Araw ng Manggagawa or Labor Day is a non-working holiday celebrated on the first day of May every year in the Philippines. It is a day celebrated in honor of working Filipino people.
Every year on the first day of May, the government conducts activities — particularly headed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) — to give honor to the working Filipino people.
On Labor Day 2010, DOLE conferred the DOLE Kabuhayan Awards to outstanding individuals and workers’ groups that implemented DOLE-assisted livelihood projects. The DOLE-Kabuhayan Awards marked the Philippine’s 108th Labor Day celebration. The award was given to outstanding individuals and workers’ groups with the aim of recognizing and showcasing the best projects implemented within the last five years for priority groups of beneficiaries.
On Labor Day 2011, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) conducted mega-job fairs in strategic locations nationwide.
On Labor Day 2014, DOLE conducted an event with theme: “Sa Sipag, Tiyaga, at Talino, Buong Mundo Saludo sa Manggagawang Pilipino.”
On Labor Day 2015, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III traveled to Cebu to attend Jobstart Philippines Forum, sponsored by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and its partners.
Rallies and Protests
However, May 1 in the Philippines is also often marked by rallies as the labor sector airs its grievances.
For example on the 2009th Labor Day, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-National Capital Region (Bayan-NCR), Kilusang Mayo Uno-National Capital Region (KMU-NCR), Anakpawis Partylist and other militant organizations commemorated Labor Day by protesting against the Arroyo administration for its continued negligence in providing relief to the condition of the people.
On the 2012th Labor Day, a historic move, more than 40 labor federations formed a coalition called Nagkaisa to urge the government to increase the minimum wage, end labor contractualization, and regulate the prices of fuel, electricity, and water. Included in the coalition are the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Partido ng Manggagawa, BMP, Alliance of Progressive Labor, Federation of Free Workers, Philippine Airlines Employees Association, and several other unions and federations nationwide.
On the 2013th Labor Day, thousands of workers across the country marked Labor Day with protests against what they called the failure of the Aquino administration to address their demands for higher wages and better working conditions. Workers converged and held rallies at different points in Metro Manila, including Mendiola, Liwasang Bonifacio and outside Quiapo Church where Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle officiated a Mass for workers.
On the 2015th Labor Day, protests followed Aquino even right outside the job fair on Cebu. Different labor groups joined forces in a protest rally denouncing what they call the President’s disregard of the workforce. In an interview, Dennis Derige of the Partido ng Manggagawa Cebu, said that they are calling for justice for all workers who experience job contractualization and those who are not given decent working conditions. The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) were part of the rally.
This year’s Labor Day Events
This year’s Labor Day celebration will have a theme “Kinabukasan Sigurado sa Disenteng Trabaho” and will be highlighted by modified job fairs in 44 sites across the Philippines.
Career guidance for the youth
A modification was made by the Department through the conduct of a career fair, which aims to guide students and the youth in making career decisions.
“The career fair will feature the on-going human resource development initiatives of the DOLE in partnership with labor groups, employers, key sectors, and other government agencies. It will build on the Human Resource Development Roadmap and the Labor and Employment Plan for 2016-2022 to prepare the youth for the future of work,” said Baldoz.
She added that the career fair will be participated in by 3,000 youths and students who want to explore career opportunities in the labor market. It will also feature career ambassadors who will assist the youth participants in making career decisions.
Several government agencies will showcase their respective programs on career guidance, including scholarships and related programs on the K to 12.
A labor market information (LMI) corner will also be set-up, featuring the enhanced Phil-JobNet, Job Search Kiosk, JobStart Philippines, Human Resource Development Roadmap 2016-2022, career information materials, and industry career guides.
Job and Career Fairs
To ensure fast and smooth processing of job applications and other employment-related documentation, the DOLE and its Regional Offices enlisted the participation of the National Bureau of Investigation, Social Security System, Bureau of Internal Revenue, National Statistics Office, PAG-IBIG, and PhilHealth, which will have their own booths at the following job fair sites nationwide.
National Capital Region
World Trade Center, Pasay City
Cordillera Administrative Region
Baguio Convention Center, Baguio City
SM City Rosales and Calasiao Sports Gymnasium, Pangasinan
Robinsons Place in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte
SM City Cauayan and Robinson’s Mall, Santiago City
People’s Center in Balanga, Bataan
SM City Baliuag in DRT Highway, Pagala, Baliuag, Bulacan
SM City Marilao, McArthur Highway, Pagala, Marilao, Bulacan
SM City, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
SM City Downtown, San Fernando City, Pampanga
SM City Clark, Clarkfield, Pampanga
SM City Pampanga, San Fernando City, Pampanga
SM City, Tarlac, Tarlac; Masinloc Gymnasium, Masinloc, Zambales
SM City Olongapo, Olongapo City
A post-labor day job fair at the Freedom Park, Burgos Street, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija will be held on May 3.
SM Dasmariñas, Dasmariñas, Cavite
SM Calamba, Calamba, Laguna
Pacific Mall, Quezon
and SM Taytay, Rizal.
A pre-labor day job fair was held on April 27 at the Batangas City Convention Center in Batangas.
Divine Word College of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro
SM Robinson’s, Palawan
SM City Naga, Naga City, Camarines Sur
SM City Iloilo, Manduriao, Iloilo City
The Shops at Amigo, Iloilo City
Cebu Capitol Building, Cebu City
Avellana Cebu National High School
Tacloban Astrodome Sagkahan, Tacloban City
Zamboanga Economic Freeport Authority, Talisayan, Zamboanga City
KCC Mall, General Santos
Gaisano Mall, Davao City
SM City Davao
SM City General-SM Trade Halls 1 and 2
KCC Mall, General Santos Convention and Events Center
DOLE Surigao del Sur Field Office
DOLE Agusan del Sur
DOLE Agusan del Norte
Negros Island Region
SM City Bacolod
“It’s not fair to compare one artist to another because they all come with their own sort of elements to the picnic, you know.” - Annie Lennox
Life is not fair, it’s a given. Some people were born poor while other people were born rich. But even if this is the case, why does some successful people rooted from humble beginnings? Why does some poor people built better careers than the ones who were born from a rich family?
In her TED Talk, Regina Hartley–the VP of Human Resources at UPS–named the two types of people (applicants) as “The Silver Spoon” and “The Scrapper”.
Regina Hartley’s TED Talk
According to her, the Silver Spoon is the one who clearly had advantages and was destined for success while the Scrapper is the applicant who had to fight against tremendous odds to get the qualifications and get to the same point.
In her TED Talk, she strengthened her point that those who don’t always look good on resume may be just the person best to hire.
What’s your key takeaway from her TED Talk
If you are the hiring manager, who would you choose? Regina Hartley says — hire the scrapper — the underestimated contender, whose secret weapons are passion and purpose. Choose the one with the imperfect resume.
If you are an applicant, instead of complaining about your situation, believe in yourself. Believe that you can get the job. And how will you do that? Prove to the hiring officer that you are the best one for the job. Be proud to be a scrapper.
Who is Regina Hartley?
She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the HRCI. Throughout her 25-year UPS career – working in talent acquisition, succession planning, learning and development, employee relations, and communications – Regina Hartley has seen how, given the opportunity, people with passion and purpose will astound you. Today, Hartley is a human resources director for UPS Information Services, and makes human connections with employees immersed in technology.
About TED Talk
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the number of identity theft incidents has reached 9.9 million a year. Every minute, about 19 people fall victim to identity theft and it takes the average victim an estimated $500 and 30 hours to resolve each identity theft crime. Identity theft is a serious problem that is why job seekers should know how to secure themselves when looking for a job.
Job Seeker’s Guide to Preventing Identity Theft
1. Avoid giving too much information in your resume
Be careful of posting your personal information on the internet. Do you really want just anyone to have your home address, home phone, fax number and all your email address? When creating your resume, avoid giving too much information (TMI) about yourself. Birthday, age, weight, height, complete address, and civil status do not belong in your resume because apart from leading to discrimination it also give hackers the chance to sniff your personal information.
Note: Never include such information as driver license number, birthday or Social Security No. on an application that someone sent you through email.
2. Upload your resume to trusted Resume banks
Ever since the advent of internet, job hunting has gone digital and became easier for applicants to look for jobs and employers to look for suitable candidates. This became possible because of electronic resume banks. Electronic resume banks are the computer dating agencies of the job search. Resume banks offer a potentially easy way to match job and job seeker. However, there is also a risk in uploading your resume to a resume banks. In some instances, your resume may get to the hand of the bad people if you are not careful. That is why you should only upload your resume on trusted resume banks like Monster.com, Indeed, Glassdoor and JobStreet. Remember, identity thief can make themselves look like real employers.
3. Create a separate personal and professional email address
One way to avoid identity theft is to create a separate professional email address and personal email address. You can use your professional email address in your job search and networking. In this way, you can protect your normal email from spammers. Here’s a guide for creating a professional email address.
4. Beware of spyware and phishing scams
Spyware and phishing scams are ways of hackers to sniff your personal information. Spyware is a type of malware installed on computers that collects information about users without their knowledge while Phishing is an attempt to acquire information (and sometimes, indirectly, money) such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. (Read more about spyware and phishing).
Protect yourself from Spyware and Phishing
Protect your computer with a firewall, spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
When conducting online transactions, look for a sign that the site is secured such as a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or an “https:” URL whereby the “s” stands for “secure” rather than an “http:”
Beware of links in emails that ask for personal information, even if the email appears to come from an enterprise you do business with. (Read more about Preventing Phishing Scams and Spyware)
If you are in the point of looking for a job, you need to write your qualifications in a paper for hiring officers to see. And there are many ways to do it, you can create a bio-data, generic resume or you can create a professional resume.
Among these three choices, creating a professional resume will help you get the attention of hiring officers. But the question is, “Do you know how to create a professional resume?” or at least “Have you seen one”? It is a mystery to most job seekers what a professional resume is, especially to those who are new in job search.
What a Professional Resume is Not
Bio-data. A professional resume is not a bio-data. Even though both are used for applications, resumes usually do not have personal information. Why? Because it encourages discrimination. Professional resumes focus on qualifications and relate why the applicant is the best candidate for the job. The exemption is if you are applying for a job from other countries where you need to include your personal information because of the country’s resume standard. In this case, applicants should use “curriculum vitae” instead.
Job history. Many applicants think that a professional resume is just a list of their previous jobs. This is not true, although resumes should have previous jobs, it will destroy the applicant’s chance in getting the job if he/she will not include relevant accomplishments and qualifications relevant for the position applied for.
Generic. A professional resume differs from a generic resume. A generic resume is a single resume used to apply for different positions. Although this is convenient, this is not effective. In the current state of competitive applications, if you use the same resume for all of the job you are applying for, you will engage yourself in a longer job hunt.
Curriculum Vitae. This is a matter of standard in your country. Australia, India and South Africa use the term resume and curriculum vitae interchangeably; but in the United States and in the Philippines, resume differs from curriculum vitae (CV). Curriculum vitae is a latin term meaning “course of life” and is usually longer than a professional resume. Academic positions and positions that involve significant research usually require curriculum vitae while non-academic and corporate positions are fine with resume. To give you a much deeper comparison between the two, here is a face-off between Curriculum Vitae and Resume.
Marketing tool. Your resume is the best marketing tool you will ever have. It is an advertising and marketing campaign designed to sell one thing—YOU.
Concise. A professional resume is concise. It means that it should contain all the necessary information using the least number of words.
Clutter-free. A professional resume is free from clutter. Your resume will reflect your quality of work so never allow a typo or a grammatical error in your resume.
Targeted. A resume is professional if it is tailored for a specific job. You must know that different job requires different skills.
Appropriate. A resume is professional if it is appropriate for the industry and the position applied for. It should be designed and formatted wherein the position applied for is importantly considered.
Have you ever asked what you should wear in your job interview? Have you ever asked what dress codes mean when you hear them? Well, worry no more because here is a guide that will help you dress for success in your next job interview.
Do you have something to add in the above dress code guide?
“I don’t always attend a job fair but when I do, I handshake everyone in the event.” - Anonymous
Have you ever attended a job fair? Wikipedia defined job fair (also referred to as career fair or career expo) as speed dating for companies and job seekers. It is an event in which employers, recruiters, and schools give information to potential employees.
Attending a job fair is both fun and exciting. You see many professionals and you find many job openings. There is also a possibility that you will be hired on the spot.
Who Should Attend a Job Fair?
All applicants are welcome to attend job fairs considering that the event open opportunities to all professionals in different industries; however, I think fresh graduates will mostly benefit from job fairs because they will gain experience and knowledge from the event.
Professionals who seek employment in call center industry should also attend job fairs because call center companies are mostly present during job fairs. Sometimes call center companies organize the event because they are looking for competent candidates who have flair for English language and those who have great interpersonal skills.
How I Benefited from the Job Fair I Attended
I had a great experience from the job fair I attended last June 2013 at Tacloban City Astrodome when I was just starting my career. In the event, I found many companies looking for potential candidates but GoAbroad was the company that intrigued me. Although it was the first time I encountered of GoAbroad, the jobs they have posted are the positions that I want— Graphic Designer, Blogger, and SEO Content Writer.
Because I have the basic skills in Photoshop and InDesign and I have an international-standard resume, I was interviewed by their hiring manager. GoAbroad’s hiring manager is a fast-talking 30 to 40-year-old Filipina with an intimidating fluency in English. I did not ask for her name because I was so shy. Well, a starter’s mistake. Before the interview began, I was so nervous because I do not know what questions will be asked.
The hiring manager asked me series of questions about my resume and my qualifications. She also asked me if I am a blogger, if I know Photoshop and if I know SEO. I cannot remember the exact answers I responded to the questions but as far as I know I have impressed her because she invited me to their second applicant screening—the pre-employment examination to be taken at their main office.
When I got home, I searched for their company online and I found out that GoAbroad is an international company. They partner with international schools and companies and advertise them in their site. Their employees create blog posts and create impressive graphics for their clients. They also plan, design and build websites.
The next day, I went to their office by following the direction given to me by the hiring manager. Their office is hidden from the busy streets and is like a residential office. At first I could not understand why, but when I went inside, I got the whole point. They have a very modern workplace—designed to make their employees feel like they are working at home. I was there together with other applicants—local bloggers and newly graduates—to take the pre-employment exam.
The hiring officer showed us their workplace first, to motivate us to do our best. They have a mini-gym and a mini-bar and their workplace is compartmentalized for the services that they do—graphic designing, web designing, blogging and other techie services that they do.
After the tour, we took the examination. The exam was composed of English language proficiency questions, grammar questions and an essay, a total of 110 points. After the examination, the hiring manager told us that the best applicants will be called for the next step. Unfortunately, I was not called but I learned a lot from that experience.
By the time of the examination, I was just a newbie, I didn’t know the meaning of SEO. It was only after the examination that I learned search engine optimization and I got the whole picture of what they do. I learned deeper about their industry and that was the time I kept learning about WordPress and the hidden gems in blogging.
If I did not went to that job fair, I would not have known anything about blogging and the different services that I can do to my clients today. It was a memorable and life-changing experience.
Why You Should Attend a Job Fair
Apart from getting the chance of being hired on the spot, here are other reasons why you should attend a job fair:
1. Same-minded professionals are present in job fairs. Professionals under your desired industry are there. During job fairs, you get the chance to meet them, introduce yourself and offer your business card to them. You can even take note of their name and add them to your professional network on LinkedIn.
2. You will find out if your resume is effective. Submitting your resume to hiring officers during job fairs will let you know if your resume is effective or not. If it does, good for you but if it doesn’t, you need to improve your resume. Here are some common resume mistakes that are hindering your chance in getting that job.
3. You will know what’s new in your industry. When you attend a job fair, you will discover new job leads and in-demand jobs under your industry. You will see new opportunities that you can only find when you attend a job fair.
4. You practice answering interview questions. Interview questions vary by industry and by attending a job fair, you will discover the common questions asked for your desired position. If you are not hired at first, you improve your chance by preparing for the interview the next time you apply.
5. You get to make friends. I am not a communication starter, but because applicants in the job fair I attended have the same goal as I do—to get a job—I made few friends in the event. I even enjoyed communicating with other applicants during the process of the job fair recruitment.
6. You get to see companies looking for employees. It is pretty obvious but apart from your personal need to be employed, if you have friends who need a job and you think are qualified for the position, you can inform them about the job opening.
7. You can exercise your communication and interpersonal skills. During job fairs, you get the chance to meet different people—people that could be a part of your professional network throughout your career. This is why you must communicate with other applicants and if possible, exchange business card with them.
8. You practice being an adult professional. You get the chance to manage your time and compete with other applicants. Being an employee demands your time-management skill and of course, every once in a while, you get to compete with other professionals.
9. You will face challenges. Other things that you will enjoy in attending a job fair are the challenges that you will face in the process. Challenges like your grooming or appearance, focus, social graces, traveling time, and handling tough interviewers are just few of the things that you will face during job fairs. At the end of the day, you will discover your weaknesses and you get to adapt and improve them as you go along.
10. You learn from your mistakes. Job search—especially during job fair is like a game and the more you try, the more you will learn. The more you practice, the better your chances in improving and getting your desired job.
As a final take, I will inform you that attending a job fair is exhausting. But at the same time, I guarantee that you will learn many things from the experience and the information that you will gain from job fairs. It might even change your life. Who knows? Are you ready? Go attend a job fair.
On my earlier blog post, I have written that using an objective for a resume is no longer working. I also pointed out that instead of an objective statement, you should write a Qualifications Summary. A qualifications summary is a 3-5 statement summarizing your most applicable experience and qualifications. It is the bulleted sentences found at the top of a resume stating the candidate’s best achievements and qualifications.
Now, the question is, how do you write a qualifications summary? In this blog post I will give you the step-by-step process in writing and perfecting your qualifications summary.
Who Should a Write a Qualifications Summary?
First, who should write a qualifications summary? Well the answer is anyone. Every applicant can write a qualifications summary. But the ones who can write best qualifications are those who have related skills or experiences on the job they are applying.
Recent college graduates who were active at school are also best to write qualifications summary because they have the so-called “transferrable skills”. According to Martin Yate in his Knock ‘em Dead series, “Transferrable skills are set of skills that underlies the applicant’s ability to execute the technical skills of the job effectively, whatever that job might be.”
How to Write a Qualifications Summary
Qualifications Summary are sometimes written as Summary of Qualifications, Career Summary, Professional Profile or Career Profile but they all pertain to the same goal — summarizing the applicant’s skills and experience.
1. Make sure you know the exact position that you want. Be specific and use the industry standard. For example if you are looking for a job in Sales, you might be tempted to use Product Specialist or Property Specialist but the industry standard is Sales Representative, so stick to it.
2. List your Qualifications. I suggest take a 10-15 minute dedicated time in this step. Select your level below and start writing your answer to the questions that follow.
A. Entry-Level / Recent Graduates
What knowledge/subject areas did you focus learning at school?
What special skills did you know while you were studying? It could be a computer skill, writing skill or skills you learned from your school activities.
What do you enjoy doing? List your hobbies — the things you usually do on your free time.
Did you receive awards at school? These could be awards from academics or contests conducted inside or outside your school.
Did you work part-time to support your studies? Write the things that make you stand-out as an entry-level candidate.
Were you a scholar or a Dean’s Lister?
What personal or professional traits do you possess that makes you employable? These are professional values that you can serve to your future employers.
B. Professional, Mid-Career and Executive Level
How long have you been working in the industry? You can use your number of year experience in the industry as your top qualification. (Considering it is the same industry you are applying.)
List out the experiences and knowledge you have about the job.
List all the accomplishments that you made in your past jobs — accomplishments that saved the company time, money and effort.
What makes you the best candidate for the position?
Do you know some foreign languages?
3. Collect job posts. Look for job posts online for the position you are seeking. (Note: Location does not matter here. That means you can use job post from other countries.) What we are searching here are “keywords”. I would suggest you look at Monster, GlassDoor or Indeed. Collect at least 6 job posts, save it in Microsoft Word or print it out.
4. Extract the keywords recurring in the job posts. Here’s an example of a sales job post with keywords highlighted.
5. Select your most relevant qualifications. Now that you have the keywords taken from the job posts, choose from your written qualifications the most compatible skills for the job you are targeting. You can use Forbes’s CEASE technique:
Characteristics: 2-3 personal/professional traits that make you a good fit for the job and the company
Experience: Number of years you’ve worked in the industry or other experience that makes you qualified for the position
Achievements: 2-3 things you have a strong track record in accomplishing for previous employers
Skills: 2-3 high value abilities you’ve demonstrated that are relevant to the position in question
Expertise: Relevant education, certification, or special experience that other job candidates might not have
6. Perfect your qualifications.
Put the action words at the beginning of each qualification. (e.g. Awarded Top in Sales for the year 2016)
Avoid personal pronouns such as I or My and be sure to ask someone to proofread your resume.
Incorporate the supporting information throughout your resume. You can create a Core Competencies, Technical Skills and Foreign Languages section where you can further the information that you have written in your Qualifications Summary.
Qualifications Summary Examples
Here are some great qualifications summary that you can use as guide:
Sales and marketing professional offering more than 10 years of solid experience, with the past 6 years in the software solutions industry. Utilized consultative selling techniques throughout complex and multiple-level sales processes. Consistently exceeded sales quota, developed interactive business relationships with senior executives, created and implemented persuasive account strategies for a competitive marketplace, and effectively sold customized computer products and services. Computer skills include Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and ACT!.
Accountant with more than 20 years of Finance and Accounting experience. Expertise in preparing financial statements, monitoring daily cash transactions, developing annual budgets, and recording all financial activity for small to medium-sized businesses. Recruited and cultivated a first-rate team of financial support professionals. Bachelor’s degree in Accounting with a strong background in Finance and Accounting methodologies and practices.
Customer Service Representative
Experienced in general office principles, practices, and procedures. Proficient in MS Office: Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access. Detail oriented, proficient organizer with the ability to delegate and train others. Knowledge of diverse cultures. Team player with emphasis on quality.
Management professional with 12 years’ experience in the automobile dealership industry, including general management, finance and production management, and general sales management. Background includes establishment of programs to increase sales, improve productivity, reduce costs, and enhance customer relations. Secure a higher penetration for finance products, including warranties, credit life, disability, and finance interest rates. Earned a master’s degree in finance.
Graphic Designer with 13 years of experience in graphic design and developing web sites.
Extensive experience in developing for traditional and new media using a mix of traditional design techniques and computer aided techniques.
Supervised creative path of client projects.
Proven success in web site design including concept development, designing, and coding.
Accomplished in all aspects of print design.
Self-confident nursing professional offering exceptional planning, prioritizing and goal-setting abilities to achieve the best patient outcome. Plan and implement nursing care and patient education for patients and caregivers. Professional and articulate - skilled interacting with physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Conscientious application of hospital policies and procedures; keep needs of patients foremost in mind. Capable of working under pressure in fast-paced environments and managing multiple and diverse tasks simultaneously.
Recent college graduate — Summa Cum Laude.
Organized, efficient, and precise with strong communication and liaison skills.
Skilled in planning and execution of special projects during time-critical environments.
Decisive and direct, yet flexible in responding to constantly changing assignments.
Enthusiastic, creative and willing to assume increased responsibility. High initiative with strong self-management skills.
It was a day before Christmas in 2015 when Inforati Philippines suffered uptime interruption. This site has been down inconsiderately for almost 14 hours a day for 3 weeks until January 10, 2016. Within that week, different problems happened: our Jetpack plugin & WordPress.org was disconnected, the email server was directed to the CPanel, and I, as an administrator cannot log in to the dashboard. With problems like these, who am I going to call? Not Ghostbusters but the customer support team of Arvixe (Inforati’s previous web hosting provider).
I contacted Arvixe’s support team through email but there was no response after a day so I contacted their support team via Live Chat. I contained my anger at first but they told me that their account management tool is under maintenance and other representatives said that it was my fault which in fact I have not updated my site for a while. They do not even send an email to their customers about the interruption and maintenance that they do. That is how terrible Arvixe’s Webhosting Service is.
After receiving that response, I realized how bad my decision was to host Inforati’s website in Arvixe. However, this blog post is not about that, this is about the skills that customer support teams like Arvixe’s should know to solve customer issues effectively.
So, if you are seeking a career in the call center or BPO industry, maybe you need to master these skills first:
1. Communication Skill. Communication is a broad topic, but call center agents should focus on verbal and written communication skills. Call center agents should be good at communication. They should know how to read, write and speak English fluently. If you want, you can check my previous blog post on improving your communication skills.
2. Data-Entry Skill. Because one of the common tasks of a call center agent is entering data, typing skill is an important skill that a call center agent should master. If you can type faster, you can handle more customers since call center agents answer issues in bulk. Check out my previous blog post on increasing your typing speed.
3. Calmness & Patience. Patience is indeed a virtue. Have you heard about the Citibank (Phone) Scandal in the Philippines? Listen to this audio clip that became popular in 2009.
4. Listening Skill. Listening is an important skill for call center agents. Listening to customers’ concerns is critical not just hear what they are talking about.
5. Problem-solving skills. We are all paid to become problem-solver. Whatever we do in life, we earn a living by solving problems. In a call center, problem-solving is a special skill that every call center agent has to master.
In the case of Arvixe’s customer support team, I just wished that they solved the issue fast and effectively but unfortunately, they were not able to make me feel like they value my business at all so I transferred to a better web hosting service.
6. Technical Skill. A skill related to handling and troubleshooting computers is a must for call center agents. This skill is very important, especially for Technical Support Representatives.
7. Professionalism. Customers may say bad things to call center agents but still, they should maintain professionalism.
8. Coping with Stress. Being a call center agent is a stressful job. Although there is no easy and stress-free job, I really salute how call center agents wing out stress. As a sense of advice, if you want to become a successful call center agent, it takes practice, practice, and practice to be able to handle a rude caller and not give up to stress.
After mastering these skills, you can add them to the Key Competencies section of your resume.
Just a note, there may be some skills special in some contact center jobs that are not on this list. If you are passionate about customer service, I encourage you read the job post carefully.