Career Center

Careers at Coradix

In addition to finding some very interesting employment opportunities, you will find some valuable “how to” information in this section. Whether you work with CORADIX or another company, you will benefit from our years of industry experience that we share here, on how to win the job, and how to be more successful after you have been selected.

This information has been targeted specifically for professional consultants working in the information management and information technology industry.

Content to come.

Private Sector

Content to come.

Government

Contrary to the common wisdom in the field of resume preparation, we advise against the belief that a resume should be no more than two pages. If you are seeking contract work in the IM/IT field, we suggest that you provide enough detail in your resume to allow the potential client to have an appreciation of your overall capabilities, and some specific project information with descriptions of the technical environment.

We recommend a longer more descriptive resume because the client is concerned with your direct work experiences that will help solve problems as soon as you walk in the door. In a competitive bid process, your resume must reflect extensive experience with each and every one of the client’s requirements, which inevitably means a long and detailed resume.

For these reasons and depending upon the length of your experience, your resume may range from four to ten and in some cases even twenty or more pages. As a general rule, details are required only for the most recent 10 years’ experience, but there are exceptions.

CORADIX would be pleased to offer advice on the appropriate length of the resume and content for your specific needs. Download a template to construct a winning resume: (resume.doc MS/Word File)

One of the most important skills in any career, especially in the consulting field, is interviewing skills.   We cannot over-emphasize the importance of good interviewing techniques; in fact, CORADIX always helps our consultants prepare for an interview.

Some basic facts to think about include:

  1. You may be the best person for the job – but that will not mean anything unless you win during the interview process.
  2. Dress for success – you only get one chance to make a first impression.
  3. The interviewer has already read your resume; now they are looking for additional information about you. They probably want to assess your soft skills – attitude, work ethic, and inter-personal skills – so be prepared to impress them.
  4. When you are being interviewed for a consulting assignment, the client wants to feel a strong sense of confidence in your ability to solve their problem(s) – it’s up to you to convey that confidence.
  5. Not knowing the answer to a technical question is not always a negative factor, and trying to bluff your way through is almost certain to work against you.  Instead, impress the interviewer with a positive, professional answer.
  6. Not all interviewers are well trained for the task – sometimes you need to help them with a good interview, so that they get a good impression of you and your skills.

The interviewer may open the meeting with small talk about some unrelated topic, as an ice breaker.   We recommend that you use this opportunity to develop some rapport, but be careful not to abuse it.  Keep it short so you have time for the interview – you don’t want the interviewer to think you are a chatterbox.

The interviewer wants information that is not in your profile. There is not much value in re-iterating information that they have already. The idea is to enhance areas in which they express interest. If you are unsure how much detail to give, speak for about a minute, then ask if they want you to provide more detail.

Be ready for some open ended questions like, “tell me about yourself”, or “tell me about your career”.   The best way is to prepare some short scenarios that cover the salient points about the experience and success that you have achieved in your career.

Be prepared to talk about your best qualities – and provide information about your soft skills. It is important that you to describe these skills with credibility and supporting information.

For example, if the question was, “please describe your most valuable qualities”, you might answer this question in one of two ways.

Interviewee #1. (Shallow and unsupported)

“I’m honest, hard working, and a fast learner, with good communication skills.”

Interviewee #2. (Informative and convincing)

“I’m very straight forward. I will always tell you what I think – even if it’s not what you want to hear. I think that will serve us better in the long run.”

“I’m not afraid of hard work. I’ve worked on a few projects (like the …give an example) where there were tight deadlines, and I made significant contributions to ensure the project was delivered within the time constraints (be prepared to give examples of what you did). “

“I like to be challenged. If I have to learn a new technology, I will do what it takes to get up to speed very quickly. In my last project, I had to learn a new report writer tool…so I installed it on my home computer and did some self-training so I would not fall behind on the project timelines.”

