How many resumes do you have?

October 18th, 2012

Often controversial among those in career transition is the number of professional resumes that should be marketed. What is agreed is the fact that a resume must be professional, straight forward, free of typos, factual and contain impressive and quantifiable results which can be clearly relayed by sharing a situation, task, action and result. Employers and recruiters expect all potential candidates to be prepared to submit a resume. Certainly the difficulty, depending on how many resumes you have, could be “which one”?

Many networking organizations and social media sites such as HAPPEN, Monster, Linkedin, VisualCV, Indeed, CareerBuilder, ExecuNet and more offer an opportunity to post your resume online. If you believe a variation of resumes should be submitted to different companies and recruiting organizations the problem will arise when content from the resume submitted to apply for a specific position is compared to the resume which is posted online. There is no doubt that HR Professionals and Recruiters are checking out candidates online and a lack of consistent content could put your  credibility at risk. This is no different than professional online profiles. Personal branding is a difficult endeavour without a consistent approach and it is unlikely you are an expert at everything. You only have one name, one job history and one education so market it accordingly. If you are focusing on a career transition, share that information in addition to the initiatives you have put in place to achieve this goal. Honesty will be received more positively than trying to doctor a resume to make yourself look like you are qualified for a position which may be a far stretch from your experience.

Is it important to apply directly to a specific company and position? Absolutely! No one will disagree with matching your qualifications, expertise and “fit” to a specific company and position. However, it is not a “public” resume that should be used to achieve this. It is a professional, personal and well composed Cover Letter! One which will highlight those specific achievements and skills among the many contained in your resume that correlate with those of the position you are applying for. Although a resume is a critical “selling document” which emphasizes the accomplishments throughout your career, it is a factual history and not a personal document. Quite the contrary to this is a cover letter. It is personal, addressed to the decision maker, acknowledges your investigative efforts to know all there is to know about their company and why you want to work for them. It documents the skills, expertise and accomplishments which will show you are the ideal candidate for the position!

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Recruiter asks, “Are you on Facebook?”

October 15th, 2012

Recruiters and HR Professionals continue to turn to social media as a resource to post jobs and source candidates. A number of surveys show this number to be approximately 90%! If you are actively managing your career, you are aware of the importance of Linkedin, the number 1  professional online networking site. Certified Professional Resume Writer’s have insisted on including a Linkedin address on professional resumes for over 5 years.

Linkedin currently has over 180 million users. Twitter has surpassed 500 million and Facebook recently reached 1 billion users! With these phenomenal statistics it is easily understood why Recruiters and HR Professionals are embracing Twitter and Facebook in addition to Linkedin. What is surprising is not the fact that a number of clients have been asked by recruiters, “Are you on Facebook?” but that they are unprepared to answer the question.

It is unlikely the Recruiter asking the question is not already aware of the answer and instead is leading up to the real question, “Why are you not on Facebook?”

The following answers will not be well received:

  • I don’t like Facebook
  • I have too many friends and relatives that are inappropriate on Facebook
  • I lack the technical savvy to set up a profile
  • I want to keep my personal life hidden
  • I don’t know what Facebook is

If you thought avoiding Facebook would be a positive step in managing your career, think again. Ignoring a network of over 1 billion people will send a red flag to decision makers.

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What are you paying for?

August 13th, 2012

It is unfortunate that there are many organizations with a much greater interest in taking a customer’s money than they are in providing the services they are offering. Recently a client shared their horrific tale of hiring an executive career change organization with the expectation of a resume and a job. The fee was $12,000 and like many others, the $10,000 or $12,000 fee did not net them a job from this U.S. based company. A Toronto based company charging a $5,000 fee and changing their name on a regular basis has also left many feeling ripped off and without the job they were promised!

If a company is promising you a job for a fee, do not engage their services! Reputable, qualified and certified individuals provide individual services for a fee that could lead to a job but the decision to pay for these professional services should only be made after a thorough investigation outside of their website or organization. Start with Rip Off Report.  Review certifications, experience and references. Network to obtain recommendations from satisfied friends or colleagues.

A reputable supplier will have references, significant experience and certifications. If you don’t understand what you are buying don’t pay for it! Social Media services are abundant but it is blatantly apparent that most of the services do not include any consulting or education but simply a signed contract for a year of auto tweets. If you have 2 Followers on Twitter, this is a total waste of money and the person selling it should be ashamed to do so! It should also be understood that a personal investment in your business or online profiles is key to establishing credibility.

Another company providing the website and hosting for a client set up a site with a contact me link that did not link to the contact information page. An online search found the individual associated with the company listed as an Online Expert. I note this simply to point out the fact that the website did not contain any links to any online information; not Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter!

If you are dealing with a supplier who has little time or interest in educating you with detailed information about the product or service they are providing consider this a red flag and avoid taking the risk of being ripped off.

Do you know what you are paying for?

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The Importance of a Cover Letter

August 9th, 2012

There are many opinions regarding the importance or relevance of a cover letter in today’s job search. Rather than wonder whether the additional effort should be invested to create this very valuable introductory letter, it is in your best interest to err on the side of caution! It is unlikely you will have the inside scoop as to whether a particular recruiter or employer is looking for a cover letter so don’t take the risk. If there is an organization that may not have an interest in a cover letter they will not choose to eliminate a potential candidate for providing one but you can be assured those expecting a cover letter will likely see it as a very good reason for elimination.

A Cover Letter Can Be a Powerful Selling Tool provides information on the importance of a cover letter and details regarding the content necessary to ensure you create the opportunity to sell yourself as a potential candidate for the position your are seeking.

There are five types of cover letters for consideration:

Advertisement – your response to sell yourself as the ideal candidate for a specific, advertised position

Recruiter – an introduction to a recruiter to sell yourself as valuable potential candidate to their organization

Direct Mail – target a specific company or organization to sell yourself as an interested, highly qualified candidate

Networking – share key contacts to establish credibility and a genuine connection to sell yourself as the ideal candidate for an available position or introduction to a company

Pain – seize the opportunity to portray yourself as proactive, looking for new challenges and ready to tackle critical business issues in this introduction to solicit a position which will allow you to resolve their pain

Check out these Sample Cover Letter Samples from Elite Resumes.

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Online Profiles and Professional Resumes

July 17th, 2012

For those currently managing a senior executive career, it is agreed that a professional online presence is a necessary requirement for a successful career in 2012. Professional profiles on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook Pages are without a doubt the absolute minimum necessary to establish your online presence. Authentic, genuine, transparent; these are the key attributes to establishing a respected and credible personal brand. Recruiters and HR professionals will use your contact information from your resume to conduct an online search and verify details. Are you connected to the company’s you have been employed by? Have you included accreditation’s and links to colleges or universities attended? Have you managed your recommendations? Google profiles, blog sites and other professional networking sites also offer the ultimate opportunity to further enhance a clear, consistent and credible representation of YOU!

Although a strong Internet presence is critical to any professional seeking to advance in their career, there is still one very important document which is an absolute must and that is a Professional Resume! Why? Because it is the core of your job search strategy and could very will be the source for contact information and search criteria. Perhaps you have excelled so well at establishing your personal brand online that you have simply been discovered by an interested potential employer? That’s great but you will still be asked to submit your resume prior to an interview! An experienced Certified Professional Writer has the expertise to uncover your most influential achievements and qualifications; those same key attributes a potential employer is looking for. Your resume should be updated and ready to send at every available opportunity. When you pay a professional to compose this most valuable and influential document, you are receiving a document which will be highly regarded by HR professionals and Recruiters but also one which will provide most of the content necessary to establish a professional online presence. It is the consistency of content in your resume and online profiles which will ensure a credible and professional impression.

Don’t underestimate the importance of a professional resume in today’s job market! The most significant change in the past 15 years is not the relevance of a resume but simply that sharing it is now most often done online rather than as a paper document.

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Are you comfortable in your current position?

June 25th, 2012

Don’t be!!!

Paul Copcutt’s “Just My Toonies Worth”, What’s your next job in the tech sector?, gives the facts on why you should not get comfortable in any position stating, “In some areas of products and services the technology sector is booming, in others it is going…..going….gone – FAST.”

Paul elaborates on 3 important tips to consider in your career regardless of the industry:

1. Never settle for what you have.

2. Remain flexible and open to new ways of doing things.

3. Cut bait and run.

If you’re still feeling comfortable in your current position you may already be aware of the following forecasts:

90 Million Workers Won’t Be Needed By 2020, Study Says, Bonnie Kavoussi, The Huffington Post

Employment Projections: 2010-2020 Summary US, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment projections: Where the jobs will (and won’t) be over the next decade Workopolis, Statscan

Canada’s Best Jobs 2012 Canadian Business

Whether you are employed in a growing or a declining industry, maintaining an up-to-date, professional resume will ensure you are always prepared for whatever tomorrow brings!

 

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Linkedin Invitations

June 18th, 2012

Linkedin is the Number One Professional Networking Site. If you are actively managing your career a Linkedin profile is as critical as a professional resume. Establishing an accurate and impressive profile with a customized link which can be shared is just the start to expanding a network with the potential to connect with 161 million professionals! Not to mention access to jobs, companies and groups all at your fingertips to assist in increasing knowledge and opportunities.

92% of Hiring Managers are using social networks to seek out potential clients and 86% of those are targeting Linkedin as their top resource. Your profile is key to the impression you will generate but so too is the network of connections you have established. The Linkedin invitations you send or accept are a reflection of your integrity and it will be obvious if you have concentrated on expanding your network in terms of numbers rather than individuals.

The “how to” of Linkedin invitations to expand your network of professionals requires a basic understanding of networking and more importantly networking etiquette. Networking is a 2-way street whether you are online or off just as any relationship is both give and take or it will be deemed dysfunctional. You are the “ideal candidate” presenting a recruiter with a potential fit to satisfy the needs of their paying customer. The recruiter you are connecting with has the potential to introduce you to their client. Both parties will benefit equally from this connection. It is not unlike bartering so when sending an invitation to link in with someone to gain expertise from them, it is easily reciprocated by offering to share with them the expertise you have in your field.

This is what you will see when sending an invitation:

How do you know Martin?

(optional)

“I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

————————————————————

You must select an option in order to send an invitation keeping in mind that when selected they expand to select a company or school. How many times have you received an invitation from someone that says you have done business with them or are a colleague at a company you have never heard of? The sender of that message has damaged their credibility. To make it worse is to send the canned invitation and with no further explanation.

Networking etiquette when face to face is a mandatory handshake. This personal touch is no less important online and is easily met by sending a custom message. DO NOT send the canned invitation, “I’d like to add you to my professional network” without customizing it to indicate to the recipient who you are and why they should accept the invitation. If it is not personal, it is not professional.

There is one option available to select when sending a Linkedin invitation which is not noted above but will appear if you are a member of the same group as the recipient. Joining Linkedin groups is an excellent way to get to know other professionals and expand your professional network.

Remember, your network of connections is a reflection of you. Give careful consideration to the invitations you choose to send and those you choose to accept. How do you know the connection or what do you share in common? Do they have a completed professional profile which includes a profile photo? These are basic components to consider when dealing with Linkedin invitations and expanding your professional relationships.

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The Power and Influence of Social Media

June 14th, 2012

One Tweet and your vacation is over. One video on YouTube and you’re suddenly a superstar. One connection made on Linkedin and you have an interview for your dream job. Another click of a button on Facebook and you are reunited with a long lost friend or relative. If you are not active online, you may not be aware of the power and influence of Social Media.

Someone who knows someone who knows someone; that is likely how you met your best friend, secured your last job and found your favourite boutique. Every time you meet someone there is the potential to generate new opportunities. The difference between networking face to face and online is approximately one billion people! Of course, this does not mean that you will automatically generate new opportunities without any effort anymore than if you attended a networking event and chose not to introduce yourself to all in attendance. The power and influence of social media will not be recognized if you do not manage your reputation and connect with others to increase your network and enhance your visibility. The decision to stand out in the crowd or stay lost in the crowd is directly related to success or failure.

The World’s 25 Most Reputable Companies lends insight into what is important in establishing a visible and highly respected brand. Google any of these organizations and it is clearly evident these organizations are fully aware of the power and influence of Social Media.

The World's 25 Most Reputable CompaniesBy establishing your personal brand and harnessing the power and influence of Social Media you will have the ability to achieve infinite possibilities.

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Networking Online and Credibility

June 7th, 2012

MMG | Ben CasnochaIf you are in control of your career and actively seeking advancement, you are aware that networking is the most valuable tool available to anyone. 80% of successful job searches are as a direct result of networking.

Networking organizations and events offer an opportunity to introduce yourself with a firm handshake, exchange business cards, present a well rehearsed infomercial and share common information; all of which will leave a memorable impression. A neat appearance and a well articulated message will ensure your professionalism and credibility shine!

The impression you generate when networking online is just as critical requiring careful consideration as to how your invitation to connect will be received. Will the recipient know who you are? What information are you providing? You may have thought a previous encounter left a memorable impression but will your name be remembered? In order to ensure your credibility and the acceptance of your invitation there are 3 key areas to be addressed:

1. A professional photo; one that really does look like you so you’ll be easily recognized.

2. A custom introductory message which states who you are, why you want to connect, details regarding your knowledge of the individual such as how you met or a shared connection. Include information which will instill an interest to connect. Do not send a canned message: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

3. Customize your URL. This link to your personal profile should contain your proper name and requires a simple edit to remove the default numbers and dashes when originally established.

Increasing your network on Linkedin provides an extraordinary resource with the potential to reach out to over 150 million professionals!  However, your professional network is a reflection of you. If you are creating a network of connections consisting of strangers without professional photos or customized URLs it will damage your own credibility.  What impression will your next online invitation generate?

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Privacy

May 23rd, 2012

It is the notion of privacy that has many missing out on the tremendous opportunities that are possible through the use of social media. Privacy has been sold as a protection but when managing a career consideration must be given to who it is protecting.  It is understandable that those with something to hide or involved in criminal activity would have an interest in maintaining a low profile but surprisingly we find the majority of those who do not support cameras in public areas are not the thieves or abusers who would likely get caught, they are those who, for whatever reason embrace the concept of the fight for “privacy”! The invasion of privacy that so many have bought into has definitely protected those who have something to hide but this too is changing! Of course we have a responsibility to protect our children from sharing information with strangers online but this advise was given long before the Internet age. So too is it necessary to recognize that personal financial information should be protected, whether at home in a locked safe or by ignoring any email which is requesting financial information.

Social Media should not be regarded as an invasion of privacy but rather a venue which is enabling an age of communities not unlike the close knit villages of days gone by when children played together, mothers worked along with other mothers to care for children and fathers worked together trading goods, farming and sharing the tasks of erecting buildings or digging wells. The industrial revolution led us into an era of oneself rather than ourselves and with that, privacy was an easy sell. Social Media is swinging the pendulum the opposite direction and close knit communities are emerging online around the globe. Like minded individuals are sharing ideas, promoting causes and networking with colleagues to advance in their careers. Communication is no longer inhibited by logistics and the wealth of information is infinite. Word of mouth, the most trusted of recommendations is easily obtainable with a simple search and this online visibility is transitioning businesses to give back to their customers by incorporating social responsibility.

Today, the transparency that has resulted from establishing a genuine and authentic personal brand utilizing social media has not resulted in damage due to a lack of privacy but in unlimited opportunities! Unless of course the information you have provided on your resume is not factual. A successful job search strategy involves a profile which is visible, concise, reputable and one which does not generate any red flags, not unlike a resume which should never leave any significant gaps in employment. You may think it is negative to note a year as a “homemaker” or in a part time position but this is much more preferable than leaving a decision maker wondering if you were incarcerated for that year! A recruiter or potential employer is focused on an individual with the qualifications they are seeking and will find those potential candidates among the many who have made the effort to stand out in a crowd. A successful executive career requires a highly visible and impressive online profile. This professional profile should not include personal details related to financial, religious or political information; that is private.

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A Personal Touch

May 7th, 2012

Many of you are likely subscribed to a number of feeds providing the latest blog posts on executive career management, Monster’s job posts or a daily inspirational article. Recently, I opened one of hundreds of articles that I have been subscribed to for the past few years and quickly deleted it. When I realized I had barely looked at the content prior to deleting it, it suddenly occurred to me why this particular blog post didn’t resonate with me.

This is a favourite blog post which I often share on Facebook or retweet on Twitter. As an inspirational post, many of the authors are recognized for their courage in sharing their own personal experiences touching on failures and successes to offer advice. The key word is personal! It denotes a genuine and authentic impression lending credibility to the content.

The reason I quickly deleted that particular days article without investing the time to read it was because it lacked a personal touch; the photo! Since all but this one post have consistently provided a personal photo and short introduction, it wasn’t until I received one without it that I realized it had been a key component of these articles; it put a human being behind the words. It was a personal touch which generated a first impression of credibility.

First impressions count! Reaching out to offer a firm handshake is the personal touch which will interest someone to get to know you. It is a personal message on Linkedin rather than the generic message that will inspire someone to link in with you. And it will be a professional photo added to your online profiles which will create a positive first impression and the personal touch needed to generate credibility. It will influence decision makers to invest the time to read your profile and discover your qualifications. Although your cover letter and resume will not include a photo, the opportunity is still there to add a personal touch by sending it attention to a specific individual and adding content which is directly related to the company and position.

The face to face personal touch, whether a firm handshake, a genuine smile or a friendly greeting will generate a positive impression. If you want to share information online, a professional photo generates a positive first impression and is key to establishing a genuine, authentic and credible brand. Don’t forget this most important personal touch!

ABOUT US

Elite Resumes has been providing successful resume help and job search strategies since 1993. Martin Buckland, Principal of Elite Resumes, is one of Canada’s leading authorities on highly effective resume writing, high impact cover letters, successful job-search strategies, executive coaching, personal branding and interview tutoring. He has many years of training, experience, professional development and industry knowledge. Tap into his elite network of key human resources, executive search firm and placement contacts.

Martin’s certifications elevate him to an elite group of career professionals in North America:

Certified Professional Resume Writer
Co-Pilot Executive Coach
Certified Job & Career Transition Coach
Certified Job Search Trainer
Certified Professional Branding Strategist
Certified Employment Interview Professional
Online Professional Networking Strategist
Microblogging Career Strategist
Social Networking Career Strategist

Certified Social Media Career Strategist

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Are you looking for a job, a position or your passion?

May 2nd, 2012

Whether you are looking for a job, a position or the role you are passionate about, the goal is ultimately the same and so to is the key to success; you must be absolutely clear on what the job, position or passion entails! Exactly what does it look like? Do you have the necessary qualifications and experience? Is it a viable industry? A clear vision will result in a more focused search and an easily recognizable career path, one which will be noticed by decision makers.

Clarity in the direction of your career will result in the confidence that is needed to stand out in the crowd and positively influence recruiters and HR professionals. If you are not sure about where your career is headed, you can be assured that those recruiting to fill a specific role will have no idea either and no reason to consider you as a potential candidate.

Organizations are very clear about the position they wish to fill and Recruiters or HR professionals are entrusted to secure the right candidate; the individual that most closely resembles this criteria and one who exudes the confidence that says, “I’m the right candidate and I will exceed your expectations in this job!” It is the clarity, confidence and expertise exuded that has even influenced some employers to create a position in their organization.

If you are currently in career transition and not completely confident in the direction of your career or employed in a position that is not meeting your expectations, seek out professional advice from an Executive Career Management Professional. “A professional coach will listen, collaborate, support and assist you to identify and gain clarity on your goals, achieve your dreams, fulfill your aspirations and enhance your power to succeed.”

 

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Simplify Your Email Address

April 26th, 2012

It is not always easy to establish an email address using your given name especially if your name happens to be John Smith or Jane Brown. When altering your name to acquire an available email address careful consideration should be given to avoid confusion.

After reviewing registrations recently for one of our monthly networking meetings, it was obvious that email addresses which varied greatly from a given name were not only a problem for us but seemed to be for the owners of the email address as well. On 2 separate registrations from the same individual one email address consisted of their first and last name and the other, their first and last name with the number 1 after it. Which one is the correct one? Did the owner create 2 separate email accounts? How far back do we go to discover the correct one? Let’s search incoming mail even though it appears the 1 was simply a typo.  Remember, don’t assume because the email with the number 1 after the name was the correct “one”.

Another email which appeared to be the first name and the first 3 letters of the last name also required further investigation because the first three letters of the last name were brd but the email address was bdr! Another typo? Is someone dyslexic? Was the last name spelled incorrectly or was the email address incorrect? Upon further investigation, which is my point, the inconsistency between the name and the email address was correct!

This is the given name, kazimier and this is the name used for the email address, casimir! Should we invest any additional time to consider if there is a typo here?

If you simplify your email address costly mistakes could easily be avoided. Imagine an amazing lead that could have come your way except the email address you provided for yourself was incorrect or was translated incorrectly! We are all aware that keeping it simple will result in fewer mistakes and increase efficiency. Your email address is a key piece of contact data; choosing to become too creative could lead to confusion.

Here are a few tips to consider for your 2012 email address:

  • Write down your full name, the name which appears on your resume and mailing address and establish an email address that is as clearly related to this name as possible.
  • Do not use words other than your name such as ballplayer, sexyone or gonefishing. The days of Hotmail are long gone and if you still have a hotmail or aol address, get rid of it.
  • If your proper name is available, use it and only it. Don’t add numbers, extra letters or varied spelling if it is not necessary.
  • If your name is not available give consideration to using a middle name or initials. Avoid numbers or a year of birth which mean nothing to anyone else who may be trying to decipher your email address. Consider a first initial with middle name or something which might be more familiar to those interested in your email address such as, johnsmithcga@ or johnsmithemba@.
  • Avoid underscores as they are sometimes lost in the underline or confused with a dot. Unless the letters are within your name, use caution with i’s and j’s. Depending on the font type used, ijij you could be left guessing which letter it is.
  • Stay as consistent as you possibly can and no one will ever be left guessing! The easier you are to contact the better your chances are of being contacted. The consistency between your name and your email address should be extended to your twitter, facebook and linkedin url’s; .com/name
  • Create your google profile and establish an @gmail.com account. Rogers.com is another respected email provider.
  • Those who have stayed current have likely purchased one or more domain names using a given name or company name. Establishing an email address in relation to the domain name is usually free and another option for creating a consistent, professional email address; JohnSmith@johnsmith.com.

Simplify your email address and reduce the risk of mistakes. That missed email might have been the opportunity of a lifetime!

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Toronto ExecuNet – Executive Recruiters

April 18th, 2012

We are pleased to host an evening of engagement with the leading, Toronto-based Executive Recruiters on Wednesday, April 25th from 6pm-9pm at the Marriott Toronto Airport. This is a rare event to spend an evening networking with Executive Recruiters in an informal environment.

Every ExecuNet meeting provides the opportunity for each participant to share a 1 minute “infomercial” to clearly enunciate their value. This meeting however, will give you the opportunity to sell yourself to the leading Executive Recruiters in the industry!

Executive Recruiters can play an important role in your career management however, there are numerous inaccurate assumptions and misnomers about the recruitment process and how Executive Recruiters operate. Martin Buckland, Principal of Elite Resumes and ExecuNet Facilitator will conduct a Question and Answer period to further engage discussion and information sharing among event participants. To ensure all questions are addressed, please submit your questions upon arrival.

What will you gain by attending this meeting of career experts?

  • Learn how to introduce yourself to Executive Recruiters.
  • Uncover why Executive Recruiters very rarely return your phone calls.
  • Network with leading Canadian Executive Recruiters in: Interim Management, Banking, Insurance, Real Estate,  Private  Equity, Infrastructure, Advanced Technology, Communications, Utilities, Not-For-Profit and Consumer Products.
  • Uncover how Executive Recruiters source talent and how to gain the maximum traction to attract their attention during a career transition or while gainfully employed.
  • How do Executive Recruiters evaluate your career history if you are contemplating changing industries?
  • Acquire knowledge on how Executive Recruiters use social media including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to find   candidates.

The following renowned Executive Recruiters will be joining our Executive Recruitment Panel:

Linda Clark

Partner/Recruiter

Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions

Mandeep Grewal

Deputy Managing Partner

Rosenzweig & Company Inc.

Joe Zinner

Managing Director

Zinner & Company Inc.

Register today to advance your network of key career influencers!

Attendance for this event is limited to 75 participants and will be sold out quickly!

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Career Professionals Won’t Guarantee A Job

March 2nd, 2012

Electronic Intifada's Inspector Clouseau MomentMany of those managing executive careers are aware of the importance of a professional resume, networking, job search strategies, a strong social media presence, personal branding, career coaching and and the role that certified career professionals play within the career industry. Unfortunately, not unlike any other industry, there are those who are good at what they do and those who are not. There are those who are involved in continued education, have extensive experience and are fully certified, and there are those who are not.

HR professionals and recruiters are googling potential candidates to verify credentials, work  history, gain an insight into their personality and review testimonials and recommendations. Organizations and companies must investigate extensively to ensure the substantial investment to hire nets the best possible candidate. This due diligence is necessary for anyone when considering an investment to secure the services of a professional whether long term or short term.

There will always be some willing to cash in on the vulnerability of those in career transition as we have seen recently in an investigation by CBC Marketplace, Job seekers warned about Toronto firm’s pitch. As stated in this article and previously posted on this site in, Recruiters Don’t Ask Job Seekers To Pay, no reputable organizations; recruiters, “job search marketing firms” or career management professionals will ever guarantee a job.

Professional Advice For Your Job Search and Google It and Avoid a Scam also reiterate the need for due diligence in the decisions made when managing an executive career. Your future starts with you and there are many reputable executive career management professionals qualified to assist in helping to meet or even exceed your career goals. Look for testimonials and referrals from trusted colleagues and join the pertinent groups on Linkedin to share in the many discussions available. Learn from the expertise shared by others and discover the advantages of highlighting your own expertise and expanding your professional network.

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Career Networks vs Social Networks

February 28th, 2012

01 (342)Casual - Live with styleSocial media has certainly changed, “how we do business” in a big way. Networking, establishing a personal brand, job search strategies, targeting companies and organizations; all have become much easier tasks and on a significantly larger scale. If there is one concern that seems to be the most highly voiced, it is related to the issue of privacy. Suffice to say that the majority of those managing an executive career would relish the idea of separating their professional social media profiles from their personal profiles. The question is:

Should separating your personal and professional online profiles be a concern or a consideration?

Social media has enabled anyone with an interest, the ability to put themselves into the spotlight but unlike other media’s of the past, the control over the flow of information generated today utilizing social media is directly from the user. The options to establish your place in this spotlight, your online presence, are many. It is an easy task to research the professional sites versus the social or personal sites. Clearly, Linkedin is the number one professional networking site with over 150 million users. Other professional social media sites include Naymz, Zoominfo, VisualCV, ExecuNet and the list goes on. Sites such as Monster have rolled out Beknown on the FB platform to secure a significant online presence with networking opportunities and HAPPEN will soon be revamping their website to embrace the advantages of a social media site.

Today, there is no question that Facebook dominates as the number 1 social media site with 845 million users, forecasting 1 billion users by August 2012! This number of users, which is 695 million more than Linkedin must inspire the following question: Is it reasonable for anyone managing a career and working towards establishing a visible online profile to ignore the opportunity to establish a presence on Facebook? Professional Pages and Business Pages on Facebook have influenced millions and are easily established without any cost. Although a personal profile is necessary to establish a professional page, it is not necessary to have any direct link between them.

All social media sites offer privacy settings but when managing an executive career, especially for those in career transition, the risk is in blocking access to decision makers, potential employers and recruiters. Those who have the potential to positively impact your career should also not be left with the impression that you have something to hide. Embrace all that social media has to offer and concentrate on a consistent, authentic and genuine online presence regardless of whether it is a Linkedin profile or a Facebook profile;  a career network or a social network! Your online presence should be who you are and a decision to hide a personal profile or to establish a professional profile which varies greatly from a personal one will only serve to damage any credibility. Establish a true personal brand and stand proudly behind it. Obviously those who are dishonest or have been involved in criminal activity will have a more difficult time with the idea of being open and forthright but for many, you can be assured that decision makers are aware that professionals also have personal lives.

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Stop! Don’t hit send…

February 22nd, 2012

Backspace key and enter keyDon’t hit send…yet! The impression you leave could be a long and lasting one. Do you want to brand yourself as professional, intelligent, mature, patient, considerate and understanding? Although those managing an executive career would share a resounding “yes”, too many are taking a high risk with online comments which could be construed as arrogant, antagonistic or lacking compassion and professionalism.

Today we are sharing comments with hundreds, thousands and potentially millions of people! It is true that our enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of us but it is during these times that you must take your fingers off the keyboard! Walk away, take a deep breath and enjoy a cup of green tea.  Heightened emotional states do not present a foundation conducive to presenting a professional personal brand.

A recent thread of numerous comments on Facebook had one individual standing out from all the rest. Approximately 10 people shared complimentary, friendly, light comments regarding a photo but one individual chose to post accusatory, insulting, rude comments using inappropriate language. The intended recipient certainly gained my respect when he simply ignored her unfounded and unnecessary comments. If an employer was able to view this profile, it would be a very easy decision to eliminate the obvious troublemaker from a list of potential candidates for hire.

Standing behind your values, morals and opinions is acceptable unless you feel the need to initiate an offensive online diatribe with someone who disagrees. A conversation which continues on long past any chance of a reasonable conclusion or mutual agreement may only impact a few, whereas online you could be leaving a permanent, negative impression that will be seen by hundreds, thousands or even more! Don’t comment back and forth to the extent that you have exhausted a topic. Agree to disagree or simply let it go! Any professional, social interactions entered into online require respect and should never reach the “I’m right and you’re wrong” stage.

Offering advice can be seen as thoughtful, giving, generous and further enhance the expertise and professionalism of a personal brand but a recent Linkedin discussion easily portrayed an individual as anything but, when the advice offered contained more personally directed negative criticism than it did positive advice.

Think positive, think professional and give serious consideration to the personal brand you wish to establish. Online comments have the potential to increase your visibility and your opportunities! One bad day and a few emotional or negative comments could easily tarnish an otherwise impressive personal brand and eliminate you from consideration as the next CEO or VP! Don’t hit send until you are sure the comment you are posting is appropriate and professional!

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A Professional Resume and the ROI

February 7th, 2012

Numbers And FinanceThere are few investments any of us will make without giving careful consideration to the ROI (Return On Investment). Of the many investments to consider when managing a successful executive career, some will be long term, some short term and others may never present a clear or definitive return. The cost of furthering education such as that of acquiring an EMBA will likely take years before the ROI is fully recognized and even then it may be difficult to measure depending on the direction your career has taken. Investing in a new professional wardrobe could very well result in the look and self confidence that led to a close tie breaker in the final decision of a hiring professional but will you ever know for sure? Seeking professional advice from a reputable Certified Personal Branding Strategist or Certified Job Search Strategist is sure to positively impact your career with new opportunities arising as a result of establishing a genuine authentic brand and an effective job search.

Why you should plan your exit before you’re in the door by Deborah Stokes for Canadian Business is written in response to the shrinking lifespan of a chief executive position. The evolving shortened tenure only heightens the need to take charge of managing an executive career and perhaps the most critical investment; a professional resume from a recognized, Certified Professional Resume Writer! This is an investment that presents a  clear and significant ROI. A resume is your ticket in the door and if it impresses the decision maker you’re one step closer to your next position. Securing a job interview is wholly dependent on a professional resume. Although networking likely led to discovering the open position, or even a recommendation, it is still your resume which will precede the interview or preclude you from the interview. The leverage to negotiate a salary increases with the number of offers to choose from and the most clearly recognized ROI that a professional resume will provide is a significant reduction of the time spent in career transition. If you secure your next position within 6 months rather than 12 months as a result of investing $1,000 for a professional resume, the ROI based on an annual salary of $150,000 would be $74,000! You may not reduce your job search by 6 months but even 1 month could result in a substantial return on your investment.

Contact Elite Resumes for a free resume critique from a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

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Are you a Follower or a Leader?

January 30th, 2012

20120106-NodeXL-Twitter-edreform network graphOver 800 million people have established profiles on Facebook and are actively engaged in networking. In Canada, that includes more than 50% of the population! In the past 3 months the largest growth in Facebook users was aged 45-54 followed by 55-64, 35-44, 25-34 and 65-0! In the past 6 months, Canadian Facebook users increased by 590, 960! Visit  socialbakers.com for further statistics.

Do you have a Facebook account? Are you a follower or a leader? If you have access to the Internet, it is simply a matter of time before you will decide to follow the other 800 million people and join Facebook. There is no doubt that for many it is the natural resistance to change that could be holding them back so if the numbers are convincing enough, it should be noted that Facebook was launched almost 8 years ago!

Another influential social media site is Twitter which was established in 2006 and currently has over 462 million users. An easy to use, real time resource, Twitter has become a favourite source for all who recognize it’s potential.

The absolute minimum online presence for anyone managing a career or business is Linkedin. Currently with over 136 million users, Linkedin provides a professional site with the resources to display authentic references and a career history linked to company’s and organizations. Networking with other professionals, following companies, job listings and the potential to connect with key decision makers around the world makes this the ultimate in job search tools.

Social media is not a passing fad and the consistent growth of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to name only a few, will ensure these social media sites continue to be key resources in the successful management of any career or business. No longer is there a choice to be the leader in joining these sites but by following those who did take the lead you are sure to discover the many benefits of online networking!

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An Executive Career in 2012

January 27th, 2012

UCLA School of Engineering Job FairManaging an executive career successfully requires a conscious awareness of personal branding, career industry trends, economic conditions, an online presence and what it all means in 2012. Choosing to embrace or at a minimum accept change will certainly assist in moving your executive career forward in a positive direction. As inevitable as it is to bring in the New Year, so too is it to recognize the changes that must be incorporated to manage a successful executive career in 2012. A fresh approach, knowledge of current economic conditions, industry trends, a significant online presence and active  networking will increase available opportunities as well as reduce the risk of a lengthy job search.

Where are you in your career today? Where would you like to be in 2 years, 5 years and 10 years? Clearly defined goals will increase your chances for success as long as they are built on a solid foundation! Corporate downsizing, economic fluctuations and the rapid pace of technological advances have become the norm and this year we will continue to see lost jobs, shorter tenures and the need to focus on transferable skills. A successful career transition will depend on YOU! In addition to setting attainable goals, a highly visible and impressive personal brand is the key to establishing a secure foundation in your career. Consistency in a name, profile content, skills and achievements within social media profiles and a professional resume will establish credibility and increase the opportunities to be found by HR professionals and recruiters.

Face to face networking is still key to managing a successful career but online networking is just as critical. This year 95% of HR professionals and recruiters will be searching Linkedin for potential candidates. Accepting this single source without seeking out more online information would be as unlikely as hiring someone based on their resume and eliminating the need for a job interview. Have you invested the time to establish other social media profiles to expand your professional network and increase your online visibility? Is the information consistent and concise? Is your resume up to date and does it contain the expected contact information including a Linkedin address? Does your resume contain the keywords employers will be looking for in 2012?

Contact Martin Buckland, Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Professional Branding Strategist and Certified Social Media Career Strategist at Elite Resumes for more information on managing your executive career in 2012.

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