Stuck in a Career Rut? Allow us to point you in the "Wright" Career Direction

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Happy_Thanksgiving_WCS

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, even if you are not Canadian, eh?

Most Canadians woke up this morning without the ‘Monday Morning Blues’. Why? They didn’t have to go to work today. It is our Thanksgiving. Whoopee!

It is so easy sometimes to become bogged down with the trials and tribulations of life that we forget to pause and reflect on what we are thankful for. Today’s issue of the Monday Rx reflects on what Thanksgiving really means. It is not only a time to eat, drink and be merry. It has a deeper truth. That of being thankful for the many things we take for granted.

Allow me to be vulnerable and mention 10 of the things I am thankful for:

  1. I am thankful to be alive.
  2. I am thankful for my family and friends who keep me centred.
  3. I am thankful for my 5-year old grandson when he says things like “I bounced into a boy and hit my teeth, and now my teeth are scared.”
  4. I am thankful for Canada, and all that it offers.
  5. I am thankful for my five senses as well as the ability to write, speak, think, laugh and cry.
  6. I am thankful for my fingers and their ability to type extremely fast.
  7. I am thankful for the 18+ years I had my cats, Vanessa, Simba and Valentino.
  8. I am thankful for the work that I do, and for the clients and non-clients I serve.
  9. I am thankful for my Mom’s Bible, and the little notes she wrote or underlined throughout.
  10. I am thankful for Whatsapp that allows me to instantly keep in touch with my family from far and near.

How about you? What are you thankful for today? Let’s hear them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lest We Forget…

Today, am taking a respite from my usual job search blog post to remember those who gave their lives in the pursuit of peace – something the world continues to struggle with – to those who continue to serve, and to those have returned to an uncertain future.

While watching MSNBC this morning, I heard Richard Liu, one of the network’s anchors, mentioned the name John McCrae and showed the Poem, “In Flanders’ Field”. I wondered aloud if Liu knew that Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was Canadian, and that he penned that poem on December 8, 1915.

Each November 11, I send around John McCrae’s poem to people in my network, because I believe it speaks volumes. Last year, I wrote a blog post 11 Things You Can do Between 11 AM and 11 PM On 11/11/11. Today, I want all of us to pause from whatever we are doing to reflect on those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those who continue to serve and protect. Let us never forget!

Additional reading: Great Canadian War Project

 

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

28 Resume Tips for New Immigrants to Canada from Canadian Recruiters

 

New immigrants to Canada face numerous challenges. Offers of advice on how to deal with these challenges as well as how to navigate the Canadian job search landscape have been chronicled in the book, No Canadian Experience, Eh? a career success guide for new immigrants. One of the appendices from the book lists several resume tips from Canadian recruiters and hiring managers. They were asked the following question in a survey: “If you had one piece of résumé advice for someone who is an internationally-educated professional or new immigrant, what would it be?” The 28 answers mentioned below were gleaned from a longer list, but these will put you on the path to understanding what recruiters look for in a Canadian resume. (Any edits to original responses are enclosed in parentheses [ ] ):

  1. Focus on your skills as they relate to the job for which you are applying
  2. Proper spelling and grammar are imperative. Employers want to know that those representing them can maintain their professional image [especially when it relates to written and verbal communication skills].
  3. Provide more detailed information on former employers and the positions held. Provide relevant website addresses for background information.
  4. Highlight Canadian equivalency in your education and use a functional résumé format
  5. Align work experience with the job requirements
  6. Be specific and detailed about job experience and capabilities
  7. Have the résumé professionally done, if necessary
  8. Ensure your education/qualifications have been accredited by a Canadian institution – and not just for ‘immigration’ purposes
  9. Make sure your résumé clearly addresses all the qualifications of the position. Adding a cover letter with a table (Column 1: You asked for; Column 2: I have) is very helpful to a recruiter who has hundreds of résumés to go through
  10. Don’t put personal details, e.g. date of birth, place of birth, marital status, etc.
  11. Try to gain volunteer Canadian experience to boost your chances
  12. Familiarize yourself with best practices of North American résumé writing, i.e., no personal information, picture, etc.
  13. Have the education assessed against Canadian standards. For example, a CA in India is equivalent to Canadian CGA Level 4
  14. Target contract roles to gain Canadian experience
  15. Summarize job related skills in the first paragraph of your résumé
  16. Make it simple and easy to read…not too wordy
  17. Be honest
  18. Link your experience to Canadian needs
  19. Have recommendation letters
  20. Match your past job responsibilities with the appropriate Canadian title. Give details of your work experience and of the education (possible equivalence)
  21. Tailor résumé to position, and research, research, research
  22. Detail as much Canadian experience as possible, even if it’s part-time, volunteer, or short-term work. Also, point out Canadian similarities in any relevant prior experience
  23. Create and grow a network – and don’t ever stop!
  24. Know who you are applying to. Customize the résumé and research the employer
  25. Highlight how you were the top producer, how you solved problems, etc. This would show that you were an above average employee and that’s impressive no matter where you came from
  26. Seek professional assistance developing a résumé suitable for North American roles
  27. List skills and abilities, and what you can bring to the table
  28. Use the combination résumé style and obtain a Canadian certification in the field that you are seeking to pursue before seeking work in Canada

As you will have noticed, some of these tips overlap, but the premise is consistent, and shows each recruiter’s perspective on the subject. Add your comments below.

Additional information on the book can be found at No Canadian Experience, Eh? a career success guide for new immigrants , and a copy of the Resume and Interview Trends Survey can be downloaded at Canadian Resume and Interview Trends Survey.

Monday Rx: What Can You Be Thankful for Today?

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada today, and I am using this space to reflect on some things for which I am thankful. I begin with three quotes taken from my recent newsletter followed by my short list:

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say “thank you?”  ~William A. Ward

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.”  ~ Anonymous

Here’s my short gratitude list created on-the-fly, and in no particular order of importance:

  • I am thankful to call Canada my home for 22+ years, and for the challenges and opportunities that have contributed to my personal and professional growth.
  • I am thankful for Jamaica, land of my birth, and the values that have shaped and prepared me for a wider world.
  • I am grateful for my family and friends and the love and support they give so freely.
  • I am thankful for my clients who keep my business going and for the referrals they send my way.
  • I am thankful for my professional colleagues from all over the world who I learn from each day through social media, webinars and teleconferences.
  • I am thankful for the 16 career professionals who contributed their expertise to the second edition of my book.
  • I am thankful for my church and my Christian beliefs that keep me grounded.

And in classic Steve Jobs style, “…and one more thing:

  • I am thankful to you for reading this post. May you find many things to be thankful for today?

 

To your success,

 

 

 

Sign up to receive blog posts and the CareerTips2Go Newsletter directly in your Inbox. You can also contact me at info[at]thewrightcareer.com or 647-930-4763, if you need résumé and career advice, or if you require help moving your career forward. You can also visit www.thewrightcareer.com.

 

 

Is There Value in a Cover Letter?

Henry Ford said, Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” The same hold true for cover letters – whether you send one or not, you are right, or maybe! It is quite common to hear that 50 per cent of recruiters and hiring managers do not read cover letters; they go straight to the resume. Because of this, many job seekers just submit a résumé. Or, an ad asks to ‘fax your résumé’ and the job seeker faxes only the résumé. They rarely think about the other 50 per cent of recruiters who do read cover letters.

I advise job seekers to always include a cover letter. It’s better to include one and it’s not read than to omit it, and it misses the eyes of the other 50 per cent who do read them.

Recently, I was reading a blog post about cover letters in the Harvard Business Review, and the conversation was centred around cover letters! Should one be included with the résumé? This post garnered a lot of responses for and against. The writer, David Silverman, said that there were really only a few times to use a cover letter:

  1. When you know the name of the person hiring
  2. When you know something about the job requirement
  3. When you’ve been personally referred (which might include 1 and 2)

While most people agreed with the three reasons he stated, many of us were not impressed with the letter he quoted as being “The best cover letter I ever received.” It was no different, in my opinion, from a generic cover letter addressed to “Dear Sir/Madam”.

That said, one comment that got my attention was from a hiring manager. He was responding to comment by another individual, and wrote , “I would have to respectfully disagree with the comment that cover letters are a waste of time. A succinct, well-written cover letter that is laser-targeted to my specific job opening is rare and really gets my attention. And this is the real secret: the cover letter HAS to be well-written and it HAS to be targeted to my specific opening.

I couldn’t have said it better: “A succinct, well-written cover letter that is laser-targeted to my specific job opening is rare and really gets my attention.” In a survey I conducted recently with Canadian HR managers and recruiters, thirty eight percent (38.1%) said candidates must submit a cover letter for each application while thirty percent (30.2%) had no preference. Approximately sixteen percent (15.9%) said they could be useful for information not included on the resume if they add value.

What are your thoughts? Is there value in a cover letter? Join the debate by commenting below:

Source:

http://blogs.hbr.org/silverman/2009/06/the-best-cover-letter.html