“I am an excellent listener. I think that listening is one of the most important skills in this field.  I carefully listen to what the client needs, and confirm that I have understood them by re-phrasing it back to them in their own language, be it business or technical. I communicate very well with my clients.”

If they don’t ask to describe your best qualities, you need to help them with the interview — find a way to volunteer the information.  Perhaps when they ask if you have any more questions, you could respond by saying that you would like to tell them a few additional things about yourself.  You should always be prepared to ask some insightful questions, to demonstrate that you care enough about the opportunity to do some research and invest some thought.   You should also be prepared for the “what is your weakness?” question – respond with the honest, but not unduly damaging, answer.

When closing the interview, if you think the job sounds really interesting, make sure you tell them. If you feel that you are a good candidate for the job, tell them that you are very confident that you would be successful in the work that they have described.

Tips for consultants on assignment include:

Self-discipline

Demonstrate good work habits.

Punctuality

Being on time is just showing respect for other people’s time.

Integrity

Maintain accurate records of your time and always err on the low side. Clients pay a premium to have a consultant work for them – they want to know they are getting full value. In their minds, if you would overbill a few minutes, you might also overbill a few hours.

Perception

Perception is reality. If you work an extra half hour each day as a way of adding value to your service, don’t ruin it by failing to managing people’s perceptions of you. Don’t play computer games at your desk. If you need a break, leave your workstation. Consultants who take their coffee break at their desk with a newspaper send out a very negative impression of how they spend their time.  In any of these cases, someone who happens to walk past your workstation sees only the break and has no way of knowing how you spend the rest of your time.

Pro-active

If you think the timeline might slip, let the client know of the risk and what you are doing about it.  Even so, when the chips are down, demonstrate the will to succeed.

Prudent

Never install unauthorized software or visit unauthorized websites, someone might decide to make an example of you.

CORADIX hires both full-time employees and sub-contractors. If you fit into the over-achiever category in one of our Core Competency areas, we want you to join our team in the capacity that you are most comfortable.

What are the issues to consider if you are an employee looking to become a sub-contractor, and what are the advantages? If you are successful and run a good business, you reap the rewards of higher income and more control over your destiny. Conversely, if you don’t follow good business practices, or incur unfortunate circumstances, you may be very disappointed with the results.

Issues and Opportunities:

Some issues and opportunities that you need to consider before becoming a sub-contractor include:

  1. Higher cash flow (usually) while you are actually on contract, but sometimes very difficult to do financial planning.
  2. Harder to obtain credit for mortgage or car loans. Make sure you have a line of credit in place before you switch.
  3. Tax shelters as a small business but more accounting and legal costs.
  4. More freedom to accept or refuse a project, if you can afford to pass it by. Make sure that you have a safety net.
  5. You have to like moving around, meeting new people, and adjusting to a new environment.
  6. Even a long-term contract can end on short notice.  For example, when a new government is elected, they will re-prioritize spending and cut programs to fulfill their mandate, the result being that contracts can be terminated with short notice.
  7. You are responsible for your own marketing.  Even while on contract, you must take the initiative to position yourself for the next contract.

Definition of a Good Sub-Contractor:

Successful sub-contractors will earn higher than average income while working in excess of 220 days per year. They will continually re-invest in their skills by financing their own training, complemented by self-training in the latest tools and techniques to increase the demand for their services. They will maintain very high work ethics and standards, and always meet or exceed their clients’ expectations. They will maintain very strong business relationships through their ability to develop rapport with both easy going and difficult clients by practicing tolerance when impatience could easily prevail. They will not diminish their level of interest at the end of a project, while worrying about their next contract, because they know that their most recent references are vital for future work.

Launching a career in sub-contracting can be much less stressful if you have a 3 – 6 month financial cushion that will cover your operating costs if a dry spell should occur. Astute consultants always have that cushion in the bank, and manage to demonstrate more confidence in their overall behaviour on the job. Depending on your ability to cope with uncertainty, you need to adjust this cushion accordingly.

