Whether you're looking for a new job, hunting for new clients or grinding for a new promotion your personal brand is integral to your advancement and success. How people see you, how you communicate with them and the personal stamp you put on your work are the only ways companies and individuals can judge your quality.
1. Make a great first impression; online, in person, everywhere.
Making a great first impression is as important as ever and there are more places to make that impression than ever before. Sharpen up your Linkedin profile, remove photos that may be less than business-casual on your public Facebook wall and make sure that your Twitter persona is aligned with your personal values.
A study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships shows that the first impression you make with someone is extremely important in how they perceive you. Even after weeks of constant interaction, the first impression plays a huge role in what how someone else thinks about what kind of person you are.
2. Get involved! Expanding your network and influence
When you take on new projects, or volunteer for a special event you are extending your brand. The more pools you have your feet in, the broader your influence spread. The longer you influence a group the more weight your opinions will carry. Get involved in more projects, achieve greater results and work with more people.
Expanding your personal brand also deals with more personal settings such as a conversation you might have with a co-worker. The way you carry yourself when you interact with others says a lot about you, always be sure to remain courteous and polite and try to remain genuinely interested in what others have to say in your outward appearance.
3. Your actions speak louder than words, or emotions
As you are building your personal brand, remaining professional is key to obtaining or keeping an executive level position. People who run businesses want someone in charge of large parts of their company to seem as though they are a natural fit for the job. This means having good people skills and the ability to make tough decisions while at the same time not letting emotions interfere with how you make a choice. If people at the office think of you primarily as a person who gets the job done and can always be counted on, you make yourself look much better for a promotion.
4. Your SEO ranking matters, improve it
These days, employers can Google your name and find out quite a bit of information about you. Try searching for yourself and see what comes up, if there is anything remotely negative about you visible in the first page, you will want do your best to bury the post, have the content removed or replaced with something more favourable.
To do this make sure you have fully updated profiles on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter to start with. The more you have the more messages you can directly control. If you have a personal blog you can duplicate it on a separate blog host, you could also build a personal website for yourself.
If you have a common name finding a way to distinguish yourself is tricky. Make sure to identify yourself within your profession, or region on subjects or bios that you write. Remember images are searchable too, so apply the same bio-writing techniques to your these as well.
5. Be kind to people
Your politness, ability to empathise and ability to listen will help you more today than ruthless opportunism ever could.
This doesn't mean don't call a spade a spade, but your are going to do it constructively. In business and in life when you hurt someone intentionally the results can be destructive, if possible it is best to avoid doing so entirely.
As Machiavelli put it, "Men (sic) ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed." However, we live in a world of morals, where ones' utter destruction isn't tolerated or looked on well.
Today, with social media and smartphones the maxim most relevant for those on their way up is, "What goes around, comes around."
How To Make The Most Of Temporary Work
Because an average job search in today's economy can take five months or more, temporary work has become a life raft for those who need funds while in transition from one job to another. However, used the right way it can also be a solid bridge to a great new position.
Employers still use temporary workers as a way to help complete extra work or large projects, but today's companies hire temp workers at all levels as a way to preview their skills and commitment before hiring them in a permanent role. Yet, even if you're not in a "temp to hire" situation, the experience and connections of a temporary job can help you land a full-time position in any number of companies.
To make either situation come to pass, you need to understand and follow some basic guidelines while doing temporary work.
- Remember people are watching. They're assessing whether to hire you or to recommend you to another organization. This means you need to be on top of your game not only in your job performance but in your attendance and arrival time. When you're at work, work. Keep your personal phone calls and other distractions to a minimum when you're on the clock.
- Go above and beyond--without being asked. The more initiative you show and the more work you do will show everyone what great skills and motivation you have.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions, but hold off until you've tried everything on your own to figure something out. Then you can approach someone with, "I tried X, Y, and Z to make this work, but I'm stuck. Could you give me some advice?" This shows that you're not afraid to take a risk and also know when to ask for help.
- Make connections with your co-workers, particularly your manager or supervisor. Get to know people on a personal level over lunch or a coffee break. Share your background with them and ask them about their skills and experience. This can be a critical part of getting hired or getting a reference for another job.
- Be humble and keep an open mind. You might be doing temporary work that you think is "beneath" you, but you can choose to learn something from every experience. Don't tell people you're just working temp while you search for a "real" job. You'll come off as a snob. Instead, show people you're a hard worker and when the time is right tell them your situation. If you've made a good impression, they'll be more likely to recommend you for work in any company.
Whether you hope to be hired by the current company or find a role somewhere else, the experience and connections of a temporary role, combined with a great attitude and work ethic, can take you just about anywhere you want to go.
Job Search Tips: Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help!
Whether you're a new graduate or a workforce veteran, finding a new job is a task that requires time, energy and a willingness to do things that might be outside your comfort zone--such as asking for help. However, the more you reach out, the more likely you'll find yourself employed in short order.
Use A Resume Expert
When creating or updating a resume, many people have a difficult time "tooting their own horn" about their skills and experience. It feels a bit like showing off. However, if you don't share it, how will anyone know? If this is you, then consider enlisting the help of a resume expert.
As an unbiased professional, they can decipher what's valuable experience and get your resume to show people what you can really do. No matter what type of work you've done, you have brought some value to your former employers. Did you create a new process, design a new spreadsheet, or save the company money? A resume professional will help you uncover these things and work them into your resume.
Learn How To Network
Networking is connecting with people to let them know you're looking for a job. If you're thinking, "I don't have a network," think again. Sit down and make a list of the following:
- Family and Friends
- Neighbors (Past and Present)
- Current and past supervisors and co-workers
- Professional associates (Doctors, Dentists, Lawyers, Accountants)
- Teachers (Yours or your children's)
- Facebook, Google and LinkedIn Connections
You've just created your network, and once you get the list started you'll probably discover even more. Your job is to contact these folks and let them know you're looking for a job. Even if they don't work in your industry, they could have people in their network that do and who might know of openings. Many times a company won't publicly advertise their open jobs, and networking is a way to learn what's available in this hidden job market.
Join A Job Search Group
Search the Internet to see if there is a job support or networking group in your area, and go to the meetings. Along with the networking opportunities, you'll get support from other people who understand exactly what it's like to be searching for a job in today's market. You can learn from others and if nothing else, the support and camaraderie can help keep your spirits up on days when your job search isn't going as well as you hope.
A solid resume, good connections and a strong support system will go a long way toward making your job search short, satisfying and successful. Don't be afraid to ask for help from the people who can make it happen.
By James Rubec
Canadians are taking more temporary work than ever before, with more people seeing high value in adding skills, references and experience to their resume’s. With increased flexibility and with a greater availability of work, temporary jobs can either link you to new skills you need, or keep you in work during times of instability.
In our recent Workmonitor survey 84% of respondents agreed that temporary work was an important stepping stone. Four times a year we ask 405 employed Canadians to discuss their happiness at their jobs, their perception on mobility and questions that are topical to the public discourse; asking Canadians about the value of temporary work falls into the latter.
You can read more about this study and its results in our press statement.
It isn’t just Canadian employees who are driving this change; Canadian companies are finding innovative ways to work with temporary workers. Companies have greatly shifted their perspectives on the people who have less long-term experience. It used to be frowned upon to have a resume item of under one-year; now it might even be a benefit – with some writers and HR managers seeing ambitious potential in someone with a varied resume.
Three Creative Ways Employers Work with Temporary Employees:
Contract workers to helping companies meet shifting contract demand:
The reality for many Canadian businesses is they grow by the contracts they win or lose. In every sector from manufacturing to finance, whether contracts or orders are coming in consistently defines whether they can keep staff on – full-time or otherwise. Temporary workers provide a smaller risk to small or medium sized employers – knowing that their commitment to the worker ends in a shorter period of time gives them more flexibility to grow.
They are trying before they buy:
Permanent placements are a business investment; with any investment they it comes with risk. Hiring temporary workers is a great way to test out potential candidates, or scope out preferable skill sets to hire for. Increasingly organizations of every size, public or private and in every sector are hiring for temporary positions.
When businesses are looking to test new markets, pulling successful efficient team members from programs that are already profitable is a dangerous. Who will replace my success team member? What if the new program isn’t successful? Are there problems that we haven’t been worked out yet? Hiring temporary employees and starting them on a new project is a way to prevent the loss of institutional efficiency, while still experimenting with a new line of business.
Three Ways to Highlight your Experience:
Show the diversity of your skills:
Just because you are applying for a position in one field doesn’t mean your experience in other fields doesn’t apply. The full breadth of your experience is your career story – you might have achieved a great deal in a previous position that has helped your development into the professional you are now. To be clear, how you shape your career story depends on what you’re applying for and the experience you have. Why are you the best for this job and what have you done learned that has made you so?
Detail your results:
A lot of your previous work experience will can be made relevant by detailing what you achieved, not just what your responsibilities were. You should discuss your results, what did you achieve, who did you help, how did your work contribute to the corporate goals of the organization you worked for? If you aren’t sure what you’ve achieved, this might not be something you want to include on your resume.
Be prepared to discuss your history and your projects:
Your experience is only as valuable as your ability to communicate why it is important. Where you worked is important, but what did you there is of higher value. Always be prepared to discuss the jobs you’re including on your resume and other experiences that shape your abilities. What are your proudest moments? What were the greatest challenges you’ve had in your education or work experience? What are some examples where you’ve creatively adapted to a negative situation? If you are looking for work this is the time to really examine what you’ve already done – go beyond a job title and get into your personal experience – you’re not a list of accomplishments you are a creative, interesting person.
Find a Job with Twitter
Twitter started out as a way for people to follow what friends, family and celebrities were doing, often on a moment-by-moment basis. While it's still a great connection tool, Twitter has also morphed itself into a real-time news channel and a valuable resource for job seekers and the companies that want to hire them.
Those job hunters who make an effort to find a job with Twitter may have a distinct advantage over their fellow candidates.
While it doesn't seem like much, that little number sign followed by a specific word or phrase has a lot of search power. When you type in something like #seekingajob, you've created a mini search tool that can yield impressive results. Once everyone in your network knows that you're trying to find a job with Twitter, they can keep their eyes open for positions within their own companies and elsewhere and let you know about them. It's the ultimate 30-second networking tool!
More good news is that recruiters and hiring managers also use hashtag searches to find available candidates. A valuable one to know is #hirefriday which, as the name says, is used every Friday by companies to find anyone who's used that in a Tweet. Other hashtag searches used by hiring companies include #jobs #jobposting, #recruiting, #hiring, #interviewing, #career_fair and more.
To help hiring managers find you, here are some of the many hashtag searches to incorporate into your Tweets:
- #financejob (or whatever specialty you offer)
If you use the last bullet in this list, make sure you include a URL shortening tool to link to your resume in the Tweet. Remember that your hashtag terms should be something that both hiring companies and your network would use as searches if you want them to find you.
Follow The Leader
Seek out and follow the leaders of your industry or the leaders and recruiting executives of the companies you'd like to work for, as they will probably post information that includes job openings. Once you connect, be subtle. Retweet information you think they might find interesting or pose well-developed questions about the company or the industry in general.
Find ways to show them that you know your stuff so that you become a valuable asset that they'll want in the organization. As a side note, don’t “overtweet” them, no need to look desperate! Keep your posts to less than 2-3/week for each person.
Job Search Hashtag Chats
Hashtag chats are organized, regular conversations on Twitter than anyone can join, follow, and participate in. These chats generally occur on a repeating day, week or month so participants know when to join in.
Two great chats for those who want to find a job with Twitter are #jobhuntchat and Hire Friday's #hfchat. These chats let you connect with various industry experts and Human Resources staff that can make you aware of jobs as well as help with your resume and cover letter.
If your industry has regular conferences, find out the conference hashtag so you can participate in discussions, particularly if you can't get to the actual conference.
Google has a very helpful online spreadsheet that lists active Twitter hashtag chats so you can find the specific job search and industry chat topics that will be the most helpful in your search. Also check out the site http://www.twitjobsearch.com, which is a dedicated job search engine just for Twitter that you can use online or on your smartphone. You simply type in the job or industry you're looking for and the site does the rest.
Once you know the right search criteria and hashtag phrasing, it's easier than ever to find a job with Twitter. You can also search the latest Canadian jobs at randstad.ca.
Good luck! And if you have other tips, thoughts or questions, comment below.
Experienced or Not How You Market Yourself Makes a Difference
By James Rubec
Whether you are under 24 years old or over 55, most Canadians think you have a tough time finding a job. Either way, how you present yourself and build your resume can have a huge impact on whether you get a job or not.
Findings from Randstad's latest Workmonitor survey indicated that Canadians believe it is harder for both younger and older workers to find a suitable job. For more details on the Workmonitor survey, see our news release.
When asked to rate their agreement on the statement “I believe it is hard for young people (aged 25 or younger) to find suitable job,” 86% of respondents agreed or agreed strongly. Similarly to the statement “I believe it is hard for older people (aged 55 or older) to find a suitable job,” 89% of the respondents agreed or strongly agree, with only 2% of respondents strongly disagreeing.
Knowing this, here are some tips for older and younger workers alike.
Tips for Older Workers Applying for Jobs
Your experience is your strength and communicating that experience successfully will be the difference between being considered for a position or not. If you show them added value of leadership, systems management and mentorship you’ll be an extremely strong candidate.
The statement “younger workers are better investments” doesn’t hold water, don’t be discouraged by that false perception and keep applying to jobs. The truth is that younger employees are more likely to hop-jobs than their older counterparts. The average length of time a young adult will stay in a position is one to two years. If you have a track record of significantly more than that, it may be your greatest advantage.
When you’re applying to a job ask yourself about your previous experience;
1. If you managed people, how many people did you manage and what did you all accomplish together? Giving someone the context of your experience is valuable; your hiring manager might not understand the scope or importance of your prior work experience without it.
2. How much experience do you have working in multi-generational teams and what were your strategies for relating and working well with these teams? You’ve been working in diverse groups for a long time, sharing how you’ve helped develop younger employees and integrated them into your projects will show your flexibility and talent for mentorship.
3. How does my online profile stack up against my competition? Your experience has greatest value when it is easily accessed by people looking for talent. Your profile on Linkedin can help show employers that you work well in the digital world and can fit into their corporate environment.
4. Are you applying for the right jobs? How you approach a company is different depending on what skills you’re trying to sell. Many companies keep highly skilled contractors on as part time staff for niche project elements that there isn’t enough demand for. Contract work gives you more flexibility and changes how you apply for jobs.
Tips for Younger Workers Applying for Jobs
As a younger worker your advantage is in your flexibility to learn and recent training on the newest techniques or technology. Depending on your field these advantages can be greater or lesser; like in communications where the fact you’ve been engaged with social media since its inception may give you an advantage against someone who isn’t as well versed in its techniques.
When you’re applying to a new job here are some things to think about;
1. Your references can play a big role in asserting your professionalism. Develop your relationships with your current employer and leave on the best terms possible to make sure you cultivate a strong reference from the experience you already have.
2. Jobs are about projects and your role in those projects is an important part of your experience. Think about what projects you’ve taken part in, the leadership roles you took in them and how your project experience applies to jobs that you’re applying to.
3. As maligned as they are, internships can be a great way to enter the job market. If you’re looking at your resume and what you see doesn’t stack up well against what you’re applying for, consider doing some free work to put some more meat on your CV.
4. How you present yourself goes beyond having a well-organized resume with a lot of experience. Are you displaying all of the skills you have with your resume and are you speaking honestly about your character? Companies want to invest in youth and help them develop; give them a taste of what they’ll get from doing so.
Increasing employee productivity is one of the main things you can do to make your business more efficient without spending very much money. The process of increasing productivity however is something that needs to be approached from a practical, yet financial, standpoint. The four major ways to increase employee productivity include:
• Ensuring employees are dedicated to your company.
• Finding employees who are a good fit with your company's culture.
• Keeping your workforce motivated financially.
• Eliminating anything that keeps you from increasing employee productivity.
Finding Dedicated Employees
A company trying to find dedicated employees on its own through an in-house HR department is at a disadvantage to an outside firm since the HR department has to take care of current employees, on top of finding new ones. With outside help, your company can let the recruiting be done by people who do it for a living. Recruitment firms can weed out employees who they know wouldn't work for your company, and leave you with a pool of applicants that are already several cut above the regular workforce. These applicants have shown through either their work experience or resumes that they have the best chance of being extremely dedicated to the success of your company.
Making Sure Employees Fit in
Keeping employee productivity up means finding employees that fit with both each other, and the culture of your company. Generally, you will not see many baby boomers working in a small internet startup, much the same way you will not usually see a lot of fresh college graduates go to work at a fast food restaurant. Employees who share some of the same experiences will mesh well together as opposed to employees who might take a more laid back approach to their career. Randstad specializes in building teams that work very well together, which in turn will lead to higher productivity from each individual.
Motivating Your Employees
Keeping your employees' salaries in line with what they would be able to get elsewhere is a good way to foster the feeling that the company is looking out for them. By offering a starting salary that is comparable, or even slightly higher than average, you will be able to pick from the best available individuals in the workforce. Randstad understands what it takes to motivate employees and can tailor job offers to attract the right kind of employee, someone who is ready to work hard and help your business grow.
Finding What is Stopping You from Increasing Employee Productivity
There are times when there is something visible in the workplace that will affect how productive your employees are. Distractions should be taken care of quickly and completely, along with letting employees know that distractions are not welcome in the workplace and there may be consequences for objects or actions that significantly bring down productivity. The employees themselves may sometimes be the issue, whether they have a negative attitude or can't seem to get their work done, there are times that call for terminating an employee. The sooner this is done, the faster that employee productivity will go up, especially if you fill the position with somebody who is genuinely happy to work for your company.
By far finding the right employees before you hire them will do more for increasing employee productivity than anything else. Randstad has been helping companies fill their employment needs for a long time and knows who will probably work out, and who will not. Visit Randstad.ca today to get started finding the candidate that could potentially take you, and your business, to the next level.
By Patricia Taillon
Risk management professionals sure have their work cut out for them. I’m a recruiter in the financial services sector, I meet with managers in the area of risk or compliance and get to discuss the impacts of regulatory reforms and tighter guidelines by Canadian and international regulators with the people it will impact most.
They all tell me about the challenges their organizations will face as a result of these new regulations, both in terms of planning and managing the change within their operational teams. Changes to regulations in Canada’s financial services sector add to the already heavy workload of risk management teams, especially in the areas of credit and fraud. And that's not counting all the daily issues related to compliance, especially in regard to liquidity management.
Overall, tasks will become more complex for all areas of our financial services institutions, including risk management, compliance and operations. So while new regulations may build in stronger controls, it means more work for institutions and managers.
We’re also seeing a trend that further complicates things. Regulators require companies to comply with a certain ratio of permanent staff dedicated to act as specialists in the implementation of these new measures. However, the number of employees who have decided to go off as independent consultants has exploded in recent years, complicating the work of managers.
The study recently conducted by Randstad Canada and Ipsos Reid confirms that organizations still have much work to do in order to be fully prepared to integrate regulatory reforms into their operations. This being said, the managers interviewed in the study remain positive about the impact that these changes will have on the performance of their business.
How can a company in the financial services sector respond effectively to the demands of regulators in the context of tighter regulations?
To implement the changes seamlessly while supporting their productivity goals, organizations need to have their organizations staffed with talented professionals with specialized skills to properly manage the new market requirements.
Randstad’s Banking and Financial Services team can help you find the people with skills and talents that will fit perfectly into your organizational culture for both functions of risk management, compliance and regulatory watch. We have access to a large pool of skilled candidates in the financial services sector for the Toronto and Montreal markets and internationally.
Follow this link to request more information about our services.
Download the report on regulatory reform here.
By James Rubec
According to Statistics Canada’s May 2013 Labour Force Survey, employment rose by 95,000 jobs in May, with most of the increase in full-time work. With months of simmering tension Canada’s construction industry finally boiled over into increases in permanent employment. This is enormous, the country hasn't seen gains like this in at least 10-years.
The CBC put it best, they have Scotiabank quoted saying, “'It is equivalent to the U.S. adding over one million jobs in a single month,'.”
Read the full survey on Canadian employment numbers here.
The monthly Labour Force Survey produced by the government also tracks the type of work, either full or part time. Compared to last year, Statistics Canada saw employment grow 1.4% or 250,000, all in full-time work.Meanwhile the United States has released numbers that show their unemployment rate actually rose to 7.6%.
Randstad Canada Sees Job Growth Parallel to Stats Can
Similarly, Randstad observes strong increases in demand in Central and Western Canada. In Ontario, Manitoba and Calgary, Randstad internally saw demand increase, by 18%, 36.5% and 35% respectively.
The gains in Western Canada were largely due to increased demand in Engineering, Industrial support and in the case of Ontario, Skilled Trades and Industrial Management.
In Ontario alone we saw increases of almost 50% in Industrial Support, and 37% in the trades and their management. Just looking around Ottawa and Toronto over the last few weeks I’ve seen a lot of construction.
Sure we're into construction season on our roads, but look at the new buildings, the skyscrapers, condo developments in Ottawa’s core, or infrastructure projects on bridges in both cities.
Special mention to Calgary
In response to the Labour Force Survey, Randstad Canada runs its own internal statistics and compares them with Stats Can's. Sometimes we see a city that is heads and tails about the others and this month we saw enormous increase in deman in Calgary. Earlier I mentioned a 35% increase in overall demand, but when you break it down the numbers get more amazing, with Calgary clocking increases for demand in engineering of 121.82%.
Construction and Engineering in the Rest of Canada
When we look at our numbers in British Columbia and Alberta we’re seeing huge gains in Engineering, with BC seeing an increase of demand of 100%, Manitoba saw strong gains too with Technologies seeing an increase of 70% over the previous month.
These investments in hard construction and engineering will later become job growth in other sectors. They are building structures to support something and where there are buildings there are people working.
I’m personally optimistic and carefully watching this upward trend as it climbs throughout the summer.
By Victoria Ross
Mobile technology has rapidly expanded with the creation of Smartphones. The introduction of mobile applications that cover anything and everything, from entertainment to helping people manage their personal and professional lives have allowed society to become more efficient and constantly connected.
This type of efficiency is beginning to be harnessed by companies who seek a more modern way of attracting potential employees.
People and their Smartphones
People are now accustomed to using their phones 24/7, whether they are on their way to work or out with their friends. For those who dislike their jobs, constant internet access makes it easy to quickly research other opportunities. This steady flow of content means candidates are more quickly exposed to new job openings as the time constraints of traditional search methods are no longer a factor in the job seeking process.
Mobile Applications for Job-Seekers
Randstad recognizes the benefits of mobile job-searching for both potential employees and recruiters. In the next year, Randstad will implement new technology that will allow job seekers to apply to jobs via their mobile devices and be alerted when new jobs are posted.
Lauralee Guthrie, Digital and Social Media director at Randstad Canada, explains why developing for mobile devices is not a choice anymore. 'The growth in smartphone users has been phenomenal and is changing the way we do business. There is a growing need to manage a flexible and remote workforce and peope are used to accessing information on demand. no matter where they are. You might search for your next job while you are waiting in the grocery line. It's not a question anymore of if are you going to develop for mobile but when."
With Randstad Canada’s mobile traffic up by 150% since last year, there is a potential goldmine for recruiters. At the touch of a recruiter’s fingertips, they can have access to an enlarged talent pool that is pre-screened for their convenience.
Mobile technology has undeniably changed the world of work for the better. Mobile applications geared towards job seekers have the potential to improve employment rates as the visibility and accessibility of various jobs are available to anyone from any profession. Randstad’s app development efforts will only improve the communication between employer and potential employee.
Mobile tools are helping people work smarter and in turn creating a smarter workforce in tune with modern technology.