Glad to have you here but remember, you could be spending your time more wisely. Family, friends, maybe even your job if you are really pushed for something to do. David also writes the Building Our Home Blog as well as the wildly popular Dave’s Mindscape

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog Comes as the End - The final #MAD405 entry.

Dear Potential Employer:

In response to your job posting I would like to submit my qualifications as a graduate from Canada’s best Mobile Application Development post graduate program, backed by a Network Engineering Technologist diploma and a three year Computer Programmer Analyst diploma.

Your company will benefit, not only from my nine years of experience as an Information Systems Manager for a government agency, but from the support of my personal learning network including my Mobile Application Development mentors and peers …

Not exactly upbeat like my previous blog entries but employers take hiring new employees very seriously.

And rightly so. Hiring the wrong employee can cost a company a lot of money, time, training and their reputation as employees are the face of the company.

Even hiring the right employee can be expensive. It is said that a new employee is grossly overpaid in their first year and grossly underpaid every year thereafter. Perhaps this is the reason the average length of employment, for new hires, is three years.

And, it is a difficult job, choosing a new hire. After discarding the inattentive and the “Englishly Challenged”, it is likely a panel comprised of an HR person, who can’t possibly know the intricacies of all positions in the company, a manager who has an ideal candidate in mind and a technical person who is, well, technical and is hoping that one of the bright new prospects will be a bright new employee, will be tasked with sorting the wheat from the chaff. It is not likely that any of these people is a professional interviewer. The best they can do is work with what we give them, resumes, cover letters, references, looking into our social media and a background check. Maybe a hunch as well.

The best we can do is prepare, research, and supply them with excellent resumes, cover letters and references. And maybe clean up our social media.

And even if this interview is the brick wall, the next one may be the door.

The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.

Keep in touch.

Delivered from Temptation T Shirts
Delivered from Temptation T Shirts by damccaskill
Look at other Merchbooth T-Shirts at zazzle.com

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fashion, the Placebo Effect

Possibly Blog #6 for #MAD405

Maybe not, depending on time constraints and inspiration.

After my blog on shopping you might be surprised to read that this one is on clothing.

I read an article which inspired me to write this blog on dressing for work (it’s a good idea) and decided to “strike while the iron is hot” ‘tho I prefer permanent press.

You may be thinking that wearing a suit to an interview is a good idea (it is).

Not only will you wow them with your razor wit and dazzle them with the depth and breadth of your education, you’ll show them that you fit their corporate image and that you can really rock Prada. Or Sears.
Or at least that your mother no longer dresses you.

People like to identify with others. Employers are more likely to hire their own so wearing the regimental tie or school ring can be an in.
Ergo, if they wear suits, you should wear a suit.

Yes, many studies have shown that dressing up for an interview is important.

"And pants. Wear pants to the job interview." - Peter Harris

One story on Workopolis told of a company hiring the only graphic designer, who showed up for the interview, wearing a suit. Or pants for that matter.
So much for freedom of expression and creativity.

Dress to impress? You’re fooling yourself.

This article was about a study that said the way you dress has quite an influence on you.
One group of students was given a white lab coat to wear while completing a test. This group did better than a group who had been told that they were wearing a painter’s coat.

Sounds like how you feel you look is more important, performance wise, than how you actually do look.

I guess post grad I’ll be looking for a single use Giorgio Armani and some new power T-shirts.

Or maybe spray on clothing.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shopping and Inspiration

Blog 5 #MAD405

I am not a shopper. Shopping is a necessity sent to try the patience of man, not a competitive event. The opening of a new Mallmart does not bring a tear to my eye. (You know who I’m talking to)

What does my dislike of retail grazing have to do with blogs on my scholastic endeavours?

Just follow along.
I read that physicist John Cramer of the University of Washington devised an audio recreation of the Big Bang that started our universe nearly 14 billion years ago.  Sure, he had to bring it up a few octaves so humans could hear it (parts of it make quite an impression on the dog too) but it is a serviceable representation of the cacophony accompanying the big event.

This reminded me of one of the lost posts I had written years ago chronicling two shopping mistakes.

The first was an ongoing series in VHS format of the History of the World in real time. I’m still fast forwarding through the Cretaceous Period. At least I didn't choose Beta-max.

The second was the sound track of the Big Bang on cassette tape. Ya, it’s got a decent base line, percussion is good but the harmony is sketchy.

Get to the point Dave.

I’m thinking that an audio loop of some of the Big Bang could make a good sound track for an app.
It is old enough to be in the Public Domain. Even under the rules of Fair Use, the length of the game will be infinitesimal compared to the length of the Big Bang.

This also makes me think that one could build buzz by positioning the game as an epic battle between Creationists and Evolutionists, the winners ascending to a higher place. Or not, depending on your beliefs.

Inspiration is everywhere.

Small Dog Pet Clothing
Small Dog Pet Clothing by damccaskill
Check out Merchbooth Pet Clothing online at zazzle

Thursday, April 4, 2013


#MAD405 blog # 4

In our Mobile Application Development class on marketing ourselves, we were told to discuss the topic of potential employers spying on us.

Companies are using Google, Facebook and other social media to look at your past with a view to determining suitability for employment.

Am I in favour of this practice? Yes and no.

As a former employer I can see the value of the sort of information that can be gleaned from an individual’s online profiles, blogs and affiliations. As a former landlord, this information would have been invaluable.

As a soon to be graduate, I would like to think that my goofier photos and the occasional rant about my “cable/cell/insert utility here” service would not impinge upon my chances of employment with the company snooping researching my background.

With any good luck it will be a person reviewing the life of David.
After all, who doesn't have a less than flattering photo of themselves online? Maybe, one with you holding a beer. And who hasn't thought unkindly of a service provider at some point?

The person reviewing your history may even identify with you. They can see things in context.

But, will it always be a person?

Your cover letter and resume is already being scanned by software adept at discarding your best effort for not including the correct key words or for just being Englishly challenged.

Having just read of a software offering by EdX  that will check online tests and essays, offer immediate feedback as well as the opportunity to re-write a test at once, I found myself wondering if it won’t be long until your digital presence on this planet will be subject to the cold hard scrutiny of software and not the cold hard scrutiny of an HR person.

Can context be programmed in? Will the machine take things with a grain of salt?

Maybe there’s an app for that.

Hold the presses! Here are two useful articles from Workopolis.

Find out who you know at the companies you'd like to work for. Just click on the 'Check LinkedIn' button.


How to get more employers reading your resume

Words to live by.