Tag Archives: job search

New Beginnings

The leaves are turning colour, there’s a slight chill in the air, and the rain has started…all reminding us that fall has arrived and school is starting.  Although some of us are finished with school, fall indicates a new start and a kind of new beginning, even though the calendar year is not yet complete.

 

For us McNakers, we start to think about the upcoming year by planning our corporate philanthropy initiatives along with other strategic objectives. Next year, we plan to hold our annual charity event called GrapeJuice, in support of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland, whose mandate is to help young girls through their mentorship program. We are also working to plan another Career Launcher session to help job-seeking aged ‘little sisters’ prepare for the start of their own financial stability.  This initiative, which we have hosted in past years, has a goal to help young girls launch their career foundation.

All too often, young people are unsure of where to start when preparing for their first job. We try to help guide the development of a well-prepared resume; a resume that chronologically lists some recent work experience and other skills they have acquired over the years. If there is not a lot of work experience, then we suggest listing their volunteer work or extra-curricular activities, as it can be just as important for future employers to review. Skills gained while volunteering or studying are applicable to list on a resume – skills such as meeting deadlines (completing homework on time) as well as being organized and detail-oriented. Some students struggle as to what to put on their resume to make it long enough, but a 1 or 2-page resume is more than adequate for future employers at this level.

The interview is also critical as an excited student only has a few minutes to make that positive first impression. We try to pass along tips to be prepared for a first interview. We recommend reviewing what the company and position require, preparing appropriate examples of experience, arriving early and dressing appropriately, answering the questions succinctly, making eye-contact and showing enthusiasm, and following up with a thank you. These suggestions may seem like common sense, however, for a young person who hasn’t interviewed before, this is completely new territory and requires preparation.

 

Interview Tips

Need to brush up on job interview etiquette? Take a look at this short video with two quick tips to keep in mind for your next job interview.

Follow up

After the interview, take the time with a follow up email or message to say thank you to the hiring manager for taking their time to meet with you. Always remember to be patient and polite when asking about next steps etc.

Ask questions

When it comes to asking questions, make sure you have your most important questions ready to ask. Time them throughout the interview versus loading them up at the beginning or the end.

And remember – Don’t forget to relax…. You might find yourself enjoying the job-search process.

Where are your favourite places to look for job opportunities? Pick your top two.

We’ve listed a few and we’d love to hear more specifics, so please feel free to comment on this post.  For example, are Craigslist, LinkedIn and Indeed the places you frequent for job opportunities?

Don’t make these common resume mistakes

Poor grammar, spelling mistakes, too many pages long…recruiters have seen many resume mistakes. Make sure your resume is polished and ready so you can get that interview! Hiring Managers have been known to spend only 6 seconds looking at your resume. Not getting any call backs from your job applications and resume submissions? Perhaps it is time to review your resume, and make sure it is clear and concise.

Here is a short video on 9 common mistakes people make on their resumes.

video credit: Business Insider

Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume

At a quick glance at a resume, hiring managers can easily be too quick to judge to determine if the candidate deserves an interview.

In this TED Talk video below, HR Manager Regina Hartley shares with us why highly motivated ‘scrappers’ are the kind of candidates hiring managers should be looking out for. Scrappers have experienced hardships and overcome adversity which has shaped them to be highly motivated, productive and successful.

How to Choose Your Career

What do want to be when you grow up?

We’ve all been asked this question. And throughout our lives, the answer can change as our skills refine and our interests shift.

I am the parent of a pre-teen and a teenager. They have many questions about their future, and are figuring out their interests along the way. They both know that they want a career that interests them, and will sustain them.  I look forward to showing them this infographic below, as many of the points are ones that come up in our thoughtful and thought-provoking conversations about choosing a career.

Infographic-Final-2-1

source: Jobacle

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Does it have to be just one thing? Can we give ourselves permission to change career paths multiple times? Sit back and enjoy this TED Talk by career coach Emilie Wapnick, who, herself has tried multiple careers.

It is rarely a waste of time to pursue something you’re drawn to, even if you end up quitting. You might apply that knowledge in a different field entirely, in a way that you couldn’t have anticipated.” ~ Emilie Wapnick

Job Interview

This is a few years old, but all the same a great video on the ultimate job interview. Enjoy!

The Interview

business suitIn last week’s post, we talked about preparing for the job interview. Now it is time to put yourself in the mind frame for when you are actually face to face with your interviewer.

This is a collaborative and interactive experience: think of it as an extended discussion in a coffee shop. Get into detail, but don’t share so much that you are long-winded or get off topic. Remember it’s about you and them, not just you. It’s a two-way street – you get to know them and they get to know you. In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell conveys this type of process as a kind of a dance. Fall into sequence together, a “conversation rhythm,” according to Gladwell, and you’ll likely find yourself with an offer.

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Listen to the question before jumping in with an answer: do not speak in general terms when you have been asked a question looking for specifics. Nervousness might have you jump to conclusions that are way off from what the interviewer is intending. Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions. And never interrupt the interviewer when he or she is speaking.

Teamwork vs. Me-work:  While it is important for most companies to know about your ability to work as part of a team, keep in mind when the question comes about asking what did YOU do on that project? So many times we hear, “Well, we did this and we did that,” and “We came in under budget,” etc. Never does the individual reveal what his or her specific contributions were. This seemingly says the person did not have a significant role in the project. This might be totally incorrect, but could cost him or her the job.

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The Paperwork:  This may be an obvious point but, surprisingly, one that’s often forgotten. Always bring a copy of your resumé for yourself as well as copies for the people that you will be meeting. If you have been asked to bring along additional documentation, make sure you have it available. Also, a thorough reference listing of past supervisors should be attached to your resumé. Make sure you have contacted the references in advance of the interview so they are aware they may receive a phone call and, most importantly, know about the position you are applying for.

One last thing. Relax. You might find yourself enjoying the job-search process. And remember, it’s not just about you.

Preparing for the Interview

shaking-handsYou have submitted your job application. Then you got the call. They want to meet for a face to face interview.  Now is the time to sharpen up your interviewing strategies. Remember that you are your brand and that every part of you is under scrutiny in this process. Give your prospective employer every reason to spend some time taking a further look into who you are. Before you walk in the door, consider some prep work to be in order. A few points to note:

Be prepared, do your research: look beyond the internet. Study local business periodicals and scour for advertisements highlighting your target company. Look for corporate recognition internally and externally. These things will say a lot about what makes an organization tick. In your travels, you may also be able to learn more about the individual teams within the corporation.

.Dress professionally: this goes without saying, but along with that power suit,  show a positive attitude. Do not underestimate the importance and impact of professional image. If ever unsure of dress code it is better to be more corporately dressed on the first meeting.

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Prioritize your questions: make sure you have your most important questions ready to ask. Time them throughout the interview versus loading them up at the beginning or the end.

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Budget your time: know approximately how long the interview is intended to be. There is nothing worse than a person who goes on and on, forcing the interviewer to fight to get through their questioning. Organize your thoughts.