Just Because It’s Summer the World is Not at a Standstill!

By Jo Dakin

We are having record highs this week in Toronto, and I am sure in other North American cities and towns. The heat is getting to people, you can see them walking slower, standing in any little patch of shade to catch a break, chugging down the water bottles and sitting inside the restaurants in the air conditioning instead of soaking up the sun out on the patios.

Sure many are at the cottage taking their 2 week holidays and some of the luckier ones have headed to Europe, a sailing adventure, a road trip across the country or a camping trip in one of our beautiful national parks. We are all in slow motion but what does this do for your job search? Summer may bring on the slow motion in the hiring department but this is the time for you to revisit your social media and get it up to date, network, and refine your resume.

Tips on summer updating, if things are slow now then take advantage of this and be ready for the back to work mentality in September.

Update your LinkedIn – do you have a recent up to date professional picture, without your child in it or Niagara Falls in the background? Has your job title changed or your job responsibilities, if so add those in. Are you volunteering? Have you upgraded your education or taken relevant career courses? If so, add those to your profile. Many people are on LinkedIn but many do not have completed profiles, this can be challenging for a recruiter that is researching you. You want your best out there at all times.

Network – while on the golf course or at the cottage you are still exposed to the working world just not in a working environment. Find out what your golf partner does, you may know someone in common, is it possible that you can help each other in the business world? That is what networking is “a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.” Networking is a two way street what can I do to help you, and vice versa.

There are so many more activities that are available in the summer months, we all are out and about more when the sun is shining and the weather is warm. Get out and join groups or activities that are happening in your community, volunteer to be part of the Waterfront Festival, the Charity Hot Dog Sale, The Run for Cancer or whatever is going on in your neighbourhood. Meet new people, find out about them and what they do, you may surprise yourself and find that there are activities and opportunities that you can benefit from both personally and professionally.

Dust off your resume, we have all heard that your resume is a work in progress. You must keep it up to date, with all your new activities you are participating in you never know when someone lets you in on an opportunity and they want your resume now. Be prepared to share an up to date, professionally written, clean resume.

Simple tasks to do to stay up to date, don’t let the heat slow you down, get out and enjoy yourself! You never know where your next opportunity will come from!

What are your thoughts about this article? Let us know in the comments!

Jo Dakin is a Food & Beverage Recruitment Leader. She provides knowledge and expertise to Food & Beverage clients so that they may eliminate their recruitment pain and fill their void with top professionals in the “passive” candidate market.

Check out http://www.hannaandcastlerecruit.com/

Do You Know How to Negotiate Your Future?

Written by Jo Dakin

You’ve gone through all of it. The grueling process of application, interview, second interview and received the holy grail of employment seeking–the job offer. Now that you’ve been offered the job, how confident are you in your ability to negotiate your own future?

The employment offer comes to you and you’re always excited. That’s especially true if you’ve been out of work for more than a week or two. Don’t let your excitement blind you to the fact that now, you have to negotiate for what you’re going to take away from the offer. This includes salary, perks, insurance, sick days, vacation days, whether you work from home or office, car or cell phone allowances, laptops or computers and anything else that you can think of.

In the initial rush of excitement it doesn’t seem as if it will make that much difference. You may be inclined to take what they offer and to walk away. The reality is that a dollar an hour or a thousand dollars a year can make a huge difference in your overall income over the course of even ten years with a company. A computer or laptop offered by your employer may save you several hundred dollars.

The negotiations may take place via mail, email or in person. However they happen, it’s important that you keep them open, honest and that neither person leaves the table feeling like they’ve been taken advantage of.

That’s what makes it so important that you know the score and that you speak your mind and let them know exactly where you stand and what you want from your contract.

Do your legwork. Know what you’re talking about before you begin the negotiations. Research the company or talk to people who have or are working there to find out typical salaries. Look at local area salaries for like positions and use those as a median range.

When you are making specific requests about salary or contract, tell them that you’ve researched the salaries that are given in your area and in your field. Request a median salary from the findings of your research. Most negotiators or hiring managers will see that as reasonable and not just a number plucked from the air. You’re more likely to see the request granted that way.

Be willing to compromise, but don’t do so on something that you really need. Insurance may be a requisite. Family policies, if you need them, are something that you can’t compromise on. Stand firm and be assertive about those things that you really have to have for future security. In the end, if you didn’t ask for it, you’re not going to get it.

The overall goal is to get a happy medium that you and the company feel is fair. If you walk away from the negotiating table feeling as though you’ve been taken advantage of, you can’t blame them, you have to blame yourself.

Get a package that you can live with and nail down every aspect of it politely and positively. Once you’ve accepted it, live with it. You can’t complain about a contract that you laid out and had every opportunity to refuse.

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