Monday, 29 October 2012

Job Interview: How to finish "First" even if you finished second

Here's how to get a second chance for that ideal job that you finished second for.

As a recruiter and career coach for the past 15 years, I cannot count how many times I have heard a candidate inform me they "finished second" for job they really wanted. I often ask candidates what did after they did after not getting the job. Most respond with nothing while others sent a standard thank you email to the company in appreciation for their consideration.  From a strategic point of view, both follow up-actions do very little to give these candidates a second chance for that job. 

Try this strategic approach to get a real second chance for that ideal job you. Follow up with the management 2-3 months after not getting the job.Your timing may be ideal as the traditional 3-month probationary period for their new hire is approaching. Statistically a certain percentage of new hires simply do not work out as expected.

Conversely, some new hires might be less than thrilled with their new job or unimpressed with management or simply discover the corporate culture is not the right fit. Your timing and follow-up re-expressing interest in the position may be welcome news to the hiring manager for many reasons.

Most managers do not love the hiring process.  In fact we've all probably noted instances where less-than-ideal employees were kept beyond their probationary period simply due to management's lack of interest in spending another few weeks of time, effort and costs required to re-hire someone.

Furthermore, the other candidates that competed against you months ago rarely follow up.   So your well-planned follow-up call and renewed interest in the position may provide the perfect opportunity for management to re-consider hiring you, saving the company time, effort and money.

So when your searching for a great new career, remember you always have the second chance to finish first.

About Minto Roy

Brings more than a decade of experience in career management. He provides expert commentary on employment issues and trends and has been a regular columnist for the South Asian Post. To learn more about Minto Roy connect with him on Twitter, or LinkedIn.


Friday, 20 January 2012

Catch the wave in a new era of shipbuilding in British Columbia

Premier Christy Clark made the following statement on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to British Columbia:

"I am delighted that Prime Minister Harper will visit British Columbia today for an official signing of the Seaspan contract. The awarding of this contract to a British Columbia firm represents a major step forward in implementing Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan. This contract is a great example of a fair and transparent federal procurement process, and an even better example of British Columbia's business rising to the challenge of a major competition.

Seaspan Marine Corporation is an association of Canadian companies primarily involved in coastal and deepsea transportation, bunkering, ship repair and shipbuilding services in Western North America. In addition to the marine transportation services offered directly through Seaspan Marine Corporation, commercial ferry, shipyard and bunkering services are provided via affiliate companies: Marine Petrobulk Ltd., Seaspan Ferries Corporation, Vancouver Drydock Company, Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. and Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd.

Jonathan Whitworth, Seaspan CEO, said the company is "passionate about building quality
vessels on time and on budget." Seaspan will do the majority of the federal ship construction in Vancouver, leaving about 20 per cent of the work to be done at Victoria Shipyards in Esquimalt. Finishing work and trials are planned for the Island.

Seaspan, part of the Washington Group of Companies, is investing $350 million in infrastructure and modernization, Whitworth said. Vessel construction will likely start in the first quarter of 2013.
"We have hundreds of employees to hire and train," he said. The total package of work is anticipated to create 75 million person hours of work, including 4,000 jobs in B.C.

For more information on employment opportunities with Seaspan find more information at this link.



Minto Roy brings more than a decade of experience and perspective in business. He is a key contributor in building successful enterprises through people, process and technology. To learn more connect with him on Twitter, or LinkedIn. Leave your thoughts or creative responses in the comments section below.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

The employment world doesn't need another boring resume


The employment market pendulum has swung drastically.  Professionals across Canada are feeling job volatility and have polished up their resumes.  Despite the cautious business climate, there are still great career opportunities with companies committed to elevating their talent in hopes of taking full advantage of an economy that will see the "cream" of every industry rise to the top.

If, however, you are considering a career change be warned!  The traditional resume format that jobseekers have always used will not work effectively in this economy.  Jobseekers typically submit resumes focused on past accomplishments, experiences and education, however, in speaking with thousands of hiring managers, I have found their priority is set on figuring out what a candidate can do for them in the future.  This  presents a tremendous disjoint between how jobseekers communicate and what hiring managers are looking for.

To read more follow over to the South Asian Post for the top five resume tips.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Setting new year resolutions for your career

It is that time of year, the time when people vow to lose weight, eat healthy, quit a bad habit, or improve their career. For some, this might mean finding a new job, whereas for others, they may be looking for a salary increase, greater responsibility or promotion to that coveted corner office. The problem with resolutions, however, is that they are often created and not followed through upon. The secret is making easy to accomplish, measurable goals and sticking to them throughout January and hopefully the rest of the year.

1. Write down your goals. This is one of the most important skill sets you can develop for your personal development. It has been researched that those who set goals are simply more successful than people who do not set goals. Learn more about personal goal setting here.

2. What does LinkedIn say about you. I am a strong proponent of LinkedIn, especially for those passive job seekers who are not actively searching for a new career path each day. By highlighting your accomplishments and experience, you’ll be profiling your expertise to current contacts as well as potential future employers. By updating your status or adding information, your contacts will receive notification, keeping you top of mind. This is the highest quality social network for professionalism without question. 

3. Use new tools. Join the conversation. Twitter can be a wonderful tool that is free and great for research, but remember that resolutions need to be measurable. While microblogging is a trend of future business communication style, I’m not convinced that one can be effective without an incredible amount of time and effort. In order to gain a relevant following, time needs to be invested to find people to connect with in a meaningful way, share valuable information and engage in dialogue with fellow industry professionals. Consider this option a nice to have in your personal branding toolbox.

4. Be sincere with your approach. This point suggests that people should send a note of appreciation to individuals in their network. While not a bad suggestion, it can easily be construed as insincere or even patronizing if not done correctly. There is more value in dialogue exchange, content sharing and post commentary. Instead of just sending a compliment, actively engage the individual and share your thoughts and opinions at the same time.

5. Get noticed. As above, posting well thought out comments on others’ LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or blog accounts demonstrates that you are actively listening to what they are saying and are providing your own insight and perspectives. In addition to strengthening the relationship with your connections, in the right light you’ll present yourself as credible on a topic. Provide thoughtful feedback or questions as a learning experience.

6. Keep your finger on the pulse. While it can often be fruitless to set up a Google Alert on yourself -- especially if you have a common name -- it is a valuable suggestion if you are researching a company or industry. In addition to available company and stock information, Google Alerts generally picks up any relevant real time commentary about companies on blogs and websites. Another suggestion is performing a key word or company search on Twitter and see what is being said in the microblogging community. Use these tools to save time finding information you need.

7. Build your online reach. Important industry circles can become stale if it isn’t regularly tended to and expanded. By finding new people to connect with, you’ll further enhance your community exposure and possibly connect with someone who can help advance your career.

Advancing one’s career should not be a one off activity between periods of employment. It is an activity that should be conducted 365 days a year. While each new connection or status update may seem insignificant, when amassed over a period of time, each drop will eventually overflow the bucket. Making small, easy-to-accomplish resolutions will help ensure that you stay on track for your future goals.

About Minto Roy

Brings more than a decade of experience and perspective in career management. To learn more about Minto Roy connect with him on Twitter, or LinkedIn. Leave your thoughts or creative responses in the comments section below.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Trend: Would you want work email blocked after work hours?

Volkswagen in Germany has agreed to stop sending email through its BlackBerry servers to some of its unionized employees after working hours, BBC News reports.

Would you want work email to your Blackberry blocked after work hours? (iStock)

Employees under union negotiated contracts will not be able to receive work email on their smartphones beginning a half-hour after the end of the shift. Email service won't begin again until a half-hour before the start of their next shift. The email block does not apply to management at Volkswagen.

The automaker said it agreed to the change after employees complained that their work hours were creeping into their home lives.

The workers will still be able to make and receive calls on their BlackBerrys.

The announcement follows a similar move by French tech giant Atos, which said earlier this month it would phase out email altogether and replace it with instant messaging, video conferencing and shared documents.

What are your thoughts on email and your work life balance?

About Minto Roy

Brings more than a decade of experience in career management. He provides expert commentary on employment issues and trends and has been a regular columnist for the South Asian Post. To learn more about Minto Roy connect with him on Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Interview: Chris Hodgson brings entrepreneurial attitude to Google Canada


Chris Hodgson is head of industry retail for Google Canada. Abridged: Interview: Special Globe and Mail Update - Published Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 12:00AM EST

What’s your background and education?

I trained as a mechanical engineer at Queen’s University in Kingston and graduated in 1993. I worked at Imperial Oil in Toronto for five years. Then I decided to do a business degree at INSEAD in France in 1998. I moved to London to work for Accenture for four years. I did some consulting on my own and joined a company called Computacenter in 2004. I spent two years turning around a French business they owned and then returned to the U.K. to run their software partnerships with Microsoft and various other companies. I then left that to do my own startup called KidStart in 2007.

How did you get to your position?

After being in London for 12 years, my wife and I wanted a better quality of life for ourselves and our kids. I looked at setting up or moving my business to Canada but decided it was too much of a risk. The market here wasn’t really ready for the business I ran.

I realized I’d have to start working for someone else, which is an entrepreneur’s nightmare. I looked for a company that was open to an entrepreneurial attitude, and Google was top of that list. I networked, and through a friend of a friend I met Chris O’Neill, who runs Google Canada. He was in the process of building his management team and I interviewed for a role.

What’s the best part of your job?

Google is a fantastic company. The people and the support network are great. And being focused on the leading edge of retail in Canada, as an entrepreneur, excites me and keeps me interested.

What’s the worst part of your job?

It’s been a bit of a shock coming back to Canada. Google is a company that moves quickly. A lot of Canadian retailers don’t move as fast and that can be frustrating sometimes.

What are your strengths in this role?

It certainly helps coming from a culture that is leading edge. I can start presentations saying, “I come from the future.” The U.K. is so much more advanced when it comes to e-commerce. I can help retailers navigate where they’re going to be five years down the road.

Also, the entrepreneurial background that I have gives me experience and comfort in driving things through and making things happen.

What are your weaknesses?

It’s been 12 years since I lived in Canada so I don’t yet have as strong a network in Canada. It has helped to have a good team around me to fill in that gap.

What has been your best career move?

Making the decision to do my MBA in France opened my eyes to a whole different set of opportunities, and fundamentally changed the direction I was going with my career and even with my life.

What has been your worst career move?

It can be very easy to get trapped in an environment where you’re not happy and you settle. If you’re not happy, make decisions quickly, like ripping off a bandage. Don’t get caught up in trying to make things work for too long. If I look back, there are one or two stages of my career where I could have moved on more quickly.

What’s your next big job goal?

Helping retailers in Canada understand how consumers have changed their shopping behaviours. They’re now doing a lot of research online before they make purchases. My goal is to educate retailers about the shift that is going on in the marketplace and the opportunities available to them.

What’s your best career advice?

Never be afraid to dream big and follow your dreams. That is important when you’re thinking of making career transitions, when you’re looking at new opportunities that are available to you. It can be easy to say, “That sounds a bit risky.” But ... if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, quite often it’s worth that risk.

This interview has been edited and condensed. Dianne Nice is The Globe and Mail’s Careers & Workplace Web Editor.

Fairwell to a golf pro

Kim Jong Il may have only played golf once, but he was still apparently able to record the best round in the history of the game. That is of course if you believe the claims by media outlets in Pyongyang in 1994. He was said to have shot 38 under par (an unbelievable 25 shots better than the world record) on a regulation course, including an astonishing 11 holes in one. Talk about beginners luck! Sadly, the Guinness Book of Records has yet to recognise the 'Dear Leader's' achievements on the fairway.