The Procom Jobcast

Resume Language to lose

Job hunt talk: Resume language to lose

Your resume is prime real estate, and it shouldn’t be hoarding the over-used and out-of-date linguistic obvious. Can you spot these 5 cliched statements to delete from your job hunting lexicon? Take our quiz to find out.

Hire me! Because…

I’m detail-oriented and organized

I’ve increased revenue by x amount

I interact effectively with individuals of all levels

Hire me! Because…

I’m capable of handling multiple projects concurrently

I’m proficient with Microsoft Office

I’m quick to adapt to new technologies

Hire me! Because…

I’m passionate and driven

I’ve improved processes to save costs

I’ve launched campaigns with proven results

Hire me! Because…

I volunteered at (related professional event)

I created internal engagement programs, improving employee morale

I have references available upon request

Hire me! Because…

I won new business

I’m a team player

I managed a team across multiple locations

Programming Competition stumps I.T Community; Procom issues double or nothing challenge

Programming Competition stumps I.T Community; Procom issues double or nothing challenge

Crack the Code competition extends another week


Toronto– Procom Group of Companies announces its “Crack the Code” contest will extend through the week of Monday October 10th-14th.  The North American contract workforce management firm challenged the IT community to solve five daily coding challenges worth $100 each.  Four of the challenges were completed, with the talented winners earning cash rewards for their brilliance, while one challenge remains unsolved.

Contestants can find the unsolved challenge on the company website,, with a double or nothing $200 prize for the winning submission.

“Our first annual coding challenge had great participation from across North America.  We received numerous submissions and a number of truly brilliant solutions were proposed.  The Tuesday puzzle however stumped all competitors, and so we are accepting a new round of submissions on a double or nothing basis.  The IT community is full of brilliant minds, and we know there’s someone out there that can crack this code!”

Competitors can find the unsolved challenge on the Procom website as of 12:01 a.m. Monday October 10th through until 11:59 p.m. Friday October 14th. For more information, contact Courtney Jones at .


Courtney Jones

647 237 6033


3 tips to stand out when you’re competing against top talent

hiring managers When you’ve got your skilled eye on the employment prize, it’s often easy to view the other candidates as less than competition.

Because you’re great.

You have the facts and references to prove that part. And also- you’re quite likable. And people do business with people, and they do it with the ones the like. So you’re an obvious shoe-in…right? Maybe (but maybe not). Because unless your resume was the only one the job posting generated, chances are there are other highly skilled and likable characters plotting for the role. So when you’re going up against the best, here’s how to stand out, so you’re not the candidate turned down.


Be a pain (solver)

Everyone send a cover letter. It’s a back to basic obvious, but if you want to be bold in your job search, you need to boldly go where very few job seekers have gone before. Try swapping out the boring cover letter for a pain letter; meaning identify a challenge the company is facing and how you, if hired, would tackle it. Pain letters are appeal boosters that demonstrate an uncommon knowledge of their business and your ability to be a problem solver.

Get the inside scoop

Now this can be a slippery slope; one best navigated with a kid glove approach. But if you can connect with an inside influencer, and send your information directly to that person, your clout score can gain traction if they vouch for your experience and passion. It’s a gutsy move if you don’t have a prior connection, but if you approach him or her in a non-job-begging, or badgering way, you can convey the value you would bring to the position. Try forging a connection on LinkedIn or join a professional network you know they belong to (thanks to your internet sleuthing skills) and introduce yourself.

It may go something like this:

HI there! I was doing some research on your company because I’m applying for the open developer role, and I came across your profile. I noticed you recently published a post about the benefits of using JSFiddle in your programming campaigns. I recently just helped develop a campaign using this tool during a recent contract at a marketing firm. From the data I’ve included you can see that it increased our website traffic by 25%, proving your theory!

I thought the site may be of interest to you and would be happy to provide you with more details if you’re interested, and I would greatly value your support in my pursuit of the positon.

This is an example of how to make a genuine connection and not just ask for a favour.

Show and tell

The best way to demonstrate your value is to show it. Aside from submitting your online portfolio, take a page from the pain letter and target another challenge the company faces. You can show your enthusiasm and passion by submitting a unique approach to solving it. This could be a proposal for a new campaign, a marketing tactic or grant opportunity. Get creative because the opportunities with this are endless!

Being bold doesn’t mean being aggressive, and to make your candidacy stand out, you may need to let these tips settle into your employment game plan.

Bullhorn features Procom in article: Staffing pros share 6 strategies for creating a standout candidate experience

bullhorn features procom As you’re serving your candidates, are you also making sure they have a great experience working with you? Top staffing firm leaders take intentional steps to make sure every candidate’s experience is a great one. We asked Bullhorn customers to answer the question: How do you develop outstanding candidate experiences? Here are their tips.

