Engineering and IT Jobs

Monday, September 29, 2008

Remaining Relevant in The Workplace

Want to keep up to date and growing in your workplace? Read up for tips.

Remaining Relevant in The Workplace
by Kelly Services

Are your talents being recognized? Are you in a job that is allowing your career to develop? If not, then now is the time to assess your employability, perhaps consider moving jobs and making that all-important move up the career ladder. But knowing how to get the ball rolling for yourself, so that you can develop your own career plan, requires some serious thinking and careful planning and that's where leading recruitment organizations like Kelly Services can help.

Know yourself
If you are to win at work then you need to understand yourself. Have a clear picture of your own strengths and weaknesses, identify what makes you successful and what doesn't and try to make sure that your job is one that plays to your strengths. We all have weaknesses and if you have something which you feel might hold you back then stop worrying about it and take some action. There are very few difficulties that can't be overcome one way or another.

Set your goalsEveryone needs to have both professional and personal goals in life. If you want to achieve them you need to set some measurements for yourself on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis. If you don't know what you want then you'll know when you've got it.

Update your skills
Make sure you are getting the right training at work to enable you to do your job effectively. If you aren't then make your Human Resource Manager aware of why you need certain training and be enthusiastic about wanting it. If the training is not offered in-house then find out who runs the course you want, where you can do it, when and how much it will cost. Outside of your workplace you can enhance your interpersonal skills with activities such as competitive sport which is brilliant for team building or perhaps acting which is a big confidence booster for many people.

Everyone talks about commitment these days but it is absolutely crucial that you believe in the organization you work for and respect the senior management who are leading it. You have to be in tune with the company philosophy, understand the company strategy, its direction - know where it is that the company is going and make sure that you are on the same train going in the same direction. Without this sense of commitment you lose something in terms of motivation and enthusiasm for the job.

Make your voice heard
There is a real difference between making your voice heard, i.e. bring assertive, and being aggressive. Don't be too pushy and alienate yourself from other people particularly your peer group because their support and respect for you is vital if you want to get on. Develop the art of timing, of presenting your ideas and views logically, of making sure that they will work and of being receptive of other people's ideas.

Take Responsibility
Being able to take responsibility and to take the consequences of that responsibility is absolutely crucial. Taking responsibility is about taking ownership. As companies move towards a flat management structure it has two main consequences. First, more junior jobs are becoming more responsible and more interesting but this greater level of empowerment for individuals also mean that you have to be able to cope with more pressure both physical and mental. It may be that suddenly you find yourself reporting to a Board Director with no-one in between which can be difficult. It may require some changes in the way you operate but it's not impossible.

As you become more senior in your career and career becomes more global as business increasingly shift to be 24/7, it is likely that you will not be working a 9-5 routine, and that you may have to travel, stay away from home and plan your own schedule. Companies need to see that you are prepared to be flexible to do the job that needs doing wherever it needs doing. A critical factor here is having a partner who is empathetic to the requirements of your job, who understands how important it is for you to be able to develop your career and who gives you support at home.

The importance of networking both within your own organization and outside cannot be underestimated. Internally it is important that you are respected and seen as being helpful in your peer group and it also helps if you are liked. Try to be the sort of people that other people like to bounce ideas off or ask advice from - be prepared to put yourself out for others. Outside the office you should be developing contacts with other like minded people so that you can provide mutual help to one another. If you want to get on in your career then getting to know the right people can help you get ahead.

The value of having a mentor at work provides an ideal environment for positive career development. Ideally at a more senior level, your mentor should be someone you respect, who doesn't have any direct line responsibility for you and who represents good working practices. It is with your mentor that you can discuss difficulties about your job, the people you work with etc. without any fear of repercussion. Your mentor will also be able to give you an objective view of situations and provide helpful advice. While you may be looking for a mentor it is also worth remembering that you could perhaps fulfill that role for someone else.

Career Coaches
Career coaches are an alternative to your mentor, manager and human resource staff. In the 21st century, individuals who wish to get ahead in their career or make transitions in some aspect of their career, by engaging a career coach will have an invaluable strategic alliance partner. Career coaches are effectively personal career consultants to individuals. They help their clients to look critically and objectively at their career and give unbiased guidance and feedback to enable reflective thinking and analysis for career success. They also assist with facilitating career risk analysis and career 'politics'.

Taking Risks
Taking risks is never easy but at some point in your career you will have to do so. It may be taking on a new job in a different area, it may be putting yourself forward for a more senior position or it may even be giving up your job and studying for qualifications that you believe will open new doors. Whatever it is, weigh up seriously all the pros and cons before you make your decision so that when you do take risks they are calculated ones and you are aware of the consequences. But at the end of the day, particularly where work is concerned, there is often an element of 'nothing ventured - nothing gained'.

