Desiree Kaur

Freelance Writer & Business owner
Last Updated: October 9, 2017
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Career Development
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            Most of us like to think of ourselves as citizens of the world, living in a borderless world where our place of residence is split between various social media outlets; Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and the likes. To some, it results in social media turning into their daily journal or diary, an avenue for show-and-tell of everything and anything about their lives. Yes, everyone has a right to say and do as they please, but there is also a risk that someday it may affect your career. In this day and age, what you say and do on social media may affect your employability.

            According to a survey by CareerBuilder, an American human capital solution company, over 70% of employers, go through candidates’ social media pages to screen them prior to hiring. Social recruiting is not uncommon either. This is when employers hire someone dedicated to research job applicants online. With no holds barred on the world wide web, searches on candidates are not merely limited to social media platforms but also include search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing and the likes. Therefore, one’s online image is crucial as in some cases, it is the first impression given to a prospective employer.

Everyone wants to be taken seriously when being considered for a job. There is cause and effect for every one of our actions in the social media world. Hence, take note of the following that employers look out for when screening potential candidates:

  • Postings related to consuming drugs or alcohol.
  • Anything that constitutes poor communications skills.
  • Unprofessional or inappropriate screen names.
  • Inappropriate videos, information or photographs.
  • Postings with negative comments on previous employers or fellow colleagues.
  • Discriminatory or inappropriate comments on religion, gender or race.
  • Criminal activity.
  • Sharing of confidential information from previous employers.
  • Lying about qualifications or work experience.
  • Intentional absence from work or college / university classes.
  • Posting too frequently.  

While there are many don’t’s for an online persona, do not be demotivated by it. A negative image online leads to less likelihood of being employed, however, the other extreme of having no online presence at all, is a deterrent too. Being a ‘ghost’ online is detrimental to your employability criteria. Employers are less likely to even interview a candidate who has no online presence whatsoever. So, instead of deleting all of your online profiles or hiding them, here are some ways you could use social media to your advantage and boost your profile:

  • Firstly, do you have an online persona? Consider carefully the platforms you are on and the type of information you post.
  • Use social media as an avenue to showcase a positive image of yourself.
  • Showcase your creative side. If you have other non-academic skills, showcase them. Employers also look for well-rounded employees.
  • Complete all of your social media profiles. This is where you can include all academic and professional qualifications and any other supporting information to strengthen your profile.
  • Consistency of information across all platforms is crucial. It must also match details within your resume.
  • Include links to work samples or projects you have done or been involved in.
  • Use LinkedIn recommendations and testimonials to your advantage. Encourage former lecturers, professors or managers to provide feedback on your strengths. What other says about you, are a direct reflection of your personality and professionalism.
  • Add your social media links to your email signature. This way, prospective employers can find you online easily and it also tells them, that you take pride in your online persona.
  • Be engaging on stimulating topics. While there are some pit falls and areas to stay away from when commenting on social media, it is also good to show that you have an opinion. For example, showcasing that you take a stand on animal cruelty or domestic abuse indicates your ability to make a stand and support social issues.
  • Be sincere in your postings. While there is pressure to have a positive online persona, it should not come across as insincere, fake or forced.

The job markets is extremely competitive these days, hence there is always the extra pressure of standing out and being unique in comparison to fellow job seekers. So, exercise caution in “trying too hard” as well. Spruce up your online persona’s and make it relevant to who you are and want to be as a professional. While it is important to keep the prospective employer in mind, be cautious that every individual is different and each employer will have its own set of criteria, likes and dislikes. There is no “one size fits all”.  Harvey Mackay, renowned businessman, author and career columnists once said, “You'll never please everyone, but you only have to please a few people to get an offer."

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January, 17 2019
EIA forecasts world crude oil prices to rise gradually, averaging $65 per barrel in 2020

monthly Brent and WTI crude prices

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, January 2019

EIA’s January Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts that world benchmark Brent crude oil will average $61 per barrel (b) in 2019 and $65/b in 2020, an increase from the end of 2018, but overall it will remain lower than the 2018 average of $71/b. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices were $8/b lower than Brent prices in December 2018, and EIA expects this difference to narrow to $4/b in the fourth quarter of 2019 and throughout 2020.

EIA expects U.S. regular retail gasoline prices to follow changes to the cost of crude oil, dipping from an average of $2.73/gallon in 2018 to $2.47/gallon in 2019, before rising to $2.62/gallon in 2020. Because each barrel of crude oil holds 42 gallons, a $1-per-barrel change in the price of crude oil generally translates to about a 2.4-cent-per-gallon change in the price of petroleum products such as gasoline, all else being equal.

EIA estimates that global petroleum and other liquid fuels inventories grew by an average rate of 0.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018 and by an estimated 1.0 million b/d in the fourth quarter of 2018. EIA expects growth in liquid fuels production in the United States and in other countries not part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will contribute to global oil inventory growth rates of 0.2 million b/d in 2019 and 0.4 million b/d in 2020.

