What Job Seekers Need to Know about ATS

Nearly every Fortune 500 company and a growing number of small and mid-sized businesses filter resumes through an applicant tracking system (ATS) which will be tricky for job seekers when submitting their resumes.  

What is ATS? 

Applicant tracking system is a software widely used by companies today to keep their hiring track right as it allows an employer to collect and sort thousands of resumes. 

Why do employers use ATS? 

Back in 2008, the Great Recession hit the United States, forcing companies to conduct massive layoffs. When the situation got better, people started looking for a new job that employers were flooded with job applications. The problem was, employers found that nearly 90 percent of those applying were unqualified for the job, making it difficult for employers to sort and get the best and most qualified ones. This is where the idea of ATS created. ATS was first created for employers who demanded features that could discourage and filter out unqualified candidates in no time.

See also: Maximize Your Job Search with Matrix Decision

Applicant tracking systems then gradually come into play to help recruiters do their job right. ATS would help keep all these resumes in one place, help recruiters and employers stay organised during the recruiting process. ATS also helps employers save time by automatically surfacing and highlighting top candidates. As of today, ATS becomes a necessity for both big and small firms because it could streamline, widen recruiter’s talent pools, and save time to sort massive candidates. 

Does ATS have its drawback? 

Nothing is perfect, so is ATS. Albeit an applicant tracking system could help ease the job during the recruiting process, it has one drawback. According to a Swoop Talent survey, ATS does help hire professionals to narrow their applicant pool, but top candidates often slip through the cracks. This happens because candidates do not know the right standard resume writing for ATS, thus, they applied through a system that has less-than-optionally parsing or data management. 

How does ATS work? 

Generally, different ATS providers would operate a different system. Yet, they have similarities to collect and store resumes in a database for hiring professionals to access. In addition, resumes that are in the system might be stored long in the system before it is sorted and read by real recruiters. Then, recruiters or hiring managers would search and sort through the resumes in a number of ways, depending on the system they are using. The following is the elucidation of each ATS system. 

Automatic rankings 

Some applicant tracking systems use automatic comparison from job description to resume applicant. Based on Jobscan review, one of the best ATS that uses this system is Taleo. Taleo will rank each applicant based on how well their resume scores are based on the job description. This would surely help the recruiter focus on candidates with the best job description match. 

Keyword rankings 

Keyword rankings are very common in almost all ATS systems. As an example, if a recruiter is hiring for a General Manager Assistant, the ATS will then search and sort for “ General Manager Assistant” out of hundreds of resumes in the database. Hence, this system will save candidates who have done the exact job before and anyone that does not would only be kept in the system. 

Viewing application

Last but not least, some recruiters or hiring managers would take a glance over their ATS database to get real results. This, however, is only done by a few small- and medium-sized businesses. Commonly, recruiters would take a glance over a candidate’s past highlights, job titles, and past companies. With this quick scan, recruiters could determine whether they want to learn your resume more or not. Thus, it is important to make sure your top skills and qualifications are easily identifiable, not only for the ATS but also for the recruiter’s eyes.  

Now as you are already armed and know what and how ATS works, it will be easier for you to write better resumes for ATS. If you need more guidance, read here for more tips on how to beat ATS system and get your resume into human hands

Read also: Job Fair & Online Job Search Tips for Students and Graduates 

Why & How to Get a Charity Job After Graduation

What is a charity job? 

Charity work is often confused with not-for-profit jobs due to their similarities in their job descriptions. However, these two are different from one another. In not-for-profit (NFP or non-profit), the organisations can be run by either volunteers or paid staff. The NFP also varies in size but is typically on the smaller end of organisation scale relative to other classifications such as non-government organisations. This non-profit organisation aims to not make a profit for personal gain, not hiring paid staff and/or volunteers and do not need to reach charitable status. 

Meanwhile, the charity job refers to a more specific not-for-profit organisation which has very strict guidelines as to how an organisation can qualify as a registered charity. Charity organisation’s aim is generally different from those of a job non-profit organisation. The purposes of charity work include benefiting the entire public or a sufficient section of public. Charity organisations can also hire both employees and volunteers. 