Communicate Well

It comes as no surprise that communication is what drives a standout candidate experience. “Candidates are looking for responsive, transparent communication from the recruiters they work with,” says Wendy Kennah, director of recruiting at Procom. She has a few musts:

  • Be transparent. The first communication with a candidate should provide as much detailed information as possible, she says. Be clear about why you’re asking certain questions and about what is important to the client.
  • Listen. Communication needs to go both ways, which means you need to listen closely to the candidate’s priorities. If you pass along openings that pay less than they’re looking for or are in the wrong location, you shouldn’t just gloss over these facts, Kennah says. Ignoring details early will cause issues down the road.
  • Stay in touch. Candidates want communication on a regular basis, she says. “They don’t want to make decisions without all the information, but if their emails or calls are not being returned, they will assume it’s not positive and move on,” Kennah says.

Develop a Complete Candidate Life Cycle

Keeping candidates up-to-date during the hiring process, while on assignment and during offboarding are crucial to ensuring a healthy ongoing partnership, Kennah says. “Dealing with candidates as they transition off assignments is a key point to ensure you’re able to transition them onto a new assignment or part ways on a positive note,” she says.

Incorporate a Feedback System

Just as you give candidates feedback on their skills and chances, candidates like to give feedback about the experiences they have working with you — and those can be a big help. “Candidates want to be engaged regularly and have the ability to provide feedback,” Kennah says. Her company has a survey mechanism that lets candidates provide positive and negative feedback about the process.

Spread Goodwill

Even if the candidate doesn’t fit any of your openings, you can still make their experience with you a good one, says Rolf Kramer, president and founder of Kranect. Give them as much advice as you can to help them with their job search, he says. “This not only might help them secure a position but it also creates incredible goodwill,” Kramer says.

Commit Your Firm to Personable Service

Focusing on offering warm and flexible interactions can give candidates a better experience, says Gregory Eidlen, manager of operations at Adams Consulting Group. “We’re a second-generation family firm. We use this to our advantage when dealing with potential clients and candidates,” he says. “Candidates and clients always get managed by the same people, and we all work as a team.”

Be Honest

“To create a standout experience I believe in 100 percent transparency,” says Charles Liikson, senior technical recruiter at Procom. “You need to show the candidate and client that you have their best interest in mind.”

Liikson says he finds ways to make candidates feel comfortable, including by showing them all the cards right away. “It helps achieve a bond quickly and also prevents future confusion,” he says. “Even when trying to negotiate a rate or discount, if you explain to them your motivation in doing so, typically to be more competitive or explaining their benefits, you would be surprised how often they’re OK with any changes you suggest.”

Ensuring your candidates have the best experience possible is key to continued success in the industry. Dedicating your firm to clear communication and top-notch customer service will help you achieve your goals.


How will you do in your next job interview? Take our quiz to find out!


6 Things to bring to your job interview

what to bring to a job interview

Preparation. It’s the preemptive approach to employment, and a proactive strategy in any career battle. When one is waging a candidacy combat, he or she should never go into battle without being prepared.  So when it’s time to win over the hiring manager, keep these things 6 at the ready.

  1. Your resume

It’s easy to assume the hiring manager will have a copy of your resume on hand, but presumptions are never a safe bet. So always bring along multiple copies of your CV. You may be meeting with more than one person at the company, or a printer may have broken. Having the foresight to bring multiple copies of your scribed successes demonstrates your ability to be prepared for a variety of possibilities.

  1. A pen and notepad

When you’re a party to any professional meeting, it’s second nature to bring along your pen and notepad. So when you’re meeting a potential employer, it’s beneficial to adhere to the habit. It’s likely that important facts and figures will be discussed and being able to recount them when it comes time to send your follow up email or decide between competing offers is pretty handy. You can also write your pre-prepared questions down in the same notepad, ensuring you bring them.

  1. An over-the-shoulder holder or folder

This simply means bring a bag or folder with you. Pulling your resume from your pockets doesn’t quite give the best professional impression. So organize your papers in something that’s small enough to hold under your arm but large enough to hold all the essentials.

  1. The job description

When you arrive to the interview around the 15 minute early mark (because YOU WILL!), it’s a good time to re-familiarize yourself with the role right before you go in. A fresh perspective, coupled with being in the physical location, can reignite the initial passion for what got you excited about applying for the position.

  1. Education documentation

Did the role your applying for require certain certifications or qualifications? Bring them along with you, or if you can’t bring the original, bring a copy. You may not be asked to present them, but keeping them on hand demonstrates a proactive nature.

  1. Your portfolio

If you’re in the creative industry, a portfolio is a must-have. So you may have examples of your work on a personal website or a physical folder. However, if you’re in a non-creative industry, you may have client testimonials or revenue figures you want to showcase. Bring a hard copy of these achievements and have a link to your online portfolio included as well. Because showing is telling.


