By Abdur Quaderi


Everyone has a  resume, but how many job seekers have a resume that is complete and accurate, attractive and effective? A resume that an employer/ recruiter enjoys reading?
Let's look at a situation where there is one position and 40 job applications. The HR Manager has a very difficult job to do. He/ she is a busy person and now the best 3 candidates have to be interviewed. This organisation wants to be fair. The best 3 applicants need to be called in for an interview. You are one of those 40 job seekers who are competing.

Now, out of 40 job applications, how much time do you think your resume will receive?  Will your resume get noticed? Will it be able to create an impact? Why?

I am not writing as a writer, I have been in the position of a Manager/ recruiter in many situations in my past. I have also spoken to many managers and recruiters, read numerous articles/ books on these subjects and spoken to at least 3,000 job seekers who have been my business clients. I am writing as a recruiter, and using my own experience. 
Usually (and initially) a resume receives only 2 or 3 minutes of time. It's unfortunate, but it is a reality. In that 2 or 3 minutes, your resume needs to grab the attention of the reader. It needs to stand out. The big question is - HOW? 
Your job search will become easy if you understand the basics of the subject MARKETING. There is a term called marketing campaign. Imagine that a company has manufactured a new toothpaste, the name of which is SIMPLE. The company's management is very excited about this product as they have invested a lot of money to create a unique product. Considering the low price and high quality, there is no toothpaste in the market as good as SIMPLE. Now the BIG problem is - how to communicate the features and benefits of SIMPLE to the marketplace? Surely a consumer will benefit by using this toothpaste. The product is really good and the price is unbelievable. But how will the consumer know this important message? 
Now let me come back to you, the job seeker. You are the product. You are trying to find a suitable employment for yourself. A position has been advertised and you can definitely do this job. I am just giving you an example - you are a university graduate, knowledgeable, you are able to use the mobile phone and internet very easily. You have a lot of friends and you can easily relate to people. You are a good communicator. You are hardworking, very enthusiastic and highly motivated. You want to tell the recruitment agent/ HR Manager about all of these good qualities, if you get an opportunity. The problem is that you are not getting that opportunity, which is known as the JOB INTERVIEW. Do you know why are you not getting job interviews? 
There may be many reasons, however, one common reason is that your resume is not up to the required standard. It must be attractive enough to quickly impress the reader. It has to be a good quality document. A good quality resume represents your quality. Remember, your  is not a just list of what you have done and what degrees you have. IT IS YOUR ADVERTISEMENT.It is your most important marketing document. In other words, it is a document that has been very carefully written, with a view to MARKET YOU
I have had many clients who read their new resumes over and over again when they came to my office to pick up their resumes. They could clearly see the difference between their old resume and the new resume. When I looked at them holding their newly written resumes, I could see the mark of satisfaction in their faces. Some of them mentioned that they should have had a resume professionally written months ago. Their time has been wasted and their confidence has reduced. They had written their resumes themselves or by a friend with a view to saving money. Some people thought there was simply no need of having a resume written by a professional, as the document contains 'standard information' and all the information can be found in the internet. There is simply so much information in the internet! 

Some people thought having a resume written by a professional was an 'unnecessary luxury'. 

The main advantage of having your resume professionally written is that you will have interaction with a career professional and your resume will be reviewed, re-designed and written based on today's quality standards. Smart job seekers of today do understand the value of having a consultation with a career professional.
Why do you need to speak to a career professional? 
Because your job search campaign is JUST LIKE a marketing campaign. Your objective is to find the right type of employer for yourself. Remember, chances are very much that there is an employer in the job market who is looking for someone exactly like you. Someone who has the same type of qualifications and experience, skills and attributes. Someone who is willing to accept the same type of salary and agree with terms and conditions that are OK with you. How will you discover that employer? You need to understand marketing techniques and you also have to understand the dynamics of the job market. 
Think about it - how much money have you already invested in yourself? You are a machine that will make money and if you start counting (like I do as an entrepreneur-manager), you have invested a lot of money already. (YOU means either yourself or your parents). Whey not spend a little bit more to get an effective resume? Remember, this not a matter of spending money, we are talking about investing money.
True, there is no end to investment for career development purposes. However, you really need to understand which investment is most important....
Let me ask you a direct question - do you need a resume reviewed/ written by a professional? 
Yes, you do, provided that the professional has a good track record and the service is something that you can afford. Your benefits may be summarised with the following bullet points:
  • Your resume will reflect a clear picture of yourself, your skills, attributes and expertise
  • It is reasonable that you should get more job interviews 
  • Your interaction with a Career Consultant will make you more knowledgeable and better prepared
  • Time spent on your job search should be reduced
  • You should have a good quality document that will require continuous improvement (i.e. editing and modifications) in the future
Remember, the smartest people invest in their own careers. They invest money in continuous learning, career development and self improvement. That is simply the reason why they grow fast.



This article was published in 'Brisbane Seniors' newspaper during 2009.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”. - C.S. Lewis 

Our socio-economic environment is changing fast, forcing us to adapt to changes very quickly.The main driving factors at the present time are on one hand the worldwide recession and on the other hand a dynamic society dominated by modern technology. Especially with a sudden (recent) change of economic climate, a significant part of the population are quite perplexed. Change or evolution is a natural process in life, however, the transformations that are recently happening around us is a bit too much and it is all happening too quickly.The recession has appeared almost suddenly without giving us a chance to make any preparations at all. Again, as human beings, by nature we cannot change as fast as computers or telecommunications can. I have observed that not only seniors, many other people are struggling to adapt. 

