Understanding Recruiters

You need to understand recruiters to work well with them

Most people going through the job search process have to deal with recruiters at some point. However, many people are critical about their experience of dealing with them and complain about them not responding to phone calls, being rushed or abrupt, asking for resumes to be sent but never calling back, etc. Understanding more about recruiters and how to partner with them makes the encounter more productive and less stressful.

Types of Recruiters

There are two types of recruiters and they each work differently: agency recruiters, and retained recruiters.

Agency recruiters work on a contingency basis, meaning that they only collect a fee when they place a job seeker with their client company – the person taking up the appointment must stay in the job for a certain duration, generally ninety days. They usually deal with recruitment for junior and middle-level positions.

Retained recruiters are hired exclusively by client companies to manage senior management positions and their fees are paid up-front. As most people’s experience of recruiters is with agency recruiters, they will be our focus in this article.

So what do recruiters actually do?

When a company engages an employment agency, the recruiter contacts the hiring manager involved to gain more specific information on the job vacancy such as responsibilities, required skills, salary, reporting structure, etc. They then check for a match with their own company’s database and also scrutinise major job boards for suitable candidates. In recent years, they are also making greater use of LinkedIn.

Once the recruiter has identified a number of possible candidates, they contact them, usually by phone, for a screening interview. While this may seem like a casual chat to a candidate, it is very much an interview! Their goal is to ascertain the candidates ‘fit’ with the job, their expectations in relation to salary, job advancement, etc, and to discuss why they want to leave their current job (or why they left their last job).

When the recruiter has 8 to 10 candidates that appear to be suitable for the vacant post, they invite them for a more in-depth interview at the agency’s office. This time, as well as focusing on whether the candidate ‘fits’ the job, they collect information on their background (experience, education, goals, etc). If the client company has requested it, there may also be psychometric or aptitude tests. The additional goal in these interviews is that the recruiter wants to screen out any candidates they feel may not stay in the job for three months – their fee depends on this!

When the recruiter has a list of 5 or 6 strong candidates, they send the details to the hiring manager, along with the recruiter’s notes and recommendations. Usually the recruiter then coordinates the interviews for the hiring manager who interviews them.

Many recruiters will coach the candidates on how to approach the interview, how to answer certain questions, what they need to know about the company, etc. This is very valuable and candidates should pay attention to this advice.

As well as getting feedback from each candidate, the recruiter follows up with the hiring manager. If the hiring manager wants to hire one of the candidates, the recruiter establishes the details of the offer to be made and contacts the candidate to discuss the offer. The recruiter acts as a negotiator between the two parties until agreement is reached. Once the candidate starts work and stays for 90 days, the recruiter’s fee of 20% to 30% is paid.

If the hiring manager doesn’t want any of the candidates seen so far, the recruiter restarts the process to look for more candidates.

A follow on article will discuss tips for working better with recruiters.

How to Focus Your Resume

A resume must be focused to get past the gatekeepers

How do I focus my resume?” is one of the main questions that career coaches get asked. Most job seekers have already heard that they must have a focused resume to get past either the software or human gatekeeper – an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) or the person tasked with screening the resumes received. What these ‘gatekeepers’ are looking for is that applicants meet most of the requirements to do the job – these will also probably be the selection criteria used at interview.

So here are some ways that you can ensure that your resume is focused on the requirements of the job.

Firstly and most importantly, read the advertisement for the position you are applying for. This will contain a job description and a section usually called ‘Required’. The ‘required’ section may be divided into ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ qualities. You need to go through that job description and required qualities and mark or highlight all the keywords used. In particular, you are looking for the keywords used to describe skills, experience and education or qualifications. You should also do this for the desirable qualities.

Type this list of keywords and keep it in front of you. These keywords must appear in your resume for it to be ‘focused’ and to get passed the gatekeeper.

Determine the more important keywords and use these in your profile / summary and in your key strengths sections. If possible, use some of the other keywords here too. When writing your experience section, use as many of the keywords as you can when describing your responsibilities. If an educational or other qualification is required, make sure you list that too. Your aim is to show that you meet at least 80% of the requirements – less than that and you probably won’t be called for interview – more than 80% almost guarantees that you will.

