Category Archives: job search

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LinkedIn Profile – Do’s & Don’ts

Category:career profile,career tips,job search,linkedin,Writing Tags : 

Your LinkedIn Profile Picture – The Do’s & Don’ts

online profile pictureI’m not writing this article to point out emphatically what is right or what is “more” wrong. I can only write it from a perspective that I have nurtured and grown over the years based on my experience in the Recruitment industry and hopefully it may provide you with some additional insight.

As you can see – my own LinkedIn profile pic has somewhat of a business casual flair (moreso than a night out with my buddies at the local watering hole). However I have to be honest, I’ve never been a fan of sitting in front of the camera. Ask any of my friends and family who have tried to take my picture over the years and it’s close to impossible. But I really do believe it can make a difference, especially when you are out there trying to promote yourself.

This particular picture for me was an accidental snapshot – which ended up being my profile pic. Because to me – it does represent that this is how I feel when I am doing what I am passionate about. And yes – that is running my own recruitment agency. If you ever want to see a real life sample of that passion – just ask me about my company.

And that is how I determined which profile picture to use when presenting myself in the business world. 
Which one makes “me” feel comfortable.

Don’t put up one because someone tells you that you have to, or you will just end up grabbing the first one you can think of, which may not always be the best route to take. You have to be motivated by presenting YOU. A picture truly can “paint a thousand words“. Not to mention it’s also a good exercise for you to practice putting yourself out there with confidence.

I’ve also spoken to both friends and colleagues about their views with respect to the infamous profile pic. One colleague gave me a very interesting story. She said she would never post her profile pic because she fears judgment based on her skin color and her personal style.

I didn’t like hearing that.

But she had a point – and it really bothered me that she did.

Regardless of how open and diversified we may think we are – there will always be judgement based on personal bias.  Yes – even in the business world.  There are just more places to hide it.

I can only hope that with an awareness of this, that “ we the people,” will perhaps hesitate in passing immediate judgement.

As a recruiter I do prefer to see profile pictures when searching for new candidates and talent. But even though it is my first preference, I do not dismiss a potential applicant if their profile is strong from a content perspective. Content really is King in my business, especially in the early screening stages.

At times I have had to wrestle with my own perception of “what is right or wrong”, especially from a societal perspective. Something we are all often influenced by.

And my deciding opinion is – yes, put up a picture if you are comfortable with it. We all have that one picture where we have to admit “yes, I do look good in that one.” That one picture that makes you smile and say “that’s me.”

You can also base your picture selection on what industry you are in and/or what seniority level you are currently at.  I for one do not want to see a senior level executive seeking new opportunities, with a picture showing him or her out dancing with friends or “having a few”.  Even though I have absolutely no issues with either social function, I do believe there has to be some level of decorum.

Keeping in mind, I would also have no problem seeing a profile pic that reflects a funky kick ass illustration, if I happen to be looking for a 3D artist.

My final recommendation – is whenever possible – try and put your best picture forward and particularly one that reflects who you are and maybe even what you do. Find a balance that best supports both aspects.

  Remember, first impressions can be lasting.

 © 2018 Judith Mallard

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Be cyber aware - online scams alerts


Category:Cybercrimes,job search,job seekers,Online Scams,Scam Alerts,Tech News Tags : 


There are many ways that scammers today can target those who may be actively seeking new employment opportunities. We may not be able to stop them all – but we can use the internet to bring attention to what these scammers are attempting to do. Let’s not make it easy for them. You too have to be diligent and thorough for yourself, with the added bonus of hopefully helping others.

jobsearch, jobseeker, cyberaware, scam alert

Education is the key – and being aware and spreading the word on being cyber aware is how we do it together.

The following image depicts a sample of a generic email that potential scammers were promoting for their own nefarious intent and purposes. I have also highlighted key parts of this email that you should pay special attention to which should more easily help you identify fake emails and spot any inconsistencies in their attempts to deceive you into giving up your personal information.

jobsearch, jobseeker, cyberaware, scam alert

I wanted to post this warning with the request that you REPOST, SHARE and pass it along to everyone you know as this can happen to anyone at anytime and unfortunately it is happening more and more each day.

Multi-layered targeting approach:

If you respond to the fake email sender (that’s their first hook) – the scammers will then send you back an Employment form requesting additional information such as references with contact information (that’s their second hook) – they will even go as far as sending you an actual Labour Employment Agreement with a Bogus Employer signature and requesting that you sign the Offer and send it back (this is a 3rd hook where they are collecting your digital signature). And they are getting even more clever and devious – by going to the degree of making sure that the bogus employer signature matches a profile that is actually applicable to the industry that the applicant is applying for.

There are other Warning Red Flags, such as:

  • Asking that you only contact them through email – this is a major red flag!
  • Email Address – Verify that the email address that they are contacting you with matches the domain of the URL that they are saying is the company contacting you. In the sample I have attached – you can clearly see the company domain is at – yet the email address is [email protected]. I’ve also noticed that more recently they have switched to using [email protected] or other similar variations – but never matching the company domain.
  • Our recruitment process (as is standard with most agencies) does not allow any of our recruiters to send out a job offer or labor agreement via email if you haven’t had an interview with both the recruitment agency and the client who would be hiring you. We also would have requested a full Background Check at the same time and all of our Background checks are officially carried out through Sterling Talent Solutions. Even if location or timing is an issue – then a face to face would be carried out via Skype interview – but we would never send out a job offer without going through a strict screening process that far extends past email-only communication.
  • To have one email sent to you – followed up by a job offer – is a major red flag to watch out for. When in doubt, call or email the agency – AND do the research that I have mentioned in this bulletin.

This scam and fraudulent behavior was actually brought to my attention by some very smart and intuitive university graduates who were questioning the authenticity of the job offers that were being sent to them. As recruiters – we take our role very seriously and it is our innate desire to help and encourage individuals who are seeking out new career opportunities. Unfortunately, not everyone has that intent, so please stay alert and stay informed.

The internet is not a bad thing – it’s just that sometimes, there are bad people using it.

June 2024