Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Why You Should Revise Your Resume Regularly

When was the last time you updated your resume? If you are like most of us, it was the time you were applying for the job you are currently in. Right now, it is probably collecting virtual dust in your hard drive. However, it is always useful to keep your resume up to date because you never know when you will need it, or when an exciting job opportunity comes along.

We often think of our resume as the document that you send to your potential employers as a screenshot of your employment history. In fact, the resume can be more useful for you than your employer. Let me tell you why:

1. Always Ready For The Next Opportunity
Remember those nasty pop quizzes you had in school that always caught you off guard? And right after them you would wish you were more prepared? Now imagine that these are not pop quizzes, but actually surprise job offers!

Opportunities may come knocking at your door at the least expected moment, such as at a friend’s dinner party or at a corporate event for your company. Your potential employer or professional contact may tell you to “send me your resume tomorrow and I will refer you to Mr X.” In that case, wouldn’t you want to make sure that you are ready to dash out those resumes?

Trying to piece together a resume in a hurry is never a good idea, as with anything done hastily. Trying to write a resume after you lost your job can be even more stressful and you may risk leaving out several important points that best represent you.

Set aside time regularly to update your resume, such as every quarter or every month. Write down the successes and lessons learnt during that period and rephrase them into skills or attributes in your resume. It is best to start updating when you are still employed and in the best frame of mind.

2. Being An Expert About You
I know, we hate updating our resumes as much as we dread examinations. We procrastinate, we grumble about them, and we only get down to them a week before the deadline. Therefore, it is totally understandable why anyone would hate updating their resumes.

Well, think of updating your resume as revising your knowledge about you! We all know how we may claim to know a lot about our subject right before the exam, but after the exam, we forget everything! Now imagine forgetting half the skills and achievements you have gained in your job! It would be a great injustice to ourselves to leave out all that hard work that we put in right?
So start updating that resume! Have your latest achievements at your fingertips, so that you will always know what to pitch to your listeners when they ask about you.

3. It’s Like a Regular Check-Up, But For Your Career
Revising your resume is like going to the doctor for a check-up. What you do not want is to realise at the end of the year that you have not spent your time developing yourself either professionally or personally, or worse that you are doing things that are not useful to your career prospects.

Therefore, even if you are not actively looking for a job, your resume works like a career health report card for yourself to check if you are staying relevant. The process of evaluating your employment history lets you know whether you are on the right path and getting good results. More importantly, it will help you see if you are focusing your time and effort on matters that are important to both your career and you.

4. Stay Relevant And Concise
So perhaps you are the diligent type, and have always been keeping track of your career achievements. Good on you!

However, it is always good to do some “spring cleaning” on your resume once in a while. Every achievement may be important, but which ones are most relevant to your dream job and which ones demonstrate your capabilities best?

For example, saying that you were a medic in the army may be impressive and may click well with employers who appreciate employees with first aid skills, but this should not be included in your employment history if you have other more outstanding achievements.

To help you along, you can refer to recommended resumes online by resume writing services, or request for informational interviews from people in the industry that you would like to work in, preferably those working in HR. Seek advice on what are the trends in the industry and how you can improve your resume.

5. Keywords Are Key
An often neglected portion of writing resumes is the keywords you use. As much as we want to flaunt our vocabulary skills, the truth is that people are generally straightforward when it comes to searching for things online.

Therefore, insert searchable keywords into your resume so that employers can find you easily. Glance through the latest job descriptions to find what are some commonly used terms and tailor your resume accordingly.


The above is a guest post from Loy Xingqi of ResumeWriter.SG, Singapore’s leading résumé writing firm. Since 2009, they’ve assisted thousands of jobseekers get their dream jobs. Visit them on their website if you want to know how they can craft the best resumes for you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What is your job actually doing to you?

You know that little voice in your head that says your job is killing you? It might be right: New research has found that workplace stress can be as toxic to your body as second-hand smoke.

There’s a particularly cold prickle of fear that pops up when work leaves you feeling overtired, overwhelmed and under siege. It might seep in during a meeting, when your left eyeball starts to throb, or it might hit you later, when it takes far too long to realize your work pass will not open the door to your house. It lurks in the back of your mind when you’re wondering where exactly your short-term memory went, and it most definitely trickles in during the loneliest moment of your third consecutive night of insomnia.

With this nagging sense of dread comes a question you don’t want to answer: What is your job actually doing to you? Most likely, you brush it off and get back to work. But as new research suggests, concerns that the modern workplace may be harmful to our health are well-founded. As dramatic as it may sound, work and the chronic stress that can come with it may be slowly killing us.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The importance of health insurance

MediShield Life began in November last year (2015), bringing compulsory health insurance to Singapore and marking the coming of age for health insurance here. Just 25 years ago, hardly anyone here had personal health insurance. They either depended on their employers for healthcare support, or paid the whole sum out of their own savings. And hospital bills can be very big, even with Government subsidy, sometimes posing a severe financial strain on the patient's family.

With the launch of MediShield Life, no Singaporean or permanent resident will ever have to face big hospital bills on their own again. Singaporeans were introduced to medical insurance in 1990 when the Government launched MediShield. While there were commercial health insurance available to the individual then, few took them up, largely because few understood the importance of health insurance.

Things changed with MediShield, largely because people were allowed to use their Medisave to pay the premiums, which essentially meant no out of pocket payments were needed. As a result, close to 1.5 million people signed on for the rather basic health insurance. Coverage then was limited to $15,000 a year, $50,000 in lifetime claims and only up till the age of 65 years. Between then and now, the health insurance scene has undergone many changes, as people here came to appreciate the benefits of such coverage.

One major change was the government allowing private companies to offer health insurance whose premiums could also be paid for with Medisave. As a result, there is now a plethora of health insurance coverage with different payouts and premiums - making it extremely confusing and difficult for the average person to decide what to get.

But opening it to the private sector to offer coverage for private sector bills also saw these bottom-line driven companies cherry pick only the healthiest people, leaving those at higher risk of needing hospital care to the goverment-run scheme. So another major change came a decade ago making it compulsory for everyone using Medisave to pay for premiums, to also be enrolled in the basic MediShield coverage. This is done through the private insurers, with no effort needed by the individual.

Meanwhile, the basic scheme also changed, offering higher annual and lifetime payouts, as well as coverage for older people, and recently, for life. As healthcare costs continue to rise faster than general inflation, and as the population ages, many of those who really needed the coverage found themselves left out in the cold, either because they had hit their limits, or because they could no longer afford the hefty premiums charged.

Although Medisave could be used to pay the premiums, the government had put a cap on the maximum that could be used each year. Also, there were many people who have pre-existing conditions that have been excluded from insurance coverage. This led to the creation of MediShield Life, a concept that had been raised many times over the years, but that is finally reaching fruition, where everyone, regardless of age, infirmity or ability to pay would enjoy coverage. But the difficulty in choosing the best insurance for them remains for the two in three people who are on the private plans integrated with MediShield. For more information on MediShield Life, go to the Ministry of Health's website. 

If you need to understand more about how you can get a better coverage for yourself and your family, do message me (Jacky Goh 吴锦南, Senior Financial Planner, representing AXA Life Insurance Singapore Pte Ltd) for an non-obligation consultant appointment on any of the financial services at +65 9151 9924 today.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Is it usual to get really sleepy a couple of hours after a ride?

This is actually very common among endurance athletes.  In fact, many Pro or Olympic level endurance athletes are known to sleep 10 hours a night PLUS 2-3 hours in a nap during the day.  Why?  Not sure exactly.  It hasn’t been determined in research, nor has it been well studied.  There are hypothesis, though.  Some experts think that the cytokines released during long, intense training causes sleepiness afterwards – this does not occur with shorter exercise.  

In fact, most shorter or easier training is invigorating…longer can cause sleepiness.  These are the same cytokines released by the body during a short illness such as a cold, which is why most people feel very sleepy when they are sick.  Bummer.

While I may not have a “magic bullet” to fix all of this, I can help you optimize your fuel to give you the best chance of recovering well and staying energized after training and throughout the day.  And, maybe we can lessen the effect of those cytokines.  Here are my recommendations:

1)      Hydration: More hydration during your ride: Aim for 20-24 oz. per hour (at a minimum, 16 oz. per hour).  Dehydration is detrimental in many ways as it can cause nausea, fatigue, headaches, cravings, etc.  Additionally, stay on top of hydration day to day, aiming for 64-80 oz. fluid per day (in addition to what’s needed for training).

2)      Carbohydrates: Aim for 40+ grams of carbs per hour on the bike.  For these rides that are longer than 60 minutes, I recommend sports drink + 15-25 grams of additional carbs from a gel, ½ energy bar, energy chews, etc.

3)      Recovery: Your recovery shake needs to contain 30-60 grams carbohydrates, 10-30 grams protein, and fluid.  I also strongly recommend adding Medium Chain Triglycerides, from organic extra-virgin coconut oil, as they are an efficient energy source that’s used directly by the mitochondria (energy powerhouses) of the cells.  As a bonus, antioxidants and probiotics are helpful in recovery – the probiotics increase the absorption of the antioxidants which fight the extra free radicals created by exercise.  For a recipe, try: and use plain yogurt in place of milk.  Try to consume your recovery snack within 30 minutes of finishing your ride.

4)      Supplements: It’s beneficial to most endurance athletes to supplement with a high-quality multivitamin.  One brand I like is the Rainbow Light Brand, and they have a multivitamin specific for men.  Since it sounds like this is an issue after long rides, and not fatigue in general, it doesn’t sound like an iron issue to me.  Also, being a male cyclist (as opposed to a female runner), you’re not in a high-risk group.

5)      Healthy Fats: Since omega-3s from fish oils slow the release of cytokines and thereby reduce their affects, hypothetically it’s possible that omega-3s may reduce this endurance-exercise-sleepiness issue – and, they’re healthy for you anyway, so it’s worth a try.  I generally recommend 1000 mg of DHA/EPA per day from supplements + 6 oz. fatty fish 2 times per week for ~1500-2000 mg of DHA/EPA per day.  Vegetarian sources of omega-3s may also help, but most research has used fish oil.

I hope this helps!  Let me know after your next big ride!