See also: 6 Phrases to AVOID When Applying for Job and Interview

Why work as a charity volunteer/employee? 

As you may know, working in a charity company does not come with a fat paycheck compared to working in private sectors. Yet, having experience of working in a charity organisation could give you two major advantages. First, it will give positive encouragement to your own wellbeing as you know that a charity job could give a huge impact to social communities. Second, a charity job is usually more flexible than having a job in a private sector or startup. The jobs also offer more flexibility in terms of working hours and job sharing opportunities which is great for you if you have an interest in other projects. 

Not only can working in a charity organisation improve your self-wellbeing, TotalJobs wrote that it also improves your resume headline, boost your network, as well as help figure out your true passions, goals and wants in life. Charity jobs are not beholden to political cycles and point-scoring, but instead has the luxury of being motivated by evidence and humanitarian values. 

Skills and requirements 

Albeit charity working seems like informal jobs, to gain or get accepted in a charity team, you still need to have certain values and skills. Mark Devlin, Chief Operating Officer for Unicef UK, told TotalJobs that working for a charity is about working for a bigger vision, own individuals goals and ambitions. That said, before getting accepted, applicants must first have ambition and at least know what they are involving themselves into. In general, employer of charity organisation would want to see the following skills in their candidates: 

  • Have great flexibility and innovation 
  • Able to multitasks 
  • Have excellent interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills 
  • Have organisation skills 
  • Can work in a team and individually
  • Have a lively and positive personality (cheerful) 
  • Ready to gain experiences and solve challenges 

Degree requirements 

There are some roles in charity jobs that you can apply, including charity fundraisers, volunteer coordinator, accounting, IT, HR, marketing, and charity officer. Some of these jobs (charity fundraiser, volunteer coordinator, and charity officer) do not need specific degrees. However, if you apply for a more specific job role, you might require a specific undergraduate qualification in the specified subject. 

If you want to improve your qualification, you can always enrol to the following subjects: 

  • Business studies
  • Community and development studies 
  • Social policy and administration studies 
  • Sociology studies 
  • Voluntary sector management courses 
  • Youth work courses 

How much will you earn? 

As mentioned earlier, working in a charity organisation would not give you much money, however, it does not mean that you will work for free. Even for an unpaid volunteer, you can get some perks too such as getting living costs or pocket money by registering in an overseas volunteer program. Larger charities in particular often offer more generous salaries to attract the best candidates. Based on TotalJobs review, the average salary can reach up to £27,500 with the range between £21,000 to £37,500 annually. There are also some charities that pay hourly. 

Read also: Why & Some Tips for Volunteering Abroad

Who Should be Your Professional Reference? 

Bad hires can cost a company a fortune. That’s why recruiters are being more careful when it comes to bringing in new talents to the team. In their approach to hire the most suitable candidates, recruiters will conduct background check and screening by asking a professional reference to potential candidates.

What is a professional reference? 

Professional reference, also referred to as a job reference, is someone who could provide an insight into your earlier working experiences. As fresh grads or students who are currently looking for a job, their professional reference can be lecturer, teacher, or professor. For those who have working experiences, professional reference can be former colleagues and/or supervisors who can attest to one’s skills and qualifications. 

See also: Are You a Boring Job Applicant? 

Why does an employer want a professional reference? 

When an employer sees you as a prospective hire, more often than not, they will ask for you to provide one or two job references in order to reaffirm all information you put on your resume or say during an interview regarding your skills, experiences, and suitability for the position you applied. 

Job reference also helps employers confirm that candidates are honest in their job applications and interview responses. Besides, references are also vital opportunities for employers to get a sense of candidates’ performance on the job and personal qualities. 

Who should you ask to be your job reference? 

For fresh job seekers a.k.a graduates with no working experience, finding the right job reference can be tricky. As graduates, however, it is likely that you are applying for an entry-level position, so recruiters will understand that you might not be able to provide professional references. Recruiter might as well not consider your lack of professional reference as a problem. 

Nevertheless, you might still need to provide job references in case your recruiter will ask you for that, advised Jessica Hernandez, the president and CEO of Great Resume Fast. In many cases, college grads will have their supervisors from internships or work-study jobs as a reference. Even if your past internship does not really align with your current job application, former supervisors could still provide insights into your character, dedication, and overall attitude. 

So what if you are a fresh grad who has no job experience, even an internship? In this case, Hernandez advised that you should turn to your professors, coaches, or any authority figure who has knowledge of how you work hard, grow, and deal with people. Parents or relatives are not great choices here, added Hernandez, because they might give biased answers to recruiters. 

Who is the most effective job reference? 

To provide the best professional reference, you should consider these points. These considerations will help you choose the most effective reference you can ever have. 

  • Do you have the list of who your job references are? 
  • If yes, choose the most recent person you work with/collaborate with. If you have graduated from university 2 years ago and ask for your professor reference, it is likely that your professor could not give updated information about you. 
  • If no, you might want to consider a colleague you are collaborating with, be it a volunteer colleague, project partner, or stranger you’ve been working with for some time. 
  • Consider their relevance to your job and/or their position/seniority. For example, if you are applying for a junior accountant and you have two reference choices who would be able to provide high praise. Refer to one who either has knowledge of an accountant or who is the most senior.
  • Lastly, ask your reference politely and tell them that you have included them in your resume/job search. To deliver your intention, it is always better via face-to-face communication. However, if you think your reference is a highly busy person, sending a chat or email first could be the best move. Always cite your intention earlier to avoid misunderstanding. 

Read also: 6 Phrases to AVOID When Applying for Job and Interview 

Are You a Boring Job Applicant? 

Wake up, have breakfast, open a laptop, find a job in an online job platform, click apply, eat lunch, go out, go home, maybe open social media for a while, sleep, REPEAT. You don’t even bother to rewrite your job resume for a different job application and, probably, you use a simple bullet writing technique in your resume. If this sounds pretty much like you, please stop. Why? Because employers are not willing to hire such sluggish, effortless job seekers. 

Amanda Lannert, CEO of Jellyvision, said in an interview that the least a job seeker can do is to stop being “boring”. She explained that recruiters are often bored because people play safe. They (job seekers) commodify themselves into just a bullet-point list of skills and experience. This might look neat but it is one of the most boring things to read. 

See also: Most Important Networking Tips for Jobseekers

Here are other reasons why you can be a boring job applicant. You better avoid it! 

You do nothing besides job search 

It is understandable that you want to get a job as soon as possible, but sitting in front of your computer or smartphone all day searching for a job is a big no-no. Why? During an interview, you are going to be asked about your experience. While you can demonstrate that you are active leaders during your university, what will you answer when a recruiter asks, “What do you do in the meantime of your job search”? 

Therefore, go out. Talk to real people. Expand your circle and connection. Having meaningful activities during a job search can help you have an interesting discussion during your interview session which might catch recruiter’s attention and intention of hiring you. 

You focus too much on writing a boring resume

Crafting an interesting resume is important, especially if you know that the company you are applying to uses Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Resume with the right format and keywords will do the job. However, your resume can only contain your work experience, education, skills, or achievements – which tells so little about you, as a person. 

In this case, Lannert advised you to focus on the cover letter and not resume. There is nothing more refreshing than seeing someone who takes a chance to be incredibly human in cover letter or an outreach, to put themselves forward, she added. This will definitely catch recruiter’s attention as companies today need more empathetic and down-to-earth people. 

Tips: Use your own language. Use words that are not stiff or business jargon-y, especially words you usually find in the google site template. 

You do not go the extra mile 

Your cover letter and resume are top-notch so you are offered a job interview. You prepare for the interview and write some questions you want to ask a recruiter. However, during the interview, you are too focused on “selling” and “telling”. 

Telling and selling your skills are good, but showing them is extraordinary. Seeing your effort in preparing a presentation of how valuable your skills are or how great your ideas will improve the company’s business will be more appreciated. Besides, people are more convinced when you show them, instead of just telling them. 

Read also: 15 Minutes Before Interview : Absolutely Important For Job seekers!

The Most Common Reasons Why Recruiters Don't Call You After a Job Application

“Hey Alex, how’s your job application? Do you get an interview offer?” 

‘Nah, it has been a week and there is no call from the company. I feel bad about this. I really want to get into that company.’

__

For many of us, getting no call after submitting a job application feels so much worse than a breakup. You might spend days or weeks wondering why your dream employer does not reach back to you. You already have a professionally crafted resume and still no response. Waiting is painful, so here you go, the most common reasons why recruiters do not call you back. 

You are not qualified for the job 

The most simple reason for not getting a call back from a recruiter is that you are not qualified enough for the position you are applying. It can be that skills written in your resume are not enough. This is especially true if you are applying for a senior position. 

For example, you are applying for a “key accounts manager” with a past work history as an accountant. You also cited that you are a graduate with marketing experience. Albeit it sounds great for you, don’t expect a call back from the recruiter. Why? Because “key account manager” is a senior position that requires a lot of relevant skills and experiences.   

The job ad does not hire external candidates  

Job openings on some platforms that you know are probably there only for formality. This is the reason why recruiter does not call you after your application. Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, an executive resume writer at Career Trend, said that employers often have policies that require them to post job openings to the public. In reality, there is not effectively a position available because that job openings will be filled by internal employees. 

You apply to an old job ad

One of the most common mistake job seekers does is that they do not review the job posting date before applying. Some employers do not take down their job postings after being posted. The reason is simple because employers have posted many job ads and do not remember where their old job postings are. So, it is advisable for job seekers to see job ads date before applying. 

ATS does not recognise you 

Nowadays, hiring managers rely on robot ATS (application tracking system) to easily shortlist candidate’s resumes and CVs. And ATS is tricky for job seekers. You need to perfectly write your resume in order to get shortlisted by the machine. You need to mind your keywords richness and resume format. Read here for tips to pass this robot ATS. 

Unprofessionalism in your resume 

Another common thing recruiter prefers to hold the call is that you do not write your resume professionally. To illustrate, you are in need of a job and you apply for several jobs with the same resume. You forgot to change the employer’s name and you do not proofread your resume. What do you think recruiter’s think when they see this? There are 2 possibilities. First, recruiters might think that you are not serious applying. Second, recruiters might disqualify you for your fatal mistake like spelling wrong company name. 

That said, it is always good to write some resumes for different application, especially if you are applying for different roles. Second, always proofread your resume and ask someone to proofread it after you. 

Multiple applications 

You have applied to X company in the last three months but they did not hire you. X company puts a job opening again in a different role. Because you really want to work for the company, you apply for the second time. This time you are extra careful with your resume as to not make a mistake. However, they do not even call you for your second application. Why is that? 

The reason is your interview feedback from past applications is likely to be considered to determine whether you should be contacted or not. If you are flooding the same company with your resume, the employer will think that you are not serious in a specific role, leading to disqualification for your application. 

Changing of the hiring plan 

In the game of business, everything changes pretty fast. Projects get rebooted. Teams get cut. Or, recruitment gets postponed for the later date. When this happens and you apply from a recruitment agency, they might tell you about the cancellation. But oftentimes, an employer does not inform this to job applicants. 

To conclude, it is always better to move on after a week without a call from a recruiter. There might be many reasons and you cannot know which exactly why the employer you are applying doesn’t call you back. Another way, you can call the recruiter for clarification. Or, if you know that the company uses ATS, you better understand how their ATS works and create better resumes for the next application. 

Read also: How to Discuss a Gap Year in an Interview

6 Phrases to AVOID When Applying for Job and Interview 

Obviously, every job seeker’s ultimate goal is to land a job as soon as possible. Before getting employed, however, you will have to go through some stages, from resume screening to interview meetings to finally job contract signing. All the process could be daunting and tricky from time to time, especially when you come unprepared.

Therefore, be mindful when writing your resume and do your homework before coming to the job interview. What else to pay attention to? In this article, we share 6 phrases you need to avoid during a job search and interview. These phrases could downgrade your credibility as a potential candidate. Check it out!

1. Dear Sir/Madam

What’s wrong with this phrase? While this conventional opening phrase has always been widely used that it seems normal, the phrase might not be suitable to use especially when applying for a startup company. A startup company is a place where most of its workers are millennials and like a personal touch. Therefore, saying dear sir or madame just does not sound right. 

What to say instead? In addressing a person, it is better to say “Dear (founder’s name/recruiter’s name/startup name team)”. Or, to make it sound more personal, you can say Hello (startup name) team. 

2. This is a great opportunity for me or I have a great interest in this role

You would not consider applying for a job in the company if the role is not your interest or the opportunity does not align with your own needs. Thus, when the recruiter asks you why they should hire you, try to find another way to express your reasons. 

What to say instead? There is a better way to answer instead of just repeating the “great opportunity” which is “Here is why I am prepared for this role…” or “I am always prepared to be in this role with (demonstrate your achievement or skills)”. 

See also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

3. Well, my last employer was kind of okay  

Saying “Well..” with a low tone or high tone might indicate something bad or laziness. Sure, you do not want the recruiter to perceive you as a negative chatter. Saying “kind of okay” does not demonstrate well why you quit your job. A recruiter wants to hear from you why you choose another employment albeit the recruiter can do a background check and call your past employer. This is done to measure your honesty. 

What to say instead? Avoid the “well” words and explain how your employer treats you in the past. As best as possible, do not mention the negative reason about your former employer and in the last statement you can add, “I believe I am better suited to work in an organisation that has a strong commitment to mentoring executives as well as fostering career development and growth.” 

4. Perfectionism 

Whether being a perfectionist is your greatest asset or weakness, it is better to avoid the word all at once. Why? Because the word tells a little about you and it is overly rehearsed cliche, wrote The Muse

What to say instead? There are some alternative, however, if you are a real perfectionist. For example, you could say, “I am too attached sometimes with little details which can distract me from the ultimate goal” or “I feel myself always caught up in trivia that hinder me to achieve more.” 

5. I want better work-life balance 

Work-life balance has always become employees’ dream. However, this will be a not-so-good impression if you are only applying to get a better work-life balance. Barry Dexler, an expert interview coach, told CNBC that companies really do not care about your work-life balance. Albeit it sounds cynical, all employer truly wants to hear that you are ready to work and that you will work around the clock if needed. 

What to say instead? Instead of emphasising your thirst for work-life balance, you can tell the recruiter, “I am ready for the challenges ahead.” In addition, show previous experience or challenges that you have overcome to support your statement. 

6. I have no question, thank you 

The “thank you” part is acceptable but the “I have no question” part is a big no-no. Not having any questions for the interviewer basically says that you are not interested enough to learn. This indicates that you are not prepared enough for the interview. 

What to say instead? Do not tell that you have plenty of questions too. Just utter “Yes, I have a question/questions” and ask. What to ask? Click here to find out smart and insightful questions to ask at the end of your interview. 

Read also: Should You Bring Notes to An Interview? Dos and Don’ts

Job Fair & Online Job Search Tips for Students and Graduates 

When you squeeze through a crowded auditorium in a career expo or compete with hundreds of other applicants on an online job platform, you want to be the centre of attention. Yet, standing out “in a positive way” is no easy task. There are a lot of things you should prepare to ensure that your first impression can catch recruiters’ attention. Only then, you will be one step closer to the job you always dream of. 

See also: Maximize Your Job Search with Matrix Decision

Bob Westerkamp said that attending a job fair is one of the great ways to bolster your job-seeking efforts. Albeit doing online job hunting can also be a good choice when you have limited time, meeting recruiters in person will boost your chance of getting hired. Yet again, both job fairs and online job search are a real bear. Therefore, make sure to follow these tricks to help you stand out in the crowd. 