Remember: Being prepared should always be part of your employment plan.

(And in case you’re wondering why this piece has been peppered with so many P’s…. there simply isn’t any particular reason).



Do you know what (not) to do in an interview?


6 Workplace life hacks to make work life easier

It’s Monday– and the struggle for some can seem so real right now. But here’s a pretty sweet secret: It doesn’t have to be; especially if you’re privy to some life hacks that can make your work life sweeter. A good secret keeper can keep pretty tight lipped, but when it comes to motivating on a Monday, we have a big mouth. Try these 5 workplace life hacks to make your work life easier Monday and every day.


.post-it note


desk cords












random words






































the DIY fork












ninja heat



















So next time the alarm rings on a Monday,  get up, eat breakfast…. and then ask yourself: What will I have for lunch with my pen fork?

5 things to never do in a job interview

job interview mistakes

When your job search has paid off and you’ve scored an interview, it means your resume has definitely talked the talk, but there are some in-person mistakes that can leave even the best of candidates tripping over their tongues when it’s time to walk the interview walk. So if you want to strut on into that new role, you’ll want to avoid these business blunders.

  1. Showing up late

If you want to show up late to a dinner with the in-laws or keep a date waiting, hey, that’s your prerogative, but when it comes to meeting a hiring manager, you should be arriving 10-15 minutes early. Time is a valuable thing, and although the receptionist may be fine with a delay on the subway or traffic holding you back, the person on the other end of your interview won’t be impressed.

  1. Being rude to the receptionist

No matter how high the role you’re interviewing for is within the company, you need to check any ego at the door if you want to get your foot in it. Always be kind to the receptionist. Whatever position you aim for on the professional totem pole, you never know who the receptionist knows. And you could be brought right down before you have a chance to make it on.

  1. Being under (or over) dressed

Corporate culture is important—and being prepared for it should be an important part of your pre-interview prep. When it comes to dress code, the rule of thumb is to dress half a notch above what the current employees are wearing. For example, if you’re interviewing with a start-up where jeans and tees are the norm, opt for the business casual approach; whereas if you’re interviewing in a more corporate atmosphere, a suit and tie or skirt and blouse is more appropriate attire.

  1. Telling tall tales

Pulling a Pinocchio in an interview should seem like an obvious no-go. However, some job seekers may be tempted to impress by telling success-related tall tales. The thing about that is: it will catch up to you. Whether a reference unknowingly outs you, or you get the job and can’t perform the task you’ve proclaimed to excel at, your fibs will eventually be found out.

  1. Bad-mouthing your employer

We’ve all had a manager or co-worker that we didn’t get along with, and a toxic work environment may have you seeking employment elsewhere. But no matter how well you think you’re bonding with your perspective employer, you never want to bad mouth the ones who came before. If you do, all he or she could be left thinking is– if you can talk like that about your previous or current employer, what would stop you from talking that way about them?

Remember, job interviews are a two-way street and when you’re looking for a job, make it your business to ensure it’s also the right fit!

4 tips to falling back into work after summer vacation

back to work

It’s official. Starbucks released its Pumpkin Spice latte today. So that also basically means it must (unofficially) be fall. And if you’ve taken the summer to yourself, at the risk of being branded the bearer of bad news, it could possibly mean the official start of back to work.

However, don’t despair! When you feel the back to work blues lurking in the back of your brain, try these tips to even out your equilibrium.


  1. Prioritize the MIT

The key to post-summer productivity is identifying the Most Important Task—and then knowing what you need to do to get it done. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you come back to emails and deadlines, but once you get into the singular mindset, it’s much easier to accomplish the plethora of projects waiting for you one at a time.


  1. Erase the email slate

It’s probably going to be a daunting task, but it’s one that you can overcome without too much of a Herculean effort. Instead of reading your emails chronologically, sort through them by sender or subject instead. The aim of the game here is to discover what happened instead of when things happened. The technique also allows you to get rid of old news updates or expired Groupons. Bye!


  1. Dress to impress (yourself)

Remember back to school shopping? Sure, the ads that popped up mid-August felt like a personal betrayal, but how good did you feel in your first day outfit? We’re not talking about breaking the bank for a new wardrobe here, but adding a few new pieces to your collection can have you walking with an extra pep in your step.


  1. Give yourself a break

Cutting yourself some slack doesn’t mean you’re slacking off. You may feel as though you need to go into the office with guns blazing, but getting back into the saddle may take a few days. And that’s okay! It’s going to be a transition to find your post-summer the work rhythm. As long as you stay focused and relaxed, your work routine will re-emerge.

So, while you’re very busy with the business of getting back to business, remember: You got this.

True or false: Job search facts

5 Tips when going from freelance to full-time

going from freelance to fulltime

Any freelancer will tell you that their diet is often susceptible to seasonal bouts of feast or famine. And while some revel in the responsibility of providing a regular life with an irregular income, others may begin to prefer the perks of 9-5. So, when you decide it’s time to trade the couch for the cubicle, try these transitioning tips.


  1. Be realistic

It’s going to take some time to adjust to your new in-house hours. And whether you have a freelance or full-time background, your employer will be aware of that, but you have to recognize it too. Don’t expect to be moving mountains within the first few weeks that you’re getting to know the company, products, co-workers and goals. You’ll be tempted to want to dive right in—and you should be motivated, but when your time is no longer your own, it’s time for some lessons in time management. Start each day with a list of priorities, and stick to each task. It will make it a lot easier to organize your hours and hit your deadlines.

  1. Find your voice

This may not paint the prettiest of pictures, but envision this: You’re in a meeting and a project that you’ve successfully managed before in a consultant capacity is being discussed. Now instead of having the floor and mapping out the strategy, another consultant is telling you what to do. Your inner voice may be shouting for you to stand up and take action, but resist the impulse! Aside from avoiding any toe stepping, you want to figure out the right approach to getting yourself heard. Observe! Watch and take note of how other employees around you bring their ideas to the higher-ups and try that instead. When you feel as though you’ve built solid work relationships, your voice will eventually get a lot louder.

  1. Remember, you’re not in prison

Although some days it may feel like you’re manacled to man, you’re not in a prison. And even though you’ve traded in being your own boss to having one, he or she isn’t your warden. Remember your worth—because you were hired to be a part of their corporate family for a reason. You’ll be expected to work set hours, but its up to you to set mutually beneficial boundaries. Put in an honesty day’s work for an honest pay and if you don’t forget your worth- your employers won’t either.

  1. Play nice

The office is prime spotting ground for perusing different breeds of human— some may get along well with others, while some may prove hostile. You’re not going to mesh with every personality-type. And that’s okay, but you need to be able to (for a lack of a better term), fake it. Respect in the workplace is just as important as anywhere else. So keep your cool when you feel someone getting you hot under the collar, confrontation doesn’t belong in the conference room. If you’re having a serious issue with someone or something—that’s what human resources is for.

  1. Have a drink

Freelancers and consultants tend to take steps to simply get the job done rather than find ways to make friends on the job. Yet as a full-time employee, you’d be surprised how much more relationships matter when you’re trying to get the job done. You don’t have to be BFFs with your co-workers, but don’t avoid after work drinks, office drinks or the water cooler like they’re the productivity plague. Get to know the people you spend 8 hours a day with, you never know what collaboration opportunities you may uncover to expedite or enhance a project.

Sure, accepting a steady paycheck may be easier than embracing the changes that earn it, but you’ll never know if you made the right move unless you decide to give it a try.

Job search etiquette: How palatable are your employment manners?

6 Ways to measure the merits of your success

ways to measure successWhen you’re manacled to the man 9-5, how do you measure the merits of success?

Is it the number on your paycheck? The size of your team? The job title on your contract? You may be tempted to impress with a grandiose definition of success, but when life gets down to the nitty gritty of what makes yours a happy one, your job title isn’t vital.  Here’s why it doesn’t matter, and 6 things that do when it comes to the fundamentals of work, life and happiness.

You’ve made an impact

We all have a voice, but when yours is heard loud and clear—whether it’s in your industry as a whole, your office, or simply your team—recognition and making a difference can make a big difference in your working life. If you feel like you’ve made no impact, you may never feel like you’ve achieved much success.

You’re challenged

If you feel like you’re doing nothing but pencil pushing all day– every day, and fantasize about the final 5 o’clock hour as soon as you first sit down, chances are… you’re bored. Out of your mind. And if you’re not feeling challenged, you could be losing your motivation and inspiration for in-office and after work hours. Broker T. Washington once said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” He was a wise man.

You create

The act of creating–in general–is a beautiful thing. If you’ve created something new, regardless of whether it’s a product, an idea or a new and better way for getting things done, this is a success. And it should feel that way. We all want to feel as though we have an effect in our workplace and this is a definite example of a successful situation.

You’ve formed great relationships

If you’ve cultivated great relationships with clients, customers or co-workers you’d be quite correct in thinking you’re doing something right. When you have a portfolio that also spans a list of happy people, you’ve proven that you’ve provided a great service.

You’re efforts are noticed

This may seem pretty obvious, but you should feel perfectly safe to properly preen when internal fellow co-workers or hire ups as well as external professionals and businesses are speaking highly of you in their respective networks.

You leave the office with a smile

When you wake up every day and can honestly say that you love what you do, you’re a lot ‘richer’ than that of someone with a big paycheck and fancy title. And if you can smile at the end of the workday, you’re one of the lucky ones.

You could have a great paying job with an impressive title – but if you don’t enjoy your day-to-day life due to the stress – it could be argued that you’re not successful at all. What you do to earn a living should not only fill your bank account, it should also fulfill your life in other ways that can’t be defined by monetary compensation or monogrammed business cards.

4 Resume facts recruiters want to see on yours

facts recruiters want to see on a resumeIf there exists one cold hard fact about your resume, it’s that facts do, in fact, matter.  And if we’re going to delve deeper into what factoids should be dwelling on your CV (because hey- why not on a Thursday), there are some particular ones that must live there if you want a recruiter knocking on your door.




  1. The Quantifiable

In other words—the numbers. When you’re trying to show the value you can bring to a future employer, recruiters want to see what you’ve produced for the previous ones.  List any stats that highlight revenue generated or the results of a project you supported. Remember though, figures don’t always have to be monetary to prove their worth. Make sure to include any percentages of achieved targets or time taken to deliver a piece of work or project.

  1. Tech experience

In today’s hyper-connected world, you need to talk the tech talk if you’ve walked the walk.  Whether you’re a super savvy digital marketer, code master or expert developer (the list really goes on and on), it’s essential to highlight the tools you’re familiar with and how you applied them to previous roles. Most positions require working knowledge of one or more, so employers will also be keen to understand your ability to use their core systems and hardware. Here’s a side not though: Leave Microsoft off the list. Employers expect you to be proficient in software that has been around since the dawn of computer-time. So, leave that valuable resume real estate for another skill or achievement.

  1. Who you interact with

Even in the times of tech, it’s still probably a guarantee that your position will require some form of human interaction, so your CV should show you’re capable of communicating within the corporate hierarchy and external clients. Show exactly who you interact with from management and external regulators to customers and suppliers. This proves your business-social abilities. The aim of the game here is to show that you can build strong working relationships and use them to create beneficial outcomes for your potential employer.

  1. Role objective

What were you hired to do in your previous role? Did you accomplish it? How? These are some of the most important questions recruiters want answered. Without outlining the high level purpose of your role, nobody will understand what all your hard work was for. So every position on your resume should start off with a clear objective statement so recruiters can put your achievements into context and get the bigger picture of your duties and qualifications.

Facts don’t lie. It’s a fact… unless you’re lying on your resume. But that’s a bad idea, so don’t do that. Instead, let the truth set your facts free.





5 Tips to turn your contract into an extension (or permanent situation)

turn a contract into a permanent engagementSo, you’ve beaten the bots and impressed during your in-person interview, but once you’ve successfully taken on the hiring battle, you still have to win the performance war. Your previous experience may have helped you talk the talk, but when it comes to contract extensions, these tips will help to ensure you’re walking the walk—and demonstrating the qualities that could most likely help you strut into a permanent position.

1. Become indispensable

When you demonstrate your knowledge, enthusiasm and interest in existing projects other than your own and provide actionable insights that result in a successful execution, you’re demonstrating the value you bring to your other team members and the company. Sure, you were hired for a specific task, but your employer may not know what other talents you have to offer unless you reveal them, so take the initiative and look for opportunities to showcase your skills. They may say that no one is indispensable, but if you want to prove your worth as a full-time team member, demonstrate that you’re a worker that the team can’t imagine functioning without.

2. Build relationships

Good communication is great persuasion, so if you’re looking to become a part of a team, voice it with both your thoughts and actions. This doesn’t mean you need to be friends or socialize outside of work, but make an effort to be involved and be friendly at the office. If there’s additional training on offer, you should take it. Going above and beyond shows that you are willing to learn and that you take a keen interest in the company; this may even provide opportunities for networking. The goal is to make your presence known. So instead of sending an email, visit your colleagues or direct managers, volunteer for extra project activities outside your job description, represent your team at meetings or attend meetings so you can be more involved and meet a wider range of teams.

3. Avoid the office politics

The workplace is prime spotting ground for watching different breeds of humans interact outside their natural habitat, so it can prove difficult sometimes not to watch a show. However, you will be more highly regarded if you don’t get involved in the hunting and pecking order of the workplace and avoid office gossip.

4. Document your work

Whether you’re on contract or a permanent employee, it’s your responsibility to fill out your time-sheets, expense forms and any other paperwork in a timely fashion. This illustrates you’re responsible, reliable and organized. Sometimes, as a contract worker, you won’t be a regular part of the staff team and will get left out of what is the normal information flow. By taking the initiative on communications and providing critical updates to projects, you also demonstrate your strong skills in this area.

5. You want something? Ask for it.

If you want to be considered for a full time position, this isn’t the time to act like a wallflower and hope you’re simply picked for the part. If the timing is right, talk to the key decision maker and let your interest in a full time opening known.

If all the world’s a stage, then this performance is your audition. If none of these tactics work and your contract role truly has an inevitable end date, then concentrate on doing the best job possible for the employer. Then, several weeks before the scheduled end-date, set up a time with your manager and discuss your interest in their company and field, you may get a referral to another company if this one simply can’t hire you.

Who said it?!

Who said it?

Whether you love them or love to hate them, these (in)famous bosses made it pretty easy to remember them. But do you recall who's wise words of wisdom belong to whom? Try our Friday quiz to find out!

"I don't hate it. I just don't like it at all... and it's terrible."

Michael Scott, The Office

Dave Harken, Horrible Bosses

Don Draper, Mad Men

"Never follow a hippie to a second location."

Katharine Parker, Working Girl

Margaret Tate, The Proposal

Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock

"A piker asks how much vacation time you get in the first year. Vacation time?"

Gordon Gekko, Wallstreet

Jim Young, Boiler Room

Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wallstreet

"Details of your incompetence do not interest me."

Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada

Bill Lumbergh, Office Space

Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation

“I am very good at what I do. I am better at it than anyone else. And that is not arrogance, that is a fact.”

Walter Skinner, X-Files

Wilhelmina Slater, Ugly Betty

Olivia Pope, Scandal

"My voice is giving out so I'm going to poke you for an hour or two."

Angela, Family Guy

Mr. Slate, The Flinstones

Mr. Burns, The Simpsons

"You want some respect? Go out and get it for yourself."

Don Draper, Mad Men

Mr. MacMillan, Big

Gordon Gekko, Wallstreet

"I drove to work in an $80,000 Mercedes, and I’m going home in a prop car from the Fast and the Furious. I just don’t see it."

Michelle Darnell, The Boss

Gordon Ramsay, Hell's Kitchen

Ari Gold, Entourage

"There's more to leading than being in front. The best leaders lead by example not by mouth."

Judge Judy Sheindlin, Judge judy

Uncle Phil, Fresh Prince of Bel-air

Judge Joe Brown, The People's Court

"I know you've been working your tail off for that promotion... But I'm not sure I can trust you."

Dave Harken, Horrible Bosses

Dr. Julia Harris, Horrible Bosses

Bobby Pellitt, Horrible Bosses

........It was a good try!

So we may have been off a little on the "wise words of wisdom" part, but happy Friday anyway!

Nicely done!

So we may have been off a little on the "wise words of wisdom" part, but happy Friday anyway!

The interview process: Startups vs. large companies (and how to handle both)

interviewing at startups vs. corporate

Talent is a competitive advantage; no matter who houses the hotshots. And during the gig landing process, top talent knows there’s a disadvantage interviewing at a startup with a large corp. state of mind—and vice versa. The hiring process is different, here’s what to do about it.

  1. HR vs. the CEO approach

A large firm usually manages hiring through a well-oiled HR machine; a team of trained Human Resources professionals who search and secure the talent. Yet anyone who’s ever worked at a startup will tell you that same type of function simply isn’t employed. Sure, the next Facebook may have a recruiter or HR head, but ultimately the CEO will handle the last step in the process.

Do your research

Corporate: Be prepared to know more than just what’s on their landing page. You need to become familiar with their history, philosophy, goals and business approach. What’s in their service catalogue and who are their customers?  If the position requires any particular tools, methodologies or languages, try to see what they’re using and be ready to discuss if and when you’ve used it in the past (or if you haven’t, why not, and what you do know about it). A quick Google or LinkedIn search can also give you a glimpse into the company’s employees and culture. Take a look!

Startup: Research about the company is always the number one interview rule, but culture and team research for startups is extremely important when these types of businesses highly value cultural fit. Pay attention to their website and social media accounts for anything quirky or unique you can reference when you meet. Startups like that.

  1. The passive interviewee or active interviewee

Are you a driver or a passenger?

The corporate HR machine can have a tendency turn out passive Candidates. The list of formal questions that need to be asked within a small window of time allows for little opportunity for the interviewee to take ownership of the conversation. Whereas in hectic startup land, it isn’t uncommon for the interviewer to wing a conversation (lack of formal HR training and rushing to and from meetings can do that). They’re also not looking for pure potential that can be groomed over months of training, like with large corporations. Instead, they need someone who can come in and hit the ground running. So being able to drive the conversation with your own, active ideas is often better received than sitting back and passively waiting to answer scripted questions.

Corporate: Be prepared to answer the Ws of your own story: who, what, when, where and why of how you’re going to add value to the business. You want to describe who you are, what you want and what you can do, when you’re looking to start and why this company is the right fit. Here is where you’re going to match your experience or goals to the job description and company beliefs.

Startup: Nothing different here. With startups, you also want to be prepared with the knowledge of any initial bumps or challenges that the company faced or is facing; a Candidate who can anticipate the challenges and opportunities for the company before they present themselves is the type of person a blossoming business wants on board.

  1. Dress to impress

It’s not only what’s on the inside that counts

Corporate: Large businesses and corporate companies tend to lean more towards the formal side, “casual Friday” aside. This means when you’re interviewing, it’s best to do some research on the company culture; find out how employees dress and choose an outfit just half a step more formal. This can mean business or casual business dress like a suit and slacks for men and a nice skirt and blouse for women.

Startup: Dressing for startups and non-traditional workplaces can be a harder outfit to call. Business or business casual can still apply, but a good barometer to use is what’s still applied to the corporate interview. Do employees wear jeans and t-shirts as the norm? Add a button up or a blazer for a good impression. Blazers can always come off.

You don’t have to walk a mile in the interviewee’s shoes to understand the process, but you do need to put yourself in them for a moment! What challenges are they facing? What’s keeping them up at night? How can your experience and knowledge help?

Get to work on those answers before your interview and you’ll be all set to get to work in either workplace.



6 tips to land a job in tech (part 3- the interview)

tech interview tipsSo you wanna be a tech superstar?
And live large, a big house, five cars?

Well, we may have gotten a bit overzealous with the whole five cars thing, but Cypress Hill’s Rap Superstar lyrics seemed to really radiate Monday motivation… and although the correlation is tenuous at best, inspiration is inspiration. Right? Let’s talk tech.

“Know the company, dress to impress, ask the right questions, don’t be late…” These are the most talked about interview tips, but when you wanna be a tech superstar, you’ve got to go above and beyond…

Whether you’re a recent grad lacking experience or experienced in the workforce but seeking a career change, try demonstrating these tech interview tips to communicate you’ve got the skills for tech super stardom.

Practice… Practice… Practice…

Techies are problem-solvers, puzzle piece placers and creative practitioners; they need to think like the box doesn’t even exist, and innovate like it’s going out of style. Before any interview, review the technologies that you’re expected to know but haven’t recently used, and remind yourself of the terminology and key concepts that might come up during interviews. Some career experts suggest up to 10 hours of practice before your meeting. How? Join a programming team or find coding questions online and be prepared for creative problem solving questions and brain teasers.

AND practice your coding!

Show how you can adapt

Being adaptable in your position means you’re going to have to demonstrate in the interview that you can Darwin the roll. Because in tech, if you don’t adapt, you won’t survive. When it comes to IT, you can expect that everything can and will fail; employers want to determine your thinking capabilities and how you’ll come up with solutions. During the interview process, recruiters are determining whether or not they like you, if you know your stuff and if you’re passionate about the field, a potential employer wants to know if you’re adaptable, flexible and productive—so highlight situations where you had to pivot for productivity.

Build on your experience

To be the architect of your own employment, you need to build on your experience. During the interview, target events and projects from your professional or academic experience where you faced one or two challenges and how you overcame them.  Keep it short and sweet: Give a sentence about your general role, and then focus on one challenge or problem that you solved. A simple rule to remember is to never put something on your resume that you barely worked on or that you don’t know much about. You’ll be asked about it!

Get comfortable

While you prepare for the question portion of the interview, you should also prepare for the physical component; this means getting rid of practical obstacles. It makes a difference when you’re asked to write formulas on a white board, on paper or on a computer. If you’re a visual thinker and need to scribble, ask at the beginning of the interview if you can have a piece of paper to write things down. These little things can go a long way.

Be online before you’re in-person

You don’t need a complete website, but you do need to have examples of your work online. allows you to quickly and easily upload an open source project and share it with chosen people. You can also send the link in an email before you meet.

Follow up—but be relevant

Post-interview etiquette demands a quick thank you note after you meet, but if you want to really stand out in tech, be a bit more interesting than your candidate counterparts by including something relevant to what was discussed in the interview. Along with your felicitations, send along a code element or the link to a project you spoke about during your meeting.

The road to tech superstardom is getting closer! If you missed part one or two of our three part series, you can check out them out here and here!


Like a boss!


Are you boss enough?

When it comes to being a boss, only certain types of professionals can profess to being made to manage. Do you have what it takes to call the shots? Try our Quiz to find out!

It’s important for you to be liked by your co-workers

Yes. I needs friends to function

I’m usually too busy to notice.

It would be great if everyone could agree, but I can still cope when co-workers aren’t happy.

The thought of confrontation makes you lose sleep…

Wait. People have time to sleep? I have way too much on my plate to worry about others’ feelings.

I don’t go looking to put people on the spot, but accountability is important.

I like letting other solve their own problems independently. It’s good for professional development.

Does empathy belong in the office?

Yes Putting myself in others’ shoes to understand why the job wasn’t done is okay. It gives me more direction as a leader as how to best handle each employee.

No. Feelings and friends don’t belong in the workplace. Bosses don’t need BFFs.

Empathy should be used with discretion, but i think too much can often be a bad thing fur business.

What’s the best way to get the job done?

On top of management duties, I think it’s important to get my hands dirty. Being a team leader also means being a part of the team

Accountability is important to success. So I prefer to manage by monitoring my team members’ performances, and then suggesting better ways to get the job done.

Delegation is key. It’s a better use of management’s time to analyse competitors and industry trends and let my team handle the grunt work.

When it comes to workflow, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

There’s a reason why processes exist. If there was a better way of doing things, upper management would know.

I’m going Darwin on this one. Adapting to change is important to survival.

People and culture matter, but I’m not going to try to re-invent the wheel when it comes to how we do things.

Candor is conducive to productivity.

I’ll bear the burden of dealing bad news because employees don’t need to know about what doesn’t concern them. That’s upper management’s problem.

Transparency is important. I Don’t sugarcoat things. I’m more of a “solution-based” thinker. I like to get to the point and then solve the problem.

I think it’s more important to keep bad news to myself and not upset my team members. I’m a “self problem solver” and negativity could demotivate them.

I think that the team lead should be recognized for the team achieving its goal.

My team’s success is a reflection of my management. What’s best for the company is doing things my way because the job always gets done.

My team’s success is also my success. That’s why it’s important to me to foster talent and let others have the limelight sometimes. More often than not, people I manage know more about their jobs than I do.

Sure, I’ll let my team take credit. They did the work- but I’ll let my bosses know who was really responsible for the successful campaign.

You’ve still got some learning to do!

Remember, being a boss doesn’t mean bossing people around. You may want to brush up on your management skills before you angle for a big boss role!

You’re a boss

You’ve proven that you’re management material, so what are you waiting for?

5 Ways Pokemon GO is like your job search

pokemon go and your job search

If you’ve been on the internet machine lately—or stepped outside within the last week—it’s the (augmented) reality of summer 2016: Pokemon Go is going to take over us all. And if you’re born before 1984, you may be wondering just what a Pikachu is and what exactly is going on.

It’s a craze, and we’re just crazy enough to find the correlation between the Pokemon phenomenon and your IT job search. Because, surely, if you can catch a Pokemon, you have the skills to catch an IT contract.




pokemon at pier

Whether you’re searching for a job or for the elusive Articuno (that’s a legendary Pokemon bird by the way), making connections along the way is important to achieving your end goal. Professional contacts can help put you in the right direction of a great gig, and meeting new friends en route to a PokeStop can also help you unlock primo opportunities. Schmoozing at a conference with hundreds of other professionals and chasing a Wartortle at the Santa Monica Pier with hundreds of other players: same thing.



water pokemon

When recruiters are looking for Candidates for a specific job, they use something called a radial search to locate potential fits closest to the job location. If you’re looking for a developer job within the city of Toronto, ensure you have a Toronto area code listed on your resume and the keyword developer within the body. It’s just like how you find the Pokemon in their real-life habitats—like Water Pokémon are more common near bodies of water, Ghastlys in grave yards, grass-types in parks, etc. Location-based Candidates and Pokemon searches? Obvious connection.



The Approach

pokemon skill level

You gotta switch it up. Whether you’re sending out your resume to land an interview or throwing out Pokeballs to thwart a Zubat, the blanket approach won’t work to get what you want. Your resume should be specifically tailored with keywords and achievements for each job you apply to—just like how your stealth moves need to differ per Pokemon for capture. For instance, you wouldn’t apply to an analyst position with your resume showing all graphic design experience; just like one would never approach a red level Pokemon for capture using green level skills. Rookie mistakes, both.




different pokemon teams

Being a part of a team is the main job hunt goal, and it’s no different than when you’re hunting for Pokemon. When a strong Candidate is chosen to fill a positon, it’s because he or she demonstrated their strengths in the areas that will make them an asset to that team. In level 5 of Pokemon GO, (when a player is considered strong enough), he or she can join gyms. This is where they hone their capture skills and join a team to play together. Being a strong team player helps get the job done in both worlds.




pokemon mobility

It’s a fact that 43% of Job Seekers have used their mobile device in their job search. It’s also a fact that, as of yesterday, Pokemon Go has over 15 million downloads in the U.S to an Android or IOS device. The fact of the matter is, Job Seekers and Pokemon players are mobile, they’re everywhere and they’re not stopping anytime soon.


Whether you’re a Job Seeker waging an employment battle or a trainer battling for Pokemon prominence, some similarities can’t be ignored when you feel like you….

Gotta catch ‘em all…..