Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: Job Search

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to job searching.

Landing an IT Contract with a New Recruiter

Landing an IT Contract with a New Recruiter

You’re scrolling through your favourite job board looking for your next contract, when you come across the perfect opportunity. The requirements mirror your skillset, you have plenty of experience in that industry and it’s scheduled to start right when your current contract is ending. But, as you double-check who posted it, this job is through a staffing agency you’ve never heard of before. After confirming with the recruiters who you know at other agencies, it’s certain, this job is only available through an unknown recruitment agency. How can you still guarantee a good shot at it?

Don’t Hesitate — Apply to the Job

If there’s any chance you might want to work on this contract (and you know you’re qualified), then apply to it. The recruiting world moves quickly and jobs close within days, sometimes hours, so you want your name in front of the recruiter as soon as possible. That being said, check the date the job was posted. If it’s been up for a couple weeks, it can either mean that the job has been filled OR the recruiter is struggling to fill it and you’re going to be their saviour. Either way, it’s good intelligence for the upcoming steps.

Also look carefully through the posting to see if there’s any reference to an individual recruiter who’s working on the role or direct contract information to learn more about the job. Finally, take note of the Job ID and the exact job title. These will be important for referencing the job in your upcoming conversation with the recruiter.

Do Some Research

Make no mistake, your upcoming conversation with the recruiter is going to be a sales call for your business, so prepare as any good sales person would before making a cold call. One of the first steps a sales professional will go through is researching the prospect.

Start by looking up the staffing agency. Check out their website, online reviews (ex. Google, Indeed, Glassdoor) and LinkedIn. Does this appear to be an organization who you want to do business with? Check if they appear to be ethical, if other contractors are satisfied with them, and whether they have many similar opportunities or if this job is a one-off.

Next, look-up a few of their recruiters on LinkedIn. If you have a name related to this specific job, even better, but if not, just find two or three who might be working on this job. Look for contact information, see if you have similar contacts in your network, and learn a couple tidbits of information about them.

Finally, conduct a few informal references. Although there are hundreds of recruitment agencies, the industry is still fairly close-knit. Between other recruiters and IT contractors in your network, somebody is sure to have worked with this recruitment agency before. Find out who and ask about their experience. Even better, see if somebody can give you an introduction to a recruiter.

Make that Cold Call

Now that you’ve applied to the job and armed yourself with the right information, it’s time to make that phone call, even if you still don’t know who you’re calling. Here are a few tips for a successful cold call with a recruiter:

  • Be prepared to speak with a receptionist first. If you don’t have a contact name, have the Job ID and job title ready so they can connect you with the right person.
  • Get the recruiter’s contact info. Before the receptionist transfers you, confirm the name, extension and email address of the recruiter they’re about to send you to. If they don’t answer their phone, you can now follow-up with them directly.
  • Provide a quick introduction. Grab the recruiter’s attention by telling them a bit about yourself, and more importantly, how you will help them. Tell them quickly which job you’re interested in, that you’ve applied, and why you qualify. There’s a chance the recruiter hasn’t even looked at applications yet because they started talking with professionals in their own network. You need to make sure they know that you’re the best option.
  • Be prepared for an interview. The recruiter might want to learn more about you right away, so make sure you’re ready for a phone interview if it turns into that.
  • Or be prepared to schedule a follow-up call. In other cases, the recruiter will want to schedule a follow-up call for when they have more time to chat.
  • Remember the Job might already be filled. If the recruiter brushes you off, telling you the job is already closed, don’t end the call quite yet. Dig for information about similar jobs in the future and how you can be considered right away. Make sure the recruiter knows who you are and the skills you possess.
  • Send a follow-up email. Finally, regardless of the outcome of the call, send a follow-up email, including your resume and contact information. Especially if you have a good feeling about this recruiter and staffing agency, you’ll want to keep this relationship growing.

Everybody needs to cold call a new recruiter sometimes, whether you’re starting your career and trying to build a name for yourself in the IT contracting world or you’re an experienced professional who needs to start working with a new staffing agency. Hopefully these tips will help you get there quickly and effectively, easily landing you that job and a new relationship for future IT contract opportunities.

