Tip:  Put achievements for each job under you job duties on your #resume.  If not enough room dump the duties and keep the achievements.




Is This the Right Move?

Resignations – 7 Things Not to Do When Resigning

The goal of resigning is to protect your reference for the future.  If you have done great work for the last few years, don’t screw it up with a bad resignation.

  1. Waltz in to your bosses office and announce “I’m  out of here”

Well, so much for the courteous approach.

Prepare a letter stating you are resigning with a last day noted.  Give 2 weeks’ notice. Be sure to account for any outstanding vacation.

Present the letter in a face-to-face meeting (no slipping on his/her desk or sending an email).  Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but part of being professional.

  1. Do nothing, take long lunches, take extra sick days, come in late/leave early during your notice period.

The deal is to be professional.  Create a list of everything that’s on your plate divided into what will be completed by the time you leave and what will not, with the status it will be in when you leave.

Present the list in the resignation meeting.

This list helps to make the meeting less tense.

It also helps your boss save face with her boss when she announces your departure.  She shows she has it under control.

  1. Tell them where you are going.

This is optional.  It may just give your boss the opening to dump on the new company.

Why not say, “I shall call you when I get settled”.

  1. Get upset if they walk you out.



It may be just an HR policy against the worst case scenario.

Assemble all your key possession in a single drawer before you meet your boss so you can exit quickly if necessary.


  1. Resent negative reaction from your boss.


Your boss may react poorly to the news.  That can include yelling or worse.

Your boss may deploy tools to slow you down.

These include:

Guilt – How could you do this after all I have done for you?

Intimidation – If you think I shall give you a good reference in the future, think     again

Flattery – Your team can’t go on without you.

Bribery/Promises – Gee, I was just about to set up a meeting to give you a raise/new project/promotion

These are just ways of giving your boss time to prepare for your eventual departure which may be your choice or may not.  Resigning is usually a sign of serious disaffection with the company and they usually can’t change that.  If you resign as a ploy to get a raise for example, it’s seen as immature and erodes trust.


  1. Make a loud announcement in the middle of the office, “I’m out of here you bunch of losers”


Give your boss time to announce your departure.  Don’t be a focus of discontent.  If other people want to leave, they need to take steps on their own.


  1. Neglect to capture the cell numbers and home addresses for everyone you liked working with. They may make a move in the future themselves.


After you’re gone, send them holiday greetings and stay in touch.  They are valuable nodes on your personal career network.  . You may want to reach out to them, for a reference or even a job one day.


Nadine is one of the original members and owners of Planet4IT, and has watched the company become something great.
She is the Chief Financial officer here, and her hard work ensures everything is kept in tip top shape.
Another role she has is to help companies find the top talent out there.
Her track record speaks for itself.
Nadine can be reached through email, or by calling Planet4IT


YouTube Celebrities

I’m sure that you’ve heard of YouTube by now.

But for those of you who haven’t, here’s a quick recap that we talked about on our blog last year.



This is where the Viral Video really got its start. Forget images and text; Youtube is all about sharing videos.

YouTube-is-aFrom family videos to vlogs to feature length movies, Youtube brings interaction to a whole new level. Registered users are allowed to upload whatever they like (within Copywrite laws, of course), and you don’t have to be a registered user to watch them.

Today, the Youtube video search is the second largest search engine in the world, coming in just behind Google.

Like most social media sites, YouTube allows you to build followings, follow people, favourite and like the videos they have uploaded.


More Popular than You

All caught up? Awesome.

Here’s something maybe you don’t know about YouTube: some of its stars are making more money and are more popular than the biggest Hollywood celebrities out there. Don’t believe me?

In July 2014 Variety magazine conducted a survey of teens all over North America.

1,500 respondents were asked a range of questions about their feelings towards 20 top celebrities. 10 were Hollywood, while 10 were YouTube stars.  The result?

The top five most influential figures were online stars.

  • Smosh
  • TheFineBros
  • PewDiePie
  • KSI
  • Ryan Higa.

Take a look at the graphic below to see the results.  Jennifer Lawrence, who is one of the hottest movie stars right now thanks to The Hunger Games, is all the way down at number 7.  Katy Perry is at number 9 and Daniel Radcliffe – the Harry Potter –  is all the way down at 11!

The survey also found that YouTube stars “scored significantly higher than traditional celebrities across a range of characteristics considered to have the highest correlation to influencing purchases among teens.”



It’s all about the Digital Revolution!

YouTube stars are experts on the Internet. They know all about online audience building and engagement, and they use those skills to build up their following one person at a time. They have a strong branding, are consistent in their posting and videos, and remain conversational with active social media presences.

You have a comment – they will answer it.

They seem real, while Hollywood is about telling lies to tell stories.

Let’s put this into perspective. By Googling the first season of Game of Thrones, I can estimate that it had an average of 2.5 million viewers for its season premier screenings, and an average audience of 9.3 million viewers per episode including all repeats and on-demand viewings.

