Blog

Beware Of This Gmail Phishing Technique Used By Hackers

Word fence’s Mark Maunder’s Security blog is a timely warning on an effective technique being used by hackers to obtain your information.

https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2017/01/gmail-phishing-data-uri/

Maybe time to change your password?

Check if your email address has been hacked in any major data breach, including LinkedIn’s of May, 2016. See: https://haveibeenpwned.com to check your status.

Ensure That Your Online Resume Is Consistent In Your Email, On LinkedIn, And On Indeed.

We have seen people lose out on opportunities to be interviewed due to their having different versions of their resumes posted on different sites. Combine that with a resume emailed that differs from the online presentation/s and you have the potential for confusion.

Employers check people out on online, so it is easy to locate and compare resumes posted on different sites with a name search. If you forget to update your resume with a current position or title, or if you have different dates for companies you worked for, or different companies and jobs appearing on different resumes, you reduce the chances to receive a call or a message about the job you are applying for.

While most employers will give you the benefit of the doubt on minor discrepancies, significant differences found between resumes close doors to opportunity, and they won’t always tell you why you weren’t chosen.

Take a few minutes to check that your LinkedIn profile and other posted resumes match dates and companies, and the resume that you attach to an email, or have for download on skydrive-type sites reflects accurately your work history. This is in your best career interests to do.

Mind The Gap: Explain Breaks In Your Resume Timeline.

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Hiring managers and their assistants scan many resumes looking for that elusive candidate that checks off their hiring criteria boxes.

An unexplained and extended gap in your work history, or neglecting to note a contract position, runs the risk of your resume not reaching the ‘A’ folder for closer review.

You don’t want the hiring manager uncertain about what you were doing in the time that is unaccounted for in your resume.

There are many reasons other than contractual work why people have gaps in their work history:

• Parental leave due to a new birth
• Staying at home to raise children
• Falling ill and having to resign your position
• Terminated unexpectedly with or without cause
• Downsized/restructured due to an acquisition or merger
• Attending to a sick parent, child or spouse for extended health care
• Finalizing estate issues overseas for deceased parents
• Travel due to taking an extended sabbatical period
• Returning to school to obtain advanced academic training
• Moving to a new city/country because of a spouse’s promotion

When an employer sees missing months—-or years—with no explanation, doubt and hesitation to pursue the candidate influences his/her thinking.

Briefly describe the circumstances that required the gap in employment and you will eliminate the employer wondering why there is a break in your work history.

In an interview, reinforce that sense of transparency by being honest and forthright about specific circumstances, and your integrity will speak for itself.

Here’s How To Check For Your Criminal Record In Canada:

A gavel and a law book - Canada

It’s competitive enough out there for good positions, without finding yourself blindsided by an incident from your younger or not-so-younger years, focusing an employer’s attention in the wrong areas.

It happens. A youthful indiscretion from long ago can sit on your record for decades until it is picked up in a criminal background check by a potential employer. You may have forgotten all about it, and reasonably think what could it matter, it was so long ago.

Yet, we have seen hiring situations delayed and in some cases derailed when these matters come under closer scrutiny. The CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre) retains items for decades if steps aren’t taken to remove them through applying for a pardon.

See this non-profit site for answers relating to obtaining pardons:
https://www.pardons.org/employment/

With stricter security measures associated with Canada Customs bonded warehouses, among other security concerns, it is well worth the effort to see what’s on your file.

It’s a lot easier to do this beforehand, online for an economical cost and fast turnaround time. You can also apply for a copy of your record at your local police station, although it can take up to one week to get results back.

Many employers have you sign a consent form to permit them to use an established background checking firm for criminal and other records, depending on the scope of the job responsibilities. Offers made are then conditional on successfully passing a criminal background check.

Here’s what you can do to find out where you stand online:

Backgroundcheck.com has a self serve option as does Triton. Both indicate about a 24 hour turnaround time, and charge a similar fee.

https://www.mybackcheck.com/Public/Login.aspx

https://www.tritoncanada.ca/personal-background-check-services/individual-online-background-check.php

These are two RCMP accredited firms. Accreditation is important as the checks are run by actual police departments.

One advantage Backcheck offers is ID verification both online or at Canada Post.

See their respective sites for details.

Please note that we do not receive any fee for suggesting these firms. There are other companies, but these are two that we have used and they do what they claim to.

Take the few minutes to get your ducks in a row and save yourself the negative surprise factor when it comes to pursuing the job you want.

Toxic Work Environment? How To Manage Your Departure.

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You want to protect your interests in leaving a toxic workplace. It is stressful enough to have to work there, you don’t need the additional discomfort of negativity focused at you because you choose to leave your employer.

Most employers are fair and supportive of their people. Some employers use different, manipulative tactics to manage their staff. Their management style is confrontative and intimidating.

Some employers take it personally when you resign, and if your work life wasn’t difficult enough, they then decide to make your time remaining less than pleasant to ‘reward’ you for your disloyalty. This can take the form of subtle or pointed remarks, meetings to pressure you into telling them where you are going to work next, and having colleagues do the same.

Here’s where the need for patience and perseverance comes in.

You don’t want to give any reason to your soon-to-be ex-employer to mishandle an employment reference, final paycheque or vacation pay, or any other process required to separate cleanly from the company.

You return all company property, surrender all papers of strategic importance, and bring your files up to date, helping your colleagues, eliminating any justification for meetings where your integrity, competence, or honesty are called into question. Your departure does create a problem that your boss has to solve however in finding your replacement. That frustration may surface in these types of meetings.

If you get an exit interview with HR, restrain the urge to lay blame and point fingers. Instead, describe in neutral, constructive terms what steps the company can take to improve how it serves its customers and supports its employees.

Pleasant manners succeed even with difficult people.

Your peace of mind is more important, so disengaging emotionally from whatever is being said, keeping your eye on the goal of the better life that awaits you at your new employer, and letting go of your grievances is in your best interests.

“Endurance is patience concentrated” – Thomas Carlyle

Meeting With Your Boss? Have A Plan.

Concept of vision in business

You’ve asked to meet with your boss to clarify expectations and goals, and you are feeling a little stressed with the additional projects that you have been asked to take on. Show your resilience and creative thinking under pressure. That all-important can-do attitude paves the way to a productive discussion. They believe you can solve problems, now is the time to discuss how.

This is a great opportunity to suggest changes because your boss wants to listen to what you have to say. Your views are important. He/she granting you the time to discuss your concerns and ideas is proof of this. A little preparation, with points on paper to serve as a context will impress him/her with your sense of organization, analytical thinking, and creative input.

Develop clear talking points to explore the issues and options.

Decide what your objectives are going into the discussion:

  • Being able to fulfill the company’s performance expectations
  • Managing the demands made on your time in different areas of responsibility
  • Ensuring that your work is completed on time
  • Deciding what the company wants to prioritize and in what order
  • Discussing the resources available to use or needed to complete objectives

Your boss is going to expect you to:

  • Outline the problems concisely and with clarity
  • Show a willingness to work through them
  • Propose a plan of action and bring forward ideas and options
  • Be receptive to constructive criticism if it is forthcoming
  • Suggest a follow up to provide feedback on changes that are mutually agreed on

You want to be solution focused in your approach. It is important that your boss sees your confidence in tackling the problems because every business has these challenges in one form or another.

Your intention is key to a successful meeting.

You want to come away from the meeting with a shared understanding of the company’s expectations and goals, and the part you play in making those objectives happen.

“Determine the thing that can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.” – Abraham Lincoln

Keeping Good People – Part 3: Mentors

Standing out from the crowd

Relationships, plus clearly defined goals, and a sense of shared vision and commitment are the bonds that keep a team pulling in the same direction. The best managers are inclusive, and create a stimulating and positive working environment.

Internal mentors are a powerful resource for developing staff, for their personal growth and the company’s future development.

7 Traits Of A Good Mentor:

  • Cares about colleagues having the tools and knowledge to be successful
  • Leads through hands-on examples and real time problem solving
  • Encourages feedback and the input of employee ideas to solve problems
  • Shares experience and knowledge, and builds the competence and confidence of coworkers
  • Follows up on employee progress, offering positive and constructive observations
  • Respects colleagues and is in turn respected throughout the company
  • Values continuous improvement and learning and promotes industry education

The best mentors take an interest in other people and seldom have hidden agendas, giving freely of their time and attention, guiding, counselling, and discussing decisions and scenarios that arise in the course of daily business.

They awaken the desire to grow by challenging the people that they mentor to stretch themselves, and move beyond their comfort zones. They ask the right questions and practice active instead of passive listening. They are able distill complex subjects and communicate with confidence and authority.

They not only impart knowledge, they inspire and lead the mentee towards discovering their inner potential. They see the talent and ability in others and encourage the fullest expression of it.

Mentors follow the career progress of those employees that they were involved with as these people set out on career paths outside the company. They are consulted for feedback and advice.

Mentors are missed when they leave their employer and their shoes are not easily filled.

Employers who give respect and recognition to the mentors in their midst gain their loyalty in return.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Quitting Without Notice: Taking A Stand, Or Rolling The Dice?

Rolling red dice

Quitting without notice is an impulsive decision that happens in the heat of the moment, and affects your career progress.

This may seem like an exercise in common sense and obvious advice, but people incur unforeseen problems when they take that stand. Quitting without giving notice is an avoidable mistake. You are taking a gamble with your security and reputation.

You realize that due to poor communication or treatment, there is no light at the end of this particular tunnel. Promises have been broken, and you see no path forward with your present employer.

Frustration builds until one day you say to yourself that you’re done, get up, march out of the office and vow not to return. You figure that you’ll just get another job. You rationalize to yourself that you won’t give notice, you’ll just up and quit and they can send the separation papers in the mail.

Stop. Reconsider what you are doing. This isn’t serving your best interests.

It isn’t a good idea to make any decision based on emotions. In a cooler frame of mind you’ll see that there are certain disadvantages to leaving without notice that outweigh whatever degree of satisfaction or relief that you feel about just getting out of there.

Why you shouldn’t leave your job suddenly without a backup plan in place:

  • Leaving a job without another job in the wings is assuming that you will be rehired in short order
  • Neglecting to give adequate notice will often affect the employment reference you receive
  • Not giving notice may be seen as being unmanageable or impulsive
  • Your decision-making and judgment may be called into question by a potential employer
  • The salary range offered to you may be less than you expect because you are now between jobs
  • Hiring managers have a hard time understanding why someone would just up and quit
  • Your stability and reliability may be suspect
  • Leaving your employer in the lurch also affects the interests of the customers of the company.
  • A potential new employer will think twice—what stops you doing this with their customers in the future?

A long term employee leaving suddenly creates significant impact.

As tough as your current situation is, you owe it to yourself to find and secure a good employer before you leave your present one. There are greener pastures to consider.

It may take a little time but the effort is worth it when you make a smooth transition to a better future.

Bounce Back When You Don’t Get The Job.

Version 2

You could see yourself working there; the people were friendly, the company is going places, and the job suited your experience and expectations. Then, you were informed that the job was offered to someone else. This wasn’t what you were expecting. Disappointment and wondering start to dominate your thinking.

Where did you go wrong?

Rejection is tough to take for even the most resilient people. You begin second-guessing yourself. Was it something I said, or something I did or didn’t do?

Reflecting on your personal presentation, you come to the conclusion that there was nothing that you said or did that would disqualify you, and you did your best.

Let it go. Don’t dwell on what might have been. As in sports, focus on the next shot, the next serve.

There are any number of reasons that you didn’t get the job. Many of them have nothing to do with you.

Some of the more common reasons that the job goes to someone else:

  • Someone was more qualified or experienced
  • Another person had stronger personal chemistry with the hiring manager
  • A last minute candidate was introduced externally by a third party, or by an internal employee
  • After several meetings, it was decided to raise or lower the bar of experience or qualifications
  • The hiring manager’s boss decided on modifying the duties or qualifications
  • The salary range offered was adjusted for economic reasons or a corporate change in plans

When you are between jobs, every interview and job opportunity that comes your way is not necessarily the right one for you. Several doors may close before the right one opens.

Remind yourself that you have the strengths, skills, and experience that are a good fit in the right company. Just because XYZ company wasn’t the right opportunity doesn’t mean that the pathway to your own progress is blocked.

You have a lot to offer, persevere in your efforts and they are bound to be successful.

Thomas Edison said when inventing the light bulb, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Continue believing in yourself and your worth because you know you have a lot to contribute to your next employer. The right employer is bound to recognize that, sooner or later.

Keeping Good People – Part 2 – Provide Challenge And Growth Opportunities

Thinking Outside The Box Concept

Challenge–or the lack of it–is a powerful motivator to stay or to leave. Employees who find their jobs becoming routine tend to lose interest in their work. The desire to learn and grow, to push into uncharted waters, and be excited about one’s work again is a positive force for an employer to harness. When people feel that they have reached the limits of career growth, and there is no more challenge where they are, it is natural to seek change,

and the stimulation of new experiences.

The most successful companies identify the potential of their people, and develop that potential, to achieve corporate goals. Employers often leave good people in static positions because they have shown themselves to be highly effective in those roles. Meanwhile, other talents and skills are untapped, so these people seek to stretch themselves and their abilities, to see what they can handle.

On countless occasions I have good people registering because they feel they’ve reached the end of the road where they are. Much time and expense is invested by their companies, only to see them strike out for those greener pastures. When employees begin to feel that their job is routine, boredom sets in, then they are ripe for making career changes.

Employees who want more challenges:

  • Seek out unusual assignments, volunteering for riskier projects
  • Are self-motivated and high energy individuals
  • Don’t see themselves going backwards, or staying put; they need to be moving forward and growing, to feel successful
  • Want to improve themselves and are rarely satisfied with their performance
  • Establish new benchmarks and raise the bar on their efforts, striving to exceed personal and corporate expectations
  • View problems through a different paradigm, looking for the solution and opportunity for change

Good people want promotion; to aim higher and advance in life. They are noted for their obvious energy, commitment, focus, and devotion. Companies benefit greatly from having them on board. Through their need to aim higher and advance in their careers, these employees contribute significantly to whichever employer they decide to join forces with.

Astute companies provide them with challenge and growth opportunities, channelling their energies to serving their customers, and strengthening their operations.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin