Why networking? How am I networking?

Because you can’t go alone. You need people who are supporting you and helping you and at some points of your life, you will help others to grow as. Well, except for you are a super talented and genius who automatically gets offer from your company just through your online presence, then Congrats!! But if you’re just an normal one like me, build your network, from day zero (not even wait till day 1).

Why did not I networking before?

  1. I come from a culture, where people relate “relationship” to “make benefit from others” rather than “creating new opportunities and growth for everyone“. Then, networking is a pretty new concept and only started to flourish in recent years.
  2. As a result, I felt uncomfortable, and awkward to pop-in at an event, meet strangers, hi, hello, bla-bla. I didn’t want people think that I’d need something from them.
  3. And, I didn’t know, what I should talk to them, to actually “networking”.

Why am I networking now?

Because I accidentally met some people who really made me think: “WOW, what would happen if I never met them? The information they gave is extremely helpful. Even some information is visible, I missed it somehow.

And because I am looking for a job, and 80% of the jobs actually come from connections and referral programs.  And, I can not control all the information on job boards and LinkedIn. So I need help.

You meet a friend. A friend will have a friend. That friend will have another friend. And the chain gets longer, and it takes you to somewhere you would never know.

How am I networking?

  1. Go to events, gatherings or groups of your interest. That’s where you find people. And people of your interest. I met a lady in a a cultural night hold by the student association. I actively approached her. Turned out she has been working in Human Resources for more than 8 years, and she has guided me with lots of ideas so far. Not only formal and official events, party counts, after the hangover, you may start a serious conversation 😉
  2. LinkedIn. That’s the place for networking. Connect and follow people of your interests. Produce contents on those to keep people want to connect with you as well.
  3. Be nice and be helpful. Yes, this is how it is different from making benefit from others. This is a win-win situation. I try to connect people in my connections. When someone is trying to find a career switching, I recommend her to an old friend I know who work in exactly the same field, and they connect! And, she will surely do the same, if she might know someone from my interested area. Be nice, at least I would not recommend someone with bad behavior to my former employer :p
  4. Approach actively and openly.  A few first times sucks, but you will get on track. You will find how to approach people naturally as I did. I do not limit the conversation to boring and serious topics like theory on social media strategies or stock markets. Just some few simple sentences, like, hi, I really like your presentation, how did you get the idea? and move on. Or hi, my name is… nice to meet you, then base on the theme of the event, I open the questions and they response and keep it on. Or where are you studying, where are you working, do you happen to know… BELIEVE ME, I USED TO GOOGLE HOW TO NETWORKING but now I will just go with the flow.

Experiences.

So far, I have good experiences after actively networking:

  • All people I’ve met are all nice, they did not eat me. They responded to me in a way which is different from my paranoid imagination. Even though they are job-seekers, employers, hosts of an events or just a random person.
  • I make new friends and learn from them a lot.
  • There are times I am really upset, but people I’ve met keep me up and their stories support me a lot.
  • I have friends sending me opening vacancies everyday whenever they see one that fits me.
  • Friends thanked me for connecting them together and they are doing something together. How cool is that?

Sorry for the long post, but I am sooo excited to write it down. Thank you everyone in my network for networking with me together with the opportunities you’ve given me. And especially, I call out to you, students! Networking while you’re still studying, what I did not actively do during my studying, because university is an awesome networking environment as well. Build your network from today!!!

4 trends all organizations must consider in 2017

1. It’s all about the employee experience
According to a Workplace Trends survey, 60 percent of job seekers have had a bad candidate experience and more than 70 percent relayed this information on Glassdoor.com (or a site like it). This kind of negative feedback deters other candidates from applying and can also dissuade potential customers.

[…]

But talking about engagement isn’t something new for any of us. However, over the course of 2017, consider how the employee experience affects the business with the same type of urgency that you do with customers. From the physical office space, involvement in the community, and learning and development to People (HR) programs and benefits, every aspect of the organization needs to be optimized to cultivate a happier and more engaged workforce.

I am not surprised by the fact that 60% of job seekers have reported unsatisfied candidates experiences. You can find the survey here.

Read these 4 trends to follow to make a great kick-off for the year 2017 and MAKE RECRUITMENT GREAT AGAIN.

Read more at: 4 Performance Trends All Organizations Must Consider for 2017 — Ceridian – Transforming Human Capital Management

Applicant Tracking System – a helping hand to recruiter but a stab to job-seeker?

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)? 

ATS is no longer an unfamiliar term to HR professionals. ATS is of the essence to assist recruiters in managing applicants’ database and for a better job-match. Basically, ATS’ functions are somehow overlapping with other HRIS (Human Resources IT System), such as saving and managing resumes, applicants info and so on. However, one of the most crucial function of ATS which is mentioned as a mass job-matching to best seek the potential applicants.

How does ATS working? 

Regularly, ATS use keywords to track and match an applicant’s resume and it can quickly tells whether that applicant is a fit to their organization or not. Every thing is done automatically and quickly, saving recruiters’ a bunch of time and money; except for its vague mechanism.  The keywords from an applicant’s resume are extracted then put in comparison with keywords drawn from the job description and for example, if your resume’ keywords are not matching at least 80% of those from the job description, you are out! As the keywords are extracted and generated from applicants’ resumes automatically by the software/apps, it leads to unwanted in-explicitness. Sometimes, the reason is that the software/app cannot understand or read the keywords, they will just skip it and decide that the applicant is lack of necessary skills. Or even just for no reason.

My experience

It is certain that each of ATS app/software has different level of operation and so do their accuracy. I used a site called www.jobscan.co and I suppose it has the same mechanism with some other ATS. Just copy your resume contents and the job description contents and paste into two boards, it will present how much your resume could be a match with the job. I found that the key words are generated exactly and time of processing is not up 10 second. However, there are some concerns that arose.

For example, the app keeps on informing me that I am lack of Microsoft Office Skill, while it is written in black and white on my resume that I own an advanced skill set of Microsoft Office. I later found out that the cause for this mistake is that I have written Microsoft office, instead of MS Office like what was presented in the job description.

A similar mistake is that the app decided I have no Officer skills, while I really have a heaps of those, under the name of Office Administrative skills. There were more than 4 several similar confusion.

Of course, my purpose is not to claim that this jobscan.co is a bad example of ATS, it actually helps me to adjust part of my resume. However, I believe there might be other ATS which would behave the same, and for these reasons, your resume is gonna be kicked out.

How to beat ATS?

Well, this is the question that it takes lot of time and technical skills to answer, but meanwhile, we could do something to light a hope of landing an interview.

  • Use different resume-analyzing site, for example, jobscan.co to understand the keywords concept. This jobscan allows you to scan your resume 5 times/month for free but you could treat your resume similarly manually by scanning keywords from the job description and adjust your resume’ keywords in a way that they look really close to those of the description.
  • Be more alert with job vacancies which require you to fill in information on their sites, or copy your resume as plain text and paste. There is a high likeliness that they are using an ATS instead of reading your resumes with your own eyes.
  • Some even use more direct way such as taking a very active role to contact recruiters rather than passively scanned by an ATS. Much impressed by this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vDKNIY185A

3 tips for excellent communication with candidates

As a job-seeker, I do get mad sometimes at the companies who has held back my application for years. There are some minor tips that recruiters really should take into accounts in order to take their employer brand to the next levels.

Image result for applicants

Confirmation emails upon application receipt

It only takes you only some seconds to send a confirmation to the applicants that you have received his/her application. This will tranquilize the applicants that their applications have reach desired destinations, rather than ending up at no-where.  Later on, this would save time as well , when you would not receive several calls per day from the applicant, asking whether you have received their CVs or not. If possible, state estimated time that applicants would hear back from you.

Inform, when someone is not selected

This is a very common mistake and recruiters may not know how irritating it is to wait endlessly for a job that you’d never get. Please, do a favor: reply to applicants to tell them that are not chosen, even it is not a nice thing to say. And please, do that in a approriate period of time. Do not keep the application for months. Some recruiters may defense that there are a huge amount of applications to deal with, and they do not have time to reply one-by-one. Then, contact your IT supporters. 6 years ago when I was working in a head-hunter, I have started to use bulk email service, where you are capable to send thousands emails in a click.

Some other recruiters may say when deadline is approaching near while they have not found the right person, thus cannot yet close the vacancy and cannot send rejection email by then. Admittedly, 90% you would never choose the person once you overpass him/her from the very beginning. So, inform them, maybe after 2 weeks, that they are not a suitable person you are looking for right now. Then, they can move on. Silent game is not working in this situation.

Detach your job description from job sites when the vacancy is fulfilled

Do not let them stay there forever. Even though the job site usually has an option for you when to hide your job ad after a defined expiry date, some recruiters are not looking at this function at all. When an applicant see an available job ads, he/she will feel motivated and jump into action, creating a polished CV and cover letter, which later on will be rejected because the position has been filled! This creates an unprofessional image of the company and more seriously, you might have just lost an potential talent for your company. Receiving and replying application for a filled position is a waste of time as well. Build a good data of where you post your job ad and keep a close look at them. Once a position is filled, take off all relevant job ads out of job sites.

 If you have noticed, each of the above actions do not take you more than 5 minutes to complete and basically cost you almost nothing. Spending some more minutes just before lunch time on these will bring an exceptional outcome to your employer brand. Job-seekers would have a feeling that you respect their time and career path!

Good communication skill? Do you really mean it?

Reading hundred of CV per day, I have seen “Good communication skill” everywhere in the Skill part but do the candidates really mean it? 50% is a big NO.

What makes communication good?

1. Understandable: For this point, for sure you should be at least fluent in term of a speaking language. Of course you do not need to be native, but at least you know how to use proper words to express your thoughts. I have been talking with a lot of people, and they try to explain something again and again and likely end with the question “Do you understand what I mean?” Should they be clear and confident with the things they are talking about. As well you should try to pronounce accurately, of course different accents are not avoided, but try to be close to an international pronunciation. In most cases, listeners will get what you want to say, but it is very uncomfortable to hear Ju-lee instead of July.

2. Posture: please use  your postures to supplement your words, but don’t be over-acted or for girls, don’t be so postured. You should keep your attitude and posture in control. If you are happy, laugh. If you are sad, cry. Just do not be over excited for a pre-interview (screening part) to show you have a lot of energy. I was scared by those.

3.  Be polite:  this point seems so obvious but still, a lot of people do not how to act properly. Use COULD, SHOULD, MIGHT, WOULD with strange people or at least in an interview. Using expression to imply your feelings, such as “That would be great!”, “That’s awesome!” rather than saying OK really helps to boost the listener moods. For the same reason, say “I do not think it’s possible.” or “I am afraid that…” with a lower and sympathetic tone rather than “NO”.

4. Talk enough and involving people: it is not only about talking, it is about listening as well. When you are talking about something you love, PLEASEEEEE observe if your partner enjoys the topic enough. If he/she does not sound interested in, please change into something both of you would love to talk about. Keep your speech long enough. Do not be too short, like:

– Could you please tell me a bit about your study?

– I study economics.

– Yes, more specific please?

– International economics.

No, no, no.

Be communicative, give enough information. But do not to tell your whole life story and please, do not try to steal other people’s words like you have not been talked for 10 years. Especially when you are talking in a small group, try to involve people, let’s talk about a mutual thing, or at least something that all people would like to hear. I hate it, when my friends are sitting with me and talk about some f*king K-pop singers that I’ve never heard in my life. Or then do not talk in another language that other people do not understand if you are discussing something together. That’s rude.

5. Be open-minded and humble: you do not need to know everything on Earth, but learn how to use common sense in language and posture. I used to bring my food to my office and of course Asian food is strange to foreigners, one girl keeps preventing to vomit whenever she sees my food, and I consider it extremely rude, for whatever reason. It is a matter of culture difference, and you should be respect it, not offend it. I cannot eat cheese, because I am not used to, but I do not feel disgusting when people do. If you choose a positive approaching to differences, people will feel positive when they interact with you.

And finally, a good sense of humor would always be a plus!