But what if the job wasn’t officially advertised and there isn’t a job description with requirements? This can happen when you hear about a job through networking – somebody tells you about a vacant position and asks you to send in your resume to the hiring manager. Don’t worry – you still have a couple of options.

The US Department of Labour (Labor) maintains a huge database of jobs that includes the requirements for each job. This database can be freely accessed at https://www.onetonline.org/ – just type in the job title and you will have a [usually] long list of job requirements. You will need to do some guesswork here and reduce this list to a manageable number of key requirements to work with to focus your resume.

Another option is to use the job title in a Google search and look for previous advertisements for similar jobs. You can also do this in a LinkedIn search. Use a few previous advertisements and see which are the common requirements mentioned in each. These are likely to be the key requirements for the job you are targeting too, and the keywords you need to use in your resume.

You could also use LinkedIn search to identify specific people in a similar role – you might even be lucky enough to find the previous holder of the position you are going to apply for! Look at their profiles and again note the similarities in their skills (especially the ones they have listed as key skills), experience and education / qualifications. Again, these are likely to be the key requirements for those positions that must be used as keywords to focus your resume.

Focusing your resume in this way with keywords that reflect the key requirements of your targeted job should ensure that you get more interviews.

For any job interview, you need to have two clear objectives

Have clear objectives for your interview

People spend a lot of time preparing for interviews. They try to guess the questions they could be asked and prepare answers for them – hopefully they even practice answering the questions out loud. But preparing for interviews is much easier if you have clear objectives of what you are trying to achieve during that interview. For any job interview, you need to have two clear objectives: Firstly, to demonstrate that you can do the job; and secondly, that you will ‘fit in’ to the company or team you are being interviewed for.

Of course, both of these objectives require that you have properly researched the target job and company – preferably before you finalised the resume you sent with your application. Failing to learn as much as you possibly can before an interview can lead, not only to failing to secure a job offer, but to having a very uncomfortable experience during the actual interview. Incredibly, far too many candidates don’t seem to know sufficiently about a company to be able to adequately answer the questions “why do you want to join our company?” or “what do you know about our company?

Hiring managers hate uninformed candidates, and many state that they will not employ someone who comes across as uniformed. Not properly researching the company means you will come across at interview as uniformed.

One of the most important things you need to discover in your research of the company are the specific requirements of the job. These will form the selection criteria for the interviewers to evaluate and score during the interview process. These are the set of skills, experience and qualifications that you need to demonstrate you have in order to be selected as a suitable candidate for the job. These are what you have to demonstrate that you have in order to meet the first objective of convincing the interviewers that you can do the job.

Your research should have a general and a specific aim. The general aim is to discover the requirements of that type of job wherever it is situated or in any company. The specific aim is to discover the particular requirements of the job for that one company as the requirements may differ slightly from company to company. This research may lead you to discover dozens of requirements for the job and you must break this down into the six to eight “key requirements” for the job. These six to eight “key requirements are then the focus of your interview preparation and you must be able to demonstrate that you possess these. To do this effectively, you should have an example of a time you used that skill or gained that experience. Having these little stories will add impact to your interview.

Your research should also uncover what the culture of the company is. To understand their culture, you need to know what they value and the type of people who work there. Is it the type of company that values creativity over bureaucracy? Do the people working there look for new ways of solving a problem or are they more likely to follow standard procedures and proven ways of doing things?

There are two benefits of knowing a company’s culture, values and the type of people working there. Firstly, you will be able to discuss how you will ‘fit in’ to such a company – this is always a major concern for hiring managers. Secondly and more importantly, when you discover the company’s culture, values and the type of people already working there, you can decide if that really a place you would like to work in? You don’t want to work in a place where you are so different to the majority of people working there – that would lead to constant stress and conflict for you. If you don’t fit, don’t waste your time and that of the interviewers!

So, proper research will help you demonstrate that you can do the job, and ‘fit in’ to the company and team‘s culture and ways of doing things.

Should you keep your LinkedIn profile General or Focused when job hunting

Decide whether to keep your LinkedIn profile focused or general

To be effective, a resume must be focused on the specific requirements of that one job in that particular company. When applying for different jobs, you send (or should send!) differently focused resumes for each position applied for. A LinkedIn profile on the other hand has a potentially much wider audience – and you cannot have (or shouldn’t have!) different profiles for different audiences.

