Monthly Archives: September 2011

Your handshake and what it says about you.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make that a professional one and better your chances at landing that great job you are interviewing for.

An interviewer will take an immediate note of your attire, and then comes the handshake. The handshake can really set the tone for the interview.  The handshake should be firm, with two shakes, and can really tell a lot about you.  Are you confident? It should show in your shake.

Be sure to look the person in the eye when you are shaking their hand, use their name and say something simple like:

“Hi (use interviewers name),  thank you for taking time in your day to meet with me today”


There are a few DO NOT’s in handshaking etiquette and I’ll mention the most important three.

1. The limp shake – Make sure you actually use a firm grip

2. The wet/slippery shake – If you have this problem, try using a product Drysol the night before on the palms of your hands. I knew someone who used to have to do that before they went golfing or talk about yelling “FORE”

3. Being sick and still wanting to shake someone’s hand. If you are not feeling well, or have been recently ill, interviewers will very much appreciate you being honest, and forgoing the shake.



Why are you joining Google+ ?

How do you stay motivated when looking for a job?

How to keep a positive attitude during a job search

Hunting for a job, interviewing, getting turned down – over all changing jobs is usually not a comfortable experience for most people. So how do you keep calm and carry on when you are feeling discouraged?  There are a number of things you can do to help.

Make sure you are doing something every day to move your job search to the next step, set out a specific time of day to spend searching postings, doing research and sending in applications.  Knowing you are doing something every day, will help you feel better about things.

Network with colleagues you enjoyed working with, ask them if they can send your resume in to HR.  Dealing with positive people who enjoyed working with you will be a mood booster.

Ensure you are applying for jobs you are actually qualified for, to set a reasonable expectation for yourself.  Check the requirements, do you have them?   They must be in your resume or likely you wont’ hear back.

Are you applying to jobs in your industry?  Make a list of companies in similar industries you’ve worked, keep an excel spreadsheet. Be methodical about researching them and applying. Check LinkedIN to see if you have a contact there.

Ask for feedback on interviews you have attended. Most people don’t like to give negative feedback, so you can ask them if they can tell you one thing you could improve on for next time, you may get some insight.

Take some time to read something funny, even 5 minutes a day, just to keep a smile on your face.   Dilbert or the Far Side might be good for a work related laugh.

Get 20-30 minutes of exercise a day, guaranteed to be mood elevator.

Take a course or some training to help you feel you are doing something to secure that new role with your new skills.

Is someone doing a DeepWeb search on you right now?

There is so much information on the Internet, and it’s only growing daily.  Facebook boasts that it gets 200 Million pictures posted per day.  YouTube gets over a Billion hits a day.  So just what is a “DeepWeb” search, and are employers doing this kind of search on you?  The DeepWeb is data that is not easily accessed by common search engines, however it still exists on the Internet.  There are a number of DeepWeb portals able to access these under currents of the Internet ocean, such as DeepPeep, DeepWebTech and IncyWincy.  Are employers using these deep searches?  You don’t have too much to worry about the DeepWeb searches at this point in time but things on the Internet change quick.

Some employers ARE doing are regular web searches about you.  Google, LinkedIN and Facebook and any Blogs you write would be the most common places checked.  Make sure your public profile is something you would not mind representing you in a job search.  You may never even know someone checked your on line reputation and it was the reason you didn’t get the job!

Oh no, too late…What to do if you’ve already posted things out there, that in hind sight shouldn’t have been posted?  There are companies that will “erase” your digital footprint, and let you get a fresh start.  Some can be fairly inexpensive, so might be worth checking into if you are concerned.   ReputationDefender is one I’ve heard of.  You can go to their website and type in your name and they give you a 3 point rating scale on how concerned you should be of your on line reputation.

Presenting yourself professionally is a must in a job search and now that includes online.









Help Wanted – MUST BE currently employed

The past four days our family was vacationing at Turkey Point, with no cable. We were only able to see about 4 channels, and they were all USA based programming. There was a program on that definitely caught my attention, about hiring in the US.

Does the title of this post seem a little out of line? Luckily for us here in Canada, we are not used to seeing this, however this has become an alarming trend in the USA;  job ads posting a requirement that applicants need to be currently employed.

With the economy the way it’s been people can be let go/laid off/fired/downsized/outsourced for many reasons, many through no fault of their own.   Often people  already working, require 2-4 weeks notice, get counter-offers and can demand benefits start day one.  There are just a few plus points where considering someone who can start right away.  The unemployed candiate doesn’t mind if their benefits kick in after their probationary period is successfully complete and may have had time to brush up on some key skills.

 Another consideration – let’s say a company hires someone “away” from their current job, and then it doesn’t work out. The new employer, could be liable for the candiates future earnings.  If the candidate was not employed at the time of the hire, this becomes a moot point.

With all the background checks, references, criminal history, credit checks and DeepWeb searches employers are able to do, it seems silly to make a mandatory requirement, you must be currently employed to ensure you are hiring a “good worker” . 


What does the new Ontario premier need to do about jobs to get your vote?

Jobs seems to be a hot topic these days, certainly with the Ontario election coming up.   The candidates need to take positive steps in helping Ontarian‘s get jobs.  Canada‘s unemployment rate was 7.6% last month and Ontario’s was above the national average at 8.7%. 

To give a quick snap shot around the world

The USA is holding around 9.1%.  

Greece – 16.8%

Spain – 20% (esh, no wonder the stock market is dancing)

Germany – 7% and steadily declining since 2009

Declining you say?  Let’s bring that to Ontario! 

One idea the German government endorses, is rather than cutting jobs, the companies cut hours.  Imagine that, working 5 hours less a week. Getting to go home one hour early every single day….hmmm, not sounding so bad.  This would also add some much needed flexibility to our working families!  Good idea, we like it.  Rolled out an an optional program would be the way to go.

The other idea I heard a UK economist mention the other day was how the Government in Germany is much better at matching it’s school graduate programs, to what companies actually need. This sounds like a great idea to me.  I graduated in a Chemistry program from Humber College in 98, to find a really sad number of jobs out there. Luckily I found recruiting!!!  Humber only cancelled this program with in the last 2 years – finally realizing their grads were not getting jobs in their field.  That’s a lot of grads! that could have been focused more in what our province needs now from trades, technology, and environmental jobs.

Now is the time to speak up to the candidates on your unemployment in Ontario concerns and ideas.

55K Tech job = Market Tanking ?

Technology jobs tanking?

Someone emailed me to say they had seen a Microsoft Developer job posted for 55K, and wanted to know if the market was tanking.  The short answer is no.

Job salaries are highly related to skills and experience as they relate to the job.  Not all jobs require an expert, but perhaps more of an intermediate level skill set, or a person to compliment an already existing team.  

If you see a job where the salary is 10-25K lower then what you’d potentially like to see, don’t be afraid to apply, and simply state what range you are looking for in your application or cover letter. Chances are, if you have the industry experience they are looking for you may be able to secure a higher salary then is posted.   Job posting are the hiring managers wish list.  If you can exceed that list, there is a good chance they could still consider you.

If the company is adamant they are only hiring intermediate,  and you are really interested in working there, try to refer a colleague who may be up and coming.  Once the colleague lands the job, they can scout out for more senior level roles and like I say “keep a seat warm for you”.

Help Wanted . . . A.S.A.P

Hiring ASAP Then why does it take so long to land that job

A colleague looking for work, recently asked me why most companies say they are hiring ASAP, however it still takes a month to really get things going. 

The time of year you are searching for a job, does make a huge difference.  If you are searching now, the fall, it’s a great time. If you found interviews and resume call backs were slow and weeks between in the summer, you’ll notice things move much quicker in the fall. There are a few reasons for that. The most important one, is people are back from vacation. Even if they didn’t leave and physically go on a vacation, people tend to relax more during the “dog day” months of July and August.

Reasons jobs and your resume tend to take so long these days to move through the process:

1. Hiring Managers interview schedules – if they can only cram one interview a day, it tends to extend the process

2. Candidates also have busy schedules, so trying to make a good match here can take a few days at best.

3. Scheduling second and third interviews are more common these days, to help create buy in, so again, double or triple the time of the process.

4. Checking references – sometimes even before the job is offered – people are busy so tracking down referrals can add days if not a week.  Make sure you contact your references always before they are about to be contacted to give them the heads up. Otherwise the contact could end up lost in their vm or junk folder.

Some companies will do criminal history checks, or credit checks on applications for jobs. A criminal check tends to take 24-48 hours, if there is a “name match” a full RCMP check can take up to a month.  You will know this is being done.

5.  As the interviews progress, the job sometimes changes – this could mean that it needs new “approval” from the powers above, taking from a day to two weeks.  Or it could need to be reposted internally, and be allowed to “run” for five to ten days to collect internal resumes.

These are just a reasons the interview “process” can take up to a month, even when they are hiring ASAP!

The good news is, if they took a month to hire you, you should be able to squeeze a week or two of vacation before you start. It allows you to apply to a few other roles so you have the pick of the litter of jobs when offer time finally rolls in.

If you have encountered any delays in your interview process, please comment.

OMG I’ve been Fired…now what?

Fired, now what?

Now what? You’ve been…Gasp…Fired. Don’t panic, this may be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, believe it or not.

Chances are, you saw it coming, or at least had some inkling of it. (If not, email me, we’ll talk off line)
so hopefully you were at least able to prepare your resume before hand. It’s surprisingly much easier to complete a resume when you are gainfully employed. Take note, if you feel it might be coming, ramp up that cv.

Take this as an opportunity to find a role where you are happier, perhaps closer to home to cut on the commute. Either a bigger or smaller environment, really take stock at what would make you happy in your next job and keep in mind for your search. to deal with topic of being Fired in a job interview. With the economy the way it’s been lately, you are not the only person who’s been let go from a company the HR person has met, so let’s start there. If you can explain the situation that will help. For example, was a whole department outsourced? If so, don’t consider yourself “fired” consider yourself outsourced. When more then one person has been let go, make sure to mention in the interview if probed about why you left. Specifically if you were on the 2nd or 3rd round of people to go.

If you were the only one let go, this makes it trickier. The best way to approach is never to bad mouth your former employer, nor anyone you worked with. Tell the interviewer that it was not the role for you, and when discussed with your boss, it was determined that you would be better off finding a role that better suited you. If you can find someone who can provide a business reference from the company you were fired from that can help. It can be someone who worked with you, or someone you serviced, or a client. Mentioned to the interviewer you have such a referral to put their mind at ease.

5 Top Tips for finding a job on and/or

Credit: Free photos from

Tips for finding a job on and/or

 1. Widen your geographic search area to consider other areas outside your city limits and consider contract and telecommuting roles ie – you live in Oakville – check also Brantford/London

2. Post your resume for FREE – just keep any major identifies general

3. Try looking for part time jobs, or gigs

4. Write a good cover email and say why you are a good fit for the role, be specific.

5. Keep a copy of jobs you apply for so when you get a response, you are able to refer back, and when you do get a response, connect with the person on LinkedIN and/or any follow any industry blog they may have to hear of future roles that may be similar.