KEEPING COOL DURING YOUR JOB SEARCH IN A TOUGH LABOUR MARKET

April 13, 2014

I have several clients who are looking for work at any given time. Under my guidance, they check the appropriate job sites, target resumes and cover letters and send them out, and sweating and worrying whether they are ever going to get a job. Job hunting is stressful, and I find that most of my work involves keeping them in the game and keeping them from giving up too soon. “You never know,” I tell them. The next interview could be for your next job.”

“Baloney,” They say. “You’re not helping and your strategy isn’t working. If it weren’t for you and your constant hounding  me to change my resume to fit the job is actually keeping me unemployed. You should be the one not working, not me. ”

Actually, I have spent  long periods of tome being unemployed.  Over the years, there have been regular ups and downs in the economy. Sometimes there is a job seeker’s market, and sometimes there is an employer’s market. Right now there is an employer’s market, so the job hunter needs to keep emotionally cool to survive the interview and land the job.

Here are four tips that I’ve picked up along the way.

1. Change your mindset.

Many people, I find , look at the interview process as a form of confrontation. They go in with a chip on their shoulders the size of an elementary school and literally dare the employer not to hire them. This is the wrong approach. I tell my clients to view the interview as a conversation where they get to meet someone new in a field you know something about.

Keep your interview skills fresh and impress the interviewer with your knowledge of the job. Convince them that with your energy, compassion and knowledge you can solve their problems, get them to love you, and you can learn to love them. What else is there?

2. Work your network of contacts,

Are you sure all your friends know that you’re looking? Are you keeping  your references  in the loop? Are you sure they’re looking out for you? Do your relatives know? Has anyone besides me adjudicated your resume an d cover letter?

3. Expand your network.

It is never too late to write a profile about yourself and posting it on a place like LinkedIn.  You can contact others in your field, and also get some hot job leads. You can also use it to get your name out as someone who really knows the stuff. You can join interest groups and contribute to them. These actions can help you  become known.

4. How married are you to your field?

Over the course of life, change is a constant. Before I became an archaeologist, I was a volunteer social worker. When I wanted to leave archaeopogy, I reverted back to social work, and now I’m somewhat of an expert on helping people find work. Each step of the way, I picked up different skills. Often these skills transferred nicely to solve problems in different fields.

Whoever thought there would be value in being a professional dilettante?

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

 

THE BALLADOF FIRMER MEAT

April 7, 2014

This was a busy weekend for me. I had to take some on-line courses on violence in the workplace and prepare to defend one of my co-workers in a union issue tomorrow. As a result, please enjoy THE BALLAD OF FIRMER MEAT as my posting this week. I posted it here a couple of years ago.

.

Because he craved a pint of beer so early on a Saturday night,
I deduced that my pal Kevin and his girl friend had a fight.
Because he quaffed it down with such relentless vigour and haste,
I deduced that he was dumped like a vat of toxic waste.

Then over his second pint, and drinking to his health,
He said, “I’ve been on the lookout for some firmer meat myself.”
I bit my tongue and told him, “You won’t find it in this pub.
If you want firmer meat, you need to join a fitness club.”

“A fitness club,” he muttered. “A fitness club, how trite.
Narcissistic Amazons on steroids, flexing all their might.
You know me man,” he shook his fists. “I’m just not the type,
To get my hypoglycaemic butt caught up in that hype.”

“But you said firm, I told him, “And you know firm means lean,
You want to go and show yourself where you can be seen,
By women who care about their health. By women who would snub,
Guys who hang in a place like this. This greasy little pub.

“Here. Take this pass to Muscle Land, and on Monday night,
We’ll pump some iron and burn some fat, and then you’ll see I’m
right,
That in your quest for firm lean meat, you need to change your
health.
You must consider putting on some firmer meat yourself.

“But I don’t want to get into that morbid fitness rut,
Of straining and thrusting haemorrhoids out my tiny little butt,
But for the sake of adventure and that quest for firm lean meat,
That club is where you’ll find me – The Muscle Land Club Treat.

On Monday night he packed his shorts, and then I signed him in,
An aerobics class was almost done, another to begin.
The air was foggy and sweet with sweat, the music loud and clear.
The music stopped for Kevin to scream, “It smells like musk in
here!”

“This could be trouble,” I told myself and wrestled him to the
floor,
And dragged him to the changing room and then wedged shut the
door.
He fluttered around the changing room like a junkie on a jag,
And pulled a brand new muscle shirt from his brand new fitness
bag.

He rummaged through his bag again and produced a plastic jock,
And locked his cowboy boots away with a combination lock.
When fully dressed he stood there, the brand new Muscle Land
Treat,
Knobby knees, cut-offs, and muscle shirt. Velcro sneakers on his
feet.

“I’m ready for my work-out,” he said. “Any time you like.”
I led him to the weight room and I put him on a bike.
The bike overlooked the aerobics class full of slender women who,
Were firming their bums and flexing their pecs, and toning
appendages too.

I said, “Don’t stare,” as I caught him in a fixed hypnotic gaze.
He said, “I thought they couldn’t see me through this sweet and
misty haze.”
I said, “Staring’s never really a thoughtful thing to do,
Just pretend you’re into it, and let them come to you.

It was time to move to other things, he was warmed up now,
Sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts too. I also showed him how.
Fifteen of these, fifteen of these, and then he said to me,
“That takes too much energy. Let me just do three.”

 

There was someone on the leg machine, so rather than just wait,
I put him on a hamstring machine that I knew that he would hate.
I set the weights at setting ‘C’ on the leg curl table,
And put his heels under the padded bar and said, “Do ten if
you’re able.

He did ten, and happily said that he was unaware,
That he ever, in all his life, had any muscles there.
Then back to the leg press where he said to my surprise,
That women always comments on the strength of his muscular
thighs.

I set the weights at setting ‘F’ and was actually impressed,
That his little pegs could stand the strain of such unnatural
stress.
“Move it up,” he shouted. “Move it up, you’ll see.
How really strong my legs are.” I set the weights at ‘G.’

We went to other torture stations to make his legs more macho,
Then to upper body machines to firm his upper torso.
It happened on the pec machine.  He met his Waterloo.
I had it set on setting ‘C’ when he said, “Move it down two!”

“Is that too heavy?” I asked, and he said “I don’t know,
But I think I’d better rest a bit, but I don’t want to go.
I’ll go to where the free weights are. Jeez my chest feels
tight.”
He sat next to a blonde who flexed her arms with Herculean might.

I left him with the free weights and with the robust blonde who
curled,
Twenty kilogram dumb bells easier than Atlas balanced the world.
The blonde must have inspired his dumb bell curling gland,
When I looked back I saw he had three kilos in each hand.

He pumped them and he pumped them, and he spun his arms around,
Then he pumped them more and more and more, then he put the dumb
bells down.
Then his arms began to spin, faster than the speed of sound,
The muscled woman seemed surprised to see Kevin leave the ground.

He fluttered from the weight room to buzz the fitness class,
Back and forth and up and down, and then he made a pass,
Over the glistening instructor who mid-sit-up began to cry,
“This is odd, I’ve never had a participant learn to fly.”

 

The owner came into the room of steamy sweat and laughter,
Likely wondering what to do with little Kevin on his rafter.
He always thought that flying was beyond human ability,
Then he paused to ponder a promotional possibility.

“Stop the music. Come down from there. Come down from there right
now.
I want to talk to you,” he said. “I want you to tell me how …
How did you get airborne? Was it weights? Aerobics?” he sang.
“What did you eat before you came?”  “I had a box of Tang.”

“Well never mind,” the owner said. “I want to make a deal.
I’ll sign you up for three hundred bucks. Now tell me. How do you
feel?”
Kevin fluttered down and massaged an abdominal tic.
“No way, man. I want a deal like you gave Broderick.”