Now compare that to Felix Kjellberg. Better known as PewDiePie, he is a video game commentator with roughly 33.5 million subscribers on YouTube. One of his latest online videos got over 3.5 million views. And it has recently been revealed that he received more than 4.1 billion views of his videos in 2014.

Kind of leaves The Mother of Dragons in the dust, huh?

A One on One with the President

It isn’t just celebrities that YouTube is conquering either – the video sharing services has its eyes set on politics as well. Case in point – President Barack Obama was interviewed in the East Room of the White House in a livestream broadcast by three YouTube “stars” last week.


The president sat down with GloZell Green, Hank Green (no relation), and Bethany Mota.


Don’t forget to be Awesome

Who are these infamous YouTubers who sat down with the President?

Hank Green: Hank Green by Gage Skidmore.jpg

One of the co-founders of the VlogBrothers (Don’t forget to be awesome is their slogan) he is known for his YouTube channel VlogBrothers where he and his brother, John Green, regularly upload videos.

Personally, I love this channel. It’s smart, informative and funny. Hank is also the co-creator of VidCon the world’s largest online video conference/convention.

Bethany Mota:

Bethany Mota by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Mota began her YouTube series in 2009 with make-up and fashion advice aimed at teenage girls. Since then, she has become one of the most popular channels on YouTube, and in January 2014 Business Insider estimated she makes $40,000 a month on her videos.

Glozell Green

Easily recognizable with her green lipstick, Glozell is the most unusual of the bunch. She has dubbed herself the “Queen of YouTube” and her slogan is a little less articulate than Hanks with  “Is you OK? Is you good? ‘Cuz I wanted to know.” She shot to stardom by trying and failing the Cinnamon challenge a few years ago.

The Interviews were surprisingly well done

Don’t assume that these interviews were all Memes and LOL Cats. There was real talk on policing, and several hard issues were addressed. 


  1. Real issues were discussed such as the North Korean Regime, and the fallout from the Mike Brown shooting last summer.
  2. State of the Union Address: Hank discussed this, asking the question that many were thinking: is any of what you said feasible?
  3. The interviewers were refreshingly honest. Mota had a confession: she admitted before her interview that, “I never really followed politics that much.”
  4.  The questions personalized policy. While the sit-downs touched on news events, the questioners did a nice job of making complex policy issues accessible and personal.
  5.  The moment that wasn’t. During Glozell’s interview with the president, there was a jar of cinnamon, a ladle and a glass of water on a table behind them. Unfortunately – or perhaps luckily Obama did NOT do the cinnamon challenge.

More YouTube Celebrities

There are hundreds of famous personalities just a click away. We all have our favourites. Some of mine are:

  • Michael Santaro
  • Just Kidding News (a little crude but great social media news)
  • The Game Theorists
  • VSauce

Who are yours? Add them to our list in the comments below!


Is This the Right Move?

While standing in line at The Bay over Christmas, a couple behind me were having a conversation about asking for a counter offer during a job resignation attempt.  I couldn’t help myself; I turned around and said “I’m a head hunter and I would advise against doing that”.

So, why not ask for a raise?

It’s the blackmail element you must avoid.  In your boss’s eye’s it is blackmail when you come to her/him with an offer from another company with which he/she must compete.

It may not seem that way – the boss may flatter you and tell you the company can’t go on without you.  Promises of promotions, or new projects will pop up.  Wow, but, should you have to resign to get these changes? It’s really just management doing its job to stabilize the situation in the short run, while they gets organized to shed you in the long run.


Reasons Not to Initiate a Counter Offer

  1. If you use this ransom style, it erodes the trust between you and your boss. This could have unwanted consequences related to the day-to-day atmosphere and your career progress/shelf life in that organization.
  2. Will more money change the fundamental reason why you went out to look for a new job in the first place? If you ignore that reason and accept a counter offer, the satisfaction will be short lived. Remember, they can’t change the company for one person.
  3. What is the motivation for your current company to match/exceed your other offer?

Perhaps you are on a mission critical project.  The raise is a band aid to keep you on the project until the end.  But, watch out once the project is over.

  1. You may find you are not assigned to projects that will enhance your skills or prove your capabilities to qualify you for promotion. The company knows you are dissatisfied and thus a risk to any key project.  The belief is that you may leave after the glow of the raise has faded. Why invest in you if you are on your way out?

Business Analyst

Sure, ask for a raise if you think you are underpaid, either related to others or because you feel you are doing an outstanding job and deserve a premium.

Do your research. Are you underpaid, by how much? What is an appropriate premium?  A good head hunter can tell you what the going rates are at the top and the bottom.

Approach your boss at a non-distracted time and explain why you believe you should get a raise.  If it goes well, super, if not you may gain insight into your performance perception, or you may just have to try to find a new job.  At least you gave it a shot.



Nadine is one of the original members and owners of Planet4IT, and has watched the company become something great.
She is the Chief Financial officer here, and her hard work ensures everything is kept in tip top shape.
Another role she has is to help companies find the top talent out there.
Her track record speaks for itself.
Nadine can be reached through email, or by calling Planet4IT


Job Tips

#JobTips: Put your contact info at the top of your #resume,  don’t put it at the bottom, some recruiters/HR don’t read the last page.


JobTips 284

The Circle Book Review

Book Review
The Circle
By Dave Eggers
491 pages. Alfred A. Knopf/McSweeney’s Books. $27.95

Review by Allen Earle

I have a Facebook account. I’ve looked at it occasionally, posted practically nothing on it, and from time to time look at a picture posted by an acquaintance, or something “interesting” shared by a connection. I have never tweeted. (At my age, it takes more characters for me to say “hello” than Twitter permits me.) Needless to add that like many people of my generation (and yes, I’m a Boomer), I don’t “follow” anyone or anything.

Dave Egger’s novel The Circle describes a world that I’m just now really beginning to see and understand – but not like very much. It’s a very odd thing to find oneself in a setting that appears both very true-to-life, and at the same time utterly dystopian. And frankly, it’s just as hard to figure out whether Eggers’ intended world is one or the other.

“The Circle” of the title is the name of a company which seems to be an amalgam of Apple, Google, Microsoft, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and who knows what else. (Perhaps LinkedIn is too focused to have merited inclusion?) And The Circle is huge – over a billion customers and growing, each and every one with a single identity (“TruYou”). And each and every user can access everything in digital space to which The Circle has access.

The newest employee in this vast organization is Mae, who from the get-go thinks, “My God, [i]t’s heaven.” Mae starts as a kind of help-desk intern, answering clients’ questions and resolving their issues, always striving for service ratings measuring within a point or two of 100 (out of 100), and providing feedback on everything (“smile,” “frown” or “meh”). Her frenzied participation in everything begins making her increasingly popular and followed by The Circle clientelle. As we progress through Mae’s career in The Circle, we learn more and more about the leaders of this behemoth – the “Gang of 40” – and their focus (as befitting an organization controlling 90% of all data searches on earth) on increasing information available to everyone on the planet, to making everything – individuals, corporations, governments – transparently available to all.

And here is where the dystopian view creeps in. If, as the company’s motto affirms, “All that happens must be known,” then what happens to privacy? Who is the “private person” when everything in their life (with the exception of brief bathroom breaks) is under the possible scrutiny of all the other subscribers of The Circle?

And Mae certainly finds this out! Mae’s performance isn’t always perfect, but her willingness to open up publically about “what went wrong” leads to Mae herself helping to devise some of The Circle’s more important (and Orwellian) maxims: “Secrets are lies,” “Sharing is caring” and “Privacy is theft.” Mae sees, through her own experiences, much of the downside of this constant, but seems unable to acknowledge what she really ought to see. Rather, after one serious infraction against the “everything that happens must be known” rule (she takes a secret kayak trip off-camera), she commits to The Circle to “going transparent;” to making her life totally visible to all the membership of The Circle, except for brief bathroom breaks. (Yes, this leads to a little toilet humour – and sex.)

The reader wonders, as we move along, whether Mae will eventually realize the dangers of what’s going on and help free the world of it due to her immense popularity, or if she will commit the world to a 1984-like “Big Brotherhood.” I’ll avoid the spoiler, here.

A few days ago, the physicist Steven Hawking, commenting on the Artificial Intelligence that has speeded up the translation of his thoughts to vocalization, opined that there may well come a time when technology is so advanced – when AI can create its own advanced versions of itself while humans are condemned to wait upon the tediously slow process of evolution – that humanity might be rendered superfluous.

Are our technologies, and our increasing dependence and reliance upon (and perhaps even addiction to) them, leading us to a place where we cease to be humans capable of behaving like humans? Is the human mind capable of living sanely in a world in which that mind has no private place of its own? Those seem to me to be some of the questions that Eggers is asking, although I’m not sure he’s answered them. In a few plodding sections of the novel, Mae’s family and ex-boyfriend, the tedious Mercer, provide us with rather trite set speeches that say, “no.”

What frightened this reader most, though, was the simple recognition that in many ways, almost everything described in The Circleis happening today – or will happen very, very soon. But perhaps I ought to keep my thoughts on that eventuality private?


Allen Earle is a long-time IT techie, developer and manager, who presently takes good care of all of P4Digital’s contractors in the field, as well as keeping a sharp eye on our production stats. An insatiable reader, who also enjoys writing, he is P4Digital’s authority on all things Shakespeare.

How to answer “Why are you leaving your current job?”

Companies are always interested in why you are looking for a new job.  Depending on the answer they can get a good feel for you as a person and whether they want you working for their company.

  • Do you like to change jobs?  bad attitude
  • Are you looking for advancement?  good attitude
  • Are you trying to increase your knowledge? good attitude
  • Did you have an issue with your boss/co-workers?  bad attitude

Positive, positive, positive – yes always try and keep your answers positive.  Below are some guidelines that you can expand on by bringing the job opening and your skill set/goals into the answer.

  • I had reached the top of my level in my previous position and am looking to expand my knowledge.  This position and your company will offer me the opportunity to do that.
  • The last company I worked for was very small and I felt it was time to move into a large corporate office to increase my challenges.
  • My last position was a wonderful place to work for right out of school, and now I would like to move my career into a new path.
  • My family life has changed and I am looking to work closer to home.  Your company is closer to my home and still offers me the challenges and opportunities I need in my position.  I am very excited about being able to utilize some new skills and polish up some old ones.
  • A friend sent me your job posting and the position sounded right up my alley.  After researching your company I feel like I would be an ideal match for this position.
  • It is very important for me to be challenged in my position and it was time for a change.  Your company is using a system I am looking to increase my knowledge of.
  • My last company went through a down turn and I realized that my position was being downsized.  This has given me the opportunity to look for new challenges and after researching a number of companies, I feel that my entrepreneurial nature will fit in very nicely with your company…


It never pays to be negative.   The last thing you want to do is sound whinny.  You also don’t know if there is a relationship between the position you are leaving and the one you are interviewing for.

  • I couldn’t work for my boss anymore
  • My co-workers were impossible to get along with
  • They were always advancing their children

So remember:

  • Be positive
  • Answer the question
  • Follow it up with promoting your skill set
  • And finally why the new company is so much better suited to you


happyfacehanddrawn Good luck job hunting


Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!

Your Resume stands alone!

Remember when you send your resume in to a company, it stands alone.  Make sure your resume packs a punch, you need to stand out from the other 100’s of resumes the company receives:


Profile:  These 4 or 5 sentence paragraph or bullets are the first step on the ladder to selling yourself.  Make sure you fine tune it to the job description.

“Java developer with 5 years of experience handling multiple projects at the same time working in a Windows environment.  Led a Digital Team working in the finance and banking sectors.  Education includes a Bachelors of Computer Science and Sun  Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform certification.”

Education:  University Degrees and Certifications are listed in the job description.  Put them right under your Profile. Recruiters and Hiring Managers scan quickly for these qualifications.  They don’t want to hunt for them so put them right at the beginning.  Now they can move onto their next qualifications.

Skills and Technologies:  If the job description says you need Java then put down that you have Java or have worked in a Windows environment.  This is another qualification they do a quick scan for.  If it isn’t there your resume is tossed.  If it is there they can move onto the nitty gritty of your resume – the positions and achievements.

Professional Experience:  Underline your Company name.  CAPITALIZE your position, this will help it to stand out.  Next come your achievements.  Start them off with action words.  Again use the job description to make your achievements pack a punch.  Expand on the job description points using examples.

  • Strong technical background using C++, Java, JavaScript and C#.
  • Designed distributed high-performance trading systems ……expand
  • Mentored 3 Junior Developers …….expand


After you shorten your resume to 3 pages maximum, what’s the last thing that you do?  Yes – Proofread.  Spelling errors show that you didn’t make the extra effort.  Yes, they seem like a minor thing, but they are a huge red flag – are you careless, don’t care, don’t know.  Will you make the same mistakes in your job.  If you are a developer – oops – your program won’t work.  Prove you want the job by starting off with a clean concise error free resume.

happyfacehanddrawn Good luck job hunting


Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!

Career Change – How to Decide?

 Changing  Careers – Where to start?

It is important to assess or clarify exactly what you are looking for short term and also where you want to be long term.  Remember when changing your career it also affects your family life and your social life.  So don’t forget to include these categories in your list.  Here are 8 categories to help you analyze your next career change:

  1. ›What is your objective
  2. ›What type of organization
  3. ›Supervisory or not
  4. ›Salary
  5. ›Type of employment
  6. ›Location
  7. ›New technologies
  8. ›You and/or your family


What is your objective

  • ›Are you looking to gain new skills?
  • ›Do you want to move into a leadership position?
  • ›What technologies do you like working with the most?
  • ›Where do you want to be in 5 years and what will help you get there?

What type of organization

  • ›Is there a specific industry you are interested in, ie finance, manufacturing, health, government?
  • ›Would you be interested in a large national/international company where there is room for transfers to other locations?
  • ›How about a start-up?  Do you have the skills that could take a start-up to the next level? Or just like the excitement of new and innovative environments?
  • ›Do you like bureaucracy or are you more comfortable in a family environment?

Supervisor or not

Some people are made to be in a supervisory position, other people find it very challenging.  There is nothing wrong with either side.  It is important for you to analyze yourself and decide if you like and want the extra challenges that go with supervising people.

  • ›Do you like a challenging puzzle? If you like getting involved in a puzzle then supervising might not be for you.
  • ›Supervising means making time for people and their problems and idiosyncrasies.
  • ›You have to be tough and soft and fair.


