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Would your resume get past an Applicant Tracking System?

 


 

PROCOM WINS INAVERO’S 2017 BEST OF STAFFING® CLIENT AND TALENT AWARD!

best of staffing

Procom Group of Companies

WINS INAVERO’S 2017 BEST OF STAFFING®

CLIENT AND TALENT AWARD

Procom receives award earned by less than two per cent of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada!

 

TORONTO, ON – February 16, 2017 — Procom Group of Companies, a leader in North America’s contract workforce management industry, announced today it has won Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Client and Talent  Award for providing superior customer service to both Clients and Talent.

Presented in partnership with CareerBuilder, Inavero’s Best of Staffing winners are chosen from staffing firms across North America based on Client and Talent satisfaction ratings.  Winners of the Best of Staffing designation make up less than two per cent of all staffing agencies in the United States and Canada. 

Procom received positive satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 out of a 10 point scale from both Clients and Talent, placing it significantly above the staffing industry average and amongst the best performing staffing firms in North America.  “Procom is honoured to be a recipient of the Best of Staffing award,” says Frank McCrea, founder and president of Procom Group of Companies. “Procom prides itself on operating with a true commitment the highest level of customer service.  An award chosen by our Clients, Candidates and Contractors demonstrates their trust in us and reflects our pledge to helping them in growing their businesses and careers.”

“Leaders of growing companies are more committed than ever to staying flexible in this stable yet volatile market, making staffing firms the most viable employment partnership,” adds Inavero’s CEO Eric Gregg. “Finding the best staffing partner with a proven commitment to service excellence can be really tough. BestofStaffing.com is the place to find the winning agencies that place talent with the skills you need in your city, province or state.”

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About Procom

Procom is one of North America’s leading staffing and contract workforce services providers. A privately held company, Procom is deeply committed to continuous growth and improvement to the benefit of our Clients and our Consultants.

Successfully meeting the needs of Fortune 500 clients since 1978, Procom has 14 offices across North America, with over 8,500 skilled professionals currently on assignment.

About Inavero
Inavero administers more staffing agency client and talent satisfaction surveys than any other firm in the world. Inavero’s team reports on over 1.2 million satisfaction surveys from staffing agency clients and talent each year and the company serves as the American Staffing Association’s exclusive service quality partner.
About Inavero’s Best of Staffing

Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Award is the only award in the U.S. and Canada that recognizes staffing agencies that have proven superior service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients and job candidates. Award winners are showcased by city and area of expertise on BestofStaffing.com – an online resource for hiring professionals and job seekers to find the best staffing agencies to call when they are in need.

For more information:

Wendy Kennah, director, recruiting

wendyk@procom.ca

416.545.5207

Are you holding yourself back? Here’s how to allow yourself to succeed…

steps to success

 

Motivation on a Monday can seem like a Kardashian spin-off on any given day, undesirable, lackluster and more often than not, the interest just isn’t there.

And the word 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?

Instead of Keeping up with the Kardashians, let’s instead keep these motivators in mind so we can stay on top of what’s keeping us back:

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 striving towards achieving your goal(s).

Others should be your guides, not your goals
“The grass isn’t always greener….”  We’ve all heard the saying. But have we actually listened to what it means? 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.

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

 

…….(And it’s still okay to binge watch the Kardashians……)

8 Resume resolutions we hope you kept!

applying to jobs

 

It’s February. And it’s cold. Or it seems like everyone has a cold. The sun persists in playing a sneaky game of hide-and-seek; and it’s the same kind of game that the January gym goers are tempted to tag along with. Do I stay or do I go?

Because here’s the thing: 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. So if finding a contract was on your radar in the New Year, these are some resume resolutions we hope you kept.

 

  1. COMPLETE CONTACT DETAILS

It sounds like an obvious, but a lack of contact details is something recruiters see more often than not. You always want to include your full address, email and mobile number on each page of your resume, specifically ensuring your postal code is listed. Recruiters use something called a radial search by postal codes when they’re scanning for candidates, and if yours isn’t listed, you don’t exist.

 

  1. KEY WORDS

Never use a blanket approach when it comes to your resume and applying to positions. Instead, take the time to tailor your application to each company you apply to.

Ensuring a resume is keyword-rich and addresses the specific needs of each job posting will help increase the chance of  yours getting passed Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and into the recruiter or hiring manager’s hands. Resume keywords are the skills and qualifications used in the original job description, and the more times each pops out on your resume, the more likely you are to have in-depth knowledge of the technology or skill in the eye of a perspective employer.

However, simply using any form of these keywords will not win the robot war. They must be formatted to echo the original job description exactly— to an ATS, there’s a difference between “Microsoft Word,” “MS Word” and “Word.”  When it comes to your job description, a “marketing coordinator” will find his or her way into an interview room before a “branding ninja” will even be noticed by the resume robots.

 

  1. CONSISTENCY

There’s only one you, and here’s a secret, every resume you send to a recruiter is kept on file. For-ev-er. So if you’re sending in multiple CVs with different dates, companies and titles – and they don’t match your LinkedIn profile or other resumes, there’s probably going to be a perceived honesty issue.

 

  1. THE 3 Cs

Keep your resume clean, clear and concise.

You may work hard, but you want your resume to be easy to read, so leave enough white space in between each position and remove any logos or photos. Highlight your work experience in reverse chronological order to demonstrate your work progression, and keep the length to 4-6 pages max!

Determining resume relevancy is best left up to the robots and recruiters, so don’t attempt to stand out by bolding irrelevant words that will only negatively distract the eye—the same goes for different fonts and colours. Keep formatting simple!

 

  1. PROOFREADING!

Your resume is your professional first impression—and a direct reflection on your attention to detail and written communication skills. Use spell check! And after you’ve done that, check it again yourself. And after that, send it to someone you trust for another pair of fresh eyes.

 

  1. BEING 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.

 

    7… AND VERIFIABLE

In this day and age, you can’t run. And with social media, references and everything else on the interweb, you can’t hide things that really aren’t there either. Don’t put on your resume that you’re PMP certified if you’ve let your PMP lapse or include a magical undergrad degree that you never quite finished.  Lying isn’t conducive to employment!

 

  1. AVOID ASSUMPTIONS

Last but not least, remember: If it isn’t on your resume, it doesn’t exist! Don’t assume that because you’re a Business Analyst that recruiters and hiring managers will automatically know you’re involved in UAT and have written BRD’s. If you don’t say it on your resume, people won’t assume that you have it.

 

In order to win the resume war, you need to first battle the bots, and an ATS will automatically eliminate over 70% of resumes before a recruiter or hiring manager will ever lay a human hand on one. Use these tips to ensure yours sees the light of day.

 

Procom sponsored curlers are going for gold!

winning team

Procom KW is a proud sponsor of Team Mooibroek! These boys have had an exciting season so far and are currently ranked #1 on the U18 Ontario Curling Tour and #10 on the U21 Tour!

 

Team Mooibroek is also fresh off a big win this past weekend at the Toronto Cricket Club, taking home the title at Stu Sells U18 Slam!

 

Procom KW is proud to support the team as they prepare for the U18 Qualifiers that lead to the provincial championship and hopefully the U18 Nationals being held in Moncton, NB in April!

Good luck Team Mooibroek from Procom!

 

We want to know what matters most to you!

Let us know!

We want to find you the contract you deserve, so we need to know what’s most important to you when you’re looking for one!

What’s your #1 deciding factor?

what matters most

On demand is in demand: 3 Tips to retain talented contingent workers

how to retain top talent

 

Remember when a little unknown company by the name of Netflix emerged back in the early 2000’s? Some people were curious, others were dubious, and now over a decade or so later, more than 50 million members globally subscribe to the on-demand media streaming giant.

There’s a visible trend emerging in the talent-recruitment world, and with over 40 per cent of the U.S. workforce comprised of contingent workers, studies show that companies are following the Netflix business model: On-demand workers are in high-demand.

The contingent workforce typically encompasses a set of highly skilled IT specialists and Consultants to light-industrial workers, and this growing number of multi-faceted talent is rapidly changing the way organizations are doing business. According to a recent report released by supply management firm, Ardent Partners, 92 per cent of enterprises indicated non-traditional staffing was a vital to moderate part of their overall corporate strategy. By this year, contingent workers; including Independent Contractors, statement-of-work-based labour and freelancers will account for almost 45 per cent of the world’s total workforce.

For many businesses, non-traditional staffing offers a way to tamp down on costs while acquiring skilled but scarce talent. A contingent worker may be pricey, but the cost is temporary—making them much more palatable to a bottom line.

So, the plusses for businesses add up; but for contingent workers who frequently have to answer the question of where the rent money or mortgage payment is coming from each month, there lay a distinct discrepancy.

How do you keep temporary talent from jumping ship?

The first mistake businesses make is the assumption that contingent workers are happy to wait until their current contract expires to discuss a new deal. Wrong! A recent study from Procom shows that while still on assignment, 31 per cent of contingent workers are always looking for another opportunity elsewhere. Are you doing everything you can as a business to keep contingent workers engaged? Try these tips for reducing turnover of contingent staff:

  1. Next steps discussions

Like every type of employee, contingent workers desire certainty, and if they don’t have it with their current employer, they will look elsewhere for security. When a contract begins, automatically set up “next steps” discussions at the midpoint and subsequent midpoints until the contract expires. At each discussion provide details about upcoming opportunities, and be clear as to whether or not there is a possibility that the assignment would be extended.

  1. Recognize their value

Inclusion is key. Appreciating the unique needs of a contingent worker involves an up-front effort to ensure inclusion in the workplace. Although they can’t be identified and treated as full-time employees, avoid creating subcultures between full time staff and your contingent workforce. A Contractor knows his or her position may be eliminated at a given time, and their salaries and any other perks are pre-determined compared to those of full-time employees; they’re not as incentivized as the rest of the staff. As an employer, businesses can’t be careless or apathetic when dealing with a contingent workforce. To remain motivated, productive and inclined to stay or return for future projects, contingent workers need to feel as though they are part of the team and not just temporary bodies in a seat.

  1. Develop and maintain close communication with your staffing agency

Staffing agencies are your third party connector, and they make it their business to know yours, as well as their Contractors. Ask to be kept in the loop with their surveys within the labour pool, so you can have feedback as to what you can do or do differently to hold on to your talent in the future. Do some companies invite their contingent staff to company events and Christmas parties? These perks can increase engagement, word-of-mouth referrals and inspire intention to return for future projects.

 

At the end of the day, when it comes to the contingent workforce, there’s a clear correlation between the basic human regard awarded Contractors and their subsequent intention to stay for the duration of their entire assignment, perform at their highest level and return for future projects. Treating temporary staff in line with the true value they contribute to your business will pay off by way of retention.

Monday Motivation: 7 Office Space traits that will get you promoted

Some have vilified him; others still celebrate him, but whether you loathed or loved when Ron Livingston Jack Berger broke up with Carrie Bradshaw with the infamous 7 word post-it note, you’ve got to admit: Ron is kind of a boss. He’s clearly wise in the ways of concise communication and in making definitive decisions; he keeps good company and takes action. All in all, he knows how to work the world and the workplace.

How’s that for some Monday Motivation?

So if you, too, seek to achieve awesome in life and at the office, ask yourself, “What would Ron do?”

(Or try these 7 tips in honour of one of the best movies of all time.)

1. Always be looking to create opportunities to improve your workplace.
Because you’re inventive. And innovation matters.

WWRD: See a better way of doing things? Master the ability to maximize your workplace value by continuously looking for ways to expand your sphere of ingenuity throughout the organization.

2. Ask for more responsibility 

WWRD: If your skill set could benefit a specific project or different parts of the organization, offer to collaborate. It will demonstrate your desire to extend your skills and position within the company. More responsibility also increases your knowledge-base and puts a spotlight on your value to the organization– and that’s good. Unless that spotlight is from a florescent bulb.

No one looks good in florescent lighting.  (In the case of actual said lighting, see number 1 about improving workplace conditions.)

3. Don’t skip the office party. No matter how lame you think it will be.

WWRD: Don’t miss out on the chance to socialize with co-workers because you don’t want to “mix business with pleasure.” You’re basically skipping out on a chance to learn more about office news (and we mean news, not gossip), alienating yourself from people who you spend 8 hours a day with. Who gets remembered when it comes time for an advantageous project or reward? Not what’s his or her face who never shows up.

However, copious libations are frowned upon–employee discretion is advised.

4. Be a team player

WWRD: Hold up your end. Don’t call yourself a team player and then balk at having to pitch in on other projects. Complaining is futile; ask how you can help instead. Being a team player builds your reputation, and making  thoughtful decisions and having honest interactions with others is significantly noticed.

(But don’t do this. This is a bad decision.)

Speaking of bad decisions…

5. Be drama free 

WWRD: Office environments mean you have to work closely with different personalities. Don’t like a co-worker? Your boss doesn’t or want to care. Unless there’s a real problem, keep your co-worker complaints to yourself. Bringing drama to the workplace implies your maturity level isn’t worthy of the next step.

6. Quantify your results 

WWRD: Those who get results get ahead (unless you have a horrid personality, no one wants to work for someone who can’ t get along with others). Keeping records of what you’ve done to enhance the company’s bottom line puts you and your department in the good books. It not only shows your value but also your loyalty and commitment to the organization.

7. Practice self-promotion

WWRD: Modesty is a virtue, sure, but if no one knows of your greatness, you wont get ahead. Let it be known if you’ve created an award winning program or achieved another worthy goal. Use performance appraisals not just to go over your accomplishments, but to talk with your boss about potential advancement opportunities. Sell yourself!

And remember, if these 7 tips don’t help you land the promotion, the post-it could also always help you leave to find another opportunity:

Now set forth, and achieve the level of greatness you’re capable of.

Could your social media profiles cost you a contract?

Are you socially savvy in your job search? Take our Friday Fun Quiz to find out!


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