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Archive for the ‘Job Search Strategy’ Category

Well another year has come to a close; and yep it’s time to settle into more of a regular routine. For those employed it means back to work, for those in career transition it means back to the search for a new opportunity. Here are ten tips to help jumpstart the job search:

1. Start with a clean slate – if you have your sights set on certain companies who were not responsive last year try again this year. Requirements change and for a number of companies it is a new budget year. Don’t be shy.
2. Network, Network, Network. It is the most effective way to jumpstart a job search. Reach out to old co-worker, managers or supervisors. If you belong to groups or associations let the members know who you are and what you are all about. If you do not belong to a group or association consider joining one. Networking is the best way to become and stay visible.
3. Another way to become and stay visible is to volunteer. Think of activities you enjoy and volunteer. What better way to help motivate others and yourself?
4. If you have a profile on Linkedin be sure it depicts your key competencies and strengths. Recruiters use Linkedin on a daily basis as a search engine to find qualified candidates. Make sure they can find you by using the appropriate business and technical key words in your profile.
5. If you are in career transition and do not have a profile on Linkedin consider setting one up immediately for the reasons outlined above.
6. Review your resume with fresh eyes. Does it contain a Profile/Summary, list of business competencies and technical skills at eye level? Does the Profile/Summary do a good job of introducing who you are, your successes and strengths? Does it do a good job of capturing the reader’s interest? Is there just enough to entice the reader for more?
7. Remember a Profile/Summary is never written in first person i.e. “I am an experienced Human Resources Professional”. “I possess 10 years of IT experience within the telecommunication industry”. It is your resume so “I” is implied.
8. They say it takes about a month of consist effort to develop a new behaviour. So for that month don’t take “No” for an answer. Stays focused and remember to take one day at a time.
9. Practice the P.U.S.H. philosophy “Push Until Something Happens”. Remember most rejections are not personal so remain determined. After all, Colonel Sanders was 65 years old when he decided to sell his chicken recipe. He was confident restaurants would be lining up for his special recipe. However, Colonel Sanders was turned down 1,009 times before getting his first “yes” – it took determination and the ability to push until he made something happen.
10. Most of all – build fun activities and laughter into each day. Take time to exhale – control the search don’t let it control you.

OK I know what you’re saying – there is nothing new here Lee – same stuff just a different year and of course you’d be right – the ten tips are more of a refresher. However the key is how to incorporate these tips into a successful job search strategy. Because searching for a job takes time, commitment, focus and perseverance. There are no shortcuts; and unfortunately 95% of companies continue to use the same old sourcing and selection processes – posting jobs, internet searches, reviewing resumes and conducting interviews.

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources and Master Trainer in behavioural interviewing. She is an expert in Selection, Recruitment and Career Transition Management.

As an Employment Consultant I come into contact with senior level individuals in career transition. Most have held President, Vice President or Director positions in mid to large size companies. When an upper level executive is outplaced the company will most often provide some type of an outplacement package. It is very important to take full advantage of these outplacement services; it can be a life line in starting to prepare for the next career opportunity. Yes, being laid off is a stressful experience; and more so for senior level management. It is quite an adjustment, especially if the individual has been with the company for 10-15+ years. Learning how to search for a job in today’s market is a job in itself.

There are services available for all individuals in career transition. Employment Ontario is a government funded program which offers many good services; however, it may fall short when trying to assist the executive with his/her job search. This type of job search involves strategic sourcing, planning and networking, not to mention a very professional looking resume which mirrors the Linkedin profile.
Below are 10 Helpful Hints:
1. Take advantage of all industry related associations.
2. Update Linkedin profile and join appropriate groups – stay visible.
3. Network, Network, Network. A suggestion may be to join a reputable networking team. The Power Team offered through ConnectUs Canada is motivational, Innovational and chalked full of networking. There is a small fee but it is well worth it.
4. If the severance package contains outplacement – use those consultants to help build your professional profile and resume.
5. Some outplacement firms also offer business level workshops on a variety of different topics.
6. Join a local executive networking club – most are informal and get together for coffee once a week.
7. Conduct research on reputable Executive Search Firms, place a call and initiate a conversation with one of the partners.
8. Prepare an Introduction Letter – it is different from the resume. It introduces your competencies, knowledge and abilities.
9. Target companies by utilizing Scott’s Directory or other Business Directories and send the Introduction Letter – not a resume.
10. Above all stay Positive and remember to P.U.S.H. (Push Until Something Happens).

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources and recognized as an expert in selection, recruitment and career transition management

As an Employment Consultant I work with Internationally Trained Professionals, new Canadians who have immigrated to Canada. They are filled with hope and anticipation of a better life and Canada does deliver socially with loads of government funded programs to help the new Canadian ease into a new life.

Unfortunately the government has not been able to change the employer’s perspective; there still exists the paradox of “Canadian experience”. All too often the new Canadian bumps up against “no Canadian experience” as the reason they are not qualified for a potential role.

As a result, too many new Canadians give up on their profession and take a lower level job because they need the income. Some do persevere, finding out what it will take to have their degree and experience recognized in Canada. Ontario has very strict guidelines for certain professions like teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc. For those new Canadians who have solid work experience in their home country in other professions such as Medical Administrative Assistant – they should invest in some type of training program which offers a Canadian diploma or certification. The following list is key to success:
1. They need to get his/her English assessed, to be considered job ready, an individual needs to be at a level 7-8.
2. They need to get an education evaluation through WES (World Education Services) or ICAS (International Credential Assessment Service of Canada). This can be started while still in their home country.
3. They need to research International Trained Bridging programs to see what it will take to bridge their experience. There is a cost associated, depending on the program.
4. Internationally trained professionals should research and participate in volunteer opportunities to help gain visibility and to become more familiar with the Canadian job market.
5. They need to do the research and put together a strategic plan which will result in their education and experience being recognized in Ontario.
Contrary to popular believe, it is not easy for new Canadians to find a job – especially in the Province of Ontario. As an employment consultant I encourage internationally trained professionals to follow the list above.

A subset of this strategic plan might be a temporary part-time job in sales, customer service or retail to help pay the bills – optimum words being “part-time”. Too many new Canadians get stuck in a full time survival job and as time passes lose the opportunity to capitalize on their international education and expertise.
I have personally witnessed the success of International Trained Professionals who create a strategic plan and follow it step by step until they are offered a professional position which capitalizes on their education and home country experience. It can and will happen with patience and determination.

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and is an expert in selection, recruitment and career transition management.

There is a theory circulating that the Resume is on its way out. Over the past six months there seems to be a lot of chatter on the internet. In fact, during a training session 2 weeks ago the facilitator insisted there is no longer a need for the resume. It was not clear exactly what is replacing the resume but did make me ponder this paradox. Hmm, I have been in the recruitment and selection industry for over 25 years and the resume has always been a key part of the process. However, I will be the first to admit that things do change, not always for the better, but they do change.

Of course, I realize this is only my opinion so I set out to conduct research to see what other recruiters and hiring managers think. I spoke to a multitude of people – asking the same questions – “Do you think the resume is on its way out?” and the response was an overwhelming “No”. In fact, Carolina Diaz, Senior Recruiter at Ian Martin says “I have yet to see a substitute for the resume. The hiring managers I work with want to review the resume”. She goes on to say “the format of the resume may have changed, i.e. more attention is given to the “Summary” at the top of the resume outlining key strengths and competencies”. I would definitely agree. Like it or not the “Objective” is outdated and the “Summary” is a value add replacement. A summary or profile situated directly under the heading (eye level) to whoever is reviewing the resume is very important. If done properly, it should catch the reader’s attention creating the interest for more information.

According to Laura Machan, Partner Talent Acquisition at Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions “until I see a substitute the resume will remain a critical part of the hiring process”. Laura goes on to say that in her business she must maintain a strong relationship with her clients in order to be able to help recruit and select the right talent. Once she has done her due diligence, Laura will pick up a phone and have a one-on-one conversation with the hiring authority; however the resume is still a key piece of the process.

Doug Alexander, VP and General Manager at Wing’s Foods states “the resume is the candidate’s business card and an essential tool in candidate selection.” Doug agrees that an effective pre-screen is also required; however the resume is a key piece of the hiring process. Doug questions how a candidate would introduce themselves to a potential employer if not for the resume?

Charolene Hollister, HR Coordinator at Amdocs comments on the fact that the hiring managers at Amdocs want to see a resume. However she acknowledged that the corporate recruiters are required to conduct a thorough pre-screen and only pass on qualified applicants. When an applicant is passed on to the hiring manager the resume is not far behind.

Well by now you can see a trend; the majority of people I spoke with were adamant that the resume is not on its way out anytime soon. Will it happen? Can it happen? My philosophy is “never say never”.

In fact there is probably a talented student working on a web-based software application right now. By the time it is ready to be launched 98% of the population will have some sort of access to a computer and subsequently resume replacement software might just be successful. Until that time, the resume is alive and well; so make the most of it especially if you are in career transition. Remember the resume will not get you the job, but definitely can land you an interview.

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). She is an expert in recruitment, selection and career transition management.

Let’s talk about the job search function. Most will agree it is time consuming, depressing at times, humbling and lots of hard work. Yet the individuals who are successful will agree they put in place a job search strategy and worked that strategy every day. No, not all day, but for at least 3-4 hours a day. They stayed focused and committed; and yes, even though tempted to send their resume out to dozens of postings where no fit exists, controlled the urge and stayed true to their specific job search. Think about it, without a job search strategy the hunt becomes scattered and very unproductive. It’s like saving for the future without a financial strategy – good intentions but just doesn’t happen. Sitting in front of a computer and sending out resumes to jobs that do not match one’s expertise, competencies or skills is a big waste of time. I’ve spoken to hundreds of people in career transition over the past year who wonder why they are not getting any response from a resume blast. The majority of these individuals do not have a job search strategy, are not committed and definitely not focused.

Below are 10 action items which should be included in a job search strategy:
1. Prepare a solid resume which depicts strengths, core competencies, learnings and achievements.
2. Conduct an in-depth search on Indeed.ca to compare skills, job titles and roles – get creative with keyword searches.
3. Create a list of targeted companies – use google and Linkedin to research the companies and its people.
4. Attend interviewing techniques, job search strategies and networking workshops to refresh and progress.
5. Complete a behavioural assessment to help identify strengths and areas for developments – promotes awareness and allows individual strengths to be highlighted in the interview or even displayed on the resume.
6. Set up mock interviews before attending the real thing.
7. Network with family, friends, associations, schools, colleges and church parishioners.
8. Put a professional profile on Linkedin (if searching for a corporate role). Use all the tools offered by Linkedin to help stay visible and available to recruiters, HR and the Hiring Manager.
9. Take time off to have fun, relax and spend time with loved ones.
10. Continue to Push Until Something Happens.

Of course everyone is different so the job search strategy will be tailored to the individual’s strengths and competencies. It should be workable, measurable and based on individual special needs and specific requirements. In other words asking someone who is looking for a general labour job to create a profile on Linkedin is not workable.
Let’s face it, searching for a job is a job in itself. However, just like in any job the strong individual performer always comes out on top.

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources and certified as a Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviewing. She is passionate about recruitment, selection and career transition.


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