Third Dose and Booster Vaccine Clinic

Southlake Community Ontario Health Team has opened many appointments to our community this Thursday Jan. 13th and Friday 14th.

This clinic is open to:
  • People with developmental disabilities living with agencies or at home with their family members
  • Staff
  • Caregivers and families
Appointments from 9 am – 4 pm.
 
 

Book an appointment TODAY

 

 

EMPLOYMENT ADVICE COLUMN:WORKPLACE ETIQUETTE TIPS FOR WORKING REMOTELY

Dear Joanna

I’m  excited to report that I just got offered a work from home data entry position at a local office! Eventually, the employer said that we will be working from both in person and virtually – a hybrid/blended workplace. I’ve never worked remotely before – only in person at the office. Please can you advise me on how to be a successful employee while working at a virtual job.

Signed: Work From Home

Dear WFH

Since the pandemic started, the virtual workplace has boomed with its pros and cons. On one hand, it has provided a unique opportunity to balance work and life and offers a lot of freedom for the employee with his or her time. But it can be complicated too. Some of the rules of conduct and acceptable behaviours of a virtual office are the same as in person on site workplaces but it can be more challenging to understand boundaries, respect and team work when working at home. I’ve consulted with Reena job coaches as well as Schad’s blog https://www.virtualvocations.com/blog/telecommuting-survival/virtual-office-etiquette-common-sense-tips/.  Here are six tips to help you conduct yourself appropriately in a remote working environment.

  1. Learn the Technology In Advance: Become comfortable with the technology and virtual platform/s that is used by the company. Download the app or software and sign up on the website. Make sure everything works properly. Test the internet connection as well as the audio and sound. Before you start your working day, play with the software. Ensure that all your office tools and equipment are working – computer, laptop, keyboard, mouse, printer/scanner, phone etc.
  2. Pick the Perfect Spot for Your computer station / home office. Whether you are working from home or at a coffee shop or shared office space, find a quiet location that it isn’t too dark but also stays away from overhead lights during your virtual meetings. Sitting near a window is the best because of its natural light. Bad lighting can be distracting. A glare could make it difficult for the interviewer to see you. Eliminate distractions. Silence is key. Make sure that you are alone and nothing interferes with your conversation, including your phone and email notifications on your computer. This includes pets too. Make sure you have an ergonomic chair & desk set up.
  3. Be an amazing virtual team player. How do you do this virtually? Work together more often by asking to book in advance as much as possible for a virtual meeting with your boss and/or co-workers if you need help or you wish to understand a new task or duty. Find out how the supervisor and your co-workers like to communicate and how you keep everyone at work informed of your work. Bloggers note that results matter more in the virtual workplace. Focus on goals and accomplishments as well as your tasks and activities.
  4. Respect off- hours time of others (when you are not working). One of the challenges of working remotely is that you’re not sure when people are behind their desks. Everyone has different hours. Some may have to work a normal 9-to-5 shift while others have more flexibility and autonomy. Therefore, you should set boundaries on your own. Notify your boss and team when you are on vacation or not working either at a team meeting or email. Make sure you set your Outlook automatic reply to indicate when you are out of the office. Be considerate of your co-workers, staff & supervisors
  5. Be sensitive to differences. Gone are the days of small talk and casual conversations and socializing at the water coolers or lunch rooms. In today’s global workforce, and virtual workplace, a lighthearted joke in one area of the world is an insult to another. Avoid discussing controversial topics. This list includes religion, politics, or sex. Respecting different opinions and personalities is more challenging in the virtual office. You will have to be in the same zoom virtual meeting room as your colleagues many of whom are different than you.
  6. Be professional. As you would in your former in person jobs, always look presentable and alert at virtual meetings. Connect into the meeting about 10-15 minutes earlier so you are ready to go when the interviewer logs in. Also, stay mindful of your body language and facial expressions. If you have an early morning video meeting, ensure you are fully awake before appearing on camera. Finally, don’t eat during the meeting. There is nothing more distracting than someone chewing, gulping, and slurping during a conference call.

 

Good luck in your new position.

Joanna

Note: Please send your questions, concerns and comments regarding employment and career issues in confidence to jsamuels@reena.org.

Reena’s CEO, Bryan Keshen, to receive the Order of Vaughan award.

In recognition of contributions to Accessibility. 


