Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another Career Blog

Hi, just a short note to announce that I'm also blogging at Skorcareer. It's a site with loads of career information and besides Zul, the founder and principal contributor of the blog, they have an array of contributors that provide some great insights into the career world.

I started contributing beginning of this month. Here's a sample.

As Skorcareer exists earlier than The Working Gal, I'm sure you will find some great articles in their archives.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My First 30 Seconds When Screening Resumes

Yes, 30 seconds is all it takes for a resume to make an impression. And I can tell you it can be less than 15 seconds to make up my mind if the first few things I am looking for in screening a resume are not found.

So, what exactly are the first few things that most recruiters look for so that your resume has more than the 30 seconds view time?

1. Overall layout – at one glance, it’s presentable to the eyes. Have the right headings at the right places. Use paragraphs and bullets to highlight facts. And you show your face - photograph indicates you are confident and serious.

2. Skills set – that’s the next thing I go for. I look for the heading "Professional Skills" or "Skills Set". Ok, the skills are clearly listed with proficiency stated as well as years of experience. I then checked these skills against your responsibilities and accomplishments section of current and past employment. Checked - bravo, you indeed possess these skills!

3. Writing skills. Now I would take a good look at your profile summary. No spelling mistake. Good grammar was employed. Well expressed. Now, I start to like you...

And there goes the 30 seconds…if your resume passed this point, I will then have a second round of scrutiny and explore other details such as your total years of experience, the companies you work with, and etc. so that a better picture of who you are as a candidate is now slowly unraveled.

Want to know more about resume writing:-

Simple Truths About Resume Writing

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Make Peace With Imperfection

Whatever I do is just not good enough for her...

Sounds familiar?

Probably you have just found yourself working with a perfectionist.

I personally had on many occasions worked with perfectionists. And when come to bosses, it can be a nightmare. I remember this perfectionist boss shouting at me on a beautiful morning to get a scratch from a staircase railing removed (he thought I was God) because he cannot tolerate even a scratch – for that little scratch irritates him, get on his nerves , it made him mad. From then on, I met a couple of more perfectionists and I like to compare them with this ex-boss of mine. How perfectionist is this perfectionist? ..I will start analyzing.

I concluded that an absolute perfectionist never get to enjoy inner peace. They always wore a frown on their faces, words that came out from their lips were always filled with complaints and when you hang around them long enough, you may even catch the perfectionist bug!

Do we need this type of people in the work place? Ironically, people who are very hard on others are usually very hard on themselves. They set high targets for themselves as their need of achievement is extremely high. Read about McCllelands’s three basic needs of employees. In other words, there are people that tend to be more perfectionist than others because of this need. The good news is that there are positions in the company that you would not mind a true perfectionist sitting on them such as Accountants and Engineers. Recruiters will spot for hints of perfectionist in these candidates and if they have it, we say they probably fit the job better than someone who does not.

But let’s get this right – imperfection is part of life. Whatever vocation we are in, we should not cease to do our best but it would turn out to be a problem when we are overly attached and focused on what’s wrong. I think it’s good to realize that while there’s always a better way of doing something, that does not mean we cannot enjoy and appreciate the way things already are.

I like one saying – as you begin to eliminate your need for perfection in all areas of your life, you’ll begin to discover the perfection in life itself. And you know what, that would really free many of us from taking ourselves too seriously. So, chill out, will ya...:)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Medical Detective Courses In Malaysia

UiTM has just announced that they are offering Medical Detective course. The course is open for application for its June/July intake this year.

Its vice-chancellor Datuk Prof Ir Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar said, “I have informed the UiTM executive committee on the introduction of the courses during my first day as the vice-chancellor. Some lecturers and university staff members questioned whether such moves were too drastic. I said it wasn’t drastic, just accelerated,” he said in an interview with mStar Online.

I wonder what kind of syllabus is covered for this course. Apparently, they realized that foreign forensic experts are necessary to facilitate the course.

Of late, I’ve been reading Sherlock Holmes stories. I enjoyed the stories very much. It would be quite interesting to bump into people equipped with such knowledge and skills in Malaysian streets one of these days.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why employers are afraid to pay higher than the market rate for a young talent?

Hey, this guy has less than 1.5 years of experience and he’s already getting RM3200? What’s more? This guy has the guts to believe he’s ready for the project manager post?

Why not? I asked.

But he’s way too young and he should not be expecting anything more than RM3200 within such a short span of time.

So, what are you suggesting? I looked with dismay.

Well, can you get me someone older with more years of experience with income more in line with the current market?

You want a good one. I get you a real good one – someone that his current employer quickly raised his salary and promoted him to an Acting Head post within a short period of time because they knew a gem when they saw one – and now you’re telling me you want someone else – in other words, someone “average” like everyone else! Of course, I didn’t blurt out my thoughts aloud. Your wish is my command, sir…

Why employers are afraid to pay higher than the market rate for a young talent? What are they afraid of?

1. Making the wrong decision (but hey, that’s what a probation period is for!)

2. Do not wish to disturb the company salary policy and get a lecture from the HR Department (you didn’t try, you never knew. Try a bit of persuasion and have a little bit more faith of the HR people, will ya?)

3. People like that that get paid so high so fast usually have a lot of ideas and they think they are very smart. I won’t want to deal with an inflated ego later (ahem, you’d rather be surrounded by yes men, don’t you?)

4. No way. We cannot spoil the market like that. (You think by refusing to make an offer, you are helping to maintain some balance in the salary market?)

5. Getting a smart fella in can be threatening to the hirer (that looks more like the real reason…)

We’ve heard adages, “HR is the most important asset in an organization” “Your people can either make or break you.” and so forth. Getting the right people is so crucial – how many times we walked into a restaurant and said we won’t come back again because of bad service – that’s a classic example of people “breaking” the company.

Why get an average guy when you can get a real talent – pay a little extra but the returns may be more than you can imagine?