The service robots are coming

Robot servants are no longer science fiction. Robots, along with automation and artificial intelligence (AI), are now making an impact on jobs. How much of an impact? A 2018 study by RBC revealed that 50 per cent of Canadian jobs will be affected by automation in the next decade.

A recent segment on CBC’s The National painted a picture of what robots are capable of today, and how rapid advances in technology could have profound implications for the future of the labour force. It reports that robots have already gained a foothold in service-oriented industries, including food and drink service, food preparation, and receptionists in offices. Learn more in the clip below, then continue reading below the video.

If you’re like me, part of you probably felt a bit of doom and gloom after watching the segment. But that’s not really necessary. As more industries become automated, it’s anticipated that people will adapt their education, training and career path planning to accommodate the new reality. This could involve working in roles that create or support robots, or in roles that require human-to-human interaction that can’t be replicated by AI.

But, what if you think your job is at risk of being taken of by a robot? Make a list of your distinctly human transferable skills and other abilities. Research the other industries or jobs that would be a good fit for you based on this list.

Then, create a functional resume. This style of resume highlights your transferable skills and abilities, taking the focus away from your specific past jobs. It’s particularly helpful if you don’t have direct related experience to a job posting in a new industry, as it showcases the skills gained in previous industries that will help you succeed in the new one.

How do you feel about the service robot revolution? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Does your resume need an upgrade?

Gone are the days of using a simple Microsoft Word document template for your resume. New modern resume templates look great and can give job searchers a competitive edge.

If you’ve never seen one, they are generally aesthetically pleasing and unique, and use colour, icons, images and creative ways of laying out text. Pre-designed templates that you can purchase, download and customize yourself can be found on Canva or Etsy.

There are few reasons to upgrade your resume to a modern template, including:

  • They can visually communicate your professional personality and make you stand out from a herd of basic black-and-white resumes.
  • According to, around 30 per cent of the resumes that land on a hiring manager’s desk now have modern templates, and these tend to float to the top of the consideration pile.
  • Plus, grabbing the resume reviewer’s attention might encourage them to spend more than the average of six seconds reviewing it. (Find more tips for getting resume screeners to take a longer look at your resume here.)

Interested in using a modern resume template? The first step is to determine the style that’s best for you. This depends on your personal brand, your industry and how big of a splash you want to make. For example, vibrant colours and images might be welcome in a creative industry, but a clean and simple style might be most appropriate in a traditional field.

Need to see examples to whet your appetite? Some creative and traditional styles that caught my eye are below.

Creative resume templates
These memorable resume templates use exciting colours and distinctive designs. These could be a good fit for someone working in a creative field such as photography, design, communications or advertising.

Traditional resume templates
These templates are a twist on the classic black-and-white resume, but still remaining reserved in nature. They would be a good fit for someone working in a more traditional field like law, accounting, engineering or finance.

Before purchasing a template:

  • Find out which types of documents are included in the template package. Look for a first and second page for a resume, as well as a cover letter and reference page.
  • Consider if you’d like to use icons in your resume, and if so, see if they’re also available to match the style of the template.
  • Make sure that you have the software and font(s) that are required to populate the template with your information.
  • Be mindful of how the colours in the design will appear when your resume is printed. A less colourful template might be appropriate if you’re planning to print your resumes at home and you don’t have a high-quality printer. Imperfect or streaky colours can ruin a positive first impression.
  • See if contact information for the designer is available in case you need to ask a question once you get started.

Finally, if you’re a graphic designer, consider designing your own modern resume to showcase your design skills to an employer right off the bat.

Is your resume in a modern format? Have you found that employers have been more engaged since you’ve started using it? Share in the comments.

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Go Google yourself

It’s Valentine’s Day, so many of us will spend time thinking of our loved ones today. But don’t forget to consider the person that each of us truly loves most – ourselves. When you’re not spending time picking up flowers for a partner or meeting a friend for a late Galentine’s Day drink, show yourself a little attention by typing your name into Google or another search engine.

Why Google yourself?

We might think we’re aware of the information about ourselves that appears on our social media profiles and the websites that we’re mentioned on, but over time, not-so-flattering things can slip through the cracks.

Googling yourself is the best way to know how you come across to people that want to learn more about you. In professional settings, these folks include hiring managers, recruiters, colleagues and clients.

Frighteningly, nearly half of American adults report that their Google results aren’t positive. Don’t be part of this statistic! It’s imperative that you know about anything that could tarnish your reputation so that you can be proactive about removing these digital “blemishes.”

When reviewing your search results, keep the following points in mind:

  • Public vs. private social media profiles: If your profiles on social media channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are public, ask yourself if the content that you post and share is appropriate in a professional setting. If you use social media heavily for both business and pleasure, you may want to consider creating two profiles. Make the personal profile private, then share baby pictures and rant to your heart’s content without worrying what a potential employer or client might think.
  • Media contact on news releases: If you’ve ever worked in communications or public relations (like me!), your name may appear on press releases as a media contact. Know the details of the campaigns that list you as the media contact in case you’re asked about them in a job interview or a manager.
  • Negative information about yourself: If you find negative or embarrassing public information about you online, such as in news stories, videos or other third-party content, you can consider creating new, highly-optimized positive content about yourself that will appear higher in Google search results. The idea is that the new, positive content will bump the old, negative content to the second or third pages of the search results. Who looks at the second or third pages anyway? Learn more about this approach here.

While you’re thinking about number one today, take the time to set up a Google Alert for your name. You’ll then receive an email whenever there’s a new mention of your name online, so it will be easier to keep tabs on yourself.

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