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Networking Is Not a Dirty Word…It’s Relationship Building

networking2_imagesRecently, someone in my network sent an email asking if I could meet him for coffee. Prior to this email, the last time we communicated was about seven years ago when he was laid off and looking for work. Now he is in the same spot. This behaviour is not unusual. Many people do not feel the urge to touch base with their network until they are in need of help. They do not treat their network as a top priority, but leadership expert Harvey McKay advises that we should dig our well before we are thirsty. His book is aptly titled “Dig Your Well Before You Are Thirsty.”

One reason it is important to periodically touch base with your network is that you never know when and from where an opportunity may come. Second, employers are increasingly relying on their own employees to find new hires, so if you are in job search mode and is an active networker you will most likely be on someone’s radar for new opportunities.

As much as networking is an important task, it sometimes has a negative connotation. The term sometimes conjures up images of back-slapping, forced smiles, awkward conversations or brown-nosing, and because of these negative undertones, many people shy away from becoming actively engaged in the process. Scott Ginsberg, author of Hello, My Name is Scott describes networking as “…the development and maintenance of mutually valuable relationships. It’s not schmoozing; it’s not just handing out business cards, selling, marketing or small talk. Those activities are part of networking, but unfortunately, many people’s misunderstanding of the term causes them to network ineffectively.”

Networking is a long term strategy that involves work and takes time. Ivan Misner, founder of Business Network International said that there’s a reason “networking is not called ‘net-sit’ or ‘net-eat’ but ‘net-work’.” Whether you are a job seeker or an entrepeneur, you need to create a networking plan and be prepared to invest a lot of time in building and nurturing your network. Business consultant, Nikolai Tillisch, who has used LinkedIn to build his business, says, “To conduct business successfully, I had to invest time on the ground to understand and build relationships.”

Networking can lead to job opportunities. It is well known that more than 80% of job opportunities are found through networking. Why? It’s easier and cheaper, and relies on trust. Imagine someone in your network trusting you enough to recommend you for a job opportunity! Having said that, I am noticing a trend these days that some people are twinning their LinkedIn invitations with a request for help in finding a job. That’s not a good strategy if you would like to build mutually beneficial relationships. Get to know your contact and give them enough time to get to know you before asking for favours.

Networking is a two-way street. One of my LinkedIn contacts sent me a magazine article in which I was quoted. Soon after, he mailed me several copies of the magazine which was published in his city. Feeling honoured by this gesture, and without giving him advanced notice, I mailed him a copy of my book, No Canadian Experience, Eh? I told him that if he hadn’t sent the information to me I wouldn’t have remembered I was interviewed for the article. We began discussing the value of networking, and he said, “I had to be forced into this idea of networking. I had a stint as a trade diplomat and was exposed to some training, but I did not get the point, mainly because I used to be one of those stiff solicitor types, but I learned quickly. Now, I consider myself a connector (or people collector) – deciding that I like somebody, building a relationship based on mutual regard for work, and holding on to that relationship forever.”

Networking is still going to be awkward for many of us, but if viewed through the lens of relationship building, it’s easier to embrace and the rewards can be long lasting. So, in the spirit of networking, “How can I help you today?”

 

Does Your Job Search Need a Kick in the Butt?

Job_Search_iStock_000018868158XSmallWhat did you spend the last week doing with your job search? Were you hiding behind a computer uploading resume after resume to any company that advertised a vacancy? Were you applying to every job, whether or not you were qualified for it? Were you using the same resume for all the positions? If you were doing all or some of the above, you were taking the path of least resistance. This path gives you the feeling you are doing something, but unfortunately you are not getting the results you hope for.

Job searching is difficult, and employers are not making it any easier when they stipulate that applications must be submitted online and that no phone calls will be accepted. When a job seeker reads these ‘rules’ they become despondent, throw their hands in the air and give up. But, it is what it is…employers have to find ways to deal with the thousands of resumes they receive on a weekly basis. As such, they use some version of an applicant tracking system to weed out candidates, and in the process great candidates are eliminated. Be that as it may, what if someone gives you a kick in the butt, or something jolts you to do something different? Would you do it?