How to Make Sure You’re Paid on Time

How to Make Sure You're Paid on Time

Of all of the benefits of IT contracting, a steady and reliable pay cheque is not at the top of the list. Work is not guaranteed and you always have to set cash aside for the slow periods. Even when you do have a gig, all independent contractors have a story about payments arriving late which can have a ripple effect on your life.

Especially if you’re set-up as an incorporated business, you have a responsibility as the supplier of services to provide the proper requirements and paperwork to the client before they’re obligated to make payment. There is no employer/employee relationship that mandates you receive your pay cheque on time. Here are a few tips to help make sure your money gets to you when you need it:

Get Set-Up and Understand the Process as Soon as Possible

As soon as your new contract is signed, scour the documentation and ask your recruiter questions about how their payment process works. Every staffing agency has unique processes so don’t assume it will be the same as your last gig. As soon as possible, be sure to send over all of the documentation they ask for, such as EFT information and business details. Submitting this at the last-may hold-up your first payment.

Respect Deadlines

Don’t just get your EFT information submitted on time, but ensure your approved timesheets are always submitted on time throughout the entire contract. Know the deadlines for each period and set reminders in your calendar so you can complete the documentation as necessary. Since each client will have different requirements, some timesheets will need more detail and, therefore, a time commitment from you. Build that into your planning.

Follow-Up with Your Approver

This is the part of the process where you have less control but you can still take some ownership. When you notice your timesheet has not been approved and the deadlines are looming, give the approver a nudge. It may have gone to spam or there might be a discrepancy they’ve been meaning to discuss with you. Either way, when deadlines are missed and your pay doesn’t arrive, pointing blame back to the approver won’t bring your money to you any faster.

Pay Attention to the Detail on Your Invoices

Going back to point number one, understand what your staffing agency has to see on your invoice before making a payment. Perhaps its detailed timeframes or explanations of projects. If you’re charging HST, the proper HST number must be included. It would suck not to receive timely payment simply because your invoice was missing a line that would have taken you a minute to include.

Ask Around About Your Agency

Let’s back-up to before you even accept a placement. Did you reference check your new recruitment agency? Surely your network will have a few other contractors who have worked with this company in the past, so ask them those important questions, including information about their time entry process and reliability for payments.

There are plenty of ways the time-entry, invoicing and payment process can go off the rails when you’re on contract, but the five tips above are the most common preventative measures you can take. Throughout your placement, continue following-up and asking questions to ensure things are running smoothly, and hold the staffing agency accountable if they do miss payment at no fault of yours. Finally, take advantage of all the tools at your disposal. Accounting software, calendar apps, reminders, the client’s timesheet system — all of these tools combined will help you get your time submitted quickly and properly, and ultimately, paid on time.

Review of the Top 25 Job Search and Contracting Tips You Might Have Missed

2020 will go down in history as an unpredictable year, full of surprises and learning experiences that, although often stressful, will make us all better people in the end. The holidays are a great time to look back and reflect on the last year — What went well? What could have gone better? How will it be better next year?

The Talent Development Centre had 145 new posts over 2020, including job market updates, quick polls and some excellent tips and tricks from industry experts. Many of those posts were packed with valuable knowledge and were well received, so we want to make sure you saw them. Here’s a collection of the top-viewed informational posts from 2020:

COVID-19 Support

There’s no ignoring the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic defined 2020. When it hit, Eagle was quick to gather as much information as we could regarding government support to help IT contractors navigate the fast-changing updates. Over the following months, we provided some additional articles for coping, as well as uplifting success stories, all of which are still very relevant today:

IT Contracting

Even the most seasoned IT contractors continue to learn the ins and outs of the independent contracting world. It can be complex and, like everything else in today’s reality, it’s always changing. These articles were among the most popular guidance we provided to IT contractors in the past year:

Working with Recruiters

A natural part of being a successful IT contractor is building great relationships with recruiters to leverage your network and gain more access to jobs. Here are the top tips on that topic:

Job Interviews

There are many steps in a job search, but it turns out the area our readers were most interested in learning about in 2020 were job interviews. Specifically, these posts were most popular:

Other Job Search Posts

In addition to interviews-related articles, here are a few other job search tips and tricks that hundreds of contractors grabbed knowledge from this year:

Personal Development

Finally, whether it’s professional skills or soft skills, helping yourself become a better person is not only beneficial for your career, but your personal life as well. Here are a few posts we published in 2020 that help you add new lines to your resume, or just become a better individual to work with:

What was your favourite post in 2020? Is there a topic you would like to see more of? Please share your feedback with us so we can continue to provide the best resources that IT contractors need to be successful.

6 Tips for Staying Patient in Your IT Job Search, at Work or Pretty Much Anywhere in Life

6 Tips for Staying Patient in Your IT Job Search, at Work or Pretty Much Anywhere in Life

There’s a common saying “Patience is when you’re supposed to get mad, but you choose to understand.” As our lives get busier and stress rises, this couldn’t be more important. We interact with people every day in both our work and personal lives, and some of them are… well… unique. As much as some individuals make your head want to explode, how you deal with them, specifically the patience you show them, defines your character and can have an extreme impact on your career.

As an IT contractor, your patience is tested every day of your professional life. Just looking for new gigs and waiting to hear back from clients or recruiters requires patience, and trying to explain your background and experience to some of them can be a complete other challenge. While on contract, you need to wait on team members to deliver parts of a project, help others understand concepts that seem basic to you, and stand by for client direction or feedback.

Yes, there is no shortage of opportunities to pull your hair out. But a lack of patience builds up more stress than necessary, rushes things that shouldn’t be rushed and, most harmfully, ruins relationships. Strong relationships are not just a necessary component to mental health. Professional connections with people who admire your character and approach to working under pressure are a key component to finding new job opportunities and succeeding in your current role.

So how can we foster patience and develop a reputation as that cool and collective colleague? We checked-in with some experts and scoured the research, and here are our six favourite tips:

  1. Know what you can control. There’s no use losing sleep, getting angry, or trying to rush along a process that simply isn’t going to go faster. Understanding when to move onto something else and accepting reality is the first step in being patience and reducing stress.
  2. Understand how important it is. And when it is a situation you could potentially control or hurry along, is it really worth it in the big picture? There’s only so much capacity we have for worrying so letting go of the less important items gives you patience for the more relevant matters.
  3. Take a break. Whether it’s a walk around the block, a phone call to friend, a healthy snack or meditation, take a few minutes to pause and breath. Clearing your mind allows you to gain a new perspective and consider the first two points above (is it in your control or even important?).
  4. Accept the situation. “It is what it is.” A saying that drives some people nuts but is also incredibly true. Things are taking longer than expected and you might have to jump through more hoops to get them done, but nothing will change that. Roll-up your sleeves, jump in, and do it.
  5. Befriend the situation. Better yet, don’t just accept it, embrace your circumstances. Take on the challenge and remember that you will be a better person. Whether you’re waiting for that slow colleague to finish a deliverable or coming up with unique ways to find your next gig, you will learn something if you allow yourself to.
  6. Be aware of your feelings. It’s alright to be angry and frustrated. We’re human and those emotions are natural, especially when stress is building up. Recognizing those feelings, though, is your first step to controlling them and moving them away. Or consider removing yourself completely until you’ve regained your patience (see tip #3)

Patience certainly is a virtue and we can all use more of it. It lowers stress levels, improves team dynamics, increases productivity and, above all, builds relationships. How do you manage your patience when you’re on the brink of exploding?

You’re Coming Off a Long-Term IT Contract… What Now?

You're Coming Off a Long-Term IT Contract… What Now?

Graeme Bakker By Graeme Bakker,
Director, Delivery Strategy & Development at Eagle

There’s nothing better than getting into a groove with the right client on the right project. The work is exciting, the team is fantastic and the pay isn’t so bad either. As you build relationships and get deeper into the project, your client is thrilled to extend your contract a few times, and before you know it, this has been your main gig for a few years. But alas, all good things must come to an end. The project is complete and as much as the client would love to reassign you, there just isn’t much going on right now. Suddenly, you find yourself back on the market.

Here are a few tips if you’re finding yourself job searching, or plan to be soon, and haven’t been in these shoes for a while:

  • Be proactive. If you are coming off of a lengthy contract, make sure to get ahead of your search and give yourself plenty of time before the current contract runs out.
  • If you take break, do it with caution. Many senior consultants will tell me that they are not worried about taking a couple months off if they can’t find something right away. This is not a good move as the majority of the time those couple months can add up to more time than you are comfortable with. In today’s market, it is never a bad idea to always have ‘irons in the fire.’
  • It’s going to be work, and you should be prepared for that. The market is always changing and what was in-demand and trendy might not be the way of the world since you were last looking for a role. You might have to interview more than once and the first role you interview for might not go through. Be prepared to do some work on your resume, put the ego aside and get all the information you can from your recruiter.
  • Stay connected. Speak with a recruiter (and continue to do so on all your contracts) so that you can keep your ear to the ground and are aware of what to expect since you were last interviewing. Staying up to date on the market trends throughout all your contracts is a good way to stay educated on what is expected for the next job.
  • Network! If you are not still doing this, it would be a good time to get back into networking events to put yourself out there and start to get used to selling yourself and your skills again. This will allow you to work out the interview muscles and get used to being forward about your accomplishments.
  • Be open to permanent roles. You might have been on the contract for quite a while and enjoyed the stability. In the current landscape and market we are in now, permanent roles are surfacing more and more. Be open to all opportunities, you never know.

Being back on the market after a long IT contract can be daunting and nerve-wracking. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Reach out to your favourite tech recruiter and I guarantee they’ll be happy to get you on your way and into your next placement before you know it.

Video Conferencing Etiquette

Video Conferencing Etiquette

If it wasn’t part of your regular job pre-COVID, surely by now, video meetings are a staple of your work life, and maybe even your social life. In the past year we’ve all had significantly fewer in-person meetings and instead we’re looking like the Brady Bunch multiple times a day.

Successful meetings have always required preparation, structure and respect. Video meetings are no different, but those basic rules look a bit different with some new etiquette. Here are some of those “extras” you need to keep in mind:

Be Prepared

Great meetings start with an agenda sent out to the participants before-hand. Then, as a participant, you do your research and prepare your notes, ensuring you can contribute valuable input.

Today, as a host, when you send that agenda you also need to send the login information, as well as let people know if video will be required. After all, your participants can’t prepare themselves for a video call if they don’t know it’s an expectation. Nobody like’s a surprise video call!

When you receive an invitation to a meeting that will have video, you should also prep a few things. At this point, you’re probably already mostly there. Hopefully you’re working in an environment with a professional-looking background and you’ve invested in a reliable mic and camera. That said, technology fails at the most inconvenient times. Log into meetings a few minutes early so you can run through a test, making sure mic works and your camera is well-aligned.

In final preparation, make sure you understanding the platform. If you always use Zoom and you get an invitation to a Zoom meeting, then great! You can be confident your computer is set-up. But what if an invitation comes in for a lesser-known platform, like BlueJeans. When you see that show-up in an invitation, it’s wise to visit their website, run any set-ups and do some tests long before the meeting starts.

Be Respectful

Hopefully you only attend meetings where everybody is respectful to their colleagues. Good manners and a smile go a long way in accomplishing the goals of a meeting and getting past conflict. In the past months, we’ve learned that there are entirely new ways to be disrespectful during a meeting.

Working from home brings background noise. Spouses might have their calls of their own, kids might (will) fight as soon as you get onto the call, and it seems like the Amazon delivery person stands outside your door and waits for you to log-on before ringing the door bell and angering your dog. That’s OK! It’s reality. But you can also minimize how much it disrupts your meeting.

Before the call starts, let those around you know you’ll be on a call and try to set yourself up in a quiet room where you won’t be interrupted. More importantly, though, use the mute button! Get in the habit of hitting mute as soon as you’re finished talking. Sure, at some point you’ll be “that person” who forgets to unmute, but at least you won’t be the unthoughtful person preventing good conversation.

And, of course, we can’t talk about respect without bringing up the annoying awkward, unavoidable “go ahead… no you go ahead… no… ok I’ll… oh….” Interruptions and talking over each other can sometimes be avoided by following a few respectful rules. Give some breathing time between speakers and letting them finish their thought before chiming in. That is simple but comes with one other requirement — don’t hog the spot light. If you ramble for minutes without coming up for air, then yes, somebody is going to interrupt you and no, they are not the one being disrespectful.

Be Structured

Finally, great meetings have structure. They follow a specific agenda, have outcomes and goals, and are led by a facilitator. Remote, video calls require even more structure. As noted in our previous point, it’s easy for somebody to run away with the meeting and talk too much. A great facilitator has to be ready to cut people off, use the “Mute All” button and call on people who are being drowned out.

Another great tool to leverage in video that helps keeps things organized (and is unavailable in face-to-face meetings) is the chat feature. Yes, sidebar conversations in private chat can be harmful to a meeting’s productivity, but an ability to PM the facilitator asking questions or requesting the floor, all without interrupting the dialogue, is game-changing!

A team who has effective meetings is guaranteed to have a better project outcome than the unprepared, disrespectful, unstructured team. And, after so many months of work-from-home, “sorry, this is all new to me” is no longer a valid excuse for your poor etiquette on a call. Are you putting in effort to make your calls amazing?

The “ism” That Will Catch Us All… Eventually

The "ism" That Will Catch Us All… Eventually

Morley Surcon By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President Strategic Accounts & Client Solutions, Western Canada at Ea
gle

As I work for a company that is considered diverse*, “isms” rankle. We are all familiar with sexism, racism, antisemitism, and ethnocentrism (there are many, many others as well!), but the one that I want to discuss in this post is Ageism — the systemic and systematic discrimination against persons of older age. Maybe it’s the result of my own aging, but I’ve been noticing this issue more and more over the past year or so. It is kind of a strange “ism” as it isn’t like many of the others where people who are not a certain way — and will never be that way — attempt to discriminate against others who are. With Ageism, although a person may not be older now, they will age like everyone else and will become part of this sub-group of society themselves someday. You would think that would give people pause and be a suitable deterrent in itself. Yet it happens… I’ve seen it and I’m sure you, my readers, have witnessed it too.

“1001 Old People Jokes” and tropes that include housecoats and fuzzy-slippers for elderly women and pants with belts riding high for the men. These can be fairly innocuous, and are often perpetrated by elderly people themselves as self-deprecating humor. But ageism turns more serious and, perhaps, even a little threatening when it results in questioning their ability to drive, making their own financial decisions, deciding where and how they want to live, and the sub-par level of care they may receive when it is time that they do need some help. Some of the COVID stories we’ve heard about what happens in retirement homes is shocking, disappointing and, frankly, disgusting.

One other version of age-ism is that older people can’t fathom technology. In our industry — Information Technology — this is particularly troubling. I’ve witnessed perfectly capable technology professionals passed over time and again for no other reason than their age: “they don’t fit into our culture”… “they may be looking to retire soon and we want someone who can commit over a longer period” … “not sure of their ability to keep up with the pace of work here…”.  All these “concerns” are rooted in stereotypes.

Older workers often bring experience that “youthful teams” may lack. They come from the generation where people often DID put down roots and stick with the same company for a longer term. Companies may actually enjoy better retention rates hiring older workers, despite their relative nearness to retirement. And people aren’t retiring as early if they love what they do! Pace of work is less a factor of age and more a result of individual motivation. Experience, as mentioned before, can more than compensate if in fact there is a slowing due to age. And age does not dictate a person’s technological acumen!  When one builds their career in IT, they pretty much have to commit themselves to life-long learning. As long as that commitment is there, people later in their careers are just as able to learn new technology as those in the beginning or in the middle of their careers.

But of course, we all know that.  Intellectually, we understand that this is so. Yet, I am surprised at how often ageism occurs. A US-based study (reviewing 40,000 resumes) stated that “The largest-ever study of age discrimination has found that employers regularly overlook middle-aged and old workers based only on their resumes” – and older women face even more discrimination than do older men. Instead of being actively sought-after, having much more experience than younger applicants is actually a detriment to being selected for a job. Older technical consultants and contractors struggle with this greatly. Despite COVID-19, the world is still supply-constrained when it comes to finding technically savvy workers. Many of these people found consistent contracting opportunities throughout their careers, even during the “slumps” that occurred in 2000 and 2008. Yet now that they are older, they struggle. They’ve never had more or better experience than they do today, they’ve never had a higher level of skills and knowledge, yet it is harder and harder to convince employers of this.

This is true: ageism happens. It is happening now. Here in Canada and around the world, it is a common occurrence.  And we all should be aware of this and actively fighting against it. After all, we’re all going to be there, ourselves, someday and wouldn’t it be nice if ageism was eradicated before we had to face its challenges?

* Eagle is WBE certified as a Women Owned/Managed Business. We have been recognized in “Canada’s Best Places to Work” for women and our workforce is made up of 75% visible minorities… including some of us older people 😉

L’importance du réseautage social

L'importance du réseautage social

Justin Ryans Par : Justin Ryans,
Conseiller en recrutement chez Eagle

Avec moins d’emplois et plus de concurrence sur le marché mondial, en raison de la pandémie, c’est plus important que jamais de se distinguer des autres.

L’un des moyens les plus efficaces et même les plus simples consiste à utiliser les réseaux sociaux.

Je ne dis pas nécessairement d’aller passer plus de temps sur votre téléphone ou votre ordinateur, mais vous devez trouver un équilibre. Ceci est d’autant plus important si vous êtes actuellement à la recherche d’une nouvelle opportunité de travail ou envisagez un changement de carrière.

Il est tout aussi important d’actualiser régulièrement votre réseau et profils en ligne que de garder votre CV à jour – peut-être encore plus en raison de la tangente numérique que prends le marché du travail en ce moment. Fini le temps où vous pouvez trouver facilement un emploi dans un journal ou sur le panneau d’affichage de votre restaurant local. L’heure est désormais au réseautage sur les médias sociaux. Il faut y passer quelques heures par semaine pour augmenter vos chances de réussite. Assurez-vous simplement de n’être pas dérouté de votre objectif à cause de vidéos de chat sans fin, ou de photos de repas alléchants de votre tante.

Alors, qu’est-ce qui compte comme réseautage social ?

Il s’agit de rencontrer des gens de toutes les manières possibles. Envoyez des e-mails, passez des appels téléphoniques, contactez des personnes sur des applications de messagerie, aimez ou partagez des messages que vous trouvez intéressants, rejoignez des webinaires, des réunions ou même des cours en ligne. Vous ne saurez jamais qui vous rencontrerez et ce qui peut résulter de cette relation.

Et si vous ne l’avez pas encore fait, créez un profil LinkedIn et un compte GitHub. Ce sont d’excellents outils pour montrer vos talents, se faire remarquer et se tenir au courant des tendances actuelles. Ces sites ouvrent également une banque d’offres d’emploi, de nouvelles entreprises et même des recruteurs qui, comme vous, souhaitent avoir plus de personnes dans leurs réseaux. Le travail d’un recruteur n’est pas seulement de trouver des talents pour un poste spécifique, mais aussi de nouer des relations avec les chercheurs d’emploi et les chercheurs de talents pour rendre la vie de chacun plus facile et plus efficace. Alors n’hésitez pas à contacter un recruteur afin de discuter de votre profil et de vos intérêts. Être persévérant ne peut pas faire de mal.

Pour finir, assurez-vous de vous connecter avec des personnes qui ont un ensemble de compétences ou un profil similaire. Bien qu’ils puissent être vos concurrents maintenant, ils peuvent être ceux qui vous recommandent pour un emploi plus tard.

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Apply for the Same Job with Multiple Recruiters

Here's Why You Shouldn't Apply for the Same Job with Multiple Recruiters

Cherifta Daniel By Cherifta Daniel,
Recruitment Specialist at Eagle

In a world filled with worry and uncertainty during one of the biggest global challenges ever seen, unemployment rates have skyrocketed. Quarantine has inflamed and incited many emotions, one of which is candidate frustration with the job market. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of candidates applying for the same job with different recruiters. Is this okay? Absolutely not. The reasons why may surprise you.

In the wonderfully dynamic world of recruiting, this situation is called a “Double Submission.” It should be made clear that it is okay to work with multiple recruiters. In fact, this is encouraged as this can only increase your chances of finding a job because no one agency can cover all jobs in a local market. However, applying for the same job with different recruiters is no bueno.

It Doesn’t Increase Your Chances

There is a misconception that engaging with two recruiters to submit to the same job can improve your chances of getting an interview. This is not the case. Doubly submitting yourself for the same position is not like entering a raffle where the more tickets you buy (in this case resumes you submit), the greater your chances of winning the grand prize will be. This in fact has an adverse effect. Instead of getting you steps closer to your dream job, this is what can happen:

Blacklisted from the Hiring Company

Hiring companies use recruiters to gain access to top talent that they are unable to find on their own and to also streamline their recruitment processes. This is a way for them to also control the number of applications they receive — essentially serving as a direct prevention method for double submissions. By applying through different agencies, you are contradicting the purpose of this process and this can get you blacklisted from the hiring company. If you are blacklisted this means that you will automatically be disqualified from ever being considered for any future opportunities with this particular company. Additionally, you also run the risk of this company recommending other organizations in the same industry to not hire you. Your odds don’t seem too great anymore!

You Burn Your Bridges (Scorch Them)

When you work with a recruiter and you agree to have that person and company represent you for an opportunity, you seal this agreement typically in writing by email. This agreement is your word (your bond) that this recruiter (or recruitment company) is the only one allowed to represent you for this particular position — meaning you also cannot apply with any other agencies or directly to the hiring company. Going through multiple recruiters for the same position is a breach of ethics. You jeopardize the relationship that you have with your recruiter and create a lack of trust. Additionally, all of the hard work and efforts that went into your submission have now become futile.

Recruiter Wars

When you apply to the same position with multiple recruiters, no one wins — not even you. Additionally, this behavior can make the recruiting agencies that you are working with look as though they did not do their due diligence in securing your candidacy. In the end, this could create a situation where, if the client wants to interview you, you have a battle of agencies fighting over you because you gave them all the right to represent you for the same position. Companies do not like fighting over candidates, much less over who gets a finder’s fee. It is just too messy!

Time to take a beat. What’s the lesson here?

It is not okay to do and ask for forgiveness later. If you are unaware or unsure if you are applying to the same position with another recruiter, ask questions before you agree to be represented. Honestly communicate what your job search activity looks like. If you are also unsure about whether or not a recruiting company would 100% submit you for the opportunity, have an open conversation and work with a company that you can trust. Be subtle, yet impactful. Have a carefully crafted resume that mimics your personality, background, and skillset and submit this to only one recruiter. Be confident in your application and what you put out. Finally, be patient — it is a virtue!

Sick of People Pronouncing Your Name Wrong? LinkedIn Built a Solution!

Sick of People Pronouncing Your Name Wrong? LinkedIn Built a Solution!

Do you have one of those names? When you were a kid, while the teacher took attendance, there was a slight pause before reading your name, followed by a complete mess of what you thought should be an obvious pronunciation. And then it continued through the years. MCs, announcers, even your own friends completely mutilate your name, and they always find new, unique ways to do it.

Your professional life isn’t immune to these awkward situations either. When a recruiter calls for the first time, they slowly try pronouncing it three different ways until you finally interrupt and correct them. In an interview, your client-to-be confidently calls you something completely wrong… how and when are you going to correct this? Do you accept that this is your name for the duration of the contract?

A hard-to-pronounce name will never rule you out of jobs or hurt your chances of getting an interview. It does come with some frustrating moments in your career, though, so what can you do about it? The first-place recruiters, clients or employers learn about you is typically your resume, so why not start there? Resume experts have recommended a number of tactics:

  • Including an easier to pronounce “nickname” (this only works for a first name)
  • Writing out your name fuh-nEt-i-klee underneath the actual spelling
  • Including relatable tips on how to say your name (ex. sounds like _____________ )

You can also just include the address of your LinkedIn profile because the professional social network has stepped in to save the day!

LinkedIn’s Name Pronunciation Tool

Back in July, LinkedIn released a new tool that they say helps employers create a good first impression and build an inclusive workplace. As a bonus, it helps you minimize the many variations you hear of your name! The tool is extremely easy to use and quick to set-up, but you will need the LinkedIn mobile app to get started.

From the app, simply go to your profile and select to edit it. You’ll see an option by your name that says “Name Pronunciation”. From there, you can record yourself saying your name, slowly and clearly, as long as it fits within a 10 second timeframe. Now when anybody views your profile, whether in an app or a browser, a speaker icon will appear beside your name. When clicked, the user will hear exactly how your name should be said.

If you haven’t already, set-up your LinkedIn name pronunciation today. If you have one of those names, leave a comment in your resume or highlight in your LinkedIn profile, letting visitors know how easy it is to say your name properly.

LinkedIn's Name Pronunciation Tool