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Posts from the ‘Career Advice’ Category

Search Series: Developing Your Work Values

In the first installment of our search series, we look at the process of identifying work values and the benefits of finding an organization in which they resonate.

Simply put, work values are the qualities, principles and standards that matter to you in your professional life. Defining them helps guide your job search, filter opportunities and can ultimately be the guiding factor towards a career that satisfies you on a personal level.

Defining your work values

Why we work and the type of work we do can be influenced by our work values. For example, if a primary work value is to help others, you may find yourself in an industry that encompasses this value such as teaching, healthcare or social assistance. Though some work values may be obvious, identifying them isn’t always easy. To compile your list, here are some key questions to help in your self-reflection.

  • What types of work do I enjoy? Influencing or helping others? A component of physicality?
  • What types of conditions do I prefer? Office vs outdoors? Travel?
  • How do I like to work? Independently or in a team? Closed off or in an open space?
  • What impacts me? Flexible hours? Remote work option? Interaction with people? Growth opportunities?

By ranking your answers from in order of priority, you’ll have a basis to start identifying the values that matter most.

Tying work values to your job search

Determining your work values can have an eye-opening effect on your job search. A list of prioritized values will narrow your search and help you to be selective — ensuring you find an opportunity that’s in line with the direction you’re heading in.  Here are some common values that can influence your job search and may even open your eyes to opportunities you may have once not considered.

  • Compensation: receiving fair pay for your work performance
  • Leadership: the opportunity to direct or mentor colleagues within the workplace
  • Independence: the ability to work and make decisions independently
  • Job Security: confidence that the organization will allow you to remain employed
  • Recognition: an environment that recognizes and rewards hard work or success
  • Relationships: a setting in which you can develop relationships with your colleagues
  • Support: hierarchical structure in which you can reach out to management and/or colleagues for help, as needed
  • Helping Others: tasks or organizational programs that impact a community
  • Creativity: ability to think “outside the box” or to incorporate your ideas within your work
  • Variety: option to perform differing tasks

Be sure to re-evaluate your values annually. Changes in your personal life or professional development can often shift your work values. Staying on top of your evolving work values will help keep you in the driver’s seat of your career.

Looking for a career that satisfies all your work values? Adecco has the perfect fit for you! Contact your local Adecco branch and register for free today!

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Find and apply to your dream job, or get more career advice from our experts.

 

How to survive your first three months at a new job

Securing the job offer is only half the battle. It’s now up to you to prove to your new management team your value to their organization. While your new job can be intimidating, don’t let your fear get the best of you.  

A new professional chapter is always a mixed bag of emotions, from the pure joy and excitement of receiving a job offer, to the anxiety that can accompany new responsibilities, colleagues and management. Ready to succeed from day one? Check out these tips to help you survive and thrive during your first three months at a new job.

Make a good first impression

Make your first impression a good one by being open, friendly and appropriate. If your employer didn’t mention a dress code during the interview or within your job offer, remember to dress for success. Combine your professional outfit with a confident smile to nail your first impression! Keep in mind that many businesses are opting for a scent-free environment so refrain from strong fragrances such as body sprays or perfumes.

Introduce yourself

Taking the initiative to introduce yourself can make a big impact in terms of how you are perceived by your new co-workers. A quick introduction will help you build relationships with colleagues from your first day on the job and proves that you are eager to join the team.

Ask questions

They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but here at Adecco we also believe there’s no such thing as too many questions. Not only does asking questions ensure you complete the task at hand properly the first time, it also exemplifies your initiative to learn your new organization’s policies and procedures. And make sure to listen carefully! Repeat questions or failure to apply the feedback may leave a bad impression with your new colleagues.

Get involved

Your first three months at a new job can feel like you’re out of the loop when it comes to social structure and corporate culture. Don’t be discouraged! It takes time to find your role both professionally and socially in a new workplace. Overcome this hurdle by getting involved. Offer to join the health and safety committee, volunteer to assist with social events, or simply eat lunch with your colleagues in the break room. Your efforts won’t go unnoticed!

Make your voice heard

It’s never easy speaking up when you’re the new one, but it’s imperative to make yourself heard during your first three months to cement a future of professional growth within your new organization. If contributing in person is too daunting, set yourself a goal to share a suggestion via email within your first month. Positive feedback will give you the courage you need to continue your contributions in person, proving your value to your new team.

Set good habits

Don’t forget to look at your new job as a fresh start. Take advantage of it as an opportunity to become the best professional you can be. Make the most of your new beginning by setting healthy work habits from the get-go. Organize your calendar and task list. Create a list of skills you want to develop. Identify personal and organizational inefficiencies and create procedures to increase productivity.

Remember, with a little effort these first three months can set the stage for an awesome career. So when anxiety inevitably strikes, take a deep breath, refocus and hit the ground running.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Find and apply to your dream job, or get more career advice from our experts.

 

Ask Adecco: Extended Absences

Ask Adecco brings you job-search advice from our experts. In our first installment, we asked Adecco Canada’s Director of Talent and Employee Relations, Marla Goddard, about extended absences.

What advice do you have for someone who doesn’t know how to start the process of returning to the workforce after an extended absence?

Preparing to re-enter the workforce will take work! It’s all about thinking strategically about what you want and formulating a plan to get there. To get started, I’d recommend updating your resume. This lets you take inventory of your skills, certifications and references, and will help you identify areas that need to be updated.

Skills and certifications

Are there any transferable skills that you can add to your resume? Even if you developed them while doing tasks completely unrelated to the types of jobs you’re looking for, soft skills such as organization or communication, and other skills like record-keeping, can be added to your resume to help demonstrate continuous learning.

Depending on the amount of time you’ve been away, you may want to think about taking refresher training or additional classes to help you get back up to speed with the skills and knowledge that your industry requires. And don’t forget about any certifications that may have expired while you were away; work on renewing your certifications to show potential employers that you’re up-to-date on industry knowledge.

LinkedIn

You will also need to spend some time on your LinkedIn profile. While your updated resume will be useful here, it’s not all you’ll need to ensure you have a suitable LinkedIn profile. Add a summary introducing yourself and what you’re looking for. Join groups related to your profession and field, and start adding to the ongoing discussion to demonstrate your knowledge. Also, don’t be afraid to post about re-entering the workforce — you never know who might have an opportunity that would be perfect for you. LinkedIn is an invaluable resource when looking for a new job, so make sure to spend some time exploring its features and how they might help you.

Networking

Now that you have an understanding of your skills and the job market, you should also start reaching out to your network. Telling your network about your return shouldn’t be restricted to your LinkedIn network; start with your personal network and move outward. Don’t forget about former colleagues. Not only will reconnecting with your network help get you top-of-mind with people who might have an interesting open opportunity, it helps you confirm references from people who can tell potential employers how great you are.

If you feel that your network could be bigger, consider joining professional associations or groups where people with similar professional interests or skill sets gather. Attend meetings and networking events to get the most out of your membership. Consider events put on by your local chamber of commerce or board of trade. Industry-specific seminars are another great opportunity to expand your network while updating your knowledge-base.

Should extended absences be included in resumes?

While you don’t have to go into too much detail, it’s a good idea to address the employment absence in your timeline. Even if you indicate that the time spent away from the job market was due to “family responsibilities” or “travel,” explaining your absence helps bridge the gap for potential employers. Prepare your elevator pitch and remember to be confident with your response!

What are the next steps?

While we all want to immediately find the perfect job, it will probably take some time to find your next opportunity. Always remember the following:

Be open

Things in the workplace can change rapidly. Whether it’s new technology or skill requirements, people or organizational structures, by remaining flexible and open to learning new things, you’ll be well-positioned to succeed.

Consider all your opportunities

While it’s frustrating to realize that you may not be able to return to the level of seniority you had before your absence, consider the opportunity separately from the job title. Remember, this could be your stepping stone to other opportunities down the road.

Work out the logistics

Before you commit to anything, ensure that you’ve worked out the logistics of your return to work. Do you have adequate child or elder care in place? Have you identified your preferred commute time? Once you’ve done this, you may want to consider alternative work options to ease into a new routine.

Work options

Don’t overlook the benefits of the following work options.

  • Consider volunteer work to brush up on your skills and network with like-minded individuals. It can also help you ease into a work routine while contributing to your community.
  • Part time or temporary work can help you (and those in your life who will be affected by your return to work) become adjusted to a new routine. Even if the ultimate goal is to find full-time work, a part-time or temporary position can help you identify what you’re looking for in your new career.
  • Investigate work-from-home or telecommuting positions that can help you bridge home-life needs with work opportunities.
  • Consider a staffing agency like Adecco where we can help you get back into the workforce, so you can earn a paycheque while building your experience.

With these tips, re-entering the workforce doesn’t have to be a daunting task. For help finding your next favourite job, check us out here.

Have a job search question for us? Use #AskAdecco to send us your questions!

 

Marla Goddard is Director, Talent and Employee Relations at Adecco Canada. She jointly supports over 350 colleagues and 12,000 temporary Associates in all aspects of Human Resources Management. She has a passion for people which shows in the work she has done in the areas of employee relations, recruitment and helping Adecco Canada be a great place to work.

 

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Find and apply to your dream job, or get more career advice from our experts.

6 Steps to a New Year with a Fresh Start

Whether you’re heading into the new year unemployed or focused on your next career move, finding your next job isn’t always an easy task. With a little help from the staffing pros at Adecco, we can help this new year lead to a new you!

Are you one of the many looking to give your career a fresh start in 2019? You’re not alone. We understand that getting the job search started can be intimidating and leave you feeling overwhelmed. To ensure your fresh year doesn’t turn stale, check out Adecco’s helpful tips to help you nail your job search and land that dream job.

1. Diversify your search

Relying solely on mega job search engines such as Indeed.com or Monster.ca is no longer a viable option. Rather than limiting your search to these sites, consider all job search avenues. Freshen up that LinkedIn profile and use their job board to connect with hiring managers, attend career fairs, or even check out the career pages on that sought after employers’ websites. A creative approach means leaving no stone unturned.

2. Start Talking

Networking is a key part of job hunting and social media sites ― such as LinkedIn ― make it easier than ever to start the conversation. To get started, create an online dialogue and share content that is influential in your field, attend networking events or schedule a meeting with a professional in your field. Networking can help you gain information, valuable connections, referrals and recommendations which can be influential in your job search.

3. Refresh your efforts

Not getting any traction from your resume? Don’t keep blindly submitting the same CV if you aren’t seeing any results. As a general rule of thumb, never submit the same resume twice, instead, tailor your resume to match the job you’re applying for. If you happen to still not see results, consider reformatting your resume to highlight different skills, education or experience to freshen it up.

4. Refine your search

Simply searching by job title or career field can lead to a plethora of hits that are time consuming to filter through and may not result in the best opportunities for you. Rather, base your search around your skills and experience. Use keywords that define your talents, accomplishments and expertise to find that right-fit position. And of course, make sure to refine your geographical preferences to align your matches.

5. Apply directly

Online job banks such as Monster or Indeed make it easy for candidates to quickly apply. The result: an abundance of resumes that are unsuitable for the position. To save on time, hiring managers tend to use ATS systems to filter through resumes based on keywords, which leaves you with a mere 3% chance of being selected for an interview! Whether you found that position through a database or not, if you apply directly at the company you will find yourself competing against a smaller pool of candidates — improving your chances of being selected for an interview.

However, be sure to respect any mandatory application requirements. If a posting specifies to apply directly through the job banks, applying through email will hinder rather than help your odds.

6. Let Adecco search for you!

Want a recruiter who works for you? With access to hundreds of positions, personal connections with hiring managers, and the ability to fine tune your resume to get it to the top of the pile, partnering with Adecco may just land you the career of your dreams! Contact your local Adecco branch today and make your 2019 a truly success.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Find and apply to your dream job, or get more career advice from our experts.

 

Salary Negotiation Tips for Your Next Job

Just about everyone knows their ideal salary figure when starting their job search, but does your work experience, position and location warrant that number? Finding a happy medium between your desired salary and what your future employer’s budget allows can be a complicated procedure. So how can you ensure your dream job comes with a competitive compensation package? Check out our guide to negotiating a fair salary.

The interview process is stressful but impressing an HR department to make a positive hiring decision is only half the battle. After all, getting the job means nothing if you aren’t fairly compensated for the new role and responsibilities. Read on for our salary negotiation tips to help ensure your dream job comes with a matching compensation package.

Facts are your friend

Getting what you’re worth can only happen when you know what that is. It’s not enough to have a number in mind; back it up by researching the salary ranges in your labour market as a good starting point.

Websites such as Payscale.com, Glassdoor and the Government of Canada – Job Bank will provide you with salary ranges of positions based on experience and location, often with a breakdown of comparable companies. This will give you a better understanding of industry pay standards to help guide your negotiation. Salaries will vary not only by industry and experience but also by size of company and region of employment. Make sure to consult the appropriate salary information for the job specifications.

Self-assessment

Be critical about your skills, experience and how you measure up as a candidate in the industry. Gaining a better understanding of whether you are above average, average or still developing will help you set realistic expectations in your field.

Check out our Salary Guide for salary ranges for your job, experience, company size and location. 

Negotiating at your best

Once armed with an honest self-assessment and reliable sources of data about salaries in your field and region, its time to put these tools to work to ensure you get what you’re worth. Rarely will you lose an offer by negotiating a higher salary, but if you absolutely cannot afford to lose a job offer, wait for them to discuss salary first and delicately suggest a higher number.

Stay flexible

Consider alternative compensation bargaining chips such as a signing bonus, vacation time, the option to work from home or biannual reviews. Not only does this give you the ability to negotiate a better compensation package that best suits your lifestyle, it also demonstrates your flexibility to your future employer.

Still nervous about how your potential employer will react to negotiation? Reiterate your enthusiasm for joining the company and the position. Use phrases such as “I am really excited to work here” and “I appreciate your offer” and follow up with a request to consider a higher salary based on your skills/experience or research of the industry.

Regardless of whether you are met with silence or pushback, don’t let your confidence or enthusiasm dissipate! According to an analysis by Salary.com, avoiding salary negotiations can cost employees big in lost wages over the course of your career. Which makes this the million dollar question: are you really going to settle for less than you’re worth?

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Find and apply to your dream job, or get more career advice from our experts.

 

Top 5 Resume Mistakes to Avoid

There are several common mistakes that can send your resume straight to the rejection pile. It’s not exactly fair, but with some careful attention and the following examples of 5 things to avoid when writing your resume, you can increase your odds of being contacted for an interview.

1. Your resume is more than one page.

Regardless of whether you are just entering the workforce, or have been working for 15 years, your resume should never exceed 1 page. Be selective with the skills and experiences that best apply to the position at hand to keep your resume targeted to the job posting and easy-to-read.

With hundreds of resumes crossing their desks, recruiters must evaluate them quickly, spending an average of six seconds scanning a resume. Knowing that you have very little time to grab a recruiter’s attention, restricting yourself to a one page document forces you to present only the most relevant information.

Can I adjust the margins on my resume?

Sneaky tricks to beat the page count didn’t work in school and they definitely won’t work with a hiring manager. Not only will they see through the attempt to get more information onto the page, but exceptionally small page margins will also make your resume more difficult to read, and ultimately more likely to end up in the trash.

Resume format guidelines to improve your chances:

  • Keep margins at least 1 inch on all sides.
  • Keep font size at a minimum of 11 points.
  • Be consistent with punctuation and how you write the dates of each job.
  • Be concise: list your achievements and responsibilities in bullet-point format.
  • Be specific: use quantifiable examples of the success you achieved in each role.

2. You didn’t proofread your resume and cover letter.

Is “careless” the first impression you’re looking to make on your potential new employer? Even though mistakes happen all the time in the real world, a typo on your resume is a clear sign that you either didn’t bother to proofread, or that you did, but failed to catch a mistake. That kind of mistake isn’t encouraging for future employers who want to ensure they’re hiring someone whose work they can trust.

To avoid grammatical and spelling errors, make sure to recruit several people to proofread your resume. Friends or family will do, provided they are attentive and have a firm grasp of the English language.

And be sure to double check consistency in your use of past and present tense. Remember: present tense should only be used when describing the responsibilities of your current job.

3. You included subjective traits.

Have you used any of the following descriptions?

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Team player
  • Hard worker
  • Results-driven
  • Detail-oriented

If so, prove it! Not only are these expressions overused, they’re completely subjective. Even if you really are a hard worker who is results-driven, unless you can provide quantifiable proof, the statement doesn’t belong on your resume. Stick to listing accomplishments with concrete evidence that proves these skills.

As so many people hold inaccurate perceptions of their quality of work, employers in general will disregard subjective claims on a resume. Looking to impress? Hit them with facts — hard numbers and supporting evidence prove why you’d be a great addition to their team.

Ask yourself: “what have I achieved that demonstrates the skills this hiring manager is looking for?” For example, a promotion may demonstrate your work ethic, while managing a large number of colleagues will prove your leadership skills.

4. You didn’t tailor your resume for each specific job you applied to.

Tailoring a resume may seem like a daunting task when applying to multiple jobs, but the added work is sure to pay off in the end. A generic resume lends the impression that you have blindly applied for a position that you may or may not be qualified for, thus limiting your odds of being contacted for an interview.

To start tailoring your resume:

Read and understand the job description: what responsibilities stand out about the position? Are any requirements repeated? Which duties relate to your experience at your current or past position?

Organize your resume based on relevancy to the position: regardless of whether it’s your education, a past job or a recent certification, make sure your most relevant experience is listed first. There’s no rule that says your resume must be in chronological order so it’s completely acceptable to organize your resume in a way that highlights your relevant experience for the hiring manager.

Align your past experience: how can your existing experience be revamped to better align with the requirements of the job? For examples of ways to alter your bullets to emphasize certain soft skills, check out this article by Muse.

5. You lied, exaggerated or misrepresented your work or accomplishments.

Lying or “padding” your resume is a common technique amongst job hunters to make them seem more qualified for a job than they truly are. Though it may seem easy to get away with, if your lie isn’t unveiled through social media or the interview process, chances are your references will call out your bluff.

Bottom line? Don’t pad your resume!

There’s a point of no return between “spinning” your skills and experience a certain way and falsifying your achievements. Not only do you risk being blacklisted from the company if you are caught lying, but you will also ruin your relationship with your references.

Your resume is the first and often only impression an employer will have of you. It can instantly make or break your chances of being contacted for an interview or disregarded for the position entirely. If you are looking to increase your odds in the hiring process, avoid making any of these common errors on your resume. You may be unable to control a hiring manager’s decision, but you can control your resume and how it portrays you as the best candidate for the role!

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Find and apply to your dream job, or get more career advice from our experts.