Category Archives: Career Advice

Knowing what to leave on or off a resume is sometimes difficult. CRS General Manager, Mariska Seereeram, offers sound advice to jobseekers and freelancers on what to put in their resume to bag that new job.

Showcase Competencies and Achievements

Jobseekers need to carefully review the job details of the role they are applying for and ensure that it is easy for the Hiring Manager to identify the key experience, skills and competencies  required for the role. “When the Hiring Manager reviews a person’s CV, they are looking for specific things. Case in point, for an accounting position, they are looking for certain key words; bank reconciliation, financial statements and the accounting software. Your résumé  represents you ,makes the first impression and determines whether you get the first interview or prescreening.”

Don’t resend the same CV

“If you are ready for the next career step, don’t re-send the same CVs as when you were an assistant or in a junior position. You must update your resume to show the new skills, qualifications and experience you have acquired, thus making you the right candidate for this new role.”

Mariska shares one simple adjustment she made to a client’s resume. She recalled a situation where the role the candidate wanted to apply for required supervisory experience. The candidate’s current role was junior and leading a team was not one of her core responsibilities. When coaching the candidate  Mariska  realized that the candidate did participate in a project to develop a new product line in the company over five months in which she did have a lead role. The was not part of her normal daily duties but a major achievement which the candidate did not consider highlighting in her resume.

Be concise. Showcase the best.

For our candidates applying for executive or even leadership positions, their resume must be tailored to show these competencies. Mariska shared her experience of helping a candidate apply for a COO position.  Mariska recalls, “This candidate had all the qualifications and experience but her resume was 6 pages long and the format only showcased her legal background.  I redesigned her resume to a C Suite format and highlighted her experience in strategic planning ,business and management while still including details her legal background.”

Hiring CRS Resume Writing Service

There is added value to our CRS Resume Writing Service. CRS is not just a recruitment provider, we work closely with candidates in improving their CVs via our Resume Writing service. Ms. Seereeram said, “We offer the service of looking at your CV from the Hiring Manager’s perspective and provide continuous support through including interview preparation.”

In our current work environment, CRS has adapted to using Zoom and Microsoft teams to conduct virtual sessions with our candidates. These sessions are used to get a proper understanding of the candidates and their prospective career opportunities. Mariska states “We go through line by line together. There is collaboration in how the CV is written. It is drafted, then re-drafted and recommendations are made. Then we go it over again with suggestions and do some further editing.” At CRS, it is a collaborative process with the candidate as we provide additional support.

Freelancers’ portfolios as marketing tools

Freelancers, are very certain of what they want and the type of projects they want to work on. On the other hand, as compared to other jobseekers who are looking for a permanent job in a different company. Mariska notes that, “With freelancers the structure of their CVs will be a little different. It will not be a regular CV.  They can showcase their work via an online portfolio with links to current and past projects if possible.”  This portfolio has to be designed as a marketing tool rather than just a CV. She adds, “This is where we can help freelancers really put their accomplishments, their projects down and format the portfolio properly.” This will also allow prospective companies and clients to verify their work as well as references.

CRS is not just a recruitment agency. We offer a unique, collaborative and supportive experience for our candidates and clients via our professional resume writing services as they venture into new career paths.

 

Need our help? Book a session with Mariska at mariska@crsrecruitment.co.tt 

 

Author: Johanna Thomas 

New year and new opportunities await jobseekers. As candidates enter the workforce or continue the job search in 2021, here are some tips to help jobseekers’ level up and bag that job.

 

It’s time to upskill 

Upskilling refers to the process of individuals learning new or additional skills. In this competitive job market, stand out by embracing and acquiring new skills. There are a number of free online courses being offered by FacebookLinkedIn and Coursera. For example, take this time to learn how you can improve your communication, organizational or even leadership skills.  

 

Keep your video interviewing and tech skills sharp 

As companies continue to work remotely, some Human Resource Managers and Recruiters are conducting online interviews. Thus, job seekers need to be prepared for video interviews and conduct themselves the same way as if it were an in-person interview.  Furthermore, the interviewee (you) must dress appropriately, set up for the interview in a well lit sound proof room and be prepared. Being technological savvy is also an asset in 2021 as this skill can aid in attaining a job. For instance, more computer-based and smartphone devices are being utilized by companies to conduct business, so being competent is a must.  

 

Tailor your resume for each application 

Customize different applications for each employer. Also, mention your capabilities and successes in different areas or industries.  

 

Apply for jobs in industries that are still hiring despite the COVID-19 pandemic  

Technology and Telecommunications industries are still hiring. In spite of the COVID-19, both sectors have continuous growth as technical expertise, connectivity and videoconferencing are in demand at this time. Click to view job postings for an  IT Analyst  and aInformation Technology Administrator. An expanding industry may just be the place for you to work right now. Furthermore, remote work is the new normal so do not dismiss jobs that are not in an office. View vacancies for BookkeeperPayroll Officer and Administrative Assistant. Be open as the workplace is now anywhere once you have a laptop and internet connectivity.  

 

Stay up to date on trends in your industry  

It is important to learn as much as you can about the position or industry you plan to work in. So, stay informed of developments by following companies and professionals in your field on LinkedIn, Facebook and also check companies’ websites or blogs. Also, networking with industry professionals will also keep you in-the-know. 

 

Writing or updating your Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume is a right of passage for any potential jobseeker. It is an important document that presents your education, skills.

Here are some resume writing tips that will make your resume stand out amongst fellow candidates.

Constructing the resume. Firstly, a cover letter should accompany your resume that introduces you to the intended recipient. In crafting your resume, it would be helpful to use a professional resume template. (See some below to reference.) This guide will get you started in terms of layout and presents your information in a logical order. This template can also be a resource when it comes to customizing your resume.

Tip: write a custom resume for each job application. Never send the same application to multiple companies.

Formatting. Ensure there are no unnecessary spaces in your CV. Spacing should be kept consistent throughout. Try keeping your CV to 2 pages. Check your formatting of your CV before submitting to the recruiter or potential employer. Ensure your font size is consistent throughout and number the pages.

What to put in the CV.

Work Experience- keep it recent and relevant. Your resume should be a high-level summary of your relevant professional accomplishments. List achievements, experiences, and positions that closely align with the jobs you’re applying for. Use strong action verbs and concrete nouns to demonstrate action and competency. Avoid copying and pasting your job description. Include your key duties and responsibilities.

Education. No need to list every paper and grade completed in graduate and post graduate. Employers need to see: Degree, institution and year completed or year started and expected completion date (include continuing or online education in this section). This shows your determination and motivation to continue acquiring skills needed for your career.

Show some personality. Include your interests in your resume to show some of the activities you do in your free time or organisations you are affiliated with.

References. It is important to approach the right people who are credible for your recommendations: former employers, managers, peers, customers, and clients. Recruiters and HR professionals contact your listed references as proof of your work experience and connections, so choose wisely.

Resume templates links

https://templates.office.com/en-us/resume-templates

https://www.resume-now.com/

https://www.resume-now.com/build-resume/choose-template

https://www.indeed.com/profile/resume-templates

https://resumegenius.com/resume-templates/professional-templates

 

If you need more details contact us at info@crsrecruitment.co.tt or (868) 222-6911.

As a result of COVID-19, some of us are working remotely. Being confined to home, social distancing and constantly washing our hands has become the “new normal”. Yet, we need to maintain a work-life balance when working from home.

Here are some activities one can partake in to do something fun and not work related.

  • Learn a new language. Being able to communicate in another language can open a world of opportunities. New friends, travel or even employment. On the job front, it gives one the competitive edge amongst their peers as knowing another language is considered a skill. This time presents a unique opportunity to learn a language and to connect personal as well as professionally with people in online spaces.

 

  • Host a watch party with family and friends. Friends and family are connecting online and hosting watch parties for their collective favourite shows or movies. Netflix, Disney + and other streaming services are uploading new releases and even entire series of classics. Pop some popcorn, wear something comfortable, relax and enjoy the show with those dearest to you.

 

  • Hone your cooking skills. The pandemic has changed the way we plan or even cook our meals. Take this time to sharpen your skills and perfect delicious dishes. Cooking may seem daunting but one key tip is preparing your ingredients beforehand can make the experience less overwhelming. Also, check out your favourite celebrity chefs or foodie influencers youtube channels for recipes or even cook a meal with a friend to see who is truly the master chef.

 

  • Plant a home garden. You don’t need much space to start gardening. Firstly, choose the right location where there is adequate sunlight and the soil is moist. Start off small and simple by planting seasoning, herbs, lettuce or pimento peppers. Set aside days that you will be gardening so that you can tend to your crops. You will be proud when you pick fresh ingredients that you grew from your garden to cook for the family.

 

  • Get crafty. You always wanted to paint a feature wall in your living room or make your own natural soap and candles. Crave out time in your week to work on any project that will get your creativity flowing and your hands working. There are many online tutorials to assist in turning a novice into an expert.

 

  • Take an online dance class. Since we are all indoors, this is a great way to remain physically active while simultaneously spending time with the whole family. Hip Hop, Jazz, Modern, Soca, Dancehall or Afrobeats are some of the dances genres one can do. Make it interesting by allowing each family member to choose the style of dance for a particular week thus everyone can learn something new and get out of their comfort zone.

 

  • Time to meditate. Taking care of your mind is important. So find time during the day to meditate for 5 to 10 minutes. Some say the morning is the best time to meditate because there are fewer distractions but it all depends on your schedule. Meditation is one of the best ways to help you find a sense of calmness and clarity, reduce stress, promote healthy, restful sleep and increase focus. So schedule it in and meditate away!
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. More importantly I hope you still have a job.

How many of you attended the office Christmas party and received a warning letter the next day? I presume not many. In an office party setting it is easy to forget appropriate behavior, especially when inebriated, and over step the bounds of political correctness. Perhaps one should not have gotten that intoxicated in the first place.

Is appropriate office behavior only required during official working hours? How should one operate outside of this? In the current digital media age it is important to remember that politically correct behavior doesn’t start at the office front door. Unfortunately the ease of access to our private lives via social media often means that lines are blurred.

Now a days we live in proverbial glass houses, as a result it is important to conduct all aspects of life in a manner that doesn’t bring one’s reputation or career into disrepute. Do you agree?

The only way is up! Actually this isn’t always the case. Sometimes you have to play the long game.

As a recruiter I speak to professionals about their career options on a daily basis. Many people say they will only consider another job if it’s a step up or if it presents a significant increase in salary. Sometimes these people are short sighted.

Consider this scenario; you are an Internal Auditor and would like your next job to be a Finance Manager. You apply for many Finance Manager jobs but are unable to get to the interview stage.

Perhaps you can pause and consider things from the hiring manager’s perspective, there are likely to be other candidates applying for the same job and many of them may already be Finance Managers.

What can you do differently to achieve the desired results? One option may be to look at internal options in your current place of work. Perhaps there is an opportunity to temporally cover for the Finance Manager when he / she is on vacation. In the short term it is in your interest to volunteer for a lateral assignment, or expand your workload, often without any increase in pay. The experience gained will position you one step closer to a Finance Manager role.

An alternative approach could be to apply for Financial Accountant roles instead of Finance Manager positions. After a couple years as a Financial Accountant you may have gained the desired experience to move into the Finance Manager position.

A third option could be to volunteer, in your spare time, as a Finance Manager for an NGO or Industry Committee that needs assistance in this area.

All three options provide the same result; relevant work experience. This will make your profile more desirable to hiring managers and assist in the career advancement that you seek.

Have you recently been retrenched or made redundant? Are you considering your next career move? Is this your first time job hunting in over a decade?

Trinidad and Tobago is largely dependent on a sector that has been in global decline for approximately two years. The Oil and Gas industry is in the throes of ”Lower for Longer Prices”, in addition the T&T economy has  been adversely affected by a lack of diversification and economic stimulation. Under these circumstances it’s not surprising to observe that a percentage of the mature working population have found themselves in a position they never envisioned; jobless with families to feed and mortgages to pay.

My advice; do not become complacent or procrastinate about jumpstarting your job search, we are in a challenging job market that is far from candidate driven. The first step toward finding a new role involves writing or re-vamping your CV, the key is to ensure you create an achievement lead CV.

Next up, the job search. Ideally you want to have a planned systematic approach to job hunting. Keep your activity levels high and engage in job search activities on a daily basis. It helps to structure your day, perhaps you can put aside an hour or two for perusing the press and online job boards. Also liaise with a reputable Recruitment Agency. Ensure you don’t duplicate efforts or apply for the same job multiple times through various avenues. Apply for jobs that are relevant to your skill-set. Also keep an open mind; be prepared to take on contract assignments. The working world is changing, be open to changing with it. Gone are the days of “A job for life”. Consider contract or project based work.

Make sure to prepare adequately for the interview; understand the company and its culture. Also you should know your CV inside out and be ready to answer questions about everything you have listed.

When negotiating your remuneration have realistic salary expectations, remember that it’s better to gain employment and sustain a marginal reduction in salary. The alternative may involve remaining unemployed for six to nine months or even longer.

Best of luck with your job search!

When searching for that first job Caribbean students are often trapped in an exasperating chicken and egg scenario. You need work experience to be considered for the position but employers are reluctant to give you that first job until you have work experience.

