Archive for April 2014

The Correct Keywords Are Important When Applying for Jobs Online

Westhill Consulting Career & Employment Australia is an information based website for expats who wish to work in Southeast Asia and the world. We are hoping the following information is useful.


Make the most of any opportunity by using these tips and tricks to be sure your resume goes to the top of the list, whether you are looking for a job locally or you want to work abroad like countries such as KL Malaysia, Beijing China, Jakarta Indonesia and many more.


Applying for a job online can be a lot like a guessing game. Plus there are many warnings of scams and other fraudulent stuff online.


For all the effort you put into marketing your experience and qualifications, the deciding factor that gets your resume into the hands of an actual person often comes down to using the right keywords.


Most companies rely on computer software programs to review thousands of resumes and select the ones with particular keywords — not necessarily impressive accomplishments — so they can then be reviewed by a recruiter and, eventually, a hiring manager.


Unfortunately for job seekers, these all-powerful keywords aren’t revealed in the job description — at least not overtly.


Abby Kohut, a former human resources executive and founder of, said the best way to crack the code of these applicant tracking systems (ATS) is to put yourself in the mind of the recruiter and take your best guess at what phrases they would use to search for the best applicants for the position.


“You look at the job description, read it word by word and say ‘would the recruiter use it to search for resumes?’ ” said Kohut, who recruited for 16 years at companies in a variety of industries including pharmaceuticals, health care, publishing and education. Now, she helps job seekers and is launching a nationwide tour to teach the tricks of the modern job search.


One of the many challenges that she says her clients face is conquering these robotic searches.


“When it comes to the automated systems, the problem you have is that the only way a recruiter is going to actually find you is if you have keywords in your resume that they have in their brain at the time,” Kohut said. “The person who shoots to the top is the person who has more than one keyword.”


But the journey to the human recruiter doesn’t stop there. Once the keywords are identified, Kohut says they need to be used early and often within the resume, possibly in multiple forms.


For example, she said if an aspiring accountant is applying for a job that cites “deep knowledge of Sarbanes-Oxley” in the job description, the phrases “Sarbanes-Oxley” and its common acronym “SOX” should each be referenced in that resume several times so it will be noticed and given priority by the ATS.


Of course, you don’t want to repeat the same sentence either, so Kohut recommends changing the context each time.


If a job description stresses a “high proficiency with Microsoft PowerPoint,” for example, she said that can be reflected in three parts: having made PowerPoint presentations, having taken PowerPoint classes, and having edited PowerPoint presentations of senior executives. It won’t win you any literary awards, but at least the strategy will get your resume in front of some eyeballs.


“It’s really just a big game now,” Kohut said. “You have to get the computer to find you instead of getting a human to find you.”


Experts have taken to calling this the “recruiting black hole” because so many resumes — good resumes — fall in, seemingly never to be seen again. But keeping in mind these tips on getting your resume through applicant tracking systems and the rules about e-mailing your resume to a recruiter will help you optimize your chances for getting noticed and moving on to the next step, snaring an interview.


How to Become an Oil & Gas Accountant


How to become an Oil and gas Accountant and work in Southeast Asian countries such as Bangkok Thailand, KL Malaysia, Singapore, Jakarta Indonesia and many more.Westhill Consulting Career and Employment gives you the following tips to become a successful accountant in Southeast Asia.


Oil and Gas Accountant Career and Education Requirements

Accountants review financial records, analyze spending habits and suggests ways to increase revenue. Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that there are several different types of accountants, including management accountants and certified public accountants (CPAs). Businesses hire management accountants to deal with internal financial decisions and budgeting concerns. Organizations hire CPAs to prepare taxes or other financial documents that must be reported to government agencies.


Oil and gas industries have to submit a lot of paperwork to government authorities, so they may hire management accountants who are also licensed CPAs. Basic career requirements for becoming a CPA include completing a four-year degree program, gaining accounting experience and passing the CPA exam. The following table displays a more detailed list of requirements for becoming an oil and gas CPA:


Step 1: Earn a Dual Degree

Although the BLS shows that accountants only need a bachelor’s degree to find employment, the majority of states have changed their educational requirements for certified public accountants (CPAs). The BLS records from 2012 indicated that most states require CPA applicants to meet the minimum educational requirements of 150 units of postsecondary coursework, whereas a traditional bachelor’s degree is only 120 units. Thirty additional post-baccalaureate units are equivalent to a master’s degree.


Warning! Dual degree programs allow students to complete bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in five years instead of six. Before starting graduate level classes, some schools may require students to complete prerequisite courses or pass exams. Course topics in these dual degree programs may include micro and macroeconomics, cost accounting, financial management, auditing, operations management, accounting information systems, marketing, taxation rules and business law.

Success Tip:

Take oil and gas accounting courses. Not every degree program offers courses directly related to the oil and gas industries. Some universities offer elective courses in these fields, and a few colleges even offer related certificate programs. Most oil and gas courses and certificate programs discuss the energy market, global issues, financial management strategies, petroleum accounting and domestic natural gas accounting.


Step 2: Build Industry Experience

The BLS recommends that college students complete as many accounting internships as possible to gain the experience needed for CPA licensing requirements. Furthermore, job postings listed in August 2012 for oil and gas accountants showed that employers preferred applicants with at least 3-5 years of experience in the industry.

Not all colleges require students to complete internships, but many colleges help students find accounting internship opportunities. Universities that have coursework or certificate programs related to oil and gas accounting may have direct contact with industry leaders.

Success Tip:

Attend industry lectures. Representatives from some of the largest oil and gas companies are often asked to be guest lecturers in business and accounting classes. During these lectures, students have the opportunity to ask questions about individual companies and industry accounting practices. Many representatives also offer internship opportunities that may lead to full employment.


Step 3: Become a CPA

Individuals become licensed CPAs in their state of employment, and each state has slightly different licensing requirements. In most states, license applicants have to meet education and experience requirements to be eligible to take exams. Experience requirements vary, but most states require applicants to have 1-2 years of approved accounting experience.

The BLS stated that, after meeting eligibility requirements, individuals must pass the uniform CPA examination, offered by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Information from the AICPA website indicated that the exam consists of four parts: financial accounting and reporting (FAR); auditing and attestation (AUD); regulations (REG); and business environment and concepts (BEC).


Step 4: Find Employment as an Oil & Gas Accountant

CPAs who have enough related experience and training can start applying for oil and gas accountant positions. Complaints can be made to the relevant governing bodies in each country. Predictions from the BLS showed that up through 2020, open positions for accountants and auditors will increase by 16%. Competition for accounting positions is expected to remain high. Accountants who are licensed CPAs will most likely have better job opportunities, per BLS reports.


Step 5: Maintain CPA License

Information from the BLS stated that accountants who are CPAs must maintain their licenses by meeting renewal requirements, which often include paying fees and completing approved continued-education courses. Each state has different requirements for what counts as approved coursework. Some states may require CPAs to attend formal classes or conferences, whereas other states may allow individuals to learn from interactive web-based seminars or individual study programs.



Working abroad: how to find jobs overseas

Westhill Consulting Career & Employment out of Australia has many more tips and warnings about working in Southeast Asia.

1. What are the benefits of working abroad?

There are so many its hard to only pick a few! If you study or specialize in a foreign language, an obvious benefit of working abroad is immersion into your target language. You’ll also be fully experiencing a new culture, which typically proves both challenging and rewarding. Professionally speaking, employers find candidates with extended experience abroad attractive, as it showcases an individual’s understanding of the global economy. Working in a multi-cultural office often means developing advanced intercultural and interpersonal skills. You could test out the experience of working abroad by taking a working holiday – see our article: 10 Paycations: how to make money on holiday – but you’ll never know the benefits unless you take the leap of faith and try to work abroad – go for it!


2. What types of jobs are on offer for those looking to work overseas?

The most common job pursued abroad is teaching English. Those who speak English as a native language find that their skills and expertise are in high demand in a range of (often well paying) locations. These jobs are typically short-term (one year or less) and can be taken in both major cities and rural areas. Other popular options include business consultancy, food service, tourism companies and property. Many people choose to work for a company from their home country that allows for short term trips abroad to complete work.


3. Where is it easiest to find jobs abroad?

For an English-speaking native, without a doubt, the easiest job to find abroad is a teaching gig. If you travel to countries where your physical appearances stray from the ‘norm’ of the locals, you also may walk down the street and find yourself approached by multiple people offering you modelling jobs. These are quite easy to come by, especially if you do it once (the opportunities just keep on coming!).


4. Do you need any special qualifications to work overseas?

The biggest challenge that individuals face when finding work abroad is working for a company that will sponsor a proper work visa for their employment. Many companies try to sneak around this in order to avoid the high fees the government will tax for employing foreigners. They may ask you to use a third party agency to sponsor a visa or ask you to work on tourist/other type of visa. Some may tell you it is quite commonplace and normal to earn money without a working visa but it is also best practice to do it the proper (and legal) way!