We have touched lightly on a few topics in order to provoke some serious thinking.   We are always available to personally discuss this matter in more detail.

The main advantages of incorporation versus sole proprietorship are:

    1. Incorporation provides “limited liability”, whereas sole proprietorship does not.  A corporation’s net assets are separate and distinct from the net assets of the shareholders of the corporation. In most cases, the shareholders’ personal assets will not be at risk if the corporation alone is sued.
    2. Incorporation, as opposed to sole proprietorship, provides much more flexibility to legally minimize overall income taxes.  The overall tax reduction with the use of a corporation can be substantial.  Every situation is unique and should be reviewed with a professional accountant.
      1. As a sole-proprietorship, you are limited to setting December 31st as the year end of the business. An incorporated entity can set a year end at any time during the year. This provides the flexibility to minimize overall income taxes, by allocating corporate income, which has a year end that straddles December 31st, to two tax years of an individual shareholder, and his family members, who file their tax returns on a calendar year basis.   This provides the ability to keep overall income in the lower tax brackets and thus pay less tax on the same income.
      2. The main tax advantage gained with incorporation is access to acceptable  “income splitting” opportunities. The corporation is a separate and distinct legal entity that files its own corporate tax return, in which income can be split off and   be subject to a lower corporate tax rate.  Generally speaking, the current overall corporate tax rate is 16.5% (for corporations that are resident in Ontario) for contractors earning their income inside a corporation. If not incorporated, an individual or sole proprietor, on the same income, could be paying a tax rate of approximately 46% on portions of the same income being earned.  As you can see there is an approximate 30% tax rate differential being paid (46% compared to 16.5%).  In addition, acceptable income splitting can be accomplished with other family members when a corporation is utilized, as the flexibility to income split via dividends to these family members is available and thus applied to their lower personal tax brackets.

One must be careful when “income splitting” to other family members via salary or “fees paid”.   The question to ask oneself is, “what would l pay an arm’s length party to do this work they are doing?”   In most cases, this would involve minimal amounts of income.    With a sole-proprietorship, one is limited to income splitting to other family members via “salary or fees paid” to that other family member(s).  With a corporation one can also legally and acceptably income split with other family members via “dividends”, which is not based upon a “value for service rendered” concept; rather the payment of dividends, and thus access to income splitting, is based upon share ownership in the corporation. Therefore, the corporate model provides access to income-split much larger amounts than you would be able to income split via a sole proprietorship.

  1. A corporation provides the flexibility to opt out of the CPP defined benefit pension plan;  a sole proprietorship cannot opt out of the CPP plan.  The current annual maximum CPP contribution is in excess of $4,000 per year.

The main disadvantage to incorporating over sole proprietorship is the cost for professional services for incorporation. Up-front fees to incorporate can range from a few hundred dollars if the contractor can incorporate himself/herself online, to upwards of $1,500 if using a lawyer to incorporate, perhaps because multiple classes of shares are required.

You will also need an accountant to prepare your initial financial plan and to carry out the plan when filing your annual corporate tax returns. Plan preparation, which is a one-time up-front fee, can cost as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as $1,000 and annual filing fees by an accountant can also range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.   Typically, however the income tax savings accomplished through incorporation far exceeds the professional fees incurred.

In general, if you are committed to a career as an independent consultant, CORADIX recommends incorporation, but you should seek professional accounting and legal advice specific to your circumstances.

OUR MISSION

To exceed the expectations of our clients and consultants.

CONTACT US

Ottawa Office
151 Slater Street, Suite 1010
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5H3
Tel: 613-234-0800
Fax: 613-234-0988
Email:
hr@coradix.com

 

Toronto Office
208 Niagara Street, Unit 45
Toronto, Ontario M6J 3W5
Tel: 647-560-4542
Email:
info@corgta.com