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Posts Tagged ‘Career Transition

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

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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.

As an Employment Consultant working for a very reputable employment service it has become apparent that Individuals with disabilities are having a hard time getting employment. Why, because employers have a false perception, they think a person with a disability might get hurt on the job, not be able to perform effectively or may not be reliable. However, the complete opposite is true. It has been proven that an individual with a disability is reliable, punctual and efficient on the job because they want to work and feel a sense of accomplishment.

I read a success story by Mark Wafer who is an owner of 7 Tim Horton’s Franchises. Having a disability himself as a young boy and facing his share of barriers growing up Mark is an advocate and a role model for individuals with disabilities. According to Mark “16% of the Canadian population is disabled—the equivalent of the entire populations of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan—and 70% of those are unemployed. People with disabilities want to work. Many employers think people with disabilities are going to get hurt on the job or not work diligently. This is simply not true.” Mark goes on to say “As employers we have never had a WSIB claim on any of our disabled employees, and while the average tenure for most of my employees is 1.3 years, it is seven years for my employees with a disability. Educating employers on those benefits is the most important thing that we can do.”

There is a lot of info out there on the internet about Canadians with Disabilities; however I found quite a bit of it to be outdated. I read about the 2014 Action Plan by the Conservative Government to provide 15 Million dollars over the next 3 years to the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) – it is being called the Ready, Willing and Able initiative to help people with disabilities get sustainable employment. This is awesome news and I do pray the other government parties throw their support behind this program. This is a real problem and without support from the government and education for employers it will only get worse.

Over the past several months, I have been promoting individuals with disability to Oakville employers alas without success. I`m here to say there is nothing to fear but fear itself and I just know there are Oakville employers out there who are not afraid to hire an individual with a disability. Employers who realize with reasonable accommodations and adequate training it can be a very positive experience on both sides.

I am on a mission to help the individuals with disability current registered in our program find gainful employment. It is not an easy challenge as most of the individuals live in Oakville, do not drive and rely on public transportation. So I am searching for inclusive employers in Oakville. Employers who realize hiring an individual with a disability affects their bottom line in a positive way and yes, their establishment is on a bus route. So step up, reach out and get ready to reap the benefits of hiring an individual with a disability.

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). She has over 30 years as an International Recruiter and was instrumental in helping Americans with Disabilities receive gainful employment. Lee is a Master Trainer in behavioural interviewing – an objective interview structure which helps eliminate the biases and self-fulfilling prophecies during the interview.

Interesting Article by Gina Cajucom – she is right on – there will be lots of rejection during a job search -“don’t take it personally”……happy reading!!!

Being Rejected

You may have experienced being rejected quite a few times for positions you’ve applied for.  Each time is no better than the one before.  Rejections sting all the time.  Even when you receive tactfully written emails from companies saying they regret not to consider you for the position, you still wish that you had not received them anyway.  After all, no news is bad news when it comes to job application and you would rather not hear the “rejection” notice at all.

Different people react differently to this kind of rejection.  Some will consider this as a challenge or a motivator to do better and prove them wrong.  However, some people might get demoralized and continue to lose confidence.  They may settle for less pay or less attractive role. A client even asked me one time:  “What’s wrong with me?  I thought I was perfect for that role!”

Some people just give up altogether when they see how many people have applied.  Well, no matter how many people lined up for the role, they would definitely hire someone and that someone could very well be you.  Before you begin a litany of everything that is wrong about you, consider that, to some degree, intuition also plays a role in the selection and rating process.

This is why it is important to remember that recruitment, just like any assessment activity, is subject to biases, prejudices, and error in judgment.  Some companies hire unqualified candidates and miss hiring potential stellar performers.  Some companies correct this phenomenon by using specific metrics and highly structured selection process.  “Selection by scoring is a process whereby   selection factor or component run along a scale and is scored by value previously assigned.   Decision is made based on the total score achieved.  Selection by intuition is getting a feel of how a candidate will fit in based on the dynamics of personality that come out in the selection process, either through interviews or role-plays.”  [i]

It is then important for job seekers not to take this kind of rejection personally.  It is not about you.  It is about the unique demands of the position that the company needs to fill.  Sometimes, it is even about the corporate culture that the hiring company needs to consider. At the end of the day, wherever you end up in is the perfect place for you. Not only did you select that company but that company chose you.

To all my fellow Blog writers and readers I wish to extend a happy holiday season greeting.  I hope 2011 was good to you and that 2012 is even better. 

I will be back next year with tips for individuals who are in career transition; and of course tips for corporations about recruiting and selecting the very best talent. 

It is no secret that good people drive business performance yet most companies do not have a selection strategy.   Yep, it is still tough out there and if the hiring process is not done correctly it is definitely costly.  Given the economic situation can your corporation afford the cost?

 Until next year………………….

Lee Koren, PHR

Everyone should be using some form of social media to boost their career and enhance the chances of being contacted to explore a new career opportunity.  Whether gainfully employed or in a job search, it is a great way to keep abreast of new and exciting roles and activities within your industry; or keep tabs on a company targeted as a preferred employer. For these reasons it’s important to stay current, network with colleagues in your industry even when you don’t need them.  Take some time every day to connect with who you know and even who you don’t know.   One of my search activities as a senior recruiter is to send message out to business professionals every day asking “who do you know?”   Think about it, who do you know? Or who do you want to know?

Social recruiting is becoming a very popular way for companies to source candidates for employment.  As a senior recruiter/search consultant I use Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis.    I’ve been quite successful because my network forwards the message on to their network who forwards the message on to their network and before you know it the message is literally being read across the globe.  In addition, the effort always results in new connections being added to my network – quite powerful!!

Build your network in advance by talking to your connections on Twitter or other networking sites.  Join groups on Linkedin and join in the discussions, by being proactive you will be way ahead if you lose your job or decide it is time to make a move.  Identify people who you have something in common with – as Donna Messer (Queen of Networking) always says “networking is all about finding a common ground”.

Until next time……………..

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and a Lead Master Trainer in Behavioural/Performance based interviewing.  She is a senior recruiter/search consultant at The Ian Martin Group specializing in professional and executive search.


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