The Order of Vaughan is the highest civic honour the city may bestow on individuals who exemplify extraordinary citizenship and better the community. This award recognizes individuals who have made a significant and enduring contribution to the city and is the highest honour the City of Vaughan may present. 

Reena’s CEO, Bryan Keshen, is being recognized as a passionate leader, caring teacher, avid mentor and devoted friend. Bryan has dedicated his career to fostering a safe and nurturing environment that is inclusive and allows all individuals to grow and thrive as valued members of the community.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Bryan is an incredibly worthy recipient of the Order of Vaughan, and I’m honoured to offer an unreserved recommendation for this nomination. His principled leadership within the broader communities demonstrates how deeply committed he is to creating a more inclusive society in Vaughan” said Altaf Stationwala President & CEO, Mackenzie Health and a Member of the Order of Vaughan himself.

This distinguished award is presented to Bryan as Reena’s CEO, and to Reena, as an organization, for the second time. Reena’s previous CEO, Sandy Keshen, who is Bryan’s mother, also received the Order of Vaughan award in 2016. Bryan is the first second generation to be awarded this award. 

“It is a privilege to live in Vaughan and an honour to be amongst the leaders who have been inducted into the Order of Vaughan. It is especially heartwarming to be the second generation to receive such recognition as I attempt to follow in the footsteps of my mom, Sandy Keshen,” said Bryan Keshen. 

Five other members of the community will be receiving the award on December 21st 2021. 

 

Join the Ceremony 

Attached you will find an invitation to this year’s ceremony taking place on Tuesday, December 21 at 7:00pm at   

A news release was issued announcing this year’s recipients.  To read the news release, click here. 

 

Employment Advice Column: The Last Question of the Job Interview: What to ask?

Dear Joanna,

I’m preparing for a virtual job interview for a work-from-home part time position as a bookkeeper. I’ve attended a couple of excellent virtual workshops on this topic with Reena’s virtual employment and career program. Plus I’m practicing with my Reena coach on zoom. I understand that the interviewer will ask me if I have any questions at the end. I’d like to be ready to ask questions to help me understand the job and company better. Do you have any recommendations?

Signed:  Questions to Ask

Dear Q&A

According to blogger Eber, in https://www.fastcompany.com/90622890/10-questions-to-ask-in-a-job-interview-that-will-really-expose-a-companys-culture?utm_source=pocket-newtab and Simpson in https://theinterviewguys.com/top-14-questions-to-ask-in-an-interview/ it’s important to prepare four to five questions when the interviewer asks you “Do you have any questions” at the end of the job interview. You never know when some of your questions might be answered during the interview. And it’s important to ask questions. It shows the employer that you are eager and interested in learning. However, cautions the bloggers, the interview is not the time to ask tons of questions and do a deep dive into the company. Leave this for when you get the job offer.

Simpson stresses the need to ask questions and reports that according to Glassdoor Survey of 750 hiring managers“…nine in ten (88%) hiring decision makers agree that an informed candidate is a quality candidate.” and that “an informed candidate is prepared for interview and asks pertinent questions.He  suggests that the questions you prepare should cover these areas: THE JOB: Is there anything in the job that wasn’t in the job posting? THE REQUIREMENTS: Are you fully prepared to start if you are hired? Is there anything you need to know in order to do the job? Is there any special training or any classes you’re going to be required to take if you’re hired? THE EXPECTATIONS: How you do your job is also equally important…and what they expect from you as you do it! The best way to meet the goals of your employer is to know up front what they are. What do they expect from someone who is hired for this position? How do they evaluate that performance? Are there reviews? THE COMPANY: Find out who will be your boss – who you will be reporting too. Some information on the company is available when you do your research; but some facts can only come from an employee – the hiring manager is a great source! THE PEOPLE: How about your fellow co-workers? What about the people that make up the roster of employees? Who are you going to be working with? Are you working with a team? THE WORKPLACE CULTURE/ATMOSPHERE: Another important consideration is the culture of the company you are going to work for. What kind of place is it? What do employees wear to work? Is it a more casual approach or professional all the time? Do employees volunteer in the community?

In the box below, you will find some recommended questions by Simpson to prepare in advance for your job interview. For more information visit the links above. Good luck with your job interview!

  1. Can you tell me exactly what I would be expected to do if I was hired for this position?
  2. Can you walk me through a typical day here at Company X?
  3. If I were hired for the position, would I be going through any training prior to actually starting the work?
  4. How will I be trained?
  5. What are the performance expectations for this position? Will that expectation change the longer I am doing the job?
  6. Is there an employee performance review process? How often does that occur and can you walk me through a typical one?
  7. Where do you see the company in 5 years? 10?
  8. Can you tell me what the career paths are for this department and what sort of advancements I could work towards?
  9. Will I be working with a team and if I am, can you tell me a little about each of them?
  10. Can you tell me about my direct supervisor? Is there anything I should know about working with them that will make my integration a smooth process?
  11. Can you tell me what you love the most about working here?
  12. How would you describe the working environment here? Is work done in a collaborative style or are employees more independent?
  13. What are the next steps in the interview process?
  14. Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful or questions I can answer?

 

Joanna

To submit your questions and comments to this column IN CONFIDENCE, please email Joanna Samuels, Employment Supervisor, jsamuels@reena.org

Employment Advice Column: The Last Question of the Job Interview: What to ask?

Dear Joanna

I’m preparing for a virtual job interview for a work-from-home part time position as a bookkeeper. I’ve attended a couple of excellent virtual workshops on this topic with Reena’s virtual employment and career program. Plus I’m practicing with my Reena coach on zoom. I understand that the interviewer will ask me if I have any questions at the end. I’d like to be ready to ask questions to help me understand the job and company better. Do you have any recommendations?

Signed:  Questions to Ask


Dear Q&A

According to blogger Eber, in https://www.fastcompany.com/90622890/10-questions-to-ask-in-a-job-interview-that-will-really-expose-a-companys-culture?utm_source=pocket-newtab and Simpson in https://theinterviewguys.com/top-14-questions-to-ask-in-an-interview/ it’s important to prepare four to five questions when the interviewer asks you “Do you have any questions” at the end of the job interview. You never know when some of your questions might be answered during the interview. And it’s important to ask questions. It shows the employer that you are eager and interested in learning. However, cautions the bloggers, the interview is not the time to ask tons of questions and do a deep dive into the company. Leave this for when you get the job offer.

Simpson stresses the need to ask questions and reports that according to Glassdoor Survey of 750 hiring managers“…nine in ten (88%) hiring decision makers agree that an informed candidate is a quality candidate.” and that “an informed candidate is prepared for interview and asks pertinent questions.He  suggests that the questions you prepare should cover these areas: THE JOB: Is there anything in the job that wasn’t in the job posting? THE REQUIREMENTS: Are you fully prepared to start if you are hired? Is there anything you need to know in order to do the job? Is there any special training or any classes you’re going to be required to take if you’re hired? THE EXPECTATIONS: How you do your job is also equally important…and what they expect from you as you do it! The best way to meet the goals of your employer is to know up front what they are. What do they expect from someone who is hired for this position? How do they evaluate that performance? Are there reviews? THE COMPANY: Find out who will be your boss – who you will be reporting too. Some information on the company is available when you do your research; but some facts can only come from an employee – the hiring manager is a great source! THE PEOPLE: How about your fellow co-workers? What about the people that make up the roster of employees? Who are you going to be working with? Are you working with a team? THE WORKPLACE CULTURE/ATMOSPHERE: Another important consideration is the culture of the company you are going to work for. What kind of place is it? What do employees wear to work? Is it a more casual approach or professional all the time? Do employees volunteer in the community?

In the box below, you will find some recommended questions by Simpson to prepare in advance for your job interview. For more information visit the links above. Good luck with your job interview!

  1. Can you tell me exactly what I would be expected to do if I was hired for this position?
  2. Can you walk me through a typical day here at Company X?
  3. If I were hired for the position, would I be going through any training prior to actually starting the work?
  4. How will I be trained?
  5. What are the performance expectations for this position? Will that expectation change the longer I am doing the job?
  6. Is there an employee performance review process? How often does that occur and can you walk me through a typical one?
  7. Where do you see the company in 5 years? 10?
  8. Can you tell me what the career paths are for this department and what sort of advancements I could work towards?
  9. Will I be working with a team and if I am, can you tell me a little about each of them?
  10. Can you tell me about my direct supervisor? Is there anything I should know about working with them that will make my integration a smooth process?
  11. Can you tell me what you love the most about working here?
  12. How would you describe the working environment here? Is work done in a collaborative style or are employees more independent?
  13. What are the next steps in the interview process?
  14. Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful or questions I can answer?

 

Joanna

To submit your questions and comments to this column IN CONFIDENCE, please email Joanna Samuels, Employment Supervisor, jsamuels@reena.org

Autonomous Living Project leverages Cisco technology to help those with diverse abilities live independently

News Summary:

  • New pilot scales developmental services delivery to support more people with developmental disabilities to live autonomously
  • Remote monitoring, smart notifications, alert services, and smart device integration will provide in-home support via customizable Webex by Cisco technology and Meraki sensors
  • Through web and mobile, communications are targeted to different audiences including users, family members and caregivers

TORONTO, ON, November 8, 2021 – Today, Cisco Canada in partnership with  York Support Services NetworkReenaMETACLASS, and Creating Alternatives announce the Autonomous Living Project (ALP), a mobile web application and web-based platform designed to enhance autonomous living for people in Ontario with diverse abilities. Through remote monitoring, smart notifications, alert services, and smart device integration, users will receive in-home support via customized Cisco technology to help them live independently. The pilot is currently being beta tested at Reena’s Lou Fruitman Residence and will launch to a wider audience in the spring of 2022.

Read Full Article HERE.

EMPLOYMENT ADVICE COLUMN: UNDERSTANDING YOUR LEARNING STYLES

Dear Joanna

I’m currently in a college program and am also looking for part time work. My Reena job coach encouraged me to understand my preferred learning style. She said that this self-awareness could help me be a successful student and employee as well as select a suitable career goal. Why is this important for me to know?

Signed: My Learning Styles

 

 

 

 

Dear MLS,

There are different ways of understanding information. In brief, a learning style is an individual’s way of learning based on strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. By examining your learning style, you‘ll know how you learn best, and you can also communicate more effectively with others from your coworkers, and bosses to your teachers, friends and family. For more information, check out Loveless’ blog at  https://www.educationcorner.com/learning-styles.html).

There are tons of theories on this topic. I will present the most popular one that reports that most learners use a combination of three (3) main types of styles: Kinesthetic/Tactile, Auditory and Visual. Loveless’ explains that ONE or more these styles is your preferred, most dominant style – the best way that you learn new information. Sometimes, learners prefer one style of learning for one task, and another style for other tasks.

To expand,  a visual learner learns best by seeing to fully understand the task. This learner needs to see body language, facial expressions and learns best from diagrams, pictures, movies and charts.  An auditory learner understands the information best through listening to what others say at lectures, storytelling, discussion, and talking things through.  They benefit from reading instructions or text out loud. A kinesthetic/tactile learner prefers to learn by doing, moving and touching – the hands-on approach.

Why is it important for you to know what your learning style(s) is? Why do you need to learn this? Loveless and other researchers explain the following reasons:

  1. School/Academics. This self-awareness can help you study and learn new information much easier by picking your own best strategies. Also, you can reduce the stress and frustration of learning experiences.
  2. Employment/Career. This knowledge can help you chose the right career/job, and to figure out strategies you need to learn the new tasks. You can also be a better team player and improve your communication skill with your different co-workers and bosses. To top it off, you can understand your accommodations on the job to be a successful employee.
  • Personal. The more insights you have into your strengths, weaknesses and habits, the more you can enjoy learning and be motivated to improve. This self-awareness can increase your self-confidence, improve your self-image and can teach you how to use your brain best in order to take advantage of your natural skills and inclinations.

What is your dominant learning style? Try these tests and perhaps the results can help you better understand your preferred learning style? https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/seeheardo and https://www.how-to-study.com/learning-style-assessment/quiz-item.asp. My results were 100 percent accurate!

Joanna

To submit your questions and comments to this column IN CONFIDENCE, please email Joanna Samuels, Employment Supervisor, jsamuels@reena.org

EMPLOYMENT ADVICE COLUMN: THE JOB HUNT DURING THE PANDEMIC

Dear Joanna,

Almost two years have passed since the Covid-19 virus hit our community and when  I lost my job as a stocking clerk at a local supermarket. My job coaches at Reena have been helping me get back into the job market. I have a bit of hope when I learned that throughout this crisis, many companies – especially the “essential services” like the grocery stores, the healthcare companies, call centres and courier services to name a few,  have continued to hire as key players in the economy. I’d love to work again and earn my keep but I am so nervous about getting sick due to the pandemic. Please can you offer some advice as to how I can conduct a safe job hunt.

