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8 Reasons why you didn’t get the job

reasons you didn't get the job

 

Thank you for your interest…”

“We’ll keep your resume on file…”

“Good luck in your job search…”

Those words.

You crafted the perfect resume, breezed by the initial phone conversation and left the interview feeling like you’re already a part of the team– and then you get the email. You know the one. The one with those words…

It’s supposed to be the job offer you’ve been waiting for, but instead of a contract, you’re stuck with condolences… What went wrong?

There could have been any number of reasons why you didn’t get the gig, and other than simply not being qualified, these could be one of them:

  1. The definition of the job changed

Over the course of interviewing several different candidates, the company may have decided to revise the job description all together. As a result, management may have also revised the required skills. It happens.

  1. They hired internally

It’s actually pretty common. Even if a hiring manager knows of a strong internal candidate, some companies require outside interviews to take place anyway. Hiring internally is a low-risk move and one many organizations will make if there’s a qualified candidate already on staff.

  1. They were looking for the right cultural fit (and you weren’t it)

Sure, you may be qualified, but did you really picture yourself working alongside these people on an almost daily basis? Maybe the hiring manager couldn’t, either. Personalities play a role in the employment game, and maybe you didn’t come across as someone who would fit in on the team.

  1. You couldn’t agree on salary

If you’re looking for more than the company is willing to pay, odds are you won’t be offered anything other than the good luck email.

  1. The interview was a ruse

Some companies have policies that a certain number of candidates has to be interviewed for each position—even when the hiring manager has already decided on whom to bring on board.

  1. You’re too attractive

Yep. Said it. It’s an ugly truth. Psychological studies have shown that there’s a hiring bias against particularly attractive women for some roles (guys, you’re apparently safe from such discriminations).

  1. There was a better candidate

People often identify themselves as perfect for the job, but for every qualified person, there’s another one. Fitting the qualifications listed on the job description doesn’t necessarily mean someone else isn’t a better fit overall.

  1. You simply blew it

Sometimes there’s no other reason for not landing the job other than you simply made a really bad impression. Maybe you weren’t prepared, your body language made you seem disinterested, maybe you came across as too arrogant or perhaps you just didn’t click with the hiring manager. Sometimes interviews go badly, and it’s best to just move on with these tips.

When it comes to job interviews, all you can really do is prepare as best you can to make an enthusiastic and professional bid for your candidacy. You won’t be hired for every position you interview for, but don’t let the set backs get you sidetracked, the reason you didn’t get hired could have nothing to do with you (or you really did just blow it).

5 Social media job search mistakes not to make

job search mistakes to avoid

Recruiters and hiring managers are creeps.

It’s a proven fact.

In fact, they probably top even the most investigative of exes when it comes to creeping your social media profiles.

For your reference,  the 2017 creeper is defined as “ Someone who uses Facebook but is looking at other peoples’ profiles, going through their pictures, their statuses, their wall posts, their picture comments;  subscribed to random people or their pages.” Basically, they’re online. And they’re everywhere. This study states that 93% of recruiters are likely to look at a Candidate’s social media profile. So when it comes to your job search and social media, avoid these common mistakes if you want to take you and your digital footprint through the front door of your dream job.

 

  1. Compromising photos

We all have a life outside of work, but posting (what some may deem) inappropriate photos will give off the wrong idea about your extra-curricular activities. During your job search, you may want to take your profile to the next level with your privacy settings. Sure, you may not upload a photo yourself, but ones you’re tagged in by friends will also appear in your timeline. Double check your privacy approval settings to be safe.

 

2. Appearing over opinionated

Employers tend to see it as a positive if potential employees have a view on a certain topic. However, they can also easily be put off if they perceive those views to be too radical and/or opinionated.

 

3. Inviting your interviewer to connect with you on Facebook

This is a big no-no and happens a lot more than you think. Interviewers want to see the “true you,” so they’re being friendly and approachable– but they aren’t trying to befriend you. Just because you’ve hit it off with your interviewer, it doesn’t mean that you should feel comfortable enough to invite them to be a friend. More often than not, this will leave an impression that you’ve crossed an unwritten boundary.

 

4.Remarks about your coworkers, boss or workplace

You should never make negative remarks about your previous workplace or employer during a job interview; neither should you bad-mouth them online. A future employer will think that if you can write that about another company, then surely you can write the same thing about theirs.

 

5. Boasting about a current job offer

Sure, it’s exciting to be offered a position, but sometimes those offers are confidential, and an offer isn’t a sure thing. If it looks like you’re capable of breaking a confidentiality right off the bat, other hiring managers may view you as untrustworthy.

 

Social media connects us all, but avoid these common mistakes if you want to be connected to the right career opportunity.

6 Ways to jump start your 2017 job search via social media

social media job search 2017 is coming.

That may not have sounded as ominous as when Ned Stark warned of Winter, but when you’re a Job Seeker currently dwelling within the realm of the in-between, it may seem just as perilous if you didn’t get the career you craved for Christmas. With all that holiday spending, employment in the New Year is probably sounding like a go-to resolution. If you were one of the many who took time off the job hunt during the season, you can jingle all the way to one you love by taking advantage of these tips:

1.Clean up your social channels

If you don’t think employers are checking you out online as much as they check out your CV, you need to check yourself! Take the time over the holiday season to scrub your social media profiles and remove anything that would make employers second guess hiring you. Start here for a step-by-step guide.

2. Increase your viability on LinkedIn

If you don’t have that many connections or don’t have your updated work experience, start connecting and updating stat! Your LinkedIn profile is basically your online resume– and people are looking (in 2016, 94% of recruiters used LinkedIn for recruiting purposes). Not only is this platform the #1 social network to professionally connect, it’s also your best defense against bad Google search results because Google typically places LinkedIn at, or very near, the top of any search that matches the name of the person being Googled.

3. Make a Facebook update

Facebook updates are basically an online megaphone–which can be used for far greater  than posting selfies and hot spot check-ins. Leverage this tool to let your network of friends know that you’re in the market for your next great opportunity. Facebook literally a collection of friends and acquaintances who,if they made your friend’s list, have your best interest at heart and referrals from friends can go a long way. Maybe someone is hiring for a position your skilled in or knows someone who is.

4. Join groups 

Are you a part of any LinkedIn or Google+ groups? You should be if you want to rub digital shoulders with like-minded professionals and subject matter experts. Establishing yourself online by joining conversations with posts and comments that add value to a problem or topic highlights the very value you can bring to a team.

5. Start following influencers 

Twitter is a great place to interact with industry influencers. If you have a twitter account, search for some of these heavyweights and start reading and sharing their content. Comment in the comment section of their blogs (only if you’ve actually read the piece) and share them on your own stream– but don’t get creepy. Use your discretion to not come off like a cyber stalker.

6. Use hashtags

Employers, recruiters and hiring managers will usually accompany a new job position with an appropriate hashtag. Tags like #hiring #job and #ITjob are commonly used, but you can drill even deeper and search for specific industry hashtags associated with job roles.

The only thing that should be put on the back burner this holiday season is the pot of carrots. Don’t let the stress of the season divert you from finding a great career opportunity.

 

PS: Winter really isn’t coming until Summer 2017… If you know what we mean.

 

Your resume checklist

resume checklist

This is a list that was made to definitely be checked twice—perhaps even a third time. When it comes to your resume, format and design is a personal preference (although we definitely have some thoughts on the matter), but there are a few standard requirements that demand to be met if you’re angling for employment. So before you submit your CV, check this checklist:

1. Contact details

Sometimes the obvious can be oblivious to some,  but when you’re trying to be reached– you have to be able to be found. Did you get a new phone number or email address since you last applied to a job? Double check and on your resume, include:

Hint: Leave flyguy69@hotmail.com for your friends. Use a more professional email address when addressing a potential employer. Ensure your contact details are fully up to date and your name, phone number and email address are positioned at the bottom of each page. If the first page is misplaced, a recruiter or hiring manager will still be able contact you on the fly.

  1. Headline

Craft a summary with a short statement that outlines who you are and what you can offer. Like a 30 second elevator pitch, this will determine whether or not a recruiter or hiring manager will bother to read the rest of your resume.

 

  1. Experience

In reverse chronological order, include:

  • Company names
  • Dates of employment (including the months against years)
  • Quantifiable achievements

Hint: Don’t just simply list your job description; describe what you did during your employment and how you achieved the desired results. Result-orientated resumes are what recruiters and hiring managers are concerned about.

 

  1. Education

Unless you’re a new grad, leave highschool in the past and focus on the highest level of education completed along with your post-secondary education.

Include:

  • Full name of the post-secondary institute
  • Years attended
  • Degree completed

 

  1. Skills

Read the job description carefully and include any skills you feel would be relevant to the role.

Hint: Don’t just include your technical skills in the summary of your resume; ensure they’re listed throughout the body as well.

 

  1. Extras

This is the section where you can list proficiencies and abilities that include:

  • Licenses/certificates/awards
  • Social media accounts (if applicable)
  • Blog
  • Online portfolio

Hint: It’s awesome if you can bake a mean chocolate cake, but unless you’re applying to work in a bakery, leave that little extra bit on the plate and off the paper.

 

  1. Formatting

We’ve dedicated an entire blog to the proper formatting of a resume. To get noticed by the Applicant Tracking Systems recruiters and hiring managers use, take a look at how to SEO your resume like a pro.

 

  1. Grammar

As your professional first impression, your resume should present you in the best possible light. Proofread it—twice, and then give it to someone else for a fresh perspective. Avoid using slang terms and ensure you use plenty of action verbs.

Your resume is your foot in the door, don’t let it close without being invited in because you left out the basics.

5 Talent retention tips from the season’s most villainous bosses

The festive season isn’t always fun for all when a Grinch is stealing employee morale. Those in leadership have the power to empower staff, and all employees really want for Christmas is to not get Scrooged all year ‘round. When it comes to retaining a talented workforce, take a tip from these mean ones in management–by doing the exact opposite of everything they do.

  1. Ebenezer Scrooge: A Christmas Carole

Ebenezer Scrooge may have been one miserly villain, but he’s also the original tight-fisted cost cutter! Skimping on the heat to ensure every penny is squeezed from the bottom line would make any employee say Bah Humbug!

Take Away: Don’t skimp on the coal to line the company coffers. If cuts must be made, do so without cutting morale by being transparent in your decisions.

 

 

2. Frank Shirley: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

What’s Christmas without the Griswalds? And what’s a Griswold without a Christmas bonus? Deciding to do away with monetary bonuses without notice is more than a festive faux pas, it’s also a pretty good way to ensure employee dissatisfaction.

Take away: Don’t take staff by surprise, call a company-wide meeting with your employees to relay the news well ahead of the season, And remember…always remember, no one likes jelly anymore (probably).

 

 

 

 

3. Gin Slagel: Bad Santa

What’s worse than a corrupt Clause? A blackmailing mall boss who wants in on the thieving spoils.

Take away: If you discover shady dealings, don’t keep them in the dark. Address any bad employee behaviour immediately, so others don’t follow suit or become disgruntled by lax management.

 

 

4. Joseph Takag: Die Hard

…………..Strictly because “Scheduling a holiday party on Christmas Eve is a jerk move.”
Take Away: Sure, business is business, but be mindful of employee personal time when it comes to scheduling events around special times of year or weekends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Frank Cross: Scrooged

Why yes of course, it’s technically a Christmas Carole remake; however, it’s Bill Murray, and Bill Murray deserves an honourable mention for being awesome. But what isn’t awesome is greed.

Take Away: Don’t let success overwhelm your life. Sure, employees are working for you, but they’re also working for themselves and their families, and recognition goes a long way to inspire loyalty.

Whether they’re full-time, part-time or on contract, motivated workers are a company’s best asset. Ensure a satisfied staff this season and all year ’round by providing them with the tools they need to be successful…. and by being the exact opposite of these bad bosses.

5 Reasons to vamp up your job search over the holidays—and how to do it

holiday job search

Santa isn’t the only one who keeps lists. Potential employers do too. And just like the big man in the red suit, these list keepers are also taking a look at what you’ve been up to all year.

When all you want for Christmas is employment, there are a few things you can do to help get yourself on a potential employer’s nice list. It’s easy to believe that the hiring process slows down when the holiday cheer amps up, but the truth is, recruiters are like the elves. They’re still working.

So here’s why you should still be working your job search over the holiday season.

 

 

 Why should you should be looking in December

1.There are jobs!

There are still lots of jobs being created in the month of December. Here’s the thing: It can often take 25- 30 days from the time a requirements comes into a recruiter’s hands on a contract before the offer is extended to a Candidate. Then it can also take an additional 5-7 days with background checks before you’re walking through the door. If you put your job search on hold while decking the halls in December, it could take you until February to start a new role. So keeping the momentum going over the holidays can translate into employment in January or sooner.

 

2. You’ll have less competition

Many of your rivals may slack off for the very reason you’re thinking of not revving up your own search. Let them! Less competition can put your application to the top of the list and get noticed by a lot more people. Recruiters get way more resumes in their inboxes in January than they get gifts under the tree in December, so if you send yours during a slower period, it’s more likely to stand out. It’s like a gift that doesn’t cost a thing.

 

3. Budgets are getting finalized

While the kiddies count the days until Santa, hiring managers are realizing they need a headcount in place for the upcoming year. As much as managers would like to slow down and put off the hiring till the new year, “There is sometimes nothing more satisfying than hiring your people to have them in place for when you return from the holidays, versus thinking about it over the holidays.” And that’s a direct quote from Procoms director of recruitment. Vacancies often materialize soon after year-end bonuses are paid, and there’s usually a rush to get the roles filled.

 

4. Great Networking Opportunities

While you’re spreading the good cheer over the holidays, be sure to also harold your candidacy. Take advantage of holiday parties with family, friends and neighbours. Making connections over the holidays opens the door for someone in your network or community that may know of an opportunity. Although a word to the wise, pulling your resume out of your bag isn’t a favoured party trick.

 

5. People tend to be friendlier during the holidays

No one wants to come off as a Scrooge, so managers are often more open to having informational meetings, and you never know where that will take you. If you do happen to meet, make sure you follow up with a ‘thank you’ note. And since it is the holidays, dropping off a small box of cookies or chocolates would make you memorable.

 

How should you be looking?

 

  • Build your online network over the holidays.

Reconnect with old friends and acquaintances on Facebook or LinkedIn and/or touch base with a recruiter you’re friendly with via a sincere greeting and a side note that you’re on the market.

  • Be Flexible and patient

There’s definitely last minute hiring happening, and managers are trying to juggle interview schedules, vacation and personal schedules– If you’re flexible when you would be able to interview, it may be the difference between you and another candidate who wasn’t. The hiring manager will also appreciate that you made his or her life a lot easier! Also, be Patient! Things can take longer.  There are Decision Makers out on vacation so it might not mean that the killer interview didn’t go well.  It might just mean that the signing authority took off for a family vacation to Florida for a week.  Follow up to show you are still interested, but don’t take the silence as lack of interest.

  • Volunteer

There are great volunteer opportunities out there that create an opportunity to meet with people you wouldn’t normally get to meet in your current sphere.  These volunteers’ roles can also turn into fulltime gigs.  They’re also very rewarding to help to build up your self-confidence and provide a sense of purpose. It will get out of the house as well as fill a gap on your resume.

 

And always remember to keep positive!

Unemployment is a temporary state. It’s not who you are and doesn’t define you, so if you keep a positive attitude during your job search, the festive season can have you singing fa la la la la into a new job in the new year.

 

 

Live over Lunch: How and why to vamp up your job search during the holiday season

live over lunch

Join us Live over Lunch for job search insights!

We’re spreading more than good cheer this holiday season!

Join Procom’s Director of Recruitment, Wendy Kennah and our expert panel of senior recruiters as they share insights on  the benefits of vamping up your job search during the holiday season.

Learn resume and interview tips and tricks to start the New Year off ahead of the competition.

Get your questions ready, and join us Live over Lunch on our Facebook Page

Job search rejection: 3 Things to be thankful for

job search rejection

Here’s the thing about a job search: Sometimes things just seem hopeless.

And sometimes it feels like you can’t even cry over spilled milk. Because the glass was more than half empty and it didn’t even have the common decency to slosh over the toppled glass like it should so you can sigh and bemoan the existence of it all.

Because you totally killed that interview. And the one before that. And that other one too, and you just can’t figure out why you’re not fitting in anywhere.

But here’s another thing about those things: You don’t have to clean up what doesn’t spill.  And a “good luck” email doesn’t mean good riddance. So in the spirit of giving thanks, here are some things you can be thankful for even when your job search seems lost.

  1. Getting feedback

You may not be able to abra cadabra yourself into a fly on the hiring manager’s wall, but if you’re working with a recruiter, you basically have a microphone taped under the desk. A hiring manager won’t tell you why you weren’t chosen, but they will tell your recruiter. And this is the gold found within the silver lining. Turn these insights into action and use the interviewing experience to your advantage. Did the hiring manager relay that you seemed disengaged, weren’t dressed the part or seemed to lack the experience? Cool. You know what to work on going into the next interview.

  1. Figuring out what you actually want

Be honest with yourself. Did you really picture working at that company? Look past the employment part itself and think about the actual work. You may answer YES! I REALLY WANTED THAT JOB! Or… if you’re pushed a bit to reflect, maybe it really just appealed to you because you have the skill set and don’t have a job. Did the company share your values? Could you see yourself thriving in their corporate culture? Would you enjoy working with the types of employees that work there? Sometimes, we concentrate too hard on the rejection part that we forget that we have to accept the position also. Often when you realize what you don’t want, it makes it easier to work towards what you do. The rejection could really be an affirmation that you need to follow your gut, so you aren’t wasting your time or theirs.

  1. Capitalizing on extra time

It may seem like you have a lot of extra time on your hands these days. But instead of feeling down or unproductive, take advantage of the freedom. Set a job search schedule where you prioritize your resume, follow ups and interviews on a daily basis, and then pencil in time for yourself. It’s easy to fall into the thought that If you aren’t attached to job boards and your email that you aren’t being productive in your search. But when you do land your dream role, chances are you’ll be quite busy. So volunteer at that place you’ve always wanted to. Visit friends or family that you haven’t seen in a while. Or go see that movie you’ve been dying to watch. When you’re happy in your personal life, you’re way more motivated to excel in your professional one.

Don’t let a dark cloud eclipse your job search. Remember, there’s always a bright side.

Hiring managers: What you say vs. What they hear in a job interview

Employment.

Unless your daily sustainability is derived from the proverbial silver spoon- we all need it.

9-5 isn’t so bad if you’ve found out what you like doing best, and then found someone to pay you for it. Yet how does one go about securing such a desirable existence?

Well, unfortunately, it most likely requires subjection to a particular level of scrutiny. And although you may posses a particular set of skills, it’s indeed possible to succumb to an unfortunate bout verbal gymnastics if you’re nervous in the hot seat.

Press play to find out the most common “What you say vs. What they hear in a job interview” as posted by FastCompany, and then don’t say what they do…. or say what they don’t.

….Because no one really has time to argue semantics on a Monday. Motivation people. Motivation.

 

Freelancing in America: 2016 – Test your freelance facts!

 


Transferable skills: Here’s how to use them.

transferable skillsSo 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 Throwback Thursday… and although the correlation is tenuous at best, inspiration is inspiration. Right?

So, whether you’re a recent grad lacking experience or experienced in the workforce but seeking a career change, try listing these transferable soft skills on your resume to communicate you’ve got the skills for tech super stardom.

 

Transferable soft skills

  1. Analytical/research proficiency

Being able to look at data and draw conclusions from the numbers, whether its monitoring web traffic to website performance, is a primary skill for IT professionals. Entire careers revolve around these solutions, and these kinds of skills deal with your ability to assess a situation and gather more information if needed.

How to demonstrate on your resume:

  • Mention any tools that directly relate to research and analysis like Microsoft Excel or Google Analytics.
  • Describe any experience with a client where you analyzed any data sets, compiled reports or wrote any content for a tech site. Remember a client could still be a friend, family member or acquaintance.

Example: Analyzed client’s metrics across social media platforms for weekly reporting, resulting in implementation of new content marketing strategy.

 

  1. Ability to multi-task

Being able to prioritize multiple tasks and quickly adapt to managing assignments and budgets is extremely important in tech. There are often bug fixes and updates that need to be made- some of which could be crucial to the organization’s bottom line. Knowing which task to prioritize is a crucial skill to have.

How to demonstrate on your resume:

  • Mention any project management and/or productivity tools you’ve used like Asana, Basecamp, Evernote, Google Drive, etc.
  • Highlight any experience where you’ve taken on a leadership role in project/team management where you’ve handled multiple tasks at once.

Example: Managed social media scheduling across platforms with Hootsuite as well as formatted and scheduled all upcoming blog posts in WordPress, increasing traffic by 15%.

 

  1. Ability to innovate and problem solve (creatively)

Taking a creative approach to problem solving shows you’re a forward-thinking worker who envisions preventing glitches before they even happen. Highlighting creative skills where you were able to troubleshoot issues “outside the box” in ways in which others have not thought of brings a fresh perspective to any project or team.

How to demonstrate on resume:

  • Highlight ideas you’ve implemented in previous roles.
  • List any troubleshooting solutions you’ve implemented that no one else brought forward.

Example: Developed a new website analytic tracking process to better monitor growth and revenue streams

 

  1. Teamwork

Regardless of any position you’ve held, you must be able to communicate and work with others to achieve the company’s goals. Even freelancers need to communicate with designers and other team members.

How to demonstrate on resume:

  • Highlight any communication tools you’ve used like Slack, HipChat, Google Hangout or Skype.
  • List collaborative aspects of your roles and the outcome of great team work.

Example: Collaborated internally with coordinators, as well as communicated progress externally with customers, delivering project ahead of schedule and on budget.

 

  1. Process planning and organizing

Are you “that person” with a detailed desk calendar, who plans the quarter before it starts? Do you use ready-to-go templates and checklists? You want to demonstrate that you’re organized and professional in thought, communication and workflow.

How to demonstrate on your resume:

  • Highlight specific organizational tools you use like Asana, Basecamp or Trello. And list any management processes you’ve used like Scrum.
  • As a freelancer or Contractor, highlight your project workflow

  Example: Worked alongside the content marketing manager to establish and execute a schedule for upcoming blog posts, increasing website traffic by 15%

The road to tech superstardom is getting closer! Stay tuned for part two of landing your first job in tech with the relatively easy digital skills to become familiar with and how to demonstrate them on your resume.

(Not so obvious) job interview tips

waiting for an interview

No matter how many jobs or contracts you’ve had, it’s hard to get really good at interviews because we just don’t do enough of them.  It is easy to forget between contracts or perm employment opportunities what you did right the first time around and what may have lost you the role, so we’ve put together a list of (not so obvious) interview tips right from our Procom recruiters.

What tips and tricks are out there for being a great interviewee?

In-person tips!

  1. Review on LinkedIn who you’re meeting
  • What roles have they had in the past?
  • What similar connections might you have?
  • Come Prepared by reviewing the Job Description and researching anything current in the news about the product/service offering, etc.

2. Know your own resume

  • Don’t read from your resume
  • Be confident in the projects you have worked, your accountabilities
  • Speak to the Project overall but be specific about personal achievements and not speak about the team (we)

3.  Dress For Success

  • Make sure you are Appropriately Dressed- it is better to come over dressed than under dressed to the Interview
  • Shine your Shoes
  • Don’t wear heavy scents/perfume
  • Shower/Groom prior to the interview

4. Be on time

  • Arrive to your destination 30 minutes early, announce yourself 10 min early
  • Avoids stress of running late for traffic or transit delays
  • Not running to interview or time to call agency or reception if can’t find
  • Don’t announce too early because the other person feels guilty waiting to receive you

5. Don’t bring a Coffee/Food to Interview

  • Come Prepared as a professional for meeting, this is not a coffee shop. They may offer a drink but don’t bring your own
  • Don’t chew gum
  • Don’t have anything beeping, vibrating, etc.
  • Do Bring 3-5 Copies of your resume that has been tailored for this job by yourself or the Agency Recruiter
  • Do turn off your Phone

6. Make a Positive Impression in the First 5 Minutes

  • Be Friendly/Alert
  • Have a firm handshake- no limp fish or hand breaker
  • Be on the same non-verbal page as the interviewer- sit up straight, don’t slouch, look in the eyes

7. Have some solid examples Ready

  • Weakness
  • Strength
  • Success
  • Failure
  • Turnaround Strategy

8. Never Be Negative about an Ex Employer

  • Always talk about what experiences you took from another project/company

9. Be Clear and Concise

  • Make your point and stop talking
  • Ask qualifying questions if you don’t understand

10. Be An Analyst

Clients only hire if they have some kind of need, so identify the problem and sell yourself as the solution. If you don’t know something, explain how you can learn it.

  • What transferable skills do you have that could apply?
  •  If you have partial skills- talk about the 50% you know well but don’t pretend on the other 50%!

11. Have questions prepared

  • Don’t ask questions that have already been answered
  • “Are there parts of my experience you need me to qualify?”
  • Sum up the interview by expressing interest in the role
  • Close Strong

 

Phone Interview Tips

  • Make sure won’t be interrupted
  • Smile when you Talk
  • Look in a Mirror
  • Moderate your Pace- take deep breaths
  • Don’t Interrupt- harder with no non verbal queues
  • Careful not to drone on
  • Ask if they want more Details

Skype Interview Tips

  • Make sure Skype Name is professional and your picture is appropriate
  • Dress like you would for normal interview
  • Avoid unprofessional or distracting backgrounds
  • Test your Connection
  • Make Eye Contact with Camera
  • Be aware of background noise
  • Good Posture

 

 

3 Reasons why different is better than better

magical unicorn Continuously striving to achieve perfection must be an exhausting exercise. It’s suspected that one can almost correlate the experience to trying to capture some type of fabled, elusive beast.

Like a Unicorn perhaps. Or maybe a Minotaur.

And like perfection… does either exist?

And perhaps it’s rather unfair to unleash such a bold question on an unsuspecting Thursday, but nothing legendary comes from treading lightly.

So, let us venture further to say that being great isn’t great enough.

Sure, that may seem like an intolerable thought for some to ponder, so let us pose this question instead: If being unique isn’t the greatest asset we have, or the stuff legends are made of: Why is a horse with a horn on its head such a magical creature?

So don’t be better. Be different, here’s why:

“The best” is temporary

Being considered the best at something is a rather flimsy advantage that can be surpassed in a heartbeat by someone with a bigger following, or a lower price point, who flashes a fancier degree or has the nicest car. And somewhere along the road in your career, there’s always the risk of that technically better fit person popping up like the plague with their better technical skills ready and willing to be bandied about.

But here’s the thing about those things: People do business with people, and they do it with the ones they like. Anyone can offer a similar product or service, but no one can deliver the same experience. How you make an employer, coworker or customer feel during the interaction is what’s going to make you stand out.

Being better can hold you back

It’s easy to be blind to innovation when you’re scared to push the boundaries, but “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” didn’t invent the iPhone. Fear manacles you to mediocrity, and if your mind is set on being the best at the old way of doing things, someone else will be the one to discover a way to do it differently. And he or she is going to be the one who will be remembered. So don’t invest all your energy in being like everyone else. Carving out your own niche and positioning yourself as an early market adaptor will set you ahead of the competition.

If no one knows, no one cares

You can have a really good idea. Like… a really, really good, mankind changing, world-evolving, earth shattering, post-apocalyptic cure for the human race type of idea, and no one will care if they don’t know about it. The best ideas—or the best people—can’t win if they fail to stand out in the first place.

Allow us to relate a tale: Two similar Candidates, with two similar resumes, applied to the same role. Candidate A’s resume was sent through email along with 250 other resumes. She was a perfect technical fit, with exceptional experience and an impressive portfolio.

Candidate B’s resume showed that he wasn’t as great as a technical fit as Candidate A, but he also had exceptional experience and an impressive portfolio. Instead of sending in a resume however, like Candidate A, this magical Unicorn of a Candidate stapled his resume to the top of a pizza box and sent it on over to the agency during lunch time. If you don’t stand out, no one remembers—even if you’re the best.

Who do you think got the gig?

The moral of the story here folks, is not that everyone likes pizza, or Minotaurs or magical Unicorns, it’s that standing out and being different is what will get you in with the same like-minded, mad individuals that make the impossible possible in our world devoid of such fabled elusive beasts.

 

 

5 interview mistakes that will kill your career chances : The Halloween edition

Tricks for treats are never a guarantee, and tasteless tricks can be downright poisonous—especially when it comes to a job interview.

Unprofessional behavior can kill your career chances faster than a bad movie can massacre an awesome franchise—remember wanting to watch Jason X?

(No? EXACTLY!) Because Jason had no business being in space.

Surviving a job interview is like surviving a horror movie: There are very specific rules. Avoid making these monstrous mistakes that would land your resume in the same bin as James Issac’s 2001 cinematic catastrophe (who hasn’t directed anything other than C-list, straight to DVDs since, by the way)…

See where we’re going here?

  1. Showing up too early or too late

Strolling in too late is an obvious no-go. But over-eager beavers can also leave a negative impression. Being too early or late says you don’t respect the interviewer’s time, who still has a full day of his or her own work to do.

Golden horror rule of survival: Never run up the stairs

Give yourself enough time. Plan to be in the reception area with 10-15 minutes to spare. You don’t want to have to run back home (and up the stairs) if you forgot something.

2. Wearing the wrong attire

There’s a difference between standing out and being too distracting. If your clothes are too casual or too revealing, it may offend the hiring manager. For men and women both, it’s generally a good idea to know your field, know your geography and default to a suit if you’re not sure and aren’t willing to risk making a bad impression.

Golden horror rule of survival: Pay attention to your surroundings

If the usual office attire is a designer suit with a pocket square, then wear that to your job interview. If the usual work wear is jeans and rock and roll t-shirts, wear a button-down shirt and khakis with no tie. Also, get plenty of sleep the night before, no one wants to wake up like the walking dead.

3. Being a know-it-all or getting too familiar

An interview is a business conversation. Business. Having great experience combined with an outgoing personality can be a huge asset—as long as you don’t use it to sound like you’re bragging or trying to become too familiar with the hiring manager.

 

Golden horror rule of survival: Don’t be the jerk

Discuss your achievements in a team-centered way. Sharing credit for your accomplishments can minimize the potential for seeming arrogant. Remember, no matter how casual the interview may be, no swearing (even if they do), no family talk and no personal problems. And never, ever bad mouth your previous employer.

4. Bizarre body language

From eye contact to posture, to the way you play with your hair: It all matters. Nervous is normal, but the energy will distract from the interview.  If you fidget easily, avoid rings, watches, jewelry and wearing your hair down. If it’s not there, you wan’t play with it.

Golden horror rule of survival: Listen to the old lady

Sit up straight like mom taught and don’t fuss. You want to appear open and approachable, so don’t fold your arms across your chest or stare off into space. It’s also important to note that nobody trusts the one with the shifty eyes. That’s just a general life rule.

5. Being caught unprepared 

Researching your potential place of employment is a no-brainer, but making an inventory of your own experience and accomplishments will help you evaluate if the role and company culture is a good fit. Creating your talent inventory refreshes your memory and helps you remember experiences you would otherwise have forgotten.

Golden horror rule of survival: Don’t go alone

Write down a list of questions and bring them with you into your job interview. Having no questions is a red flag that you’re not interested and not prepared. Interviewers are more impressed by the questions you ask than the selling points you try to make. Don’t be caught unprepared, unaware or unsuspecting!

A bad interview can kill your job search— if you let it. So be a survivor. Follow the rules.

Allow yourself to succeed with these 3 tips

success ball and chain Allow may seem like an awkward verb to use when trying to correlate success and personal action.

Because we all strive towards it, right-so why would we hold ourselves back?

It’s a thought too heavy to ponder perhaps on a Monday, so let’s just instead concentrate on the things we may not even realize we’re concentrating on. Because sometimes we can only really move forward when we find out what’s actually holding us back.

Alas, could it be you? Could you be the barrier in your own road to success? Bypass any success misconceptions to achieve yours by realizing these things:

  1. Persistence is far more important than perfection

How many times have you felt as though the progression towards your goal was “taking too long?”

It’s a misconception that plagues us all, but the key to bringing your plan into fruition is to accept that persistence pays off, and perfection is often an illusion. Whether you’re looking to advance your career, deliver a project or attain a new position, take a step back and realize how far you’ve come. Congratulating yourself on goal milestones will give you the extra pep in your step to get you to where you need to be.

  1. Others should be your guides, not your goals

“The grass isn’t always greener,” “Keeping up with the Joneses….” we’ve all heard the sayings. But have we actually listened to them? Our role models help us mold ourselves, both personally and professionally, and of course we should try to exemplify the similar traits in our own lives that make them successful in theirs. Birds of a feather flock together, right? You must remember though, you are your own unique self, with your own individual timeline and your own personal goals. Don’t get too caught up with someone else’s path or you could lose sight of your own.

  1. You’re not giving up because you’re starting over

I Thomas Edison imparted those wise words of wisdom, and he was a pretty smart guy. He also never gave up. Even when others told him to. (And then there was light!)

It’s easy to get frustrated when we’ve decided on a path that ends up twisting and turning with unexpected bumps along the way. But don’t get defeated when things don’t turn out the way you expected them to right away. Even if you decide to hit the pause button until you found the right move to push yourself forward, remember: that’s okay.

Motivation can be found in many different ways and in many different forms, but when you find what works for you, keep it close. Life is a long journey.

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, www.procom.ca, 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 courtneyj@Procom.ca .

XX

Courtney Jones

courtneyj@procom.ca

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.