How important is Salary

  • ›Is money the most important thing in your life right now?  No shame in admitting this.  Money makes the world go round and helps you buy a house, go on a vacation, or pay off a loan.
  • ›Is learning a new skill more important than the salary?
  • ›Is this a good time to add extra experience and education to your resume and not worry as much about the salary?  Sometimes a long term career path means not necessarily going for the big pay cheque.

Contract or Permanent

  • ›Do you like the security of a permanent position?  These can include scheduled raises, health benefits, vacation time, possibility for advancement.  Your job may be like your family.


  • ›Are you more comfortable being a contractor and being your own boss.  Like having control of your salary and where the write-offs go.  The larger salary compensates for time off between jobs.  Do you like the idea of being able to take a summer off or travel for 4 months?  Do you find that new people, new systems, new companies enhance your work experience or do they stress you?

Location – to commute or not

Commuting is a big deal breaker on my list.

  • ›Do you like to drive?
  • ›Are you and the company close to public transportation?
  • ›How about the expense of car, parking, public transportation?
  • ›How long does the commute take?  Are you going to be happy with needing an extra 2 hours for transportation?
  • Don’t forget to think about those long Canadian winters when you factor in commuting.

New and Innovative Technologies

Are you comfortable with the technologies you are using or do you want to train with the new technologies on the marketplace?

  • ›Keep up to date on new/emerging technologies and what companies/systems are using them.
  • ›What’s hot, what’s not?  COBOL, Java, Hadoop.  What companies offer training in the new technologies?
  • ›Read industry publications to keep up to date on emerging technologies.
  • ›Do you need to go back to school or take a course/certificate?

You and Your Family

Times change and so do you.  Just graduated, no family ties – then long hours and travelling with your job are great.  Add a family into the scenario or have an older parent you need to help with.  Your needs change and so do theirs.

  • ›There is nothing more fun than coaching one of your kids at yours/their favourite sport.  Will the new job provide the opportunity to get home early enough for that?
  • ›Does the new company have a day care centre?
  • ›Health Benefits can make a huge difference in your life style.
  • ›Older parents, spouse’s career, are you at an age when you would like a little more time off.  These are all factors that you have to analyze when you are looking for a new position.

What factor is the deal breaker for you?

Everyone has different needs.  As you grow in your career your needs will change.  It’s important to analyze each factor for each time in your life.  Be honest!!  Changing careers and companies is a hard decision and not something you want to regret.

Start with these 8 factors and analyze each one.  Let me know which factor, either one of these or one of your own that made the difference in your decision.


happyfacehanddrawn Good luck job hunting


Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!

How to write a resume

Have you ever been confused about how to put a resume together? Planet4IT Vetern Allen Earle breaks it down for you in this informative guest post.

Overall Impression

  • White space
  • Organized Presentation
  • Spelling and grammar checked and rechecked



  • Large font, bold, indented


Professional Summary

  • Try to limit to just two lines describing what is your role now (function, industry, essential knowledge not listed in Technical Skills)



  • Degree, must be dated, clearly show the degree and the institution
  • Certifications – dated and relevant (omit certifications that won’t help you find the job you’re looking for)
  • Don’t list all the “training courses” you’ve taken on the job.


Technical Skills

  • Complete, organized, and related to the experience (that is, a skill that is listed here must show somewhere in the body of the resume under one or more jobs)


Professional Experience

These notes refer only to the most recent 2-3 jobs, over the last 3-5 years. Older jobs may be much shorter, describing only the general nature of the role, and any special accomplishments which might be relevant to your search.

  • Opening Paragraph
    • Active verbs describing your function
    • Clear description of what you were tasked to deliver
    • Clear description of the reason for the role/deliverable
    • Clear, concise description of the technical/business environment
  • Bullets (4 – 7 only)
    • War Stories – project/function achievements (a story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and it tells what the problem was, what your role in the solution was, and what the result was)
    • Metrics or measures
    • Roadblocks overcome
    • Significant achievements
    • Do not include a long laundry list of “process” bullets


How to Write a War Story

Select the best 2 to 3 projects you have done in the last 2 to 3 years – the things of which you have been most proud, or most challenged, or that you feel demonstrate “you in action.”  This is a very credible and interesting way to show what you have done. It is a proven way to make your resume stand out from others.

Create paragraphs around those 2 to 3 projects, beginning with the one of which you are most proud, or that was the most important to the company. Those paragraphs should state as much as possible of the following:

  • What was the project mandate? (Show your business savvy by talking about the project objective to avoid looking like you are just a mechanic)
  • If this was any initiative of your own, how did you come to it and how did you get it accepted?
  • What did you do, what functions did you, yourself perform? (Note, this is where you talk about you.  It is not a place to talk about what the others on the team did. No “we” allowed.)
  • With whom did you work? (To show presence with senior people or clients/end users; collegial skills with other groups and your team members, remember to say how many.)
  • How did you do the project?  What methodology did you use?
  • What technologies were used and what did you do with them?
  • On what platform did you develop and deploy?
  • If testing was part of the project, what was your involvement?
  • What was the result?


Try to quantify the results as much as possible. For example:

  • On time project delivery
  • Received a commendation
  • End users were really happy
  • Did better than the minimum defect rates
  • The system stood up in production with minimal support
  • The system improved performance by XXX %
  • Cost, time, function points, lines of code, any other number can add dimensionality to your story

As you can see this story follows a typical project life cycle.  It is interesting because there is background context, a start, a middle and an end.


Project Manager War Stories

Choose the best 3 projects in the last 4 years

Talk about them under the following headings:

  • What was the project mandate – the business problem?
  • What did you do on the project – what functions did you fulfill?
  • With whom did you work – senior, colleague, vendor, stakeholders, team size and what type of people?
  • What process did you follow – PMBoK, CMM?
  • What tools did you use – MS Project?
  • What technologies were involved?
  • What was the result – how do you know you did a good job?


Quality Assurance War Stories

For each major project or assignment you worked on indicate the following:

  • What did the application do that you were testing?
  • What did you do, what kind of testing?
  • What technologies where underlying your testing?
  • What tools or methods did you use?
  • How big was the team?
  • What was the result – quantify if you can (e.g. on time on budget completion, promoted cleanly to production)?


Application Developer War Stories

For each major project or assignment that you worked on, indicate the following:

  • What did the application do, and who are the target users of the application?
  • What did you do (analysis, design, code, unit test, integration test, implement, post-implementation support, etc. – all that apply)?
  • What technologies, tools and methods did you use in the development (design tools, coding tools and frameworks, database tools, connectivity, communication, testing, etc.)?
  • How big was the team, and what was  your place in it?
  • What was the result (quantify if you can, e.g. on time, on budget completion, clean promote, few defects, user satisfaction, etc.)


Sample One

 Joe Analyst


A Business Analyst/Project Manager with depth of experience in Capital Markets, Basel II, Credit Risk, Market Risk, Banking and Trading Book Products, Derivative Instruments and Credit Derivatives.



2008                             Project Management Institute (PMI) – Project Management Professional (PMP)

2006                             York University, Toronto, Ontario – Master of Business Administration (MBA)

2000                             CFA Institute – Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

2001                             Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) – Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

1997                             Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) – Canadian Securities Course (CSC)

1997                             York University, Bachelor of Business Administration



Packaged Solutions:       Algorithmics

Design Tools:                Visio, Excel

Project Tools:                MS Project, PowerPoint




August 2000                  Financial Software Development, Inc.

to Present                      Toronto, Ontario


Lead a team of 5 Business Analysts to achieve application development and support project deliverables in Liquidity Risk and Real Time Risk Management Analytics, while providing coaching to staff members in producing business requirement specifications, graphical user interface designs, test plans and test cases for this firm providing analytic solutions to the financial services industry worldwide.

  • Prioritized competing projects in conjunction with business groups. Acquired high level impact analysis and sizing from development teams. Developed mid-term release plan (2 year horizon).
  • Translated long-term visions from marketing team into concrete business requirements. Gathered work estimates from development team, and proposed to marketing team a roadmap to achieving the visions.
  • Managed and prioritized software requirements and defects. Coordinated activities across functional departments including development, documentation, marketing, and professional services teams.
  • Negotiated and scheduled requirement deliveries with existing and potential clients. Performed feasibility studies and cost analysis. Produced release plans and oversaw development progress during release cycle.
  • Participated in Change Control Board. Performed impact analysis of new change requests, scheduled change requests for each release cycle, and communicated decisions made to stakeholders


Liquidity Risk

  • Spearheaded the design and implementation of Liquidity Risk Solution. Managed development work items among 6 development teams in providing the capability to forecast liquidity gap, simulate sale of liquid assets to counterbalance liquidity gaps, and execute dynamic business strategies to simulate business growth and other liquidity assumptions. The solution also allows client to perform advanced what-if trade and what-if scenario analysis to stress test liquidity positions.
  • Reported project status to business group and senior management (senior director and VP).
  • Presented Liquidity Risk data management solution to clients during pre-sales.


Real Time Risk Management Analytics

  • Spearheaded the product definition for new “real time analytics” solution. Solution allowed risk managers to interactively define hypothetical trades and stress scenarios, and view risk management results on a real time basis.
  • Developed project charter and scope document. Identified key project risks and risk mitigation controls. Prioritized features and defined project phases.
  • Led a team of 5 BA’s in requirement gathering efforts. Documented process and data flow designs.
  • Negotiated and acquired resources across functional teams. Resources involved in project include 3 GUI designers,5 business analysts, 2 integration engineers, 1 architect, and 16 developers (across 5 development teams).
  • Monitored project progress and coordinated activities across functional teams


Same Company


Basel II Implementation Projects

  • Performed detailed data gap analysis to assess the readiness of a potential client bank in meeting Basel II requirements. Proposed to senior management a high-level ‘implementation roadmap’ to meet the OFSI’s BCAR reporting deadline.
  • Led a team of 4 business analysts and 2 integration engineers in the implementation of a Basel II solution for a Canadian bank. Produced detailed work breakdown structure and sizing estimates. Negotiated delivery priorities and schedules with the project manager of the client bank.
  • Spearheaded requirement gathering sessions, supervised the development of requirement specifications and ETL mapping documents, produced and executed validation and test plans.


PRODUCT MANAGER (May 2002 to April 2004)

  • Managed and prioritized software requirements and defects. Coordinated activities across functional departments including development, documentation, marketing and professional services teams.
  • Translated long-term ‘visions’ from marketing team into concrete business requirements. Gathered work estimates from the development team and proposed a roadmap to the marketing team to achieve a vision.
  • Negotiated and scheduled requirement deliveries with existing and potential clients. Performed feasibility studies and cost analysis. Produced release plans and oversaw development progress during the release cycle.
  • Participated in the Change Control Board. Performed impact analysis of new change requests, scheduled change requests for each release cycle, and communicated decisions made to affected groups.
  • Liaised with clients in discovering system implementation issues and proposed solutions.
  • Provided training to integration engineers and clients. Responded to clients’ Request for Proposals (RFPs).


Same Company

BUSINESS ANALYST (August 2000 to May 2002)

  • Produced business requirement specification and graphical user interface design for new applications. Applications designed included a Risk Management Reporting Application, a Scenario Generation Application, an Input and Metadata Management Application, and an Access Control Security Application.
  • Developed and executed project plans. Oversaw development activities to ensure on-time deliveries. Produced test cases and liaised with test teams on the execution of test plans.
  • Analyzed the database migration processes. Proposed and implemented solutions to facilitate clients’ migrations of risk management analytics and data.


August 1999                  George’s Mutual Funds

to August 2000               Toronto, Ontario


  • Researched latest industry developments in T+1 settlement and proposed technology solutions to meet projected business requirements. Performed cost-benefit analysis and prepared business cases.
  • Analyzed and documented existing investment and support function processes. Identified process/system gaps in meeting current business objectives. Proposed and implemented automated and integrated solutions for portfolio management, trade order management, trade settlement, portfolio administration and performance measurement processes.
  • Developed and executed test plans, produced test cases, conducted user acceptance testing and provided user training.
  • Liaised with third party vendors. Managed Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposal (RFP).


May 1997                      Canadian Bank, Risk MIS

to August 1999               Toronto, Ontario


  • Implemented an Equity Market Risk Reporting System for the equity trading business unit.
  • Gathered business requirements from trading room market risk managers. Analyzed data availability in portfolio management and accounting systems. Prepared specifications for data extraction and consolidation processes. Communicated specifications to the technology group for development and unit testing. Conducted system and user acceptance testing.
  • Analyzed and monitored risk exposures of investment banking activities and proprietary trading portfolios.
  • Examined market variables (e.g. historical and implied volatilities, correlation between different asset classes and instrument groups) for assessing accuracy of Value at Risk results generated from risk measurement models.
  • Analyzed the adequacy of existing internal control procedures. Designed and implemented additional control procedures, such as reconciliation processes to ensure completeness and accuracy of risk reported.


November 1997             Manufacto Inc.

to December 1997          Toronto, Ontario


  • Proposed, designed and developed applications using Visual Basic for evaluating investment alternatives for a cable manufacturing company. Created spreadsheet models for performing cash flow projections, net present value analysis, break-even calculations and sensitivity analysis.
  • Prepared and executed test plans for validating spreadsheet models.
  • Prepared user’s manual, business requirement specifications, technical documentation and provided user training.

 Sample Two

 Infra Manager


A Senior Infrastructure Manager with a track record of successful data centre builds/moves, ITIL Service Management Implementation and Enterprise Data Warehouse delivery.




2008                             ITIL V2 Foundation Certification

2000                             Oracle Database Certification

2000                             IBM pSeries (AIX( Certification



2001                             Concordia University – Management Skills for Technical Professionals

2001                             DMR Project Management



Platform Tools:              BMC Service Assurance, CA Autopsies, CA Entrust, BMC Remedy, Symantec Netback up, Symantec Endpoint Protection, Microsoft SMS/SCCM

Internetworking:            TCP/IP DNS / DHCP, firewalls, VPN technology, web server management (Apache and IIS)

Hardware:                     IBM pSeries, xSeries, Sun Tape Libraries, Dell, IBM Storage, Brocade SAN Switches

Operating Systems:        UNIX (AIX, NCR SCO) Red hat Linux, Windows NT/ 2003/2008 Server and VMWare

Software/Databases:      Oracle 9, 10g RAC, BEA Web logic, IBM MQ, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, SAP Crystal Enterprise,  Micro strategy, PeopleSoft (HR and Financial) and a wide variety of diversified applications.

Productivity Tools:         Microsoft Project, Word, Power Point, Excel, Visio and CA Clarity



1990                             Large Retail Chain Limited

to January 2010             Brampton, Ontario

DIRECTOR, Enterprise Systems Infrastructure Support (2005 to 2010)

Led a team of up to 45 Systems Administrators, DBA’s, Storage Administrators, Change Management and IT Operations staff for 3 data centres supporting 40 distribution centres, configuration for 1200 store locations and PC Mastercard/PC Loyalty Points.  Developed, gained approval for, deployed and monitored the spend of projects of up to $8.3 MM.

  • IT Service Management

Championed the concept with the CIO to improve incident management and avoid cost.  Prepared the business case.  Used Gartner Group to assess and provide market comparisons of the Maturity Model.  Evaluated tools, using an RFP and selected BMC Remedy runnin on AIX/Oracle/Wintel.  Created the 18 month road map.  Selected the first phase to include implementatonof  incident, problem and change management (vs release and service request modules) in order to deliver the largest ROI with the largest impact on the end users (distribution, finance and supply chain and advertising and retail).  Discussed the SLA with senior management team to identify the key measurements for IT.  Recognized the need to educate about the difference between incident and problem management.  Created the operational metrics and led the development of  reporting.  Gained funding and recruited a Change Manager and a team of 3 Change Analysts.  Selected the Gas Bars as the pilot project.  Led the PM in creating and deploying the project plan for the pilot and the enterprise roll out to the stores and supply chain segments and finally PC Financial.  Delivered the process to a steady state.  Met and exceeded the SLA for 20 core systems.  Earned a personal and team bonus.

  • Supply Chain transformation project – 24 months/ multi million; Multiple distribution center rollouts with Manhattan which includes Data Center upgrades, computer room builds, equipment relocation/decommission, DR site hosting.
  • Storage/Server consolidation and Data Center Optimization project – 18 months/ $ 7 MM part of the centralization of the head office from a regional model.
  • Consolidation and decommission of multiple legacy IBM Storage Unit , implementation of VMWare for Wintel, implemented IBM LPAR’s, Virtual I/O servers, hypervisor technologies and SAN Volume Controllers.
  • Westfair Foods Infrastructure Transition project – 6 months / $ 1M; Data Center relocation transferred of IBM Mainframe and Point of Sale development environment from Calgary to Mississauga. Established outsourcing agreement with IBM on Mainframe management and Business continuance


Same Company

SENIOR MANAGER, Technical Services (1999 to 2005)

Managed a department of 22 technical professionals to develop, implement and maintain technology solutions to meet Supply Chain, Retail and PC Bank Business requirements. Manage Q/A, Risk and Change Management with a $14M annual budget.  Interfaced with clients and managed various internal application development and integration projects with SDLC disciplines.

  • Head offices and Data Center transformation project – 18 months / multi million
  • Led Data Center relocation from GTA to Mississauga, over 300 server equipment moves, Network Operations Center build, and consolidated 7 Business offices from Atlantic Region, Montreal, Calgary and Toronto. Utilized Disaster Recovery plan for seamless transition to minimize Business interruptions.
  • Provigo Distribution Inc. Business transformation project – 18 months / multi million
  • Led and merged Infrastructure and implementation of Warehouse Management Systems in Quebec Distribution Centers, decommission of AS400 systems to established Eastern Canada Merchandising and Ordering Management Systems. Established Montreal data center as Disaster Recovery site.  Relocated Teradata Data Warehousing Complex from Montreal to Toronto data center and migrated Novell Netware to Microsoft Active Directory Domain.
  • National Data Warehouse – 12 months /$1M
  • Led and consolidated multiple AIX and Windows based standalone data marts to Linux / Itanium based Oracle RAC Data Warehouse on IBM storage and established standard server platform for ETL processes.
  • Infrastructure Oracle Linux RAC Implementation – 2 yrs / $1.5M
  • Initiated and managed the implementation of Oracle Real Application Clusters on Intel platforms for PC Financial Data Warehouse, Warehouse Management and Customer Ordering System. Led and developed standard build books, systems management and established support processes.
  • PC Master Card and Loyalty Points Program Implementation – 12 months / $ 500K
  • Led and managed the Infrastructure research, design, development and implementation of PC Financial System on 3 tier architecture with high availability Web sites configuration.


Same Company


Provided 24×7 Database Administration Support to PeopleSoft Human Resources Management Systems, Financials and in-house developed Supply Chain/ Warehouse Management Systems. Established database release management and recovery strategies.

  • Team leader of Database Administrators group, task assignments and coordinated after hour’s on-call support process within the department.
  • Performed Oracle installation, configuration and patch upgrades on various UNIX and Windows NT systems
  • Provided technical guidance to developers in tuning DB and application for optimal performance. Cloned, imported and exported databases from production to testing environments


Same Company


Same Company


Prior to 1990 Worked as a LAN Administration for a systems integrator