It is good to see that some seniors have become quite proficient in utilising technology to their advantage, however many are still struggling to keep pace. I came across some smart people who had realised well in advance that they had to get the basics of modern technology under control.These people are one step ahead of others.However, unfortunately, many seniors do not have a plan/ strategy for their future working life. The entire situation has become even more complex with this recession, making career planning an even more challenging task. At a time when the job market is unstable and the immediate economic future quite uncertain, it is difficult to formulate a long-term plan.

It is a known fact that with advances in medical technology people are now living longer, therefore the bills and living expenses will have to be paid for a quite a long time.How long.....and accordingly what steps need to be taken? Have we created a long-term career plan looking through an uncertain future? Most people try to avoid these questions because there is a common misconception in the society that 'career planning' is a term reserved for young people. The term actually applies to all who work, capable of working, or have an intention to work for some years to come.So where do we start and what exactly do we need to do about it?

No matter how old you are, if you are planning to work for another 10 years (for example), the first thing you need to do is to use a pen and paper (you may even use a computer if you prefer) and write down your objective. Remember an OBJECTIVE must be S.M.A.R.T., which is an abbreviation, explained below -

For an objective to be attained, it must be realistic. If you feel that the objective is not realistic, you will never be able to achieve it, simply because in your own mind you will know that it is not realistic, and therefore it is just an impossible dream.

An objective must be capable of being related to the time factor. For example, an objective should be something like " I will complete my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment by the end of next month". When an objective is linked with the time factor, you have a real task/ assignment to be completed and there is the word 'deadline' attached to it.

Have you set an objective for your next 10 years? If yes, that's excellent! That means you now have an objective that is S.M.A.R.T. In other words, it means you now have an objective that is within your reach. 'OBJECTIVE' was the first word we have discussed about. Now we are going to discuss about the second word, which is 'STRATEGY'. These words really come from the subject MANAGEMENT, which has been my area of specialisation since my university days. Today the subject 'Management' has received special attention and recognition for its practical approach and its utility in systems improvement, people development, business development and profit maximisation. Well, I am not writing a business article now, therefore I will not deviate from my path. My subject is 'Career Planning for Seniors', therefore I will come back on track.


Think about the word OBJECTIVE as 'what'. 

For example, 'What do you want'? In other words, what is your objective? Got it? 

If OBJECTIVE is comparable to the word what, then STRATEGY is comparable to the word 'how'? Basically your strategy will tell you how you are going to meet your objective.

So how are you going to achieve your objective? Another subject to think about. Another important project for you to complete. Another project that forces you to think. Both projects, i.e. objective setting as well as strategy formulation require you to utilise your conceptual and analytical skills to the greatest extent.


*1 -  Reference: Queensland Government online publication.



Why is this the first interview question (in many situations)? 

1) A test of your communication skills 
2) A test of how much comfortable/ how much relaxed/ how much nervous you appear to be 
3) A test of your presentation skills (the easiest person in the world to describe should be is to describe yourself) - how well do to perform this easy job? 
4) How much time do you take to answer this simple question ... 


........ :) 


For some people an interview is an enjoyable game, while for some people, a job interview is a nightmare .... 


All of your questions will be answered 



By Abdur Quaderi




7colours: What I learned from the UniverseCity of life

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Collection: Career Design International

If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much - Jim Rohn

You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need - Jerry Gillies 


It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go - Jim Rohn

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream - C. S. Lewis

Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love - Rumi

The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be your only sustainable competitive advantage - Arie de Geus 





Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined - Henry David Thoreau

Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today - Benjamin Franklin





Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can - Paul Tournier 

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world – Joel A. Barker

Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalise on what comes - Zig Ziglar

The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become - Jim Rohn

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction – Einstein

Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

The only real valuable thing is intuition - Einstein

There is a great difference between worry and concern.  A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem - Harold Stephens 

Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself - Rumi

You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life? – Rumi

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself - George Bernard Shaw

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude - Zig Ziglar

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it - Maya Angelou

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them - Mark Twain

Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning ― Bill Gates

The ideas gained by men before they are twenty-five are practically the only ideas they shall have in their lives – William Jame

Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are – George Santayana

In a gentle way, you can shake the world – Mahatma Gandhi 

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light – Aristotle Onassis

Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant – Robert Louis Stevenson

Let each man exercise the art he knows - Aristophanes

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere - Albert Einstein

With self-discipline most anything is possible – Theodore Roosevelt

If you give people tools, and they use their natural abilities and their curiosity, they will develop things in ways that will surprise you very much beyond what you might have expected – Bill Gates

If you can't make it good, at least make it look good. ― Bill Gates

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. - Gandhi

The ambitious climbs up high and perilous stairs and never cares how to come down; the desire of 

rising hath swallowed up his fear of a fall – Thomas Adams.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn - Benjamin Franklin

Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness – Thomas Carlyle

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant – Max de Pree 

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed – Peter Drucker

The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else's rules, while quietly playing by your own -  Michael Korda 

Real riches are the riches possessed inside – B.C.Forbes

I rate enthusiasm even above professional skill – Edward Appleton

Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can – Paul Tournier

An inventor is simply a person who doesn't take his education too seriously. You see, from the time a person is six years old until he graduates from college he has to take three or four examinations a year. If he flunks once, he is out. But an inventor is almost always failing. He tries and fails maybe a thousand times. It he succeeds once then he's in. These two things are diametrically opposite. We often say that the biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee how to fail intelligently. We have to train him to experiment over and over and to keep on trying and failing until he learns what will work.— Charles Kettering

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken - Oscar Wilde

The man who is intent on making the most of his opportunities is too busy to bother about luck – B.C. Forbes

Any fool can have bad luck; the art consists in knowing how to exploit it – Frank Wedekind

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