Lynne Carlson

Company Culture – does it affect your Career Change Decisions

 What is Company Culture?  Company Culture isn’t just the mission statement, but also the values, ethics and goals of the company and how they affect you and the way the Company conducts its business.  Like people, Companies have their own unique personality and so do departments within each company.  This personality will decide whether you love your job or not.

Company Culture is now a major factor to consider when planning on a career change.  20 years ago you went to work, did your job and you left.  9 to 5 wasn’t just a movie, it was the company culture.  Clock in at 9 and out of there at 5.  An hour for lunch which you ate at your desk or you went to a restaurant.  Most professional companies didn’t have lunch rooms, if you were lucky there were vending machines for coffee.  Sales departments used to do team building events and some departments might have had corporate baseball teams, but that was it.

I remember when Ontario Hydro went to the open concept office.  Walls came down, everyone sat in pods.  One big happy family.   Oops – within a month, buffer panels came in for individual departments and groups.  Walls went back up for key positions, ie HR, CFOs etc.  It was a nice concept but unfeasible.  Too noisy and distracting.  Now we have the innovative Google office, new technologies and company culture has become an important part in career planning.

You will spend 1/3 of your life at work.  Not only do you have to like what you do, but you have to like the company and the people you work with.   Your company and your group within that company are like a baseball team.  Would you stay on the team if you weren’t enjoying yourself?  If you hated the Team Captain and didn’t like the way he was running the team, you would be out of there.  Yes it is harder to leave a job but if you don’t like the culture eventually you will move on.  Companies want you to fit in with their culture.  Retraining and rehiring new people is time consuming, costly and disruptive to running a business.  The Company will be assessing your culture fit.  It is important for you to recognize what the company will expect from you.  Experience, job satisfaction and salary are important parts when assessing a new career.  But so is the atmosphere in the company.

Start assessing the company as soon as you walk in the door.

Are the people in the elevators, hallways, reception desks friendly?  Look at everyone and everything as you walk through the office.   Does the atmosphere seem positive?  Or do the employees look bored and disgruntled.

Assess yourself honestly?

Are you the type of person who wants to show up, do your job and head home?  Do you like to read your book at your desk at lunch?  Or do you want to go into the lunch room and play ping pong?  Do you like team building outings or do you consider these an infringement on your free time?  If you have the attitude I’m paid for a 40 hour work week and that’s all you are getting from me then you need to make sure you find a company that only expects that from you.

Technology has changed the face of company culture.

Companies provide laptops and phones to their employees.  Along with that comes an expectation that they can reach you whenever they want.  Deadlines don’t fall within a 40 hour work week.

 

Team Building is becoming a fact of life in organizations

Find out what is expected of you.

Are there ping pong tournaments, Ax throwing parties (yes I said Ax throwing parties).  

Dinner nights, weekends away.

Is the atmosphere very competitive as a team or is it based  more on the individual.   

 

 

1/3 of your day will be spent with your team members and your group.  Enjoying the atmosphere and camaraderie where you work will make a big difference in your attitude about your job.  During the interview be sure to ask about the company culture.  At the interview with your actual team members assess their characters, are you on the same page, will you be able to get along.  Your team is like your family with less space to escape from them.  Do you like them?  If you do then grab this position, there is nothing better than wanting to get up in the morning to go to a fulfilling job.

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Job Hunting – Little things to help you overcome those tricky obstacles

Job Hunting can be mind boggling.  Knowing what kind of job you are qualified for can be intimidating.  Don’t let things overwhelm you.  Think of the positives and form a plan to accomplish your goal.  First thing I do when anything is overwhelming me is make a list.

  • What kind of jobs does your education qualify you for
  • What experience do you have and is it transferable from industry to industry, ie banking to government
  • Who do you know in the industry
    • Call them and set up an information interview to find out what types of jobs you would be qualified for or that would interest you
  • Network – let everyone know you are looking.  Do you volunteer, let the board know you are looking for a new job.  Play sports or children play sports, teams are a great place to network.  The gym, yoga studio – everyone knows someone who knows someone and most people are more than happy to lend a hand.
  • Use a Recruiter.  Recruiters have job boards sometimes exclusive to them.  Research your recruiter and find the one who deals with the companies on your list of places you would like to work.  Also find the Recruiter who deals with your skills.  Recruiters specialize – IT, Finance, Admin, etc so make sure you contact the right one.  Be diligent don’t them forget about you, keep in touch with him/her.
  • Check the job boards.  Don’t be afraid to recontact your Recruiter and let him/her know about job openings.
  • Check specific company websites.  Again before applying online check with your Recruiter to see if he has a contact there.
  • Connect with people on LinkedIn who work for specific targeted companies that you are interested in
  • And then go back and do it all again
There is a job out there with your name on it.