A question arises then, particularly during job hunting, as to whether you should have a general LinkedIn profile, or to focus your profile on your specific target job (i.e. the position you want to secure).

When you are clearly focused in your job search and have a specific job target in mind, a LinkedIn profile focused on that job is the way to go. Your LinkedIn profile will be more consistent with your focused resume, and searches from hiring managers or recruiters related to your job target are more likely to lead to you. So, for people who are searching for a new job, a focused LinkedIn profile is recommended.

However, keeping your profile general will have it look different to your resume and may be more appealing – you can ‘play’ with it more and make it more personal – more ‘you’. Being general, it will attract or match to a wider set of jobs in searches, leaving you open to a wider set of opportunities.

But if it is too general, your profile might not sufficiently match the keywords hiring managers or recruiters might be using in searches – the keywords they use are related to the key requirements for the job they wish to fill. You might end up with a prettier or more attractive profile, but it won’t be particularly useful to your job search if it doesn’t lead to ‘hits’ in job searches or tells recruiters and hiring managers that you have the skills that match their job vacancy.

The other issue in whether your LinkedIn profile should be general or focused is about what your current employer sees! If your profile is very specific or focused on a particular job, and that job is different to the one you are in now, your employer will know that you are looking for a new job. Remember that LinkedIn informs all of your contacts that you have updated your profile, and if you are ‘connected’ to your manager or others in your company, they will see your new profile and status.

If this is not an issue and won’t cause you problems, then go with a focused profile as it will achieve better results when job hunting.

If it is an issue and you don’t want your boss to know you are ‘available’ to the job market, keep your LinkedIn profile more general, but a little focused too – you want searches to lead to you for the jobs you want. The way to do this is to ensure that your profile’s Headline and Summary contain the keywords that match the type of jobs you want. Of course, there will need to be some emphasis on your current role so that your profile seems informative of your current situation and therefore less like you are looking for a new job. This dual approach is ambiguous and will serve both your purposes of looking for a new job while not alerting your boss about what you are doing!

How to approach your Job Search in Singapore

For best results, use more than one approach to your job search in Singapore

There are three approaches to finding a job in Singapore: Job boards; Employment Agencies; and Networking. For the best results, use all three.

Job Boards

Job boards can be very frustrating for job seekers. People submit lots of applications for different jobs and frequently do not receive a response – this can be very demoralising. Recruiters only respond to people they think will match a job they have available on their books.

The problem is the very large number of job advertisements on each job board and the equally large number of people applying for them, so it’s very easy for your application to get lost in the crowd. Many claim it is a game of luck, while others claim it is a numbers game that has less than a 10% success rate. Either way, to increase your chances of getting a response from a recruiter, you have to increase the number of applications you submit.

Another problem is that there are many job boards to explore and this can take up a lot of your time. A more efficient way is to use a job aggregator such as Indeed.com which displays available jobs advertised on most other job boards. This saves you time sifting through countless job boards and allows you to spend this time on just one job board, meaning you can be more focused in your job search. A particularly important factor in this is that you can be one of the first to spot and apply for a newly advertised position – it is reported that nearly 50% of successful applications leading to a job hire were made in the first week the job was advertised. So make sure that you are one of the first!

Employment Agencies

Many people complain about their experiences working with employment agency recruiters. This is frequently due to a misunderstanding about their role. You must understand that the recruiter is not paid by you, the job seeker, but by the employer when a position is filled. So their main focus is not on you, the job seeker, but on satisfying the person who pays them – the employer. Furthermore, each individual recruiter is dealing with hundreds of job seekers and simply doesn’t have the time to deal with each individual’s concerns, so they may appear rushed and abrupt – they too have to reach targets!

So, before you speak to a recruiter, prepare what you are going to say and be brief and as concise as possible. Having an ‘elevator pitch’ to use with recruiters can be very useful. While it is best to use a number of recruiters from different employment agencies, do some research to see if there is a specialist recruiter for your particular industry and job area. Even if these are based overseas such as in Hong Kong, it is frequently worthwhile to contact them.

Networking

Networking is by far the most effective way to job search in Singapore. The principle behind networking is that someone you already know may have a job vacancy or know someone else who does. Or someone you already know may know somebody who knows somebody else who has a job vacancy or where one exists. A high number of jobs in Singapore are not publicly advertised but are by ‘word of mouth’ where a hiring manager asks another manager or friend if they know of someone who would be suitable.

