Job Searching

5 Tips for Job Searching During a Pandemic

Job searching during a pandemic can be a tricky balancing act. These last few months have shifted the job market substantially. A short few months ago, we had record level unemployment levels. Now, many people are struggling to find work, or benefits to cover essentials. Were you one of the millions who have lost their job due to the novel Coronavirus? If so, here are 5 Tips for Job Searching During a Pandemic.

  1. Don’t Wait for the Crisis to Pass

Many people are uncertain about whether now is a good time to be job searching, after so many businesses have closed their doors. However, it would be foolish to put your job search on hold. There are still a lot of companies who are hiring and looking to boost their teams by attracting from the large candidate pool currently in the market. As lockdown restrictions ease, the millions who have lost their jobs in the early months of this year will all be out and looking for work. So, do you want to stand out, or be one in millions searching?

  1. Stick to a Schedule

Whether you’re laid off or working from home, it can be challenging to maintain the schedule you once had. But, when job searching, it’s best not to become too relaxed. Create a routine or schedule to keep your head in the game and prepare yourself for returning to work. Your future boss may not be impressed with you sleeping in or coming to work exhausted. Go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, eat well-rounded meals and get some exercise in during your day to help stay at your best.

  1. Upgrade Your Skills

Now is a great time to sign up for an online course to upgrade your skills. Many companies are offering free courses during the pandemic. Why not take advantage of these opportunities?

  1. Sell Yourself

Right now, fewer companies are hiring. So, you should not be relying on sending your resume to every post you see if you don’t want to be just a number. But, you can take time to analyze a job ad and compare the requirements to transferable skills you already possess. Be sure to highlight these as reasons why you’re the best fit for the role.

  1. Practice Your (Remote) Interview Skills

If you’re stuck at home, now is a great time to practice your remote interview skills. Ask a friend or family member to fill in as a mock interviewer to test out how you look and present yourself in a video interview. The more relaxed you are during a real interview, the more likely to come off as confident and prepared for the role.


For more information on job searching during a pandemic head over to The Balance Careers for extra tips. And, for what not to do, Forbes has a great article here.


3 Ways to Perk up Your Commute

Having to commute to work is a drag. Last year, BlogTO brought awareness to the fact that us city-dwellers in Toronto spend an average commute time of 84 minutes each day. Whether you drive or take transit, it takes a lot of time to get around this city.  

There have been many studies on the negative health effects caused by long commutes. Mercer reported in 2017 that people with longer commutes are found to have higher rates of depression, financial concern and obesity. So, what can you do to avoid falling into the negative thinking yourself? Aside from moving, below are 3 ways to perk up your commute.

  1. Create a Routine

Turn your time spent commuting into enjoyable time by creating a routine. Now, this doesn’t have to be cumbersome, it could be as simple as picking up a coffee from your favourite coffee shop, listening to a podcast or catching up on social media. Build something into your commute time that turns it into something you look forward to.

  1. Plan Your Day

One very helpful, stress-relieving tool to Perk up Your Commute is to actively think about how you will structure your day or week. On your way to work, reflect on how your plans will help to achieve personal and professional goals. And, on the way home – make personal plans and family commitments. By implementing these mindful exercises, you may find that it’s easier to improve your work-life balance as well.

  1. Socialize

Look for people at work who also live relatively close to carpool. If you take transit, maybe a friend of yours has a similar route where you can meet and catch up during your journey. Or, use the phone and call someone. Chances are, there’s someone in your contact list that hates their commute too!

How to Overcome Ghosting

Candidates and employers alike have been seeing ghosts, but I don’t mean the type that would require an exorcist. Ghosting happens when someone you’re pursuing suddenly vanishes and becomes unresponsive to communication. For a long time, it’s been employers ghosting candidates, despite requests for follow up after an interview. Now, with the unemployment rate so low, candidates and employees have been turning the tables back on employers. So, how do you reduce the ghost sightings?

  1. Public Relations

Everyone on your recruitment team should act as a member of the PR team. You are the main point of contact for a prospective candidate. How you treat them will leave a lasting impression since this is their only exposure to company culture. Candidates are in a position to be selective about which positions they select. Display trust, respect and open communication to give them a reason to choose you.

  1. Review Your Hiring Process

When is the last time you took a tour through your hiring process? Have you examined it from the lens of a potential applicant? There is usually some room to streamline and eliminate redundancies. There is a growing trend to implement AI and automation with Applicant Tracking Systems that will take much of the time burden away from you. So, you could have more time to give constructive feedback to candidates.

  1. Be Real

Not everyone is going to be a great fit for the role you’re trying to fill. Be honest along the process and give feedback where possible. As part of the recruiting team, it is your responsibility to set realistic expectations for both the employer and the candidate. If you ghost candidates and don’t provide them with the respect they deserve, they will speak to their friends. A bad reputation is difficult to overcome.

Why is there an increasing display of ghosting? It could be because employers and recruiters have taught this to candidates as acceptable behavior. How do we deal with being professionally ghosted? From here, we can lead by example, give candidates a reason to want to come back, and don’t forget the human.


How to Upskill Workers During a Labour Shortage

Is your company struggling to find workers? How long have your openings been open? Canada is currently facing a labour shortage. The unemployment rate that we’ve seen over the last year is the lowest our country has seen in about 50 years. So, what do you do when most people already have jobs? A great way to counteract the current skill shortage is to upskill current employees. Read below for ways your organization can upskill workers during a labour shortage.

Prioritize Retention

Keep your good employees. Find a way to keep them engaged in both their role and in the culture of your company. Listen to your workers to seek out deficiencies. You need to know what the problem is if you’re going to be successful in solving it. After all, you don’t want to lose your top talent to your competitor. So, think of introducing flexible schedules, increased leave allowances or employee benefits.

Invest in Training

You’ve already built a team who knows your business. Then, why not train them to be your best asset? You can mold employee skill sets specifically to your business. It allows for better career progression planning. When hiring, focus on finding good cultural match and consider training on the skills you need and know can be learned. For more on upskilling, read A Strategist’s Guide to Upskilling.

Review the Recruitment Process

Take a look at what the process actually looks like. Consider where you’re advertising to attract candidates. Are you looking in the right place? Often we fall into behavioural patterns in recruitment. We get used to the way we’ve always done it. In a labour shortage, creativity is key. So, if your approach isn’t working, change it! Find what works.

Utilize Contingent Workers

Many more individuals are choosing to work on a contingent basis, allowing them greater flexibility. Some statistics suggest that about 30% of the workforce is composed of contingent workers and it’s only expected to grow from there. Can your openings be filled with freelancers, contractors or consultants? By tapping into the pool of workers, your organization may save money associated with the hiring and onboarding process.

Don’t let your business suffer during the challenge to find employees. Be proactive and focus on how to creatively fill your open roles, whether that is to upskill workers during a labour shortage, or working with freelancers. Human Resource Executive has a great article on why Now is the Time to Start Upskilling your Workforce.

5 Tips to Get Your Resume Seen

‘How to Get Your Resume Seen’ has been a hot topic for years. It began with an influx of applicants for roles – candidates wanted to know how to ensure their resume stood out. How do you keep it at the top of the pile, and top of mind? Now, it’s a challenge to beat the bot with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Since most companies and recruiters utilize ATS, and in a sea of applicants, so how can you get your resume seen? These 5 tips to get your resume seen will ensure you’re noticed by hiring managers and recruiters.

  1. Keep it Simple

A simple format is easy to read. So, adding unnecessary columns, formatting, sections distracts the eye and keep the human viewer guessing on where to look next. These added features also often confuse an ATS and can result in screening you out for an anticipated role. So, unless you’re in a design field, spare the fancy graphics and formatting.

  1. Use a Basic Font

Basic is not boring. Basic font ensures that both an ATS and a human can read your resume, or your application without needing to translate it first. Getting hired and filling openings should be easy. So, don’t make it harder on the recruiters and hiring managers who are reading your resume, and ultimately determining suitability for a role.

  1. Use Bullets

Bullets…. make it easier to read! Are you sensing a theme yet? Ordering your experience as bulleted lists under each role you’ve held will neatly summarize what you’ve done. As recruiters, we’ve seen many resumes which are written in paragraph format. Your resume is often our first impression of you and your abilities. For recruiters and hiring managers, their job is to discern suitability – quickly. Bullets make this faster, meaning we can get to more candidates and help more people.  

  1. Include Accomplishments

What can you contribute to a new team, what do you bring to the table? What can you accomplish? Writing about your accomplishments (in bullet form) is helpful for those resume screeners as it speaks to what you’re capable of. Make sure to use facts and numbers where possible. Your goal is to be proud, but not necessarily boastful. Ensure your accomplishments are relevant for the role you’re applying for.

  1. Tailor Your Resume

Relevancy is key. So, read through the job description carefully for the role you wish to apply. Compare the prospective role with positions you’ve held in the past. Make it a priority to include relevant accomplishments from previous roles that apply and show you would be well-prepared to tackle the prospective role. It’s important to think of your resume as an explanation of why you would be the best fit for the role you’re applying to.


Follow these steps to ensure your resume gets seen more often for related roles – roles that you would be best suited for! Hiring and filling openings isn’t a simple task. So, make sure you’re not making the recruiter or hiring manager’s job more difficult by complicating your resume. If you’re curious to learn more about what you can do, read about How to Get Your Resume Past the Applicant Tracking System.


How to Find Your Motivation, When You Just Don’t Want to

We all have tasks that we’d rather not have. How do you find your motivation when you just don’t want to do these things? There are many reasons for not feeling motivated or wanting to complete a certain set of responsibilities. Are they boring? Draining? Time consuming? Annoying? Does it give you anxiety just thinking about it? Would you rather be doing something else?

Imagine how much better you would feel if you could just buckle down and do these things. How much happier, or more productive could you be? What other things could you be spending your guilt free time doing? But, how do you find your motivation?

Below are the top 3 common reasons for not feeling motivated and how to address them.

You Don’t Feel Like It

You don’t actually need to “feel like it” to accomplish something. Actions are actionable without adding feelings into the mix. Shift your focus and attention on the successful completion of a task or project. Not “feeling it” only worsens procrastination and can put you off your goals and targets. Stop thinking you need to feel something to be productive.

It’s Boring

There will always be obligations and commitments in life that are boring or mundane. But, most of the time, these are fundamental tasks that shouldn’t be left – washing dishes is boring, but you don’t want the pest infestation that comes with leaving it. One way to overcome this is by doing the “boring” tasks first before you set off onto something more exciting. Learn to utilize exciting tasks or projects as motivators and rewards for completing the boring and mundane.

Fear of Failure

Attempting new things is scary. It often sends people running for the hills. So, make the conscious decision that you will complete x task and actually set out to do it. Don’t wait until you feel that you have enough information. It will likely never actually be enough. Sometimes the best way to get started is to just do it. You will make a mistake, it happens – just keep in mind that the most valuable lessons come as a result of our mistakes. Success comes from our ability to recover from failure and move on.

It’s not as important to find your motivation as it is to get it done. So, learn to start, without over-analyzing, and you’ll feel much better. We’ve also found some great tips on How to Motivate Yourself to Do Things You Don’t Want to Do from Harvard Business Review, as well as How to Make Yourself Do it When You Just Don’t Want To from Psychology Today.