“I’ll do better than that,” the owner said. “I’ll let you join
for free.
If you could buzz my fitness club three times a week for me.
I’ll make you a life-time member if you could come at noon,
And fly up from the sidewalk like a promotional balloon.”

“And you can keep your velcro shoes, but those cut-offs have to
go.
I’ll dress you up in tights.” he said. “You’ll be quite a show.”
But Kevin said that he was there in a quest for firmer meat,
Not to have some jock criticize what he was wearing on his seat.

But now he’s with his woman, no more talk of firmer meat,
No more muscle shirt, or cut-offs, or velcro sneakers on his
feet.
He won’t be back to Muscle Land ever, any more.
The truth, but here I speculate, that Kevin’s tits were sore.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

 

 

WRITE OFF YOUR WORKOUTS

March 31, 2014

When I first got involved with fitness, I tried to determine how I could get my gym fees covered one way or the other. I have always enjoyed deals where I could get something for nothing. Opportunities like that, however, don’t happen often.

In my first year, I wrote, “How to cheat at aerobics.” Within a week I sold it for $75 to a magazine called BC Woman-To-Woman. I republished it here:  http://mikebroderick.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/how-to-cheat-at-aerobics/

I, of course, had to claim that rogue $75 on my income tax that year, but I also had to claim an expense because everyone knows that it takes money to make money. Therefore, I claimed my gym membership as a research expense.

That took care of my first year, but I wanted to set something up to claim my costs for  the next year and for subsequent years, so I learned how to be an fitness instructor. This allowed me to work out for free, bet paid, and to treat my propensity to act like a neurotic introvert.

But there is more to it than that. It’s one thing to be able to get a write off for writing stories or teaching fitness. Now the idea of fitness at the taxpayer’s expense  has become in vogue once again. This week I learned in the Vancouver Sun that doctors are now allowed to write prescriptions for fitness.

Bully for us. Now we can lower the national health care costs by introducing the world through fitness while writing it off as a medical expense on our taxes. It will be a win-win situation. It will lower the costs of health care as patients will spend less time being sick. Secondly, people will experience all the benefits  of fitness  without the need to take out a second mortgage.

The next step will be to have health benefits plans pay for memberships outright as an incentive for everyone to get fit.  Health plan insurers will also want to see everyone reach the age of retirement  without having to pay large pharmaceutical an/or medical bills to get them there.

There is only one thing to do. We have to let the doctors know that program is there. They already know the benefits of fitness, but they need to be dissuaded from prescribing brisk walks. They ned to prescribe the expensive stuff like weightlifting. They also need to learn the benefits of group fitness. They need to roll their patients off the couch and into a an aerobics class where misery loves company.

In short, the doc needs a form.

In the interests of helping doctors make their clients healthier, here is a sample prescription form:

 

Patient __________________________

___ Patient will engage in rigorous cardiovascular fitness activities 2 to 6 hours per week in                                 group exercise

____Patient will prevent conditions like osteoporosis through a personal weightlifting program 2 to 6 hours per week

 

Signed ________________________________________

That should do it. When you chose your fitness classes, come to one that I teach.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

 

NEGATIVE IONS -WHAT A BUNCH OF HOOEY

March 23, 2014

I received a few emails over the past week wondering where this week’s article was. There wasn’t one I spent the greater part of last week on holiday in Los Vegas, of all places. As soon as a got off the plane, I felt a sharp pain in one of my molars. Los Vegas, with all the piping hot and overly salted food, the five mile walks through the malls to get to a location that was merely on the other side of a mall, and cold and crisp artesian  water is no place to have a significant toothache.

The worst part was that everyone smokes – especially while gambling. The casinos and hotels smell like ash trays.

There were a couple of things about my trip that were magnificent. One was the Cirque Du Soleil – a team of thirty or so superb acrobats, and a fight I had with a street vendor.

All my family wanted to do in Los Vegas was shop. We found a busy place that was a few acres of landde3voted to outlet sales.

“Perfect,” I thought. “I could catch a few rays while everyone else spent their hard-traded American dollars.”

I did so for a few moments when I noted a couple of street vendors selling wrist elastic bands for $20 apiece.

“Hey Mister,” one said. “ Can I show you something?”

“Sure.” I said.

He had me stand with my arm straight out to the side. I did so.

“Is that as far as it will go?” he asked?

“Yes,” I said.

Then he fitted an elastic band on my wrist.

“Now see how far back your arm can go.”  I added another 29 cm past my first marker.

He then went into a sales diatribe on how the negative ions somehow inserted into the rubber of the elastic, and the negative ions helped me enhance my range of motion.

“Would you like me to tell you what really happened?” I asked.

“No,” The fellow said. “It is negative ions.”

“It’s proprioception.” I said.

There are five well known senses that people have: sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. There is also another one proprioception. It is a sense that tells your brain where every part of your body is in space. I went on to explain that the body has sensors called glogi bodies in the muscles that tell the brain, based on sensing muscle contraction and compensating for the movement by contracting and relaxing other muscles.

“Do you play football?” I asked – knowing full well that all Americans play football.

“Of Course,” He said.

“Are you the kicker?”

“Yes,”

“When you kick off to begin the game,  the muscles in the front of your thigh and hip flexors power the ball down the field. The glogi bodies, in an effort to stop your leg from entering orbit, cause the hamstrings to contract.

Also many physiotherapists use proprioception as part of therapy to enhance range of motion.

When I got back, I had a root canal.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

 

LABOUR MARKET ARCHAEOLOGY

March 9, 2014

LABOUR MARKET ARCHAEOLOGY

Many people know that I spend most of the last two decades finding worthwhile competitive jobs for people with various disabilities. They are somewhat surprized to learn that my degree is in archaeology instead of something like Social Work, Psychology or Political Science. “Why archaeology?” they ask. Then they ask, “What transferrable skills can an archaeologist have that could be of help in finding jobs?” and “Who in their right mind would hire an archaeologist to do this important work?”  And “… that would be like hiring a plumber to take out my appendix.”

Actually, there are more similarities than differences. An archaeologist  spends most of the time finding and excavating sites that were occupied by people who worked to stay alive hundreds to tens of thousands  of years ago, and try to find information to answer questions about what  that work might have been.  Job Developers finds sites where people do work now, and try to get them to share.

But the similarities don’t end there. Here are three huge components of the jobs that make them virtually identical.

1. Where the sites are.

Before beginning archaeological excavations, archaeologists need to find the sites. They use contour maps, air photographs, and helicopter overviews, foot surveys and shovel tests to determine where the sites are – given that people need a reasonable proximity to potable water, food, and other resources. Shelter from the elements doesn’t hurt either.

Job developers  use similar techniques. Land use maps can give me an idea of there industrial areas are. Sometimes I go there with my cell phone to take pictures of operations, then look up the companies on the Internet and often find job postings that way.

 I also see what the environment can offer business – besides real estate. Saw mills and fish canneries often make good use of rivers and streams for raw material, but in some cases the they are trucked in. Sometimes economies of scale  get in there to defy logic. By cross-docking logistics, however there are jobs there to be had.

2. Telling stories

Archaeologists love to tell stories. They love to show the general public how their present work adds to the cultural history of the area. In fact, telling stories generates interest in the discipline, and without interest, there will be no discipline. The public , in turn, loves to share in the mystery.

Job developers love to tell stories. I love to go to Boards of Trade and Chambers of Commerce to tell my stories.  I don’t tell all the potential employers  what I do. Rather I tell them what I did. I’ll tell success stories such as a story of how I helped a legal secretary who only typed 35 words per minute  find work. (She did this by putting the keyboard on the floor and typed with her toes because she didn’t have any arms.) Business people will hear the stories and MIGHT think of me when it’s time to hire.

3. The excitement of the find.

Once, while working as an archaeologist, I was standing on a stack of buckets lashing a tripod when the buckets toppled over. My left foot landed in a bucket while my right foot became snagged on a fire hose. In an effort to regain balance, I took big steps to the edge of the pit. There I caught up to myself. Unfortunately the wall of the pit collapsed and I ended up at the bottom.  I lost my balance and fell into the pit.

“Mike, stop showing off.  Can’t you use the ladder. That’s what I built it for.” said the director. The crew wondered how I got my straw hat to hesitate mid air before floating down after me.

I felt a little guilty as I turned around and noticed a spoon carved out of a mountain goat horn. It was also carved in the of a mountain goat’s head. It was the find of the day.

The feeling of pride was worth my battle with gravity. I feel just as proud when a client gets a job.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

MORE THINGS TO DO AFTER THE INTERVIEW

March 3, 2014

Possibly the toughest thing to do for anyone waiting for the call to come in and start working after the interview is waiting for the call to come in and start working after the interview. You write your thank you note, you make that follow-up call, and you sweat. Still no call.

A couple of weeks ago I gave a list of things that you could do, but they all led to one place – forgetting about it and moving on.

The day I had my interview to work at Fraser Health for the position I eventually accepted and where I am still working, I had another interview. There I was asked a rather unusual question. “What,” one of a panel of four asked, “Did you do to prepare for the interview today?”

I suppose she wanted an answer that included researching the agency, looking up the principal people and learning ways to get them on my side, and checking to see what other agencies said about them on social network.

I answered nothing of the sort. Instead, I told them I got up early that morning and had an interview with Fraser Health.

“Why did you come to this interview, then?” I was asked. She knew that Fraser Health, being a mandatory agency, would be the preferred place to work.

“Practice makes perfect,” I said, and I proceeded to conduct a half hour interview as if I would be using them as a resource once I became hired. I presented myself as an expert in the field. This brings me to describe  Something Else To Do After The Interview: HOWTO BECOME AN EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD.

Social media provides a variety of opportunities to to make yourself appear to me an expert. It will also give you the opportunity to become an expert, because all the comments you make about wour field will be read by contacts, future client, and even future colleagues.

Here’s how to go about it.

1. Create a professional profile on  Linked-In.

Take your time and do it right. Tell people about yourself. Include your values (if you have and) your history and your accomplishments. If you can’t think of any accomplishments, think of what life would have been like in the last place youy worked if you weren’t there. Start writing.

2. Start a blog.

Write about what you know.  Become your own personality. Read other blogs which might offer  radical views on your field. Start writing.

3. Join some groups in your field.

You can find these on Linked-In, Yahoo and elsewhere. Join groups in your field and start asking questions, or, if you’re brave enough, answer some questions.

 I, for example, am also a fitness instructor. Someone asked a question about burning fat during cardio. I gave an answer that mentioned something that was academically in vogue about burning fat. Nowadays the idea of burning fat is correctly obsolete in favor ot the idea that if you want to lose fat on your body, the calories taken in has to be less than the calories spent as fuel during your workout.

By publicly admitting my mistake. I met new contacts and enhanced my position in that particular field. These led to several jobs and clients.

4. Join groups outside your field.

Add some extra dimensions to your life. You’ll never know what the interests of your next interviewer might be.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

 

BEHAVE YOURSELF: FIND A JOB AT A CAREER FAIR

February 23, 2014

This week I went to a career fair sponsored by a local social service agency. I witnessed people breaking all the rules, and I was wondering how anyone would get a job. It’s time for me to resurrect an old article first published here in 20=5 to read on the CBC program Biznet

Its career fair season again. With the unemployment rate at a record low, career fair season could last the whole year, so it’s time to dust off that resume and brave those lineups to get that perfect job. While many people write off career fairs for finding a job, recent polls show more than 70% of personnel departments rely on job fairs to recruit employees, so it might be worth your while.

To be successful at a career fair, you have to learn how to “work the floor.” Here are eight tips to help those prospective employers remember you in a positive light.

1. Do Your Homework

When you see a poster for a career fair, find out which employers will be there. Use the Internet to research the companies that you want to approach so you can ask intelligent questions of the recruiters. Be prepared. Bring a pen, a note pad and stack of resumes.

 2. Arrive early

Recruiters need to stand in one spot for hours on end watching hopefuls making eye contact and show off their firm handshakes. What are your chances of impressing them if you arrive in the middle of the day, or worse, at the end of the day when they’re tired? None. Impress them when they’re still awake – when the doors open.

 3.  Dress up

First impressions are lasting ones, so treat the career fairs that you are attending like a job interview. Dress conservatively, with a winning attitude, and ready to answer probing questions.

4.Stand out in the lineups

Some people think lineups are for other people, not for them. They butt in, thinking they have the right to make their positive impressions before anyone else. This strategy leaves a worse impression with recruiters. Rather than showing strength and determination, they see the line butter as a boob with no scruples. Use lineups as opportunities to network with other hopefuls. Talk to others to exchange job-hunting ideas, provide support, and even get leads. This will also help you relax as you approach the recruiter

 5. Be ready for an interview:

Be prepared to talk about your career objectives, strengths, and interests. Tell the recruiter about your relevant skills, the kind of job you are looking for, and why you want to work for them. Finally, tell them why you would be an asset. Be concise, polite and direct because you only have a minute to make that impression.

6. Get Information:

Recruiters at career fairs may not be the ones who decide. Ask how arrange a second interview, or how to contact a hiring manager. Get recruiters’ business cards.

 7. Don’t Drop the Ball: Follow Up!

Follow up soon with a thank you note that reintroduces you, your qualifications, and restates the company’s needs. Ask for a second interview. Be sure to get the recruiters’ cards and contact information. To really stand out, attach another resume

8. Build Your Network

You should attend career fairs periodically even when you are not looking for a job. Use them to learn what opportunities are out there, and to gain a perspective on where you fit in the job marketplace. Remember, developing your career is up to you.

 Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

WHAT TO DO AFTER THE INTERVIEW – BESIDES SWEAT

February 16, 2014

Before starting a new position these days, one usually has to submit to the interview process. At the interview, you learned a little bit about the employer and the company, and they learned a little bit about you. Perhaps you decided at the interview that you want the position.

Before you leave, make sure you ask what the next steps will be. Also grab their business card.

1. Write a thank you note

My advice to people who interview is, “If you don’t want the job, don’t write a thank you note”

Simply put, the thank you note won’t guarantee a job, but not writing one will guarantee not getting it.

The format of a thank you note is as follows:

  • Tell them that this is a quick note to thank them for the interview.
  • Tell them you enjoyed meeting them and you appreciated their style of questions and that they gave you an opportunity to ask questions as well.
  • BRIEFLY remind them who you are.
  • Thank them and say, “I hope our paths cross again soon.”
  • Say goodbye.

If you learn that they will be interviewing for the next three days, write the thank you note, print it, put it in an envelope, seal it, put a stamp on it, and mail it. It should arrive right after they finish interviewing. Perfect timing and a perfect time to jog their memory.

If they are rounding up the interviews that day, email it.

2.  Follow-up

Wait for a few days, but, to use a double negative for dramatic effect,  don’t do nothing. Hit the Internet and do some research. Find an article that is related to their business or interest, and after a few days, include it in a follow-up note.

3. Do more research

Are you linked to any employees at that company? If so, use the social network to see whether you can generate some buzz about yourself.

4. Cut your losses and move on.

If you have done all the aforementioned steps and you didn’t get any feedback from your interview, ask yourself whether  it was worth it. You could probably get away with all sorts of other antics such as sending regular emails that might produce a negative effect which could reverberate through yopur industry. Remembers that HR people talk to each other, and if one feels like they’re being stocked. Others may hear about it  – lessening your chances for future success.

5. Get ready for your next interview.

Keep working on your presentation. Edit some of the responses you use for the standard interview questions. Ask yourself this, “Do I really need to tell that joke about the vampire and the ballerina?”

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

 

MY NEW ALIVE MAGAZINE ARTIC IS OUT AND TO THE RESCUE.

February 3, 2014

There was Armageddon in the laundry room this weekend at my house as the hot water tank decided it had enough of my tom-foolery and blew up causing a hot spring. I can’t imagine a tour bus in my driveway to have a line-up of people paying to sit in my laundry room in the midst of lost socks bobbing out of the dryer, so I cleaned it up. It resulted in a $1,000 bill which I tried to pay with my library card.

“Just kidding,” I said to the gas pipe fitter with a wrench the size of a canoe as I inserted debit card into his machine.

I wondered what I was going to spend all the money for that Alive Magazine article I wrote. Now I know. Unfortunately, because of all the calamity, I didn’t have any time to write anything for this blog.

Luckily, my article also came out this week. It’s about the winter Olympics that will start soon. See “Awakening the Olympian Within: From the couch to the podium,” at http://www.alive.com/articles/view/24034/awakening_the_olympian_within

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF

January 27, 2014

Thankfully this doesn’t happen often. Sometimes clients decide to outsmart the resume writer by stiffing him. Sometimes it works, but more often it doesn’t. Someone thought this the other day, so I mounted a defence with the following email.

Hello Buggernuts,

This is Mike Broderick, the resume guy emailing you. You will recall that I recently contracted with you to do your resume, and you now have a document that will allow you to begin your new career. For that, I usually charge $80, but for some reason we negotiated that down to $70. I have an expectation that I be paid – hopefully sooner than later.

I have a feeling that you are getting ready to stiff me for the amount. I have found that people who think about not paying are the ones that, first of all, seem to worry about how I was going to get paid. They want to see Pay-Pal or some other nonsense.  You asked me how I could avoid getting ripped off. I told you that much of what has to do with success in the employment realm has to do with old fashioned luck. Most people spend a lot of time luring luck out of hiding. I further told you that ripping off you’re your contractor would not be conducive to massaging luck. It is a question of Karma

Secondly, I they become invisible when it comes time to pay. They refuse all attempts to contact me.

Finally, when I do catch up with them, they say they don’t have any money, or that I charged too much, or that I didn’t do a good job, or finally, that they could have done a better job themselves.

You didn’t do a good job yourself. Yours wouldn’t have earned a job as a Wal-Mart Greeter.

Where are you on this scale?

I think you’re making a mistake in trying to piss me off. Please have a peek at my LinkedIn site. Do this by going to Linkedin.com and doing a search on Mike Broderick. You will note that I have over 1000 contacts, many of which could be helpful to your career. I could introduce you to them. Many of them are in large firms of lawyers and accountants.

Aside from being a resource, I could also be your nemesis through LinkedIn. Your career could be off to a shaky start if you have a reputation of someone who makes a deal, insists that the work be done in less than a couple of hours as it is needed yesterday, then welches on the deal.

Finally, you will also note that I am a bit of a networker myself – opting to make one-to-one contact. To that end, I am a member and an ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade, and I have contacts with the Burnaby, Surrey, and New West minster Boards of Trade, and the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce.

This means that I often attend networking meetings to drum up business for myself and for others. Often, I’m in a position to facilitate groups within different networking meetings. In my position, I know people in key positions in large corporations, and I am totally into making referrals of people I know to people I know. Why cut yourself off from that resource.

This might be embarrassing for you. Suppose as a junior accountant for a large company you are sent to the Vancouver Board of Trade to drum up a little business. Suppose again that you happen to land at a table facilitated by yours truly. You would be relying totally on my integrity not to spill the beans in front of everyone.

I urge you to reconsider pissing me off by stiffing me. It’s not too late. Here are some excuses you may find useful:

  • I lost my phone
  • I got too busy
  • I went skiing
  • I had to get laid
  • I had a problem getting the money together

Talk to me. Don’t get me pissed off. For a start, however, I think the many readers of my blog would like to read about this, but don’t worry. I won’t use your name … yet.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.


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