 

Resume Formatting can be the Key to getting the Interview

Resume Formatting can be the Key to getting the Interview

Resumes can be the key to opening the door to your first interview or a direct path to the trash bin.  Hiring Managers and Recruiters see 100’s of resumes for every job opening.  There are 1,940,000 entries on google for “the 6 second scan of your resume”.  Yes – 6 seconds.  Barely more than a blink.  If you pass the scan the resume gets moved to the “follow up file” for a more in-depth look at.  At this point you might get an email or a phone call looking for more detailed job related exposure.

Planet4iT has been using the format in our slideshare presentation very successfully for the last 15 years.  Give it a try and good luck with your job hunting.

Photography – A Trip down Memory Lane edit

Family Day weekend in Ontario, -20C with windchills closer to -40C, the ground is covered with ice and snow.  Definitely not going outside other than for food.  I started painting the trim in my hallway but you can only do that for so long without finding your hand stuck in the claw position.  What’s happening in the family room – tv’s on – curling, hockey, the Fan590 – seriously.  I’d rather paint.  OK next favourite room my computer room (aka office Monday to Friday) – time for a little cleanup.  What is under all that dust, it’s my scanner – I thought I had lost it.  OK this is a perfect day to start scanning in all those pictures I have in a cabinet upstairs.

Not all of these pictures are mine, the ones from the early 1900’s I stole off grandparents and parents.  There are even a couple that are on cardboard and there are a number of people I don’t know who they are and there’s no one alive to remind me.  As I looked at the number of albums I have from the 1970’s to 2002 I almost decided to go back to painting.  Nope  this is happening today.  Turn on some tunes and I open my first book.  Memories come flooding back of loved ones, events and places.  I am now fully enthralled with my project.  It’s going to take longer than I thought (might take years :)).

It’s amazing too think that my grandparents generation did NOT own cameras.  If they wanted a picture they went to a professional and had a portrait done (before that they had to hire an artist to paint it).  As I started going through my pictures, memories of my first cameras came flooding back.

3 of these cameras were before memory cards.  Yes they took film, either cartridges or spools.  Was there anything more embarrassing than going to pick up your pictures at Blacks and being told that the spool had never been used and you had 12 blank pictures.  Yes you could only take 12, 24 or 36 pictures at a time.  You had to buy the film and pay for each print.  There was no taking 5 pictures of your freshly painted toenails.  The film was too expensive for anything other than special events and trips.

   

Memory cards were introduced in 1997, my first camera with a memory card was also my first Nikon – the memory card was 8MB, it didn’t take me long to realize I needed bigger cards, the 64mb cost me around $100 back then.  My newest Nikon (and the love of my life) holds 2 32GB cards.  They sell for $22 each at Staples.  32GB that is so much bigger than my first computer I would need a mathematician to figure it out.

From 1970 to 2002 my pictures were  kept in albums or boxes.  The excitement that passed through my house when the albums with the plastic covers came out and we could get rid of those little black corners that kept falling off.  (Yes I started using them again when I went through my scrapbooking phrase :)).  Imagine my chagrin when I started scanning these pictures and realized that they were stuck to the sticky page forever.  I now had to scan whole sheets at a time – grrrr – it affected the quality of the scan – grrr.  So much for a new invention.

          
 

The above pictures are just a sampling of how many pictures I have.  The big question now is what to do with all these books and photographs.  My siblings and I fought over our parents stash (it helped that it fit in a rubbermaid container).  My kids are fighting over who HAS to take them.  Imagine how excited they will be when I hand them a USB port with a sampling of all my pictures or by the time I finish scanning they may just be floating up in the cloud.

My largest stash of pictures are of my husband and children.  I’m at that in-between stage now where they don’t like their picture taken, so I am constantly following my cats around with my camera or my phone clicking them doing things only cats do.

 

Travelling and blogging are now my favourite pastimes.  The 2 go together almost as good as PB & J.  The price of blowing pictures up has decreased so much and the quality of printer you can have in your own home makes your home your own little art gallery.  Nothing makes me happier as I glance around my home seeing holiday pictures blown up on my walls.  Memories are everywhere.  Photography might be the biggest growing hobby, everywhere you go there are people taking pictures either with their cell phones (wow the quality is amazing) or with the digital cameras.  It used to be only professional photographers had zoom lenses and tripods, etc.  Not anymore, there are photographers everywhere.  So as you walk around Toronto, if you aren’t taking pictures, keep smiling because someone has probably snapped a picture of you.

I’m constantly going on google typing “How do I” or “What is” and up pops the answer.  Would love to hear from you about what your favourite photography tip is?

 


 

References – when Job Hunting have them ready to go

“References available upon request” – the most unnecessary sentence on a person’s resume.  Every job hunter, interviewer, Hiring Manager knows that the chances of being offered a position without references are NIL.  Even worse than that sentence is “Referees available upon request”.  Yes it is amazing the number of resumes I have seen with that sentence on it.  LOL  please don’t bother applying if you are sending me your referees!!!

Applying for a Job:

Read the job description carefully, references are usually only requested when you are getting to the offer stage.  Don’t send them in if they aren’t asked for.  Don’t put them on the bottom of your resume.  References are doing you a favour, don’t pass along their information until necessary.  Yes there are exceptions. There are a number of online company resume submission sites (usually large companies like Banks, IBM, etc) who ask for everything up front:  Resume, Cover Letter and References.  Don’t bother submitting to these sites unless you have all the information requested.

Interview:

This is one of the times when you may be asked for your references.  Employers don’t want to see  letters from your references starting with “To whom it may concern”.  They don’t want a list of your LinkedIn recommendations.  They want a straight forward copy of your references.  So be prepared.  Take a copy of your references with you,  in the following format:

 

Offer Stage:

Most employers will ask you for your references when they are getting to the offer stage.  You may be given a verbal offer dependent on your references.  When it’s a hot job market, employers know that you may be interviewing for more than one job.   They want to let you know that they want you, but your references are the final stepping stone.

References:

    • 3 minimum – including someone from your current employer.  Nothing better than having a reference from your current boss, this might be difficult so a colleague or team member will work.  Job appropriate references are nice to have, if you are interviewing for a job as a programmer in a financial institution and you have worked for a bank before then a colleague who can relate to the actual position is a bonus.  If you are a new graduate then a reference from a professor/teacher is better than your parents.
    • Keep your references up to date.  Make sure they are willing to do a positive reference for you.  Send them a copy of the job description and your resume so they know what you are up to.  Ask them what the best number and “time” to be reached at is.  Employers use reference checking services now so calls can be made before 9, during lunch, after 5.
    • Try and get references that would answer the question “Would you hire them again” with an emphatic “YES”.  References are very careful about how they answer questions and companies don’t want to get sued so they will tend not to say anything negative, but sometimes a non answer speaks volumes.
    • Use LinkedIn – keep in touch with the colleagues you would like to be your references.  Ten (10) years ago you would call your reference and if they had left their job good luck finding them.  LinkedIn makes it so easy to keep track of people and communicate with them.  Keep the relationship fresh and up to date.

References are an integral part of the successful job hunting journey.  Always try and leave your last job on a positive note and you won’t have to worry about your reference check.  Keep them up to date and keep in touch with them.


 

 

The Internet of Things – Yes you are using it everyday!

 

The Internet of Things in Lynnetalk means less wires.  You probably don’t even realize how many things in your home right now are part of the “IoT” family.  Do you have a wireless printer or one that is connected through your modem so that all your computers and tablets can access it.  How about a smart TV.  Yes – it is part of the IoT.  Basically anything in your home that is connected through wi-fi to the internet is part of the IoT.  My smart meter is one of my favourites – not only can I control it from my phone but so can the Hydro company.  In the summer during a heat wave, they will turn my air conditioning down to help control possible black/brown outs.  (I just thought I was having a hot flash every day at 5 pm).  

Every day the IoT is adding new features and items faster than we can keep up.  The main conduit for the IoT for the everyday person seems to be your phone or tablet.  Some of them we don’t even realize are happening.

 

Hyper-Targeting – A catchy phrase that basically means everything you do on the internet is being tracked and analyzed.  

Do you have a mobile phone or tablet?  Your phone is basically being tracked every time you move.  Yes – every time you move.  A signal is being sent out as you walk through the mall, as you drive your car.  What is this data being used for?  

  1. Retailers will use that data to transmit “Sale of the Day flyers” to your phone as you walk through the mall. 
  2. Restaurants will target customers in walking or driving in a 5 mile area letting them know about specials being served between 5 and 8 pm.  
  3. Advertisers will be able to track your likes and dislikes as your phone travels around the city/world.  They will know where you shop, what you buy, your favourite coffee and then you will be targeted with advertising for your specific likes.  I guess it is better than receiving paper flyers from every box store in your region :).

