Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at www.thevertexfighter.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Change the world with your IRA


Dear Tracy,
Have you ever wondered how you could change the world with your IRA?
Last week, Congress passed legislation retroactively extending the charitable IRA rollover for 2015 and beyond. But you have to act by December 31, 2015
If you are over the age of 70½, a total of up to $100,000 can be transferred directly from traditional or Roth IRAs to Amnesty International free from federal income tax each year. There may also be state income tax savings.
Check with your IRA administrator to have a direct distribution to Amnesty International, USA, by December 31.
Thank you in advance for your support.
 
Sincerely,

Danny McGregor
Chief Development Officer
Amnesty International USA
P.S. If you are not eligible to make a gift described above but still want to donate to Amnesty, please click here.

Opening our arms to the vulnerable


Opening our arms to refugees 

Dear Tracy,

My heart burst when I saw the picture of the drowned body of 3 year old Alan Kurdi in his red shirt and blue pants, face downward in the sand on a Turkish beach. I won’t be able to forget that picture, ever.
Today, I’m filled with a different kind of emotion. It’s joy, renewed hope, and a sense of pride as I watch Canadians open their arms to welcome refugees from Syria. Thank you. You played a part in turning human tragedy to joy.

Since the start of the brutal civil war in Syria, Amnesty International has been sounding the alarm bell about the rapidly mounting Syrian refugee crisis, and the need for Canada to respond.

With your help, Amnesty International sent researchers into the heart of the trouble spots in Syria, to document the gravity of the crisis, to call on neighbouring countries to protect fleeing refugees, and to move the world to bring resources, attention and understanding to help ease the frightening vulnerability of refugees.

And in recent weeks there has been such important progress in Canada. We have  as a nation and as individuals – generously and spontaneously opened our arms in a warm and heartfelt “welcome”. We have enthusiastically shared our time, money, commitment, and even our homes. We have shown that we are open to being changed and enriched by those who join our communities.

Tracy, this is work that needs our attention. Can we count on you to help those still in need and to urge governments to respond and uphold laws that help prevent the next crisis?
 
 
I don’t know the name of the child sleeping in his mother’s arms in this picture. It's a photo of refugees from last week's Amnesty news release about the 12,000 refugees who are stranded in “no man’s land” on the border of Jordan and Syria, unable to turn back but unable to move forward. But I want this boy and his family to be safe! I stood in refugee camps in South Sudan earlier this year, and witnessed firsthand the desperate protection needs of refugees. I could feel how painful it is for a parent not to be able to protect their children, or for loved ones to be fearful about the fate of the people left behind. This vulnerability and fear robs you of your dignity.
With a donation to Amnesty International you can help us bring safety and dignity to vulnerable refugees.

The global refugee crisis has forced us at Amnesty International to dig a little deeper and find new resources to ensure we respond where the need is greatest, and to have the capacity to investigate human rights violations wherever they occur. The Syrian refugee crisis is alarming by its sheer magnitude – 4 million who fled the country – the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. That does not even take account of the more than 8 million Syrians who have been forced to flee their homes but remain internally displaced in Syria.

It took the loss of little Alan Kurdi to move the world to respond. But it is still nowhere near adequate. While many countries have responded generously, others have turned their backs on fleeing refugees, and others struggle to cope. There is such a pressing need for a generous, coordinated global response to the Syrian refugee crisis, that will both protect refugees and enrich communities around the world. 
As the Syrian refugee crisis continues to unfold, we are witnessing the immense cost of not holding governments like Syria to account for the atrocities committed against their own citizens, of ignoring the principles of human rights protection. 

Amnesty International’s respected, independent voice in the defence human rights needs to be louder. Please make a financial contribution today using our secure online donation form, or call us at 1-800-AMNESTY (1-800-266-3789) to make your gift.
Thank you for your compassion and your commitment to human rights.

Sincerely,


Alex Neve
Secretary General
Amnesty International Canada

P.S. Canadians are demonstrating the best of humanity as they raise funds to sponsor individual refugee families and welcome them into their communities. With your support to Amnesty International's work to protect refugees, you'll honour those who are finding a home in Canada and help bring hope and dignity to other refugees who have yet to find safety. Thank you!

It's Human Rights Day - Catch the wave!

Catch the Wave!

Dear Tracy,

A wave of human rights activism is spreading across the globe today on International Human Rights Day. Photos and letter-writing totals from the nearly 1,600 individual and group events across Canada are already coming in!

