way, I do feel intimidated but then, if I know the purpose of why I started this blog, I shall not be perturbed. Who knows, the working gal may be in this list one day.

Career 100

In case you don’t know, one of them that made into the list is a Malaysian blogger and he is in my list of blogs that I enjoy reading. Bravo to him! Malaysia Boleh, eh?