Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: tips

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian IT Contractors relating to tips.

Save Time with These Keyboard Shortcuts (Infographic)

Everybody likes saving time, even if it’s just a few seconds. After all, seconds add up to minutes, and minutes add up to hours. The keyboards shortcuts in this infographic from CareerBliss may not save you hours of time (unless it’s over the course of many years) but they are convenient.  Is there anything in here that you could start using more in your daily worklife?

Save Time with These Keyboard Shortcuts (Infographic)

34 Crucial Tips for Your Next Job Interview (Infographic)

Sure, every client and recruiter is different, and they’ll all have unique interviews, but there are some constants that you can expect in nearly all interviews. For those, we recommend this infographic from CollegeAtlas.org. It will help you prepare, understand the most common mistakes, and give you some helpful tips so you can rock your next one.

34 Crucial Tips for Your Next Job Interview

From Visually.

4 Tape Measure Tricks (Video)

IT professionals are known for setting up shortcuts to make life easier, often using some advanced technology. Just take a look at this Business Insider article about a programmer who automated repetitive aspects of his work life — including making a coffee.

Before you over-complicate everything, remember that there are simple technologies that already have some cool hacks built into them. Check out this video from seejanedrill providing four tape measure tricks that you probably didn’t know existed. It just might make your next home renovation a little easier (and you won’t need to program anything).

7 Hidden Windows 10 Tips and Tricks (Video)

As more and more people take advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10, there are mixed reviews. According to critics, some aspects of Microsoft’s newest operating system are great and some are not-so-great. What you may not know about are all of the shortcuts Windows 10 has to offer.

This video from TechnoMaverick has 7 cool tips and tricks for Windows 10 — and some work in earlier versions of Windows. If these don’t make your life easier, they will at least make life a little more fun.

How To Pack Your Medium Travel Bag for Short Business Trip (Video)

A common travel tip from road warriors is to avoid checked luggage as much as possible. It adds extra time to both ends of your trip, has risks of getting lost and, for most airlines today, additional expenses.  The solution is to have just a medium-sized travel bag that you can always carry-on. If you’re travelling for an extended period of time that could mean having to pack a lot of stuff, and that needs to be done strategically.

About a year and a half ago, we shared this video that showed you how to pack for nearly a month in a carry-on.  Recently, we found this video from Men’s Journey. It provides packing tips for those travelling for less than a month, but also who want to use a smaller bag.

10 Travel Tips For the Tech-Savvy Entrepreneur

This post by John Boitnott original appeared on Inc.com on August 14, 2015.

10 Travel Trips For the Tech-Savvy EntrepreneurLike every entrepreneur, you probably struggle to hit that off button on all the activity in your life. I’ve found traveling to be an effective way of putting a pause on the workday. Flying 500 miles per hour 30,000 feet above the world has a way of isolating you, especially if you’re on one of those airlines that doesn’t have affordable Wifi.

On my most recent trip to New York City I woke up at 4am, made sure I was packed properly, took a Lyft to SFO, and piled into my 7am Virgin America flight. It was exhausting. Although I’m a fan of that company, getting work done, although totally possible, is generally not a very positive experience on any flight and isn’t something people usually want to do in a cramped seat. No matter how good Virgin’s actual service is, there’s really nothing you can do about the sky-high pricing of their inflight Wifi and the lack of space you have in front of you for your laptop.

Regardless, at some point you will most likely have to hunker down and get work done, not only while flying, but once you land too. Here are some travel tips to help you stay on track no matter where you are in the world.

  1. Float on a Cloud

Even the best organizers are sure to forget a file or document. Make the best of today’s cloud-based technology to keep your documents, presentations, photographs and videos within reach. DropBox, Google Drive, and iDrive are just three of the many cloud storage service providers you can use to travel light but still keep all of your information available.

