OutOfSa

Resumes

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OutOfSa

I'm sitting here and I have about 20 resume's to go through - again....  

We desperately need some young critters to work hard.... which is a problem, as millennials and hard work are usually incompatible.   If it does not have a touch screen and air conditioning, it's just not cricket.   

That's not the topic. 

The Canadian thing is the Cover Letter - that's where you sell yourself to the prospective employer.  All these resumes are bland and generic.  Nothing piques my interest, nothing stands out.  My interest in these resumes is low.  Granted these are young people and they probably don't yet have the experience to write a good resume.  But we can all learn something from them.

Firstly, don't just send a SA type CV.  It's probably not going to be read.  There are many like that, and they tell me nothing about the person - so all I have to go on is the name - that's bad, as it allows my brain to form an opinion and a mental picture of the person behind the name.  That image is likely completely incorrect.  

The next thing I personally really hate, though I don't allow it to bias me I hope, is a personal statement. Something like, "To further my understanding of the world of technology, to grow as a person and benefit the company."  What a crock of.....  I think they have taught this at college or school as many of them have it.

For me, I'd like to see the first page as a simple and neat TYPO-FREE story about you and what you have to offer.  

So lets say I am looking for a "Yard" guy to look after our machinery which is rented out on a daily basis.  

My customers are everything, if they are happy we all keep our jobs and earn a living.  (And the boss is happy too = I keep my job).  

In this case I'm not looking for an accountant, I'm looking for a hands on guy that I know will add value to my business, so lets say buddy sends this:

Dear Recruiter / HR Manager / Mr Jones

I've have been working in xxxx for two years as assistant to the foreman.  My duties include, but are not limited to maintaining site equipment.  My day starts 30 minutes before the crews arrives, during this time I check the oil and radiator levels of the excavators.  Once a week I do battery top ups and drain water from the filter systems.  We are always working under pressure so preventable machinery malfunctions are not tolerated.  

I am good at noticing suspect radiator hoses and hydraulic leaks.  Part of my job is to keep a log on each unit's faults and pass it on to the mechanic on duty, after that I follow up on the repair making sure it is signed off within 48 hours.  I have managed to maintain a 96% operational rate for my equipment.... 

It's a simple story:  

What can I learn about buddy.  1) He knows his machines, understands them.  2)Knows and understands their weaknesses.  3)Know what to do to keep them going.  4)Works under pressure.  5) Follows up on his repair requests 6)Is proud of his accomplishments. 6)  Probably works alone before the main crews arrive - does not have to be supervised. 7) He's observant 

Or it might be a She, here you never know !

This person of "people kind"  is definitely coming in for an interview, at which time we'll figure out if zee is not being entirely truthful...:whistling:

 

Vs:

Exprience

Check machines

Fill out logs

Alert mechanics to problems.

Maintain filters and batterys and logs.  

 

The above is not good on many levels:  There are typos, spelling  & grammatical errors - we all make them, but you need to do you  (I often type "you" and not "your") best to catch them before they get to the reader.  The spelling mistakes makes you look dumb.  It creates a bad impression.  If you ignore all that, which person appears as a better fit for the job?  Are you doing yourself justice?  Perhaps you are a better candidate, but you might not get the chance to win the recruiter over. 

The next page will be a traditional CV.

In addition to this, you need to tweak your experience to try and fit the job.  (little white lies are okay - you'll need them to compete with the other people).  

Most if not all immigrants are not first jobbers - so I don't want to know you made ICE cream. Limit your experience to the last say 10 years.  It's not helpful. There's another reason for this, it hides your age - yes you're not allowed to discriminate - but it happens.   Perhaps you can lie a little and say you worked with the ICE Cream agitation and refrigeration equipment.  This makes sense - you're a technical person :)  Not, "I designed the mixing and refrigeration", unless you did.

  

Canadian employers expect a cover letter and they want to know in a few lines why they need you - 7 seconds is all you have from the time that PDF opens - typically we  (hey, I'm Canadian now !:o) will focus on the first few lines of the cover letter, not the name, date or anything else.  After that other info is looked at.  

In the above example, at a glance - "I've have been working in xxxx for two years as assistant to the foreman.   =>>   technical, assistant (not over qualified), 2 years = required experience & who you work for.

I'm not sure if it's always the same, huge corporations have fancier systems - however, I can tell you from experience that a good cover letter almost always gets you a chance to shine - sometimes a call and sometimes an interview.  After that, you have to win them over.  

 

RE My typos and other mistakes This is not a cover letter and I don't have any more time, so forgive the  errors :rolleyes:

 

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jimmy

Great topic...... it's great to hear what is required from the job applicant from the perspective of an employer, this is great advice.

I just want to share through my own experience of how important the cover letter is. My strategy was a little different as I was headhunting prospective employers and not applying for specific positions. I made a list of a number of canadian companies in the same industry, tracked down the owner/s, CEO or HR Manager's contact details and started approaching them directly through email and LinkedIn. I knew I had to have a killer cover letter otherwise the message / email will just be ignored...... The fourth person I approached responded, I went for an interview and was offered a position

The cover letter is a deal maker/breaker

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OHCANADAAA

Thanks for the great advice, it certainly is going to be interesting adjusting to the job market when the time comes for me (Luckily just waiting on PPR now). I guess as always and as is in practically all countries, networking really is the best way of making an impression and I can really see Jimmy's method to be very effective.

Do you think it's best to avoid stating that you're a newly landed immigrant as far as possible on a cover letter? I've heard Canadians tend to be dismissive of any non-Canadian experience and I would rather avoid having my resume thrown in the bin purely based on that.

I've got to say though, considering the label "millennial" applies to anyone between 18 and 38 today, you've got to wonder which generation was responsible for raising such alleged entitled good for nothings...

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M-N
12 hours ago, OHCANADAAA said:

I've got to say though, considering the label "millennial" applies to anyone between 18 and 38 today, you've got to wonder which generation was responsible for raising such alleged entitled good for nothings...

This was my favourite part of this entire post.  

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OutOfSa

Oh dear, I will have to re frame my insults to generation Z, or Zee or LayZee. 

You see, I'm getting old and past everything.  So anyone younger than me got lumped into millennial.  I am simply ignorant and entitled, because while my years rushed silently by, and the dribble ran down my chin to make a puddle in my lap, a whole new generation popped into being - Gen Zee.

 

Edited by OutOfSa
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OHCANADAAA

"Our sires' age was worse than our grandsires'. We, their sons, are more worthless than they; so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt. " - Horace, circa 20 BC 😜

But I'm just poking fun now, I mean no offense. I'm actually quite interested in the resume discussion and rather stressed about landing in Canada without an outright income replacement and facing a wholly different employment landscape, so I really do not intend to derail the discussion.

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