Signed: Safe Job Hunt


Dear Safe,

I’ve consulted with the Reena job coaches for their suggestions. Let’s use your job goal – to work as a stocking clerk in a supermarket – to demonstrate how job seekers can secure employment during this pandemic while being safe and protected from Covid that follows the Public Health guidelines to keep us healthy.

  1. Online applications. Make a list of all the grocery stores you want to work at and try to pick those closest to your home as possible so you can walk there.  And pick the early morning or evening or even overnight shifts that have the least amount of people so you can keep the social distancing (and all the other requirements like hand washing). Use Google to search out all the grocery stores that are hiring by entering a “key word” search. For example, if you want to work at Walmart, type in “jobs at Walmart Canada”. There should be a link to apply for jobs online. For a bigger picture of the job openings from this sector and beyond, check out online job boards such as Indeed.com, Glassdoor.ca, and Linkedin.com  as well as from the company’s website. 
  2. Follow up. Prior to the virus, you might have applied online and then dropped in to follow up with the store manager. However during this virus, it’s a bit trickier. I would arrange to drop in to the grocery store where you applied when you or your family member need to go shopping for food and supplies. Pick times when the store is less busy to avoid line-ups and crowds. Then,  I’d ask to speak to the store manager or the assistant manager. Mention that you are following up as you have applied online to see what the next steps are. You can also try to call the customer service department and see when the manager is in the store before you show up. During these time of crisis and shortages of staff, showing initiative while keeping the social distancing of a two-metre distance (physical distancing) from others at all times. Remember, employers are overwhelmed with handling this crisis, and applying new ways of doing business while complying with the Public Health requirements to keep a safe environment for staff and customers and prevent outbreaks. So even though they need staff, we are all in this together to learn how to deal with this pandemic crisis. Be patient.
  3. Potential employers. Here’s a list of the best employers in Toronto https://www.canadastop100.com/toronto/ this year during Covid. Identify those who are in your area and where you want to work. Check out their websites for jobs as well as the aggregate job boards like www.indeed.com, www.glassdoor.com and www.linkedin.com. Once a week, I would check out all the websites where you want to work to see the job postings. Below are some examples of hiring employers. positions across the country, including delivery drivers, warehouse workers and employees in its manufacturing, merchandising, operations and product departments.
  4. Conduct a Workplace Safe Environment Scan. Once you have identified grocery stores or any employer where you’d like to work in person, I would visit the site before applying for a job. Find out how the employer is protecting their staff and practicing the safe and healthy workplace environment that complies with the guidelines mandated by Public Health. Pretend you are a customer. Check out their practices. For example, grocery stores have installed plexiglass protectors around the cashiers as well as 6 feet markers on the floor, and employees wear masks. You can check this site out to see what is required https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html. Needless to say, if the employer is not protecting its staff, you probably do not want to work there.
  5. Preparing for a virtual job interview. Many employers are having online job interviews using apps such as MS Team, and Zoom. Others are using the good old fashioned phone. As you would do for the in-person interview, you must prepare and practice your responses. Make sure all your technology works prior to the job interview date (is your sound working? Is your webcam working?). You still need to dress for success as you would in any job interview.
  6. Keep Learning. This is a great time to work on your resume, cover letter and social media profiles. You can also learn new skills including ones for the job search, computers, leadership and others that could help you be more marketable and to keep you engaged in learning and growing. Here’s a great new site through LinkedIn for skills building – https://linkedin.firstwork.org/. You would need to open an account. It’s at no cost. The public libraries in Toronto, York region and across the province offer plenty of excellent online learning, blogs and podcasts https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/. Another helpful resource is https://connectability.ca/what-to-do-while-in-isolation-covid-19-resources/.

 

In the meantime, please keep safe, healthy and well during this pandemic.

Joanna


Joanna Samuels, M.Ed., RRP, CMF, is the Employment Resource Supervisor at www.reena.org. With over a decade of frontline experience as a job developer, job coach and facilitator, Joanna helps talent with disabilities achieve their employment goals as well as employers with building an inclusive workforce.  Also, Joanna is a certified Life Skills Coach, Personality Dimensions Facilitator and published blogger and author as well as a guest speaker on issues related to employment, career and training

Happy Sukkot

Today marks the first evening of Sukkot, known as the ‘Festival of Booths’. Sukkot is a happy and festive holiday in the Jewish calendar.
 
During Sukkot, we traditionally bundle together four plants mentioned in the Torah: The Etrog (citron fruit), Lulav (frond of date palm) Hadass (myrtle bough) and Aravah (willow branch) – and wave them in the Sukkah as symbolic allusions to a Jew’s service of G-d.
 
