Monthly Archives: April 2012

Job hunting, the different way

The present situation tells us that the unemployment rate is increasing for several reasons: Large companies cut down on expenses in salaries by releasing workforce at a rate of about 10%. On the other hand, every year millions of college and high school graduates are thrown into the market, each of them eager to find a well-paid job. Online job offerings have gone down by as much as 15% since 2008, producing a job seeker/job offer ratio of 4:1.

Social networks are starting to get part of the standards that hiring managers are applying to sort out applicants. One of five hiring managers take background checks using social networks, with Facebook in the number one spot.

These facts call for a completely different approach in trying to get hired. The old-fashioned way of application via submission of resumes to job sites or going to job fairs has still some value, but the more promising approach lies in a tactical approach via social networks on the internet. Chances that you will not only get into a job, but also getting a “dream job”, are unlikely higher using this way. What has to be taken into consideration for a successful application?

If you want a job, don’t look for a job… look for people

Most of the jobs are not to be found online. Hiring managers or those, who decide which applicant gets in or not, usually have a considerable number of referrals, so that there is no point for them to look at online applications. In my experience, most of my applications haven’t even been answered, neither positively nor negatively. They were simply ignored, which makes me assume that those jobs never where available or never existed (or the hiring manager was not up to his job). There are studies which say that about 80 % of the jobs taken are based on networking. Yet there are not many people who had the idea to search the web for people or companies they would really like to work for.

How to go over this?

First of all, key out those five companies you like most to work for/with. It makes more sense to do a concentrated approach instead of producing tons of spam. Here you have the chance to full-heartedly present yourself as the person that fits best for the job and is excited and ecstatic to join and work for this company

Person search: Facebook (and search engines) is a great way to find employees that presently work in the company of your choice. Chances are big that you will be able to find someone who is working in one of your five favored companies. After having found a contact name, use search engines (Yahoo, Google, etc.) to get some complementary infos about this particular person.

This is the time to contact this particular person directly. Since our social media have made things way more transparent than it used to be some twenty years ago, you will be able to approach easily such a person and send messages, although you have never met before and don’t know each other. Yet you have to keep in mind that those people might get job inquiries more often than they like to and that they don’t get into Facebook for this particular purpose, but for interacting with their real friends. Therefore it won’t be wise to go like a bull at a gate and bombard this person right away with your job wishes. You have to become creative, taking all the personal and company infos into consideration in order to create a tailor-made message, telling who you are, what interests you got, NOT asking for a job or talking about job related affairs. You should get familiar with each other first, and later, after 4 or 5 or even more messages, this will be the time to get to the point and ask for a job opening in that particular company.

The usual, old-fashioned approach of finding a new job was some kind of proactive and ended very often in an employment with a not-so-funny job. Our alternative way is based on a personal relationship with somebody who already works for that special company you always wanted to get in. On top of that, you have the opportunity to show off your capabilities by producing a website, blogs, social networking pages, which all focus on your expertise and your interests.

This all calls for a lot of commitment, creativity, and endurance in order to make this a successful project. Facebook pages and blogs are a formidable way to present you, without bothering those people for whom these pages are supposed to be created. Once those people caught interest in your exposure on the net, you don’t have to run after your job, the job will run after you eventually. But you have to tailor your content in such a way that it will attract those recruiters to a point that they will be impressed and offer you jobs, which are of your likings. Going such a way, the word “rejection” will almost belong to the past.

Since your new friend is most likely more often in Facebook than in YM or other instant messengers, it would be terrific to be able to monitor if he/she is online without always to be forced to open the entire Facebook website and sign in into one’s own account. I was told of an instant Facebook messenger, which exactly offers those features. Chit Chat Facebook instant messenger (www.chitchat.org.uk) is a free application, which incorporates essential features of traditional instant messengers. The big difference is that you can talk to another Chit Chat user or to the web-based messenger in Facebook. This is a great way to find out who is online on Facebook and contact your friends directly without the hassle of starting the browser, then the FB webpage, then sign in, and then look for the instant messenger. Meanwhile your friend might have already signed out. . .

How to Survive in Indoensia: An Introduction

General Information About Indonesia

Indonesia is a country consisting of about 13,500 islands. About 237 million people live there who speak over 250 different languages. Bahasa Indonesia was therefore introduced as an official language although only 12% of the population speak it as a native language. It was derived from the Malay language and used to be an important commercial language especially in cities with harbors. Since almost 90% of the population are Muslims, Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world. Other major religious groups are Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

The Importance of Hierarchy

The Indonesian society is very hierarchical, usually depending on status and age. You can see this already on the words which are used for ‘you’ such as father, mother, older or younger sibling and this is only a small collection of words as there are many regional differences. For example you often do not say how are you but you would say how is father, how is mother and so on. Another difference during conversations is that the younger one usually looks down and not in the other ones eyes. Keeping constant eye contact as we do to show interest means in Indonesia that someone is extremely curious, rather in a negative way or even angry.

Greetings

Greeting someone in Indonesia is very similar to Germany, you shake one’s hands when you meet someone for the first time, although the hand shake should be soft. Often afterwards the hand is put on the chest to show respect for the other one. If it is a larger group you shake the hand of the oldest and most senior person first. Another common way to greet someone is called salim. Here the younger one takes the hand of the older one and puts it to the head.

Getting to Know Each Other

When you get to know someone in Indonesia it is always important to find out the other one’s name in the beginning of the conversation. So you will be asked for your name but you should also ask for the other ones name. Another common question that will arise in the beginning of the conversation is if you are married. And if you say ‘no’ they will often continue asking why and when you are planning to get married. If you answer ‘ yes’, they often ask about how many children you have and so on. In the West it is increasingly common to say that you do not have a religion, in Indonesia, however, they cannot imagine there are people who do not believe in anything. Therefore you should say something, otherwise they may regard you with suspicion and keep distance.

Being Invited by an Indonesian

Being 30 minutes late is completely acceptable and normal over there. Foods and drinks are often refused the first time and should always be offered several times. Also do not be surprised if you pass around food and drink and nobody starts eating or drinking. You should invite them by saying silakan diminum (please drink) or silakan dimakan (please eat).

Eating Habits

Usually people think in the Jakarta area that the food was good if you eat a lot. But make sure that you do not have to throw anything away. To them that means that they spent all that time cooking and preparing the food for you and you just throw it away, which is very impolite. Also the left hand is considered and unclean and should be left on your lap. Only use your right hand to eat. It is a good general rule to forget you have a left hand and to do everything with your right hand. In Indonesia you will get rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner since for them a meal without rice is not a meal.

Appropriate Clothing

Women should cover their shoulders and make sure their clothes are not too short in general as in other Islamic countries. Men should also wear long pants as shorts are considered to be the clothes of poor people who cannot afford long pants. Since you could already buy a plane ticket to Indonesia you are considered to have enough money to afford long pants. Shorts are usually only acceptable during leisure time.

Shopping

In supermarkets and malls you will usually find fixed prices but everywhere else it is common and expected to bargain. Of course white people usually get the worst prices, but if you speak some Indonesian they think that you know more about the local prices and therefore they will often give you better prices.