Ensuring your resume reaches more people

(Above) Job recruitment sites, like Sarawak Jobs, are great avenues to submit your resume online.

Thanks to the Internet, you have more ways now to make sure your resume reaches more potential employers.

In fact, applying for jobs online has become commonplace, with more and more people accessing the Internet through their computers or mobile devices for this purpose.

For employers on the other hand, going online is a faster and more cost-effective solution to find potential employees.

As jobseekers, so long as you’ve done the necessary employment and industry research and produced an outstanding resume, putting your resume up on the Internet will help to improve your chances of getting more job interviews.

Indirectly, your ability to utilise online tools to upload and update your resume could also suggest to your future employer that you’re naturally a digital native.

Job recruitment sites

There are quite a number of job recruitment websites in Malaysia, such as JobStreet, myStarjobs and Monster, as well as Sarawak Jobs.

There are also recruitment sites that focus on specific needs, for instance StartUp Jobs – for those who wish to work for start-up companies; and WOBB – for those who want to work in a company culture of their choice.

These sites not only enable you to submit your resume, but also let you browse through various job openings based on your preferred industry or specialisation.

For greater visibility, it is advisable to post your resume in several job sites, and fill in the information required by the sites to make it easier for potential employers to find your resume.

Your target employer

If you have a particular employer in mind, search for vacancies that it has listed in its website or on job sites.

Make sure you know exactly how to submit your job application, customise your resume to suit the position you’re applying for, and abide by the resume submission guidelines.

This would signal to your target employer that you are able to take the initiative, organise your information and follow directions.

Your own resume website

Creating a resume website is especially suitable if you have a portfolio – including work or project examples, testimonials and other work-related materials – to demonstrate your specialisation in a particular field.

With an effective resume website, you have the creative control to show your “personal brand” through your website design while still maintaining professionalism.

It can also be a quicker way to attract potential employers or clients as they can find you through a simple Google search.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, published in the print version on Saturday, August 11, 2018.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

How a fear of failing will affect you

The pressure to succeed in school is a real struggle for a lot of students.

These days, for some of them, they’re continuously pressured to achieve good grades and are told that failure is not an option.

The pressure, whether from their parents or peers, is a constant reminder for them that only good grades will assure a better life in the future.

If left to persist, this fear – caused by the stigma surrounding failure – could actually affect students’ ability to learn.

According to a study by Bilkent University in Turkey, the fear of failing at school can influence a student’s motivation and have a negative impact on learning.

The study, which was conducted on 606 secondary school students and 435 university students, found that those who developed a fear of failure at an early age were more likely to adopt goals such as mastering the material presented in a class or to avoid doing worse than other students to validate their ego, rather than for their own personal interest and development.

Because of this, the students’ interest in learning was destroyed and they were less likely to adopt effective learning strategies and, worse still, they were more likely to cheat.

Apart from students’ attitude towards learning, the fear of failing can also affect students physiologically and emotionally.

As grades are emphasised more than self-growth and development, students with a fear of failing will definitely face the consequences, such as negative thinking, intense worrying, and replaying in their minds the problematic incidents that occurred in previous classes.

In addition, they may also experience fatigue and low energy, are emotionally drained, dissatisfied with their life, and experience chronic anxiety, hopelessness and depression.

The fear of failing also prevents students from reaching their fullest potential.

When deciding on goals to pursue, they may tend to focus more on preventing losses rather than achieving gains.

Socially, this may make them afraid of trying new things or gaining new experiences, as they’re afraid that these might make them fail even more.

It’s not easy to erase this fear of failure but if you’re a student it’s important for you to look at failure as a learning experience and a temporary setback, rather than as an irreversible stumbling block to your future success.

The key is to keep striving to achieve your goals and never give up on your dreams.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2KtViWD

Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Thoughts on critical thinking

In nearly every aspect of our lives, critical thinking is important especially now that we are being bombarded with an abundance of information every day.

‘Critical thinking’ as a term has been debated since the days of the ancient Greek philosophers. It can be described in many ways.

In the 1995 publication ‘Critical Thinking’, author Barry K Beyer defined it as making reasoned judgments.

Such judgements involve thinking rationally, reflectively, and independently; effective critical thinkers examine an issue by taking into account every possible option while withholding personal biases before coming to an evidence-based conclusion.

They also question knowledge or information that they have obtained, tolerate ambiguity, consider short- and long-term implications, and are willing to accept new valid ideas, subsequently changing their perceptions.

In that sense, being critical doesn’t necessarily mean offering a negative opinion and doesn’t only focus on important matters; instead, it involves having a greater holistic understanding of things.

Achieving such in-depth understanding requires soft skills that will sound rather familiar to you, such as observation, being analytical, communication, problem-solving, open-mindedness, and creativity.

Its close connection with these skills and its relevance to various modes of thinking – scientific, economic, moral, societal, etc – makes critical thinking a necessity in almost every profession and industry.

Regardless of your specialisation or field, if you’re looking for a job, having critical thinking skills makes you a valuable candidate for potential employers.

After all, critical thinking is listed as one of the most sought-after skills in the World Economic Forum report ‘The Future of Jobs’.

With the global economy now driven by technology and information, it helps to be able to think critically, as well as to be digitally and data literate, in order to adapt effectively to the rapid changes.

The use of critical thinking isn’t limited to the workplace.

If you’re a student, critical thinking is essential to succeed.

This is especially so when learning and applying the right resources and information, and presenting your arguments and ideas with different viewpoints.

Still, it’s worth noting that developing your ability to think critically takes time and practice, for there will be times when you’ll experience emotional outbursts when confronted with initially worrying scenarios.

Therefore, it’s a lifelong effort to be a critical thinker.

Not only does it allow you to face real-world situations more reasonably, and communicate better with yourself and others, the ability to think critically will make us active learners instead of a passive recipient as well.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2v1R0AI

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Ask not what Sarawak can do for you …

“Ask not what Sarawak can do for you—ask what you can do for Sarawak.”

As we celebrate Sarawak Day today (22 July), we at SarawakYES! thought it might be a good time to think about something other than just our studies or our careers. And with that in mind, we thought the immortal words of the 35th President of the United States of America John F Kennedy during his inaugural address on Jan 20, 1961 would be a great way to reflect on our role as the people of Sarawak.

Obviously the quote at the top wasn’t verbatim from the President’s speech but we thought it would help us focus on something important on Sarawak Day – what is it that YOU can do for Sarawak?

If you’re currently a student, that answer should be easy; it’s to do your best in your school, or college or university. Your extra effort, especially in academic endeavours and sporting activities, would also potentially bring glory not only to yourself and your school, but also to Sarawak. It doesn’t just apply to studies and sports though, as you can also contribute towards creating a better Sarawak by taking part in extra-curricular activities to benefit your local community. As for those of you who’ve just started working, you may feel there might not be much time in your busy schedule now to think about doing something for the service of Sarawak, since you have to focus on building your career right?

Actually, there’s a lot you can do for Sarawak and that includes volunteering in social work or at the very least giving your financial and moral support to social causes you believe in.

Or if you’re working in the public sector, maybe you can think of how you could improve your work to benefit not only your organisation but ultimately provide a better service to society.

Just remember, our contributions need not be grand gestures or sacrifices. They can be small and simple things.

As the recent World Cup showed us, even the simple act of cleaning up your stadium seat areas after a match can go a long way towards raising the reputation of your nation. That also brings us to an important point about how we could act when we travel outside Sarawak’s borders – if you’re proud to be Sarawakians, then you’d better be ready to also represent Sarawak in the best way you can. We could all probably start by not littering.

And so, fellow Sarawakians, as we celebrate this important day, please spend a few seconds to contemplate how each of us can do more for Sarawak today, tomorrow, and every day.

Happy Sarawak Day!

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2JOBFbk

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Designing technology

(Above) One of adidas‘s footwear fitted with its very own BOOST technology. This image comes from Hypebeast’s story on the footwear tech’s design and technological evolution.

To ensure greater demand and success of your own product, service, and business in the digital economy, you should take design as one of the most important aspects of your strategy.

An element that used to be overlooked, design has been given more emphasis over the past few decades, as it provides a product or service’s ‘first impression’ for users in terms of experience, interaction, and perception.

The use of design in technology can be found almost everywhere, whether in the development of applications and websites, visual effects creation in films and video games, or design for buildings and in urban planning.

However, it is more well known in product design, and has become an integral part of many successful companies, as seen with electronics from Apple and Samsung, household appliances from Dyson, and footwear from Nike and Adidas.

Design in the current context aims to find and solve real-world problems by combining practical, technological, and creative skills, as well as taking into account the future impact of solutions discovered.

This means that design is no longer an element for mere appearance; instead it adds value by becoming more functional and meaningful in order to enhance users’ experiences.

Design in technology has accelerated over the years due to the upsurge and advancement of technological products, causing a rise in competition among businesses, increased demand from consumers, and rapid technology turnover.

Consumers, especially ordinary people, tend to expect more user-friendly, visually pleasing, and convenient experiences from their use of technology.

Thus, aside from technical performance, user empathy is a crucial factor in designing new products and services, and this applies in every major industry such as technology, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and mass media.

Given its increasing importance in the digital economy, design should be made a competitive advantage, whether you work for an organisation or run your own start-up.

By focusing on better designs in your product, service, and business operations, you can decrease costs, promote efficiency, and boost overall business performance.

Design also adds value to your product and service, and a user-centred design enables you to attract and retain customers, establish better market position, and boost brand identity.

Effective technological design, in particular, will help your target users to be more familiar and comfortable with the use of technology as part of their daily routine.

To put it simply, do not take design for granted. In today’s consumer and technologically-driven market, design – together with overall innovation – can make or break your product, service and business.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2KVYM9e

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

From a hobby to a promising career

These days, technology has managed to weave itself into every aspect of our lives, including hobbies.

More hobbies have evolved to become ‘tech’ in nature as a result of people depending on technology to accomplish daily tasks.

Tech-related hobbies are becoming more popular among youths due to its fun and interactive nature.

While some may argue that spending too much time with electronic devices is bad, these hobbies also provide valuable skills that youths might find useful in future.

That being said, here are some tech-related hobbies that you might want to consider exploring:

Robotics

Robotics is beginning to pave its way into digital technology curriculum with some institutions in Sarawak offering robotic workshops for students.

As a fun and exciting experiment for students, programming robots is a great way to develop spatial awareness, fine motor skills, and a practical understanding of engineering skills.

Apart from that, in future, more jobs are expected to involve robots, so early exposure to robotic programmes will truly bring benefits, especially for students.

Graphic designing and video editing

It could all start with a simple video presentation for an assignment or a funny meme that you planned to post on Facebook.

But the next thing you know, your newly-acquired skills and interest have you designing things such as logos, banners and T-shirts for friends and family.

Before you know it, the skills that you have learned while doing graphic designing and video editing might just land you some freelance gigs and even a promising career.

3D modelling

The idea of 3D modelling is gaining interest in Sarawak lately as more and more innovation centres start to offer 3D printing service and courses.

Skills in 3D printing are valuable in various areas, mostly for prototyping, and hobbyists are using this system to print items such as keychains, robotic parts, figurines and toys.

With 3D printing, students quickly become designers and creators using cutting edge technology to build anything they can imagine.

Creative Writing

Whether it is poetry, short stories or blogging, creative writing is becoming more than just a hobby as some see it as a way of life and a career as well, regardless if you prefer pen and paper, or using tablets or laptops to write.

And for those who are looking at a career in writing, or communication, this skill might come in useful as publishing and public relations firms are always on the lookout for good writers.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, published in the print version on Saturday, July 7, 2018.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Debunking the myths of soft skills

Believe it or not, there are myths surrounding soft skills and this includes the assumption that soft skills reflect an individual’s ‘softer’ side!

However, as we’ve covered in SarawakYES!, soft skills don’t make us any ‘softer’, and they don’t just include communication or teamwork skills.

They encompass a combination of interpersonal and intrapersonal abilities – creativity, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and countless more – frequently used in our relationships and interactions with others.

And when we have high levels of soft skills, we are able to demonstrate our strength and empowerment through our personality, attitude and behaviour as we confront and respond to varying degrees of situations in life.

This week we cover a few other myths about soft skills that deserve to be debunked.

Myth 1: Soft skills are inborn

In any setting, you are bound to meet people who may or may not be as conversational, empathetic, or creative as you.

Still, like technical skills, you can learn and improve your soft skills. A very effective way is through experience and practice, which allows you to step out of your comfort zone and overcome your fear and uncertainty of how others perceive you.

Myth 2: English is a must to master soft skills

While it is important to master the world’s lingua franca, you don’t necessarily have to be extremely fluent in English to develop your soft skills.

In fact, according to international leadership consultant and coach Prof MS Rao, there is no connection between soft skills and any particular language. Rather, soft skills focus on the way you communicate or relate to others, regardless of the language you speak.

Myth 3: You don’t need soft skills to thrive

Any job, whether technical or non-technical, requires a balance of soft and hard skills.

And, together with the necessary skill sets, you need to perform well at work and to be able to adapt to different cultures of different workplaces in order to grow and succeed in your career.

Myth 4: You only develop your soft skills in school

Although you’ll learn soft skills-related courses in college or university, the knowledge you have gained from there won’t be sufficient in the long run.

Thus, you need to continue learning and developing them even after you graduate, because no matter how old you are, soft skills will always be important.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2IIcaYA

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

From STEM to STEAM?

Without a doubt, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is becoming ever more crucial, especially in a world where the digital economy is growing in importance.

However, there is also a movement that hopes to add greater value to STEM education by placing art and design at the centre of STEM.

And this movement hopes that STEM education will become STEAM education – or science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics education.

The concept of STEAM was largely championed by John Maeda, the former president of the Rhode Island School of Design.

He noted that art, which includes liberal arts, fine arts, music, design thinking, and language arts, are critical components in innovation.

As the fourth industrial revolution often emphasised on the importance of innovation, he pointed out that creativity and design thinking – being important elements in the arts – are also essential for innovation.