Tricks for a job fair

  • Make sure you pre-register online to avoid the lines. 
  • Find out who will be in the job fair. You can look for or ask the committee who will be attending prior to the event. Knowing the list helps you make sure that you can talk to top companies, especially if you have limited time. If you have more time, however, make sure to connect with everyone to leverage your circle. 
  • Research companies that will be your priority choices. Read every important information available to help you prepare for an on-spot interview. Generally, if a recruiter puts attention to you, they will do pre-interview right in the job fair. 
  • Dress as though you are going on a job interview. First impression is always important whether it is for a formal or casual event. It helps boost confidence too. 
  • Take multiple copies of your resume. Make sure that you have packed everything you need in a small bag the day or night before the job fair, such as paper, resume, cv, pen, brochure, question list, etc. DON’T give the recruiter impression that you are unprofessional by forgetting something. 
  • Arrive early to get the complete list of jobs that recruiters are offering. Arriving early can also give a good impression to recruiters that you are a punctual individual. 

Tricks for an online job search 

  • Prepare your resume for the ATS. Different from offline job search, in online job search, you should put relevant keywords to your resume so the ATS machine can detect you. Read more for a quick start to begin your resume crafting. 
  • Get your social media ready. According to a Career Builder survey, over 70 percent of employers are snooping around social media platforms before inviting you for an interview. Employers will also consider your social media behaviour before making hiring decisions. Those who behave spitefully (posting harsh content or comments) will usually be disqualified from future opening. Read more for social media tips and tricks for job seekers. 
  • Secure your privacy. Set up a separate email account that will be used solely for professional purposes with proper name and address – not the hotshareen77@blabla.com or coolchick@hotmail.com. Talentvis suggested that you should be smart when making such email accounts, especially if your name is listed as the most familiar names and surname ever. A simple trick if your name is already taken, you can combine your name with your profession or degree – or you can change the email domain. 
  • Make sure your employer does not stumble onto your resume if you are still in employment because it will result in chaos into your current job, hence, use the blocking feature many sites have to restrict access. 

Read also: The Dos and Don’ts in Job Searching When You Are Still Employed

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We are now living in the fourth phase of industrial revolution. Unlike the first three industrial revolution, the fourth is expected to see the most influence in terms of technology advancements. It has changed many businesses to higher level of innovations and marketings. Global Economic Forum released that industry 4.0 has a potential in digital connect networks and dramatically improved the efficiency of organisations. Not to mention, many believe that new technology advancements will increase the demand of talents with IT expertise.   

Highly on demand, no wonder there are many companies that are willing to pay more for those who have tech skills. Not only high salary, you will likely to get a vast reward and employee benefits. Thus, making advancements on your technical skills will give you a big plus when applying for a job. Here, we list top 7 most popular tech jobs that pay the highest, according to Glassdoor.

1    Software engineer manager ± $163,500 / year

Being a software engineer manager requires you to be able to manage and oversee design and development of software applications. You will also lead a team tasked with developing, researching, and testing company’s software. Another job is that you should direct the work of engineers to ensure the best practice, report to a senior manager, and manage a day-to-day performance of your jobs and other employees.

Skill requirements – Knowledge of software technologies, familiar with coding and computer language, management skills, agile management experience, deep understanding in company’s engineering processes, products, and visions.

2    Data warehouse architect ± $154,800 / year

A data warehouse architect is responsible for designing data warehouse and working with conventional data warehouse that support a business. They also often take client needs and work in developing a specific architecture for a specific purposes.

Skills requirements – Data modelling, ELT* development, data cleansing, online analytical processing (OLAP) design, application development, production automation, general system and database administration

*ELT refers to extraction of data from source systems into staging, transformations necessary to recast source data for analysis, and loading of transformed data into the presentation repository.

3    Software development manager ± $153,300 / year

Being a software development manager means you should be able to develop, manage, and prepare software development team, provide project management and technical leadership. Guiding, coaching, and mentoring are also your responsibilities. In other words, you will lead a team for developing and testing certain system within the company.