5. How difficult is it to get visa/work permits?

This varies from country to country and unfortunately often depends on your nationality. Certain countries will have an easier time getting a specific type of visa to a country than others will. If you are considering moving overseas to work for a company, make sure they are legitimate – contact past employees or read reviews of others’ experiences working there if possible. The company should have no problem organizing the documents for you to apply for a proper work visa before you arrive.


6. I don’t know any foreign languages but would love to work in a non-English speaking country – what are my options?

Of course, learning a foreign language has its benefits, but you can get by without. As previously mentioned, teaching English to others (especially children) or relying on that pretty face of yours may get you some good gigs to enable you to sustain a life abroad. You could also work with tour operators and lead groups around the country – just make sure your company has hired a local who speaks both English and the native language! Many companies will find that their clients feel at ease when they are being lead by someone who speaks a familiar language. There are also many larger companies that operate in an English-speaking business environment. Typically, these companies are owned by expats themselves. Warning, watch out for scams. Check job boards and the like on popular classified websites in your home country to seek these types of opportunities. If you’re thinking of learning the local lingo, see our useful article: 7 secrets of learning language fast.


7. How much money can I earn working overseas?

The amount of money you earn will really vary dependent on where you choose to live and your line of work. Speaking specifically to teaching English, east Asia is famous for offering high salaries and great benefit packages to teachers willing to commit to one- year posts. South America, conversely, operates on more of a ‘teachers-break-even’ payment scale. The Middle East also pays teachers an above-average wage. Your company may pay you in local currency or in the currency that it does business in (such as the British pound or USD). A perk of living in a less-developed country is that it often means your dollar can go a lot further. The lower cost of living coupled with your salary (even if it is not particularly fancy by the standards in your home country) mean for extra money in the bank! More established companies will offer a fancy salary package to current employees willing to relocate overseas. Be warned of getting too wrapped up in expat circles and not interacting regularly with the locals!


8. How long do I have to commit for?

You should commit to living and working abroad for at least a year, as that is the minimal amount of time to even just begin getting to know and understand a place. If you want to make the most of your experience and potential, consider sticking around as long as possible.


9. I’ve never been abroad – how will I cope with a different culture?

I won’t lie, it can be tough to adjust to a new way of living, especially when that experience is magnified by trying to function in a new culture. For newbies, consider living in a more internationalized and larger city in a foreign country – you’ll be surprised by how many familiar brands and establishments you’ll see popping up on the streets. Most larger cities have a great expat crowd you can fall back on should you feel particularly homesick. Most importantly, don’t give up and don’t rush the process. It should take you a few months to feel confident and comfortable in your new locale (and you’ll still have occasional moments of culture shock). Don’t feel discouraged. Having new friends will certainly ease the pain and help you grow more attached to a place. Be social and up for anything!


10. Where (and what jobs) are the most popular places for getting jobs overseas?

Expats looking for work in the IT, manufacturing, finance or international marketing fields will find Shanghai appealing – as well as the nearby cities of Singapore and Hong Kong (great first tastes of Asia as they are financial giants and largely do business in English). Those interested in engineering, aeronautics, automobiles etc will be most drawn to countries such as France, Germany, and England. The UAE and Guangzhou or Shenzhen, China are popular with expats interested in manufacturing and trade.  Australia will forever remain an attractive destination for working abroad, from backpackers to expats alike. It offers just about anything to internationals! For teaching jobs, popular locations include Japan, South Korea, China, Argentina, Jakarta Indonesia and Peru!

Visas in South East Asia

Westhill Consulting Career & Employment Australia has much more information on its blog section on its website.


If this is your first proper backpacking stint then you may not be aware how much of a headache visas can be! When you reach the border of each country you need a visa to enter, some countries will simply stamp a visa into your passport on the border for free (this is called a VOA ‘Visa on Arrivall), and then on you go. Other countries may charge you a fortune while the most difficult b*stards will refuse you entry and you have to organise your visa before you arrive at the border! Warning do not overstay.


Check out the South East Asian countries below and get an idea of what you need to sort it all out:


Thailand: South East Asia’s most popular destination. Thailand offers VOA (visas on arrival) by both land and air arrivals. If you fly in, you receive a free 30 day visa. If you arrive by land, you receive a free 14 day visa. If you want a longer visa (60 days) you can apply at Thai embassies in any other country, it’ll cost you around $30. This is possible from your home country or from neighbouring countries in the region (Laos, Malaysia etc)


Laos: VOA by both plane and land crossings – 30 days standard. The visa costs between $30 and $40 USD.


Vietnam: VOA NOT available. You MUST organize your visa before you arrive. This can be done in your home country (around $60, 4 working days) or in countries that neighbour Vietnam ($40, 3 working days). Gunagzhou, China Phnom Penn, Cambodia Vientienne, Laos and Bangkok, Thailand all offer relatively simple processes to get your visa to Vietnam. Don’t forget to sort this out before you go, you will be refused entry without.

Cambodia: VOA by both plane and land crossings – 30 days tourist visa. The visa costs around $20 but expect to be charged more by corrupt officials.


NOTE: an e-visa is now possible, but $25. You need to scan a passport photo, pay the money and receive the PDF file in 3 working days. Print out two copies and bring it to the border. E visas are only usable at the Thai crossings at Poipet and Koh Kong (Trat) and the Vietnamese crossings at Moc Bai.


Burma (Myanmar): VOA not available, you MUST organiz your visa before you arrive. If you’re going to Burma for a visa run, just to re-enter Thailand, you don’t need to prepare a visa in advance. If you plan to travel around Burma, you need to get a visa from a Burmese embassy before you fly (impossible to enter by land and travel). In Bangkok, it’s possible to get the visa in the same day – apply in the morning, and received in the afternoon. All visas are valid for 90 days, and last for a stay of 30 days, they cost around $30.


Malaysia: VOA by both plane and land crossings. Most countries get a 90 day visa for free. Malaysia are very easy going with their visa processes.

Singapore: VOA by both plane and land crossings. EU and US passport holders get 90 days, most other countries receive 14/30 days visas. Visas are free.


Indonesia: Jakartahas the main immigration office.This can be a little complicated. VOA is available through most land and air ports. Often they require an onward ticket (so travel with a print out of a provisional ‘onward booking’ read:fake). Generally speaking, common border crossings offer VOA (Kailmantan, boat from Singapore etc), the visas cost around $25 for 30 days. Check your route first, before you decided whether to get the visa in advance or not.


East Timor: VOA for land and boat crossings but NOT for land crossings. If you’re arriving from West Timor (like me) get your visa in Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur ($40, 30 days).


Brunei: VOA for pretty much everyone, arriving by land or plane. Ranges from 14-90 days and is free.

Thai Permanent Residency


A lot of people want to stay permanently in Thailand as it is one of the most sought-after destinations in South East Asia offering a low yet convenient standard of living.

There are a lot of inquiries from foreigners who are constantly on a trip to the Land of Smiles as to how they can apply for Thai Permanent Resident status. Warning, this is difficult.

Obtaining status as a Permanent Resident (PR) in Thailand has many advantages. It allows you to live permanently in Thailand, with no requirement to apply for an extension of stay. You can also have your name on a house registration document, and you will be able to buy a condominium without making a bank transfer from abroad. Getting a work permit is also made easier once you have PR status.

In addition to this, you can be eligible to become a director of a Thai public company, as well as eventually apply to become a naturalized Thai citizen. You will also be able apply for an extension of stay and Permanent Resident status for your non-Thai family members.

All applications for Thai Permanent Residency is processed by the Royal Thai Immigration Commission. The annual quota for granting permanent residency in Thailand is a maximum of 100 persons per country. The application period for Thai PR usually from October to the end of December of every year.

In order to apply to become a Thai Permanent Resident, you must meet the following criteria:

• You must have had a Thai non-immigrant visa for at least three years prior to the submission of your application. Holders of multiple NON-Immigrant visas can not apply. You must have 3 consecutive yearly extensions in order to qualify.
• You must be a holder of a non-immigrant visa at the time of submitting your application.
• You must be able to meet one of these categories to apply for PR status in Thailand:

o Investment category (minimum 3 – 10 Mil. Baht investment in Thailand)
o Working/ Business category
o Support a family or Humanity Reasons category: In this category, you must have a relationship with a Thai citizen or an alien who already posses a residence permit as a husband or wife; father or mother; or a guardian of a Thai child under 20 years of age.
o Expert / academic category
o Other categories as determined by Thai Immigration

You should note that the list of required documents for the application depends on the category under which the application is made.

Once your application for Thai Permanent Residency is approved, a residence blue book is issued to you. You must then register your place of residence in Thailand at the local Amphur and obtain a house card. A week after the receipt of your residence certificate you can then apply for an alien book (red book) at the local police station, which is the equivalent of the Thai national ID card. You must re-register there every year.

The Residency Permit itself never expires, unless revoked. To be able to leave the country and return to Thailand, however, requires you to apply for a re-entry permit (endorsement).

You can file an application to become a Thai naturalized citizen after holding Permanent Resident status in Thailand for 10 consecutive years.

I will be writing in the future on the blog of Westhill Consulting Career & Employment Australia and other website blogs about the situation in KL Malaysia and Jakarta Indonesia.