For instance, by connecting the artistic medium such as music with technical projects such as building music apps, young innovators would be able to discover the potential of artistic innovation.

As STEAM education also emphasises the importance of STEM education, it also stresses on the ability for students to open up new ways of seeing things, to think of alternative ideas, and to learn.

When engaging in projects or activities that combine the elements in STEAM education, it would naturally trigger their curiosity and interest.

Thus, when encountering a problem, they will approach it with a variety of methods through critical thinking and creativity.

By trial and error, students will learn how to take risk, therefore learning how to really think outside the box instead of using the common approaches in solving a set of problems.

Skills fostered by an education in the arts such as creativity, trial and error, divergent thinking skills, dynamic problem solving and perseverance can be utilised and brought over to improve STEM learning.

Meanwhile, for us in Sarawak, the Digital Economy Hub – a private sector initiative for STEAM education and commercial applications – was established in Kuching to support our digital economy transformation.

The centre provides a platform for young manufacturers and innovators to learn, collaborate and assist industries in going digital.

With courses and services such as 3D printing lab, fabrication lab, robotics and virtual reality studio, the centre focuses on integrating art into STEM education.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, published in the print version on Saturday, June 23, 2018.

Photo by Digital Buggu from Pexels.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Are you cognitively flexible?

Cognitive flexibility may not rank as high as complex problem solving or emotional intelligence in the World Economic Forum report ‘The Future of Jobs’, but it remains a significant skill to have in order to compete in the global digital economy.

It is defined as our ability to shift our thinking between several ideas or context due to our response and adaptation to new stimuli.

Being cognitively flexible is key to our personal and professional growth because it enables us to keep an open mind, take risks, consider various viewpoints, and learn effectively, thus supporting other vital soft skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, and creativity.

To improve and maintain your level of cognitive flexibility, not only do you need to make sure to keep your brain active, you also have to give it sufficient rest so that your mental capabilities function well on a daily basis.

This can be done through activities that let you gain new experiences and information, challenge your beliefs and perceptions, and apply knowledge and skills in whatever you do.

However, before you start working on enhancing your cognitive flexibility, you need to know if you are cognitively inflexible.

One indication that suggests cognitive inflexibility is if you find it hard to adapt, because you are unable to adjust your thoughts to new perspectives and you are already set in your own ways.

You might then have a difficulty, for example, in having effective discussions with people of different cultures and outlooks.

Your level of cognitive flexibility might also be low if you have trouble solving problems.

This could be the case, if you are not exposed to new concepts, or are afraid to experiment with methods that you have never tried before to solve a problem.

If you tend to take the easy way out, you might be considered cognitively inflexible.

In this case, while you may find it convenient to rely on a Global Positioning System (GPS) during your drive or use a calculator to do calculations at all times, it doesn’t help your brain to stay active.

And believe it or not, always keeping to your routine without any tweaks – whether because you fear the unknown or you don’t want to waste time – might be hindering your efforts to improve your cognitive flexibility.

These are just some of many behaviours and attitude that might prevent you from being cognitively flexible.

Identify those that have been holding you back, and overcome them so that you can be mentally strong and be successful in life.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2MBrZn9

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Getting into the tech industry with zero experience

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s possible to get an IT job without a tech background, the answer is of course!

These days, it’s common to see more and more people with no prior experience in IT moving over to the fast-growing tech industry.

This is mainly because this industry is moving rapidly and producing new and exciting products and services. Bigger companies also offer high-paying jobs with many attractive benefits and perks.

If you’re considering switching to a career in tech, you may want to consider the following:

Have transferable skills

When you’re breaking into the tech industry without any technical skills under your belt, it’s important to take stock of skills that you actually possess now.

Even though the company you’re interested to join is an IT company, they might be interested in hiring for non-technical positions such as for their communications and customer service teams.

So examine how your skills can be used in a new role and if those skills can add value to the organisations you’re thinking of joining.

Learn some tech skills

For those with no tech background, the thought of going back for a three-year degree course might sound intimidating.

However, you must realise that in order to be competent in the job you cannot avoid picking up some basic knowledge on tech.

Fortunately, there are now some great courses that you can find online and best of all some of them are free.

With so many things to learn, follow your interests and teach yourself about the relevant software and hardware. More importantly keep yourself updated on the latest technologies coming out.

Get experience where you can

The best way to get immersed in the field of tech is to get some experience and to focus on closing your knowledge gaps.

At SarawakYES! we always promote the idea of internships, especially for those who’ve just graduated, as it’s probably one of the best ways to gain valuable experience and to start creating your professional network.

For those who may not find it possible to obtain an internship at a tech company, one way to learn about what it’s like to work in a tech company is to network with people who are already in the industry.

By hearing first hand from the experiences of these professionals, you may even feel more motivated to pursue your new career in tech.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2sKTnGX

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather