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We’re hiring: Graphic Designer (Part-Time)

GEM is looking for a part-time (10 hours per week) Junior Graphic Designer who creates aesthetically stunning work based on the organization’s strategic objectives and style.  This is a fantastic learning opportunity for an ambitious young designer/graphic design student who is interested in developing their skills and building their portfolio.  The selected candidate will help develop campaigns and visuals to accompany GEM’s web content across a variety of digital platforms.

Benefits:

  • Work in a start-up environment
  • Work with a creative and fun team
  • Attend weekly meetings with senior management
  • Receive training from our Creative Lead and Communications Director
  • Work for an organization that is passionate about helping female youth facing multiple barriers  in Toronto

Responsibilities:

  • Helping maintain GEM’s branding on official website and social media properties
  • Assist Creative Lead in the development, direction and strategic assessment of visuals accompanying GEM’s web media and marketing material
  • Help manage and direct your own personal weekly workload
  • Provide updates to Creative Lead and the GEM Team to ensure design projects are delivered on time at a level of design excellence.

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • Outstanding sense of design
  • Ability to develop creative concepts that align with GEM’s brand objectives
  • An eye for typography
  • Experience with InDesign and Photoshop
  • Good time management skills and the ability to balance multiple projects at once
  • Ability to work efficiently and creatively with a team
  • Experience with print media and photography skills are an asset
  • Strong interest in social media and branding
  • Must have access to a portable computer (i.e. MacBook)
  • Commitment of 2-3 days per week, plus availability for photo shoots on occasion.

Please send your resume and samples of your work to debora@girlsementorship.com

Answering Interview Questions 101

Why do you want this job? What is your biggest weakness? How much do you expect to be paid? Chances are, you’ve been subjected to at least one of these questions at a job interview. But what is the right answer, and what happens if you can’t think of any response at all?

Don’t fret. Here is Answering Difficult Interview Questions 101.

First of all, why do recruiters ask these questions? The answer is simple: recruiters want to reduce the number of people competing for the same job. If a candidate gives them a bad answer, they may have enough of a reason to move on to someone else. On the flip side, if a candidate gives them a really good response to a tough question, it could make a lasting impression on the recruiter.

Before going into an interview, it is very helpful and effective to write down some examples and key points that you would mention when asked some common interview questions, including the tough ones. These notes do not need to be fleshed out answers because you don’t want to sound robotic as if you memorized them. You want the interview to be like a normal (though professional) conversation. Have an idea of what you want to say, but don’t script the entire interview.

To help you with that, here are some examples of the typical tough questions and how to answer them. Use these tips but make sure to let your personality shine through with each answer. Remember, authenticity is everything!

  1. Why do you want this job?

This may seem like an easy question at first, but beware: employers don’t want to hear that you want this job because you need the money (even if that’s the case). Think about what entices you about this position (not how much you get paid!). Talk about how passionate you are about the job and what the company stands for. This also shows that you did your homework and learned about the company’s values beforehand. You can also explain how you believe that this company is the right match for you. This is a great transition into explaining how you are a great match for them. Here you can speak about your experience and your specific contributions to projects you’ve been working on.

  1. What is your biggest weakness?

This is a tough interview question that is very common. Many people have a hard time answering this because though we all have our weaknesses, it’s scary telling someone that we want to work for our flaws. But the worst thing that you could do is stumble during this question and say “Hmm, this is a hard question. What am I bad at?”. Everyone is bad at something! The interviewer wants to hear an authentic answer. The key here is to “be honest, but not too honest”, as summed up by Laura McLennan, a GEM mentor who works as a recruiter at fishRecruit Inc., show self-awareness and talk about an actual flaw, but make sure it’s something that won’t “raise red flags.”

Essentially, there are two ways to do this. One is to mention a weakness that could be used as a strength. Siobhan Desroches, GEM mentor and Government Affairs & Stakeholder Relations Manager at Greater Toronto Airports Authority, shared a great example to answer this question: “I typically say that I often take the lead on projects and tend to need to have my hand involved in everything. Maybe I take too much ownership. It’s all because I care about the end result of the project. However, this can sometimes result in me burning out. I’m working on that by learning how to delegate and reminding myself to take a step back when others in the group can handle it.”

Also, note that she mentions how she is working on the flaw. This is the second great way to talk about your weaknesses. You can talk about something that you are not naturally good at, but mention how you are managing or working on it.

  1. How much do you expect to get paid?

For this one, you have to remember: recruiters don’t want to hire someone that has unrealistic salary expectations. However, they also don’t want to hire someone who underestimates themselves. In this case, vagueness is your best friend. Tell them that you would be willing to discuss this once you receive an offer for the position. If they really press the issue, mention a range that would represent the average pay for someone in that position. You could use websites like PayScale to search it up.

What happens when you’re asked a question that you really don’t know the answer to? Don’t panic! Even if you don’t know the answer to something, mention something similar that could relate. Of course, it would be less likely that you are asked a question that you can’t answer if you prepare for the interview. Here are some tips that you can use to prepare:

  • As mentioned before, writing down jot notes for some common questions is very helpful. Articulate the reasons as to why you want the job and what you bring to the table. Know how to explain the relevant experience that you have and always know how you contributed to that project/company.
  • Do research on the company and the industry as a whole. This shows initiative and that you took the time to understand the company and the position.
  • Talk to people who have that job and ask for tips and advice.
  • Speak to your mentors, as they may be able to give you tips and help you calm your nerves.
  • Think of some icebreakers that you could have to make the experience less awkward. Susan Baxter, Vice Chairman for RBC Wealth Management and keynote speaker at GEMinar Four: Getting Your Goals, mentioned that she likes to comment on the weather as soon as she enters the room to break the ice.
  • Practice answering the questions at home so that you sound articulate, but not so much that you sound robotic.

Most importantly, realize that you made to the interview stage. This means that they already know you are qualified. Now you just need to be yourself and let your personality shine. Keep calm and be confident. Believe in yourself! And if you don’t get the job, maybe it just wasn’t the right fit for you, so don’t beat yourself up over it. Learn from your mistakes and try again. I wish you the best of luck with your quest for a job, and I hope that these tips helped you.

Run for GEM at the B&O Yorkville Run

GEM is participating for the first time in the Bang & Olufsen Yorkville Run!

What’s the B&O Yorkville Run? Well, it’s a super fun 5K race that unites local runners and businesses to raise funds for local charities. It is well-known for being one the coolest races in Toronto and because it offers THE BEST race kit ever! Plus some super high-quality products to refuel the runners at the finish line. This year, it will take place on September 10, 2017.

We know you believe in the life-changing power of mentorship, and we wanted to ask your help to succeed in this adventure!

There are three ways you can actively help us:

1. REGISTER in the B&O Yorkville Run 2017 in support of GEM. When filling out the online registration form choose Girls E-Mentorship. Once you are registered as a GEM runner, you can start fundraising for GEM by asking people to sponsor you! All the sponsorship funds will go to GEM. Hurry up! There are only 500 spots left! Click here to register.

2. SPONSOR one of our runners! If you’re not much of a runner, you can donate to GEM by sponsoring one of the GEM runners. Check out our running team by clicking here.

3. SPREAD THE WORD! Share this email with your family, friends, and peers and encourage them to run in support of GEM or to sponsor GEM runners. Every single $ makes a huge difference!

About the B&O Yorkville Run
Since its inception in 2010, participants in the B&O Yorkville Run have raised more than $800,000 in support of local charities. The 8th Annual B&O Yorkville Run will take place on Sunday, September 10, 2017, at 9:45 AM. 

The registration fee for the race is $100. During registration, you also have the chance to make a personal donation to GEM.

The race kit includes a New Balance Men’s T-shirt or Women’s Tank, a $100 Gift Card for New Balance apparel, download for professional race photos, personalized bib, timing chip, along with some surprises.

Runners registered to raise money for GEM will have a personal fundraising page. Make sure to share it with your family, friends, and peers to start getting donations for GEM! Once you get your first donation, your name will show up on GEM’s page.

Fundraisers who raise over $500 will receive their choice of luxurious fundraising prizes from Bang & Olufsen, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and other Yorkville boutiques.

For more information check out the B&O Yorkville Run website.

Regards,
The GEM Team

A resume that stands out

We’ve all been there. You’re writing up your resume, maybe dropping it off somewhere, and you can’t help but think–Is my resume any different than all the others? And it’s a good question. It’s important to have a strong and effective resume since it can play a key role in helping you score that oh-so-desired job! Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

The task of putting together your perfect resume can seem daunting, especially if it’s your first time doing so, but fear not! We have the perfect tips to help you out and achieve your goals!

Before we get into what you can do to make your resume fantastic, let’s start with what not to do. At GEMinar Four: Getting Your Goals the wonderful RBC panel gave us some great tips on this. The most helpful thing that the talented ladies from RBC said when asked what makes a great resume is that less is more. This doesn’t mean that you should have a minuscule resume, but make sure to keep it no longer than a page! An employer isn’t interested in flipping through pages and pages of info on you when they’ve got other resumes to look at. Another tip they gave us is to avoid things like fancy fonts or pretty paper. This takes them away from the focus–which is you! You want to highlight what makes you the best candidate for the job, not why your resume looks nicer than the rest. You also want it to be easy to read. Keep it fresh, clean, and most importantly, professional.

Although you should keep your resume professional, this doesn’t mean you should be communicating like a robot. One of the things that can make your resume stand out is the presence of human language in your document. It may not seem like a make or break aspect, but don’t overdue your industry keywords. Phrases like “I accomplished” or “I manage” will only be effective if they are used in the natural language of the document, not if they are littered all over it. This ties into your resume’s format, too. Use something modern and don’t be afraid to make it look pleasing to the eye as long it doesn’t focus more on visuals than your resume content. You want to be taken as a serious candidate.

One more tip that will prove the most beneficial to making your resume stand out is to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying to. Chances are, your employer is looking for specifics–they’ve got a vision of the candidate they want to choose. If you have certain skills/aptitudes and experience that is relevant to the job, then be sure to include that. And the same goes for the reverse. If you’ve got irrelevant information on your resume, get rid of it–there’s no room for clutter.

Lastly, let your resume tell your employer a story. Show them how far you’ve come in your career. Now, this doesn’t mean you should be submitting a biography. Organize your information so that it is effectively customized to show your growth. It should take your reader on a journey of your professional experiences and accomplishments as well as skills and knowledge. Doing this will give your employer the opportunity to see how you’ve advanced over time what you’re bringing to them.

These are just a few tips on how to make your resume stand out. Good luck on crafting that perfect resume! Keep this advice in mind and remember the basics too–don’t lie, have your contact info available, etc. Most importantly though, remember to be confident in yourself. You know what you’re capable of, GEMgirl! Get your goals!

How to build an all-star LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is a great place to start building your personal brand. It’s an online network where you can make connections, gain access to opportunities, and research career paths! But the only way you can use LinkedIn to its fullest potential is to build a great profile! Here are some tips on how to create a great LinkedIn Profile:

HEADSHOT: Make sure your profile has a professional headshot. It’s a given fact the recruiters will most likely view your profile if it has a picture. Don’t use selfies and remember to smile!

HEADLINE: Along with your headshot, your headline is one of the first things people see. You can use your headline to tell people what you’re interested in or what you’re doing now. For example: “Aspiring Engineer,” “Business | Marketing | Operations,” or “Leading Communications and Digital Marketing Strategies.”

SUMMARY: Your summary is your chance to tell your story. It’s also known as your elevator pitch. Make sure to include:
1. Who you are (education and experience)
2. What you have done (skills and achievements)
3. Where you want to go next
4. Your career goals

To stay consistent with your personal brand, it’s recommended to have a professional email such as firstname.lastname@gmail.com.

EDUCATION: Where do you go to school? Be sure to include your extra-curricular activities, additional courses or other programs.

EXPERIENCE: Add all relevant experience to your profile! This will show recruiters what skills you already have and will also give them an insight of what types of jobs you are interested in. Think outside the box –What experiences are part of your professional brand?

RECOMMENDATIONS: Back up what you highlighted in your profile with endorsements and recommendations! Add at least 5 skills, and if you endorse other people, they will most likely endorse you back. This also gives you extra credibility. Ask your managers, teachers, mentors, and classmates to write you a recommendation to strengthen your profile.

LinkedIn is a great way to maintain contact with people and stay in touch. You never know where your network will take you! The best way to meet people is through the people you already know. Send invitations to your friends, teachers, mentors, family members, organization leaders. Always send a personalized note so they know who you are and why you want to connect with them.

Lastly, keep your profile up to date! Similar to Facebook and Instagram, you can post updates on LinkedIn too. You can showcase what you have been doing professionally, share articles and communicate with your network. There’s also a mobile app you can download so you can check LinkedIn on the go!

Photo Credits: TopResume