I have written previously on the need to know exactly why you are networking (you can read the article here) and to be focused in your networking activities. It is also important to not just rely only on using LinkedIn but to utilise the network you already have – i.e. all the people you already know. However, they must know clearly what you are seeking – otherwise they can’t help you get it.

Effective networking requires careful planning and you must know how to do it properly so as to avoid annoying people and becoming a person to avoid. If you are not adept in networking, speak to someone who is or take a training in it.

How Essential Is Your Job To Your Firm's Mission?

If you were offered several different jobs, there would be a lot of factors that went into deciding which job to take.

In addition to the usual factors like seniority level, salary and work-life balance, new research by professors at University of Wisconsin and Washington State University, suggests another important factor to take into account.

How indispensable you are to place?

In other words, is the role a ‘lynchpin’ and how essential is the job to the firm’s overall goal?

Examples of lynchpin roles are engineers in a technology company, or a management consultant at a consulting firm.

To gauge the lynchpinness of a job there are four dimensions that come into play:

  1. How vital the work is to the overall purpose of the company.
  2. If someone else can do the work.
  3. How quickly other work activities would stop, if the job was not done.
  4. How many other work activities would stop, if the job was not done.

The study in question found that being an “organizational lynchpin,” as researchers put it, has several advantages.

First, and most obvious, is that of job security. If you are perceived as vital to the life of a company, you really don’t have to worry about being fired or replaced. This is good, but it’s not the only advantage.

Lynchpins also feel a higher sense of job satisfaction because people like to know that they are doing something meaningful and something that others depend on. Being essential also helps to foster a deeper emotional connection to the company. All this leads to more enjoyment at work, and a smaller chance of getting burned out by your job.

So, why is this good to know?

  • As you are considering future career choices, it’s important to think about your role in the company in question. Are you getting a job as just a cog in the machine, or are you signing on to play a significant role?
  • This also has implications for internal transfers within an organization. If you are offered a transfer to a more central position in the company, it is something you want to seriously consider.
  • For supervisors, this research also suggests that efforts to increase employee satisfaction are best targeted to those employees who work in more peripheral areas of the company. That’s because they are the ones who will most likely be unhappier in their jobs due to burnout, a sense of being left out or a feeling of not being important.

Useful Ways To Follow Up On A Job Application

You’ve sent in your job application or resume, and have been anxiously checking your email or voicemail every day since, hoping to hear back from the potential employer.

The work that goes into filling out and submitting a job application can be tedious, time-consuming and stressful. Following up, the key to staying at the top of the hiring manager’s mind, is one more item on the list of things to do.

However, following up on your application doesn’t have to be a drain on your time. You don’t have to send a boring email asking the company to share the status of the position or letting them know that the purpose of your email is to follow up on your application.

If you consider this aspect of your application as a way to market yourself, along with your skills and experience, try approaching the situation from a new perspective.

Adding Value Through Job Application Follow-Up

Make your follow-up useful and different, by including information that will actually be of value. Here are some ideas to achieve this:

Send them information that you may have forgotten to share.

Many people have experiences talking to someone and then, hours later, remembering something that would have fit well in the conversation or been helpful to the other person. This also happens often in job interviews.

For example, the interviewer asks you about a few of your achievements and you forget to talk about 2 important ones.

Wait a few days before sharing the information, and if you haven’t heard anything, send over details of the 2 achievements.

Send an employer new information.

If you’ve earned any recognition or awards, published an article, or completed a significant project since you met with or spoke to your contact, consider sending the information to them.

Let them know the new experience you’ve gained, new skills you’ve learned or the honors you’ve received.

Send them an article.

Think about the communication you’ve had with your contact at the company, and if you see/find an article with information that you think would benefit the company’s growth or make an impact in their operations, send it to that individual.

The article will show your interest in their company and your understanding of their business.

Companies receive a ton of application follow-ups. Remember to not bombard them with follow-ups, and use the opportunity to add to your interview or conversation.

Try This Approach To Find Your Dream Job

When looking for a job, we all have a dream company and job in mind. We also include a few back-up companies/jobs in our job search efforts, just in case Plan-A doesn’t materialize.

However, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and the University of Wisconsin-Madison believe that having a backup plan can actually derail your success rather than help you achieve your goals.

After studying how people reacted to certain scenarios, their research shows that a safety net may actually decrease your motivation for reaching your highest potential.


THE STUDY

Jihae Shin, assistant professor of management at UW, along with professor Karen Milkman of UPenn, surmised that a backup plan may cause someone to work less hard in obtaining a goal.

The two researchers set out to find out if this hypothesis rang true by setting up an experiment with hundreds of people divided into two groups.

In one group, respondents were given a test to unscramble sentences. Those who did well could leave early or get a free snack.

Researchers added one aspect to a second group of people. The second group was told to also come up with ideas about how to get free food or how to make up any lost time later in the day, if they didn’t unscramble the sentences quick enough.


AGAINST COMMON PRACTICE

What the researchers found went against the notion that successful people always had backup plans in case something went awry.

People in the experiment who made backup plans fared worse on the unscrambling tasks.

Shin and Milkman discovered, through follow-up questions after the experiment, that the lack of accomplishment from people who had backup plans was partly due to a diminished drive to succeed.

Failure is associated with negative emotions. These are important for pushing us to succeed, in order to avoid the consequences of failure. When you have a back-up plan in place, the emotional safety net can reduce the desire to achieve your goals and succeed.


DRIVE VERSUS SAFETY NET

Whereas a backup plan may make you feel safe and reduce negative emotions associated with failure, a safety net could interfere with accomplishing your primary goal.

Security makes you feel better, but it might diminish your desire and drive for what you really want to achieve.

For example, you may settle for a job at a less well-known company because you already have a connection there versus reaching for a loftier objective at a prestigious firm where you don’t know anyone.

Fortunately, the researchers have a solution.


HOW TO ACHIEVE PLAN A FIRST

Shin and Milkman explain that you should rely on a backup plan only after you exhaust all possibilities for earning your original goal.

Many times, people may fall back on Plan B prematurely when they are already close to finishing Plan A.

Figuring when to switch gears means you should know yourself, determine what it takes to realize your objectives, and recognize when you can’t do any more.


What you do during your job search, does depend on your specific situation. However, it might be worth considering and incorporating the findings of this research into your job search.

Before spreading your efforts across Plans A, B and C, perhaps you should give Plan A everything you got first. It could make the difference between getting your dream job and having to settle for something less inspiring.

Having said that, to find your dream job it is essential that you go about the search in the perfect way. Take a look at our free guides to help with this.

Work life balance: How to find out if an employer values it as much as you?

It’s finally time.

You are ready to begin your search for a new job.

And hopefully you’ll have some interviews and job offers soon.

During previous interviews, you might have felt as if it were a mistake to mention the possibility of occasionally missing work to tend to family matters. The mere mention of work life balance or time off, seemed to turn the interview in a bad direction.

Even though you weren’t hired for those jobs, you felt lucky.

How comfortable would you have been working there? How could it have affected your family?

Consequently, your question becomes: How can I find an employer who understands the importance of life outside of work and the obligations of my home life? An employer who’s on the same page as me, on these matters.

Here are a few ways to help you research a company and find answers to those questions.


Word of Mouth

Perhaps the easiest method for obtaining employer information is to ask your friends, family, or current associates.

Often times they, or someone they know, will have a story, positive or negative, regarding a current or past employer.

Understand that such stories must be taken as anecdotal, but the information may lead you to investigate further before you commit to an employer.


Job Sites

Until recently, there weren’t many tools available to help a prospective employee find the right employer.

As more information becomes available on the internet, finding information about the working atmosphere of a company is readily available.

When using job sites/boards (such as Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder), you will often find links to employer ratings and comments.

Indeed.com, for example, has links for reviews and learning what it’s like to work for a company, shown next to many job advertisements.

reviews of working at singtel singapore

company reviews asia


Employer Satisfaction Information

In addition to job sites, databases regarding workplace atmosphere are now available.

For instance, Glassdoor.com has extensive employee reviews detailing workplace atmosphere, job position satisfaction, and potential salaries.

There are also sites available that detail workplace conditions for women (Maybrooks, Fairygodboss), using the perspective of females in a particular position or experience.


What Do You See and Feel?

You can also put your detective hat on and observe what’s happening at the company.

If you see a mostly empty office when you arrive for your 6pm interview, it can be a sign that late work hours aren’t always required.

Do you see family photos on the desks? That may be a sign that the atmosphere is a comfortable, relaxed place to work, and that the company is at least somewhat committed to their employees and their families.

Many modern businesses take pride in their family-friendliness. If the interview process does not include information about a company’s policies regarding family leave, or days off built into the system, that’s probably something to take note of. Lack of a focus on such policies may be a sign of other issues that might arise in their employ. Keep looking.


We all want to find the perfect job. So many facets of your life can be affected by the way you feel about your work, good or bad.

With a little diligence it is possible to find the employer that will see you as more than just an employee, but as a member of a family, yours and theirs.

A few famous people who made it big after being fired from their job

Getting fired is one of the biggest fear of most working people.

However, being fired sometimes leads to better opportunities.

Here are a few stories of uber-famous people who lost their jobs:


Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga has always taken time to come up with her catchy and expertly constructed pop hits.

Her first label didn’t appreciate this slow burn method, however, and fired her after she asked them to wait another six-months for her to finish her debut album.

Not long afterward she released her legendary album “The Fame.”


J.K. Rowling

Rowling often found herself in trouble with jobs and money before making it big with the story of a certain boy wizard.

At her job as a secretary at Amnesty International, she found herself being booted for using her work computer for personal matters.

Perhaps she was preparing material for the book that would later make her a multi-millionaire.


Jerry Seinfeld

Comedians tend to struggle a lot before they find their footing, and this is just as true for mega-hit Seinfeld as it was for many of his peers.

Strangely enough, the future-sitcom star was once fired from a gig he had on the sitcom “Benson” due to a lackluster performance.


Isaac Newton

Before he went off to study science and change the way we see the world today, Newton was fired from an overseer position on his family farm, and by his own Mother nonetheless!

Thankfully, his Mother’s actions set in motion movements that led to some of the most important scientific discoveries of all-time.


Mozart

While it may be hard to imagine Mozart being let go from any musical position, he was once fired from a gig as the musician for the court of the prince-archbishop of Salzburg.

For those readers familiar with the movie “Amadeus,” this event should bring to mind a particularly memorable scene from the musician’s life.


Oprah Winfrey

Now one of the biggest TV personalities, Winfrey struggled to find her footing in the TV industry for years before people realized the level of her talent.

Once when she was working as a news reporter for a Baltimore TV station, her producer felt that her personality was simply a bad fit for the job. Hard to imagine, looking back now.


Walt Disney

Disney was once fired from the cartoonist department of a Kansas newspaper for “lacking imagination and having no good ideas.”

Apparently Walt found a magical well of inspiration after leaving the paper, as he would go on to make some of the most fantastical and popular films of all time.


Nikola Tesla

Tesla had a bit of a drinking and gambling problem that led to issues at his job.

Once while working as a draftsman in Slovenia, Tesla was let go due to continuous card-gambling on the job.


Thomas Edison

Edison is one of the most famous inventor/entrepreneurs of all time, but he did not always excel at regular work positions.

When he worked for a laboratory in his younger days, for example, the young Edison was fired for spilling acid that then ate through the floors of the building.


Steve Jobs

Although he is now somewhat infamous for being fired from Apple by then CEO John Sculley (who he handpicked himself), the eventual return to Apple by Jobs cemented him as a business legend and an innovative personality.

5 Ways Women can manage a gap in their resume

Looking at the topic of working women and career breaks, a study by the Center for Talent Innovation found that:

  • Around 30% of women took a break from their career.
  • The average timeframe for these breaks was 2 years and 7 months.
  • 60% of women who took a career break, were not able to find a full time job, when they were ready to reenter the workforce.

Employers will often cast aside your resume if they see a gap in employment.

So how can you plan for, position and work around gaps in your resume?

The Best Strategy For Managing Expected Employment Gaps is to AVOID THEM!

You are probably scratching your head at this suggestion.

The point is that you can easily take steps to ensure that your skills stay sharp during your break and that you stay relevant.

Here are 5 things you can do:


Go Back to School

Having a break from work provides a great time for you to further educate yourself on important topics and trends in your industry.

Whether it’s short courses or a full blown degree, continuing education is a great idea.

You’ll learn new things, meet new people and upgrade your skills.

With an increase in the number of distance and part-time study options, it’s much easier to pursue this goal nowadays.


Stay Active with Freelance Gigs

Engaging in freelance work is also an excellent way to stay in the game.

If you’re lucky you’ll get paid for it as well. If not, then it’ll be very valuable to show on your resume and will make potential employers happier.

Small and medium sized companies are a good target for such gigs, since they often need people to manage extra demand and ad hoc projects.


Share Your Expertise Regularly

Showing your expertise and business smarts through writing a blog or participating in social media, can be a great way to demonstrate your value to future employers.

In addition to channels such as LinkedIn, you can also try and contribute to magazines and journals, for your industry/function.


Keep Meeting People

Just because you’re not working full time, doesn’t mean that you should ignore people in your industry.

Continue to participate in events, seminars and other networking opportunities, to keep yourself in the game.


Volunteer

Volunteering is also a great way to stay active. It could be in a general role, or one that is relevant for your area of expertise.

There are a few websites in Singapore, where you can search for such openings  – sgcares, MINDS, Make a Wish Foundation, AWARE.

Facebook settings to ensure privacy during your job search

In today’s job-hunting world, one of the biggest fears of any person is a potential employer seeing something unprofessional on their social media account(s).

You might have heard horror stories of seemingly harmless content costing people that awesome job, and you want to do everything in your power to avoid that situation.

Even with this looming over people’s heads, many still do almost nothing about it.

In fact, in a recent survey, it was found that a mere 24% of people ever adjust their Facebook settings before applying for a job.

Another survey states that up to 93% of employers actively search out potential candidates Facebook profiles before deciding whether or not to hire them, so it’s time to get on adjusting your privacy settings.

To help you out, here are a few steps to successfully adjusting the privacy settings on your Facebook account prior to your job hunt.

  1. Change The Visibility of Your Profile

The first step you should take is adjusting what public Facebook browsers can see when viewing your profile.

Doing this will help you ensure that your boss only sees what you want them to see (as well as Grandma).

In order to do this step, simply go to your profile, click the “…” button on the lower left corner of your cover photo, click “view as…” and then adjust the settings to your liking.

  1. Time to Modify Your Search Settings

Did you know that if you have your search setting set to default that anyone with your phone number or email address can easily find your Facebook profile? If this weirds you out, it may be time to start modifying your search settings.

To change these settings, click on the gear icon in the upper right corner and click on “see more settings.”

Here you will have several choices for how people are able to find your profile.

You can determine if you want search engines to link to your profile, for example. Disabling this option, along with the ability to find you via phone/email, is the best way to ensure a boss can’t find you in the first place.

  1. Approving Tags Will Save You a Lot of Grief

Maybe you were at a sketchy party that you later regretted.

Maybe your former roommate decided to tag you in an obscene photo from your freshmen year.

Whatever the case, you want to have power over what content you are tagged in. It would be terrible to find out that you thought you deleted all objectionable content just to hear that your would-have-been-boss saw that puking photo that your “friend” tagged you in.

By changing your security settings to only show tags once you approve them, you will save yourself a lot of grief.

To adjust your settings, go to your privacy settings and click on “Timeline and Tagging.” From that point, click on “Who can add things to my timeline,” and adjust the settings to your liking.

  1. Keep Your Friends Communication to Yourself

Not everyone has to see what your friends post on your timeline.

You can change your settings so that you only see what they post on their timeline.

If you want to change this setting, just go to the “Timeline and Tagging” setting once again and adjust from the same “Who can add things to my timeline” area.

  1. Do a Sweep of Your Old Posts

Chances are, you have had your Facebook profile for at least a few years. With all of that potential problematic content floating around, you don’t want to leave your job prospects up to chance.

Take advantage of Facebook’s timeline feature and go through the entirety of your Facebook history.

To give you an idea of the content you should be especially cautious of, here is a shortlist of some of the stuff employers look for:

  • Illegal Drugs
  • Overtly Sexual Posts
  • Profanity
  • References to Guns or Violence of Any Kind
  • Alcohol Consumption Photos
  1. You Could Change Your Name

Changing your name to something unsearchable can give you privacy without changing your search settings to that of a Hermit.

You don’t have to drastic with the name change either, and can simply change your first name to a nickname of sorts.

Good luck with your job search!