Look at what our friends over in Career Management made. Since it's the season of sharing, we are passing it on to you!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!
Follow them on Twitter @PFCareerMgmt
Look at what our friends over in Career Management made. Since it's the season of sharing, we are passing it on to you!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!
Follow them on Twitter @PFCareerMgmt
You hear of many do's and don’ts for job interviews, but one that really needs highlighting is Do show the interviewer why you’re the perfect fit but Don’t tell the interviewer you’re perfect without proving it. What would you rather:
“Hey, I’m really awesome at magic tricks”. Okay, well that’s nice.
"Hey, I'm fantastic at magic tricks. Let me show you my best trick that received a standing ovation at my last performance".
Now, translate magic to your job interviews.
Practice Leader, Human Resources and Francophone Recruitment, Janelle Robin, has over a decade of experience in management, sales, and leading teams in industries ranging from tourism to wholesale. From the good to the bad, Janelle’s experienced many interviews. So, we decided to turn the tables and interview Janelle on exactly that, interviews, and compile a list of 10 important interview tips for you.
1.) Own Your Achievements
It’s understandable that many of your achievements are team-based, but there are certainly things you solely worked on in those teams; Highlight those things! If you worked on a campaign in a group of four, but you developed all signage, and edits, and sponsorship proposals, for example, explain that.
Did you create a process? What did YOU do?
It’s great that you aren’t claiming all the successes of the team, but you do have to show what you can bring to the table. You need to accomplish showing what you accomplished and can accomplish.
2.) Know Your Weakness(es)
Janelle always asks her candidates, “If I were to call your reference(s) tomorrow, what would they say?”
Don’t give the generic response that you’re too much of a perfectionist or you work too hard. Be honest. People need to see you’re genuine and aware of your own development opportunities.
3.) Know What You’re Looking For
You need to know the types of roles that interest you. Have a direction. And once you have that direction, be clear with what that route looks like. If you lead yourself into a role that doesn’t fit your capabilities or your desires, then you’re not going to be happy, it’s going to show, and it’s not going to work out.
So, if you’re in the sales industry, and you thrive on a base + commission structure, because that pushes you to get those commissions, then say that. If you know that a challenge is something you enjoy and brings out your strongest qualities, then state it and aim for it. Maybe you need flexible hours. Say it. We need to find the right fit, so if you don’t say it, we can’t help you.
Keep in mind, working with a recruiter is different than directly applying for a position at a company. If you’re applying for a position that has strict working hours from 9 to 5, then your flexible desires aren’t going to work out. But stating your need for flexibility to a recruiter gives them the ability to pair you with a position that does provide that opportunity.
4.) What Are Your Top 3 Selling Attributes?
Yes, it’s nice to say you have a great work ethic and you get along with people, but give details. Be specific with your answers. You should know your 3 selling attributes before entering the interview, and back them with details. So if you have a hard work ethic, say, “You can ask my references, I make sure the job gets done, so if that means working late, then that's not a problem. I do what it takes to meet deadlines.”
5.) Tailor Your Resumes
Your resumes should be reflective of the role you’re applying for. Look at the language the company uses, the requirements of the position, the skills needed, and make sure you cover all of those areas in your resume. Also, make sure you address the resume to the appropriate hiring manager. Here are our resume and cover letter tips: http://bit.ly/CoverLetterRecipe
Photo Credit: https://www.etsy.com/market/custom_resumes
6.) Tailor Your Answers
A thoughtful response is far more impactful than responses quickly delivered for the sake of answering right away. If it means taking a moment after the question's asked, no problem. If taking a moment to ponder means it will give you the time to develop a great and truthful response, then do it.
Tailoring your answer means don’t give generic answers; Tailoring your answer doesn’t mean giving an answer you think the recruiter wants to hear. Know how to sell yourself without sounding like you’re selling yourself – just keep calm.
7.) Do Your Research
If you ask a question, like, 'how many locations do you have', meanwhile on the first page of their website it boldly says, we service 5 locations, then that isn’t a well prepared question. It’s great to ask questions, but make sure the answers aren’t readily available. For example, if you’re an HR Administrator, it’s a good question to ask what software the company uses.
Understand the title and understand whether it’s a new or pre-existing role. If it’s a pre-existing role, it’s a good idea to ask why the role’s vacant at the moment.
8.) Never Embellish Your Skills
First off, imagine embellishing a skill and then the recruiter gives you a test to prove it for a client, and you can’t do it; That would be pretty awful, wouldn’t it? Also, why would you want to get a job you can’t do?However, if it’s a case of a couple desired skills the client wants that you have minimal experience with, just say that. You can back it up with saying, if it’s true, that you’re a quick learner and enjoy new challenges. If you’re great at self-teaching, then explain that and provide examples; It shows initiative.
Just like customizing your cover letter and resume, customize your application and approach to getting an interview. Find the hiring manager’s information, or who’s accepting personal applications, versus templated ones, and send them your resume! Taking the time to figure out whom to send it to, and actually address a customized body in the email, when sending it to the recipient.
Some companies might not properly list the receiver, and this may pose as a challenge on behalf of the company. There are cases where companies with Sales positions want to see how pro-active an applicant is to get past the gate-keepers.
Take the time to figure out how you should apply for the position. If you take the time to research, craft a proper message, and cleanly edit everything, you’re going to stand out.
In most cases, you’re going to want to bring in supportive materials to showcase your work, skills, and qualifications. The following are a couple options that may be applicable to you:
Photo Credit: http://www.lifeclever.com/show-tell-chanporys-portfolio/
At the end of the day, show don’t tell. There are many ways to approach applying to a position, and yes, it can be subjective; However, there are base rules to always follow. Remember, every position and every company’s different, and every approach to applying to these companies should be just that: different.
The recruiting world, it can be a rough go. Some people seem to find the perfect one right off the bat, while others just can’t seem to find that match. A candidate might think it’s love at first sight, but the recruiter hangs their head and knows it’s not right.Instead of wallowing at home, binge-eating ice cream, and crying to The Notebook, the perfect candidate and recruiter is out there – just establishing a mutual understanding of what the candidate and recruiter wants out of the relationship is the key to love, um, a match.
Keep in mind these 5 things when looking for the perfect match:
1.) That Personality
Oh, you know, that spark, flare, instant connection, the ol’ so perfect personality to fit the culture of your client’s company. But before moving forward, beware of the halo effect – this can lead you right back to where you started: face-deep in ice cream, alone. All alone.
The personality expectations are something different every time, depending on the client’s company culture. Not only do you want to find a great match in terms of skills, education, and experience, but you need to make sure you’re not setting up personalities that may clash in a unproductive manner. Because seriously, it just isn’t going to work. As a candidate, ask yourself, "Does this company have a culture I picture myself in"?
2.) He / She’s Everything on Paper
You had a list of everything you were looking for, 5 + years experience, managed a team of 20 +, and the perfect references. However, something’s come up where you thought you knew everything you wanted, but some additional notes that weren’t on your list prove that a match isn’t going to happen. Prepare for the unexpected.
As a candidate, you checked everything off on the recruiter’s list, but sometimes, some other candidates check off things that weren’t on the list, and prove valuable to the client. Seriously, it’s not you, it’s me applies in this scenario.
3.) What are Your Absolute Must Haves
Do you know what exactly you’re looking for? Whether you’re searching for a new job, or you’re looking to hire, what are your absolute Musts and Cants? The points on the list that have no wiggle room? Figure these out, ask yourself why those points are so important, and stick to them; There’s a reason you put them down in the first place.
See what to ask yourself, here: https://goo.gl/LRfbN6
4.) My Clients are Going to Approve of This Relationship
Giddy-up. I can’t wait to introduce them to my parents…CLIENTS! They fit everything I asked for, I can’t wipe the smile from my face, and suddenly I’m crying watching a little dog in a beer advert.
It’s time. It’s time to introduce them to the client. Understanding the clients’ company culture, the personality of the candidates, and goals of both parties is key to deciding if it’s time to introduce them.
And when that meeting happens, nerves are to be expected. That’s normal! Take a deep breath and remind yourself why you’re a fantastic match.
5.) We’re Both on the Same Page!
Wait. You want a permanent position and can’t wait to dive into leading a massive project. That’s the person I’m looking for! Golly, that’s swell.
The expectations on both the client and candidates behalves have been established and enthusiastically accepted. Now it’s time to make a decision. If the actual expectations on both behalves aren’t understood, failure may be in suit. Nothing’s worse than showing up to a blind-date, only to find out they plan to marry you two days later. Run. Seriously.
So, on everyone’s behalf in the recruiting process, here are the outcomes you should have.
Recruiter: I’m smitten.
Candidate: I’m smitten.
Client: I’m super smitten.
Now that everyone’s smitten, it’s time to celebrate. It’s an exciting time for everyone and a proud moment for a recruiter to be able to make the perfect match.
As for the honeymoon? Every day a recruiter gets to see a successful match and continued success on behalf of their client and candidate’s relationship is a honeymoon for them. Awww, that’s precious.
The Digital World Has Consequences - Replace F with R
A gentleman worked his way up to Director, from a young age, at a large and successful European company. He started off working for the company for free, and proved his strengths through time and dedication. Fellow colleagues immensely respected him and valued his work. Well, just recently, one email cost him his job. One email.
As this gentleman responded to his colleagues in a “Reply All” email, he didn’t realize a client of his was CC'd in on the email – and, this client was the topic of conversation.
He instructed his colleagues how he would “deal” with this client, and how he would target his sale’s approaches, and he had no idea that hitting send would be a life-turning moment for him. And, this “client” was a biggie.
As quick as the email was sent, the consequences happened, and he was fired. All those years, working so very hard, climbing the ladder, all ended because of one email.
No one wishes the F word on a hardworking, dedicated individual, and that’s why it’s time to give a friendly reminder to everyone out there that the digital world has serious consequences. So, here are 5 quick reminders why you need to stop, breathe, and slow down. Replace F with R.
Work's fast. Phone calls are fast. Emails are fast. And guess what, mistakes are easy. Don’t forget to keep up with proficiency and professionalism. Review, review, review.
If you want to give yourself some peace of mind when you send your emails, apply a rule to defer your message by a couple of minutes, so should you realize you did something wrong in that email, you can fix it or delete it.
Your emails aren’t really private. Should it be requested, there are circumstances where your messages can be seen by others. Do you have any emails you wouldn’t want shared with others? If yes, re-think the way you’re using your email.
Do you feel uneasy about a message, or a way to handle a situation with a client? If you’re even slightly uneasy, that’s a good enough reason to ask for senior advice. Maybe it’s even a case of having someone tailor your message so the intent of the message is delivered as wanted, without having those unsettling miscommunications.
What do your social media platforms say about you? Does your LinkedIn say you’re super professional and a hard worker, but your Facebook suggests otherwise? Take the time to review your online information and remind yourself what the intent of your platforms are. If you need a reminder of some inappropriate content from years ago on your platforms, maybe use this App to help clean that up: http://www.simplewa.sh/facebook#
Just like your wardrobe, it’s good to refresh your platforms. If you’re no longer using a platform, get rid of it – Like the old trick of tossing clothes that have been left on the hangers for months. Maybe what was working for you last season isn’t this season, so refresh your look. What’s trending now? What represents you best? What makes you look and feel the greatest? Refresh your platforms.
This week, we’re cooking up a homegrown dish with hints of international ingredients! After sampling many different recipes, we’ve decided to share some family secrets passed down from many generations and inspired from here and abroad to master the ultimate recipe: The Cover Letter.
The cover letter might be a common dish in your household, but if you think it’s quick, easy, and the same dish every time, you’re probably doing it wrong. Every cover letter should be totally different, but the goal of the cover letter is consistent – demonstrate why you’re a fantastic candidate for the position.
So, you’re preparing the menu for your guests, and you have to plan what the desired outcome is and aim to please them. Every guest is different, and every dinner party has a different theme. How do you get started?
First, really take the time to read what’s expected of the chef. If your guests expect to be wowed by someone who can bring a whole bunch of ingredients to the table, then make sure you bring those ingredients, but blend them in so their presence is known and not too aggressive. There should be a transitional flow of the flavours so when the guests digest it all, they know exactly what they had and they’re pleased with the outcome.
You also have to understand the demands might be the same but guests are different, so how do you tailor each dish to their desire? Grab your utensils and sift through their information – go onto their websites, social media platforms, and their networks. Every guest has a voice and different expectations. Your job as a master chef is to figure out the voice(s) and respond accordingly.
When you decide to start putting the ingredients together, remind yourself of some of the requests. Do they want spice? Does anyone have any allergies to creativeness, PDFs, DOCs, or cover letters in general? Some guests might specifically want the résumé as their main and skip the cover letter as a starter. When in doubt, go with the PDF unless your guest specifies another format.
Don’t put things that aren’t applicable to the role. Would you put anchovies in a cake? No. So don't say irrelevant information when you’re applying for a position. Also, please use fresh ingredients. Nobody wants to eat a stale bite of information about you attending high school in 1972.
Ask yourself, “Are these ingredients relevant and timely?"
Don’t serve the same thing for dessert (aka the résumé). Who wants to have their dessert repeat the main (the cover letter)? Let the main serve as a welcoming lead to the dessert, as they’re very different but pair nicely together. The only thing that should be the same is the paper it’s served on. Think of the two as pairing a fine wine with a steak. The information should cleanse the palette, so every bite is just as good as the first, and the two support each other to deliver the perfect dish!
If you’re still thinking it’s no big deal to fire out the same cover letters to different companies, think of it this way - What if your guests found out you were serving the exact same dishes to everyone else and you tried to pretend the dish was prepared exclusively for each guest? There's an obvious difference between a personalized cover letter and a generic cover letter.
And one final note:
A good chef never sends out a dish before trying it first. Take a fresh look at it, sample it, get others to sample it, and review the recipe again, because you may have made an error and that will spoil the whole entire dish. Now, it’s safe to serve.
That darn frame of mind. You know, the one that’s hard to shake but it would greatly benefit you if you could try something new. Let’s get serious, what you thought was working for you in the 80s is now the photo album you hide from your friends and family so no one has blackmail on you.
So, if you managed to realize that looking forward is better than backwards, let’s talk about recruiting proactively. Recruiting proactively is a new mindset; Instead of posting jobs and waiting for resumes to come pouring in, organizations are actively looking for candidates who might not even know about the position, and they’re going to sources like LinkedIn to find their candidates. Are you following suit?
Maybe you love where you’re working right now, or you just don’t know what other opportunities are out there. Or, you’re actively looking for work, and those interviews just aren’t what you had hoped for. Well, why don’t you make yourself wanted without actively trying every day?
How? But how?!
Build your social media platform(s)!
Are you on LinkedIn? No? Get on it. Not only should you get on it, but you should treat it like you’re interviewing for the best jobs every day, and highlight all of your amazing skills.
Here are 5 quick tips to keep in mind when approaching your existing or new LinkedIn profile:
1.) Have a professional profile picture.
2.) Create an engaging summary that highlights all the skills you offer in your industry.
3.) Accurately describe your positions in the Experience section.
4.) Highlight your Top Skills, and endorse the skills you know your connections have – they’ll likely endorse the skills you have too.
5.) Follow companies or join groups that matter to you and your industry. Not only will following companies of interest keep you informed of new and upcoming things in your industry, it also shows your involvement in your career.
Again, you might not be looking to change careers right now, but does that mean you should shut the door to opportunities? What if your dream job was out there searching for you, and you’re unfindable?
Be found. Join LinkedIn!
So, your company finally found that special Purple Squirrel you’ve been looking for; You know, the Purple Squirrel: The perfect candidate who’s apparently as elusive as a Purple Squirrel.
Now, you’ve decided to approach that perfect candidate with an offer, but the candidate’s unsure of the position because it requires moving to another province, and his significant other is hesitant about the move. What would or could you do to make sure the position and the location is the right fit for the candidate and their family?
A client of ours is currently in this position, and how they're approaching the situation is a great example for other companies. Our client’s plan incorporates the needs of the candidate, his partner, his family, and the dilemma of moving everyone to a new city and province.
Here's the candidate’s reservations:
1.) The candidate’s unsure of the new city;
2.) The candidate’s family has a supportive community where they currently live;
3.) The candidate’s partner is hesitant to move.
So, how does the client decide to help the candidate make this decision? Here’s what they’re doing:
1.) Flying the candidate and his wife to the city, and heading for lunch.
2.) Joining the lunch, are locals in the community who share the same cultural values as them.
3.) After lunch, they organized a tour for the couple to go around the city to top tourist spots, and to communities they may be interested to live in.
4.) Then, they're taking them out for dinner, and they have another guest joining them. This dinner guest used to work for the company, in the same city, and shares the same cultural values as the candidate. The company flew in this dinner guest and his partner, just so the candidate can talk to someone who went through a similar situation.
5.) After the full day of entertainment, they’re getting a good night’s rest at a lovely downtown hotel.
6.) In the morning, they’re going for breakfast before heading back to the airport. At breakfast, the candidate is presented with the offer and sent home to think about it with his family.
When you find the perfect candidate, it’s not just the candidate you’re hiring, it’s the family too, so don’t forget to think about all the stakeholders involved when you’re trying to close the deal.
1.) It’s not a dating site.
There are plenty of platforms out there for dating, and that includes social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Plenty of Fish, and ones where you can swipe right. You can find the love of your life on the train platform, subway platform, or bus platform.
You can even try to date the traditional way where you actually ask someone out in person, and holy moly, maybe take them out for a nice evening.
BUT, do not try to reach out to LinkedIn members and expect to find your future husband or wife. Seriously. Don’t do it.
Here’s an example one of our colleagues received at work recently:
It's great to send LinkedIn members friendly and inviting messages, but just make sure it's for the right reason.
2.) Don’t post a selfie.
Having your profile picture with your shirt off or cropped from a party picture probably isn’t the wisest. Although we commend you on the massive amount of sit-ups you must do, the position we’re hiring for doesn’t require sit-ups, push-ups, or any ups other than suit up.
When we said we’re looking for someone to add substance to the team, we didn’t think you’d take it literally; So, please refrain from showing your drinking skills in your profile picture.
Professional profile pictures are the way to go. Don't forget, it's okay to smile and to show you're an approachable person, but just make sure it presents you the way you want your industry to see you.
3.) Don’t try to connect with anyone and everyone.
Would you head out the door one day, and walk up to every stranger you see and say, “Hi, let’s connect. Hey you, let’s connect. Hey everyone walking on this sidewalk right now, let’s connect.”
It's great to reach out and connect with other LinkedIn members, just remember what your network says about you. Numbers can count in some instances, but quality over quantity is still key.
We’re not asking you to be the future Spelling Bee Wizard, but correctly spelling the name of the company you work at, and managing to provide a fairly flawless summary, is important. It’s slightly heartbreaking to come across something like this:
If spelling and grammar isn't your best friend, get an honest peer to help you. You want someone who will tell you the truth about what they feel when they view your profile, and to help you out with the overall professional presentation of the page.
5.) Don't share your whole life story.
Your profile doesn’t need to resemble a criminal record check. We don’t need every single thing you’ve been through your whole life. We don’t hold you accountable to mention that one time you babysat your neighbour's pet rat for the weekend in 1982. Unless you’re looking to apply as the new Ace Ventura, keep the positions relevant to the industry you’re in now.
That's great if you love animals, and we encourage this to be mentioned in your hobbies, or a small piece about it in your summary, depending on the industry you're in. It's important to reflect your passions in life.
So, I was just minding my own business, gathering as many nuts as possible before the snow came. You know, it’s March but apparently that doesn’t mean spring in Winnipeg. As I was saying, I was gathering these nuts and all of a sudden I felt like someone was watching me. No, seriously, like something in my tiny head kept saying, “See who’s viewed you.” And then, I kept feeling like someone had Poked me. And even weirder, those darn blue birds kept Tweeting at me. I swear, they were looking right at me and Tweeting.
Anyways, I was too busy to pay attention, so I kept on gathering my nuts and working hard. But then, this pigeon came to deliver a message.
“Hello, purple squirrel! Our team's been reading your résumé, and you have a wonderful history of gathering all sorts of nuts, and plenty of them too! We’d love to meet you, and could you give us a couple of trees for references?”
Ummm, I wasn’t looking for another place to gather nuts, but who knows, maybe they know an even better place to work hard. Maybe, this place even has a nicer view from the branches, and who knows, maybe they even have berries, insects, and acorns too!
Wait, but what about the current tree I’m in? What would they think if I were caught looking at other trees?
Well, it’s just a conversation. Let’s see what they have to say! So, I headed on over to their burrow. This gentleman came out and explained to me the importance of a purple squirrel, and how we’re pretty hard to find. They look for special perfect squirrels for their clients. Their clients hire them to sort through every tree possible, lift every leaf, and conduct heavy research, just to find purple squirrels like me! Us purple squirrels are apparently the perfect fit for their clients. The Recruiters and the Sourcers work as a team to find these fabulous candidates.
So wait, you’re saying I don’t have to give any nuts for this service? You’re saying, these “clients” pay you guys to find people like me, and I’m just presented to them if you think I'm qualified and a great fit?
Apparently, I’m a passive candidate. That’s when they explained that I showcased my nut-gathering-skills so well that they were able to find me easily and knew I had great qualifications. After speaking to some of my old trees for references, the Recruiters were assured I was always on time, always working hard, and a great squirrel to be around.
Wow, sounds like I woke up on the right side of the branch today.
Anyways, the team said passive candidates, like me, are the ones who aren’t seeking work, but are actively working. Active candidates are the ones currently seeking work. The Recruiter and Sourcer also said it’s not just active candidates who might be the right fit, but the passive candidates, which are hard to find, are really great fits, and the offer could be their dream job. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have your dream job show up on your branch one day?
That’s nuts! And, obviously, yes.
So you’re saying, this job has a nicer view, more nuts to gather, and I have the ability to move my way up to the top of the tree?
Well, that makes me squirrely – in a good way!
So now, here I am, working the job of my dreams. I had no idea this tree had been out here this whole time, and was looking for a squirrel just like me. I’ll tell you one thing, I’m never telling a pigeon to shoo again! Who knows what great opportunities they might have to tell me.
I want you to be happy like me, so send your resume in to People First Recruitment & Executive Search.
If you’re a company looking for purple squirrels or you need some training on finding purple squirrels, you need to learn about our Recruitment Practice and our Purple Squirrel Talent Academy. Call Karin Pooley now, at 204.940.3939 or email her at email@example.com.
This blog was written by Barbara Nordal, Annette Kohut & Pamela Habing - Talent Sourcers of People First HR's Talent Discovery Group.
Every morning we walk into our office, sit down at our computer, take a look at our recruitment projects and off to the races we go.
We are Talent Sourcers and we partner with our Recruiters to ensure we are finding the best candidates for our clients.
But what is a Talent Sourcer you ask?
There is no one definition for what a Talent Sourcer is. It varies from one company to another. Even the titles can vary – what might be a Talent Sourcer at one company is a Talent Acquisition Specialist at another. What is the one constant? We all seek out and find candidates for our clients.
Our days consist of putting our heads down and finding the best talent the market has to offer. We use every tool at our disposal including the internet, social media, online communities, associations, our own networks as well as those of our colleagues, and of course, the phone. We conduct market and industry research to learn about positions, industries, companies and their people. We ask ourselves “where would these candidates be?” and always do our best to put ourselves in their shoes. The search is on and there is no challenge we aren’t willing to face.
As Talent Sourcers, we are often a candidate’s first point of contact, the person who ignites their curiosity and intrigues them about the possibilities out there for them.
Talent Sourcing is more than just name generation; to us it’s an art. This art combines logic, problem solving and creativity. The end result is the ideal pairing of employer and employee. We love our jobs as a Talent Sourcers as it allows us to mix our passion for technology, research and our desire to help other people. Helping others is what really motivates us around here.
Talent Sourcing seems to be new and therefore a mystery within many industries. In Winnipeg it is a fairly new term and an even newer career path. The Talent Sourcing function combines research, technology, analysis, customer service and networking. It takes a mix of commitment, problem solving and determination to develop a unique approach on where to find candidates. Every day is a learning experience for us.
So what does a day in the life of a Talent Sourcer look like at People First?
Talent Sourcing is so much more than finding that one candidate who can do the job. It’s about finding that perfect candidate for that one job with the right company. We love what we do because we get to work on a daily basis with people – our team, candidates, clients and the world of people is a fascinating one indeed.
You know what else we love? That our team is growing and we are always looking for new Talent Sourcers. You, or someone you know may be a Talent Sourcer and didn’t even know it!