A Quick "About Me"
Hey there! My name is Greg Langstaff. That's me on the right with my girlfriend, Ariana, and my friends/models Ryan and Kevin, one of whom was excited to be in this photo :)
I'm truly flattered that you chose to click open the "About Me" section of my website... in fact, I'm blushing.
To provide you with a bit of context before you read my life story below (which I know you will all read in full ;) I feel it's important to tell you about why I started helping people find jobs and what might make me a good fit to help you.
I work at York University, and I have spent the last three years leading a team to create a multi-national award-winning new student transition program. The reason I have excelled at this is that it is very important to me that people transition well into any new phase of their life. For the same reason, I love helping people get new jobs.
Throughout my life, I have been on both sides of the hiring process, hundreds of times. I have applied to over 150 jobs, I have been interviewed over 100 times, I have evaluated over 1,000 resumes, and I have interviewed over 200 job candidates (thrilling details below). I know what hiring managers are looking for and I want to help you!
My Life Story
The Awkward Undergrad
In September 2006, I walked into my 150 square foot, cement-walled residence room in Stong Residence at York University. I stood 6'2", weighing a flimsy 137lbs. I had a shag haircut and at age 18, still had braces. I was 100% set up for success.
Luckily for me, despite my (to put it generously) slender frame, I was a decent soccer player and I got invited to join the Stong intramural soccer team. Upon showing up at the first game, I realized they weren't looking for talent, they were looking for bodies. They really only cared about having enough players to play the game. Because of my willingness to show up, I was invited to play volleyball, flag football, basketball, tennis, and about a dozen other sports.
A year later I was running the Stong intramural program and two year after that, I was president of the student government. As president I got to work with the university administration to plan orientation for the new students. Working with those amazing professionals changed my life forever.
The people I worked with on orientation at York were so happy, fulfilled, and enjoying their work. I decided I wanted to go into student affairs as a full time career. This meant I needed a master's degree and that is where my job search mastery really begins.
Getting to Grad School: My Month Long Interview
To get the most out of graduate school (and to afford it) I needed a Graduate Assistantship. Because I had decided I wanted to do grad school in the United States, I had to travel abroad in search of an assistantship before I could really even apply to schools.
Luckily for me, there was a conference in Wisconsin over the last weekend of February (not exactly a tropical paradise) where almost every student affairs graduate program was going to interview candidates for positions. I posted my resume to the conferences website and in the weeks leading up to the conference, 10 schools offered me interviews.
So I used my student loans to buy my first suit, and flew to Wisconsin in late February to knock out 10 interviews in two days. It was whirlwind with hundreds of candidates and interviews running every which way to find their best fit.
By the end of the weekend, five schools had invited me to follow up interviews on their campus. I accepted four of them and continued travelling the United States for the following three weeks visiting schools and draining my already hurting bank account. The interview visits to the schools were each a veritable gauntlet of evaluations. When you weren't in a formal interview setting, you were being casually grilled over a dinner, or closely evaluated during a candidate social. It was exhausting, but 28 days after I landed in Wisconsin, I accepted a Graduate Assistant position at my first choice school, Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
A Master's Degree in Job Searching
Not literally. My real degree is a Master of Science in College Student Affairs with a concentration in conflict analysis and resolution, but from the moment my classmates and I arrived in South Florida, we were being prepared for our job search process.
We were assigned two mentors from the moment we arrived and were required to make regular visits to the career centre. We attended conferences to practice interviewing, designed plans to help us improve our employ-ability after graduation and we were each assigned a Career Advisor who we met with regularly (especially during the second and final year).
Grad school is also where I started getting experience on the other side of the hiring process. Each year we had to recruit, interview, and hire 20 graduate assistants to replace the graduates. I volunteered to be the head of general recruitment for incoming graduate students. While I got to do lots of fun stuff in this role, like planning the interview weekend, the main responsibility was phone interviews.
Each year, I interviewed about 90 potential candidates and I heard some of the best, and some of the worse phone interviews you could imagine. One guy was literally running during his interview... running.
Needless to say, the volume to experience gave me a very good idea of the do's and don't of interviewing and I came to understand exactly what the person conducting the interview is looking for.
116 Job Applications - One Job: My Professional Job Search
Don't stop reading! I did not fail to get hired 115 times, I promise.
When I was completing my masters and looking for my first professional job, I decided I wanted to stay in the United States. In order to do this, I needed a university to sponsor me on an H1B visa. This was hard.
No matter how far I got in the process, as soon as I mentioned that I was Canadian and needed a visa, I was eliminated from contention. Don't get me wrong, I made mistakes a long the way and it was a great learning experience.
In total, I applied for 116 jobs, interviewed over 70 times including Skype interviews, phone interviews, and once again, flying around the country to visit schools for the two-day interview gauntlets.
I learned a ton and I have seen it all. I once was being interviewed by a panel of 10 people and one of the interviewers fell asleep.
In September 2014, I had a job offer in Southern Georgia revoked the day before I was supposed to move to there. They revoked it so late, I couldn't even get a refund on my moving van.
So with that slightly traumatic turn of events behind me, I decided to deport myself and move back to Canada. Luckily for me, the skills and experience I had gained over the previous months and years of job searching allowed me to land the first job I applied to in my home country!
Since returning to Canada, I have spent three years helping people to get jobs. At first I was doing resumes, cover letters and interview coaching for friends, free-of-charge; however, as I noticed that my unpaying clients started to have a lot of success, an idea sparked in my mind. A few months and website design attempts later, this one-man job search coaching company was born.
The part of the job I enjoy the most is drawing out the amazing skills and experience people leave out when they are presenting themselves in job applications. So many people are underselling themselves and leaving highly valued transferable skills off their resumes. I really enjoy bringing those out of people and helping them present their best selves.
I hope I can do that for you!