This year marked a special anniversary for the Out on Bay Street Organization which helps to facilitate the professional development of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Ally (LGBTQA+) students as they transition from school to career in order to build a national network within the LGBTQA+ community.* This year’s theme was #StartingOut and for RBC we were PROUD to be part of the entire event where it all started 10 years ago at the Rotman School of Management/ University of Toronto.
I want to give a “shout-out” to the team of from the Out on Bay Street for organizing a fabulous event and for connecting so many employers, like RBC, to the LGBTQA+ students across Canada. A special thank you to Albert Lam, Marshall Peacock, and Stefan Palios as an event like this takes so much planning and time and the execution was flawless!
Leaders To Be Proud Of Awards
Recognizing exemplary achievement and community service within our community helps to provide LGBTQA+ students and young professionals with examples to emulate and aspire to. Sharing the experiences of these individuals helps our community to celebrate Canada’s progress in recognizing LGBTQ+ value to the professional community and society.
By Nina Rakic
It’s official. The walls have been painted, the boxes unpacked – we’ve moved into a digital age. Does that mean that we’ve also moved past the resume and onto the Linkedin profile? In part, yes. Your potential employer will certainly check you out online and cross reference what you publish with what you print. They will also expect you to present a crisp resume in a neat folder on which they can take notes during your interview.
Considering how important resumes continue to be, I suggest you take a preventative approach and make sure that your resume is on point at the time of submission. It’s likely that your potential employer has not met you yet, so their impression of you starts to form through reading your resume. Below are 6 tips to keep in mind this recruitment cycle that will help you help your interviewer form the right image about you.
Making grammatical errors and typos.
“Let’s eat grandma!”
“Let’s eat, grandma.”
Need we say more? Perhaps, though we shouldn’t have to. We live in an age where online, free services are accessible to anyone with a computer or a library card. These mistakes are avoidable and indicate to your interviewer that you don’t really care about the application. Which isn’t true. Arguably, it is hard to catch your own mistakes, especially after having reviewed your resume for the zillionth time. Reach out to a friend or attend our Pre-Conference Workshop for some extra help.
Submitting incorrect information.
“Well, duh.” You might be thinking, and you’re right: this does seem obvious. We aren’t talking about including wild stories of fabricated world travel and the four languages you don’t speak (though you shouldn’t include those points if they’re not true either). We’re talking about that 3.0 GPA that’s actually a 2.8 or a job title that doesn’t quite match the description.
Little mistakes like that are the best way to show your employer that you are not detail oriented. Luckily, this mistake is easy to mitigate. Read, edit and repeat.
Not using keywords that are found in the job description.
A lot of the time a hiring manager or recruiter has dedicated a time block for reading resumes. This means that yours could be the 1st, or the 251st resume under review. At this point your resume is getting a scan, at best, until it truly catches the viewer’s eye.
Looking at the “requirements” or “qualifications” section of the job description you’re applying for and other similar ones will give you a good place to start. The jargon that’s repeated is the jargon you should use and use often (so long as it’s grammatically correct). Be wary of just copy and pasting from the job descriptions as well – it will be noticed and could undermine the hard work you’ve actually done. The same should stand for your cover letter, though, that’s a topic for another article.
Actually, writing things that don’t relate to the job in general is a bad idea.
Yes, this does mean that you’re likely going to be writing unique resumes for each job you’d like to apply to. We never said that recruiting was easy, but the hard work pays off. Hiring managers and recruiters have likely been hiring for a long while and can spot a clone from a mile away. Recycling a resume used for one job might also mean keeping information in it that is not relevant to another job.
Not writing enough
There is a fine line between too much information and not enough. While there is no universal definition of where this line in, here are some things to keep these things in mind and you should be all right:
- Don’t underplay your responsibilities. It’s okay, you’ve done a lot and there is no shame in that. Just save some for the interview too.
- Be specific. The problem/idea was XX I did XX to solve/implement it and XX were the results. Checkmate.
- Quantify as often as possible. This is a good way of showing evidence of your work without being too verbose.
Getting out of hand with formatting.
Simply put, a flashy resume get’s you the wrong kind of attention. It takes away from the content and make it seem like you’re overcompensating. If you are overcompensating, the hiring manager or recruiter will catch on soon enough and your efforts will be for naught. There are ways to beef up your resume like participating in competitions (like our Case or Moot Competitions), volunteering outside of work (OOBS recruitment opens this September!) or taking job-specific training or workshops. Basically, if you’re not there yet, you can be. Even if you’re applying for a marketing or media role, it’s good to err on the side of caution while keeping in mind your audience. The manager will request to see your portfolio anyways meaning your creative mind will have a place to shine.
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These are just a few tips and tricks from a former recruiter, a Out On Bay Street volunteer and a successful hire from the conference. Though, there is so much more to learn! Those that bought tickets prior to August 1st are welcome to do so at our Pre-Conference Workshop taking place on Saturday August 19th.
By: Nina Rakic
Ken Aber, the founder of Blueprint Business Architecture and marketer extraordinaire, is widely praised for his ingenuity, out-of-the-box thinking and seeming ability to be one step ahead of you, your boss and your boss’s boss. I had the pleasure of working with Ken when he consulted with my company on a couple of large-scale projects. He brought interesting perspectives to the table, and beyond that, saw our ideas in a different light that opened up possibilities we had not yet begun to identify. Considering the variety of projects he’s led, it’s really no wonder that he has such a unique perspective.
He’s spent his entire career creating innovative marketing campaigns, programs and media partnerships. When working with Omnicom he led the marketing and communications at Labatt, he dabbled with Cara – the makers of Swiss Chalet and Harvey’s, and American Express to name a few. Ken loves to create and build. In fact, Blueprint Business Architecture isn’t the first company he brought to life. He can be credited with developing the Hero Certified Burger chain, which he sold to John Lettieri the current president.
Q: Word on the street is that you got accepted into Harvard at 14. What a feat. How did you accomplish that and were you nervous?
A: I was 16 when I was accepted into Harvard. Nervous? No. I completed grades 2, 4 and 6 in public school and home schooled for grades 7 – 12 which I finished by the time I was 16. I was too young to know what nervous was way too young to really grasp the magnitude of what I had achieved. It was my normal.
Q: Did accomplishing so much at such an early age change your perception of success?
A: Yes. Until the age of 35 I was hungry to succeed and be a leader. I achieved my goal at 35 and was a CEO until I was 40. At that time, I realized that my definition of success, the way I had imagined it, was really lonely. I realized at that time that that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to be in the trenches and work on a multitude of different and exciting projects, not managing people. Doing work instead of sitting at the top and doing lunch.
Q: What advice do you wish had when you were an undergraduate student?
A: The advice I wish I had is this: You don’t have to take unversity so seriously. Truly learn something and get your money’s worth, but once you’re done no one is going to know if you got a A or C.
Q: What was your worst job and did it ever cloud your vision of achieving your dreams?
A: I once worked in a fish factory making sure that all the fish were Kosher. It was smelly and rotten. After that, I only had cool jobs, like a dickie dee ice cream boy. I worked at Ontario place for many years. These jobs only fueled my drive to succeed because it made me realize I didn’t want to be at the fish plant for my entire life.
Q: Was is difficult to come out at work the first time you did it? Has it gotten any easier?
A: It was tough to come out the first time I did. The people who I thought were my friends no longer showed up after that. I was 37 and my world was divided. People hated me and people respected me. I had people calling me a liar because “how could you lie about that for so many years?” I didn’t want to be gay and I wanted to be like everyone else. Has it got easier? I think society as a whole has been more accepting and corporate brand world has definitely got on board, however, there are still many people in smaller communities with no support system who may fear for their life if there were to come out. So the answer to that question is yes and no.
Q: How have you seen the LGBT community change and develop within the professional space?
A: In my 35 year career, I’ve seen sponsors go from not wanting to touch the LGBT community to companies literally pouring millions and millions into getting their brands associated and in front of the the LGBT community. The Mental Health conversation has gone through a similar adoption and transition, just as I think Cannabis is going through now.
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This has been an Out On Bay Street Sneak Peek into the Speaker Series for the 2017 conference. If you’d like to learn more about Ken, his robust work experience within marketing and the challenges he’s overcome as an out LGBTQ+ professional click here and buy your ticket now. Ken will be speaking at the Gala Dinner on September 16th.