This is Big Data at its biggest.  Just think every step you take is being recorded.  Every coffee you order, every trip you take, every book you read.  Tick Tick Tick, they are all being counted and a multitude of companies are analyzing this data and selling it to advertisers.  Google and Facebook are the gods of Big Data.
Digital Payments 

We’ve all seen that commercial by CIBC – take a picture of your cheque and deposit it automatically.  Wish I had it today, last thing I want to do is head to the bank when it is -20 outside. 

Apple Pay is coming to Canada, maybe as early as March 2015.  Get rid of your wallets, now you only need your iPhone6 when you go shopping.  Google Wallet is the android equivalent app.  But don’t leave your credit card at home quite yet, even though more retailers are offering this service it is still quite limited.  

Pixie

How often do you lose your car keys?  Your purse? My eyeglasses at least twice a day.  Well let me introduce Pixie – the Location of Things.  All you have to do is attach “Pixie Points” to things, anything.  Then your mobile phone (yes your mobile phone knows more about you then your mother) can find anything you have pixied.  The other great thing about this app is you can categorize items together – i.e.  do you travel a lot – then pixie your passport, your medications, your travel documents, chargers, etc.  Before you leave check the app to make sure they are all in your bag.  No more “Mom where is my knapsack” just PIXIE it.  

What will the Future bring?

Are you excited about any new innovations?  Do you have an iFit watch?  I would love to hear from you about your favourite IoT or what you think the future will bring.   

 

happyfacehanddrawn Good Luck job huntingguestpostintroductionLynne 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!

 

WHAT IS AN INFORMATION INTERVIEW  

Boring, you can’t bear another day going into your job.  You thought you were a salesman but hate cold calls.  Graduation day is approaching and you don’t know what to do.  Now is the time to set up some Information Interviews.

An Information Interview is just what its name implies.  It is a way for you to find out information about different types of jobs and companies.

Your first step is to:

  1. Make a list of companies and jobs you think you might like.
  2. Research these companies and job types, both through their webpages and through job search engines like Workopolis and Monster.
  3. Make a list of questions about the companies and the different positions they have

 

Networking is your next step:

  1. Ask people you know who work for these companies if they could recommend someone you could go and talk to about the company and types of jobs
  2. Look around your community.  If you are thinking about banking then the bank manager is a great person to talk to or he/she may be able to recommend someone in head office that would be helpful
  3. Sports teams and gyms are great places to network.  Right away you have something in common so ask them who they work for and how they got started.
  4. Coffee shops, if there is a specific company you are interested in, yes go and hang around the closest coffee shop to their office.  Strike up a conversation
  5. LinkedIn is a great place to find people who work for specific companies. Ask to connect with them and then follow their updates.  LinkedIn Groups are also a great way to find out about different things that are going on in your field and to connect with people with the same interests.
It is important to remember that this is an Information Interview not a Job Interview.  So you are the one asking the questions, you are in control.  Break your interview into 4 parts:
  1. A brief introduction of yourself:  your education, your achievements and your interests.  This gives the person you are interviewing an idea of your skills and how they will relate to different positions in their company.  Explain to them you are trying to get into a new field or have just graduated.  Tell him “I really don’t like doing cold calls”, “I love working with numbers”, “I have a real interest in people”, etc.
  2. Next would come questions about the company:  trends, challenges, organization, etc.
  3. Specifics about particular jobs will be the most detailed part of the interview:
    1. what training is required
    2. what type of things would be done in a typical day
    3. what do you enjoy most/least about your job

4.  Finally a thank you for their time and ask if they can recommend/refer anyone that may be able to help you in your job search/analysis

 

This person is doing you a favour so remember:
  1. Be punctual
  2. Be prepared
  3. Be polite
  4. Bring a resume but DO NOT give it to them unless they ask you for one.
  5. Dress professionally
  6. Don’t waste their time

Finally as with anything in life, this person has done you a service and set aside some of their time to help you so remember to send a Thank You Note as soon as possible after the interview.  And don’t forget to add them to your network on your social media sites.

 

happyfacehanddrawn Good Luck job huntingguestpostintroductionLynne 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 Check List

Before you submit that resume, have a 2nd and a 3rd look. Below are some do’s and don’ts to help you with your resume submission.

  • Your name (first and last) is bolded on the first page, followed by contact information (town/city, country, phone, email, linkedin) in a smaller font.  On subsequent pages include your name, email and phone number in a smaller font at the top of the resume.
  • Do not include personal information like:  marital status, children, father’s name (yes I have seen it on resumes), passport number or SIN number.
  • How long is your Professional Profile.  Keep it to 1 paragraph, 5 to 6 sentences and possibly a couple of bullets.  Make sure they highlight the skills you have that match the job you are applying for.  A 1-page profile will lose the interest of the recruiter after about the 5th line.  Keep it short and concise.
  • Is your Education listed with the highest degree on the top, followed by certifications and training in reverse chronological order
  • If you are applying for a technical position.  This is a good spot to list your most current technologies.  Needless to say if there are specific technical skills in the job ad and you have them, then put them in here so they will stand out.
  • The next section should be your Professional Experience.  Again the jobs should be listed in reverse chronological order, with the most current position first.
  • Do your achievements start with action words:  Develop, Create, Built, Performed, Managed, Coordinated, etc.  Here is a webpage with 100’s of action words http://jobmob.co.il/blog/positive-resume-action-verbs/ or just type “List of Action Words” in Google.
  • NEVER NEVER NEVER start a sentence with “I” or “your name”.
    • “John created a test plan and test cases” or “I created a test plan and test cases” should become
    • Created a test plan and test cases.
  • Put your keywords from the job ad in your achievements as often as you can.  If the job is looking for someone who has worked on an “on-line banking system”  then say so.
    • Created detailed test plans for the CIBC On-line Banking System using Mercury Tools
  • If you notice that it is taking you a long time to read your resume, then it is probably too long, cut it down to 2 or 3 pages.  You can always put in a line that says
    • Detailed job information from 1999 and back is available upon request.
  • Hobbies – not needed on the resume.  This is a question that may come up at the interview to get the conversation going.  Be careful what you tell them.  Reading, Golf, Skiing, etc are probably good topics of conversation.  Telling your interviewer that you like to go to the casino every Saturday night might set off some warning bells for him.
  • References – don’t go on the resume, in fact don’t even put in the line “references available upon request”, that’s a known.
  • Take out the graphics, logos, graphs, pictures.
  • Don’t include a letter from your mother, yes it has happened.
  • Don’t lie on your resume, this is a legal document.
  • Have someone proofread it, have them read the job ad as well.

Remote, Telecommuting a growing trend and with wi-fi the world is the limit!!

Remote, Telecommuting a growing trend and with wi-fi there is no limit!!

 

Starting off my career in computer programming at Ontario Hydro, I watched the 80’s bring in some of the first contract workers and consulting houses.  By 1985, I joined the contract team, but still had to go into the office to do my work.  The years progressed, laptops appeared.  We could now take our work home with us.  Then the internet arrived and home/virtual offices are becoming the norm.  

1985 the year I started contracting, 1988 the year I started working from home.  My computer used floppy discs, took forever to boot up and I had to go into the office to pick up and deliver my assignments.  There was no email, only a few faxes, no webinars or yahoo chat or msn messenger.  NO INTERNET.  But there were people.  Lots of personal contact, either on the phone or in the office.  Job interviews were F2F, based on your typed resume with no fancy fonts or pictures.  No online surveys, video interviews or phone generated generic interviews.  Nope not back in 1988, show up at the company’s office – early, in your best suit or dress.  Preparation for the interview – friends/family who knew about the company, newspapers, maybe the library.  My desk came equipped with an electric typewriter, my computer, my phone, and a drawer for my paper files.  When I first started working remotely our numbers were mostly made up of 20 year old computer wizs or stay-at-home moms.  In 2014 

The typical telecommuter is a 49-year-old college graduate — man or woman — who earns about $58,000 a year and belongs to a company with more than 100 employees, according to numbers culled from the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey. The New York Times


The technology, the hardware, the firewalls, the ability to work remotely just keeps on improving.  After the winter of 2014 where we couldn’t get out of our driveway for 3 days and we only live 30 kms from Toronto systems were put in place to make access to your work place easier and more secure. 

Federal employees in Washington who worked from home during four official snow days saved the government an estimated $32 million, according to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, and its research arm Telework Research Network.”  The New York Times

Telus is now working toward a goal of having 70 per cent of its work force telecommuting by 2015.”  The Globe and Mail

 

“More than half of us will be working remotely by 2020, said executives, entrepreneurs and business academics at London Business School’s Global Leadership Summit”.  London School of Business

It soon became apparent that I had to set rules and guidelines for myself and family members.  My first and most important mandate was:

This is your career treat it with respect.  


