Posts Tagged ‘Networking

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


Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in the Day with Donna at Stone Edge Estate a Bed & Breakfast on the Edge of the Niagara Escarpment. It is owned by Doug Rapien and is a beautiful place surrounded by fantastic scenery  –

We gathered in a luxurious meeting room, a Dentist, Engineers, RN/Health Nutritionist, Artist, Financial Planner and of course me – a Talent Acquisition Specialist. We were strangers brought together by Donna to learn how to take our business to the next level, no matter how small or large. It was an exciting journey and one that was filled with inspiration, laughter and a large amount of learning. By the end of the day, as typical with all of Donna’s events, the strangers became a team collaborating on how best to help each other. We developed measureable goals and over the next 60 days Donna will monitor each and every one of us to insure we are following through. In addition, the team will stay connected offering support as we strive to achieve our business goals.

Donna broadcasted the event on BlogTalkRadio – I invite you to listen to the broadcast and meet the wonderful group of people I had the pleasure of spending the day with:

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and master trainer in behavioural interviewing. Her passion and expertise are in talent acquisition/selection strategies on both the corporate and individual sides. Lee knows how to identify performance skills for a specific role; and how to use social recruiting to find the right talent needed to drive business performance.

On Friday, February 10 2012 I attended the IEP (Internationally Educated Professional) conference at the Toronto Convention Center.   I was invited to attend by Donna Messer and it had been a while since I trailed Donna on one of her speaking engagements.  So, being an internationally educated professional myself I gladly accepted the invitation.

The moment we arrived I could feel the electricity in the air and hear the “buzz” of excitement.  Donna went right to work getting to know the organizations that set up booths in the “market centre” at the conference; and of course asking every person she spoke with “how can I help you?”  Funny, this question always seems to surprise people; many do not have an immediate answer.   As I tagged along, from booth to booth, I realized not only was Donna networking but she was doing some last minute prep for her presentation.  The organizations present at the conference represent a program, process or association for international trained professionals and Donna in her very unique way was gathering information on the latest trends.  She is truly amazing; I knew I was in store for a day chalked full of learning.

Donna asked me to sit in the front row during her presentation.  I knew her intention was to introduce me as the Senior Recruiter from Ian Martin; and have me acknowledge certain facts about “the job search” – I’m always happy to help.   It is so inspiring to watch Donna work her magic; laughter filled the auditorium as Donna interacted with the audience.  Of course, there is never enough time and before we knew it Donna was given the signal to wrap up.   AHH – another great presentation; however; it was not over and I was pleasantly surprised at what happen next.   As I stood up to gather our purses and get ready to meet Donna back stage I noticed there was a crowd of people around me.  I glanced up at the stage and could not see Donna because she was engulfed in an even bigger crowd.  “OK, time to network”, so I turned my attention to the people waiting to speak with me and asked “how can I help you?”  An hour later, the crowd had dissipated and we made our way over to “coat check” and this time I was not only person trailing Donna.

It was truly an amazing day – on the ride home Donna asked for my opinion of the conference.  I stated it was an “eye opening” experience to see so many talented internationally trained professionals in one room – doctors, architects, accountants, lawyers, technical professionals (and the list goes on).  On the other hand, it was a bit frustrating when you realize each one is seeking employment in a province whose corporations still pin the “no Canadian experience” on newcomers.  It must be so confusing to the new Canadian when arriving in Ontario to try to figure out the best program, organization, association and/or training – where to start?

Donna has a new program which bridges the gap between education and employment which can help many of these talented individuals with the tools to build their bridge.  My hope is that more associations and organizations like IEP partner with Donna to get the word out about her systematic approach to bridging this very real gap.

To Donna I say thanks for doing what you do – you do it so very well.  To all the incredible people I met on Friday remember to get work you must network.

This is a an awesome on-line publication created by Donna Messer and her team at ConnectUs Canada.   I was thrilled my article was selected to be published in the “Business” section.  Please take a few minutes to read the article and scan the entire publication!

Please take a few minutes to check out the article I wrote for Trish King’s Blog Second Wind Job Search.     Enjoy!

Lee Koren, PHR

I’m a senior recruiter who has 20+ years of experience in selection and recruitment so when I was approached to write an article to help stay at home Moms re-enter the workplace I happily agreed.  But wait, it’s been many years since I was a stay at home Mom, oh who am I kidding, it’s been more like decades.  Hmm, Ok so I am a recruiter, I’ll interview a stay at home Mom.  Wow, what an eye opening experience.

The biggest issue for Moms returning to the workforce is their fear of having been removed from the workplace for so long.  In the case of the Mom I interviewed who left a successful career in Human Resources, she was afraid by not keeping up with new practices, legislation and ongoing trends the transition back into the workplace would be quite difficult.   Not to mention the concern of losing good job opportunities to new grads and those with more recent experience.   Yes, she had good intentions of keeping herself up-to-date but hey when you have two little ones to raise well guess what it is easier said than done.   Her reality was the time gap, she would most likely have to start all over again – at the bottom and work her way up.

All legitimate concerns and if preparation is important for the person who has lost his/her job then it is twice as important for the stay at home Mom.  Why? Because you don’t have any idea of who you are or what you want, let alone how to identify your strong competencies and pull it all together in a resume.  Subsequently, if you don’t know what you want or how to find it you are liable to jump at the first thing that comes along which just might land you in an unhappy situation.  Not a good scenario especially since you just went through a long period of unemployment only to end up in the wrong job.

Ok so here is where my experience comes in as a senior recruiter.  It is not as bad as you think.  There are hundreds of candidates out there with very bad resumes which do a dreadful job of highlighting key competencies, strengths and skills.  Since the purpose of the resume is to get the interview, the end result for these candidates will not be good.   There are even more candidates who do not know how to prepare for an interview or how to best represent their skills during the interview – again the end result will not be good. 

So the playing field may not be as lop-sided as you think.  Keep yourself positive and think about what you have been doing while at home.  Have you been volunteering? Planning community events?  Fund raising for your child’s school?  Handling the funds from your church bake sale?  Organizing, planning or coaching sporting events?  Creating a marketing campaign for the school library?  Participating in school outings?  I think you get the picture! You can pull just as many competencies from these social activities as the candidate can from his/her previous employment.  The key is all in the way it is represented on your resume.  If it highlights your strengths, skills, knowledge and abilities then odds are you are one step closer to the interview.

If you have not been able to extend yourself into the community then think about taking a few courses to sharpen your skills and awareness – now is the time to do it.  Read magazines and search the internet for articles within your profession.  Re-connect with a few close work buddies – LinkedIn is a get place to stay connected (

Go to a few industry meetings to brush up on the lingo and to practice your networking skills.  Attend a few networking events to start meeting people; let them know who you, find out who they are and discuss how you can help each other.

Keep a positive attitude; remember you do have something to offer a company.  Never sell yourself short – Moms are organized, excellent at multi-tasking, able to deal with several distractions at one time and make quick decisions in emergency situations.  Moms are good mentors, good at budgeting and balancing the household budget.   These are the skills that transfer nicely into the workplace.

After all, you won’t have to wipe peanut butter off your co-workers fingers, erase blue crayon from the office walls, or run after a peer who refuses to keep her shoes on – so how hard can it really be?

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR).  Her specialty and passion is recruitment and selection.

I read a great article in The Toronto Star today and just had to share it with everyone.  Ok I admit it, I am quoted in the article and quite proud that my opinion matters.  However, the real story is about the value of  networking, volunteering and giving back – it really does make a different – enjoy! 

Lee Koren,PHR

Volunteer work can open career doors

Helping others develops contacts and sharpens skills.

You can view this story at:–volunteer-work-can-open-career-doors

Lee Koren is certifed as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR).   She is an expert when it comes to recruitment and selection.

Take Back the Interview

Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 167 other followers

Be A Star – Maximize Your Performance