Category Archives: Your Career

Job Interview Questions: What To Expect

Today, I’ll do a quick one. This blog post provides an overview of the flow and nature of job interview questions in a classic job interview. It is a general guide of what-you-must be prepared to answer, rather than what-you-have to know. Many thanks to frequent readers of my column here, #AskKharunda, for your useful feedback that inspired this blog post.

What I offer here is not a substitute for professional career coaching advice or HR expertise. These are notes from personal experience: either as the interviewer or as a job seeker, who has failed a fair share of job interview questions.

Question One: First of all keep time. Time keeping is the first job interview question. It’s a question that’s not vocalized when asked, but rather observed. It is part of the larger question about your punt for the job: Are you dressed appropriately? What vibes does your body language speak? How well do you communicate?

Question Two: Every interview of begins with greetings. Be proactive with the greetings. Spread the love, but as in every social situation, be astute in recognizing situations that require you to be the dove rather than the hawk – You can greet the panel or can wait to be greeted.

Question Three: I like to call this the listening test. It is designed to test your ability to take instructions (train-ability) and to allow the interviewee gather their wits before the questions roll (ability to work under pressure). Often, after the salutations, the interviewers might offer an introduction of the organization and position.

It often includes the organization’s history, vision, mission and culture. Possibly an overview of the advertised vacancy background, expectations and duty station . If this is the path chosen, do what’s expected of you to ace this and the coming job interview questions- listen!

Interjections or other forms of negative vibe like twitching, coughing or turning the session into a show of your clumsiness is a fail. Then one of the panelists will then shoot the first “straight’ question.

Question Four: This is often a straight question gleaned off information that you provided in your resume. It can be anything as awkward as , “Tell us about yourself”. This looks like a very simple question. But it is the question that can make or break you. Mentioning that your father was once a seminarian or that your mother is the chair lady of the local chapter of women in entrepreneurship probably isn’t the best use of this opportunity.


Latest In Personal Finance


This question guides subsequent questions, often to clarify, unless the interview is very structured. If too many clarification questions are asked, it might mean that your credentials don’t add up. That you are a fake. Or have some other serious flaw for the interview panel not to have heard about your career exploits. Often it’s just a cue that it’s about time to get a professional resume done. 

Question Five: This is the billion dollar question: What are your salary expectations?  Lets clear the first misconception about this most laden of job interview questions. It does not mean that you have gotten the job. Far from it. Often, the panel is weighing your offer as a surrogate of your greed or modesty. The figure you mouth could at best be useful in  providing a base to counteroffer to the best candidate.

Cynicism aside, what if you are best candidate for the job? If you did your background search well, then you’ll comfortably answer this. It is wise to give a salary range. If you do not have an answer, express to the interview panel your comfort in fitting within their salary scales.

5 Quick Tips To Ace Job Interview Questions

  1. Posture is power. Sit upright, head high, shoulders up. Feet flat but not crossed. Look at the panelists straight in the face as you talk. Do not fidget with anything.
  2. Talk confidently. Practice before a mirror, in front of a spouse. Take up roles at your local church/community that demand effective communication.
  3. Tactfully avoid areas of competencies that you are not very good at. Remember to highlight special encounters in your previous duties that closely tie in with the current position.
  4. Gracefully link your answers to the job interview questions to your CV. Do not take too  long answering questions. Practice being succinct. Let the panel know when you are through with your answer.
  5. A good number of questions will then come from the job advert. These will mostly query your competencies. If you read the advert well and incorporated it in your CV by using it as a guide in crossing t’s and doting the i’s then this part will be a walk over.

Finally, when the interview panel asks if you got a question for them, you can decline the offer if the interview process gave you sufficient reason to. Normally though, this is an opportunity to find out how long it will take to hear from them if you are he successful candidate.


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


3 Rules: Insights Into How To Get Your Side Hustle Game Right While Still Employed

Moonlighting, side hustle, gig on the side, call it what you may. All the same, it’s one thing employers love to hate. Whenever an employer hires a worker, the understanding is that they have offered a fair wage for what you have to offer.

Therefore, any time spent outside work should be for recuperating (recreation and sleep) from the busy day. That has been the thinking: “Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.” It might have worked in the early 20th century, during the industrial revolution, but a rethink for the demands of the 21st century is long due.


Latest In Start Ups, Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Understanding Rise of The Gig Economy Whose Hallmark is the Side Hustle.

The side hustle has become ubiquitous thanks to the tools availed to man by the third and fourth industrial revolution. The third industrial revolution gave us better ways to organize and utilize information. The fourth industrial revolution is about interfacing technology and man – such that technology acquires humanoid features as is the case with artificial intelligence.

The third industrial revolution lead to the rise of the knowledge economy in the second half the last century. It also lay the bed for the creative economy. Various definitions of these two terms may see activities attributed to either economic system overlap. In this regard, the fourth industrial revolution can be said to unify and potentiate these of range of economic activities.

A look at the working of 21st century behemoths such as You Tube revels products from each economic system at play. On one end is proprietary from the knowledge economy( You Tube brand, website and online Ad serving software). On the other, user-generated content (videos) from the creative economy. To make it all make sense, allowing for consumption of the product, You Tube‘s parent company Alphabet utilizes machine learning/ AI to power You Tube search, video recommendations etc.

Barcelona Star Gerard Pique’s Troubles from his Side Hustle

Given the above, dabbling in a side hustle for the 21st century worker is almost inevitable. A way of life. It’s living in the 21st century. Still, the notion is that a side hustle distracts the employee refuses to go away. It’s an argument possibly informed by the old adage “one cannot serve two masters”.

It’s a dire situation that even the likes of Gerard Pique of Barcelona FC has to contend with. His employers will probe his company and a teammate for producing and publicizing, respectively, a documentary that saw fellow La Liga star Antoine Griezmann announce his decision to snub a move to Barcelona. What to do? I say, moonlight. But first some rules of the side hustle.

1. Don’t Bite The hand That Feeds You

The money from your side hustle might be more tempting than Jezebel. On the surface,  it seem like an in and out, hit and run kind of deal. But it’s only stupid to lend your services to say, a competitor of your employer. The implications could go beyond just getting fired once your boss finds out. It is an issue of professional integrity. It could mutate to corporate espionage and even theft of trade secrets.

My advice, stay away from the shady unless you are prepared to operate in the shadows hence forth. Mind issues surrounding conflict of interest. The money is not worth it as personal finance in the creative economy is large parts dependent on your personal brand. It rests on the image you portray out there and the value of your brand equity. Monies and other forms of remuneration that your receive are just but a measure of what the paying party thinks you as a product is worth.

2. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

First time moonlighting and it almost naught getting a suitable gig. No one wants a newbie.  And as a rookie, you hardly have the connections needed to make things happen. Moreover, like any business, side hustle success is about repeat customers. You are better off with a small army of steady job suppliers rather than try feed the whole school with a packet of biscuits. First, if you still depend on your day job to pay the bills, the side hustle  may become a jeopardy when your boss picks up a drop in productivity courtesy of energies spent elsewhere.

Secondly, the chances of a shoddy show to customers increases when you have too much side hustle on your plate. Before long, in the eyes of prospective customers, you join the ranks of quacks. Thirdly, just as they advice about drugs, saying No actually rises the value of your stock. It actually affirms your commitment to quality and value for services/goods sold through your side hustle.

3. Don’t Be A Headless Chicken

As much as moonlighting meant side hustle in the old days, groping in the dark is of little benefit. In spite of the irregularity of the gigs, it is still possible to set personal finance goals whilst moonlighting. Equally critical is the need to define your working hours as the age-old tool, time management, still has a role to play.

If the plan is to make your side hustle the main source of income in the near future, it might help to start setting up the necessary structures. Such as registering your business, setting up a website, opening a separate bank account or even acquiring a postal address dedicated to the side hustle. Even in the ill-defined world of the hustle, professionalism still pays.

Finally, tell Your Boss.

I know that sounds crazy but consider this, say for instance you work for an alcoholic drinks manufacturer/ distributor. Your side hustle is to DJ at the pub down the street for a couple of hours every Wednesday night. See where am heading with this? It is worth a shot.

Happy hustling. Till next time..


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Making best use of free resume template

You have your referee letters, academic transcripts and certificates ready. Possibly, passport photographs too. If you are a Kenyan job seeker, all the documents that ensure you comply with chapter six of the Kenyan Constitution 2010 are at hand. All that remains is writing that CV that you reckon will land your dream job. Like many of us, seeking a guide on how to write a job winning resume, is the first step. Therefore, you perform an online search for free resume templates. Only for the search results to turn up a gazillion options. What to do? How do you decide which free resume template is a fit for the vacancy you are interested in?

1. The Free resume Template State of Mind

First, think of this process as applying makeup to your professional resume. With the right pick of a CV template to guide you, nothing about a job candidate’s credentials fundamentally changes. However, when the  skills, competencies and experiences of the applicant are well presented, it opens windows where even doors are closed.

At the core of the commandments of great resume writing, is an equivocal call for a DIY approach as the best option. This means that when writing your resume, you should not copy paste sections or even phrases of the free template. Even if you feel that the free resume template best describes you. I implore you to agonize over every word. The job applicant who eventually becomes successful revises even those phrases in the free resume template that they deem perfectly crafted.


Latest In Personal Finance


2. Know Your “Opponent”

Any applicant who wishes to have a resume that’ll enable attainment of their career goals must ensure that the final product is particular. A great resume is distinct in such nuances such as the experience of the prospective employee.  The question of which parts of a resume need to be highlighted depends on the nature of the position advertised. Therefore, a keen applicant is one who considers and elucidate the peculiarities of each position. As a rule of thumb, this process begins by the applicant undertaking a proper background search of the organization that they are interested in.

styling is an integral part of a great professional resume, but it shouldn't become the focus
The question remains: How much is too much styling in a professional resume? As a rule, stick to round-bodied fonts. Minimize font styles and types to two complimentary ones at most. Stick to two colors at most.

To do that successfully, the applicant must place themselves in the shoes of whoever runs the organization and guesstimate the image that they wished to portray to the world with their brand image. They should consider such things as the colors used in the organization’s branding and their meanings.

Streetwise Tip: Avoid jobs whose application details are ambiguous, scanty or liable to misinterpretation. Not all organizations are genuine in their call for applicants. Some even go as far as advertising for jobs just to fulfill some procedural obligations. But that’s a story for another day. I invite you to learn more from my job hunting experience.

3. Know The Prize

After the applicant has felt out the culture of the organization they desire to join as described above, the next step involves understanding the peculiarities of the position on offer. Take for instance that in research/academic jobs, the caliber and expertise of referees may carry a lot more weight than usual.

Therefore, sending one version of professional resume to different employers and/or in application for different jobs, is a no-no. Thus, the applicant that is most likely to be successful is the one who will fashion their CV to target the different job vacancies/employers by highlighting salient attributes that are of value to the position on offer.

Conclusion

Free resume templates are at best mere suggestions, not even guides to success. Success in your job application involves minding the simple things. For example, does the organization offering the vacancy of interest to you use UK or USA English on their website? Moreover, the secret to a professional CV lies in tying the loose ends: Do not have unexplained periods/gaps; ensure you have all your documentation; finally, look the part.

Also note that some job offers might carry specific instructions on how applicants should format their resumes. That may include: recommendations on font type, spacing and even character size. Nonetheless, where the finances of prospective employee allow even greater outcomes can be achieved by engaging professional resume writers and head hunters. Even then, the applicant still has to be proactively involved in the process.


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Great Resume Writing: Career Advice From Arsene Wenger, Beyonce, Bill Gates And Other Stars

This past week, two unrelated landmark events in the entertainment industry – professional sports and music – stuck with me. Keeping with our tradition of learning from the careers of world beaters on how to build meaningful and fulfilling careers, today I seek inspiration from these historical happenings. Can Arsene Wenger’s announcement that he is leaving Arsenal performance teach us about the art of great resume writing? Can Beyonce’s Coachella performance show us how to write professional resumes that make us stand out from the pack? How does embracing humble beginnings as demonstrated by the starts of Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie and Usher builds your CV?

Whether you are just starting out or deep into your career engineering your next move, work experience remains a differentiator. Picture the situation when Arsene Wenger arrived in Arsenal at the start of a reign that would last almost 22 years. Football pundits, fans and observers were in unison in skeptically asking : “Arsene Who?”

Tips On Great Resume Writing : Get Started On Your Career Wherever, However Lowly

They were right. Here was a mid forties football nobody with the looks of a school teacher. He boasted of only a playing career as an amateur. His experience as a football manager was with mediocre teams, sometimes in nondescript leagues. You can imagine the blandness of Arsene Wenger’s resume then. With his last posting in Japan, a football backwater then, it is safe to say that not even great resume writing would have landed then man the job.

But something else, a principle that lies at the foundation of great resume writing, did put him on the path that led him into football’s hall of fame. Arsene Wenger had been testing out his ideas from the age of 33 where he first stated out working as the assistant manger for league 2 outfit Cannes. By the time he was taking over at Arsenal in 1996, he had a decade and a half of obsessing over his methods and refining his philosophy.