Today, the 67th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, here's how you can get yourself inspired and make your own ripples to bring hope and justice to people whose rights need protecting. 


10 Ways YOU can change a life on December 10!


1. See what it's all about in 60 seconds


Watch “Write like someone’s life depends on it”, a one minute video narrated by television host George Stroumbouloupolous.

>> Watch the video



2. Write a letter


This is what it’s all about. People are writing letters in more than 80 countries, at big and small letter-writing marathons around the world. Write for Yecenia Armenta, who was raped and tortured in Mexico. Write for Albert Woodfox who has spent 40 years in solitary confinement in the US.

>> Choose a letter-writing action



3. Find an event in your community

There are more than 100 public Write for Rights events from coast to coast to coast today and into the weekend.

>> Find an event near you



4. Make your own waves with our e-petitions
Every action featured in Write for Rights includes an electronic version that gets sent directly to someone in a position to stop a human rights violation, and includes buttons to help you share.

>> Sign and share our e-actions



5. Create a Write for Rights profile pic!


This fun tool allows you to put a Write for Rights wrapper around your Facebook and Twitter profile pics. 

>> Promote Write for Rights with your profile pic!



6. Help #Write4Rights “trend” on Human Rights Day


Everyone in the world has an interest in the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They protect our rights, and they set the standard of human right protection that every person deserves. December 10th, International Human Rights Day exists to remind us of that.

>> Be a social media mobilizer for human rights!
 

7. Join our Twitter party!
Waves happen on Twitter when stories “trend”. Help us displace scandals, cat photos and celebrity food pics with #Write4Rights talk! Join the party from 7-8pm EST.

>> RSVP for our Twitter party!



8. Follow the wave around the world


Watch our global action counter rise as activists in 80 countries report back. Follow events in Amnistie CanadaUSA, Australia, France, the UK and more!

>> Watch our global counter rise at writeathon.ca



9. Know that your action can change lives

We know you can help save someone’s life, set them free from wrongful imprisonment or bring justice where it has been denied. We've seen the power of millions of voices speaking together. Just yesterday Leyla Yunus was released after intense campaiging by Amnesty supporters! 

See our Write for Rights success slideshow (PDF)



10. Help us “fight the bad guys” 365 days a year


When the wave subsides, the work must go on. You can support Amnesty International’s respected, persistent and Nobel-prize winning human rights as a sustaining support or by making a special gift right now towards our Stop Torture campaign – any gifts made by December 31st will be doubled, thanks to a generous donor.

>> Join Amnesty!


No matter how you spend today, follow and share Write for Rights news all day long at writeathon.ca and on Facebook and Twitter!


THANK for helping to create a tidal wave of momentum for human rights on International Human Rights Day! 

Alex Neve,
Secretary General
Amnesty International Canada

Anti-refugee rhetoric is escalating: Stand against the aggression

Anti-refugee rhetoric is escalating: Stand against the aggression

Dear Tracy,

Anti-refugee rhetoric is escalating - and we're counting on people of conscience like you to stand up against it and ensure the U.S. says "no" to discrimination.

Fear mongering and hatred have no place in debates on how to keep the country safe. But right now, we are up against a din of powerful voices who are stigmatizing Syrian refugees and advocating for discrimination against them - people who have fled their homes in an effort to save their lives.

Amnesty is working to fight against escalating threats to bar Syrian refugees from finding safe haven here in the United States. Please make an urgent donation to help. For a short time, it will be matched dollar for dollar.

We have a long history helping refugees. And we have been working on the front lines of the Syria crisis since it erupted over four years ago.
  • Our crisis investigators have gone into Syria to research human rights atrocities and have released reports that have garnered widespread media coverage calling attention to the severity of the conflict.

  • Our researchers have been working in Greece, Hungary and Jordan documenting treatment of refugees and inspecting detention centers.

  • Our advocacy team has been lobbying governments - including those of the U.K., Canada and U.S. - to agree to take in more refugees.

  • Our media team is helping combat the refugee and Muslim bashing that has dominated national and international headlines this past month.

Please support this work.

Unlike many other organizations, we don't accept funding from governments for our research or work campaigning for human rights. That would only jeopardize our credibility and undermine the pressure we can apply.

This is a multi-faceted effort. But we must rise to the challenge.

With your support, we can do just that.

