WOW – It has been over two years since I last wrote anything on my blog!
The other day I rediscovered my blog. I friend of mine from the Nanyang MBA send me a link to her blog and reading some of the articles inspired me to take a look at my own. I read over a few of my previous posts and actually felt a bit proud.
“There is a lot of good content on this website. It would be a shame not to continue building on this. “
Reading through some of my previous posts, I had this great experience down memory lane, and I realized that writing a blog is as much for myself, as it is for you: the reader.
I have therefore, decided to relaunch AlexanderHold.com and pick up blogging again.
The content of my future posts is not quite clear yet. However, I intend to share some of the expertise and knowledge I have acquired from building TALENT-TEAM Young Talents Recruitment in Norway in the past two years. I also recently moved to Singapore to attend the Nanyang MBA, so without doubt that experience will affect the content I’ll share with you.
I’m looking very much forward to get started, and you can expect the first real article to be shared very soon.
I have wanted to use that title for a long, long time. However, I haven’t felt that I had a story precious enough to be told under that heading!
Now I got the story for you. It is not extraordinary fancy and unbelievable. However, it is down to earth everyday value of a precious network.
So here is the story: It all started with a message on Facebook from a girl from the JA-YE Alumni network in Norway! (oh yeah I moved to Oslo) – She asked if I wanted to come out Saturday and show around a newcomer in Oslo. As always I’m pretty keen on getting out and meeting new people, so of course I said YES, right away.
But hold on! – How did my dear friend from JA-YE Alumni know of this new guy in town?
She had been contacted by a mutual friend of ours from the JA-YE Network, who had been studying with the new guy. She had been so kind to contact her network in Oslo, on behalf of the new guy and had managed to set up an afternoon tour.
So how did I get into the picture? – Well my dear friend was so kind to invite me along; I believe just random kindness´.
So we met up in the afternoon and went for a stroll around town. Went for a late afternoon lunch and ended up staying out all night sharing stories, business ideas, and contacts. What was so Awesome, was that we all just got along, basically from the get go! – And so you see the POWER of NETWORK!
As said in the beginning. There is nothing special or extraordinary of this story. However, had it not been for effort of network and the goodwill of others to put in a little care and kindness; I would never have met mr. new guy and I would for sure have missed out for a great evening. You make new friends every day, you just got to remember to be open minded and welcoming to strangers around.
I don’t know what this new connection will lead to. But, I’m sure something cool, or at least a good party in town. Let’s see. Network is Power and with care and effort, it will lead to great things.
It has been forever since I last shared anything on the blog. However, now is the time and there is a reason why!
I’ll like to share with you a great event I attended recently. Every year the Junior Achievement – Young Enterprise Alumni is gathering all its national coordinators, for what is known as the National Coordinators meeting, or NCM.
This year’s event was hosted by the Norwegian Alumni in Oslo, Norway and a total of 17 different nations were represented. The purpose of the event was to enrich collaboration across borders and to maintain an international network in-between the national networks. The fact is that collaboration across boarders might be a challenge due to cultural differences. However, many of the challenges faced on a national level is often shared by sister groups in other countries and everyone will actually benefit from sharing these experiences and try and solve the issues together.
A big thanks goes to the Norwegian Team, who put together an inspirational, well organised and all over successful, fun and amazing event. Not just was the choice of lectures, sightseeing, dining and sleep of the highest standards. The logistics of the entire event was also managed to perfection and participants from all over Europe could enjoy Oslo and its beauty to its fullest.
Writing a CV can be tricky. Therefore, have I made a short list of 8 secret tips that I have learned working side by side some of Denmark’s greatest recruiting agents.
1. You got 10 seconds!
You only have 10 seconds to make a good impression. Always keep that in mind!
Most job postings will have more than 300 applicants applying for the same position. This means you will have to stand out to get noticed. A professional recruiting agent will on average spend just about 10 seconds on each CV during the first sorting process. Do you make it to Second Round; you have made it very fare, because the recruiter will now take the time to get to know you, reading your CV. If you keep that in mind when writing your CV, you are good on your way to get a good job.
2. Your picture says it all!
Should I use a picture or not? There is only one answer and that is: “YES!” You should always have a photo of yourself, but not just any kind of photo.
There is an old saying :“a picture is worth a thousand words” and this is really true when we speak about your resume. Therefore, put always a great deal of care into selecting your photo.
Make sure to look professional in respect to the job you are applying for. If applying for a sales position, please dress business like. What happens is that you are assisting the recruiting agent imagining you working as a sales person.
Make sure that your picture, still looks great printed in black and white. The majority of recruiting agents print your resume, which means that colourful details vanish and so does your face. So make sure your picture appears great printed in black and white.
It often makes sense to have a professional, doing some good profile shots of you. The skill that a professional photographer has is to makes you look as good as possible and that will make a big difference to the look of your CV.
3. Make contact easy!
Don’t leave out your contact information. Make it easy for the recruiting agent to contact you, or to find more information about you. Don’t hide your birthday. For certain positions, age might be important. If your date of birth is not visible, you risk missing an interview.
4. Highlight the competences that make you unique!
This is the secret trick that too few people use. We have already established that you only got 10 seconds to make an impression. Which means you only got 10 seconds to sell your very best competences that make you stand out from the crowed. For example: if you speak 4 different languages, you should mention it in the very beginning and highlight the text as Bold and Italic. This naturally draws the attention of the reader and gives you a head start.
5. You have all the pages you need!
A lot of people think that they must fit their CV into one page or two. That is simply not possible if you just got a bit of skills to show off. Therefore don’t limit yourself by pages. Just keep in mind that first page is the most important one.
6. Make it chronological and structured!
There are a lot of different ways to structure your resume. However, there tend to be one preferable way and that is very simple and chronological. Help the recruiting agent easily read your CV in a chronological order. Don’t use too many unnatural sub-headings, as they tend to destroy the flow. Keep it to three sub headings: Languages, Work, and Education, and maybe a fourth one to cover awards, courses and events, which are of significance for your profile.
7. Don’t leave blank spots!
When the competition is rough, you can do so many little things that count as terrible mistakes. Therefore, try not to!
You might have been unemployed for half a year or more, and that usually isn’t very attractive for recruiting agents. Not that is has to matter, but it counts as deductive points. Therefore make sure just to use years when you structure your CV. For instance: from 2009 – 2011 Account Manager – from 2011 – 2012 Division Manager. In reality you were unemployed from February 2011 until November 2011. However, I as recruiting agent don’t know and then won’t care. Should you be asked doing an interview, you will of course answer truthfully. However, no reason to advertise it.
You should always be truthful about your CV, but too large blank spots are just naturally less attractive. So keep that in mind.
8. Sell your references!
A natural part of a recruiting agent’s job is to check your references. By references I mean former employers, teaches, or other people that in one way or another have worked with you and can give you a recommendation.
Because your resume should be a public paper and hopefully be changing hands of CEO’s and different potential employers, you might want to protect the contact details of your references. However, that doesn’t mean not mentioning them. Keep it to name title and company, and then kindly mention that contact details will be given on request. The more prominent references you have vouching for you, the more attractive you are to potential employers. Should you have a well known business man on your list of references. Then move references to the top and highlight the name, title, and company.
That was 8 simple tricks for you you to get ahead of your competitors. Applying for jobs is just like any other sales job. You got to stand out and you got to be Wise, however, don’t ignore the basic rules of simplicity, structure and readability. Good luck job hunting!
For a while I have been wondering about the concept of VALUE and what we put in it. I have tried to challenge friends of mine with my thoughts, and have been met by rebelling arguments against my own, founded in the definition and understanding of the concept in-between people. To fully discuss the subject of Value, I will start out trying to define: what is Value?
Value is a broad term and means something different to everyone. However, if we have to agree on certain topics that creates value. I have five for you! – You are probably familiar with the theory of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, developed in 1943 by Abraham Maslow. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory in psychology, and it gives us five basic needs that we can compare up against the concept of Value. What I’m arguing, is that we create value to fulfil each one of these needs. In our modern society a lot of these needs can be related to money which for many is the definition of value. However, a need such as love and belonging is not in particular money related and therefore value created from friendship, family and sexual intimacy.
I will like to continue with the concept of money, because it is measurable in comparison to love and goodwill. Considering money as our primary source of Value, we can measure how much value you can create, which brings me to the next topic of this article: Time. 4
We all know the saying “Time is Money” and the most people tend to agree. If money equals value, then value equals time. Let’s try and work with the concept of “Time is Value” and if time is the most valuable thing you got, you might want to consider how you spend it. But what is time and can we define it?
The definition of Time
Time is in reality an indefinable concept measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, month and years. Time is measurable, but indefinable, simply because we know when it starts, but not when it ends.
I will like to present a management theory that I got to know from professor Nils Villemoes. The theory is centred on a human time-line, and starts with birth: Year null. From here it continues with childhood, teenage life, and higher education until graduation. We are still considering money as our primary source of value for this example. Upon graduation comes the time for people to make money or value until the day of retirement. This is very much the circle of life for the majority of the western world’s population. Accepting this as a simplified example, we see that an average person has about 40 years to create value. The question is then how to create the most value with the limited time?
An average work day
We have probably all at some point wished for more hours in a day, but sadly we are all limited to 24. Of those 24 hours an average person will spend what is close to 8 hours sleeping, leaving us with 16 hours awake. These 16 hours are distributed for duties such as cooking, eating, exercise, and even TV and relaxation time. Putting the numbers together leaves us with close to no free time. And for the most people this free time is non-existing. The point I’m stating is that the amount of time available for value creation is extremely limited.
You can make your own 24 hour chart and discover how few hours you actually got to create value.
Creating the most value
We can agree that we all have a limit to how many hours a day we are able to work. Take that number multiply it with days a week you work, and again multiply with 4, multiply with 12, equals the number of working hours in a year, approximately. Then multiply that with your hourly pay and consider if you like your annual salary. That salary will increase slightly with inflation and promotions over your entire working life, which is approximately 40 years. If you are a nurse or an office worker, you can actually with decent accuracy calculate your life pay and you will know that owning a Ferrari, a large house and a boat is simply not possible. So what to do?
Inspired by the bestselling book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, I will share with you a mind-set that makes the different between rich and poor. The concept is to set yourself above your limitations; in this example above time. But how do you do that? What Rich Dad says aka, Keith Cunningham: “DON’T WORK FOR MONEY, MONEY SHOULD WORK FOR YOU”. This means that money you have should work on its own. This is possible if investing or owning a company. What you seek is to maximize your interest.
Let’s consider owning a company. Owning a company you want to have employees, and you only have employees if they make you money. This is really the key; because the surplus gained, when you have paid your employees and other expenses, goes straight to the bottom line aka, your pockets. Expanding your business will increase your net worth and if you do well, you will see Ferrari, house and boat come a bit closer. Nothing is that simple, but the mind-set is real and if you got it, you are well on your way to create a lot of value.
Another good quote: “Why climb the latter, if you can own it”.
This was vol. 1 of Value Creation. As mentioned in the beginning of the article, value is a broad term and concept deserves a vol. 2, to follow up on why value that is not money related is important for you.