Office Politics
There are office politics in all organizations, but it is probably true the larger the company the more chances there is that office politics assume a greater importance. There are two factors here that are really important. First you need to have someone at the head of the company that does not take part in office politics and basically who disregards them. Secondly, you need to develop a fairly thick skin so that you won't take every rumor and bit of gossip personally. Try and avoid office politics, it is a dangerous game which takes people's focus from the job they are doing and often creates a whole host of problems for them.

Work Smarter
Don't fall into the trap of trying to be the person who works the longest hours. Concentrate on delivering results and making sure those results are the best you can achieve. Be confident in your own success and other people will have confidence in you.

Being a winner
So what does being a winner take? Certainly commitment, enthusiasm and determination to make things happen; it also requires ambition motivation and a real drive for responsibility. It takes all of that, plus the right attitude and being in the right place at the right time with the right skills, abilities and a desire to succeed and thrive. Even if you are not looking to move now, you need to be monitoring what is happening in the employment market place. You need to be managing your own career getting yourself ready for the next move rather than waiting to see what might or might not happen. Career management must become part of your lifestyle. Just as you engage in health management by exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet and wealth management by thriftily saving, diversifying your investment and prudently investing; you need to ensure career wellness through effective career strategy and ensuring diligent implementation of your strategy for career success.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Culturally Competent Resumes for the Global Market

To make in this age of globalization and international commerce, arm yourself with a resume and credentials that will get you a job anywhere.

Culturally Competent Resumes for the Global Market

Different cultures have different rules, customs, values, priorities, protocol, and religious or societal influences on business practices. For the culturally incompetent, the global job market provides a wealth of opportunity . . . to be misconstrued, misunderstood and misinterpreted.

You must prepare your resume with an international perspective. By presenting your personal information in a culturally sensitive manner, you will enhance your chances of success in the global job market. Follow some simple steps to avoid the pitfalls of cultural faux pas and prevent potentially embarrassing and costly miscues.

First, familiarise yourself with the international style resume -- the curriculum vitae (CV). Very few of the rules of writing a resume in the United States apply to overseas employment.

American employers generally favor shorter resumes. The standard CV is a far more detailed document, typically between four and eight pages long. It is essential to include details on the first page necessary to generate enough interest to encourage further reading.

Your CV is your passport and your personal marketing tool when seeking international employment. It tells an employer who you are, where you have come from and whether you are qualified. It is critical that you consider how you want to present yourself. While your CV should always be honest and accurate, you must avoid any cultural or lingual nuances that may reflect negatively upon you.

George Bernard Shaw once observed: "America and Britain are two nations divided by a common language." Subtle communication breakdowns can distort your message to international employers. Write clearly and concisely. Be polite and formal and do not try to be humorous. Informality and casualness can make a bad first impression with many international employers.

Never demonstrate poor communication skills and lack of attention to detail. As always, use correct grammar and spelling. Spelling mistakes stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. You will tend to see what you expect to see, so always have your CV proofread.

While there is no ideal layout for a CV, it should obviously be neatly typed and presentable. Strike a balance between creative design and content. Most international employers prefer candidates who are professional and businesslike rather than "cool."

Avoid unusual fonts, and keep margins within standard parameters so that materials can be easily read. Use fine resolution if you must send a CV by fax. Do not try to stand out by using fancy colored paper or ink. Good quality plain white or off-white paper and black ink are photocopier and fax-friendly.

Identify content that the employer is expecting to receive. Provide relevant and appropriate information. While there is no fixed format for content, there are certain expectations, some important things to include, and some to avoid. If you want to provide a culturally competent CV and be successful in your quest for international employment, you should include the following:

  • Name, address, contact telephone number and e-mail address.

  • Personal data.

  • A summary of your work history, roles, experiences, and achievements.

  • Summary of your professional qualifications and memberships.

  • Summary of your educational history.

Information such as marital status, age, sex, and nationality are rarely included on resumes in the United States, but are expected in many countries. International employers are under different legal constraints regarding the information they request from potential job candidates.

Many people, especially in the United States, consider age, sex, nationality, or marital status to be irrelevant. In the global job market, it is the potential employer who ultimately decides what is relevant. If you do not provide the required information, you run the risk of being eliminated from the pool of applicants.

You should include on your CV any and all information that is likely to influence the decision to further your application. For example, nationality often has a direct impact on whether the candidate will be allowed to work overseas. For better or worse, most employers use a profile of their ideal employee as a basis for arranging candidate interviews.

The work history section is the central aspect of every CV. Include geographical locations to demonstrate your ability to adjust to new environments. Employers want to judge the breadth of your experience by evaluating where and when it was gained.

Traditionally, you should summarize each job in reverse chronological order, giving employer name, job title, start/end dates and a description of duties. Focus on the most recent five years -- anything prior to that can be dealt with briefly individually or summarized into a couple of paragraphs.

With the exception of recent graduates whose academic qualifications are their primary asset, general education information should be summarized toward the end of the CV.

However, relevant professional education should be mentioned prominently on the first page. Similarly, if you attended an internationally recognizable university, you should highlight it sooner rather than later. Prioritize and assess the value of content in your document.

When forwarding a CV to a potential employer, include copies of all diplomas, certificates, and transcripts.

Include all other relevant information such as visa status, language proficiency, cross-cultural training, or international experience.

International employers often refer to references as "referees" and cover letters as "covering letters." Cover letters should include an objective statement -- a concise statement of what the candidate has to offer and what he or she is looking for. From this information, the employer can easily decide whether to consider the attached CV. Avoid long and rambling cover letters. The cover letter is also a good place to address salary requirements (if requested by the employer).

We have examined the general expectations of an international resume, but must also concede that we are all individuals. You probably share many traits in common with other American citizens, but differ in other ways. What all international employers will respond well to are preparation, planning, knowledge, experience and competence. Good luck!

About the Author
Sarah Histed-Shergill was born and raised in England and studied law and business at Brockenhurst College. She has lived in Denmark and Australia and studied international relations in Florence, Italy, before earning her degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Sarah is currently a recruiter in the Management Advisory Services division of Wegners LLP in Madison, Wisconsin. Her past experience in human resources and diversity education and training includes serving as director of administration in a large Dane County non-profit organization. Article Source:

    Singapore Taxation - An Overview

    A workshop on the basics of Singapore Taxation Laws and Procedures by CPA Mr Lim Lian Soon.

    Fee: S$428 (subject to 7% GST)
    Date:Thursday, September 25, 2008
    Time:9:00am - 5:00pm
    Location:Le Meridien Orchard

    Understanding Deferred Tax

    Cecilia Handel, chartered accountant & Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Singapore lectures on deferred tax and the computation skills for it.

    Date: 2 Oct 2008
    Time:9:00am – 5:00pm
    Fee:S$538 (subject to 7% GST)
    (Lunch and Refreshments will be provided)
    Venue:Le Meridien Hotel Orchard
    Enquiries:For more information, please call Lynn at 68611000 or email us at

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Preparation for Interviews

    Preparing for Interviews
    presented by Kelly Services

    This is an important process that job seekers may overlook. It is not a process that requires a lot of time but it does require some discipline. Often, the toughest part of getting any job is likely to be the interview - that moment when you come face to face with a prospective employer and just when you need all the confidence you can muster it seems to completely disappear. Getting through interviews and making them work effectively for you is something everyone can do - it just takes careful planning. If you want to make a good impression, preparation is necessary.


    If an interview has been set, you will know the name of the employer (company name). Do your homework, find out more about the employer. Find out as much as you can about the job, analyse the job description, try and work out what sort of person is required and match that to your own strengths and skills. This information can be found using many sources. Business directories and listings and company websites are useful sources and full of information. Company profiles can also be found in their annual reports. You could also speak to friends, relatives and acquaintances that are working to find out what they know about a certain company or job. If you are confident enough, you may also wish to call up the company and speak to their corporate communication or human resource department. Staff in corporate communication and human resource are generally willing to assist by giving out non-sensitve information on their company provided you explain your purpose. Larger companies and foreign companies tend to be more open to giving information. Some questions you can ask - nature of business, where they are based or where are their headquarters, what are their main products. This type of information is non-threatening and most companies use it in their publicity material.

    If you are through an organisation such as Kelly Services then your consultant will be able to give you a detailed job description and make sure you know all about the position before you get there.

    Time and Place of Interview
    Take mental note of this information. Often people forget or get flustered over last minute details. If necessary, check a street directory on the exact location of the building and the location of the stopping points of the public transporation system nearest to the place of interview.

    Plan what you are going to wear the day before the intervierw. Ensure your clothes are clean, fresh and well pressed. Take cues from others you know in that profession or sector. It is better and safer to be slightly conservative. Some men wear suits for interviews. It is not really necessary unless it is a senior appointment. A conservative simple tie, a well pressed long sleeve shirt and dar trousers is adequate for men. Fpr women, a dark jacket with a plain or light pastel shade blouse always gives a professional appearance. Skirts should be of appropriate length. Jewellary and accessories must not be distracting to the interviewer. Avoid clothing that is ill-fitting, revealing, casual or unprofessional.

    Ensure your hair is properly combed or brushed. If you wear aftershave or perfume, choose something with a light fragrance; avoid anything that is 'overpowering'. For ladies, light make-up is permitted. Ensure you appear fresh and relaxed.

    Be sure to place the important documents, references and information in a presentable well-organised folder. A folder with clear plastic sheets is handy and you can display all your certificates nicely without having to take them in and out of an envelope. Some applicants bring their documents and references rolled up or all crumpled and folded - this creates an impression of a disorganised person. Make it easy for you display all your documents easily to your prospective employer. Carry the folder in a presentable briefcase that makes you look professional. Avoid shopping and travel bags.

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    JobsDB Grand Prix Racing

    The world's first Formula 1 Night Race hits Singapore streets from 26-28 September.

    If you're not a driver and you can't get enough of the speed, race your own car in the Grand Prix Racing Game at

    Rev up and get a chance to win gizmos from Informatics Global Campus.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    5 Quick Steps to a New Job

    Job hunting? Here's a quick and effective guide especially for new job seekers and fresh graduates.

    5 Quick Steps to a New Job
    by Atul Mathur

    On the face of it, getting a new job appears to be a straightforward affair: Just look for job opportunities in the newspapers or on the Internet, prepare resumes, send applications, appear at interviews and accept job offers. The process is indeed simple; it’s not rocket science. Yet, as you probably know, job search can sometimes extend to painfully long periods of time, going up to months or even years. And when a new job doesn’t come along after repeated attempts, it’s common for job seekers to point fingers in various directions.

    Some people blame their qualifications. Some see the general scarcity of jobs as the main problem. To those who have many years of experience, the age appears to be the main barrier. There is no doubt that economy, market demand, qualification, experience, age and luck—all play a part in making it easier or difficult for you in the job market. But unfortunately, what most people don’t realise is that a set of completely different factors is more responsible for their long, inconclusive job search. To understand these factors, you have to first understand the hiring process.

    Getting a job is like surviving a multi-round game of elimination, which begins with spotting job opportunities and ends at interviews. Some people don’t use the right job search methods and thereby fail to even spot job opportunities. They get eliminated even before the real game begins. Some do see the job opportunities, but their weak and unacceptable resumes fail to open doors for interviews. Out of those who survive up to the interview stage, many bow out of the race because they fail to project their own value to the employers. Finally, the winner is someone who survives all through and proves to be the best among fellow survivors.

    If you have been looking for a new job for quite some time and are in the mode of blaming lack of opportunities, education, experience, luck, age, etc. for your current situation, it’s time you shifted focus to the way you are playing the game. Specifically, pay attention to the following five steps.

    Play by the rules
    It was Albert Einstein who said: “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” Play by the following rules:

    ● Rule of least effort: At every stage of your job search, ensure that employers spend least effort (and time) while dealing with you.

    ● Rule of Needs and Means: Your success lies in understanding employer’s needs and then showing that you’ve the means (experience, education, skills) to satisfy those needs.

    ● Rule of seeds: If you want something to happen, plant more seeds—make more attempts and be prepared that many of these attempts will not bring the desired results.

    ● Rule of obsession: When you chase jobs that you are obsessed about, you are bound to succeed. Your obsession is your trump card.

    ● Rule of perceived value: What matters is not what you think about yourself, but how much value employers see in you.
    Conduct smart job search
    If you ask 500 different persons how they got their jobs, you might see two interesting insights emerging from the replies. First, there are not just two or three methods of searching for a job. There are at least 10 different ways of finding a job. Second, not all methods are equally effective. For example, seeking help from your colleagues and friends can be one of the most productive ways of getting a job.

    The smart job search is about knowing all the different methods of spotting job opportunities and then focusing on the ones that promise quicker results.

    Prepare compelling resume
    Once you spot a job opportunity, it boils down to how compelling is your resume. In the job market, your resume is like a brochure about your capabilities. And employers treat it the same way you treat the brochures you come across in your daily life. If your resume is neat, relevant, simple, solid, sharp, short, solid and without mistakes, it can open doors for interviews and vice-versa.

    Send impressive cover letters
    An impressive cover letter accompanying a well-written resume can make a significant difference to your job prospects.

    The purpose of a cover letter is to connect personally with a specific person on the other side and also to show how well positioned you are to meet and even exceed employer’s needs. Cover letter is a critical document as it makes the first impression.

    Be a success at interviews
    If everything goes well, you will reach the final stage—interview. How you conduct yourself, not just during the interview, but also before and after it, decides your ultimate fate. If you prepare well, avoid well-known pitfalls and follow proven strategies, you will come out a winner.

    Scores of highly capable, sincere and hardworking people stay stuck in their jobs or suffer unemployment just because they lack the skills to survive and play the hiring game. You need not be among them. If you learn the above five steps, you might find it is after all not that difficult to get a new job.

    Thursday, September 4, 2008

    JobsDB 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner