Monthly Archives: May 2017

Your Mentor and The Job Search








The 8 Hats a Mentor Wears to Pilot Your Success.

Looking to kick start your job search or professional life? Whether you are entering the world of work for the first time or hoping to move to a new industry, the support and guidance of a mentor can prove to be a major advantage. A mentor is a more experienced and seasoned professional who can take you under his or her wing, help you get to the next step and keep pushing to reach your goals.

A mentor performs many roles to guide you to success. Does your mentor wear one of these hats?

1: The Helpful Guide. 
Many mentors are senior professionals with tremendous levels of experience. They know the industry well and have been where you are. Having a mentor is beneficial at this point because they are in an ideal position to help you explore options and develop strategies on how to find job opportunities.

2: The Lamp Lighter. 
As a job seeker, sometimes you may find yourself losing focus. You may not comprehend the job description, may probably apply for the wrong jobs and stay active but not productive. A mentor will make your job search more focused by guiding you on the right path and beyond support, provide perspective when it comes to decisions.

3: The Network Builder. 
Your mentor’s industry awareness can help you network better. A good mentor will have many contacts from which you may benefit from. He or she can refer you to the right people in your career line who will assist you on the journey to finding success.

4: The Interview Pro. 
You are more likely to get called for interviews when you work closely with a mentor with the skills to build you strongly. Once you get to the interview stage, an experienced mentor can prepare you further with mock interviews, presentations, body language fine tuning and salary negotiation tips.

5: The Blind-spot Checker. 
Your mentor will be able to spot things that you might find harder to assess: Are you using the right language and keywords for your industry and job level? Do you have a compelling story or have you undersold yourself? Are you able to showcase your accomplishments convincingly? And more.

6: The Strength Builder.  
Only a mentor can help you reflect on your capabilities and offer a reality check, comparing your current ambitions with what’s out there in your target sector.

They can assess your strengths and weaknesses, as well as build your skills for a successful long-term career.

7: The Focus Finder. 
A mentor can keep you focused on your goals. They’ll help bring your focus back to your plan while maybe making subtle changes, but without lurching around from one strategy to another. With the right focus, they’ll help you hone the plan for executing your professional path to achieve your career goals, faster.

8: The Success Partner. 
Mentorship is one of the ultimate forms of collaboration. Collaboration with a mentor can help you think outside the box, gain perspective on new roles, and prioritize your search efforts. One of the best things a mentor can give you is honest feedback and objective advice about how you are seen by others.  They can also give you an unbiased opinion about your actual and potential market reputation.

How and Where to Find a Mentor.
Now that you understand that having a mentor is essential for success, identifying a potential mentor and reaching out in the correct way is the next big step.

While you could try the cold call approach, you’re likely to be more effective if you connect with a senior professional at a conference or networking event. It’s also worth checking at your school or place of work if they run mentoring programs.

You may contact the ACE World Foundation for possible mentors [].  The TRIEC organization also runs the popular Mentoring Partnership program. Two organizations to seek a mentor in Canada are the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals – and the PINS network –


“Tell Us About Yourself”


Five Tips to Answer the No. 1 Interview Question Expertly 

Yes, we agree. Job interviews can tend to be nerve-wracking, as most of us aren’t accustomed to talking eloquently about our skills, strengths and weaknesses. Especially while sitting across from a stranger. And even if your communications skills are stellar, the first question can unnerve just about everyone.

Every interview almost always starts with the interviewer saying, “Tell us about yourself”.  While this is something that should be practiced and prepared in advance, candidates often overlook the importance of this question and fail to take the time to formulate the right response.

Remember that the question isn’t an invitation to tell your life story. The interviewer just wants to know why you’re interested in this position and what makes you qualified. All that they wish to determine is whether your skill-set and personality are a match for the company culture? This is the right opportunity to show off your passion for your work and demonstrate how you are the perfect fit for the company with your answer.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the following five tips can help you articulate your response to “tell us about yourself” in the most effective manner.

Tip 1: Honesty really is the best policy.
The best way to answer interview questions about yourself is to be honest. You are who you are and nothing can change that. Trying to present yourself as someone you’re not may not be the best idea in the long run. And anyway, employers can often tell when a candidate’s answers are sincere, so just  be genuine with your reply.

Tip 2: Ensure that the skills match.
Prepare your response, keeping the company and the specific job in mind.  You don’t want to end up saying something that is not a requirement for the job. Therefore, be sure to review both the job listing and your resume before the interview. Think of skills, experiences, and qualities you have that make you a good fit for the position.

Tip 3: Research well.
Research is key to answering the opening question well. Before every interview, research the company and the job description so that you can speak intelligently about why it appeals to you. All that the hiring manager wants to see is that you are genuinely enthusiastic about the opportunity and that you took the initiative to learn about the company and the role.

Tip 4: Consider the personality fit.
All said and done, you need to do a bit of background check to see if the job is a good personality fit. You need to consider whether the job would work out long-term if it’s not a match for your personality and work style. Go through the company’s website in detail to see if that’s what you’re seeking in your next position and your next employer.

Tip 5: Finish with a Power Statement.
The most obvious strategy is also one of the least-utilized: ending with a powerful finish to the most common interview question. The interviewer hears the same answer over and over again each day. So nothing will make them sit up faster and listen to you than a surprising answer. And that means you’ve got a significant advantage over all the other candidates who could give perfectly satisfactory, but often perfectly boring answers.

How about something like this: [Samples of a few power statement finishes.]

“I have always admired your company’s products and I was really impressed with the recent CBC interview with your CEO. The job description also emphasizes communication skills and leadership — two of my greatest strengths. I really feel that it’s a role and organization in which I could excel.”

 “One of the reasons why I chose to apply. I have always wanted to work for a successful company with strong leadership and vision, and this is one that recognizes and rewards performers.” 

“I take the time to continue learning even if it’s not a direct requirement of the job. I find that many times, my professional growth is based on what I study, both directly and indirectly related to work.”

“I consistently sets firm goals for myself. I am determined to do well in my job and have a successful career, as well as to make the company I work for, more competitive.”

“I have spent the last six years developing my skills as a customer service manager for ABC Corp, where I have won several performance awards and been promoted twice. This role will not only challenge me but also help me manage teams and solve customer problems with my relevant combination of skills.”

In summary: 
To sum up, “Tell us about yourself” will come up in just about every job interview.
Don’t waste the opportunity by simply diving into a long recitation of your resume.
Instead, try a concise, enthusiastic response that summarizes your big-picture fit for the job.

As you can see, while it may seem that your answer should be all about you and what you’re looking for, a great answer goes a step beyond that and establishes your ability to empower the organization in the position. Go ahead, tell them about yourself – with a flourish.


Instagram Your Way to Career Success.






How to Use Instagram to Find a Job.

While LinkedIn continues to be the leading platform for job seekers, emerging sites like Instagram are fast raising in prominence too.

In the age of social media,  it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Instagram can be used for things beyond posting pictures of pets, recipes and vacations. With a little ingenuity  you can use Instagram to not only establish your personal brand but also demonstrate your social savvy.

Here are five easy steps to tap into the power of Instagram to research potential companies, reach out to employers and claim your dream job.

1: Research and Engage. 
Is there an ideal, dream company that you would love to work for? Browse through the company’s Instagram page, and you’ll get real insight into the company culture. Now go ahead and click ‘follow’ on its Instagram page! Engage with the company socially, ‘Like’ their photos, participate in contests and join conversations. And soon, you’ll integrate yourself into their social structure.

2: Establish Your Personal Brand.
Think of your Instagram page as a professional platform, one that is an extension of your personal brand. Companies and hiring managers love candidates who are passionate. So use your Instagram profile to tell your unique story. Also, you never know who will come across your profile, so put your best foot, and best work forward.

3: Be Relevant. 
You can have fun with your Instagram pictures and posts. Just make sure what you post is relevant to your brand, especially if it is intended to enhance your job search. At the same time, be mindful of your privacy settings. Make sure that your Instagram profile is set to the public mode to help you network freely with other professionals or connect with companies.

4: Use Hashtags. 
One of the most effective ways to get influencers to notice your Instagram account is by using hashtags. Use hashtags so that your photos show up in searches. Once you research a company to see what type of skills they look for in employees, then make sure to hashtag those skills whenever you tag the company in a post. You can automatically boost your picture’s placement in search results with hashtags.

5: Follow and Interact. 
Once you’ve found the right company and the people to follow and, have uploaded and tagged the appropriate content, the next step is to interact. Make sure you post pictures and information that are relevant and correspond with their values as companies use hashtags to view the social conversation about their image. Demonstrate your knowledge about the company and admiration for their work, and always remember to tag them in the comment to ensure that they will see it.

This sounds clichéd, yes even today, a picture is worth a thousand words. Instagram has now become the site of choice for companies to interact visually with their customers, and could be a great way to help you in your job search. Employ a little savvy, use Instagram as a personal branding asset and land yourself a picture perfect career in no time.