Essential Tips for the Young Professional with ASEAN Youth Advocates Network

Essential Tips for the Young Professional with ASEAN Youth Advocates Network

Ahead, some life-changing tips on career development as you enter into the workforce


The Asean Youth Advocates Network, an international, youth-led, non-profit and socio-civic organization for the ASEAN youth community recently celebrated the ASEAN Youth Week 2021 last August 1 to 14. The series of events culminated with the ASEAN Youth Advocates Summit held during International Youth Day, which highlighted virtual conferences revolving around youth advocacy and leadership.

The growth-cultivating workshops featured panelists from all over Asia who shared their expertise in their own respective fields, to help cater to the needs of young professionals.

Ahead, some life-changing, essential tips on career development as you enter into the workforce, especially amid a pandemic. Watch the full video here


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Becoming a Passionate and Inspiring Professional 


For Dr. Yang Mee Eng, the current Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation and former CEO of Gameview “nothing comes easy, you have to put in the hard work.” Her passion and dedication for community empowerment and the firm belief in the youth—this region’s future leaders—fuel her. 

To successfully transition from a college student to a young professional, she advises the youth to search for their passion and identify their life goal/s. This doesn’t come easy, of course, and it might take awhile. Focus on your principles, your strengths and weaknesses, and identify learning opportunities that can help grow your potentials. 

Given the unprecedented pandemic, there are skills and competencies that young professionals need to start fostering now, which includes digital literacy and emotional, social and cultural intelligence. With a creative and innovative mindset, problem-solving and decision-making are easier to carry out. Dr. Yang notes, “When you panic, step back and take a look at it later on…you look at things [differently].”

She adds, “You cannot always do it alone. If you don’t network, you miss so many opportunities…This makes you more credible.” The window to the world now is through social media platforms, there’s no doubt that it’s easier to collaborate and network. 

Writing the Perfect Resumé


For Niña Salcedo, HR Consultant for Del Monte Philippines, Inc., before you get your foot in the door (see: a job interview), you need to pass through the peephole. Based on studies a recruiter will scan a resumé in six seconds or less on average. Ahead, just some helpful tips to capture a potential employer’s attention. 

A resumé, which is a brief account of a person’s work experience, education, skills and achievements, has five standard sections. This includes the candidate’s contact information, objective, work experience, skills and education. Other helpful information to add would be training, certifications, licenses, extracurricular activities and volunteer work. 

For Niña, a candidate needs to put themself in the position of the recruiter. Write a factual 1-page CV with integrity, and make no exaggerations! There’s merit in sticking to short sentences, too, preferably in bullet format; avoid writing in paragraphs. Simply put, explain who you are, what you’re looking for and what you can offer the organization. 

PSA: Here are some numbers  to watch out for: 75% of employers recognize bad grammar and spelling mistakes as a reason to reject the application, 46% of employers might reject your CV if you use more than one font, and 57% of employers could reject your application if it’s longer than two pages. I mean, the more you know, right? 

In addition, emphasize your great personality traits and determination to succeed. Use powerful phrases like “technically proficient,” “solutions-driven,” “with a passion for learning,” “enjoys contributing to team projects,” “likes sharing ideas and initiating,” “learns fast” and “welcomes challenges.”  

More than that, provide just enough information, not too much! 

Acing the Interview


“You are meant to thrive, not just survive. We work to live, not live to work,” shares Danica Octa, President and Chief Officer of Metamorphosis Group. While we’re in a pandemic, is it acceptable to still be choosy about a job when the supply of jobs is scarce or hidden? She explains, “If you can afford to reject other options, then you have the privilege to choose something that can make you thrive.” Be strategic, and think about the resources and opportunities you have now. 

Regardless of a soul-crushing pandemic, the job market has always been volatile. Danica notes, “We are in the same storm but we are riding different boats…there are things you can’t control.” Here are just some top skills to learn for job hunting. 

Good branding—identity, SEO, copywriting, photography—can help increase your chances of being seen (because recruiters have their biases). Whether you’re looking for a sales-related job or not, there’s always an advantage to learning how to negotiate, present and persuade. This gives you the opportunity to have the upper hand among other candidates. 

Seek and generate opportunities; you can’t just wait around to be found! A pro-tip from Octa: message recruiters on LinkedIn and build rapport. Demonstrate these skills while networking, too: relationship management, interpersonal communication, empathy and thought leadership. At the end of the day, if you can contribute to the sustainability of the company, then you are an excellent candidate. 


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Navigating through this new season can get pretty overwhelming at times, but there’s always something to learn as you expand to become a better version of yourself. Just confront your fears and keep showing up. Good luck! 


Header Art ASEAN Youth Advocates Network

Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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