Adotei AkweiSincerely,
Adotei Akwei
Managing Director, Government Relations
Amnesty International USA
 

2-1 match: The phone is ringing and someone needs help

2-1 match: The phone is ringing and someone needs help

Dear Tracy,

You've probably never had to make this call. But every day Amnesty gets them.

Their Crisis Response team receives phone calls and emails—from all over the world and at all hours of the day—from people in danger who need help fast.

Right now, the team's resources are stretched thin. With the conflict surging in Syria, families who flee the violence or are stuck in the midst of it are relying on Amnesty. But the truth is, they are relying on you.

Please make a tax-deductible donation to support Amnesty's efforts. Until December 31st, it will be matched two dollars for every one you give.

People turn to Amnesty when they need to escape a life-threatening situation, get urgent legal counsel, or need their voice in protest projected to the world.

The one thing these cases have in common is their urgency—Amnesty often has just days or hours to respond.

Have you ever heard about someone in a desperate situation and thought 'somebody has to do something'? I'm writing to tell you: you can be that somebody.

Donate and help the team at Amnesty say yes to the next desperate request for advocacy on safety, freedom, shelter or protection. For a short time, your donation will go three times as far.

Thank you.


Sincerely,



Harry Belafonte
Actor and Activist
EGOT

Turning human tragedy to joy

Dear Tracy,

My heart burst when I saw the picture of the drowned body of 3 year old Alan Kurdi in his red shirt and blue pants, face downward in the sand on a Turkish beach. I won’t be able to forget that picture, ever.
Today, I’m filled with a different kind of emotion. It’s joy, renewed hope, and a sense of pride as I watch Canadians open their arms to welcome refugees from Syria. Thank you. You played a part in turning human tragedy to joy.

Since the start of the brutal civil war in Syria, Amnesty International has been sounding the alarm bell about the rapidly mounting Syrian refugee crisis, and the need for Canada to respond.

With your help, Amnesty International has sent researchers into the heart of the trouble spots in Syria, to document the gravity of the crisis, to call on neighbouring countries to protect fleeing refugees, and to move the world to bring resources, attention and understanding to help ease the frightening vulnerability of refugees.

And in recent weeks there has been such important progress in Canada. We have  as a nation and as individuals – generously and spontaneously opened our arms in a warm and heartfelt “welcome”. We have enthusiastically shared our time, money, commitment, and even our homes. We have shown that we are open to being changed and enriched by those who join our communities.
 
 
Earlier this year I stood in refugee camps in South Sudan, and witnessed firsthand the desperate protection needs of refugees. I could feel how painful it is for a parent not to be able to protect their children, or for loved ones to be fearful about the fate of the people left behind. This vulnerability and fear robs you of your dignity.
With a donation to Amnesty International you can help us bring safety and dignity to vulnerable refugees.

The global refugee crisis has forced us at Amnesty International to dig a little deeper and find new resources to ensure we respond where the need is greatest, and to have the capacity to investigate human rights violations wherever they occur. The Syrian refugee crisis is alarming by its sheer magnitude – 4 million who fled the country – the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. That does not even take account of the more than 8 million Syrians who have been forced to flee their homes but remain internally displaced in Syria.

It took the loss of little Alan Kurdi to move the world to respond. But it is still nowhere near adequate. While many countries have responded generously, others have turned their backs on fleeing refugees, and others struggle to cope. There is such a pressing need for a generous, coordinated global response to the Syrian refugee crisis, that will both protect refugees and enrich communities around the world. 
As the Syrian refugee crisis continues to unfold, we are witnessing the immense cost of not holding governments like Syria to account for the atrocities committed against their own citizens, of ignoring the principles of human rights protection. 

Amnesty International’s respected, independent voice in the defence human rights needs to be louder. Please make a financial contribution today using our secure online donation form, or call us at 1-800-AMNESTY (1-800-266-3789) to make your gift.
Thank you for your compassion and your commitment to human rights.

Sincerely,


Alex Neve
Secretary General
Amnesty International Canada

P.S. Canadians are demonstrating the best of humanity as they raise funds to sponsor individual refugee families and welcome them into their communities. With your support to Amnesty International's work to protect refugees, you'll honour those who are finding a home in Canada and help bring hope and dignity to other refugees who have yet to find safety. Thank you!

Free Waleed, jailed Saudi Arabian human rights lawyer

Dear Tracy,

Waleed dares to speak up for human rights. For this, Saudi Arabia's government put him in prison.

Human rights lawyer and activist Waleed Abu al-Khair has stood by the side of other human rights activists working for their release.

Waleed Abu al-Khair - a Nobel Peace Prize nominee - is set to be behind bars for 15 years.

Today, I am asking you to stand by his side, like he has done for so many others.

Sign Amnesty International's global petition to drop all charges against human rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair and free him from his unjust imprisonment.

Waleed has dedicated his life to defending freedom. He has provided legal representation to many human rights activists, including Raif Badawi, the blogger jailed and sentenced to 1,000 lashes.

For daring to face his oppressors, and telling them he would not tolerate repression, Waleed was sentenced to 15 years in jail by a counter-terrorism court.

He has been beaten, deprived of sleep and moved from jail to jail. Meanwhile, it is business as usual for the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia's brutal government.

Add your name to take action for Waleed.

Waleed is a peaceful man, a prisoner of conscience suffering purely for exercising his right to freedom of expression.

He has stood up to tyranny to defend human rights. He has been imprisoned because of his work that helps others to live free.

Will you stand up for him?

Waleed's family - including his baby daughter, Joud - want their hero back.

In solidarity,

Sunjeev Bery
Advocacy Director, Middle East North Africa
Amnesty International USA

Thank you for taking action

Dear Tracy,

Thank you for taking action!

Please take a moment to also take action on a serious case in Burkina Faso. In Burkina Faso, young girls are forced into marriages with far older men. Girls like Maria, who was just 13 when her father forced her to marry a 70-year-old man who had five other wives. When she resisted, he told her: "If you don't go to join your husband, I will kill you."

Take Action: Speak out for girls like Maria in Burkina Faso.

In solidarity,

Zeke Johnson
Director, Individuals at Risk
Amnesty International USA

P.S. If you've already taken action for girls in Burkina Faso, we're counting on you in the coming months to help us stand up for human rights everywhere. Get started right now by writing letters to free prisoners during our annual Write for Rights event!

Help free Waleed from a Saudi Arabian jail

Help free Waleed from a Saudi Arabian jail

Dear Tracy,

Saudi Arabia is not a safe place for human rights lawyers.

Waleed Abu Al-Khair is behind bars there serving a 15-year sentence for trumped up terrorism charges. He has been brutally attacked by a fellow prisoner and harassed by prison authorities.

It keeps me up at night knowing that he is suffering like he is - just because he was willing to speak out for what he believes. Meanwhile, it is business as usual for the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia's repressive government.

Waleed is an activist and he cares about justice much like you and I do. He is a lawyer who heads the Saudi Arabia Monitor of Human Rights and also has represented other activists including his brother-in-law Raif Badawi.

Amnesty is mobilizing to free both Waleed and Raif. Please support our efforts to fight for them by making a donation. All donations will be matched dollar for dollar until December 31st.

Waleed reports that he's been deprived of sleep and kept in solitary confinement. They move him frequently from jail to jail and it's often difficult to find out where he is so that his family can visit him.

Amnesty has the global reach and network to help free Waleed. Donate and you will help strengthen our efforts.

We've done it before. We can do it again.

Sunjeev BerySincerely,
Sunjeev Bery
Advocacy Director, Middle East North Africa
Amnesty International USA

 

2 to 1 match: Syrian families rely on us. We rely on you

2 to 1 match: Syrian families rely on us. We rely on you

Dear Tracy,

Imagine you live in a country where armed conflict is raging all around you. You do everything you can to help your family survive, but after five years of struggling, you and your family make the desperate decision to leave everything you know.

You walk for hundreds of miles. Then you find someone who says he can help you get to safety on the other shore. He turns out to be a smuggler who will cram you and your family into an overcrowded rubber dinghy for a perilous journey across the turbulent sea. Others have tried this journey and have lost their lives. But this chance at safety is the only one you have. There are no other options.

At Amnesty International, our Crisis Response team receives phone calls and emails—from all over the world and at all hours of the day—about people who need help fast.

Right now, my team's resources are stretched thin. With the conflict surging in Syria, families who flee the violence or are stuck in the midst of it are relying on Amnesty. But the truth is, we're relying on you.

Please make a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts. Until December 31st, it will be matched two-to-one—which means your gift will go three times as far.

Amnesty research teams have been working on the front line of the Syrian refugee crisis in Greece, Hungary and Jordan; documenting human rights abuses, inspecting detention centers and pressuring governments—like those of the U.K., U.S. and Canada—to take more action.

This crisis is enormous and our response must match it. We are working to:
  • Improve humanitarian access for the most vulnerable Syrians.
  • Pressure governments to take in more refugees.
  • Urge the U.S. government to move quickly to resettle refugees and ensure enough funding for food and other necessities.
  • Investigate human rights abuses and document the situation facing refugees in Europe and around the world.
Have you ever heard about someone in a desperate situation and thought 'somebody has to do something'? I'm writing to tell you: you can be that somebody.

Donate and help our team to say yes to the next desperate request for advocacy on safety, freedom, shelter or protection. For a short time, your donation will go three times as far.

Thank you.

Adotei AkweiSincerely,
Adotei Akwei
Managing Director, Government Relations
Amnesty International USA
 

I open my heart to Syrians: Will you?

I open my heart to Syrians: Will you?

Dear Tracy,

Syria to Sweden. That's the journey Mahmoud, Jamila and their twin sons Mazen and Bilal made.

In 2013, this Syrian family fled their home after their lights had been cut and the horrors of war - rockets everywhere and dead bodies in the streets - overwhelmed them.

The family took nothing with them and sheltered in an abandoned classroom crammed full of other displaced families before eventually making the dangerous journey to Lebanon.

Life in Lebanon was a constant struggle for survival - they couldn't afford a place to live or medical treatment for Mahmoud, who has a serious disability.

For five years, Amnesty has been calling global attention to these real stories of refugees who have fled Syria. And we are slowly seeing governments - like those of the U.S., Canada, the E.U. and the Gulf States - begin to help.

Please make a tax-deductible donation to support their efforts. Until December 31st, it will be matched two-to-one.

Many governments have still done far too little to help the children and families fleeing bloodshed in Syria. Only 104,000 spots have been offered for nearly 4 million people. The United States has taken under 2,000.

That is why Amnesty is increasing its efforts to advocate for Syrian families - to ensure that we open our hearts and communities to people who have escaped the atrocities there.

This family's story ends well. Sweden offered them a chance of a new life through its resettlement program - a lifeline offered to the most vulnerable refugees such as those who have serious medical conditions or have been tortured.

The family is deeply grateful for the warm welcome and fresh start Sweden has given them, but they fear for their relatives who still face daily threats back home.

Amnesty relies on people like you to support its advocacy to provide hope for the people of Syria and people everywhere who face violence and government oppression. Please donate to support this work. Your gift will be matched two-to-one.

Susan Sarandon

I believe in Amnesty: Here’s why

I believe in Amnesty: Here’s why

Dear Tracy,

Love generously. Care deeply. Act boldly.

In a world filled with human rights atrocities, I believe the best of humanity can overcome if each of us takes these principles to heart.

If you care deeply about the world's injustices, please act boldly. Make a donation to Amnesty International. Until midnight tomorrow, your donation will be matched two to one—making your contribution go three times as far.

Right now, as you read this, people—like student activist Phyoe Phyoe Aung in Myanmar—are suffering behind bars simply because they peacefully spoke out against oppressive governments. We can free them.

Right now, Syrian families face violence, lack of food and shelter and dangerous winter conditions as they seek to cross into bordering countries to find safe haven from the war in Syria. You can help them.

Right now, Samar Badawi wishes her husband Waleed was safe at home with their family, not imprisoned for representing human rights activists and speaking out about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. You can reunite them.

Over the last 50 years, Amnesty has freed thousands of people. They have investigated human rights atrocities in conflict-affected countries like Iraq and Syria. They've even won a Nobel Peace Prize for their work.

Please join me and make a donation to Amnesty International. Live your principles. Love generously. Care deeply. Act boldly.

Joan BaezSincerely,
Joan Baez
Singer, songwriter & human rights defender             

Sunday, December 27, 2015

"Pitfalls of social media in background checks"/ "What are your references saying?"

Nov. 1 "Pitfalls of social media in background checks": I cut out this article in 24 hrs on Mar. 19, 2012.  It doesn't say who wrote it.  It has a picture of a young white guy holding a laptop and images floating out of it.

The tips are:

1. Check yourself out- on the internet to see what is about you.

2. Keep your mouth shut- don't say anything bad about your work.

3. Keep private sites private.

4. Know your rights- future bosses can not discriminate you because of your race, gender, sexual orientation.

I did find a similar article here:


"What are your references saying?": I cut out this article by Carolyn McTighe in 24 News on Mar. 19, 2012.  It turns out I wrote a summary of it a few years ago on my blog:


Here is the whole article.  What's interesting is, I wrote the above summary of social media article, and the article is in the link below: 

You can never be too careful when it comes to choosing the right references to list on your resumé. Though many of us carefully select people to vouch for us who we trust and have a good rapport with, perceived friendships do not always guarantee good recommendations.

Trina Perri, a freelance photographer from Calgary, knows exactly what it’s like to get a bad reference from someone she thought she could rely on and the toll it can take on your ability to land a good job.

“A few years ago I found that I was having a really hard time getting hired,” says Perri. “I kept applying for jobs and I would get as far as the interview, but would never get hired.

“There was even one job I applied for that the employer told me I was shoe-in for. When I ended up not getting it I actually contacted the person and they told me I had been given a bad reference from one of my former employers. I was shocked to say the least.”

Through a process of elimination Perri was able to figure out exactly which former employer it was and confronted them. After speaking with the woman, Perri learned that despite agreeing to be a reference her old boss was still holding a grudge over Perri’s decision to leave her last job and move on.

“It turned out the she was angry that I had left and she felt I had abandoned her,” says Perri. “The funny thing was that I honestly thought this person was a friend and I could trust her. I began to question if I could trust my other references.

Thankfully, since taking her off my resumé, I’ve had no trouble getting hired.”

Though it’s not always possible to know in advance which references will help or hinder your future employment opportunities, Louise Fox, director of Toronto’s Protocol Solutions, an etiquette and customer service teaching company, says that it is best to go with your gut. If you suspect someone might be holding a grudge or you and a former employer parted ways acrimoniously, leave them off your list.

“You don’t need to list all your former employers as references,” says Fox. “Don’t put anyone on your reference list without asking permission from them and if in doubt ask them if they are ‘comfortable’ giving a positive reference. If there has been a problem in your past relationship you should say that you’ll understand if they would prefer not to, but always ask and don’t assume anything.”

If, however, you do choose to leave references off your resumé, especially those from recent employers, Fox suggests you prepare to be questioned about it.

Holding back information from future bosses or being negative about your former boss to shine a more favourable light on yourself is something you should avoid no matter how uncomfortable the truth may be.

“The fact is you may have been very competent in your former job but just not a good fit in the position or with the company, so if questioned you might explain that fact rather than telling them your boss didn’t like you or that you didn’t get along,” Fox says.

“I’m not advocating lying, because the fact is your boss may not have liked you, but when it comes to anything negative you should really avoid it and also avoid lying.”

And if you suspect a reference may not be giving you the most glowing recommendation investigate and question them. Learn how you’re being reviewed and remedy it before it costs you your dream job.


"Building and managing your brand online": I cut out this article by James Davidson in 24 News on Mar. 19, 2012.  However, I couldn't find the exact article.   I did find this and it's pretty similar in topics:


A no-name brand might be just the ticket for a bargain-hunter at the grocery store, but it doesn't do the job in a job search, when your own brand may be all that sets you apart from the crowd.

A personal brand "is the 'X' factor that differentiates a person from other job candidates," says consulting firm PwC Canada. It's about knowing who you are, what you can do, and presenting yourself online and in person in a way that supports and promotes that persona.

"Its important for students to accurately portray themselves online as they would in-person," says James Davidson, talent acquisitions manager for PwC Canada. "Having a profile you wouldn't be ashamed to show your parents on all of the major social networks — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Profiles — is the first step in managing your online reputation."

That also works the other way, says Davidson — since the majority of millennials (people aged 18-34) tend to be techno-proficient, companies also have to present themselves online in such a way as to attract prospective employees to their brands.

"A company website, blog, Facebook or LinkedIn page can help applicants discover more about its corporate values, work environment and corporate social responsibility practices," says Davidson, citing a 2008 report on millennials that suggested the majority of people in that age group wanted to work for a company that reflected their own values. They tend to be attracted as potential employees to the same brands whose social and environmental records make them appealing to consumers.

One thing hasn't changed with the age of the workforce: networking is still key, says Davidson, and not just in the job space."

"People often think about networking if they need something —_a job, a reference, some advice — but they don't think about how their relationships directly shape them as a professional," says Davidson. "If you only pay attention to your network when it's convenient, your relationships won't be very strong and your personal brand and career development will suffer."