The secret to getting past this initial challenge is to work hard during your undergraduate years. Good grades always help but grades will only get you so far. How does one bridge that gap between University and work? The answer: look for internship opportunities and enroll to gain work experience during term breaks or apply for one of the few coveted “on campus jobs”. If you take an assignment every summer you are likely to gain six to nine months’ work experience while at university. Also don’t shy away from taking low level roles and working your way up. This is an excellent way to learn the ropes; many of the world’s strongest leaders started their careers this way.  The key to success is humbleness, once you get an opportunity be prepared to use your initiative, offer to assist with tasks, and maintain a high level of mental engagement so you learn quickly on the job.

Are you interested in changing jobs or casually looking at your options?

It’s important to note that most people don’t move for money. Motivation for career change often comes from a desire for career progression or a need to find a culture fit that’s more suitable.

With this in mind I advise candidates to take a practical approach to salary negotiations. A good rule of thumb is to expect an increase in salary of 10% or less. Also you should think of justifiable reasons why you deserve that 10% increase. Experienced professionals often move jobs because that are primarily focused on the role, remuneration is secondary.

To be through you may want to conduct research to understand what the current market rate is for similar jobs within your industry, bearing in mind that in Trinidad and Tobago the same job could have a vastly different salary range across different industries or different size businesses.

Also remember that good negotiations are based on give and take. If you are pushing for a higher salary be prepared to work long hours to deliver outstanding performance in return.

Susan’s Snippets

Once again, I am pleased to present the second of a two-part series of articles by guest writer, Mr Galba Bright. To view an illustrated presentation of this article on Emotionally Intelligent Time Management Tips, go to
http://tuneupyoureq.com/2007/05/01/how-to-work-smarter-not-harder/.

 

Galba Bright resides in Jamaica. He is the Caribbean’s leading provider of Emotional Intelligence Learning Programmes and Knowledge Products.

The Information & Computer Technology Society of Trinidad & Tobago (ICTS) has postponed its Technology Session to a date to be determined. Keep checking the ICTS website for updates http://www.icts.org.tt or email me at icts@crsitjobs.com if you would like me to notify you when the Session will take place.

 

Smarter, Not Harder – 10 Emotionally Intelligent Time Management Tips … by Galba Bright

You’re living in an age where far more is about how your mind and brain work than ever before. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) studies show that how you think, feel and act are intimately linked.

Daniel Goleman, author of the 1995 book “Emotional Intelligence, Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” defines Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as:
“The capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.”

Use these 10 Tips and take control of your time and your life.

1. Solve work problems while you’re asleep. Ask your mind a question at the end of the day and expect a meaningful answer when you wake up. Many people report that they’ve achieved dramatic results by putting their subconscious mind to work.

2. Stop multi-tasking. Trying to do too many things at once and switching frequently between many tasks has been shown by many studies to reduce productivity by between 29% to 53%.

3. Sip iced water throughout your working day. If you drink as little as 4% – 5% below your optimal water requirements, your concentration and performance can be reduced by as much as 30%.

4. Produce a prioritised to-do list. Write it out, keep it on your PDA or store it on your computer. It’s far easier to achieve plans that you’ve made visible than those that just stay in your head.

5. Refer to your to do list frequently. Tick off the completed items as you finish them. This gets you actively involved in your tasks. It also strengthens your emotional commitment to their timely execution. It’s a very practical way to keep yourself motivated.

6. Write down your lifetime goals. When you make your goals explicit, you’re far more likely to achieve them. Your subconscious mind will get to work on achieving your goals without you really even knowing.

7. Review your lifetime goals at least every quarter. Stay on track and make sure that they’re in harmony with your values. Your goals may also change as you grow older and wiser.

8. Do high priority work when you’re at your peak. Structure your working day so that you do key tasks at the times of the day when your mind is most clear and your energy level is at its highest. You’ll save hours and gain even more time when you make this a regular habit.

9. Make fun of your fears about work. Be playful. Ask yourself “what is the worst thing that could possibly happen?” Let your imagination run wild, don’t hold back, be as ridiculous as possible. Do you see how absurd your fears are? Now get on and do the thing that you made you feel fearful in the first place.

10. Learn from your failures. Don’t waste time and energy blaming yourself if you don’t implement your new tips perfectly the first time. Keep on practicing. Focus on the tips that work for you and work out how to make them regular habits.

Download your free Tune up Your Emotional Intelligence Workbook from http://tuneupyoureq.com. Email your comments to galbabright@tuneupyoureq.com.

Tell Us What You Think

(Referring to our last newsletter “Six Things You Must Know About Emotional Intelligence – by Galba Bright”)

Really good edition this month! … Patrice

We would love to hear what you think of this issue of CRS News. And of course, if you have any suggestions for upcoming issues that you would like to share with us, please send those too.