Randstad Canada HR Blog

Resume Tips: No experience? No problem! How to showcase your value

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

000072114305-fb.jpgYoung workers, as you venture forth into the world of work you are armed with many things: your degrees or diplomas, fresh ideas (lots of them), work ethic, networks (social and personal) and your work experience.

Take stock of what experience you have and expand on it with projects, personal references and storytelling. Discuss your professional and educational journey and walk your resume readers through these five facets of your work experience:

Promote your skills and certifications: When you leave school you will leave with more than one piece of paper – you will leave with skills. What can you do? Who has trained you to do these things? Remember to discuss the skills you use to complete work in detail in your experience section. Breakout what tactics you’ve used in your work. Better yet, if you have any certifications that prove you are proficient in a method or with a tool be sure to highlight that in your resume.

Include all of your work experience: Whether it was a Co-Op placement, or a temporary position, your experience matters. You ability to conform to corporate methodology and practices is important especially if you have management experience. What training did you receive how many people did you manage, what did your teams achieve? Just because it wasn’t your dream job doesn’t make that experience irrelevant it is a matter of story-telling. You need to look at the job description and funnel your experience through its lens.

Get recommendations, include quotes: Whether it is with former employer, colleagues, professors or volunteer managers ask for recommendations on Linkedin, they help. You can even use them in your resume. When someone says something about you, that comment has a lot more strength than when you say it about yourself.

Break out your project work: Include insight into projects that you worked on, not in terms of tasks, but accomplishments. Describe what the projects’ objectives were, how you helped the team achieve them and what the end results were. This way you share more value.

If, while you visit the company’s website, or read about the industry, you have some ideas, interesting questions or suggestions why not share them? Without pretending that you can solve anything, as at this point you don’t have the full picture, at least you can show that you are curious and creative!

Include your blog: Depending on the role you are applying for, showing employers that you are active digitally and are experienced at building out your own personal audience shows people a few things. One, that you understand tone knowing how to shape content and messaging in a successful effective way and two, that you have web and social media skills, very much valued but today’s employers.

Companies are looking for you, they need to bring you in to become the next generation of leaders, experts and specialists.

When you get to the interview stage it is your time to weave a web through these five factors. Connect the dots between your work experience, your studies, the networks and communities you participate in. Showcase how you have grown and learned through the relationships that you’ve developed with past managers and companies. Explain how the skills you have learned can be useful to the organization, give concrete examples and share your ideas. Employers are looking for bright, well-rounded young workers, so show off your enthusiasm!

 

 

Tags: Gen Y, Gen X, career tips

Generational Stereotypes: How to put your best generational foot forward

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Sun, Aug 16, 2015 @ 12:00 AM

 000045016850-fb.jpgWe talk a lot about creating and embracing our best selves. And while age is something we don’t often take into account until we’re reminded or forced to, it’s pretty much impossible to separate how old you are in terms of what generation you represent from how you operate in the world. This is especially – and sometimes painfully – true in the workplace.

Ageism as a ‘thing’ was coined in 1969 to describe discrimination against seniors and the elderly. It’s now a term that describes biases against all ages. Ageism continues to colour much of what we think we know and understand about our fellow humans, especially in the workplace, where it operates almost unconsciously and sometimes - thankfully less so - overtly.  Stereotypes are the manifestation of ageism, the oversimplifications of grains of truth. They might help us make sense of our working world, but at what cost?

Conventions around age – and resulting stereotypes - still impact hiring strategies, team structures and how workers act, react and interact with each other. They’re decidedly unhelpful in the workplace when trying to create a cohesive, productive team or be part of one. Bottom line? Stereotypical ageism affects productivity in a negative way. And that affects the bottom line. And that affects you.

Many businesses today have three or four generations working side by side or trying to. This a lucky workforce because, if handled with care, everyone benefits from the unique contributions, forged by experience, environment and history, of each individual. That’s diversity at its best.

There are ways you can increase your immunity to the impacts of ageism and at the very least, change the way you behave and interact in your multi-generational workplace so that your contributions matter and so that you can recognize and appreciate the contributions of others. That’s a win-win situation.

We’ve put together some information and tips to debunk generational myths and assumptions that abound in the workplace and can get in the way of fully functional, cohesive, productive, multi-generational teams. It’s not a complete list nor is it a solution. Rather, it’s hopefully the beginning of meaningful, productive dialogue.

Remember, not only do assumptions about age limit the contributions of others, they’re also missed opportunities for you.

 

Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)

 

Assumptions about you

If you’re a Baby Boomer

If you work with Baby Boomers

Techno-phobic and out of touch with technology.

Demonstrate continued commitment to your job by learning relevant technology. Use online courses, libraries and community colleges. 

Establish a mentorship program to take advantage of their huge knowledge base and so they can learn from their younger colleagues. Offer technology training or workshops. Don’t automatically offer technical projects to younger workers. Allow Boomers to surprise you.

No desire to learn new things – you’re coasting to retirement.

This one’s easy. Don’t act like you’re just putting in time. Don’t inquire publicly about the company’s retirement plan or benefits. That’s between you and your HR rep.

Distribute work evenly so everyone gets a share of the challenging, stimulating work, not just the busy work.

Impatient with and judgmental of younger workers.

You need to summon up that legendary patience to work alongside your Gen X co-workers, one of whom may likely be your manager or the owner of your company.

Suggest an exchange of information – trade your technological know-how for their successful selling (writing/marketing/accounting) skills.

Frequent discourse around digestion, sleep patterns and grandchildren.

 

You really are as old as you feel. And behave. No-one needs to know how old you actually are and, depending on your behavior, attitude and what your conversations focus on, no-one will. Keep yourself and your skills updated and current.

Boomers are recognizable in the workplace by virtue of their considerable work ethic, patience and dedication to the job. Value those traits and recognize their benefit to your organization. Understand this is the generation that got caught between a rock and a technology place.

 

 

Generation X (born 1965-1980)

 

Assumptions about you

If you’re a Gen X

(born 1965-1980)

If you work with Gen X

Doesn’t play well with others

Use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ in your conversations.  Volunteer for team initiatives or start new ones.

What looks like loner behavior might actually be independent, self-reliant, self-starting behavior. Encourage teamwork by giving them choices, letting them set goals and determine how to achieve them. Avoid micromanaging.

Hates criticism

Don’t sulk. Be aware of your responses and body language. Acknowledge mistakes and ask how you can improve.

Offer frequent feedback, positive and negative.

Focused on work-life balance

Make sure you make up the time you take from work for family demands.

These are often parents of young families who need to be cut a little slack.

 

 

Generation Y (A.K.A. Millennials) (born after 1980)

 

Assumptions about you

If you’re a Gen Y

(A.K.A. Millennials)

(born after 1980)

If you work with Gen Y

Sense of entitlement, instant gratification

You’re not ‘entitled’ to a raise or a promotion – you earn it. Let your efforts and behavior speak for themselves. Be ready and willing to pay your dues without complaining.

In reviews, include questions about their career plans and help them plot their course to achieve them.

Self-centered narcissists

Behave with maturity. Be the person people want to work with.

Provide opportunities for involvement in big-picture initiatives, especially community service. Encourage them to come up with, plan and execute a company charity event.

Lazy

Be responsive to requests. Execute tasks quickly and efficiency. If you see a more efficient way to do something, suggest it tactfully at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.

What looks like lazy might actually be a desire not to waste time with busy work. Perhaps they’re working smarter, more efficiently. Explain why the task is important and how it fits into the big picture. Give them regular feedback and challenge them in the work you give them.

Don’t play well with others

Use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ in your conversations.  Volunteer for team initiatives or start new ones.

Encourage teamwork by giving them choices, letting them set goals and determine how to achieve them. Avoid micromanaging.

Hates criticism

Don’t sulk. Be aware of your responses and body language. Acknowledge mistakes and ask how you can improve.

Offer frequent feedback, positive and negative.

 

 

 

 

Tags: Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Z, Skills & People

What I (really) think about Gen Y – Confessions of a Gen X’er

Posted by Marie-Noelle M on Thu, Apr 09, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

What I (really) think about Gen Y – Confessions of a Gen X’er

Mare-Noelle Morency, PR, Randstad CanadaMarie-Noelle Morency, Communications Manager at Randstad Canada, describes how she’s turned a new page with Gen Y, finding ways to with their help do more with less and dance while doing so.

After watching my parents putting up with jobs or bosses they resented, to be able to pay for our car, our house, my education, my clothes, and so on and so on, I swore to myself that I would not manage my career like this. I admired my parents’ resilience, while wishing and wanting for more. I wanted to be happy to go to work every morning, and not having to resort to buying a stack of lottery tickets in hopes of escaping work life misery.I was driven by achieving my full potential.

But my confidence and determination took a hit. Just like my peers, I’ve known two economic crashes – one rightfully named Black Monday in 1987 and the second was the DotCom bubble late in the year 2000. We were well-educated and ambitious, but we couldn’t get suitable jobs and we knew we could, out-of-nowhere, lose everything. This may explain why my contemporaries are often depicted as pessimistic, negative, individualist, rigid and rebel, materialistic, and insecure.

Idealism or nonchalance?

So while I like my generation’s penchant for independence, self-actualization and achievement, I cannot help but envy Gen Y’ers idealistic views, and their nonchalant, fearless attitude.

When I look around and discuss with my Gen X’ers friends, I see that they all did well. They now have nice jobs, shiny titles, they are respected in their field. But oh boy, was the road filled with obstacles, and with the necessity to prove themselves over and over again, as opportunities were limited and employers had the upper-hand. I have experienced the same hurdles. So whenever a Gen Yer would roll into the office, that I would perceived as narcissistic or conceited  with a “know it all” going on “I should be a VP already” attitude, or they’d utter the phrase “What, you don’t know that’s there’s an app for this?’’ it would make my teeth grind. 

Hidden Gen Y tendencies revealed

I learned to work with them, though. Learned to appreciate their creativity, their go-getter attitude, their resourcefulness, their optimism, their willingness to put in the hours, and it inspired me. And to my surprise, we have much more in common than I thought. Their optimism resonated a side of myself that buried deep within me who wanted to dream big, to reach for the stars, to be stimulated with grand ideas, to have fun. While Gen X is also called the McJobs or the No future generation, with Kurt Cobain as the poster child, I always felt there was something colourful and bright under that gloomy, grungy, cynical varnish. Both generations have worshipped Seinfeld and Friends for that sane dose of self-mockery, we all danced to silly pop hits from long gone bands like the Backstreet Boys, Ace of Base, Spice Girls and the likes, and relished the possibility of being connected with the world through Internet.

Calling all dreamers

So after having that epiphany, I looked for ways to work better with Gen Y. I have valuable experience, spending most of my work life mastering the art of office politics through a number of reorganizations, cutbacks, and management musical chairs, working around tight budgets, and being the queen of doing more with less. So why not turn this into a win-win relationship, where I can act as a mentor, or a facilitator, who can recognize and foster Gen Yer’s sense of innovation, while adding a dash of realism and structure in their planning. Gen Y craves the immediate and constant feedback, and they do thrive on a motivational leadership style.

And the fun only begins. I will soon to have to find new strategies for the Gen Y’s followers, Gen Z. Born between 1994-2010, they will soon make their debut in the working world, and while they share similarities with Gen Y, they are quite different. I say that because, being back at university to complete a degree in digital content, I’m getting to know some of them. They are as digitally-savvy, well-informed and open-minded as Gen Y, while being more prudent and pragmatic, as they were raised around a great recession and 9/11. Maybe they are the best of both worlds? I am looking forward to have one of them on my team! The more the merrier, right?

What do you think of your generation? How do you interact with other generations? Ask me anything on Twitter @marienoellem or @RandstadCanada

Want to learn more about Generation Z?

Learn more about the new generation entering the workforce, download your copy of from Y to Z a guide to the next generation of employees today at http://w.randstad.ca/y2z

Tags: Productivity, Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Z, Skills & People, employers, employees

Generations Part 2: Gen Z, the world’s your oyster

Posted by James Rubec on Wed, Apr 01, 2015 @ 02:43 PM

Generations Part 2: Gen Z, the world’s your oyster

James Rubec, Content Marketing Specialist at Randstad Canada,  shares his thoughts on the generational huddle he's grown his career within and his hopes for the new generation entering the workforce today.

Want to read part one? Click here. 

If everything I’ve read about this generation is true they’ll fit right in – but companies better invest in them and allow them to take their time to figure out what the organization actually does and how it works.

INMAGEBringing in Gen Z  for data entry, or to sort files that shouldn’t be printed anyway is a waste of their energy. What this generation has experienced is 15-years of rapid evolution of technology and social norms. They expect everything to move that fast and they might be right.

I started my career when using a cell phone in the office might get you a funny look, now I’ll be in meetings where we’ll all periodically pull them out to look at new messages; faux pas or status quo, who knows.

This generation will be more connected and will face more of the challenges that will come with it. There are so many channels for communication, which ever combination this generation chooses to use will win out.

From Generation Z? Here are tips on building your first professional resume.

They will be masters of their domain and if they have coding skills, building tools to make business easier will be second nature. No longer with there be a six month development project and a team of four – they’ll just work on it in an afternoon and Shazam you’ll have a new business application. Sure that might not be “focus” but it is more productive.

More than anything they want to learn and be certified – they know that knowing something is good, but showing that they know something immediately has more value. Of course not everyone can build applications in an afternoon but it could come to a point where building a solution to a problem replaces the Powerpoint presentation. This generation will expect society to come to the table with solutions or to not come to the table at all.

Disruption is the new productivity and Generation Z has grown up in a constant cycle of it.

Learn more about Generation Y, with From Y to Z: a guide to the next generation of employees.

Tags: Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Z

Generations Part 1: Gen Y is the Jack of All Trades

Posted by James Rubec on Mon, Mar 30, 2015 @ 02:12 PM

Generations Part 1: Gen Y is the Jack of All Trades

JAMESJames Rubec, Content Marketing Specialist at Randstad Canada,  shares his thoughts on the generational huddle he's grown his career within and his hopes for the new generation entering the workforce today.

I grew up with two older sisters and saw exactly how competitive, career driven and challenging life has been for Gen X. I’ve always looked up to those born in the early 80s, they’ve been my mentors, my leaders and role models, seeing their struggle taught me two things;

  1. Enjoy life – While #thestruggleisreal, is it only a struggle if you aren’t enjoying your journey – I also grew up with John Hughes movies, to quote Ferris Bueller’s day off;

    Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around for a while, you could miss it."

I feel that a lot of Generation X missed it because they were terrified of the repeated crashes in the economy and the amazing longevity of the boomers. Getting out of school with debt is a great incentive to get your life moving, but what if you can’t?

  1. Network in real life: Back before Facebook my sisters had tons of friends and they did things, real things like car trips and dinners and back yard bbqs. They didn’t need a Facebook event to make it happen, they just got out and did stuff.  They followed through on their commitments not just on peoples’ Twitter handles.

Now I’m just happy to have them around to help steer the ship in real life while my generation is busy swimming in apps and technology.

Learn more about Generation Y, with From Y to Z: a guide to the next generation of employees.

 

Generation Y: Jacks of All Trades, but Masters of None

Growing up in Ottawa, I have a slanted view of my generation, there were a few fields people could go into – government, tech, pure academia or the trades. I know almost no one who works with their hands and that’s endemic of our society. I know one carpenter, one painter and they are experts in their trades – that’s also endemic of our generation.

Knowing how large the world is makes us demand the best from ourselves in all we do. Problem is we want to do everything and know everything. We all have a DSLR camera, we all have improvisational training, we all of degrees, we all have lofty dreams - we are unique just like everyone else. The Internet did this to us, at one point we’re DIY, at another we have no time to do anything ourselves. We work hard, probably too hard to be productive. We network well but know too many people to build on those relationships in substantive ways.

Provide valuable feedback to Gen Y

I think we’ll get better with age, with focus and a winnowing of our dreams. It is often said we’re constantly seeking praise and feedback, it's because we're asking the world around us “Is this any good, should I keep doing it, is it worthwhile?”

Provide that feedback, that input and give Gen Y all of the opportunities you can. They'll make it worth your while.

Click here to read part 2Gen Z, the world’s your oyster.

What do you think of your generation? What are you doing to be your best? Ask me anything on Twitter @JamesRRubec.

From Generation Z? Here are tips on building your first professional resume.

Tags: Randstad Canada, Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Z

Are you ready for Gen Z?

Posted by Social Team @Randstad on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 @ 07:13 AM

Are you ready for Gen Z?

from-Y2Z-I

 

Introducing Generation Z, born between 1995 and 2010. Coming to a workplace near you very soon with seven million of their peers in Canada, Gen Z is poised to make their mark in business. So who are these future workers? How can employers prepare for this next generation? What are the differences between Gen Y and Gen Z, and how will those differences impact organizations? And most importantly, how do you attract, engage and retain them?

 

Learn more and get your copy of from Y to Z, by clicking here!

Tags: Gen Y, Gen X, Youth unemployment