Monthly Archives: October 2010

Light up your pumpkins for Halloween!

For those IT professionals who take what they learn at work and bring it home, here are a few things you can do when applying it to carving pumpkins for fun or with your family.

Every year you see those amazing pumpkins online and at the doorsteps of houses and you wonder how they light them up so nicely.  The traditional way is to get a tea light candle and place it inside of the pumpkin.  Of course they will only last until the candle burns out and can damage the inside of the pumpkin.

Another option if you have spent a lot of time working on your pumpkin is CFL bulbs.  As an IT professional, you may be familiar working with wires and can just install a socket inside the pumpkin allowing you to place a light bulb.  This will allow you to have your pumpkin outside your house for at least a week, showing off your creative and high tech skills.  One of our IT recruiters here in Boston often brags about how well her pumpkins are illuminated!

If you are really into decorating and want to take your IT skills to another level, try messing around with LED lights and synchronize it to music.  This will allow your lights to change according to the spooky music you choose.  This will really spook the trick or treaters when they come knocking at your door.

There are many tutorials online on how to amp up your pumpkins for Halloween.  So take some time this weekend to see what you come up with.

Screening Process for IT recruiters

The reality with most IT recruiting companies is that their IT recruiters are not technical.  Does this mean that IT staffing firms have no value?  Of course not.  The mere fact that IT recruiting firms weed through dozens, if not hundreds of candidates, for each position is a time-saving that is priceless to most clients.  Additionally, even though most technical recruiters, are anything but technical, the good ones still know how to identify the best talent…. and weed out the pretenders, or those not truly interested in making a move.

IT recruiters are not just matching buzzwords and skill sets, they’re matching people.  Finding the candidates with the appropriate technical skill set, who are also committed to the entire project and fit into the client’s culture and environment, are the most important ingredients to successful placements.

Additionally, successful technical recruiters stay away from asking closed-ended, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions.  Instead, they make the candidates explain their technical experience in-depth and why they’re a fit for IT jobs.  Strong IT recruiters also take the time to screen every candidate and disqualified folks for various reasons such professionalism, commute, lack of motivation, etc.

Finally, the best IT recruiters go through an extensive screening process to ensure our candidates are qualified and the very best available.  These often include:

  • Internal Candidate Interviews (where the IT recruiters meet with each candidate to ensure they were respectful and professional).
  • 2 Technical Reference Checks.
  • Drug and/or background test per the client’s request.

Get IT Job Postings on Your Cell Phone

Since the iPhone came out, there have been more and more applications made by high tech development professionals. These apps range from productive software to games. Now that other cell phones can handle applications such as the android and other MicroSoft Windows-based phones, I have noticed that some job boards are creating applications to send updates on new IT job openings. As a student in college, this could be handy, but is it really better than just getting the emails?

I was curious so I checked out the Career Builder and Indeed applications. The Career Builder application allows you to see any of your searches and will keep your settings from their website. In doing so, you as a job seeker are able to apply for any IT jobs you want right from your cell phone. This can save you time in your job search because when you get an alert, you can just go on your Career Builder app and apply for the job instead of putting it off until you get home. And like most people, by the time you get home you sometimes forget about that job, and then do not apply.

Additionally, you can always set up alerts with certain IT recruiting firms like AVID Technical Resources. Let the IT staffing companies bring their open high-tech jobs right to your phone/hands as well.

Depending on the app you decide to use, it can help your job search. It might seem redundant if you are just using the app to get alerts, since most people already receive them through emails. In the end you may be saving yourself time and getting in more applications then you would have without these apps.

Are IT Career Fairs Worth the Time?

Career fairs can be daunting.  There are often hundreds, if not thousands, of job seekers and long lines at most of the client booths.  The experience can be overwhelming to most people.  Therefore, the question arises, are career fairs worth the time?

The answer is yes.  Quite simply, you’ll have a much better chance of landing that perfect IT job after attending a career fair, where there are dozens of companies looking to hire technical professionals, rather than doing nothing at all.

Here are some simple recommendations from our IT recruiters.  First, although most people aren’t naturally aggressive, be assertive and go up and speak with each employer that you’re interested in.  Talk to their recruiters.  Even if there isn’t a technical position currently open, it’s worth establishing contact in the event the right position opens up down the road.

Secondly, have patience.  If there is a long line to speak with an employer who you have interest in, then wait it out.  You never know what IT jobs they could have open.

Third, do your best to speak with every client (within reason).  Even if they’re a retail company, you never know where their IT department is located or what current/future potential local technical needs might be.

Finally, be sure to get a business card from any IT recruiters.  Follow up with them, thank them for their time.  Next, strategically keep in touch with them – every month or so (walk the fine line of persistency without pestering).

You’re Hired…Now What?

You have been searching for that perfect IT job and landed it.  Now you have to adjust to the environment, the hours, the new boss, the coworkers, and the job.

On your first day, make sure you dress appropriately and observe your coworkers.  Pay attention to how they work and the procedures they follow.  As an information technology professional it is important to learn as much as you can as quickly as possible.  So keep a look out for techniques they use on the job and do not be afraid to ask for help.

As a new high-tech professional at the company, it is expected that you have questions.  Try not to stand out too much on the first few days.  Mingle with the coworkers and join them for lunch if they invite you.  The quicker you adjust to the environment, the more successful you’ll be at this company.

If you’re working through an IT recruiting companies, be sure to keep your IT recruiters updated.  If there are any problems with the work environment, let your technical recruiters know.  Often times, any problems can be rectified if they are caught early enough and/or communicated.

Most importantly, show up to work on time and simply do your IT job to the best of your ability.  When you put your best foot forward, good things typically happen.

Hiring from the best of the best

As a hiring manger, you want to choose an IT professional from a highly skilled pool of candidates.  Although nobody wants to settle, most IT managers don’t have time to interview, never mind sort through, dozens of resumes.  Therefore, the best option is turning to an IT recruiting agency that already has connections to prospective candidates with the skills you need.  Let the IT recruitment firms take the time to sort through resumes.  Let the IT staffing companies conduct dozens of phone screens to narrow your search to the best one or two IT resources.

Our IT recruiters add numerous information technology professionals to our database on a daily basis.  We build relationships with them from day one and contact each whenever there is a position that is a potential fit.  So next time an IT job opens up, focus on what you do best, and let an IT staffing firm focus on what they do best.

Using Your School for IT Job Networking

Most colleges and universities have a vast alumni network with professionals in the information technology industry.  These people opt to include their contact information in order to help fellow alumni and recent grads to learn more about their job or about job opportunities with their company.

These alumni are often more willing to help an IT professional who attended the same school they did.  Therefore, continue to network.  Use sites like LinkedIn and do searches with your Alma Mater.  Contact anyone in the IT recruiting or technology industry.  You never know who will be able to help with your IT job search.

Now is the Time to Begin Exploring New IT Job Options

IT staffing companies have been seeing an increase in IT job orders.  Additionally, IT recruiters are claiming that more and more prospective candidates now have multiple irons in the fire.  Both are good signs in what has been a long, cold IT jobs recession.

Therefore, if you’ve been unhappy in your current job, this might be a good time to start looking for other opportunities. Begin looking at IT job boards and start speaking with IT staffing agencies to open up additional opportunities.  Remember to update and reference all of your technical skills before sending your resumes to IT recruiters.  If you need help getting started, contact an IT staffing company like AVID Technical Resources.

How to Gain Experience with New Technologies

With so many software and hardware systems on the market today, IT job seekers need to stay current with new technologies.  If you feel like you are falling behind on your skills, then look to take on a contract position to gain exposure to specific technologies.

Additionally, look to take classes.  There are free classes and networking events that hold lessons on new protocols and software.  The government is also funding training programs for the unemployed.  Take the time, do some research and take advantage of these offerings.

Finally, although typically among the most expensive resources, look to become certified in new technologies.  IT recruiters will tell you that employers often look for IT professionals with certifications.

How to Keep up with New Technologies as a Hiring Manager

IT professionals are constantly finding new ways of achieving the same goal and doing it with new software or devices. So how do you keep your company staffed with up-to-date IT professionals? IT recruiting firms will fill your contract IT job positions. By opting to use contract workers over permanent ones, you’re giving your company flexibility in the types of IT workers you have. As a hiring manager, there will be different projects you will have to oversee.  These may require different skills and technologies. So next time you need to fill an IT position,  think about whether you will need that skill you’re hiring for later on.