From this statement I was able look at my issues and set up some standards for operating my business.  This included simple things like:

  1. Setting up a private office.  I set up a room in the house that was out of bounds for children and visitors (my cats were and still are welcome).
  2. A proper desk and comfortable chair are a necessity.
  3. Getting out of my pajamas when I went into my office.  I still do casual office attire, but my makeup is on and it makes me feel more professional.
  4. If you have children be prepared to get a babysitter for your busy times.  
  5. Shut the door so there are fewer distractions.  Make sure all family members know the rules.  They can’t be yelling for you when you are on the phone conducting an interview.
  6. Take your lunch break away from your desk.  Go for a walk outside.  Stretch your legs and relax your mind for 60 minutes.  
  7. Set up mini deadlines.  These tasks have to be finished before I can succumb to another cup of tea.
  8. Set up a schedule for checking your personal email, etc, that way it won’t become distracting.
  9. Separation of job and family time.  Don’t work on the weekend just because it is there and easy to access.  It is so easy to say “I will just go and finish that report”.  If you aren’t late with the task then use your weekends/night time for family time.
  10. If your work is computer related, then unplug it and take it to the coffee shop for a change of scenery.
  11. Keep your equipment up to date, if your computer needs upgrading then do it.  Otherwise you will lose productive time with a computer that is slowing down and freezing.

When you respect your career you automatically respect yourself

These small guidelines have helped me work successfully from home for the past 25 years.  When I started treating my job like a career, it didn’t take long for my family and neighbours to follow suit.  I’m still working on the cats  O:).

I am becoming known as “have computer and wi-fi will travel”.  This week my computer is in Fort Lauderdale, no snow, no cold, no driving, no stress.  I have worked on sunny patios, docks, North America and Europe.  Can’t wait to see where it takes me next.  

Being able to work remotely is becoming a strong bargaining point when changing or improving your career.  One day a week up to only coming in for meetings.  Companies are accepting this practice more and more.  Are you thinking about joining the bandwagon?  Would love to hear about your thoughts and experience on working remotely.  Let me know what you have done to make it a successful experience.  

happyfacehanddrawn Good Luck job huntingguestpostintroductionLynne 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!

A New Year, Time for a Fresh Start, Where to Begin

2015, a new year.  Maybe you are still looking for a job or you feel like a change.  Whatever the reason, new years, new seasons tend to encourage us to start looking at lifestyle and goal changes.  As in everything I do in life, I make a list.  Whether it’s in a little notebook or on your iPad, start jotting down things that can help you in your job hunting or career change.

  1. Update your resume.  Always have your resume ready to go.  You never know when or where you will hear about the perfect job that you have been looking for.  It could be at the coffee shop, lunch with friends, on the internet (job boards, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).  Have a good look at the format:
    • is the font easy to read (arial, tahoma), minimum 10 point, black (for most professions:  IT, Finance)
    • keep the format simple:  profile, education, technical skills, experience
    • take out the superfluous information:  hobbies, references, pictures, age, etc.
    • get rid of any fancy boxes, they don’t copy over properly and things can be missed
    • use tabs and returns, not spaces for formatting.  If you aren’t sure how, go on to Google and take a quick lesson. Basic formatting is really quite easy and will save you a ton of time in the long term
    • make sure your contact information is up to date and shown on every page
    • save as a Word document
  2. Update your on-line profiles.  Set up new on-line accounts.  Don’t have a twitter account, then get one.  Network with your contacts.  Send out a quick “Have a great 2015, btw I am looking to change my career” or “Thinking of changing my career to … any advice on courses or places to apply”.
  3. Look at the jobs you have been applying for and be truthful with yourself.  Do you need another certificate or upgrading of your skills, then maybe now is the time to do it.
  4. Check out the job boards and the business section of newspapers, etc. to find out what is happening out there.  What’s HOT, what’s NOT.
  5. Volunteering is a great way to meet people and show off your skills.  There isn’t a lot of competition in volunteer groups, they are made up of people who want to help other people.  So let them know that you are looking for a job or planning on changing your career.  And to top it off volunteering is good for your self esteem and makes you feel great.
A new year, a new job, a promotion.  Be ready when opportunity knocks.
Happy New Year everyone.
andhappyfacehanddrawn Good Luck job huntingguestpostintroductionLynne 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!