A Chance To Fail And Tell The World About It

By agreeing at certain points in his career to be the big fish in a little pond, Arsene got the chance to fail. In a nutshell, that hallowed requirement – work experience – is nothing but an euphemism for having had the chance to fail. Failure tests our knowledge, shapes our attitudes equipping us with the tools to solve the problems of today.

Taking up fringe roles in entry level jobs in their field of choice not only gives an applicant fodder for their CV, but also gifts one with an ant’s eye view necessary to plan future career moves. The role of running reserve and youth teams at lowly RC Strasbourg made Arsene conscientious of the importance of studying English. It can also be argued to have been the seminal moment  that laid the ground for his future as an acclaimed launcher of the careers of many young players.


Latest In Personal Finance


Beyonce’s Little, Big Teasers Method As A Template For A Killer Professional Resume

We love Beyonce. For us millennials, it is partly because we have grown together – kind of like how it is with a favorite cousin. For generation X and Y, it probably is because of her iconic role in clarifying matters that are dear to the 21st century. Particularly by being brave on gender, racial relations and sexuality. Most importantly for us all, we love her  because she gets into the nub of all that heavy stuff but still puts out a great show while at it. And it never ends. There is always a tomorrow which we anticipate. Because we have come to trust that Queen B will put out an even better show.

The lesson here from Beyonce’s dizzying career is one of bettering your own successes. This philosophy is central to the art of great resume writing. It is about putting out your best when handed a platform and then topping that as doors fly open. Combining this philosophy with what we have learned from Arsene, we end up with a potent mix. When we embrace the stage, however small the platform, we can only amplify our value to the market.

A Good Professional Resume Demonstrates Progress

That way, we find a situation where we are constantly make the best of what we have. Isn’t it that what life is about anyway? Make use of every stage that is within hand to showcase your abilities. From social media to helping out at your local church or even neighborhood association. As this review of Beyonce’s Coachella performance on leading music magazine Pitchfork describes,

On Saturday night, Beyoncé executed one of the most precise, demanding, and altogether staggering performances by any musician on a national stage in recent memory. Her headlining set—a first for a black woman at Coachella, as she pointed out from the stage—served to clarify the intent and impact of a superstar who is only growing more subversive as time goes on.

Increasingly, Beyoncé has used her art—that is, everything: the albums themselves, but also her videos, her tours, Instagram, and so on—to examine power imbalances and to show how people blanch when those imbalances are brought up to the surface for examination. Think about the “Formation” video, in which a black child dances in front of a line of cops wearing riot gear, or her Super Bowl halftime show, where she paid homage to the Black Panthers, or her Lemonade longform visual, in which she reimagined images of American wealth and power with black women at the forefront.

In a way, all of it was a prelude to Saturday’s set, which felt like her most definitive statement yet, the kind of show that requires a deep and widely-known catalog, ideological ambition, and a thorough knowledge of history (musical and otherwise).

Humble Beginnings and the Art of Great Resume Writing – The Bill Gates, Angelina And Usher

So far, Arsene Wenger has taught us the importance of purposefully identifying a stage. About being decisive and adventurous about where you will launch your career irrespective of the size of the role. Beyonce’s career has highlighted the value of amplifying our skill-set and abilities. How you build a bigger stage for yourself by crafting a coherent message. And speaking of something beyond yourself that your career seeks to accomplish. Having the courage to better your best. What the careers of both these legends silently teachers us is that it takes time.

building a great professional resume starts from humble beginings like those of Angelina Jolie, Usher and Bill Gates
A great looking resume takes years to build. Be patient and mindful of your beginnings however humble. Humility infuses that authentic feel into your story. Authenticity is a necessary ingredient for every charming story of great success. Images | Courtesy. Compilation by MMIMMC

Arsene Wenger was forty-six when his big career break came. Meaning, he might have been considered by family and friends as a failure for most of his life. Beyonce is thirty-six. She has been keeping at it since her teenage days of Destiny’s Child . It took her more than two decades of auditions to earn the chance of delivering a critically acclaimed performance. One described as for the ages.

The lesson here is great resume writing starts with a vision of the end. Whenever one writes or updates a resume, they deliver a bit of this vision. It has little to do with editing, resume templates or hiring of the best professional CV writing companies. It requires a mindset whose final pillar is found in the stories of Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie and Usher.

Example: How I Employed The Art of Great Resume writing: Picking A Stage, Demonstrating Continuous Self Improvement and Embracing Humble Beginnings 

Consider this situation that I found myself in fresh out of nursing school. I was interested in an advertised position of an Accident and Emergency (A&E) nurse in a leading private healthcare provider in Kenya. Granted, my professional experience was as scanty the next freshly minted nursing graduate. I was rightly stumped on how to go about it

How do I write a professional resume with my limited experience?

What of my limited experience do I include in my cv ?

Anyway, I took a chance with fate. It turned out that this blind move helped clinch the job that launched my nursing career. To date, it has become something that I always urge younger colleagues starting out to include in their resumes.

First, I chose a resume template from the many available for free on the, ensuring that I picked a template that highlighted my career experiences.

I highlighted unique experiences in each module that I had encountered while training. Up top, occupying the most prominent position was the most relevant experience. During the interview, it was apparent that what was my first professional resume got me the job. This was the incident that it highlighted:

It was a case during my Emergency room rotation in Nursing school. It involved a mass accident. A public transport bus traveling from one Kenyan town to the other had collided head on with a truck. The accident had resulted in approximately 70 casualties. We lost some. Others arrived in A&E in critical condition requiring I CU care. Some needed to be taken to theater immediately. Thankfully, most of the passengers were stable.

With a broad brush, my resume detailed how each class of casualties was handled. From triaging to highlighting medical procedures that we performed.

Conclusion

The secret as a job seeker is never to sell yourself as having no work experience. Great resume writing is about laying down a map of ground covered. It is about demonstrating markers laid down for a calling you have answered to as your life’s work. It therefore beats your goals if you have nothing to show for your desire to pursue this great calling. Otherwise, the product (your resume) will reek of wage seeking. Feel free to include what you might consider as not being real work experience such as internship, practicum experiences and even drills that you participated in as part of your working experience. This is especially true for technical professions such as nursing where training involves varied experiences.Save


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Ask Kharunda: How to Find Internships in Kenya

Finding internships in Kenya is no mean feat. Jobs are hard to come by let alone internships. But there is hope! It is always good when the private sector sets the pace and even better when the government steps in to set the standards. I believe that recent happenings in Kenya’s public sector demonstrate a similar pattern of evolution. For a long time, the private sector in Kenya has been at the forefront in availing internship positions to fresh graduates. Now with the public service commission publishing the internship policy for the public service, thus in effect articulating minimum standards, finding internships in Kenya may be on the path to becoming a better experience

Hi Anne,

Please may I inquire from you if there are job opportunities or internships within your organization for information technology guys?  You can email me. My email address is xxx or get me on 07xxxxxxx7

Samson. (Name changed to protect identity)

Hi Samson,

I like your go-getter attitude. If there’s one lesson that we can all learn from you is that of knocking on doors in search of opportunity. Really, there is no other secret to finding internships in Kenya other than aggressively seeking opportunities wherever they may lie. I will endeavor to match your spirit by shedding light on the various opportunities available locally. After all, targeted efforts are better than broadcasted will, especially in the search for an internship position in a competitive market such as Kenya.

Secondly, I admire your self-awareness. I understand the burden of frustration that leads many job seekers to reach out to prospective connections with the blanket  aspersion: ” I’m looking for a job.”  A toothless request that has no specifications on the area of expertise neither of the desired position. Your request narrowed down to IT and specified for an internship position. With this information it is easy to deduce your reference to the availability of a job vacancy as probing the availability of an entry-level job. Once again, I’ll supplement your efforts with valuable pointers on the applying for internships in Kenya

WHERE TO FIND INTERNSHIPS IN KENYA: IDENTIFYING VALUE

Kenya’s public service internship policy identifies the value of internships as programmes providing youth with vocational, leadership and entrepreneurship skills to enable them acquire practical experience by bridging the gap between academic knowledge and the world of work.

I sought out this definition primarily because employers, including the government, have been accused of unfair labor practices by fronting pseudo-intership programs whose output serves only the narrow interests of the employer, at great social, economic and psychological expense of the intern. My bias as a health care professional , and on account of the bite of recent nurses and doctors strikes that highlighted failings of the Kenyan public health system, I always believed that intern health professionals have it worse.

I now recognize that this exposure is just but a surrogate marker for a rapidly disseminating cancer. A cancer that I hope to remedy by highlighting the core purpose of any internship program as above. My belief here is that those seeking internships in Kenya, Samson and others, will be better equipped to flag out bad deals dressed as opportunity.

Examples of shoddy internship deals include:

  • Sales jobs with minimal qualification requirements and shoddy training offered as a gateway to internships that lead to jobs
  • Internships that solicit for money from the applicant inform of ‘finders fees’, ‘connectors fees’ and application fees.

Build Your Career


Matching your Needs when Searching for Internships in Kenya

Now that we have learned what a good internship programme is and how to spot a sham. It is incumbent on all those seeking internships in Kenya to match their needs with these value propositions. As we discussed at length in this blog on finding nursing degree jobs in Kenya, an approach such as the PDSA used in Quality control can be invaluable in identifying and pursuing your career goals. Finally, make effort to fully flesh out opportunities in your field as extensively as possible. A good example of how wide a field can be, can be appreciated in this blog on opportunities in Kenya after pursuing a Bsc in Nursing.

Type of Employer offering internships in Kenya Best fit if your needs are:
Public Service
  • You need vocational experience after graduating as a requirement for registration with your professional body
  • You aim to build expertise as a way of fulfilling minimum requirements for qualification for government grants for entrepreneurship e.g what used to be known as the youth fund
Non – Governmental Organizations
  • You harbor an interest of working in the third sector. The goal here is to network.
  • Do not make the obvious mistake of openly soliciting within the organization that engages you on internship. The value here will only be unlocked by how well you network.
Private Sector (Big Organization)
  • Work experience. Kushikilia as you job hunt as we love to call it. Yes, it possible to rise through the ranks, but the private sectors hiring cycles are complex informed by how well the business/economy is doing and their strategic plans.
  • One to watch out for if the government does make good it’s threat of enabling private sector contribute more internships in Kenya through tax breaks and direct funding.
Private Sector (Mid, small and Very Small Organizations)
  • You want to be your own boss. Nothing sets you up for entrepreneurship like being part of a startup. Not only is it likely that you will be stretched beyond your core capabilities, but your depth will truly be tested.
  • The opportunity to work with a mentor.
  • As part of schema in place for shifting the stewardship of family business to the next generation.
Voluntary Service Organizations
  • You are gearing up for public office. I won’t delve into the ethics of this but it should look good on your public profile.
  • Your passion lies in serving the undeserved in society or uplifting the community that you come from.

Tips on Applying for Internships in Kenya

  • Have your CV and other academic and professional certificates ready.
  • Even at this early juncture in your career, you can still have a professional resume if you follow these 3 commandments of great resume writing.
  • For a truly professional CV, don’t forget these killer tips on tying loose ends.
  • Once the rubber meets the road, my experience shared here on job hunting should make you streetwise if not humor you.

All the best.

Ask Kharunda: What is the Salary Scale of Credit Control Officer in Kenya Private Hospitals?

Entrepreneurship is tough business. Tougher if you are a Kenyan startup whose five year survival rate is one in ten. Gargantuan if you have taken up the challenge of delivering healthcare as your entrepreneurial quest. Whatever your entrepreneurship goal, to achieve sucess building a business in a frontier market such as ours, you’d best be advised to hire a credit control officer. Even wiser souls have elected to make a career out of this niche in Kenya’s booming health sector. For entrepreneurs, the rewards of investing in the business of credit control are plain. Something that can’t be said for those who chose this path as a career. We sought answers…

What is the Salary of Credit Control Officers?

Hi Anne,
Could you be aware what the salary scale for Credit control officers is at the best five private hospitals in Kenya? Asking for a friend. Thanks in advance (edited for clarity)

Hi, Moses (name changed)

My apologies for the late reply. It is not for the lack of trying, but it is almost nigh impossible to supply you with a one off answer to your query. Nonetheless, I believe that the information that I have gathered here will prove its worth. We’ll make your quest of finding out the salary scale applicable for a credit control officers in leading private hospitals in Kenya, easier.

First, by virtue of their legal status as privately held organizations, private hospitals are not obligated law to publicly disclose certain information. What this concession in our statutes does is that it makes comparison of remuneration across different sectors/employers in the private sector for most jobs a difficult undertaking. Nonetheless, our digging around the dynamics of staff remuneration in Kenya’s health sector is indeed illuminating. So let’s “follow the money”

HOW YOU GET PAID WHEN WORKING FOR A PRIVATE HOSPITAL IN KENYA

In Kenya, as is the trend globally, most leading private hospitals are registered as non-profit organizations. What this means is that they benefit from certain tax concessions. These allowances are meant to allow them to scrape the thin margins of whatever they can make as revenue from providing a service of social benefit.

The realized gains — together with monies raised through donations, and other revenue begot from non-core activities like parking fee, vendor machines, restaurant services, m-pesa — are used to finance the work of the hospital in the community.

Such work may include: outreach services, emergency care and health promotion. This revenue should also be sufficient to reward those who have invested time, effort and skill in making these private hospitals execute their primary mandate to stakeholders.

Ask Kharunda- Credit Control Officer salary kenya

How the ‘core’ staff of private hospitals earn their keep

The management of most private hospitals, unlike in your typical private company, draw their compensation primarily in the form of salaries. Most don’t earn dividends as shareholders or bonuses as company directors. This is the observed trend dominating the compensation of healthcare executives both locally and globally.

A fraction of health professionals working in these private hospitals – doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory staff – the likes, draw a monthly salary. In Kenya, this salary is not always  better than what their peers earn in the public sector as it is commonly assumed. (This was famously confirmed by Kenya’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary during the 100 day, 2016-2017 Kenya doctor’s strike.)

However, the majority of core staff earn an hourly wage paid out as locum fees. Contrary to popular opinion, in Kenya, locum rates in the Kenyan private sector often result in a lower take home packages than fully salaried positions.


Build Your Career


Locums

Besides, earning one’s keep as periodic, contract staff makes for an unpredictable income. This is because the availability of locum positions is dependent on a health worker’s networking skills, the town they are domiciled in, the demand and the ability to pay for the health professional’s services in those areas among of a myriad of other difficult to control factors. Furthermore, aside from the expected distress of a not so sure income, under such an arrangement, without astute personal finance planning, when retirement inevitably comes, it can be such a pain.

On the other hand, bereft of a system wide collapse, and in a country such as ours with such a high demand for health care services, and given that the money to pay these ‘core’ hospital staff largely comes from patient premiums — with insurance companies pooling risk through selling health insurance — the keep of these ‘core’ staff is largely assured.

Unless of course the hospital they work for made some bad business decisions — such as not hiring a competent, CEO, accountant or even a credit control officer. Now that we have established the integral role that these non-medical core staff play in the health of private health establishments, how then do they fit in the whole shebang? The precise question is:

How does the credit control officer, accountant or even CEO earn their keep in private hospitals?

Have you ever taken time to keenly study the items on hospital bill? From the invoice of your health bill, it is often easy to tell what a certain radiological or laboratory test cost. In some cases, even what the doctor’s fee was. Supplied with this information, natural logic informs us that whatever it is that we paid for lab fees. For instance, a breakdown of what was used to take care of the needs of the hospital lab:  staff, reagents, equipment and so on.

If that holds, then who speaks for the hidden costs of running the hospital? Such as the salary of the hospitals’ CEO? How does the accountant get paid?  How about the credit control officer?

The answers to these questions lie in the second reason at to why it was such a challenge answering your question, Moses. Because the truth lies in mapping the bolts and nuts that make private hospitals in Kenya run. We have to get our noses into other people’s business. Their private business…..

healthcare enterprise offers diverse opportunities to entrepreneurs
The spectrum of health entrepreneurship spans health services, waste, water & sanitation.

THE PRIVATE BUSINESS OF HEALTH CARE, AN OVERVIEW

Private organizations often employ various business strategies in order to navigate the often stormy waters of entrepreneurship. This reality is especially true for a majority of leading private hospitals in Kenya who have to project an image of being non-profits (lest they suffer the current fate of non-profit US hospital chains facing public backlash over how much they are making.)

All this whilst still remaining viable business attracting key talent who offer strategic business advantage as credit control officers, accountants and lawyers. Over and above that, these private health organizations have to observe certain contractual obligations on privacy.

Trade Secrets

Taken together, these considerations make it difficult to know how any particular private health care organization elects to reward its employees. In fact, in such an environment, otherwise mundane information like pay-scales, becomes a closely guarded trade secret.

You also have to keep in mind that private hospitals are not immune to discriminating HR practices. Most unfortunate of these ills may manifest as pay discrepancies nee by race, sex and even tribe. With an increasingly litigious environment in Kenya, most private entities assume a safety first approach. Most private hospital’s management adopt a less is more mentality when it comes to whatever is publicly known about their operations.

Finally, ‘best’ may mean many things in Health care.

Some hospitals excel in staff training for example, Nairobi Hospital and Mater Hospitals have robust Nursing Schools, whilst Kijabe Mission Hospital stakes claim to this crown it being a teaching hospital.

Others lead in health infrastructure and health technologies, Aga Khan having put up East Africa’s first PET Scan ought be considered here.

Yet others aim to lead vide offering a wide menu of specialist care are like Kisumu Specialists Hospital and Oasis Group of Hospitals.

Still others push the envelope in their approach to health care by being advocates of cutting edge approaches to health care like value-based healthcare  and evidence based health care.

What’s certain is that any of the leading private hospitals in Kenya are complex organisms with intricate, far-reaching credit relationships. My hope here is that i have painted the outlines of what to expect when tasked to be the credit control officer of any leading private hospital in Kenya.

Salaries are after all a product if negotiations. Therefore, understanding not only your role, but where you fall in the hierarchy of the animal farm that you elect to be part of is vital. But before you go, some figures, finally….

CREDIT CONTROL OFFICER SALARY SCALE, PRIVATE HOSPITAL, KENYA

One more thing though, as you go about advising your friend, encourage your friend to be on the look out for other employee benefits offered as a take home. In the current landscape I’d advice for one to be on the look out for employer offered health insurance offerings beyond NHIF.

Be also on the hunt for other sweeteners like group life cover. All the same, my contacts inform me that for a BCOM graduate working in the credit section of a mid to large-scale (turnover at least a million dollars) private  hospital in Kenya the starting salary ranges between 70,000 to 120,000 Kenyan shillings per month.

All the best.


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Resume: Tying the loose ends for a professional CV

Hard to believe, but even for consummate professionals, resume writing remains a skill few have mastered.  While we all agree that a great professional CV is the first step towards a dream job, the task of ‘putting your best foot forward’ on a few sheets of paper is understandably tasking.

For great resume writing, many opt for professional resume writing services, or the penny saving route of free resume templates. But a job clinching CV is beyond punctuation, layouts and formatting. A great resume goes before and fights for you. It stands in your stead and argues your case. Here is how to ensure your resume does exactly that.

A great resume leaves no doubts

Do not leave unexplained areas/ periods in your resume. My experience from conducting tens of interviews for nursing jobs positions, successful candidates were those who took the approach akin to a visa application. Meaning that every period of their career progression is explained.

If somewhere along your career path you took a sabbatical, revealing that you took a break is better than an unexplained blank space. If for instance, there is a period where you were in- between jobs as a result of systemic inefficiencies — like the watershed period between completion of nursing school and  posting to internship — capture and tactfully document that in your professional resume.


Latest In Personal Finance


In God we trust, all others have to bring evidence

Have your accompanying official documents. I am hoping by this time you have your academic credentials verified and certified. If you are fresh out of school, a certified completion letter from your alumni school of will just be fine. This letter must have your full details, the course you studied and when you completed. It should be written on the university letter head signed and stamped. Keep in mind that, in some cases, degree certificates and transcripts can take up to six months to be ready. That doesn’t mean that you should sit on your laurels! Get out and hustle with what you’ve got!

Back it up like a pro

Look the part before you be the part.  My advice on what to do when you meet your potential employer is to prepare, prepare and prepare. Get in the zone. Acquire the state of mind necessary to expertly carry out the mandate of the vacancy you seek to fill.

Use your imagination to conjure likely daily scenarios in that job you desire. Get a spurring partner to test you out. My husband comes in handy for me as we alternately role play as interviewer and interviewee out.

More importantly, show and appreciate when courtesy is extended. Greet people. Give them a genuine smile. Be friendly with security officers and secretaries. If you are required to leave your ID at the reception and wear a visitors name badge, comply. After all, when you land the job, they all could be potential colleges.


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Early retirement : Does AI mean less years worked per lifetime?

Will early retirement be the norm this century? With every passing AI headline, even the futurists among us are increasingly shaken. Rattled. Unsettled by news on the latest advancements in AI technology. In what reads like the Book of Revelation, we’ve been forewarned of an impending robot Armageddon.

Make no mistake, there is enough in the air that reeks of a slowly percolating paradigm shift. In fact, don’t be so hard on thee as the trepidation, that’s going around like some super-bug, follows. Who’s not to get anxious over an algorithm driven future where robots will take our jobs?

Could AI and Robots equal early retirement?
Blame Hollywood if you could. While is true that movies — from Metropolis to I Robot — have shaped opinions; we’ve also come to witness scientists tear at and deconstruct each other on truly scary stuff. We’ve watched as scientists argue over such things like driverless cars — on such lanes such as how ethical it is that cars in the 21st century will have to make such decisions as : which lives to take and which ones to save —

38% ! Some reports, have it. Thirty eight percent of jobs lost in the US . To robots. In as little as a decade! Alarmist? Probably. An exaggeration of the abilities of AI? Most likely. But even if just half of that figure holds, it still is wise to read the signs of the time and prepare for early retirement.

Indeed, the fourth industrial revolution; generational shifts in work expectations; gender/age trends on career anxieties; the death of pension plans; and the effect of globalization (especially on older workers)  have conspired and consigned us to this fate.

Retired at 20? at 30?

Just the mere thought of loss of sustenance -at whichever age- is unsettling. Nonetheless, while some mull over how to escape the yoke of paid labor; still others contemplate on how they can retire early. Such is the nature of life. What’s consistent though is that like our parents, for more of us, the quest remains a life long vocation. Unlike them though, for us, the faster the first ‘o’ in vocation turns into an ‘a’ they more ideal: Early retirement is the life goal.

Early retirement will not necessarily mean more time on the beach.
Planned or not, between automation of jobs as AI advances, globalization shaped by populist protectionist local politics, talk of utopian ideals like a basic universal income and individual preference, early retirement should be the norm in the 21st century. While our parents retired to the beach or village to tend to cattle, with early retirement, ours might be more sabbatical like. This because labor market disruptions vide these forces will result in breaks (semi-retirement if you like) to retool and re-skill as we learn a new profession then take new jobs. Rinse. Repeat

What the 21st century does with all this, frankly, often scary talk of AI and cyber physical systems is to bump the need to transition from vocation to vacation up hierarchy of everyday worries. As a result, a situation that would have been trepeditious to our parents — early retirement — becomes a matter of urgency.

So we ask ourselves: Will we work more or less? How will we find sustenance for ourselves, kin and kindred? and so on. Such are the questions.

Stay hungry, stay foolish

Said Steve Jobs.  In this essay, we respond to this call by inviting you to help us dig around. Our aim is to raise enough intellectual dust; if only to tell fact from fiction. But hopefully, also, crystallize the questions to whom finding answers to might just temper the pressure of a fast-moving 21st century.

You have to agree that there’s too much new science bombarded at every turn. Most of it though, is bogus or sensationalized . Join us in plucking this one (insistent talk of joblessness and early retirement)  from the flood of information hitting us. Together, lets pat it down, marinate, sit on it, then unpack it. As ever, you are welcome to help us build this conversation in the comments section.

First though, some house keeping issues.

For this discussion on early retirement, we’ve classified early retirement into two broad categories: unplanned and planned. We look for evidence that gives rise to each phenomenon and comment on trends that with an eye to the future.


Build Your Career


Unplanned early retirement: When it’s not your desire to retire early

Unplanned early retirement occurs when one doesn’t desire, but circumstances leave them with no choice but to retire early. By early, we refer to the whole shebang of metrics. Like instances where you liked the job and hoped to continue building a career driven on by the incentives that propels one up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. 

Or, it could be that you hadn’t planned on staying on — a`la a our parents who held a job for a lifetime — but you were caught out.  Essentially, unplanned early retirement means a potentially gruesome end given that your retirement plans were yet to crystallize, thus leaving you ill prepared — emotionally and financially.

With planning, early retirement might mean your remaining life being spent on a Yatch like this one
Symi, Greece Marina is a famous retirement spot. Hard to believe now, but the Greece crisis resulted in such prime real estate being virtually valueless. Businesses collapsed as tourism headed south with the Greek economic crisis. Not to forget, the job losses that occasioned unplanned early retirement for many Greek workers.

Unplanned early retirement can be manifestation of personal inadequacies such as job incompetency leading to one getting summarily dismissed. Or organizational triggers such as unfair dismissal, company insolvency or industry-wide collapse for whichever reason.

At times, it could be the unfortunate sequel of systemic issues – these most of the time arise from geopolitical moves – that lead to the economy doing badly. Other times; just like that; shit hits the fan in your corner of the world. For a classical example of such a situations in contemporary times that put thousands at risk of unplanned early retirement, we look to an article on North American Free Trade Area deal that appeared in  The Economist .

Unplanned early retirement: When politics takes your job

First up, NAFTA!

In the Economist article, the Classical Liberal publication paints a dire picture of a profession that employs many around the world. A vocation that’s easy to label as  early retirement proof- if there is such a thing. The article delves into how farmers ( ironically rural Republican America)  whose livelihood is under threat from renegotiation of a global trade deal i.e President Trump’s rewrite of NAFTA.

Were NAFTA to disappear in a renegotiation-gone-wrong, many Americans would pay a price—and not just as consumers faced with dearer avocados.

Geopolitics gone wrong such as poorly structured global trade deals can occasion mass unplanned early retirement.
Protestors demonstrate against NATFA in an earlier times. The Message is clear:  NAFTA is the criminal. Image | Jim Winstead/Flickr

Politics of Sex: The fate of LBGT in the American Army

Closer to date, headlines tell of the unjust fate of transgender individuals currently serving the US Military. The liberal world is up in arms as individuals singled out for their sexual orientation, have their civil liberties, including the right to an acceptable standard f life, threatened. Through Pres. Donald Trump’s storm causing series of tweets, the fate of serving servicemen appears sealed. As The Independent reports, unplanned early retirement is in the offing:

The President said that the US will not “accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military”, in a tweet. He said that allowing them to serve would lead to “tremendous medical costs and disruption”. (…) More dramatically, the tweets also suggest that transgender people who are currently serving in the army – or those that come out or transition during their service – will also be kicked out.

Unplanned early retirement: Rendered jobless by technology

Farmers, transgender troops, name them, are just but new arrivals to the jobless corner. A sorry, rapidly expanding enclave soon to overflow with casualties of automation of production. This Bloomberg inforgraphic paints the picture of at risk professions. As per the inforgraphic, If your job involves manipulation in tight spaces in the manner of oral surgeons then you are safe.

How intelligent is AI, intelligent enough to render shrinks into early retirememt?
Image | Gerd Leonhard/Flickr

So are also those who require high levels of social perception like elementary school teachers or any type of nurse jobs. Highly repetitive tasks, make easily algorithmic work. This includes jobs like loan officers and information clerks who sit at the other end of the scale; ready to be replaced by machines.

MYTH: AI can perform all types of jobs. Clearly, there are tasks that robots are better suited to. A worthy stand to consider even before engaging in a comparison narratives of whether computers can so all things better than humans.

The beauty of that distillation of scientific knowledge by Bloomberg is that it blows out of the water a key myths in the AI taking jobs narrative.

Nonetheless, the feeling of ‘it’s only a matter of time’ isn’t easy to shake. In my mind, never before have the words of that famous poem by German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemoller “First they came” bore meaning as at this moment in the 21st century.

Ominous Questions

Nonetheless, if we slow things down — marinate — as we had said we would, it matters little really. Slate takes the lead in clarifying issues by faulting both Mark Zukerberg and Elon Musk for their public tiff over AI.  We take it further by emphasizing that It matters zilch if  Elon Musk is mistaken in his assertion that AI could be the very end of man. Leave alone rendering half of us jobless in the near future hold,

Or if AI is the enabler as Mark Zukerberg contends. Our submission is that getting lost in such discussions – however important – should not denies us the resources to deal with what’s at hand.

That: Invariably, to whichever extent, as sure as the sun rises and sets, change is nigh. There will be new jobs, and just like in other periods of human advancement, other jobs will become extinct.

Will all this happen at a pace so furious that we literally get over whelmed and overran? That’s a question we pose.

Will all this happen at a scale so large that we become extinct? That, we will attempt to answer.

The role of population growth in yielding unprecedented unplanned early retirement in the 21st century

Simple logic, natural law if you like, places scale as a real risk. Simply because there are more humans now than during the transition into the industrial or even digital age. More humans means more time available to employ in activity A/B. All indications are that save for a major disaster there will be even more humans, therefore more human hours.

World population estimates from 1800 to 2100, based on “high”, “medium” and “low” United Nations projections in 2015 and UN historical estimates for pre-1950 data. Image| By Bdm25 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51036438

With all this human hours available. the dilemma therefore is three-fold. How to:

  1. Find meaningful engagement for new labor that is continuously being added on;
  2. engage those never employed with ‘yesterday’s’ skills;
  3. and find ways to match those in early retirement with the available jobs.

Any solution to this quagmire would do well if it acknowledges the reflexive nature of the relationship between science, technology and society. What such an acknowledgement translates to is the arduous task of matching the preferences of the workforce and the whims of the market.

Ideally, doing this whilst navigating through the preferences of the work force (hopefully articulated in retirement plans ) is the only humane way to go about it. Any other way, makes slavery (at worst) a real possibility and the violation of autonomy through unfulfilling jobs being the other option at best.

Then to all that, mix in societal needs (as spelt out in the social contract) and finally; what the market desires in terms of skills gap vi-a-vis what it can afford.

Taking personal responsibility: The possibility of mass unplanned early retirement makes retirement planning a must for all

Deeper into the 21st century, some say as soon as 5 years to come, as cyber physical systems take hold, disrupting the labor market, early retirement looms. If at a personal level, you’ve never thought of retirement planning, then this article should nudge you towards meaningful action.

early retirement is about planning

At a policy level, as this tomorrow of early retirement fast approaches, discussions have centered on a universal basic income. That every one of us on the planet be entitled to stipend as a way to numb the social impact of robots taking over our jobs.

The romanticism of such a move is not unlike the populist times. The skeptic in me is reminded of the grotesque world of the film Metropolis: Humans slaving away in dungeons to prop up the elites. On this one, I think I need to let this one sit a little bit, marinate a little more, for a revisit some other day.

All the same, to date, understandably, the mechanics of such policy interventions remain experimental at best. Moreover,even if they were to solidify, they probably wouldn’t address the desires of an increasing majority: Those who chose to retire early.

Planned early retirement: The allure of the gig economy & quitting the 9 to 5

Forbes  on what is Driving The ‘Gig’ Economy, asserts that: LinkedIn predicts that by the year 2020, 43% of the U.S. workforce will be made up of workers who freelance—that includes younger workers who love the flexibility of working that way and older ones looking to assert more control over their careers.

From blogging to Uber, TaskRabbit and Airbnb, the gig economy has been castigated — free riding on the welfare state; poverty wages; to comparisons of working oneself to death — as much as it has been seen to be innovative and a savior.

Whatever the eventual verdict on the gig economy, whatever the allure — control and create schedule; work/life flexibility; becoming own boss; trying something new; financial hardship or income while job seeking — not only will we see more people freelancing, but more hours will be dedicated to freelancing.

The final common pathway then and now, is some degree of early retirement. This will be characterized by bouts of work followed by periods ‘in- between’ work/contracts. While with this gig economy, the promise of work tomorrow muddies the picture; it remains very much early retirement like:  sub-par income, absence of fitting health insurance plans; increasing difficulty of meaningful engagement; and lack of protections like maternity and sick pay.


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Professional Resume: 3 Commandments of Great Resume Writing

A professional resume fights for you and overcomes the first hurdle towards your dream job.

We cover everything resume writing.  From how to make a resume that carries information that sells you best even with minimal job experience. To how to make best use of free resume templates and resume builders when working on a budget. And what to expect and demand from professional resume writers when engaging professional resume writing services.

Here, we detail and clarify the mindset needed during resume writing whether you are engaging  professional resume writers, utilizing resume builders or going for the traditional DIY approach through modification of resume templates.

here the professional resume consisted of a YouTube video pitch that viewers voted
This “The Best Job in The World” campaign by Queensland Australia tourism agency was feted multiple times for its ingenuity. Its most celebrated quality was that it was believable. A good professional resume needs to be to the job applicant what this campaign was to Queensland

How to make a great professional resume: The three commandments

When out job searching, the job interview part always seems the most dreadful. It understandably feels so given the gazillion, or so it seems, decisions to me made. From what attire to wear, how to wear your hair, how much makeup to apply and even if your favorite ties is too attention grabbing for the occasion. Then you have to be in the right frame of mind to respond to the interviewers’ questions on cue.

Peppered with superlatives like team player and responsible; for all it's self promotion, a professional resume by itself cannot land your dream job
What does it mean when you describe yourself as a team player? What’s your greatest weakness? Just some of the tricky questions one faces in a job interview

Essentially hacking a job interview requires one to be ready to audition much like a performance artist regardless of whether the rules of the interview favor your personality type. On the contrary, the resume writing and sending part of applying for a job is a no rainier. I mean, all you have to do is get the address right and mail it in time. As a result, the resume part feels and encourages one to be disengaged. More so when utilizing professional resume writing services.

As a result, we tend to be passive when writing a resume whilst at the very minimum, we should be passive aggressive. A great CV cuts to the chase while delivering needed information in detail.

My background is in health and will therefore tend to pepper this post with examples from my decade long journey from nursing to management positions in public health. Nonetheless, as a I’ve had the privilege of interviewing candidates for both nursing career jobs and other health related and support professions. I therefore humbly submit that these three commandments of resume writing will yield a professional resume that will serve you well regardless.

1. The first commandment of great resume writing:  Please include everything !

I mean every little detail of your professional life that you wish your employer to know about. For professional and technical fields, listing your student and/or internship log of skills learned and practiced is paramount. For instance, the Bsc in Nursing program in Kenya requires one to demonstrate proficiency in a log of procedures and competencies enumerated by the Nursing Council of Kenya’s logbook.

professional resume writing is about packaging information into meaningful communication unlike the bleating of sheep
By information in your resume, caution is paramount least you come across as bleating sheep

Whilst it might not be prudent to list the whole log, highlighting thematic areas adds juice turning your resume into a professional resume. The best way to execute this is to google up  the professional resume of an accomplished surgeon. You’ll notice that they wouldn’t exactly shy away from the jargon. Neither will they get lost in it. The end result is that you’d know not only the what, where and when, but also their skills set.

A strategy I used when first starting out is that I documented in sufficient detail at least one professional experience in every step of my career. For each educational milestone,  put emphasis on the unique and relevant experiences for the position you are applying for.

Have you ever noticed how performance artists (musicians, actors etc) or a successful entrepreneur talk about themselves?

How they harp on every little detail like singing in the choir at 10 or writing their first song at 3 or even selling sweets to peers at 5 as their first performance or entrepreneurship venture ?

Or how granular LinkedIn gets in the skills section allowing for listing of ‘obvious’ skills like Microsoft Word proficiency?


Latest In Personal Finance


2. Second commandment of great resume writing: Never have only one professional resume

In our take on hacking any supplementary exam that was premised on my experience partaking nursing examinations, we emphasized on the need to master the art of satisfying examiners. This skill comes in handy in satisfying this commandment in resume writing that yields a job clinching professional resume.

This commandment illustrates why as a job seeker, it is important for you to research and maintain some sort of list of jobs you might be interested in. As I had shared in Finding Degree Nursing jobs in Kenya: 3 Tips from tens of interviews & hundreds of interviewees, the Plan-Do-Study- Act approach to job seeking will not only narrow your focus but allow you to employ your minimal job seeking resources to maximum effect.

professional resume writing should be a planned activity. The PDSA cycle in health improvement can be one such valuable planning tool
To maximize your scare resources whilst job seeking, it might be prudent to consider this matrix. In the highlighted article I detail how to modify the PDSA used in Quality Improvement in healthcare for ji seeking. Where you Plan, Do, Study then Act. Resume printing and posting can be costly and thus a strategic nous is necessary.

Take the example of career in health where there many distinct types of jobs which require similar competencies yet the details of each can easily disqualify a competent candidate if they don’t present themselves well. For instance, a career in nursing can be either in academia/research, bedside nursing, medical entrepreneurship or health leadership, administration and management.

3. The third commandment of great resume writing: professional resume writing services

Beware, that some of the online  professional resume writing services are not professional. But rather a faceless cabal of con artists who employ a range of tricks from blatant copy pasting of generic text available online, to plagiarism of resume templates and simple automation of resume writing using resume builders.

The only rule that tells the real deal from the garbage of professional resume writing services is the level of reflexive engagement. How much does the service consult with you? How well to the sell you given the requirements of commandment one (information) and commandment two (niche targeting) above? As you reflect on these two questions, kindly remember not to confuse style with substance.

styling is an integral part of a great professional resume, but it shouldn't become the focus
The question remins: How much is too much styling in a professional resume? As a rule, stick to round bodied fonts. Minimize font styles and types to two complimentary ones at most. Stick to two colors at most.

For a marginal fee, your CV can get the touch of a professional who rewrites and formats it. Most professional resume writers work with human resource consultants with wealth of knowledge on what employers want to see in a CV and cover letter. A good professional resume writing service is like a good advertising agency. They market you by crafting the best sales pitch- your resume .

A few pointers here: Rewriting of a CV and a cover letter differ in rates charged. Secondly, professional resume writing companies will often need a turn around time of up to a week.


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African