The Sukkah itself reminds us of our fragility and invites us out of our homes, recognizing that there are forces beyond our control, and despite the challenges, we can still find ways to rejoice in what we have.
Wishing you a Happy Sukkot!
 

Open Letter: Prioritize COVID-19 third-dose vaccines for individuals living with DD

Dear MPPs,


I am writing to ask for your support to prioritize COVID-19 third-dose vaccines for individuals living with developmental disabilities.
My name is Bryan Keshen.

I am the Chief Executive Officer at Reena – a non-profit social service agency dedicated to helping children, adults and senior citizens with developmental disabilities, serving the needs of more than 1,000 individuals and their families. I also chair a sector vaccine working group and sit on the York Region Vaccine Table as chair of the Western York Region Ontario Health Team.

The prioritization of persons with developmental disabilities for third-dose vaccines, along with other high-risk clinical groups, is a recognition of their heightened susceptibility to severe complications.

I am sharing an Ontario retrospective cohort study that illustrates that relative to adults with developmental disabilities, COVID-19 positivity rates were nearly 30% higher for adults with development disabilities and more than 40% higher for adults with Down syndrome.

Read more here.

Employment Advice Column: Is the Traditional Resume Outdated? Is the TikTok Resume the new way?

Dear Joanna,

I have been applying for work online using my resume and cover letter that I prepared with the help of my Reena job coach. However, I heard that some job seekers are posting video resumes on social media apps like TikTok. Should I be doing this instead of my traditional resume and cover letter? What’s your advice?

Signed: Social Media Applicant

Dear SMA,

You are definitely up-to-date with social media and technology! According to Lorenz’s (2021) article in “The New York Times” https://www.tiktok.com/@makena.yee/video/6958301625836375301?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F&referer_video_id=6958301625836375301&refer=embed many Gen Z-ers want more exposure (viewers or hits) on social media so they  started to apply for jobs using  TikTok resumes with a quick video. And employers are starting to pay attention! Will the TikTok video resume replace the traditional one? Lorenz showcases many examples of job seekers who use TikTok successfully including one 60 second video that had  over 182,000 views and hundreds of comments as well as 15 job leads! Lorenz recommends posting a video resume on TikTok as many companies use this format to recruit as more college students and recent graduates use this app to network and find work. But TikTok is not the first social platform that companies use to recruit candidates. Even WWE, Taco Bell and McDonalds let people apply for jobs with this app.  Facebook, Shopify, and LinkedIn also post job openings on this sites and apps.

There are a few challenges of the traditional resume adds Lorenz. They only focus on experience instead of skills and abilities as well as results which is what employers are interested in! This is hard to capture in a resume. The applicant tracking system (ATS)  is another challenge.  For example, the system doesn’t recognize creative and different job title names like  “success ambassador” and “office ninja,”. Also, it doesn’t recognize the keywords! Employers can’t figure out what the candidate does and can do. Lastly, resumes are static. Unless you update it each week, it becomes outdated quickly – and even by the time you need to apply for work.

I wouldn’t get rid of my resume and cover letter so quickly. Many companies still use the traditional online application route. However, the traditional resume is not the only way anymore to apply for work. For example, WWE, Taco Bell and McDonalds let people apply for jobs with this app. 

How does the TikTok video resume work? Job applicants submit videos with the hashtag #TikTokResumes and through TikTokresumes.com to show off their skills, something like a personal essay of old.  They include their contact information and, if they want, their LinkedIn profile. Employers review the videos, which must be set to public, and schedule interviews with the applicants they find the most compelling.

There are some challenges with this way of posting your resume on TikTok as well as any other video resume. Lorenz cautions that this video format allows employers to potentially dismiss candidates based on how someone looks or acts. Much of the networking on TikTok also depends on getting “hits” You need to know how to create a successful video – content and video.

Now it’s up to you to decide if you would like to create and use a TikTok video as your resume instead of or in addition to a traditional resume and cover letter.

Joanna

Please send your questions and comments on employment and career issues in confidence to Joanna Samuels, Employment Supervisor, REENA at jsamuels@reena.org

 

Passing of Lea Hochman z”l

Reena Group of Charities would like to express our deepest condolences of the recent passing of Lea Hochman, mother of Sheila Lampert, Reena Foundation’s Executive Director. 

Lea Hochman z”l, a Holocaust survivor who dedicated herself to teaching others about the horrors of antisemitism and the importance of faith, died in Richmond Hill on August 6, two weeks shy of her 101st birthday. 

Hochman (nee Zimmerman) was born in Pohorce, a small town in Poland with only nine Jewish families. 

“My mom would often say that she ‘hid in plain sight’ during the Shoah, relying on her ability to pass herself off as a Gentile. She used to refer to herself as an actor without a script,” said Sheila Lampert, the youngest of Hochman’s three daughters. 

 “My mom was my biggest role model,” Lampert said. “She taught me that it is important to make a good name for yourself. Never turn down the opportunity to do a mitzvah. Never look for honour. Be humble and honour will find you.” 

Hochman was buried in Montreal and is survived by her three daughters, nine grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren

May her memory be a blessing

 

Employment Advice Column: Preparing for the Telephone Interview

Dear Joanna

Finally my telephone rang after months of applying for jobs. I’ve just confirmed a time and a date for a telephone interview with a recruiter at a leading bank for a customer service position in their call centre.  I’m going to be practicing with my Reena job coach to be prepared for this call. Hopefully, I’ll be called in for a face-to-face or virtual job interview, the next steps! Please help me prepare for this intimidating step in the job search game.

 

Signed: Telephonically Challenged

 

Dear TC

As Judith Stock (2013) explains in her article on http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/10/23/6-steps-to-nailing-a-job-interview-over-the-phone/  employers are “increasingly opting for phone interviews to screen potential new hires. By doing so, companies can sort through candidates without committing to the expense and time required for on-site meet-ups”.  Referring to my past discussions with employers, as well as the tips from Reena’s SET job coaches, here are some recommendations to ace this first part of the job interview!

 

  1. Have a professional voicemail. When the hiring manager calls you, you don’t have to pick up the phone right away. In fact, prepare a very professional, clear, quiet message, similar to one that you would have for your work. State your name, telephone number and invite the caller to leave a detailed message. There should not be any noises in the background. It should be your voice on the message.
  2. Don’t pick up. Let the hiring manager or recruiter leave a message, especially if you have noise in the background like a barking dog or you are doing something else like driving on the 401. Then proceed to a quiet and isolated room with a locked door, and bring your cover letter, resume, job posting, glass of water, a pen and paper and a “working’ telephone with an excellent connection.
  3. Working Your Mobile Phone. Although less popular today, landlines are preferred as a cell phone is less reliable as the calls could get dropped. If you are using your mobile, make sure your technology is working 100 per cent! This is no time to play with your phone! Double check your phone is fully changed and when you return the call (or take it at the time), it is in a place with the best reception as possible. Then return the phone call and make sure you identify yourself, the job in question (including job title and job reference numbers if applicable). In either case, remember to get the telephone and email of the interviewer just in case you get disconnected.  
  4. Prepare and Research. As you would prepare for the in person or virtual job interview, do the same for the telephone one too.  Do your research on google and all social media tools. Find out as much as you can on the company, the interviewer and the other employees as well as the workplace culture. Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer but only if he or she asks  for it. For example, what specific skills are you looking for in this candidate? Or “I read that the company ____ (insert a recent success).  How do you see this position contributing to the continued success of the organization?”  
  5. Be professional. Even though the interviewer won’t see you, I would dress as you would for a face-to-face interview; you’re more likely to feel and sound professional if you look the part. Smile, keep engaged and upbeat over the phone. Let your positive attitude shine through the handset or headset! Place a mirror on your desk to see your facial expressions when you tal You don’t have the body language or the non-verbal communication abilities to impress the caller. It’s all about the voice.
  6. Be focused, courteous and concise. Stock warns job seekers that the telephone interview is shorter than the in-person interviews. You have less time to make a good impression. So avoid long-winded answers. Practice the day before the interview. Take notes during the call. Focus on the conversation and listen carefully in order to respond appropriately to the questions. Ask for the direct telephone number and email. End with a “thank you”.
  7. Follow up. Twenty-four to 48 hours after the interview ends, send an email thanking the interviewer for the opportunity and summarizing what you spoke about during the phone interview. The subject line should be: “Your name and the position you applied for.” restate your interest. And, if you really want to appear smarter than most, include a link to an interesting news article about the company that you already found during your preparation research.

 

To submit your questions and comments to this column IN CONFIDENCE, please email jsamuels@reena.org