  1. Stay in Touch

Although there may be time differences, flights without Wi-Fi, or other periods of time where you cannot be in contact, you can use online applications to stay in touch. This goes beyond email and instant messaging. Use Skype, Google Hangout, Viber or any other voice/video communication service to reach your team as well as provide access for them to check-in, ask questions, or conduct quick meetings.

  1. Plan in Advance

Plan out aspects of your trip as well as the work you’ll need to do in advance as much as you can. This will make for a smoother travel experience. For the flight, use a product like Seat Guru to help you get a better seat with more legroom, if those are available. You might also want to choose business class on really long trips to help you take advantage of the extra room. Do advance check-in to save the hassle later. You can also schedule a car service or an Uber driver in advance for when you arrive. You can get repetitive work tasks handled in advance while traveling by using a variety of services. PandaDoc helps you keep track of documents as well as sign clients, Hootsuite can help you take care of social media posts, and WordPress lets you schedule blogs.

  1. Keep Fit

You don’t want to be lax on your fitness just because you are traveling. Instead, bring your FitBit with you and continue to track steps and stairs. Even if your hotel doesn’t have a fitness center or swimming pool (although you are booking all wrong if you haven’t selected one that has these features) you can quickly locate online resources that provide guides for exercises that can be done from a hotel room.

  1. Delegate

Don’t be afraid to delegate more of your basic responsibilities to others while you are away. Traveling is not the time to micro-manage or morph into a control freak. You can set these tasks up online through a work management platform like Wrike that provides a list and timeline for each member of the team, including the additional work you are entrusting to them while you are on the road. Famous Silicon Valley unicorn Slack is all the rage right now for keeping everyone on the same page work-wise. It will most assuredly enable you to delegate more easily and often in real time.

  1. Block Time

Determine when you can block out work time while traveling, especially if it is a trip for pleasure and involves others that want your attention. This is up to your personal preference, but you may prefer to work early in the morning while others are sleeping. This way you can wrap up conference calls or projects that keep your staff on target, so you can then migrate to the fun, diversion part of the trip. Of course, you might be a night owl and want to work then. Being flexible and staying organized around how you use time is highly important when traveling.

  1. Put Technology to Work

There are so many tech gadgets and apps now available to make traveling anywhere in the world easier and more convenient. Consider a satellite phone if you are going to one of the farthest corners of the globe, such as Roadpost’s Iridium. If you are afraid of losing power, use a MOTA charge card, which fits in your wallet and provides three hours of talk time or 150 hours of standby time.

No one wants to lose luggage and now you can keep an eye on it with the Trakdot Luggage Tracker. If you are traveling somewhere that does not have English as a common language and you haven’t caught up on your language studies, you can download Google Translate to your smartphone so that you know what someone else is saying or what the sign reads. If you are driving on your trip, it helps to have navigation assistance that keeps your eyes on the road, so you can use a product like Navion from WayRay, which offers the first holographic car navigation that puts it right up on your windshield. These are only a few of the countless tech gadgets that can help you get around and enjoy the trip to the fullest.

  1. Hydrate

While it may seem obvious, many travelers don’t realize how much this helps them overcome jet lag, regain mental alertness, and raise productivity on the go. Drink plenty of water and avoid coffee and alcohol as these both dry you out. You can use an online water consumption calculator to determine how much water you need to stay hydrated while traveling to ensure you keep healthy.

  1. Create Task Lists

While time changes and various modes of transport may take you away from the usual routine you have at home, make daily lists to complete during each day you are traveling. These can be built in advance and accessed through your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Some task apps to consider include TodoistAny.do, andWunderlist.

  1. Employ Travel Tricks

Using some of the tricks that seasoned travelers employ can save you both time and money. For example, many travelers do reverse booking by getting a one-way ticket and then booking a round-trip ticket for the return. This provides that extra portion to use for another trip to the same location. You can also buy a connection ticket that includes your destination and you simply get off there rather than connecting. Don’t waste time checking bags because that takes more time on both ends of the trip that you can use for something more productive. If you are traveling out of the country and want to skip the long security and customs lines, sign up for Nexus, Global Entry, and/or TSA Precheck to slash this time.

Do You Have a Job Application Strategy?

Do You Have a Job Application Strategy?About a month ago, we let out a couple secrets on the best ways to grab a recruiter’s attention, according to Eagle’s recruiters. A survey revealed that you’ll get best results when contacting them directly, but the reality is, due to their hectic schedule, they may not get back to you immediately. The next best step is to apply for jobs and build online profiles to make sure they find you. In a follow-up post, we provided some ideas on where to apply and build a profile, but have you thought about a job application strategy?

That seems like an odd question. Of course you’ll apply to the jobs that match your profession. But how deeply to you review the qualifications? Do you apply to jobs for which you’re barely qualified, as long as the title is somewhat similar to what you’ve done in the past? Or do you make sure you meet 100% of the experience a client is seeking before submitting your resume? Eagle’s recruiters have an opinion about that too!

Read the Job Description Before Applying

Most job postings will include some mandatory qualifications and some desirable qualifications, and it’s a good idea to carefully review them all. The vast majority of Eagle recruiters (85%) want you to meet all of the mandatory requirements before you apply to their job, otherwise you will be rejected. There are, however, mixed opinions on the topic of desirables. While few recruiters expect you to meet all of them, some do want you to have a large percentage of those optional qualifications. Others aren’t as concerned and will keep you on the shortlist as long as you pass the mandatory section.

While these preferences are a great guideline to consider, it isn’t black and white. It’s important that you know and understand the current market. If the contract opportunity is in a competitive market, for a role where there are many potential applicants, you’ll need to make certain that you meet most, if not all, of the qualifications. If the opposite is true, and the role requires some niche skills that you can provide, the desirable requirements can be less important.

You Need to Demonstrate that You Qualify

Knowing that you’re qualified and demonstrating that you’re qualified for a position are two very different things. Last month, Morley Surcon wrote a post about adding focus to your resume and customizing it for each role. Recruiters review many resumes so will not always take the time to read between the lines. If you know that you meet requirements, clearly show it and demonstrate exactly how you gained that experience. It may take some extra work, but it will go a very long way!

Don’t Throw Spaghetti at the Wall

Some contractors take a strategy of applying to absolutely everything, hoping to eventually get a call for something, the equivalent of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. This approach can have some negative consequences. In fact, more than half of Eagle’s recruiters say that if you apply to everything, they’ll eventually start ignoring you. Throwing your name into the hat for every job gives a perception of desperation and can make it difficult for a recruiter to take you seriously.

One recruiter put it this way “Applying to every job indiscriminately is like ordering every dish on a menu – as nice as it would be to eat EVERYTHING, you will only actually eat 1-2 preferred dishes. An applicant must have a handle on their skillset, and a strong understanding of what they are qualified to do. Untargeted submissions lead me to believe that a candidate lacks confidence in their skills/abilities. If an applicant is not confident in their skills, how can I – a recruiter – represent them with confidence?

So, do you have a job application strategy? Are you carefully considering if you qualify or do you throw spaghetti at the wall? What have been the results of those applications? Let us know in the comments below.

Search Google Like a Pro (Infographic)

Do you Google? Of course you do! Do you Google efficiently? That’s a different question. Many people don’t know it, but there are many operators that will help you get through a search to find what you need much faster. Next time you turn to Google for help, before you waste time, scrolling through pages or trying different search terms, take a look at this infographic from Splashsys.

Search Google Like a Pro

Understanding Small Business Accounting (Video)

Many independent contractors, and small business owners for that matter, cringe when they hear the word “Accounting”. It can be a complex or tedious task that seems like a waste of time. If that sounds like you, take a few minutes to watch this video from lynda.com. They review the importance of small business accounting and give some tips for managing this daunting task in your business. Do you have any extra tips you would add from your experience?