The excerpt below is from a client who had been trying some of the same strategies mentioned above, but after reading this blog post (Put a Little Love in Your Career), she took matters in her own hands. She wrote:

“I was moping around today disgusted with myself around my job search but started to pull up my socks and your newsletter arrived!  Thank you for the extra kick in the butt.” What was this kick in the butt? She had applied online for a position with this major employer and was waiting… After reading the tips in the blog post she decided to ‘do something she had never done’. Her note continued:

“I didn’t know a soul at [Company] and I knew if I didn’t find someone to be an advocate for me, my resume wouldn’t be seen.  So I asked the Universe to provide me with a contact.  Literally, not 20 minutes later I was inclined to go to LinkedIn and look at new job postings.  My attention was drawn to the names of people who could connect me to the person who posted the job and thought – who could connect me to someone at [Company]? 

I did a search on the company and there were three people who knew people at [Company].  Of the three people, I know one really well so I called her. Wouldn’t you know that the person she knows is her sister-in-law and she is in HR at [Company]!  My friend told her about me, got the scoop on how the system works and her sister-in-law is going to see if she can get my resume into the pile for interviews!!”

She didn’t stop there. She was introduced to this new contact and followed up with her.

“I just got off the phone with my new contact at [Company].  She was lovely and extremely helpful.  She said there was nothing going on with the position at the moment and that there were no internal candidates attached to the posting which was a good sign.  She said it could take a few more months to hear anything but now that she knows the status and has spoken to me, she will bring up my resume and qualifications to the individual who posted the job.

She very kindly said she will keep an eye open for other opportunities and if one comes up that suits me – I’m to apply on line and give her an email and she’ll make sure my resume gets to the top of the pile.”

My client got tired of doing the same thing over and again and decided to do something different. In doing so, she not only got someone to look at her resume, but learned that the position was put on hold.

It’s difficult yes, but you cannot give up on your job search just because you haven’t found an opportunity. The more difficult it gets, the more you should be stretching yourself to try something different. In the next few days, instead of sitting in front of your computer and applying for jobs, why not use the time to research some top employers. This research should include company websites, libraries, annual report, and other places on the Internet where they are mentioned. Your research should also include current and former employees or anyone who might have connections to the company(ies). This exercise gives you an opportunity to learn about these companies, builds the confidence you need to reach out to them.

The Globe and Mail published the Greater Toronto Area’s Top 95 Employers a few months ago. It would be a great place to start your research. Discover why they were voted top employers, and see if just by chance any of them might have a need for your skills.

Are you getting weak-kneed yet? “Dare to begin. No endeavor is worse than that which is not attempted. You don’t know what you can do until you have tried. People, like trees, must grow or wither. There’s no standing still. Do what you can.” ~John Mason, Author

Share some of the strategies you have been using in your search and let us know how they are working out for you.

5 Ways to Get Your Resume Ready for Prime Time

Prime_Time

Is your current resume ready for ‘prime time’? This is not about the peak viewing time on television, for which advertising rates are the highest. It refers to the less than 30 seconds that it takes a recruiter or hiring manager to make a decision about your resume.

Consider this: The average length of a television ad is 60 seconds, much longer than the time it takes the most discerning, eagle-eyed recruiter to scan a resume and decide if it should be tossed in the trash bin, deleted from a database or placed on the ‘for further review’ pile.

If you think of your resume as an ad for a product, and the buyer as a recruiter or hiring manager, how will you ensure that your resume grabs their ‘prime time’ attention and be given the cursory 30-second look?

The five tips below are not all-encompassing, but should certainly help your resume meet the prime time test:

Conduct a prime time test. Grab a copy of your resume right now and review it. What’s your impression? How is it packaged? Will it be noticed within that 30-second flash of time? Does it have an attention-grabbing headline? What have you included in the top-third of the document commonly referred to as ‘prime real estate’? Is the space dominated with a ‘me-centred’ Objective, or does it have an impressive value-based statement highlighting why you are uniquely qualified to fill the position? Does it have a strong value proposition?

Look for career defining stories. As you continue your review, is the resume saturated with career defining stories demonstrating your skills, strengths and accomplishments? Are these stories connected to the employer’s buying motivators or needs? Or, is it packed with statements and responsibilities directly from your job description with no accompanying results or outcomes? It is quite common for job seekers to create resumes laden with job descriptive statements when hiring managers want to see resumes laden with value. Eliminate such statements if you cannot show value. Ultimately, employers hire based on results (or value), not on what you were “responsible for…”.

Weave in endorsements. Do you know you can enhance your resume with third-party endorsements about your achievements and your capabilities? Not just any endorsement, but testimonials and  recommendations from influencers in your network or comments culled from your performance appraisal. Not only do these comments tell the hiring manager that you are the best thing since sliced bread, but statements coming from people who can attest to your abilities – your manager or former supervisor – give you credibility.

Experiment with a creative layout. Is your resume created with one of those templates that everyone uses, or does it have a unique layout that captures the reader’s attention and tempt them to want to read more? You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create a nicely-laid out resume that stands out and appeals to the reader.

Focus on value more than length. While most people prefer a two-page resume, some recruiters say it depends on the level of the position. One executive recruiter, David Perry of Perry Martel said, “Length doesn’t matter to me, as long as it is laden with value.” Another recruiter said, “A long resume (8+ pages), is just too much, no matter how many years of experience a person has.” How long is yours, and does it have relevant information that would grab the interest of a hiring manager? If it is laden with value, then length won’t matter.

In a competitive job market when recruiters and hiring managers are deluged with hundreds of resumes for one position, your resume must be ready to compete for prime time. Make sure to include several compelling stories that focus on your unique value. To get to those stories, ask yourself, “What problems did I solve? What legacy did I leave, or am I leaving in my roles?” Only then will you be able to craft a resume that will be ready for prime time.

Related post:

 

How a Patchwork Quilt Resume Could Damage Your Brand

 

 

Are You Among LinkedIn’s 1%?

LinkedIn_1_PercentLast week I received a personalized congratulatory email from LinkedIn’s Senior Vice President of User Experience that said “You have one of the top 1% most viewed LinkedIn Profiles for 2012”. LinkedIn now has 200 million users, so by the time I worked out the math (1 in 2,000,000), the message didn’t have as much meaning, unless I was going to assess and quantify how many connections or clients I received as a result of these views.

Anyway, for it was worth, I googled the sender’s name to make sure it was legitimate, then tweeted the news. What algorithm LinkedIn used to arrive at this percentage is anyone’s guess, but it has certainly garnered a lot of discussion among some of my career practitioner colleagues – from humour to an attitude of ‘What will they come with next?

While we ponder this, however, I am reminded of the many job seekers who are not aware of, or are still not taking advantage of LinkedIn as a job search and networking tool. One woman called me aside at church the other day and said, “Someone sent me an invitation to join LinkedIn. I don’t understand what it is, but I know you would, so I joined, and now am asking you to explain.”  I gave her a brief description of LinkedIn and told her it is often referred to as ‘having one’s resume on steroids’ so she is to make sure she completes her profile.

It might be presumptuous to say that LinkedIn is fast becoming somewhat of a ‘recruiter of choice’ for some employers, but many of them are using LinkedIn to conduct ‘stealth hiring’. This is where they quietly target, recruit, interview and hire employees without advertising job vacancies. They are able to view profiles, see who is connected to whom, what skills and expertise they have, and reach out to them even when these individuals are not looking for job opportunities. On the flip side, they can view profiles and if they are incomplete or do not have the right keywords to appeal to them, they can disqualify them right there.

So, whether or not you are among LinkedIn’s 1%, 5% or 10% most viewed profiles, here are six quick tips that could bring your profile up to speed and have you on the radar of potential employers:

  1. Complete your profile. This means writing an attention-getting summary and adding skills that will show up in searches and help to attract recruiters and hiring managers.
  2. Upload a professional head-shot. First impressions count, even for your profile, so replace that ‘egg head’ blank square with a professional photo if you want to impress a recruiter or hiring manager, or connect with someone.
  3. Customize your LinkedIn invitation. People are more apt to connect with you if you put a bit of effort into crafting a customized invitation. Let them feel special! Remind them where you met or how you are connected.
  4. Join industry and professional groups. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups, so search for groups by industry, alumni, former companies and career or job search groups, and join them. Once you have joined, PARTICIPATE!
  5. Follow your target companies. During your research you would’ve identified companies with which you would like to work. Monitor their company pages to learn more about them, their products and services, as well as who has recently been hired.
  6. Ask and Answer Questions. LinkedIn is made up of a community of learners, so don’t be afraid to showcase your expertise by answering questions posed by other users or to pose questions of your own.

While this article primarily pertains to job seekers, entrepreneurs and solopreneurs should harness the power of LinkedIn to build relationships and visibility, and increase business opportunities.

Let us know how you are using LinkedIn and if you have been counted among their most viewed profile.

13 Questions to Ask Yourself Before 2013

Questions2

Can you imagine that the New Year is almost 13 days away! Where did 2012 go? What were you able to achieve? Honestly, what progress have you made in your job search or your career since January 2012? If you haven’t made any progress since then, there’s nothing much you can do at this stage except to learn from the past and move on.

Having said that, what are your plans for 2013? More resolutions? More “If only I had had more, time, money, guidance?” What about setting aside some quality time for yourself to answer the following 13 questions, and then let’s have a chat in the New Year? I might just be able to help you move your career forward.

  1. Describe yourself in 100 words
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. What are the achievements you are most proud of?
  4. What gives you strength?
  5. What is your favorite activity?
  6. What brings you peace?
  7. What’s your greatest fear?
  8. What are your values?
  9. What are your biggest goals and dreams?
  10. What’s stopping you from pursuing them? How can you overcome them?
  11. How important are these goals to you?
  12. What is your ideal career?
  13. How can you start creating your ideal career starting today?

Are you ready to move your career forward? Don’t delay. Any decisions and actions you make today will set you up for success in 2013. I am ready and willing to help, but only if you are ready and willing to help yourself. Let’s start the process now!

Changing Careers? Why Not Try Freelance Writing?

Planning a career change for the New Year, or are you going to accept your present situation as permanent? Author and Speaker, John Mason summed it nicely when he said,Don’t accept your present, temporary situation as your future, permanent situation. Despite your current circumstances, make up your mind to get on with your life and fulfill your divine purpose and calling.”

What is your divine purpose or calling? Could it be freelance writing? If it is, then my colleague Carol Tice has just opened her Writer’s Den for the last time this year and you are invited to look around then join if you think it’s a path you wish to take. The Den is opened until midnight December 13th. Click here for more details: The Writer’s Den.

I am not usually in the habit of recommending too many products or services, but as a member of the Den for the past several months, this is one I fully endorse. I can attest to the value of membership, including many resources to take one’s writing to the next level. Take a peek into the Writer’s Den, and see for yourself.

101 Surprising Tips for Your Holiday Job Search

Many job seekers believe that they should give their job search a break during the holiday season, and on the surface it looks like a great idea. After all, most businesses slow down their operations during the holidays, and some people get caught up into festivities that hiring new staff might be the farthest thing from their minds. But, even if these have merits, there are many reasons why job seekers should not ease up on the job search pedal during the holidays.

To demystify this holiday myth, 25 career coaches and recruiters from career site Job-Hunt.org contributed to an e-book titled New Year, New Job! 101 Top Tips from the Job-Hunt Experts for Your Holiday Job Search. As the Canadian Job Search Expert for Job-Hunt, I was asked to be one of the contributors. This book is full of tips that will revolutionize the way one looks at holidays and job search. The book will be FREE on Amazon from Thanksgiving Day until midnight on Monday, Nov. 26. Otherwise, it will cost ninety-nine cents per copy making it an ideal stocking stuffer for the job seeker on anyone’s list. Find it at Amazon.com. Here are some tips from a few of the experts:

Ask for holiday gifts to help you job hunt 

What do you want for the holidays? Consider making this a practical (and inspirational) holiday and ask for gifts that will take you closer to your new job. Your friends and family are wondering how to help you. Help them, and yourself, by asking for what you need. Here are ideas to jumpstart your thinking:

  • Help from a career professional for some career direction, job search strategy, refreshing your resume or LinkedIn profile, or interview practice.
  • A session with a photographer for a professional headshot for your LinkedIn and other profiles.
  • To be their guest at a networking event. – Phyllis Mufson, Job-Hunt’s Boomer Job Search Expert

Use holiday vacation time to learn about job search 

Before you dive into planning and executing your job search strategy, the holidays may afford you the free time to do some research about how to job search. If it’s been more than a few years since you last looked for a job, you may not know how much things have changed. Go through the Online Job Search Tutorial on Job-Hunt.org, and Google various phrases pertaining to each aspect of job search to find information and learn the latest and best ways to land a good-fit job in today’s competitive job search landscape. – Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt’s Personal Branding Expert

Volunteering creates access to employers

Most job seekers tend to take the holidays off but hiring managers don’t. The hiring managers you want to meet go to holiday charity events, Chamber of Commerce meetings and other public holiday events. The best way for you to meet them without large financial investment is to volunteer. Volunteering provides access. If you believe volunteering at a holiday charity event is not worth your time, look at the list of the corporate sponsors of the previous year’s event. You may reconsider your stance. – Stephen Hinton, Job-Hunt’s Green Industry Jobs Expert

Turn up your posting frequency over the holidays

As far as I can tell, hiring volume doesn’t go down during the holiday (overall). But I know many job seekers stop trying, for whatever misinformed reason. Therefore, you can increase your exposure by amping up your social media postings. By filling the vacuum of activity on Twitter and LinkedIn, recruiters scouring those media looking for candidates will be more likely to bump into your messages. – Joshua Waldman, Job-Hunt’s Social Media & Job Search Expert

Connect with new recruiters during the holidays

If you don’t have relationships with any recruiters, you need to network to one through your contacts. This is a good time of year to ask your friends to introduce you to their favorite recruiter (who works in your industry). If they have a good relationship, they can use the same ideas above and mention they have a colleague who’d be someone good for them to know.  – Jeff Lipschultz, Job-Hunt’s Working With Recruiters Expert

Volunteer to provide holiday coverage 

Contact one of your target companies and offer to cover for staff absences during the holiday period. This must be in an area in which you have expertise, or an assignment that’s not difficult to learn. Be aware that for confidentiality reasons, you might not be allowed to work in certain departments. This would be like a temp assignment, only you are doing it on a volunteer basis. It gets your foot in the door and a couple of people to add to your network. – Daisy Wright, Job-Hunt’s Canadian Job Search Expert

After going through all the tips it will be easy to see why taking a break during the holiday season could limit one’s job search success. Make sure to grab your free copy prior to November 26, 2012 at Amazon.com. After that, it will cost a mere ninety-nine cents.

 

STOP Trolling Job Boards Now!

“STOP trolling job sites and mailing resumes”, said an IT Director commenting on a blog post titled “Get a Job: The Craigslist Experiment”. In fact, the ‘experiment’ was highlighted in a Harvard Business Review blog. The exact statement was, “People need to get it through their thick heads to stop trolling job sites and mailing resumes!”

Over the last several weeks, seven people have called to ask for advice because they are not finding jobs even though they have been actively looking. When I asked about the method they were using to look, most said they were uploading their resumes on job boards. The problem here is that the majority of resumes submitted online disappear into a resume black hole.

Before anyone begins to lambast this IT Director, consider this: Many people hide behind job boards because it keeps them busy and gives the impression they are doing something. It’s like the proverbial rocking chair that keeps rocking, but isn’t going anywhere. The fact is, a job seeker may have the best laid out resume but if it is only being marketed through job boards, and not being seen by the decision-maker, then all efforts will be in vain.

That said, job boards should not be dismissed because they serve several purposes. They give job seekers a peek into which companies are hiring and what skill-sets they are looking for; they offer career advice in addition to job postings, and some specialize in specific fields, known as niche boards.

Recruiting Trends, an online community that offers industry insight about recruiting, states in a recent article, that “…top talent is rarely hired from a job board, alone. For job seekers, posting your resume to an online job board is on par with randomly emailing a general resume and cover letter to hundreds of companies – and then failing to follow up to make sure that the message was received.” Following up is important, and that’s where networking comes in. There is no need to break out into a cold sweat or scoff at the mere mention of networking, because it has a track record of success. Studies have shown that 60 to 85% of job opportunities are found through networking while the success rate through job boards is less than 10 percent.

As difficult as it seems, networking is important. Think of it as a research tool that helps to build relationships one person at a time. It requires that you develop an X-ray vision – a technique that targets several companies you’d like to work for – find someone who currently works for the company and begin to cultivate a relationship with that person.  The point is if an opportunity exists in any of these organizations, at least you would be on someone’s radar because you have already established a relationship.

Going back to the ‘group of seven’ mentioned earlier, after I had reviewed one person’s resume, I suggested that she eased out of her comfort zone and make some cold calls. She connected with the hiring manager at one company and heard he had received 600 resumes for the position for which she had applied. While she was uncomfortable making the call, her effort resulted in her resume being pulled from the pile and placed on the interview schedule. “That took guts”, she said, “but I had become so tired and frustrated that I felt I didn’t have anything more to lose”.

Not everyone is going to be that lucky but if she did not stretch herself and go beyond where she felt comfortable, chances are she wouldn’t have been called for an interview. It’s worth a try. Don’t keep doing the same thing over and again if you are not getting the results you seek. Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) has become a dominant player in the hiring arena. Make sure to incorporate social media in your job search strategy, and place less emphasis on job boards.

Let me know your thoughts.


How to Differentiate Between Canadian & American Spelling

How to Differentiate Between Canadian & American Spellings

Although it might not be well known, there are subtle differences between Canadian and American spelling of many words, and when it comes to the job search, it could be the deciding factor in landing a job.

Misspellings or Different Spellings?

Nowhere was it more evident than at a job fair in Toronto several months ago hosted by two healthcare entities from the USA. A client, who is a nurse, heard of the job fair on short notice, and presented her resume formatted for the Canadian market.

After reviewing her resume and cover letter, the recruiter told her that her resume had “several spelling errors.” Of course, she was taken aback.

Some of the “errors” were Centre, Cheque, Honour, Judgement and Practised.

After she composed herself, she told the recruiter that the documents were created for the Canadian market, hence the spelling; that her Spellchecker would not have picked up the “errors,” and that she didn’t realize it made such a difference.

The recruiter also told her she was not aware there was a difference. In the end, these “spelling errors” did not cost her the job opportunity as she was offered a position and moved to Florida.

The situation could have easily been reversed with an American job seeker being tripped up by American spellings used in a resume submitted to a Canadian employer.

The Commonwealth of Spelling

As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly known as the British Commonwealth), Canada owes its “spelling allegiance” to the British. It’s the same in Australia and the English-speaking Caribbean islands.

In reality, though, Canadians tend to straddle the fence and use what’s convenient. If they are conducting a job search in the USA, then they use the American spelling, but that same resume could be used in Canada and not many people would notice the difference.

As a matter of fact, in the back of our minds, we sometimes wonder if the differences really matter. How else would one explain the fact that Canadian words such as analyze, categorize, customize and legalize are consistent with the American spelling where the “s” is substituted for a “z”?

For example, here is a partial list of all the words that are spelled differently in Canada and the US.

American Spelling

  • Acknowledgment
  • Behavior
  • Center
  • Check
  • Favor
  • Honor
  • Judgment
  • Practice
  • Licence
Canadian Spelling 
  • Acknowledgement
  • Behaviour
  • Centre
  • Cheque
  • Favour
  • Honour
  • Judgement
  • Practise (verb)
    Practice (noun)
  • License (verb)
    Licence (noun)

The aim of this article is to shed some light on some of the nuances that exist and help us adapt when job hunting – or reviewing resumes – on both sides of the border and internationally. The next time you are preparing your resume for the “other side” of the border (regardless of which side you are on), check to see if your spelling is consistent with usage in the target country.

Bottom Line

When in doubt about Canadian spelling and grammar, refer to The Globe and Mail Style Guide, and Gregg’s Reference Manual (Canadian Edition). American job seekers using Canadian spelling will look more knowledgeable about Canada as well as more interested in fitting in.

_____________

Article originally posted on Job-Hunt.Org

3 B.A.D. Tips to Bolster Your Career Brand

 

Yes, this might sound like an oxymoron, but read on…

Earlier in the year, I had the privilege of speaking to members of CAMP, a networking group for internationally trained communication, advertising and marketing professionals (hence the name CAMP), in Toronto.

The title of the presentation was “You’re BAD!” Of course, it was not an attempt to characterize these individuals as BAD in the literal sense, but to remind them that they were (and are) Bold, Audicious and Dynamic, and that by virtue of the fields within which they work, they are uniquely positioned to be B.A.D. I encouraged them to forget the labels people place on them as ‘lacking Canadian work experience’, and continue believing in themselves, their successes and their dreams.

That message is also relevant to job seekers or anyone going through a career transition. If you are working on your career marketing documents (resume, cover letter, bio, online profile, and portfolio), your brand statement, elevator pitch, or whatever other job search collateral you are creating), you can adopt a B.A.D attitude. If not, you won’t be able to effectively tell your story and get hired. Reinvent yourself, have courage, and dare to do things differently! The job environment is such a competitive one that now is a good time to be BAD!

Below are several variations of the B.A.D. acronym. Choose the one that you think will bolster your career brand and adopt it as your own mantra:

  1. Be Big, Bold & Brilliant: Take that big, bold, brilliant step to get the job or promotion you have always wanted. Don’t let fear or negative comments from others prevent you from going after what you want. Claim your brilliance and allow it to shine through every area of your life.
  2. Be Ambitious, Authentic & Astute: Be ambitious. Don’t settle for anything small. Ambition drives determination, and determination or perseverance allows you to move forward and claim your place at the table. Now it’s time to take a gut check on your Authenticity: Who are you? Are you genuine, or are you wearing a mask? Are you satisfied with ‘Brand You’, and if you are, are you consistently living that brand? Your authentic answers to these questions will help you become the person you were destined to be. Be Astute. Do you have all the smarts required to succeed? If not, are you engaging in developmental activities that will help you acquire these skills?
  3. Be Dynamic, Decisive & Distinct: A Dynamic individual demonstrates confidence. Whether you are networking, interviewing or having a casual conversation, you need to exhibit an aura of confidence. Stop acting like a wimp!  Be Decisive: When you have a serious decision to make, tell yourself firmly that you are going to make it. The famous author, Napoleon Hill, said “Indecision is the seedling of fear.” In all your interactions, you need to position yourself as Decisive; someone who is willing to make a decision even at the risk of being unpopular. Any hesitancy on your part could indicate that you are unsure about yourself. You are Distinct. There is no other person like you. You have been individually picked and handcrafted for a purpose. This mindset allows you to accept the unique person you are and differentiate yourself from everyone else.

After reading all these BAD tips, images of conceit, self-centredness and egotism might be entering your mind, but reject those thoughts. This is not about bragging. It’s about standing up for yourself. Don’t downplay your accomplishments, and pass them off as being “Just a part of the job”, or “It’s no big deal”. This is the time for you to adopt a B.A.D. attitude and learn to market your distinct brand so you won’t miss out on another opportunity. Go ahead and be B.A.D.!

You can click on the photograph above to watch a 5-minute video with snippets from my presentation to CAMP. It’s from Rogers TV, so expect to see a 30-second commercial before the real piece. Watch it and let me know your thoughts!