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3 Awesome Sales Tips From The Greatest Chess Player Ever
A casual chess player looks at the board and makes what they think to be their best move. Skilled players may predict two or three moves in advance--their move, their opponent's move, then their next move. Gary Kasparov, Russian chess Grandmaster, once said that he could envision or project out 14 moves in advance. He understood the "if/then" concept with exceptional clarity. He could actually see where he was going to take his opponent. Checkmate. Likewise, casual salespeople ask a prospect a question without giving much thought to the next steps the sales conversation should take. But, in order to forge a path where they want it to go, successful sales reps who know how to anticipate the buyer responses and are ready to make their next move. Here are three steps to take the sales conversation where you want it to go. Value. Develop your questions in advance. Knowing the right question to ask in a given situation becomes much easier when you have a list of them to choose from. Start with what you need to learn as a result of your next sales appointment--challenges they face, goals to achieve, deadlines, people involved. Write those down. Then write a question for each item. When you find a question that works well for you, make note of it for future use. Ask multiple, follow-up questions. Once you ask the buyer your questions. Don't stop with their answer. The best answers come from follow-up questions like, "Why is that?" "How does that impact your business?" "When did that happen?" What else?" "How much does that increase your variable costs?" Once you get into the habit of asking good follow-up questions, your sales will respond. Listen to their answers with discernment. Don't think about what you're going to say next. Clear your mind of interference and just listen. Remember, you've got your list of questions in front of you. You can always get back on track if you forget a question. As the buyer responds, apply your framework of knowledge and experience to understand what the buyer is saying on multiple levels. You came to the meeting with objectives--well, your buyer has objectives, too, and how he or she responds to questions will help you to understand what those are. For example, if the buyer responds to your question with their own question about price, this could lead you in one of many possible directions. Perhaps it's an indication that the buyer is qualified, ready to make a deal. Maybe they are testing you to see what kind of salesperson you are. Maybe every other rep has provided a price, leading your buyer to think that they can learn what they want to know in three minutes rather than the 30 you have scheduled so that you can learn what you need to know. This is not always a straightforward process, because it calls upon your experience as a salesperson, and no two people's experiences are ever identical. Again, it's based on "if/then". Fourteen moves is probably more than you need to plan. By developing questions in advance, asking, and planning what to do with the responses, you can become the Gary Kasparov of the sales call. For your customer, that's Value. For your competition: Checkmate. Source of link: http://www.inc.com/barrett-riddleberger/3-awesome-sales-tips-from-the-greatest-chess-player-ever.html


Comments 0 View 7

Establishing a company in a new territory
As countries develop and become wealthier, they tend to question whe­ther foreign companies should be in control of resources that are vital to their economies. Their governments start asking whether what’s good for the companies concerned is what’s best for the nation. With this in mind, I would recommend the following measures to a subsidiary establishing itself in a new country: Employ a skilled local public relations professional who has good connections with the authorities of the host nation. Become recognised by the public as an asset to their country by sponsoring a popular activity such as a sporting event, say, or offering scholarships for bright students from poor backgrounds. Work hard to be seen as a good citizen by the government. If you work in an ­extractive industry, for example, you should be aware that United Nations general assembly resolution 1803 states that international organisations “shall strictly and conscientiously respect the sovereignty of peoples and nations over their natural wealth and resources”. Large multinationals usually own their subsidiaries outright, but there’s much to be said for having a local partner with a minority interest. It should know the market well, possess useful contacts and have some influence with the authorities should problems arise. Your business is also less likely to be a nationalisation target if it’s partly owned by local interests. But a local partner can become a liability if it has its own agenda. Also, if it has several other commercial interests, it may be reluctant to challenge the government on your behalf for fear of jeopardising these. Jurisdiction prudence Transfer pricing can be a real source of contention. As an accountant, you’ve learnt the principle of keeping costs in the higher-tax country and revenues in the lower-tax country. A minnow may get away with this, but a big fish should be particularly careful if its impact on the local economy is great. If you transfer commodities or finished products between group companies that are used all around the world, there is limited scope for manipulation because these have a global price. If you transfer finished goods for which price compar­isons cannot be made so readily, some scope remains. But most large companies understand the long-term benefits of being good citizens and are therefore careful with their transfer pricing. In one case I know of, oil companies sold oil to their affiliates at a discount on world prices, claiming that this allowed the affiliates a margin when they sold it on. The host government rejected their argument and imposed “fiscal export prices”, which gen­erally exceeded world prices. Being too clever here turned out to be a costly mistake. In another case, the CFO of a large firm that was important to the host country’s economy devised ways of minimising its tax burden. After some years the government got fed up with this and expropriated the company. Its negotiated compensation payment was considerably lower than the business’s market value. A company’s tax payments should be commensurate with its size, turnover and importance to the host nation’s economy. But you’ll have inherited the corporate structure and you probably have little say in how profits are channelled through the group. High sales and low tax payments are a phenomenon of the developed world. Developing nations rarely accept measures contrived to reduce tax payments. This means that payments to other group companies will be scrutinised by them. If a firm continues paying too little tax, it may be expropriated. When a foreign firm starts up in a new country, the host government will often insist that it brings in “new money”. This makes sense, since funds may be in short supply locally and the government wants them to be used to finance local business. But not all countries have this rule and you may be able to obtain loans from the local banks or arrange back-to-back deals with a foreign bank. Another possibility is to finance local operations with loans from a group company rather than bringing in capital. Some developed countries apply “thin capitalisation” rules and disallow some or even all of the interest. Germany, for instance, deems the interest to be a dividend payment. Be aware that some developing countries adopt a similar stance and disallow the interest as tax deductible. If they do allow the interest, you may have to substantiate that the interest charged is at the going rate. Currency affairs Developing countries are prone to devaluations. If you believe that one is coming, collect debts quickly but delay paying creditors. But departing from your normal credit practices can sour relationships with the authorities, so do this judiciously. You may also take out a bank loan locally in anticipation of a devaluation, but do consider how the finance ministry might react. Consult your management team before proceeding. Look at ways of increasing payments to your parent company. If you are using technology patented by group companies, there may be scope for raising royalty payments, but do ensure that these can be substantiated, or they may be disallowed. Head office may incur costs in providing technical help, conducting R&D, procuring equipment and seeking new markets etc, which it then apportions to all group companies. Consider whether the block payment for these services could be increased. The host country will usually accept a service charge, providing that the amount is reasonable. In brief, the best policy for the long term is to be sensible with transfer pricing and other payments to group companies, while paying a reasonable amount of tax and sticking to the rules. Be inventive with ideas for increasing profits by all means, but beware of being too clever by half – it can easily backfire. No one makes an investment expecting that it will be expropriated – and being a good citizen certainly reduces this likelihood. But it may still occur, often for political reasons, so an astute accountant will be prepared. You can reduce your exposure from the start by owning few physical assets. It is important that the parent company, or another up the chain, is constituted in a country that has a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with the host nation. This ensures that arbitration arrangements, usually with the International Centre for the ­Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), are in place if things go wrong. A typical BIT will make the following statement: “Neither party shall take any measures to expropriate or nationalise investments, unless the following conditions are complied with: the measures are taken in the public interest and under due process of law; the measures are not discriminatory or contrary to any undertaking that the contracting party taking such measures may have given; the measures are taken against just compensation. Such compensation shall represent the market value of the investments affected immediately before the measures were taken or the impending measures became public knowledge, whichever is earlier.” If “just compensation” is not forthcoming – usually because the company and the government differ greatly with their valuations of the business – the treaty allows for arbitration at the ICSID. But this is a last resort, as cases take years to resolve. It’s possible that the local ambassador or the CEO of your holding company may intervene in the negotiations. This may help, but I believe it is better for the holding company to give guidance on acceptable terms, but leave the talking to executives, including the CFO, in the local company. They may well have already met the government officials personally in a social setting, which makes for a better rapport. In practice, the market value is seldom obtained, since the host country has the upper hand, but all is not lost. The approach I’d recommend is to see what your group has that the government needs but doesn’t have, and to exploit that to the full. For example, the group may have crucial patents, the technical specialists needed to operate and maintain plant, essential research capabilities and training facilities. You can offer to continue providing these resources – at a premium – for a decade, say, renewable for a further 10 years. Since the only out-of-pocket cost is the provision of specialised staff, the ongoing revenue can be substantial. If you have a strong market position, you may also negotiate a long-term contract to purchase the output at an attractive price. You may think that your investment is safe, but a change of government in the host country can alter things quickly, so be prepared. If you are considering a new investment, check the number of cases your target country has under international arbitration. The information is available on the website of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (www.unctad.org). Oliver Campbell, ACMA, CGMA, is a retired consultant to the petroleum industry and former finance manager at the British National Oil Corporation. Photo: Getty Images http://www.fm-magazine.com/feature/depth/don%E2%80%99t-be-too-clever-half-guide-managing-finance-subsidiary-overseas


Comments 0 View 12

If Only
It hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. A prospect for my business growth consulting group decided to go with a competitor. Egads! I mean how could they pick someone else? This is when I started analyzing the situation, and came up with all the possible ways I could have prevented this. If only I had called them more frequently. If only they had heard about my company first. If only our pricing was different. If only they knew the amazing work we do, and how we can radically help them. If only is one monster of an excuse. It justifies a problem by saying there is one simple fix. It makes you feel good, since the next time I will have fixed this one issue and everything will be just rosey. But the reality is my failure to land this client could be due to a million reasons. The customer may have decided to work with a friend, or maybe my price was in fact too high (or too low – yes coming in too low can cost you work too), or maybe it was a mix of things. Every customer, and every experience is different. It is rarely one specific minute thing you need to address. More often it is a big picture problem: if I had a strong culture of communication – if we demonstrated why our prices represent huge value – if we made our company’s presence more prominent – those things may have put me on top in this case, and surely in the future. The next time you catch yourself saying if only realize you may be putting all your attention on a problem that no one cares about. You are likely pin pointing one small cause, when there is in fact one big all encompassing cause. The only part of if only is a trap. http://www.mikemichalowicz.com/the-biggest-excuse-we-tell-ourselves/ If only. . . That’s it! If only is the biggest excuse we tell ourselves.


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How to get to the key decision maker
If I had a product I wanted to sell you, would you ever let me solicit you? Hell no. No one wants to be sold to. So you put barriers in my way: voice mail, receptionist, email, no solicitations signs. Yet, entrepreneur after entrepreneur and salesperson after salesperson tries to sell their way into key decision makers. Sorry, but it won’t work. There is a better way. What if I called you to write a dossier about you for my website, newsletter or magazine? What if I contacted you to interview you? You would take that call in a heartbeat. Journalists get access where salespeople don’t. So, stop being a salesperson and become a journalist. Reach out to an industry trade mag and offer to write a column for them. Create an informative blog or podcast to talk about the industry you serve. Then start interviewing. You will gain access to people you couldn’t have otherwise. With that access comes the privilege of a budding relationship. And a good salesperson knows exactly how to handle a budding relationship. http://www.mikemichalowicz.com/get-key-decision-maker/


Comments 0 View 12

3 simple rules for selling more to your existing customers
Yesterday, one of my ex-client called me up, and asked my advice on – How to get more business? If I didn’t have a good idea about their business then I would have advised them on few market expansion strategies. But I knew that he already has few major players of the industry as his clients, and he can get more business from them. And that’s where I got an idea for my new blog post. If you own a business with already established accounts, then increasing sales from the existing customers would be the best bet. Although this type of account management strategy sounds simple to plan, it is tough to execute. Here are three simple rules that might work well for all type of businesses. HonestRule 1: Be honest about deliverable of your product or services. Your job as a relationship manager is to ensure that you give the customer accurate status. Obviously, you don’t want to announce problems using mass emails. However, if a major delivery is at jeopardy, the best way to handle it is to be upfront with the customer and present a problem resolution plan. Repeated honesty in disclosing problems and sincerity in trying to resolve them will help you to earn customer’s loyalty. These loyal customers will pave the way for the next deal. Rule 2: Don’t harass your customer. Relationship managers should focus on delivery rather than upfront sales. If delivery is done right, your customers will become the salespeople for you. It is best to slowly build the relationship and then talk sales, not vice-versa. SocializeRule 3: Relate with your customers on a personal level. I do independent management consulting, so I don’t have any account manager to handle my accounts. I, myself, have to work as a relationship manager for my customers. I try to invite my local customers to the bar and lunch quite regularly. If you got to know individuals personally outside their professional role, you are going to get more business from the same customers. I hope my article was helpful, and I am eager to hear your feedback. Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi Source of link: http://bhavingandhi.com/2010/10/30/3-simple-rules-for-selling-more-to-your-existing-customers/

Foong Yen Nee

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9 Sales Skills You Absolutely Must Have Even If You Are Not in Sales
No matter what your role, selling is part of your job. Of course to many people the word “selling” implies manipulating, pressuring, cajoling... all those high pressure salesman stereotypes. But if you think of “selling” as explaining the logic and benefits of a decision, then everyone does needs sales skills: to convince others an idea makes sense, to show bosses or investors how a project or business will generate a return, to help employees understand the benefits of a new process, etc. In essence, sales skills are communication skills, and communication skills are critical in any business or career. So I asked Inc.com's resident sales guru, Geoffrey James, author of Business Without the Bullsh*t, for the basic selling skills everyone needs in order to be more successful. Here's Geoffrey's list: 1. Researching customers. Whether you're selling to an external customer or an internal one (like your boss), the more you know about the buyer, the easier it is to influence their decisions. 2. Creating rapport. The first decision every customer makes is: "Do I want to do business with this person?" To create a quick connection, be curious, be personable, and care about other people. 3. Asking questions. If you can't satisfy a customer's real needs, you can't make a sale. And if you don't ask the right questions, you'll never know what your customers need and won't be able to help. 4. Listening actively. When customers are talking, it's not enough to keep your mouth closed. You must also keep your mind open to discover ways to truly be of service. 5. Getting commitments. Every contact with a potential customer should result in a commitment from the customer—an agreement to do something that will move the process forward. 6. Presenting solutions. Once you've learned how you can help, you must be able tell the customer's story with you and your product playing a key role in helping the customer succeed. 7. Closing the "sale." At some point, you've got to ask for a decision. The "close" will emerge as a natural part of the conversation if you've exercised the previous skills. 8. Building relationships. Your goal should always be to build a life-long relationship rather than to merely make a short-term sale. 9. Feeling grateful. People who approach selling (and life) with a sense of gratitude squeeze more joy out of success and experience less disappointment when they fail. Source: http://aims.bg/News-8/Sales-Skills-You-Absolutely-Must-Have-Even-If-You-Are-Not-in-Sales-87

