Inspiration from Steve Jobs: Always a Classic

Whenever I come across the Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement speech, I stop and watch it.  A great speech from a great man and totally inspiring for a recent grad to hear.

cool girl’s guide to the perfect interview outfit

The first time I put on a suit, I cringed. I looked so… official. Some may disagree, but I think that a suit is mandatory for an interview even if you know the corporate culture is more business casual on a regular basis.  A suit shows you’re serious and especially when you’re interviewing for a first job, it shows you’re mature.  Luckily, a suit no longer has to feel stuffy. Add a colourful blouse and a great watch but keep heels to a 3 inch heel max- trust me, a job interview is not the time to trip or be uncomfortable! Lastly, choose a bag that can fit a portfolio or any related materials you may need for the interview.

Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 2.27.20 PM

*outfit designed using Polyvore.com

Through the eyes of a recruiter: How to Stand Out

As I mentioned yesterday, our Young Person Working this week, Jaimie Laver is a Toronto based recruiter. She has agreed to answer a couple more questions specifically about  what a recruiter looks for in choosing a qualified candidate for a job.

As a recruiter, how important is it for a candidate to have a LinkedIn and other public social media accounts?recruiting
It’s extremely important! Monster, Workopolis and recruitment databases are important to the industry, but LinkedIn is the key. Clients are 100 times more interested in what we like to call “passive candidates”- people who are happily working and who haven’t given a thought to moving to a different company. LinkedIn is the way we find those people. If you don’t have it, get it. Right now!

How do you determine if a candidate fits the culture of the client?
Culture is important for both the client and the candidate. Typically the client will let us know up front what type of corporate culture they promote, and therefore what type of people they are looking for. It really depends on the role and the size of the company. That’s hard to comment on to be honest, since it is so specific.

How can one prove they are the best fit for the job over all other candidates? Any examples of a candidate that blew you away? How’d they do it?
There are 3 ways someone can do this.

1) Proving that you are technically capable of doing the job. This applies to all jobs, even outside of IT. To prove this, cite examples (client and time frame) you have done what the job requires in the past. Remember- if they wanted a candidate who was “willing to learn” and has never done this role before… they would be finding candidates on their own. Clients pay recruitment agencies to find candidates who are talented and have experience. They want the best, because they are paying for it.

2) Proving that you are interested and genuinely thankful for the opportunity. Often times it’s not the most qualified candidate who gets the job; it’s the one who shows the most interest, commitment and gratefulness.

3) Proving that you can get along with the team. Remember, they have to spend 40 hours a week with you, so they want to make sure you are capable of interacting with, respecting and working with people on a daily basis.

How to Survive Networking Events as a Gen Y

With my generation so internet obsessed, it’s hard enough to pick up the phone let alone attend a networking event! My job requires a ton of networking events with colleagues, clients, and even media suppliers.  I’ve had to learn how to conduct myself in a social scenario that isn’t Thirsty Thursday college bar nights (which is easier said than done when the majority of these events are open bar and super fun!)

This is why I LOVE Kayla Cruz’s  5 Essential Tips for Surviving Awkward Networking Events.  She discusses everything from a “one drink maximum” to not being boring. Cruz herself is a 20 something that recently entered the workforce and she offers some great advice.  

photo Me, at a recent magazine event (not necessarily)
 following Cruz’s one drink maximum.

 Go read Cruz’s article on Brazen Careerist here!

 

Young Person Working: Jaimie Laver

Jaimie Laver, 24 is originally from Caledon, Ontario but now lives and works downtown Toronto.  After completing a Media, Information and Technoculture degree at Western University and a small stint as an au-pair in Italy, she decided to begin a career in recruiting.image010

This will be a two part series: today’s post will focus a little on Jaimie’s career path.  Tomorrow I will be posting part two which will focus on advice from a recruiter and how to get noticed in a competitive job market.

Can you tell us a little about your current role?
I’m working as an IT Recruiter at Randstad Technologies. On a daily basis, I source, contact and meet IT professionals. I am focused on specific clients, specifically IBM, Telus and major financial institutions (the big banks). My role is to find qualified candidates to fill positions for those clients.

You took a media degree at university- what made you decide to go this route instead?
 I realized in university that I was interested in HR but didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk filing forms all day! I have a “sales personality” and am extremely competitive, so I thought recruitment would be the best of both worlds.

I secured an internship with Randstad Engineering (a division of Randstad Canada) during my final year of University and from there, moved over to a full-time role in the Technologies division.

Check out Randstad Canada here.

Stay tuned for Part Two of the series coming up tomorow!

cool guy’s guide to the perfect interview outfit

The interview outfit is all about looking well put together.  This isn’t the time to show off your most unique fashion sense.  Opt for a timeless suit and time piece. Depending on where you’re interviewing, spice up the look with a more interesting tie if appropriate.Screen shot 2013-07-29 at 11.41.35 AM

 

 

 *Outfit styled using Polyvore

Young Person Working: Liz Hass

Liz Hass, 24 is a Toronto Native currently working at IBM as a Consultant in the Consulting by Degrees New Hire program. The program allows new grads who have recently finished university to experience a rotational program to explore IBM’s consulting practice through a variety of industries and functions.  She’s agreed to answer a few questions about her career and how she got there: prof pic

What/where did you study and how did you decide you wanted to work in your current field?
Both of my parents work in “business” and have had very different careers doing a variety of tasks and activities in companies of assorted sizes.  Through their influence, I have always had an inkling that I wanted to go into business, but what type, or where, or what industry is still elusive.  Going to the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University shed some light into a starting point: consulting.  Consulting offers a wide breadth of experience from clients, to industries, to business functions and to me, is a great place to start one’s career.

Through the case-based methodology used at Ivey, I was able to practice my analytic and communications skills, both critical in the life of a consultant.  My summer internship before my final year of university was another major influence.  As a summer strategy analyst at a private equity portfolio company, I was exposed to many levels and area of the business while employing some of what I had learned in my first year at Ivey.  The team there encouraged me to pursue consulting as a launching pad for my career.

Can you tell me a bit about your company and what your position entails?
IBM is one of the world’s largest companies and largest consultancies.

Unknown to many, IBM offers business consulting services to all sizes of companies from up-front and high-level strategy to program management to integration to on-going service offerings.  The Consulting by Degrees Program is a two year program that encourages participants to explore some of the many facets of IBM in 3 or 4 month rotations. Through these rotations, CBDers gain exposure to different companies, industries, and roles – exactly what I was looking for in my first job.  This work is coupled with learning and skills development presented in quarterly workshops as well as online learning.  At the end of two years, CBDers apply for promotion, ideally into an area of the business where they see themselves fitting in.

Since starting last September, I have: written an internal communications plan, managed the financials of IBM Canada’s largest projects, identified operational and strategic gaps in a small IT shop, and am now doing cost models for a financial institution’s move to the cloud.  In addition I’ve done research on a variety of topics, helped host client information days, and written components of Requests for Proposals.  Regardless of my past experience or perceived areas of interest, I am learning lots of new things every day.

Any advice for new grads or someone that is interested in pursuing a career in what you do?
Always say yes – If a manager or colleague asks for some help, always volunteer and say yes.  The task might not have anything to do with your day to day work, but being open to new experiences and new learnings will help establish you as a reliable employee.  Who knows, it might actually might turn into a new area of interest!

Job Folk: Don’t Fall For These Interview Tricks To Make You Say More Than You Should

 

 

When you’re nervous in an interview, it’s easy to ramble when answering questions. The guys at Job Folk wrote this interesting article about how to avoid doing just that.  The article discusses how you should be aware of what you say from the time you enter a waiting room to the end of the interview.

Check it out!

 

 

Check it out!

Hey guys,

I was recently profiled on the awesome Toronto based Communications blog, Hey Receiver.  My interviewer, Nima Naik is also a Western MIT alum.  Always cool to see what people are doing after graduation.

Go check out the interview and the Hey Receiver blog out here!  It’s a must read for anyone in the industry. BOOKMARK IT.

Young Person Working: Jessica Senders

Born and raised in Toronto, Jessica Senders is 26 years old and currently works at MediaCom Canada as a Senior Media Executive.  She loves going out to listen to live music, hanging out with friends and travelling.
She’s traveled  and worked all over the world. She’s agreed to be my next interview in the Young Person Working series.

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What/where did you study and how did you decide you wanted to work in your current field?
I studied at the University of Western Ontario, majoring in social psychology. After that I completed 2 post graduate degrees at Humber College in Marketing Management and International Development. I was working overseas in Tanzania and when I came home, my friend who works in media messaged me about a job opportunity. I was intrigued and applied. The interview went great and that’s how I started working in media! It’s the perfect fit for me.

 Can you tell me a bit about your company and what your position entails?
MediaCom is a media agency that specializes in strategically planning the media for different clients, and helping those clients grow.

My job entails tactically planning out the media and buying the media space for brands. I am able to use my creative thinking and recommend what would be the best media plan to my client for specific brands.  I started at J3, a media agency that works on all the media for Johnson and Johnson, as a Media Assistant. About a year later, I got a job a MediaCom as a Planner for Bayer Canada (Aleve, Aspirin, OAD Vitamins, Flintstones, Contour Diabetes, Canesten/CanesOral etc).  I’m now the lead planner on Canesten, CanesOral, Maxidol, One a Day vitamins and Flintstones.

Any advice for new grads or someone that is interested in pursuing a career in what you do?
Be confident and personable. Media entails a lot of face time with people (like reps from different vendors and client face time)
Always ask questions and network!
Media is a really fun industry with a lot of young professionals, you have to make sure you stand out.

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