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Monday Rx: Value Has a Value Only if its Value is Valued

The headline for this post is really a tongue-twister, so read it again for clarity.

Today is Labour / Labor Day in Canada and the US, but am still sending  my message, albeit a shortened version. It’s a 30-second speech from Bryan Dyson, the former CEO of Coca Cola.

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. They are Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit, and you are keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you dropped one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family and friends and have proper rest. Value has a value only if its value is valued.”

Whatever you are doing right now, take a moment to reflect on the message and evaluate your priorities. I am doing just that today!

To your success,


Tips for Moms Returning to Work – Part III

Are you a mom preparing to return to the workforce in the New Year? Read Tip #3:

Choosing the right résumé format. Employers tend to prefer the chronological résumé, which gives a historical timeline of your work experience, but this becomes problematic when you have been away from the workforce for a time. As an alternative, you could use the functional format which focuses on notable skills and accomplishments gained from a number of jobs. Use headings such as Administration, Fundraising, Event Planning and Project Management, and list your activities and achievements under those headings. Another alternative is to use a combination format, beginning with a value statement or professional summary that answers the employer’s question, “What should we hire you?” Below is an example:


Juggled several tasks as president of school council and chair of membership committee of the local Girl Guides Club. Negotiated sponsorship opportunity with a major retail chain enabling the club to increase membership from 25 to 80 within 5 months. Initiated and led the first Neighbourhood Watch group in Lakeside, significantly reducing incidences of trespassing by 25%. Used Excel to create a budget for a family of five, monitoring it on a weekly basis to ensure there were no overruns. Managed bookkeeping responsibilities for a sole proprietor and implemented an aggressive collections policy that increased cash flow by 30%.

The above summary is an example of how you could incorporate your family and civic involvement into your résumé. The aim is to be creative and bring together your outside professional involvement as well as your related child-rearing activities.

2009 Awards of Excellence

While I was nominated for two awards this year – ONESTEP 2009 Awards of Excellence (The Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects), and Career Professionals of Canada’s “2009 Award of Excellence”, .


It’s not possible to post all the documentation related to the nominations, so I have listed few highlights:


My book: No Canadian Experience, eh? A Career Survival Guide for New Immigrants Letters of acknowledgement were received from: The Right Hon. Governor General Michaëlle Jean, MPP Linda Jeffrey, and former Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, Hon. Mike Colle, who cited in a letter that the book “is an excellent resource tool”.

A publisher of career books in Toronto remarked in an email that he “was pleasantly surprised to see so much valuable information for a segment of the population that was largely ignored in regards to the job search.”


I was also nominated for the 2009 One Step Award of Excellence for my work on the Pathway to Success for Women – Life Skills and Career Options Program.

“Certain areas were not originally included in the curriculum, but based on her assessment of the needs of each group, she was able to incorporate small business information and interviewing techniques into the program. In an effort to enhance the Personal & Professional Communication section of the program, she took several of the women on field trips to attend meetings of Toastmasters.” ~ Wanda Marsman, Assistant Manager, COSTI Immigrant Services.


“No Canadian Experience, Eh?” … is unique and exceptional because it is the first and only resource for foreign trained professionals that focuses solely on the issue of lacking Canadian experience as a main hurdle impeding their employment integration in their fields of training and experience.” ~Dr. Yamil Alonso, Program Director BNRC, Brampton


“Daisy Wright was inspirational, motivating and passionate about this program.  It is her genuine need to help people that made this program more enjoyable”. Program Participant.


Opportunities 2008 Conference – Co-presenter on Session – “Wanted:  A Mentoring Model for Employers to Ensure Successful Workforce Integration of New Immigrants”. This was an attempt to get service providers to engage employers in understanding the value that Internationally-Educated Professionals could bring to their organizations.


My work as Career Advisor to The Link, a radio program on CBC Radio Canada International (Since February 2008).

What Some Employers Look for in a Résumé

Welcome to another of my `Career Musings`.

It is known in resume circles that the only rule in resume writing is that there are no rules. The important thing is strategy.  Yet, the other day, a client of mine who works with a city government asked his HR Director for some resume advice, and this is what he got. It`s reproduced without edits:

  • Resume – no more than 2 pages, including Cover Letter
  • Resume should mirror position applying for. Keep the employer’s intent in mind
  • No gaps of previous job
  • Career progression very important
  • Formatting: No CAPS
  • No Objective
  • No Roman Font
  • Employment First
  • Education History Last
  • List all job related qualities, functions of job applying for
  • Tangibles and stakeholder management
  • List what learned in different jobs
  • Build job history
  • Demonstrate fairness, honesty
  • Communicate to fit profile
  • Have a Customer Service approach

It would appear that from the Director’s perspective, these are absolutes, and probably, if a resume comes across his desk with anything less than the above, it would be thrown aside.  What are your thoughts?

Lying on Resumes is More Common Than You Think!

“Official Résumé Wrong”! That was the headline in the Sports section of a popular newspaper a few years ago, when it was discovered that the then manager of a major league baseball team had inaccuracies in his bio. He was not an “All-American basketball player” and he did not “play basketball at UCLA prior to signing with the Dodgers”. When asked by the sportswriter, the manager admitted the statements were incorrect, and said he should be judged by what he does on the field, not by what’s written about him.

Four years ago, it was widely reported in newspapers and on the Internet that an individual who was planning to purchase a football team had to revise his Fact Sheet because it contained numerous errors. He did not play in the NFL nor the CFL, neither did he play in the Little League World Series when he was 11 years old. And, he has a degree in social work, not “a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Finance,” as his original bio claimed.

These occurrences are not confined to sports. There have been incidents where individuals were caught misrepresenting themselves as doctors, lawyers or professors. There was the man who practiced medicine in the US and Canada for 10 years before it was found out he never had a medical degree. Then there was the politician who had to quit his caucus when it was revealed he never attended law school as he claimed on his résumé, and in 2008, the British-born chef with a once successful cooking show in the US, cooked up a lie that he had been a chef at Buckingham Palace, and was even knighted.

The offenders are not always men, if you are beginning to wonder. Some years ago, a former deputy minister of health in a Canadian Province resigned from her position because she inflated her academic and professional credentials when she claimed to have been “working as a visiting professor at Princeton”. The former Dean at MIT had to resign her position when it was discovered she lied about her academic credentials. These are not the regular Joe or Mary, but people in ‘high places’. The big question is why do people misrepresent themselves on their résumés? Is it because of increased competition in today’s job market, a desire to stand out from the crowd, or is it a longing for prestige? The answser could be all of the above.

A study conducted by a reference checking firm in Toronto some time ago, found that 27% of applicants embellished their educational backgrounds; 25% lacked job knowledge and 19% were dismissed or not eligible for rehire. The company randomly selected 1000 job applicants on whom they had conducted reference checks and education verifications, and found that 35% of these candidates presented “red flags”. These candidates were already successful in the interview process and their positions ranged from general office to senior executives.

“Résumé fraud takes the form of exaggerated skills or duties at a previous job or a concealed termination”, said the Company’s co-founder and Vice President. The company suggests that organizations “check before they hire” as a way of protecting themselves from unexpected court costs, liability concerns and tarnished brand identity.

In such a competitive marketplace, it is tempting to twist facts, but before you do, think of the consequences when the truth is known. If you are currently pursuing a program at college or university, don’t state that you already have the degree or diploma. If you worked on a project as part of a team, be clear about it. Don’t give the employer the impression you did it all alone. It’s fine to highlight, and sometimes brag, about your achievements, because employers want to know what you have done with your talents, but exaggerating the facts to gain an edge over other candidates, is not the right thing to do.

How to Update Your Job Skills When Unemployed

The fact that you are unemployed does not mean you should not be updating your skills. Find time to take a course (in-person or online); add advanced skills; connect with your peers in professional associations; join local interest groups; or create a blog and write about your industry.

Click here to read the full article by Dawn Fallik of the Wall Street Journal.

7 Attributes of Highly Attractive Candidates

The following is a very interesting post by Head2Head Recruiting in Toronto. The link to the full article and credit is listed below.

Job applicants love to complain about recruiters. They say that their online applications end up in a cyber black hole and are never read, responded to or recorded. While that might be true in some cases, there are candidates who always get a response and this is what they do to help us out as recruiters with limited time to fill specific positions with highly qualified candidates.

1. They save us time. They write their applications to be scanned. Qualifications and experiences are listed up front using the language used in the original posting.

2. They solve our problems. Recruiters, like employers, aren’t interested in what a job can do for you. We’re interested in what you can do for the company. Good candidates know what the pitfalls are and have thought about how to bridge them.

4. They are excellent at doing researchers. They are up-to-date on major events, performance issues and current trends in their industry.

5. They know how to leverage social media. All of their contacts know they are looking for work, what they want to do and how they intend to get it.

6. They’re passionate about their work. A dedication to their careers shines through difficulties. Further education, training and involvement in industry associations are listed on their CVs.

7.They give our clients a reason to feel inspired. Clients can tell when fresh blood is going to bring fresh thinking. When you’re a special candidate, it shows in your CV in your cover letter and, most importantly, in how you STATE YOUR GOALS. Ambition, combined with practical steps toward achievement, are the most attractive qualities in any candidate anywhere.

Article originally posted by Recruiting Head2Head in Toronto. Cut and paste this link:

The 3 V’s to Job Search Success

The 3 V’s to job search success are:

1. Your Voice – You never know who will be calling on the phone. Make sure you’re not yawning, sound sleepy or have food in your mouth.

2. Your Vocabulary (Verbal) – Learn the language of your industry and make sure to have professionally-thought out phrases that will roll of your tongue naturally.

3. Your look – Visual – You might not be able to afford the most expensive clothes, so work with what you’ve got. Wear professional-looking clothes that fit well and get a proper haircut / hairstyle. If you’re not sure of the dress code, call and find out or visit the company and see what employees are wearing. That should give you ideas.

Click to listen to the 2-minute video .