Show me the $! Salary Expectations & You

Picture this. You’re at a job interview. You’re charming everyone with professional poise and company knowledge. Everything is going according to plan. Even that nasty, no eye contact person has cracked what could be defined as a smile! The session is going extremely well until the employer asks that one loaded question:

“What are your salary expectations?”

If unprepared, those 5 words can kill any chances of a job offer.

What’s in a wage?

It’s always an awkward thing, having to put a price on you, face to face. It’s funny how many people have no qualms advertising how poorly paid they are, but when asked what that number may be, they clam right up!

How does one find out their worth?  That really depends on three key factors; what you can afford to be making, your previous experience and what’s considered standard in your industry.

The following website will provide you with national wages by occupation:

This website might be a good starting point to see what the average wage of someone in your field would be. Keep these wages in mind when considering your own salary expectations.

Whenever possible, always opt for a salary range i.e. “35 000 – 40 000 per year” or rate “19 to 22 dollars per hour.” Always consider your level of experience with what you need to survive, but also something that will allow you to exist comfortably.

So, how should your expectations read within a cover letter? Show that you’ve given this question some thought; “After careful consideration regarding the position requirements in relation to my current experience relevant competences, I would aspire toward a salary range between ___ and ____.”

You could also mention how this salary range could also be negotiated upon receiving a job offer, or once a probation period was completed.

By utilizing the salary range route, you leave room for flexibility. Say if you were content to make $18 an hour and the employer was willing to give you $20 per hour, then a rate range between $18-22 per hour would be put you in a great situation.

Give your salary expectations some thoughtful consideration.

As much as you want the job, you don’t want to get a second one in order to survive.


Lidia Siino is the Professional Development & Communications Specialist for MCACES, the Mohawk College Association of Continuing Education Students in Hamilton, Ontario. She has over 12 years of experience working with adult learners and post-secondary students on their respective career development journeys. If you like what you read, be sure to follow our blog and share with your network!


The best present of all

the greatest gift of all

the greatest gift of all

Be open to the present! “How to create unexpected opportunities”

With Black Friday signaling the upcoming holidays, it’s easy to start worrying about the job market in the New Year or reminiscing about how your job search efforts went in the past. While it’s hard to keep your mind in the present, you may miss potential job prospects.

It’s sounds like a paradox but you need to construct unexpected career opportunities. This concept is summed up in what John D. Krumboltz calls “Planned Happenstance.”

As an example of this theory, Krumboltz uses the story of high-powered professional sports agent, Leigh Steinberg. You remember the movie Jerry McGuire? Well, it’s based on Leigh’s life and career, most of which he chalks up to “pure, random chance.” But was it really random? Did he in fact manufacture his future career, albeit unknowingly, through a series of circumstances and choices?

In an interview Leigh recounts how it all started while attending the University of California at Berkeley while studying environmental law in the early 70’s. As luck would have it a freshman football team moved into his dormitory and after befriending several students he ended up eventually representing Steve Bartkowski, at his request, in contract negotiations with the Atlanta Falcons and well the rest as they say is history…. If you look closely at Leigh’s story you’ll realize that what happened wasn’t really “pure, random chance” but a set of circumstances that Leigh choose to act on, setting aside his own fears, he grabbed the opportunity before him.

You’re probably asking yourself how do I create these types of opportunities? Well, first you’ll need to develop 5 important skills:

Explore new learning opportunities. Take a course, try a new idea talk to insiders you would never have talked to before.

Even when things get hard you need to re-exert your efforts and try again.

With emerging technology and changes in the workplace you need to adapt. For example, if a strategy in your job-search isn’t working, change your tactics.

You need to keep positive and believe that you can attain your goals.

Take a page from Leigh and go for something even if it’s risky, sometimes it’s in the process of trying that opportunities happen.

Now you’ll be able to say “show me the money!” sooner than you think!

Elaine Logie is an Employment Advisor at the Career Foundation and frequent MCACESBlogger. MCACESBlogs is series of posts aimed at helping job seekers with their respective paths. Be sure to follow our blog today!

Fridays are getting Freaky

Just wanted to introduce our new weekly feature called “Freaky Friday!” In it, we’ll be exploring questions from our blog readers and passing along information we run across during our work related research. Basically it’ll cover anything and everything career related and maybe even the kitchen sink too!


In social media today


What your profile picture says about you


This week I wanted to share a neat pseudo psychological experiment Jason Seiden did on linkedin regarding profile pictures. It’s funny because before reading it I was thinking of tweaking my profile pic and now I know I’ve definitely gotta get on that!



 Now that we’re on the topic of linkedin…


On Monday November 18th, Careerealism started a linkedin lab. They describe it as a “live web show that focuses strictly on your linkedin strategy,” particularly how to properly brand and market yourself to potential audiences in the most effective way. 


It’s definitely worth checking out!


Just for fun


I know many of you have probably already seen the work of cartoonist Matthew Inman in particular his book called: “How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you” (and yes I own a copy and yes I think little D may be trying to kill me, especially while walking up the stairs in the middle of the night…but that’s another story)


But did you know he also has a hilarious series called the bobcats? It’s really a cautionary “tail” on what not to do on the job! You’ll see what I mean.


Who’s on your bench?


I have to admit I’m really excited about the Grey Cup game this weekend and not just because my hometown team is playing (although that is definitely adding to the excitement!) I just like football. Why you ask? It’s the combination of physicality, strategy but most importantly team dynamics. In football your teammates literally have your back, well more specifically the quarterbacks back, but you get the idea. So how does this apply to job-searching?

Well it’s easy to get tunnel vision and just play defense and focus on your own network, but have you thought about how you can become a part of someone else’s team, particularly potential employers? That’s the first step to becoming a mentee or protégé.

 I recently read an article entitled “The Protégé Effect,” in it researchers found:

  1. Caucasian leaders with a posse of protégés are 11% more satisfied with their own rate of advancement than leaders who haven’t invested in new talent.
  2. Visible minority leaders that have developed new talent were 30% more satisfied with their career progress.

It has been found that good leaders surround themselves with a wide field of qualified candidates. In order to become a protégé however, you must step up to the line of scrimmage and prove yourself.

Prove you can take it to the end zone!

According to research, a third of U.S. managers and nearly half of UK managers say they wanted to sponsor a “producer,” a go-getter who hits deadlines and offers 24/7 support.

Provide full coverage

37% of male managers and 36% of female managers said that loyalty is the key attribute in a protégé. They need loyal team members to go the distance and deliver clear, unbiased and timely reports of what’s going on.

Smart employers try to create a diversified team they can turn to, that way they can avoid “groupthink” and take advantage of a wealth of talent and skills each person can bring to the game. They need to know their weaknesses and hire or mentor someone who can complement their strengths by addressing their weaknesses.

 “The best piece of advice I ever got,” says James Charrington, EMEA chair of BlackRock, “was to have the courage to employ people who are better than me.”

Go Cats Go!!!

Elaine Logie is a MCACESBlogger and student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program. MCACESBlogs was designed to assist job seekers developing their own play books for a customized, effective job search. Like what you read? Be sure to follow our blog today and pass it along! The MCACES Job Search Program is also found on Pinterest;


MCACES is Pinteresting

The MCACES Employment Advisement Program is now using Pinterest. You can follow us through this link:

The content curated for our account is a combination of original blog posts in addition to thoughtfully selected info that assists job seekers and like minded individuals with modern day work search and career development.

We will continue to post info on our MCACESBlogs website and are pleased to expand our views to a broader audience.

As always, happy reading!


Résumé Deconstruction

There’s never a bad time to assess your employment situation. Many times job seekers miss out on what could be a perfect job opportunity because they have an imperfect résumé.

If the perfect opportunity does appear, it’s far easier to re-save this important job search document as a “Résumé for Company x” as opposed to trulresume_closeupy refining it.  Refining your resume is the basis for a “deconstruction.”

Recently, during a popular culinary related television program, the contestants were faced with the challenge of taking famous dishes and performing a deconstruction.

What is a deconstruction?

As the name implies, deconstructing a dish involves taking important elements and reinventing the meal so that the flavours are similar to the original but the meal’s composition has changed.

Why someone would want to create complexity with food where there is none is beyond me, the concept of deconstruction is completely relevant and transferable when working with your résumé.

Could your résumé use a deconstruction?

Maybe you have a résumé, but it’s not getting you any interview calls. Maybe you like your résumé, but you don’t really love it…something may feel incomplete, but you aren’t sure what’s missing.

The best part of performing a résumé deconstruction is the satisfaction you derive from putting it back together again as a focused, coherent document.

Lidia Siino has over 11 years of experience as an Employment Advisor for Distance Education and Continuing Education Students at Mohawk College. She is designated as a Certified Résumé Strategist through the Career Professionals of Canada. MCACESBlogs is a series of posts created by Career Consultant Students & Faculty. Like what you read? Be sure to follow our blog today! Happy reading!

Mind The Gap

Is your workplace a mixed bag of generations? Learn how to cope! We are cross-posting a blog from our friends at the Mohawk College Alumni Association.  

Read “Mind the Gap” today:

Original Blog posted by Lidia Siino: 

Lidia Siino has a diverse professional background involving career development, communications, adult learning and facilitation. With a Diploma in Journalism and Certificates in Career Consultant, Workplace Leadership and Teaching the Adult Learner programs through Mohawk College, she enjoys teaching a wide variety of training topics to students as both a workshop facilitator and continuing education faculty. She has enjoyed over 10 years at MCACES and currently leads the Employment Advisement and Professional Development programs.