May Ong

Executive Comments 0 View 8

Think About It, Why Do Employees Quit Their Job
Employees can come in any shape and size. They may come from different culture, ethnicity and status. But you can never deny the fact that they quit their jobs from time to time because of several reasons. Some will give you the reason of relocation, prefers to be stay at home with their kids, and there are also times that out of the blue, they just realized how important school is. These reasons, no matter how true they are, are giving the employers no choice but to let them go because they involve life events in an employee’s world outside of work. However, on the other hand, most reasons why employees quit jobs are under the employer’s control. It is a fact that any element that the current workplace, the culture and the environment and also how the employee perceive the job and the opportunities are all factors that the employer can affect. Here are the 6 dreaded reasons why an employee leaves his job: Employer- employee relationship. Employees are expected to display kindness and obedience towards their bosses. However it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be friends with their boss. All they need is to have a civil and decent relationship. The boss is the most important person in the company and any rifts at work won’t help. Wants to go out of their comfort zone. There are times that when an employee keeps on doing what he did from the very first day of his employment, the employee can become bored and unchallenged by the work. Of course, no one wants to be unchallenged and bored by their work. If in case you notice that an employee of yours is de-motivated, help him get back on track by helping him find his passion again. Co-workers. Relationship with co-workers is one main reason why an employee leaves his job. A difference in culture, beliefs and sometimes a petty argument over something, it may be work or non- work related that can definitely trigger this. Opportunities to showcase skills and abilities. There are times that employees are less challenged by what they are doing at the moment. And when an opportunity knocks on their door giving them chance to show what else they can do and offer, right then and there, without any questions, an employee submits his resignation letter to the company. Company’s financial stability. Employees decided to be employees not just to show their bosses their talents. Of course, like any human being, an employee has immediate needs like food, shelter and health. And when the organization that houses them declares financial trouble, the employee’s initial reaction would be to get out of the company and look for a greener pasture. Career Advancement. If an employee feels that all of his efforts are not being recognized and acknowledged, it is automatic for an employee to get out of the job and find another employer who can definitely give value to his strengths. Of course self fulfillment and employee’s ego is at stake here. sources: http://www.hrinasia.com/employee-retention/think-about-it-why-do-employees-quit-their-job/

Jobtact Insider

Comments 0 View 11

The First Step to Success In Professional Sales
For many successful relationships, the rule of thumb is you should never assume anything and should always ask questions instead. As a successful professional sales person though, that rule should just fly out the window once and for all. Otherwise, you will risk losing many sales that would have otherwise helped you reach into the more successful realms of your career. Study the following 3 reasons why making assumption is a must in professional sales so you will know how important it is to assume. 1. To discern who really needs your products or services. If you just call people or businesses and ask, “Hey, do you need what I’m selling?” you will get a lot of No’s. This happens even if those you call on really do need it just because they didn’t have time to really think about how much they require what you are offering. On the other hand, if you call people or businesses that you can safely assume need your product and let them know you are aware of their needs, they will listen. Needless you say, you will get more sales than simply asking a “yes” or “no” question. 2. To sound more knowledgeable. When you make intelligent statements about your customer as to how they will benefit from your products or services, you will sound as if you really know what you are talking about. When you come across as being an expert about what you sell in this way, you will gain more trust and boost your sales because of this. 3. To save time from gaining answers to questions you already know the answer to. It’s an old sales gimmick to ask a lot of questions that you know your customer will say yes to in order to get them in an agreeable mood. However, when you do this, your potential customers will see right through that gimmick and you will lose favor with them. Simply put, don’t ask obvious questions just to get “yes” answers. The trick gets down to understanding your customer and making the right assumptions about what they need before approaching them with a pitch. What assumptions have you made that landed you on the largest account?


Comments 0 View 16

7 Essential Facts Your Sales People Must Know
1. 90% of marketing deliverables are never used during or after sales calls. Marketing departments spend much time researching, designing, and marketing materials to aid salespeople. Whether these materials are for internal or external use it can be utilized to prepare for prospecting or create a discussion. If collateral isn’t being utilized or distributed, it’s just a waste of time and money. Marketers want drive revenue through their efforts, but this often requires the sales team to spend valuable time through manually connecting each relevant campaign with a contact record in a CRM. Even if the sales reps do understand the value in making these associations with each marketing effort, it can be very difficult to get started and then stay up-to-date across the entire sales team. 2. Numbers aren’t everything. The quality of the leads that you contact is more important than the amount. Quality over quantity. Genuine leads are more desirable because they have a better chance of actually moving forward to the next step of your sales process. Consider the amount of time it takes to research and prepare for the meeting, would you rather spend time on an un-qualified lead or someone that is already interested in hearing what you’ve got to say? I think most of us prefer the former lead. However, instead of just getting leads, why don’t you track the progression of new contacts and how they convert through your sales process. For instance, what does it take to get a new contact to become a suspect to prospect to scheduled appointment to closed customer? This is an opportunity to focus on assessing the new contacts you’ve gained and then analyze the success produced by the campaign. Remember, taking the time to calculate campaign metrics and reflect on your lead generation process can be very insightful and informative for how you track, measure and optimize your lead generation campaigns more effectively. 3. 80% of sales are closed on the 5th contact with the prospects. Typically, most of the prospects we talk to are not ready to commit on the very first meeting. They will most likely need some time to consider their options and think about the product or service being proposed. Often times, closing a sales takes time and many meetings. There are lots of pre-sale considerations that need to take place. For instance, there could be other meetings to include other stakeholders to ensure buy-in, bring in any technical/operations people, negotiating, and then planning for implementation. In most cases, if you are working with a prospect to close a deal, it’s reasonable to say that about five meetings are needed to satisfy the many stages of the sales process. 4. Price is not the primary reason why a product is purchased. Price-cutting is a common sales tactic for fast-moving goods that have many similar substitutes easily found in the marketplace. The competition is fast and fierce so it’s important that you make your product or service stand out from the competitors. Make it valuable and keep it simple. How can you do this? Marketing material is the key to closing your deal. (refer to #1). Remember, when it comes to negotiating, stick to your gut. Your job is to prove to the prospect that your product/service will help them solve a challenge they are facing. You are an expert in your product and you know what the deal is worth, so weigh the pros and cons of the deal as if it was going to happen. 5. Thursday is the best day to prospect, Tuesday is the worst. Thursdays are the best days to contact new leads. And believe it or not, both Thursdays and Mondays are almost 50% more effective than other days throughout the week when it comes to reaching out to new people and qualifying new leads. On the other hand, according to a recent survey, Tuesday mornings at 11:45am is the most stressful time of the working week. Although we all know Mondays can be a little tough, Tuesday is the day reality sets in and we put our nose to the grind to try to get as much work completed as possible as well as filter through all of those pesky emails that have been piling up in your inbox. 6. 4:00pm – 6:00pm is the best time to make contact with a lead. What time of day do you usually prospect for new leads? Typically, early in the morning can still be one of the best times to qualify a lead, however, late afternoon and shortly after regular business hours have been identified as one of the best times to make contact with a new lead. Remember if your lead is in local time or in a different time zone, this could be crucial towards your timing. There are not usually as many meetings scheduled for this time of the day compared to the rest of the day and so there is a great chance of the decision maker that you need to connect with being at their desk. The lunchtime period of 1pm to 2pm is one of the absolute worst times to call a new lead. Typically, this is the time that people are out to lunch, just coming back from lunch or running to another meeting after lunch. Regardless, it’s not an optimum time to call new leads. 7. Top sellers use Linkedin at least 6 hours a week. Linkedin has proven itself as an extremely powerful tool for business professionals in any industry. Linkedin can be a fantastic way to interact with new audiences and search for new leads within companies. Sales professionals can subscribe for extended access to profiles and advanced targeting. Linkedin Sales Solutions allows you to discover valuable information about your sales prospects to initiate conversations. The services Linkedin provides allows sellers to build trust and rapport with warm introductions - never cold call again! If you are not using Linkedin already, you must do so now! http://blog.dmtraining.net/blog/7-essential-facts-your-salespeople-should-know

Billy Goh

Comments 0 View 17

Tips on building an alluring resume as a civil engineer.
Resume is a marketing tool which you can you to market yourself as a civil engineer. This makes it one of the most important task; requiring utmost attention and care while making a resume. - Since recruiters have to go through hundreds of resumes to shortlist candidates, this leaves with you no other option than to make a resume which is catchy and precise. - When describing your experience or skills keep the most relevant ones on top, mention all your work experience in a chronological order, select a format that is evenly balanced between your set of skills, educational qualifications and work experience. - The most important part is to proofread your resume first by yourself and for the second time for someone else, to ensure that it is error free. - Avoid any distracting or irrelevant information which might drasctically impact your candidacy.