Although EIA forecasts that oil prices will remain lower than during most of 2018, the forecast includes some increase in prices from December 2018 levels in early 2019 in order to keep up with demand growth and support the increased need for global oil inventories to maintain five-year average levels of demand cover. EIA expects crude oil prices to continue to increase in late 2019 and early 2020 because of an increase in refinery demand for light-sweet crude oil, which is the result of regulations from the International Maritime Organization that will limit the sulfur content in marine fuels used by ocean-going vessels.

world liquid fuels production and consumption balances

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, January 2019

EIA expects global oil production growth in 2019 to be led by countries that are not part of OPEC, particularly the United States. EIA expects non-OPEC producers will increase oil supply by 2.4 million b/d in 2019 which will offset forecast supply declines from OPEC members, resulting in an average of 1.4 million b/d in total global supply growth in 2019.

In 2020, EIA expects oil production to increase by 1.7 million b/d because of production growth in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Russia, while overall OPEC crude oil production is expected to remain flat. EIA forecasts global oil demand to grow by 1.5 million b/d in 2019 and in 2020. In both 2019 and 2020, China is the leading contributor to global oil demand growth.

January, 17 2019
Your Weekly Update: 7 - 11 January 2019

Market Watch

Headline crude prices for the week beginning 7 January 2019 – Brent: US$57/b; WTI: US$49/b

  • Crude oil looks set to climb back to previous support levels as OPEC’s new supply deal kicks in and the US Federal Reserve sought to soothe investor confidence after initiating a surprise hike in interest rates that caused widespread global financial panic in December
  • Even as OPEC+ moves forwards with a planned 1.2 mmb/d cut in collective output, production across OPEC had already fallen over November and December as Saudi Arabia throttled production to support falling prices
  • Together with dwindling production in Venezuela, disruptions in Libya and losses in Iran, oil output from OPEC countries has already fallen by 530,000 b/d in December to 32.6 mmb/d, the sharpest pullback since January 2017
  • This has managed to re-assure the market that the global supply/demand balance is on firmer footing, even as Russian oil output reached a post-Soviet high of 11.16 mmb/d, just slightly off the all-time record of 11.42 mmb/d in 1987
  • With the recovery in prices, planned upstream projects will be back on firmer footing, with Rystad Energy expecting some US$123 billion of offshore projects to be sanctioned over 2019 if Brent crude averages US$60/b
  • Also supporting the upward momentum is the removal of 8 oil rigs from the active US rig count, as American drillers weighed up the risks of the fragile trajectory in WTI prices
  • Crude price outlook: Momentum is with crude oil prices this week, and we expect that to continue as OPEC+ implements its production plan, with Brent recovering to US$60-62/b and WTI to US$51-53/b


Headlines of the week

Upstream

  • Eni has acquired the remaining 70% of the Oooguruk field in Alaska from Caelus Natural Resources, bringing its stake to 100% to synergise with the nearby Nikaitchuq field, where Eni also owns a 100% interest interest
  • The deepwater Egina field in Nigeria, operated by Total through an FPSO, has started up production, with peak output expected at 200,000 b/d
  • Commercial production of crude at PAO Novatek/Gazprom’s Yaro-Yakhinskoye field has commenced, with output expected at 24,000 b/d
  • Total has sold a 2% interest in Oman’s Block 53 to Sweden’s Tethys Oil, bringing it into Occidental Petroleum’s 100,000 b/d Mukhaizna field
  • Brazil is preparing for its sixth round of upstream auctions, offering up pre-salt acreage in five areas expected to raise more than US$2 billion in sales
  • After recently making its 10th discovery in Guyana, ExxonMobil has its sights set on more as it drills two more exploration wells – Haimara-1 and Tilapia-1 – in the prolific Stabroek block, both close to existing discoveries
  • Ecuador is initiating a probe into some US$4.9 billion worth of oil-related infrastructure projects initiated by the previous administration on charges of corruption and looting

Downstream

  • China appears to be tempering crude demand, with the first batch of crude oil import quotas issued to state and private refineries at 26% lower than 2018, with quotas for teapots at some 78% of the 89.84 million tons approved
  • Saudi Aramco has acquired complete ownership of German specialty chemicals producers Lanxess AG by acquisition Dutch firm Arlanxeo’s 50% stake at €1.5 billion, strengthening its foray into petrochemicals
  • Iran will be investing some US$212 million into Chennai Petroleum’s 180 kb/d expansion of the Nagapatinam refinery on India’s east coast, as Iran looks for ways to ensure captive demand for its crude in one of its largest markets
  • The Mariner East 2 NGLs pipeline – transporting ethane, propane and butane over 560km to the Marcus Hook processing plant in Pennsylvania – has been completed, with the Mariner East 2X pipeline schedules for late 2019

Natural Gas/LNG

  • Shell’s 3.6 mtpa Prelude FLNG has finally started up initial production, the last of Australia’s giant natural gas projects to be completed
  • Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) has completed the onshore Darat Gas Project in Lumut, expanding LNG capacity in Brunei by 5% at the Rasau station
  • ExxonMobil’s Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique will be aiming to sanction FID in 2019 for its first phase, involving two trains with a combined capacity of 7.6 million tpa from the offshore Area 4 block
  • As LNG developments in Papua New Guinea move quickly to commercialisation, the PNG government has passed new laws to impose a domestic gas requirement and other provisions for new gas projects, to ensure adequate supply of resources for growing local demand
January, 11 2019