Lynne Carlson

Big Data – Will new records be set for 2015?

The weather – record highs, record lows, record rainfall, record snowfall.  Growing up these were the only statistics I knew until I discovered sports.  Then it was goals scored, assists, games won, games loss.  I was blissfully unaware of all the other stats that team sports kept until my son went into peewee hockey.  There was a hockey Dad on the team who sat in the corner by himself with a gigantic spreadsheet with all the kids names on and categories across the top.  Now they were keeping track of all players who were on the ice for goals for and against, hits, powerplays, penalties, etc, etc.  I was amazed who would actually want to come to a game and sit there – tick, tick, tick during the whole game and then analyzing it all and presenting it to the coaches.  This was all done manually – please note:  I am not as old as Methuselah, but I am still a child in wonder when I look at all the amazing innovations happening in the world today and Big Data awes me.

Twitter and the Internet allow me to follow weather reports around the world as they are happening.  See pictures of storms within seconds of them being taken.  Yes I am a weather groupie.  Then there’s traffic, I was on the Don Valley the other day and the sign said 12 minutes to Eglinton.  Yes I glanced at my clock, marked the time and sure enough when I got to Eglinton it was 12 minutes later.  This was in traffic.  How do they do it?  Is there a satellite up there counting cars as they go by?  Sensors in the road?  20 years ago, traffic studies were done by people sitting on a lawn chair on the corner counting cars, tick tick, tick.  Remember those  IIII   (that meant 5).

Big Data, fast data, numbers I can’t even fathom.  What the heck is a zettabyte?  I was excited when they had a terabyte.  I just purchased a new laptop that has more storage on it than my last 5 laptops and desktops combined.

How big and how fast is it going to get?  I have no idea, but I am definitely enjoying the ride.  The attached slideshare has some of my favourite stats from the last couple of years.  Looking forward to what 2015 has to offer.


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!

5 Tips on how to stop your Social Media + Holiday Celebrations = Disaster

Are you heading off to an office party this holiday season?  Or is there a chance you just may be consuming a little too much alcohol over the holidays.  Then think twice or maybe three times before you post anything onto your social media sites.    It is amazing what seems funny at 2 in the morning after a tequila shooter or two, makes you scared to get out of bed the next morning.   I tend to get sappy at 2 in the morning, so here are a few tips I have been trying to follow:

  • The best advice is to just NOT drink too much.  Hard to do at an office party when the alcohol is free and everyone is letting their hair down.  You also don’t want to be the person who doesn’t drink too much and then thinks it’s funny to take pictures of everyone else doing embarrassing things.  You won’t have many friends the next day if these pictures get posted.  bosseswife
  • Leave your phone at home.  OK, I know that isn’t going to happen, but how about don’t take it out of your pocket or purse after 9 pm.  The 24 hour rule is always a good policy when you are having too much FUN.  Take the picture but don’t post it until after you have a look at it during the light of
  • Keep your true inner feelings about a co-worker to yourself.  Don’t verbalize them at the party and definitely don’t post them on facebook, twitter, or instagram.


  • Selfies are dangerous.  You have been very careful and your best friend at work appears and starts taking selfies of everyone.  HIDE.  Again, you have left your phone in your pocket and now you want to let your co-worker post a picture of the two of you stuffing cupcakes into your mouths.  Maybe not.
  • Stay Professional.  Bosses and co-workers aren’t as forgiving as family and friends.  We all love telling stories about our brothers or best girlfriends at their birthday parties.  These stories form part of our family history.  But at work – nope.  People will feel threatened, if they know you have pictures of them.  This is your professional life, keep it professional.

It’s the Holidays, have fun and be smart so you will still have a job in the New Year.


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!

Can Twitter help me find a Job?

Can I tweet my way to a job?  Most definitely.  Can I tweet my way out of a job?  Most Definitely (but that is another post).

Twitter has 284 million “active” users. No real surprises in the top 10 list.  Twitter isn’t allowed in China otherwise they would definitely be on the list.

“Top 10 countries, number of Twitter users: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, France, India, South Africa.”  (Forbes)


As you can see from the graph above – Twitter users are in their prime job hunting age.  54% of Recruiters are now using twitter.

When you join Twitter, be prepared for your network to grow in leaps and bounds.  What next?  Let’s start off with the basics.

Open an Account

  • First you need to open an account and set up a name.  You can use your real name or make up a handle.  Make sure if you use a “handle” that it is professional.  @ilovecats (is probably taken) wouldn’t offend me, but might not present the degree of professionalism you would like.
  • Post a professional picture of yourself or make up a logo based on what type of job you are looking for.  If you are a web developer you could do a cover photo with the different languages you use, i.e. html, java, j2ee, etc.
  • This account should be used for your job hunting only.  If you wouldn’t talk about it in an interview, don’t tweet about it, i.e. don’t be tweeting about how many shooters you did on a Friday night.  Although fun healthy family events present a positive lifestyle, so tweet pictures of your nephews and nieces.
  • Don’t start tweeting until you are finished with your set up, i.e. profile, picture, etc.  First impressions do make a difference.
  • Need help signing up, click here


  • What’s a hashtag?  It is basically a way to put tweets into a category so people can find them.  One of my favourites is #onstorm (oh yeah a hashtag has a “#” in front of it).  Every time there is the threat of a storm I check out #onstorm and find pictures and tracking information about where the storm is.  I’m a storm groupie.  #Leafs, #BlueJays, #cometlanding – there are hashtags for everything from sports teams to current events to traffic and yes the big one for job hunters.
  • The networking capability is massive in Twitter.  Here are top hashtags used for job searches and job openings.  You can also qualify your tweets by your skill, ie #java, #html, #banking, #ongov.  Do a little research to find out the popular ones.  Try one and see what happens.
  • Oh one last thing, maximum of 3 hashtags per tweet.  Do a little research to find out the popular ones.  Best thing is to try and find the one that works the best.


Now you have to decide who to follow:

  • If you know what companies you would like to work for, then follow them first.  Most of them will post jobs on Twitter.  Try and find out who the hiring managers are, and if they have a Twitter account then follow them.
  • Again what skill are you selling?  Follow groups and people who have the same qualifications/interests.
  • Recruitment companies all have twitter accounts and they all post jobs on Twitter.  Find the ones that are in your area and have expertise in your field.


Next step is forming a relationship with your followers

  • ENGAGE – yes you have to engage with your followers.  You can start off retweeting their tweets, but it is much better if you actually respond to one of their tweets.  It shows you did actually read their tweet, blog or story.
  • CONTENT CURATION is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.”  (wiki).  Tweet stories that interest you, retweet breaking news (if you see the subway is closed – tweet it), find blogs about your field and tweet them (with a comment).
  • LISTS – Lists are a way for you to organize all your followers.  CompaniesIwouldliketoworkfor, FavouriteTorontoPeople, TopJavatweeters, etc.  Lists can be public or private.  Followers like to be put on lists so don’t make them all private.
  • CHATS – there are chats for everything you can imagine.  Love gardening there’s a chat, love the Leafs – there’s a chat for that.  Every skill has a chat group from iCloud to BigData to Hadoop to name a few.  There are lots of job hunting chats and recruiter chats offering advice to the job seeker from “how to write your resume” to “how to answer interview questions”.  One of my favourites is #Tchat on Wednesdays – it starts with a podcast and then a 30 minute question period.   Joining a chat and taking part is the easiest and most fulfilling way to actually form relationships.
  • BEWARE – you don’t have to follow everyone back.  Be prepared to receive follows from Twitter accounts who are trying to sell 10,000 followers for $5.  As a job hunter you are using Twitter as a means for job searching not to make yourself look important.  All they do is clutter up your stream.

Twitter is just one of the wonderful networking job hunting social media platforms out there.  Use it to your advantage and enjoy the education, laughs and up-to-date information you will find as you tweet your way to a new position.

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!

What to expect when working with a Recruiter

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

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

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

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

Industry/Company Knowledge:

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

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

Expertise in their field:

  • Live Jobs – Recruiters sign contracts with companies for specific live jobs.  These positions could be exclusive to one or more recruiting agencies.   They aren’t available on the company webpage.  This gives the Recruiter you are working with direct access to the hiring manager.  Part of this relationship includes knowing what the hiring manager is looking for, and what kind of candidates s/he has liked in the past.
  • Resume Help – yes I said Help.  Because of their expertise, they know what the company is looking for.  Most companies don’t want to see 10 page resumes.  Your recruiter will help you to discard the superfluous information and leave in the information the company is interested in for that particular position.  Be prepared for them to reformat your resume.  Move education from the last page to the first.  Highlight the key technologies.  Resumes with “I did, I was”, “John changed, John has” will be rewritten to use prominent action words.  Expect this from them, they are experts in having their candidates (you) get to the next step.
  • Interviewing:
    • Screening Interview:  after receiving your resume, be prepared for a screening interview.  This interview is basically to  make sure you are available, do you have the education and technologies, finds out if you would be willing to do the commute or relocate if necessary.  This interview can be done by a Junior Recruiter.
    • Telephone/Video/Face2Face Interview:  Prepare for this just like you were being interviewed by the company, with a little less stress.  The recruiter’s job is not only to find out if you are capable and experienced enough to do the job but also to help you to interview well.  They will be looking for your accomplishments and helping you to present them in a relaxed manner.  Your “elevator speech” will be fine tuned.  Practice your questions and possible interview answers with the recruiter.
  • Salary/Benefits – the Recruiter will discuss the salary/benefits with you.  You don’t have to worry about it being discussed in the actual company interview.   The Recruiter is your salesman, after finding out what you are expecting s/he will present this to the Company and help find the perfect match.  This will include not only salary negotiation but also vacation, benefits, bonuses, start dates, etc.
  • Job Offer – this will be presented to you and explained.  And then you will take it home and read it over again.  If you have any questions – yes call your Recruiter.
  • Feedback – why didn’t you get the job?  The recruiter will have feedback from the Company and s/he should explain to you why you didn’t get the job.  What were you missing?  Was it experience? education?, too nervous?  too cocky?  What can you do to improve?  Was your salary expectation too high?  Remember s/he wants you to get a job so it’s to his/her advantage to help you improve and analyze what happened.
  • References – this also falls under the bailiwick of the recruiter.  Depending on the company the Recruiter will call your references.  That doesn’t mean s/he will lie for you so make sure your references are up to date.
  • Resigning – this can be very stressful especially if you have been with the company for a while.  The Recruiter will help you through this step.  S/He will offer advice on how the company may make a counter offer and whether you should take it or not.  Although their client is the company they also want you to be satisfied in your decision.  Recruiters love repeat customers.


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


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!

Do you have a Professional Profile on your Resume?

You must admit resumes are pretty boring reading, especially when that is what you do all day.  Recruiters and HR employees read through 100’s of resumes a day.  OK, read!!!  maybe more like scan.  That is if you are lucky enough to get past their ATS (Applicant Tracking System).  Now you have to grab their attention while they are doing their 10 second scan of your resume.  Sometimes I think Recruiters and HR employees can scan faster than their computer systems. The Professional Profile is the easiest way to entice them to actually read your resume.

The Professional Profile appears right under your name and contact information.  What makes a good professional profile:

  • Keep it short:  one or two sentences giving a brief synopsis of your experience; followed by 3 or 4 small bullets of specific detail related to the actual job description if necessary
  • Use key words from the job description.  If they are looking for a Java Developer, don’t put in the profile that you started out as a Cobol Programmer
  • Years of experience in your field
  • If they are looking for a specific degree or certificate and you have it, put it in a bullet in your profile
Action words in your profile will give it a little more zing:
  • boosted sales by 23%
  • implemented an employee incentive program
  • set up a new data centre
  • maintained 200 desktops
  • converted a 1000 desk data centre from windows to
  • increased production
  • decreased customer service calls
Detail not to put in your profile include:
  • personal information, ie hobbies, number of children, marital status – you get the point.  Truthfully this information doesn’t even need to be on your resume
  • opinions about anything,
  • that you can work independently, multi task, hard worker, always on time, etc.  These are taken for granted.
  • the word “I”
Finally here is a sample professional profile for an IT position at a financial institution.

Java Developer offering a broad technical background working in the financial industry. This includes 7 years of WebSphere development, 3 years WebSphere portal development and 3 years of WebSphere/WebSphere portal administration experience.  

    • Bachelors of Computer Science from the University of Western Ontario (if degree needed from job description)
    • Certifications include:  (if specified from job description)
    • 4 years experience in building mobile web applications.  (keyword from job description)
    • In-depth experience in software full life cycle and design pattern

A professional profile is just that, a profile, keep it short, to the point and targeting the specific job description you are applying for.  For some more examples check out this webpage


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 survive a Video Interview

To think that 20 years ago every interview was set up as a F2F (face to face). That’s right you went into the office,  dressed to the nines – suit, skirt/dress, shined shoes all freshly scrubbed.  There weren’t any telephone interviews.  Skype wasn’t even invented.  And now we have video interviews.

In 2012 63% of 500 HR Managers surveyed conducted video interviews.  That was up 14% from 2011.  13% expect their companies to increase their use of video interviewing over the next years.  Office Team Survey.



Lights, Camera, Action.  How do you prepare for a video interview?

Check your Equipment

You don’t want your battery to run out before your interview is over so make sure everything is running smoothly.  Clean the lens on your camera, nothing worse than a fingerprint showing up in the middle of your face.  Practice with a friend so you can find the appropriate volume for a normal speaking voice.  You don’t want to have to yell and you don’t want to miss the question because you can’t hear the interviewer properly.

Where are you going to set up your Interview?

Find an area that is quiet from distractions.  You don’t want to hear the dog barking as people walk down your street.  Make sure the area is clean and clutter free.  If you are doing it in your bedroom you don’t want the Sports Illustrated Bathing Suit calendar showing up in the picture.  Empty or full beer bottles on your counter won’t set a very good example.

Dress like you were meeting in Person

Dressing professionally makes you feel more in control and self-confident.  So put your dress or suit and tie on, make-up, hair, shave.  All the things you would do if you were heading to the office to meet the interviewer. Try not to wear white as it can look very bright through a camera, also busy patterns can be distracting.


Have your camera set up at a level so you are looking up just a little bit.  This will emphasize your face more than your body and will make you look a little slimmer.  It also helps to stop the camera from looking up your nose if you do a bit of a stretch.  REMEMBER – don’t look down or the interviewers will be looking at the top of your head.  Look directly at the camera, maintain eye contact and smile.

Cheat Notes

Yes you can use cheat notes, perfect for writing down your interview questions, but remember that rustling paper can be picked up by the microphone and is very distracting.  You also don’t want your eyes roving around the room or looking down, leaving the interviewer looking at the top of your head.

Truthfully it isn’t that much different than a F2F.

  • Be prepared – practice those interview questions and research the company
  • Sit up tall and don’t wiggle around too much.
  • Relax and speak clearly
  • Remember to thank everyone for their time


Don’t treat a video interview lightly.  You have to have the qualifications and you have to be able to sell yourself.  All you are doing is using a different venue.  So Take 1 and wow them the first time.

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!



What to put in your email to a Recruiter?


Recruiters receive 100’s of emailed requests and resumes every day. Not only are they working on current positions, they are also trying to form relationships for future endeavors.
Applying for a Current Position:
The most  important thing a recruiter needs is up to date information.  This is where the email becomes very important.  You want to grab them right away.  Keep your email short and sweet.  A one line introduction  with the following information:

  • Availability.  If they are looking for a contractor to start immediately, then put that in the email.
    • two weeks notice
    • immediately
    • current contract ending mm/dd/yy
  • Location:  If your home is in Markham and the position is in Mississauga, be sure to say:
    • willing to commute
    • willing to relocate (especially if the position is out of province)
    • or put in a specific location, ie downtown Toronto
  • Salary:  Give them a range.  Most positions advertised have a salary on them, if this is acceptable to you then put it in the email.
The next thing you want to focus on are the keywords in the resume that relate to education and skills:
  • Education:  Tell them you have a degree from Waterloo or you are a “Sun Certified Java Developer”, etc
  • Technical Skills:  5 years experience working with IBM WebSphere in a Windows environment
  • Management Skills:  10 years leading teams developing ……using …..

Then again a 1 line closing sentence.  “I can be reached at ………  Thank you for your time”

So remember:
  • 1 short introductory sentence
  • 6 bullets briefly detailing the information that makes you qualified for a specific position
  • 1 short closing sentence.

Future Possibilities

If you are sending your resume to a recruiter for future possibilities, then use the same format as above, but instead of your skills detailing specific keywords in the advertisement, put down your strongest qualifications and/or the skills you would like to be working on more.  Another key item the recruiter would like to know is if you are looking at permanent or contract positions or both.

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 answer “What skill could you most improve on?”


As an interviewer I like to promote the positive so instead of asking “what is your greatest Weakness”. I would rather ask you about what you would like to improve about yourself. There are so many ways to answer this and make yourself sound professional, but also willing to improve. Everyone has something they can improve on. Time management, organization, procrastination, an actual skill, social skills, etc

  • So let’s say you have an issue with time management you could answer by saying “I found I was getting behind on projects so i started using “timelines” and “to do lists” to keep me on track. Now I follow them diligently.”
  • Improving a skill is always a good fall back answer, so try something like. “I have been neglecting renewing my certifications so have set myself up a “goal to do list” including renewing at least two certificates a year and looking into some new ones”.
  • Social skills an issue. “Sometimes I feel when I am involved in a project I can become abrupt so i have been working on listening better to my peers questions and answering in a calmer tone.”
  • Learning to delegate. “it has taken me awhile but I know I have to work on my delegation skills. In my previous position I was trying to do everything myself and I was always rushing around at the end of the job trying to finish up. Now I use my teams skills better and delegate where possible.”

Be honest about yourself. Think about where you could use some improvement, everyone can improve something, and if you can relate it to the job description even better.




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!