Road to Success


Why is everything online?

The Internet has changed both the way we search for jobs and how employers search for potential candidates. 20-30 years ago, after people graduated from high school or university, most people would head straight towards newspapers or an employment agency for work. In 1976, 52% of unemployed people used an employment agency. In 2006, that proportion had fallen to 17.2%.

Today, those functions have been replaced by the Internet. 20-30 years ago, using the internet was not a realistic option. But now, the Internet has made it a lot easier to reach and communicate with people. If you wanted to find information on a company, you would have to search through archives or look through old newspaper or magazine articles. Now, you can just type in whatever company you’re interested in and then find the history, key people, and awards that a company has won. The internet has also made it easier for companies to advertise job postings online because it reaches a variety of people. However, the internet has also made it harder for people to make a strong impression, since the application process is much more impersonal and much more selective.

Today, employers are looking for candidates with both a specific and technical skill set. It’s extremely important to have a variety of computer skills and be familiar with specific programs. Before, the job market didn’t require people to have such specialized skills. Jobs used to be concentrated in the manufacturing-industrial production. The jobs were much easier and didn’t need a lot of education to do those jobs. Jobs in manufacturing are now being phased out since they are either being relocated overseas or being replaced by machinery. The shift in the job market is now headed towards the service sector, where work is now done on a smaller scale, requires greater flexibility, and is focused on technical skill. As a result, more people are attending post-secondary school in order to meet this new demand in work.

During the screening process, employers look at a candidate’s social proof and the number of people who endorse them. The more connections a person has, the stronger their portfolio is, and how many people recommend them for a job, makes them a strong candidate. With the economy, hiring managers are less likely to take chances on people and don’t want to give a job to the wrong person. In addition, changes in the job market make employers search for a candidate that suits their needs, not the other way around. So it’s important to format your resume and cover letter to show employers how you can benefit the company and what you can contribute.

Although some employers do accept paper resumes, most employers prefer to receive them online and don’t want to waste paper. It’s important to format your resume and cover letter for the computer so it can be read easily. A tip is to save them in a PDF format.

Using social networking also helps hiring managers look at how strong your online branding is. With google, people only look at the top half of the first page. Anything past that, gets disregarded. Plus, recruiters also look at how consistent your online reputation and brand is. Any inconsistencies with your image will prevent you from passing an employer’s screening process.

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Safe Social Media Practices

Think before you post!

Most people’s social network circles have hundreds of connections, everyone from your mom to your boss. The availability of hashtags in most social media platforms allows your post to be searchable and these two factors allow social media blunders to quickly go viral.

Anything you post on the internet is permanent, even if you delete it. With social media, your primary obstacle when you want to retract a post containing statements and images you no longer want to share   are screenshots. When a controversial post is published, it is pretty easy to tell that it will create a spectacle and will likely be removed curtly, so many people have caught on to this trend and take screenshots to share.

Your social networks are the online equivalent of your personality – says a lot about you. It’s your personal BRAND. When someone looks at your networks, your friends and your posts they form a mental picture based on the various values and qualities that are displayed through your posts.

Whatever is posted has a long shelf life, as a student we want to broadcast our active social life including partying, drinking, even use of illegal substances. It may be fine now, but these posts will likely affect the personal brand you want to achieve in the future.

If you have a professional online LinkedIn profile but have several networks that contained unprofessional content, this will counteract the overall effectiveness of the brand you are trying to achieve. A simple Google search displays instant links to your online profiles, a tactic usually used during the hiring process by employers today. The style and content of your profiles also says a lot about an individual.

For example, if you had a very detailed LinkedIn profile with a great description, extensive links and connections, this would tell a viewer that the owner of this profile is a hard worker, not lazy and likely has a lot of business connections, and understands the changing job market

A blog that is professional looking and is updated regularly with different content means the owner is diligent, a hard worker, responsible and creative.

The first thing most employers do when a resume is submitted is to do an online search for you on various social media networks, so make sure your online brand will not affect your professional online presence or ability to get hired.

The following are some tips to help you use social media responsibly:

  • ALWAYS think and reconsider before posting anything that may seem offensive, controversial or reflects negatively on you – Avoid posting anything you wouldn’t show grandma
  • Have a policy for each platform—what content you will post, who you are or are not going to follow, or who you allow to follow you
  • Keep personal social media such as Facebook private
  • Stay positive and never criticise, condemn or complain on social media. Written text can be easily misunderstood. Joking comments may be offensive and sarcasm may not be detectable.
  • Use proper spelling and grammar, avoid slang and swear words
  • Choose appropriate profile pictures- casual for Facebook, business for LinkedIn
  • Be very cautious about posting information about family members, children, colleagues, clients, vendors or partners. Be considerate of the people in your life, personally and professionally.
  • Don’t post anything amid a personal or professional meltdown. If you have a weak moment, and start posting something that is in anyway hurtful or involving personal emotions, that’s going to be the most visible across all different networks.
  • Monitor activity on your platforms regularly to ensure it stays consistent with your personal brand
  • Focus on the quality of your connections versus quantity

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What are hiring managers looking for?

In the U.S. about 88% of entry-level jobs are posted online through databases, company websites and job search engines ( A survey done by the job applicant tracking software company Jobvite found that the percentage of recruiters who plan on using social media in their job search went from 83% in 2010 to 89% in 2011. Of those hiring 87% plan to use LinkedIn, 55% plan to use Facebook, and 49% plan to use Twitter. More and more job sites like Monster and Workopolis have started allowing for integration with LinkedIn accounts.

Current methods:

  • Companies make use of software that eliminates resumes that do not have the right keywords and are more frequently looking up potential employees online.
  • Companies are more frequently looking for employees skills in the use of social media, with increasing emphasis on mastery in one social media type (e.g. twitter).
  • Someone who is hiring is more likely to interview someone they know even if it is from an online connection or online networking.
  • Using networking and having active social media profiles can give you leverage to make up for lack of experience, (e.g. “There are 4 people who report to me. Three have five or more years’ experience while one has less than a year.”)
  • Incriminating photos and other information found online that goes against what an employer is looking for in a potential employee does have an impact on the hiring process.

Steps to follow/procedures:

  • Have a LinkedIn profile that is active.
  • Get LinkedIn recommendations from past employers and professors.
  • Have a Twitter account, post at least 4 times a week, do not spam, and at least 80% of posts should be professional/work related.
  • Before going to an event (e.g. conference), use Twitter to find out who is going and make connections before attending.
  • Immerse yourself in other forms of social media as well and make use of them in networking.
  • Keep up with new social media platforms, and how much attention they’re getting.
  • Proper use of social media helps you keep track of and show potential employers who you know and how you know them.
  • Use the internet to help you write a “relevant, concise, and focused” resume.
  • Do some research online about a potential employer or company.
  • Also try to find questions for your interview online as well, if you are stuck just Googling “Top 30 questions to ask in an interview” will help. 
  • Know your skills and how they can be best presented online.
  • Lastly use the internet and social media to help show your personality and stand out a bit more amongst thousands of other applicants.

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The Future of Hiring Practices

As we all embark on a new destination in life, there is a constant bug in our mind.  It pesters us about WHAT we are going to do with our lives once we graduate from UoGH.stock-footage-interview-between-a-businessman-and-a-woman-in-his-office

This blog is dedicated to disseminating the resources required to get a job after graduation and the current and future of hiring practices of employers.

Needless to say.  Times have changed and will never be the same.  Employers are always looking for an employee who is able to show them something new and groundbreaking.  However, getting your foot in the door and remembering that there is a whole flock of people in the same situation as you is of utmost importance to remain sane in this crazy time of our lives.

Here are some quick links that reinforce our opinion: