Friday, March 26, 2010

Age Does Matter

A candidate sent me a resume for the post of Project Manager. I let out a chuckle when I read this…

Age: 48 (but looks younger in person, more like 38)

And the word 38 was highlighted bold.

In reality, we do face with some form of age discrimination. So, it would be na├»ve to think that age doesn’t matter.

If you are writing a resume, it’s good not to put your personal particulars right on page one. For some sample resumes, check out Allyhunt’s FREE sample resumes. It is in hybrid format which is very popular among recruiters and HR professionals.

FREE Sample Resumes

Instead, focus on your profile summary. Your strengths should be prominently highlighted.

If you are able to demonstrate your flexibility, eagerness to learn new things and familiarity with the latest technology that relates to your career path, you may still stand a good chance.

Not all employers discriminate. But most may have second thoughts of offering you on permanent basis. If you have the skills and expertise they are looking for, contract or freelance terms may be offered. In that regard, play a smart game by stating that in your resume to show your flexibility and openness to explore other types of employment.

I’ve a good friend who wrote about what to do after retirement. She has a very positive outlook of life and recently, she even took up a Master’s program. If you are in that age category, read it to be inspired.

Retirement - What Next?

Friday, March 19, 2010

But It's A Sales Job

Most people I know avoid sales jobs. When fresh graduates complained they can’t get a job, I suggested to them to try out sales jobs. The reply, “But, it’s a sales job!”

Sales job is avoided, is being frowned at, and is despised. The rationale is: I don’t study 3 years to end up in sales. Fair enough.

But check this out...

Warren Buffet’s first career was selling chewing gum from door-to-door.

Seth Godin was selling Biorhythms at the age of 14 and later involved in media sales.

Sam Walton sold magazine subscriptions when he was young.

Why sales job should not be shunned?

The best platform to meet new people and new opportunities.

With commission or incentive as part of the remuneration package, the sky is the limit in terms of earning power.

Your network of friends enlarged in no time.

A good starting point for any business venture later. Running a business well by definition is about putting your best selling skills forward.

Search for sales jobs in Malaysia

Ok, I got it. Sales job is not that bad after all. But....I am really scared talking to people, what more strangers..

You are right! It was said cold calling ranks up there together with public speaking and death in terms of fear. But if you are able to conquer it, you can almost overcome anything. Think about that.

Anyway, I stumbled upon this article. A good read.

Fight the fear: How to make a success of cold calling

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mediocrity Is Celebrated

My mom used to tell me when I was young, “Hey girl, whatever you do, make sure you don’t get too proud.” It was a mantra used not by the old folks to young people, afraid they may forget their roots(with good intentions) but even by peers during school days. When someone did well, we assumed the person has now become proud. “Dah jadi bongkak, orang tu.”

With that drumming into our young minds, we seldom flaunt our talents or gifts, afraid people may label us as “proud” people. Instead, we embrace average results and settled with mediocrity. We are programmed to reply, “No, I’m not that good lah” And we repeat that a hundred times! Until it had become part of us – self-fulfilled prophecy! Oh, how we celebrate mediocrity! Cos we are afraid if we come across as too good, we may be called “proud” or trying to show off.

And we brought this mentality to the workplace. We become like everyone else. We dare not perform too well less we’ll be labeled “si bodek”. So, we hide in a corner, give 70% of our effort and never our 100%. Again, mediocrity is to be celebrated.

Yes, blame it on our parents, on our school system, on our Asian culture.

By the time you realize you are a mediocre, surrounded by mediocres and hidden in a mediocre organization, you probably be hitting the 50 mark, and who gives a d**n then?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Keywords In Resumes

Keywords and keyword phrases are an important element in every resume of the 21st century. Today, the emergence of job portals that allow electronic skills search makes the exercise of putting the right keywords an almost a necessity.

Pause and take a minute to jot down your skills set and rephrase if necessary to reflect the common use in your respective field. For example, if you have done some in-house training on how to sharpen your staff selling skills, the proper keywords to put would probably be “Sales Training”.

So, go and get to know your keywords of your job specialization and industry.

As a guide, I am listing down the top 10 common keywords and keyword phrases for the sales, marketing and customer service.

1. Product development
2. Brand development

3. Corporate communications

4. Channel sales

5. Competitive market intelligence
6. Contract negotiations

7. Key account management
8. Customer relationship management

9. Sales presentations

10. Media affairs and press relations

Read further on resumes:-

Simple Truths About Resume Writing

Saturday, March 6, 2010

What To Do After Your Handbag Is Snatched?

Obviously, what I’m about to blog is not about work. My friends heard about my little unpleasant encounter and suggested that I list down the things to do especially on documents replacement so that others can benefit if ever such unfortunate incident should happened to anyone. My prayer is that you won’t and you don’t have to refer to this check list.

Anyway, here goes…

1. Get to the nearest phone. Call all my banks to cancel and bar my ATM cards and credit cards. Call my telephone operator, in my case was Maxis, to temporarily suspend my number until I apply for new SIM card.

2. Go to the nearest police station and make a report. Check the details of your report before you leave. Do not assume all data were keyed-in correctly. In my case, my name and birth dates were typed incorrectly and they have to make amendments. Well, don't ask me further on what I think of our police force.

3. Since my incident happened in the mid-morning, I’ve ample time to go to the nearest Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara to report and apply for new MyKad. With the police report, no fee is charged. I took the opportunity to also change other details, like my house address. I was given a temporary MyKad and I will only be getting my real one three weeks from then. I can either call or check from their portal: on when my card is ready for collection.

4. Next, I went to Maxis Centre to apply for my new SIM card. It costs RM25 for a new sim card plus RM10 activation fee. Too bad they won’t allow exception for snatched phones. It took about 2 hours to get myself connected after.

5. The next destination was the Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan to get my new driving license. I was told any photo would do but it’s wrong information. They only want colour photograph and no black and white. I went to the same place twice in a day because of this misinformation. Again, with the police report, no fee or penalty incurred. You can even take the opportunity to further renew your expiry date. By the way, all the driving details are stored in the MyKad including the temporary one.

6. My credit cards replacement are said to be on their way. It's been slightly more than a week now. What shall I say?

7. And as for my ATM card, different banks may vary slightly in their policies but most hold the view that you need to have your MyKad before you can apply for your new ATM card. If you need to get some fast cash, I was told by a Maybank Officer that I can present my police report and my temporary MyKad at the counter of any branch to get cash. I have yet to verify this step.

After all these, I can then begin to really mourn for my loss but count myself blessed for being alive to share my story. Someone told me, “If you have never been mugged or met with a car accident in your lifetime, you’ve not started to live…” Err…was I supposed to be comforted? He must be joking.