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Providing you with information on the IT and Digital marketplace.


Your Tweet Can Cost You Your Job

Twitter is one of our favourite social media platforms. Keep up to date, look for jobs, engage with like minded people. But be careful, your tweet could cost you your job. 

All social media platforms should be treated with kid gloves when you are job hunting. Companies will check your social networks out before they hire you. And after you are hired, if you are too offensive be prepared to be fired or reprimanded. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that you control, not only in your posts but also in who you let see your information. Facebook is used for more personal posts - announcements, things you like, things you don't like, etc. It again is safer because you have to allow people to connect with you. Unless someone else tags you and then voila! - you are open to their list of friends. Most Twitter accounts on the other hand are open to everyone on the worldwide web. 

When things happen on Twitter, they happen fast. Sometimes "trending" can be a bad thing. 

What types of things should you never tweet about on Twitter or post on any social media platform?

  • Your current company in a negative light

  • Your current boss, make that even your previous boss either in a negative or funny light. OK maybe he was really drunk at the Company Golf Tournament, and you took a picture - don't post it, ever!  
  • Getting a little too cosy with the boss' wife could be a deal breaker too. Just to be careful leave your phone in your purse at company functions. What seems funny at the time, might not be 24 hours later.  
  • Racist comments are always a big NO/NEVER
    • Justine Sacco a PR Exec with only 200 followers was fired over comments made on her personal account. (DailyMailUK)
  • Sexist comments.  
    • 2 Toronto Firefighters were fired over sexist comments on their personal twitter accounts. (National Post Story)  
    • Ted Bishop, a very well respected PGA of America President, until he sent what he thought was a harmless tweet. (Golf.com)
  • Accidentally posting on a company website, not only was the employee fired but Chrysler cancelled their contract with the agency where he worked. Huffington Post)


  • Don't rant on Twitter - rants should be done in the privacy of your own home, preferably when no one is around.  
  • Don't joke about bombing or hurting someone.  
  • Watch out for tweets that could be breaking your company's confidentiality rules, this could not only result in you being fired but also in a court case. 

Follow these "Rules of Thumb" when thinking about posting something:  

  • Don't post when you are intoxicated.
  • Be careful posting late at night, it is harder to call something back if you are heading into bed. Do you really want to wake up and find out you have gone viral?
  • The "24 hour" rule. If something is really bugging you, wait 24 hours to see if you calm down.
  • Funny - maybe not when you look at it later. Funny comments in the privacy of your own home stay there. If you offend someone they can mention it right then. Funny comments on Twitter will probably be found offensive by someone so be careful.  
  • If you start to write something and have doubts about how it will be perceived. then delete it.  
  • Use the "Mom Test". If it won't pass Mom, then don't post it.  

In this day and age is there anything truly private anymore? Have a little fun at your birthday party - *click* someone takes a picture. A conversation around the dining room table - someone tapes it. It isn't just affecting the rich and famous anymore. Everyone is under scrutiny. And this is especially true when job hunting. Keep your social media clean and your tweets scandal free!


Are Interview Thank You Notes Necessary?

You've just walked out of your first, second or third interview. This is a good time to grab a coffee and take 15 minutes to make some notes from the interview.

  • What the people were like? Write a couple of points on the back of their business cards (which you remembered to ask for).
  • How did you do?
  • Any questions you forgot to ask?
  • Why you still want the job?
  • Why you are the right person for the job?

Later that same day, sit down and compose your Thank You email. Remember, if you were interviewed by a panel then you want to send a personalized email to each person. Your Thank You should be sent out within 48 hours.

Why?

You want them to read the email and remember you. And there’s no point in sending out an email after they have made their decision.

Your email should be formal, starting with, "Dear Person's Name" and ending with, "Sincerely Your Name, Contact Info".

The body of your email should be 3 or 4 paragraphs (4 maximum).

First paragraph will be a general thank you for meeting you and what a pleasure it was to learn more about your company, etc.

Second paragraph will reiterate your skills and why you now feel like this is the job for you.

Third paragraph – “I'm looking forward to hearing from you at my number/email below.”


A few final things:

  • Keep it short, sweet and positive.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread!

 

And the last thing to do - cross your fingers and wait for your job offer!


How to answer the Interview Question,

During the interview not only does the company find out about you, this is also your opportunity to find out if this is a job, position, and company that you really want to work for. Engaging with your interviewer is the first step in forming a relationship with him/her. Starting with a smile and a firm handshake and keeping upbeat during the interview process are all the basics needed for a successful interview.

THE COMPANY NEEDS YOU

You are being interviewed because the company has a need for someone with your qualifications. Answering the interviewer's questions precisely and confidently will help put you in the driver's seat. You have the qualifications. It's important to remember that an interview shouldn't be an interrogation, if it feels like that, you need to quickly try and turn it back into a conversation between 2 people who have the same goal - filling a position in the company.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THE POSITION?

The next step in the process is to show them that you are interested in the position and the company. Researching the company is always the first step before your interview. (Truthfully it should be the first step before you send in your resume.) Making a list of questions to ask during the interview process is all part of the preparation. The answers to some of these questions will come up as a natural part of the interview process. Now it is your turn to ask specific questions. Don't stall the interview by asking questions just for the sake of asking a question. Make sure your questions are going to help further your relationship with the interviewer. They need to be engaging and smart. Do not ask a question that is answered on the company webpage, this shows you didn't do your research. Try not to repeat questions that have already been answered. Break your list into 2 parts, questions likely to be answered during the interview and questions more likely to wait until the end.

QUESTIONS LIKELY TO BE ANSWERED DURING THE INTERVIEW

  • What would a typical day be like for the person in this role? Do different time frames affect the position? ie does the job vary at month/quarter end?
  • What is the most challenging part of this position?
  • What are your future plans for this position?
  • Is this a replacement for someone or a new position? If a replacement, was the employee promoted, transferred or left the company?
  • Is there travel involved?
  • Will I be on call? How often?
  • Who is my direct report? How many members are on the team?

QUESTIONS TO END THE INTERVIEW ON

  • What is the chance of advancement for this position? Does the company like to promote from within?
  • Is there training/education possibilities?
  • Are there team and company events?  
  • What do you like most about working for this company?
  • Are there performance reviews? How frequently?
  • What is the start date for this position?
  • What are the next steps in the interview process and when should I hope to hear from you?
  • Is there anything else I can provide you with?

QUESTIONS NOT TO ASK

Yes, surprisingly, there are questions you shouldn't ask during the interview - especially the first one below. These questions should be saved for the negotiation stage or discussed with your recruiter before hand.  

  • What is the salary?
  • How do yearly bonuses and performance raises work?
  • How much vacation would I get and when can I start taking it?
  • What are the benefits?


Interviews are stressful. Being prepared is the first step towards relieving some of your stress and anxiety levels. When you smile your whole body relaxes and smiling is contagious, so start the interview with your smile and a handshake and end it the same way with an added Thank You to all the interviewers.


5 Tips to Help Keep the Jitters out of the Interview

Interviews are stressful. Whether this is your dream job you are interviewing for, a promotion, or your first job, there are little things you can do to help ease the stress. There are very few people in the world who don't get pre-interview jitters. These jitters will be worse if you are not prepared for your interview. Here are our 5 tips for helping to get you to the interview with a few less jitters.  

DON'T BE LATE

There is no valid excuse for being late to an interview. You should plan on being there at least 10 to 15 minutes early. You don't need to check in until 5 minutes before but at least be in the building 10 to 15 minutes before the interview. This allows you to go to the washroom and check your hair, teeth, wash your hands and relax before you are called in.

DO A PRACTICE RUN

If you aren't sure where you are going or where parking is or how long it will take, then do a practice run. Schedule your practice run around the same time as the interview if you can to get a feel for traffic flow and/or public transportation glitches. Nothing worse than being on the subway and having an emergency stoppage. Find that nearest taxi stands and get going.

PREPARE YOUR OUTFIT THE NIGHT BEFORE

Yes, lay out your whole outfit. Hopefully you have picked up your suit from the cleaners ahead of time! This is also a good way to know if you must leave earlier to pick up a new pair of nylons. Are your shoes shined? Yes, people do still shine their shoes or at least get the dust and grime off of them! Remember don't overdo the cologne or perfume, if possible just don't use any. Cleanliness and hygiene is more important than your cologne.

PREPARE YOUR KIT

Take a couple of extra hard copies of your resume with you. They will ask you questions relating to your resume, so this gives you the chance to reread it before your interview. Kleenex, a couple of safety pins, a charged phone, and breath mints, can come in handy in case of an emergency. Don't forget to put in a hard copy of your references (that you have prepped ahead of time) just in case the interview goes really well, and they want to move to the next stage.

FIND OUT HOW TO PRONOUNCE THE INTERVIEWER'S NAME

In our multi-cultural Canada, it's important to verify how to pronounce the person's name. The last thing you want to do is walk in and say "Hi Mr/Mrs ........" and have them say "well my name is .........". Ask your recruiter, phone the actual company and ask for their extension - hopefully if you pronounce it wrong they will correct it for you. Write it down phonetically so you will remember the pronunciation.


Being prepared for your interview will help to set the tone for the whole interview. Let us know what little practices/rituals you do before an interview to help you start your interview off on the right foot.


What To Expect When Working With a Recruiter

Recruiting Companies started making strides into the marketplace in the 70's. They were probably one of the first outsourcing practices large companies moved to. Also known as head-hunters, they were known as just a step above a used car salesman. This all changed when large companies like IBM, Ontario Hydro and the Banks realized they were being inundated with resumes for every job they posted.

Remember every resume back then was paper, yes, I said "paper". Delivered in the mail, gasp! The mail room, to the HR secretary to the actual HR Managers were being drowned in paper. Not only did they have to manually screen (no ATS systems) each resume, they also had to reply - yes, gasp, again by paper and stamp. HR Departments were being clogged. Great candidates were being missed. Hence the rise of the "employment/recruitment agencies".

These agencies also had to change the way they did business. Companies didn't want them sending over 100 resumes, they wanted 3 to 5 for each position. The agencies now had to screen all these resumes and find the best candidate. Just like buying a house, the companies attitude was "find me the right candidate or I'll go to another supplier". Keep in mind the agency was only paid if the client hired a candidate. Recruiters had to become experts in their field (technology, finance, administration to name just a few). They also had become experts in the interview process.

Over decades, the recruitment process has changed. Which leads us to the question, "What to expect when working with a Recruiter?"

Industry/Company Knowledge

Recruiters tend to specialize, so if you pick the right one they should be a wealth of knowledge about their field. If you have hooked up with the wrong one the first thing they should do is direct you to an expert recruiter in the field you are looking for. Take advantage of the Recruiter's expertise in the company. Ask them detailed questions about the company and industry. Start with a few simple questions:

  • Company culture - will you fit in, is it a stuffy company, is it too relaxed, does it promote from inside, is training available?
  • is the company expanding?
  • is the company doing lots of hiring?

Expertise in Their Field


Live Jobs

  • Recruiters sign contracts with companies for specific live jobs. These positions could be exclusive to one or more recruiting agencies. They aren't available on the company webpage. This gives the Recruiter you are working with direct access to the hiring manager. Part of this relationship includes knowing what the hiring manager is looking for, and what kind of candidates they have liked in the past.

Resume Help

  • Yes, I said Help. Because of their expertise, they know what the company is looking for. Most companies don't want to see 10-page resumes. Your recruiter will help you to discard the superfluous information and leave in the information the company is interested in for that particular position. Be prepared for them to reformat your resume. Move education from the last page to the first. Highlight the key technologies. Resumes with "I did, I was", "John changed, John has" will be rewritten to use prominent action words. Expect this from them, they are experts in having their candidates (you) get to the next step.

Interviewing

  • Screening Interview: after receiving your resume, be prepared for a screening interview. This interview is basically to make sure you are available, do you have the education and technologies, finds out if you would be willing to do the commute or relocate if necessary. This interview can be done by a Junior Recruiter.
  • Telephone/Video/Face2Face Interview: Prepare for this just like you were being interviewed by the company, with a little less stress. The recruiter's job is not only to find out if you are capable and experienced enough to do the job but also to help you to interview well. They will be looking for your accomplishments and helping you to present them in a relaxed manner. Your "elevator speech" will be fine tuned. Practice your questions and possible interview answers with the recruiter.

Salary/Benefits 

  • The Recruiter will discuss the salary/benefits with you. You don't have to worry about it being discussed in the actual company interview. The Recruiter is your salesman, after finding out what you are expecting they will present this to the Company and help find the perfect match. This will include not only salary negotiation but also vacation, benefits, bonuses, start dates, etc.

Job Offer

  • This will be presented to you and explained. And then you will take it home and read it over again. If you have any questions - call your Recruiter.

Feedback

  • Why didn't you get the job? The recruiter will have feedback from the Company and they should explain to you why you didn't get the job. What were you missing? Was it experience? Education? Too nervous? Too cocky? What can you do to improve? Was your salary expectation too high? Remember they want you to get a job so it's to their advantage to help you improve and analyze what happened.

References

  • This also falls under the bailiwick of the recruiter. Depending on the company the Recruiter will call your references. That doesn't mean they will lie for you so make sure your references are up to date.

Resigning

  • This can be very stressful especially if you have been with the company for a while. The Recruiter will help you through this step. They will offer advice on how the company may make a counter offer and whether you should take it or not. Although their client is the company they also want you to be satisfied in your decision. Recruiters love repeat customers.

 

Do you only get in touch with a Recruiter if there is a specific job you are interested in? Definitely NOT. Recruiters can help you with career changes, re-education advice, getting back into the work force, etc. They are a job hunting resource, use them and form an honest and fulfilling relationship with them.