Plans to work mean working to right plan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 July, 2002, 12:00am

As Asia's jobless ranks swell, a number of books have been published on how to enhance your chances of getting employment.

In the present job market a candidate may lose out to others by not being prepared for the interview or because the CV does not give sufficient information.

Today's cut-throat environment means career management needs greater weighting for job applicants.

Preparing the self-marketing materials includes a resume and covering letter pointing out why you are suitable for the job, but it should not read as if you are over-selling yourself.

A positive aspect of the book is that it is written with the Asian job market in mind, whereas most of the 'how-to' books are written from a Western perspective.

Author Paul Heng writes that: 'In the new economy, the one-job career is passe. In its place is the multiple-jobs care and you need to manage it to stay employable. Whether through pro-active management of your career or arising from on-going corporate restructuring, you will invariably come across occasions when you have to look for a new job. This book takes you through the many stages of the job-search exercise and shares with you from the perspective of a job-search consultant, the things you can do to make that difference to the results of your job-search efforts.'

The book gives tips on how to write a resume and draft an appropriate covering letter, through to interviewing effectively and negotiating for the remuneration package you want.

Mr Heng has dedicated a whole chapter to job hunters over the age of 45.

He writes that most of the people hit a wall when they are searching for a job when they are about that age. In some societies, there also exists a mindset of hiring organisations not wanting to employ anyone who has crossed a certain age threshold.

'If you are over this age group you will find serious problems in finding meaningful alternative employment should you be forced to terminate your employment contract against your wishes,' the author says.

He suggests perseverance and hard work are the best ways of finding a job for someone of that age.

'Nobody ever said job search is a piece of cake. You have to work hard if you want to be successful. As a matter of fact, I would bet that job search is probably even harder to do than your last job,' he writes.

It is also tough at the other end of the scale.

'At that earlier phase of your career, it is actually quite impossible to know what you want out of your career. Our perspective of life changes as we grow older. Therefore at the initial stages of your career find something that appeals you,' Mr Heng advises.

All in all, the book is a snappy read for those who are not yet initiated in the art of the job search.

Jump Start Your Career

By Paul Heng

Published by Prentice Hall