Skills requirements – Strong technical and analytical skills, expert knowledge of computer software languages, platforms, and methodologies, strong leadership, budgeting, and managerial skills, excellent in written and verbal communication.

4    Infrastructure architect ± $153,000 / year

If you want to be an infrastructure architect, it means you will be in charge of underlying IT system in company including servers, data centres, or cloud computing system. You will ensure that all system are working optimally and support the development of new technologies and system requirements.  

Skills requirements – Project management experience, web technologies and enterprise architecture roadmaps, familiar with web server and application server administration, web tech experience (PAN), architecture certification, Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE), knowledge of Cisco network and technologies, CCIE, Linux, and Unix.

5    Applications architect ± $149,000 / year

Application architects are responsible for choosing strategy for application within company such as when to use existing tools, build new one, and occasionally develop company’s prototype for further development. They play important role in designing and analysing software projects. They also create new application and improve existing one.

Skills requirements – Good leadership skills, know how to design and test methods, good creating custom solution, and able to integrate application with existing system.

6    Software architect ± $145,400 / year

Software architects design and develop software systems and applications. They are responsible for setting an overall plan and strategy for building software. They act as a high-level decision makers in the process and are determining everything from deciding choices to technical standards. Being one of them means you really set the pace and goals for other teams of developers.  

Skills requirements – Board knowledge of software development process and technology, knowledge of architectural styles and design patterns, understand various of codes and computer languages, data modelling and database design experience, experience with software development lifecycle (SDLC), service oriented architecture (SOA), enterprise service bus (ESB), and content management systems.

7    Technical program manager ± $145,000 / year

If you want to be a technical program manager, you are in charge of handling all aspects of technical projects for your company. You are responsible for initiating programs, following its progress, and serving as sport providers if there is issues arise. You should also be able to track technical issues and implement solutions in a good manner.

Skills requirements – Interpersonal and presentation skills, ability to identify and track dependencies, project management skills, financial and cost management, understanding business goals, and able to manage risks.

Read also: 4 Things to Remember: How to Make Employer Falls In Love with You

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Finishing your study and graduating from university can be both exciting and daunting. Now that you have gained necessary skills and knowledge at school, it is time to implement the theories into practices in the workforce. During your study, you might have good GPA, actively participate in student organisations, and achieve recognition from the university for your contribution. However, the working world is different from school. With the burgeoning talent pools, you might find it more competitive and fiercer to land a job.

What should you do, then?

One of the easiest way to help you get out of the overwhelming job hunting is to keep moving and change your strategy. Searching for jobs via job platform or ads on newspapers is effective, but it might drain up your energy as you need to scroll through so many jobs and companies. Not to mention, not everything you find is the one you are actually looking for. However, a method called “matrix decision” can help you simplify your job search while still receiving the best result.

Using matrix isn’t something new. It is a decision making process people often use when making other decisions, such as deciding where school to go or evaluating which car to buy. It’s not a rocket science but doing what comes natural in a rigorous way can improve your career assessments. Matrix decision is useful when you have several choices of jobs and it can actually give a satisfactory result. There are more advantages you can get by using matrix, such as identifying new job opportunities faster while helping you think clearly and use time efficiently.

Without further ado, here are 3 easy steps you can do to create your own matrix decision.

Mainly, you should set objectives. Objectives will help you determine how successful your matrix will be. For example, you graduated with a BA degree in literature. After knowing your qualification, you should decide which objectives are the most important. There are five factors of objectives you should consider in your future career: field you want to take, role you want in the workplace, impact on your future such as salary or job status, personal growth, and what kind of organisation you want to work in.

Secondly, you decide from the most important to the less ones. At this point, you should be able to rate your decision either as high, low, or medium. To make your choice obvious, you can rate it from 1 to 5. To help you in making better decision, you can ask your friends or family members to share their thoughts and give suggestions to your career matrix because sometimes, close family or friends can see your quality better.

Remember, when rating your objectives, you should also be able to evaluate alternative against objectives. Your objectives are the primary concern in this decision. Therefore, judge how each alternative meets each category and think how it might affect your future. Also, consider what you might do if things do not work out. If possible, jot down the reasons of picking up certain job in each relevant box of matrix.

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Lastly, you can interpret the result. Your matrix structure is a stepping rock to lead you for a brighter career, but it is not the final answer. You must understand and figure out what it tells you. Matrix decision is as good as you want it to be and by using it, you’ll likely to know what job would be better and know what questions to ask in future career.

It is hard to decide what’s best for your future. But by assessing your career objectives and defining which are most important, you can make decisions with confidence as structured plan such as matrix decision can help you ease all your doubt in one place.

 Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

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At some point in a career journey, there are times when an employee feel exhausted with overload tasks given to them and start to think that they deserve better jobs. Some others find a bitter fact that they do not have any chance to achieve career growth and personal development in their current company. If you find yourself trapped in similar situation, this could be the early sign that you should move on and pursue a new career.

Seeking new job while you are still employed is just like gambling. If you are lucky enough, you can find new employer within a short time. However, sometimes reality bites and the job search could take a really long time. People say that the best time to change job is when you already find a new one. Therefore, rather than letting go your job whereas you have not land a new one, it is better to hold onto your current job on until you are accepted elsewhere.

Then the question remains: how to do job search while you still has contract with your current employer? When your boss knows that you intend to leave the company, there are chances that he would feel betrayed and disappointed about your plan. This will ruin the well-built relationship between you and him even before you really move on to the new job. So, you need to do the job search silently to avoid negative comments people around you.

You should know what to do and what not in conducting the job search while you are still employed. Follow the tips below:

Dos:

Let the prospective employer knows you are still employed

Some people believe that letting prospective company know that you already have a job is important, as being employed means that you have certain proven qualities and skills. While such belief is not necessarily true, putting your current employment status on your application and resume is crucial, such that hiring managers can manage the right time to arrange an interview and tests for you.

Schedule the interview around lunch hour

Despite conducting active job search, you should remember that you are still employed. It means that you still have the responsibility to perform well and get your tasks done at your current job. When prospective recruiter invites you for an interview, you should find the best time to do it. For example, you can ask to schedule an interview during lunch hour, such that it will not disturb your main job.

Mind your outfit

Your current office culture might let you dress casually, but in order to come for an interview, you often have to wear formal dress. It will seem suspicious when you suddenly dress formally while you used to wear casual one in the office. To avoid such suspicion, you have to make a plan. For example, you can come to the office wearing T-shirt as usual, but keep the formal shirt in your bag and wear it once you get outside before coming to the interview.

Don’ts:

Don’t tell your coworker

You cannot simply believe that your coworkers are going to keep silence when they know about your job search plan and leaving the team. Even it is someone whom you trust so much, you cannot risk the possibility of him telling about your plan to the others. If rumours spread out, it will be uncomfortable for you to stay. Until you seal the deal and sign an employment contract with new employer, you should consider the job search as a kind of secret mission that no one in your office should know.

Don’t do the search during work hours

This could be obvious, but it will be awkward when you are opening a job portal with your PC at work then suddenly your boss walks by and sees it. Even when no one knows about your job search activity, you should keep in mind that your employer might track your browsing history if you use office facility during work hours. Therefore, do the job search in the evening at home. You should also ensure that the email address you use to send job application is your private email and not the one you use to exchange emails with clients. Additionally, you need to be careful with incoming calls from recruiters. Given that they usually call during work hours, make sure that you talk with him away from the place where your coworkers can hear the conversation.

Don’t ask for recommendation from your current employer

When applying for particular job, you should ensure that the prospective company does not have any cooperation or close relationship with your current company. As you need to do it in silence, it will be a problem if your future employer asks for recommendation about your performance to your current employer. Therefore, you can ask for reference or recommendation from anyone but those who work at your company.

Read also: Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired: Jobseeker Tips for Attending Career Fairs