Monthly Archives: March 2011

Staying in Touch With IT Recruiters

In today’s age, the IT job search is almost completely done via the internet.  IT professionals are looking for various technical positions on IT recruiting company websites and job boards.  They submit their resumes or cover letters through email or a website.  Typically an IT recruiter or human resources will then contact you if you are a viable candidate.

Throughout the hiring process, you want to stay in close touch with the IT recruiters or human resources representative.  It’s important that you communicate your timeline just as much as they relay theirs.  Let them know if one of your other opportunities is heating up and/or whether you’ve received another offer that you’re considering.  Manage their expectations so they can accurately communicate your situation to the manager.  When done properly, you have an effective and efficient hiring scenario.

Staying in touch with the technical recruiter will affect both the relationship you form with the company and your chances of getting that IT job offer.  You may not always get that IT job you applied for, but if you build a positive relationship with IT headhunters, they will likely keep you in mind for a future opportunity that opens up.  Therefore, make sure to continue to update your contacts as you never know when it could benefit you in the future.

Technical Recruiter Compensation in the IT Staffing Industry

The IT staffing industry is extremely competitive and growing quickly.  There are many different compensation packages when looking at IT recruiting.  Some technical recruiters are paid a base salary and commission, others on a draw or some even pure commission.

Base Salary and Commission:  You won’t find IT recruiting companies offering high base salaries and aggressive commission plans.  You can’t have both.  Therefore, if you’re looking for stability and just want to punch in and punch out, then search for an IT staffing company who weighs the compensation heavily on the base salary.  If you’re confident in your work ethic and/or are looking for the “big picture” opportunity to make money, then you’ll want to find an IT recruiting firm who has an aggressive commission structure.  There is no right or wrong, more of a matter of personal choice aligning with the vision of that technical recruiting firm.

Draw:  A draw is one of the few scenarios that can be a win/win for both IT recruiters Boston and IT recruiting companies.  The IT staffing firm typically pays more on the front end, while the technical recruiter repays part, or all, of it back before collecting any additional commission payout.

Pure Commission:  This is typically the riskiest compensation plan, yet could be the most lucrative.  In a pure commission scenario, overhead costs for the IT recruiting agency are very low.  Because of this, the IT recruiters have the opportunity to take home a large slice of every placement.  This scenario works well for any IT recruiters who don’t need a salary to live off of (maybe their spouse or family is helping pay the bills) and/or one who is confident he or she can come right in and make IT job placements and subsequently bring in immediate commissions.

Whatever your situation, make sure you not only find the right compensation plan that is right for you, but the right IT recruiting agency.  There are many IT staffing firms out there – do your due diligence and find one that aligns with your goals, vision and work ethic.

Sending Cover Letters Electronically

Selling yourself is critical when searching for a job.  As we have stressed, it’s important to sell yourself in an interview.  However, to get that IT job interview, you must first sell yourself in your resume.  However, before you send that resume, you actually have a chance to sell yourself in a cover letter.  This is your chance as an IT professional to give personality to your resume.

Since most resumes are now sent electronically, when an IT manager receives your email, the first item they will see is the subject line.  This is one advantage of sending your professional documents through the Internet.  Use this subject line to catch the attention of the hiring manager or IT recruiter.  Describe yourself in a few words and the position you are applying for.

A couple tips:  Always try finding the hiring managers name (then make sure you spell it correctly).  You do not want to be sending a cover letter to “Whom it may concern”.  If you cannot find a name then you can send it to Human Resources.

In terms of the length you do not want to keep those managers or IT recruiters reading a lengthy document about how you would be a perfect fit for the IT job.  Technical recruiters and information technology professionals are busy people who will likely not have the time or patience to read through a full page.  So take a good look at your experiences and why this position would be good for you.  As an IT professional you have to make sure that you sell your technical skills within the first paragraph.  Give those IT hiring managers and/or technical recruiters a brief overview that will keep them wanting to read more about you.

As always remember that the resume you send to IT recruiting companies must include the keywords referenced in the job description.  This will allow human resources or even some lesser-technical IT recruiters the ability to see that you have the information technology skills that their position requires.

Consider these tips before sending your next cover letter.   These come from IT recruiters Boston who spend countless hours every day reading resumes and cover letters.

Building Long-Term Relationships

If you work in the IT staffing industry, you will meet people in various fields.  Whether they are working in the IT recruiting field like you or a completely different one, it is always a good idea to speak with them and learn more about what they do for a living or for fun.  As an IT professional, it’s always important to network with everyone you meet.  You never know when they will come to you with a side project or even your next IT job opportunity.

The key to networking is getting to know the IT professional or technical recruiters on a personal level.  Find out what their interests and hobbies are or if they have a family.  Learn about the sports teams they follow so you have a topic to keep in mind when you meet again.  This is a great way to show them that you are not just trying to network with them, but to get to know them on a personal level.

Networking is not just about meeting new people, but building relationships.  You want them to trust and interact with you.  If they know of an opportunity, they will only recommend you if you are someone they think of in a positive light.

So take time to develop that relationship with fellow IT professionals or IT recruiters Boston.  Connect with them on LinkedIn.  To stay in touch, you can send them emails about current events that may interest them and every once in a while meet up for coffee to catch up.

A Few More Resume Tips From our IT Recruiters

As technical professional looking for new IT job opportunities you are constantly reviewing your resume.  As always, there are a few things that you could do to make your resume stand out from other prospective candidates in the information technology field.  Lucky for you, our IT recruiters have put together a checklist of what to do and not to do (see “Resume Writing Tips”).  In addition, our technical recruiters would like to share even more tips with you.

From experience, depending on the IT job available, you may want to tailor your resume to fit the technical description.  If you have developed IT skills in various fields, use the experience that correlates with the respective IT job that you’re applying for.  Not every industry that you have worked in will always be relevant – sometimes you will even need to take out some of those projects in order to have more space on your resume.

To continue with editing your resume to fit the IT job description, you should also take a second look at the jobs or accomplishments you have listed.  Some people think it is a good idea to list a bunch of accomplishments to fill the page, but if they are not relevant, the hiring manager will not want to read through it.

A resume is not just a document that details your various IT skills; it’s a summary of your life’s work as an information technology professional.  You always want to portray yourself in a positive light with IT recruiters and prospective employers.  Therefore, be sure you put together a masterpiece on paper.  It should be clean and consistent, not too long or crowded.  Remember the AVID Technical Resources’ credo:  always put your best foot forward. 

How to Improve Your Work Life

Whether you are an IT recruiter or an IT professional, you may not realize that most of your time is spent working rather than at home.  Therefore, you should make sure that your time at work is used productively and enjoyably.

One of the most important factors you need to establish is the boundaries between work and personal life.  Without this boundary, you will not be able to enjoy both parts.  You need to know when it is time to go home and leave any unfinished work at work.

Some IT recruiters tend to have very little time during when the IT jobs start coming in.  Therefore, in order to get the perfect candidate for the technical job they end up working through lunch.  If you find yourself in this situation, be sure to take a walk or spend a few minutes doing something that allows you to take a brief break in your hectic work day.  Avoid burning out.

Another part of your work life is to bring in some of the things that you enjoy.  You may have a hobby or there may be another aspect of your life that bring joy to you.  So why not bring those parts with you to your IT recruiting office.  It’s good to decorate your cubicle or bring in office supplies that show off your personality.  This will allow you to show your creativity and be more relaxed while at work.

Work should not become a drag.  You need to enjoy being as work as much as possible as this is ultimately where we spend the majority of our lives.  If after taking these tips into consideration you still aren’t enjoying your work environment, then it may be time to contact an IT staffing agency to see what kinds of IT jobs are available to you.

It’s All About The Presentation

As an IT job seeker in the information technology industry, you are constantly looking to meet new people and network with other IT professionals.  Whether you’re speaking with them in person or via email, you need to be aware of how you present yourself.

Depending on the area of technology that you specialize in, some IT jobs will require you to be able to communicate or present well to clients rather than intimidate them.

Even when you are still in the IT job search process, you need to be able to come across as an intelligent and respectable technical professional.  So when you are looking over that resume, also take a look at your email.  Sometimes people use email addresses that they created when they were in high school or college.  Of course like many of us out there, when we created our email addresses we wanted to choose something that would stand out and did not think about how we would be perceived by IT recruiters or employers when applying for a job.  So if you’re on the fence about your email, just create a new one specifically for jobs.

Another factor that will play into how you present yourself is your business card.  You may say to yourself, what does a business card have to do with how I present myself to an IT recruiter? Like many IT professionals out there, you most likely will not be carrying around your resume everywhere you go.  You will meet interesting people in the most random places, so it is great to have a few cards with you at all times.  This tiny piece of paper will provide contact information and probably a little bit about you.  So try to make your cards unique but professional at the same time.

You can network anywhere in the world, it does not matter where you are.  So remember that you should present yourself professionally at all times.  You never know when a cousin’s friend’s friend may work for an IT recruiting company and looking to fill an IT job that you may be perfect for.  Therefore, remain professional at all times.

When to Move on to a New IT Job

When to Move on to a New IT job

You may not know when to start looking for a new IT job opportunity.  Most high-tech professionals tend to get comfortable where they are.  So how do you know when you should start updating your resume and applying to new IT jobs?

Here are a few ways to analyze your situation:

As an IT professional you are constantly using your technical skills and gaining knowledge.  Yet somehow you have not made it to the level you want to be.  Maybe your employer has overlooked some of your contributions to projects or they’re just not giving you the opportunity to showcase your skills. If it seems like you are being undervalued at a company then you may want to start thinking about contacting an IT recruiting firm.  It might be time to start looking for a new job in the information technology field.

Take a look at the environment in your office.  Do you feel like your fellow IT professionals make it comfortable and enjoyable?  While you don’t need to be friends with everyone, life is too short to dread coming into the office every morning.  When working in the information technology industry, you want your place of work to be a place that you can enjoy.  If not, then it might not be the best environment for you.

These are just a few of factors you may want to consider when deciding whether it is time to look for a new IT job.  Remember that change is not always a bad thing.  There are many ways to find a new IT job opportunity.  If the job search process appears to be daunting, you may want to consider contacting any number of IT recruiting companies such as AVID Technical Resources.  There you will find a number of knowledgeable IT recruiters who can assist you with finding that perfect next job.  Find out the high level of service and attention that other information technology professionals have already experienced when working with AVID. 

Building Yourself a Brand

As a marketing student, I am currently taking a class on Brand Building.  Throughout the lectures, we have discussed how various brands immediately come to your mind when you think of a service or product.  When you think of tissues, you’ll probably say Klenex.  When you say soda, you think Coke.

These are not the actual products, but the name of the product from the company that created them.  This is brand building.  If these companies are able to do this for a retail product, why can’t IT recruiting companies do the same with their name?  I’ll take it one step further, why can’t IT professionals do the same with their name?

IT recruiters will agree that there are various IT professionals out there who come to mind when you think of certain technical positions that need to be filled.  When you think of a strong Oracle DBA, there may be a local technical resource who dominates the market.  When you think of a .NET developer, there could be someone local who stands apart from the completion.  So how can you make yourself that prospective candidate that technical recruiters think of when they want to fill that niche information technology job?

First of all, you should take a good look at what you have accomplished throughout your information technology career.  What roles did you play in your various IT jobs and what skills make you stand out from others in your field?  This will help you create a brief summary about what makes you unique as an IT professional.  This will also be one of the reasons IT recruiters Boston will be calling you first when that technical position opens up.

Another factor you need to consider is what are your values.  Everyone has values, and when it comes to the IT staffing industry, you need to be aware that your reputation is critical if you’re going to be in demand.  There are many ethical issues that arrive when you are working on a project that may test your values.  But if you consistently work through these and remain loyal to your core values, employers will come to respect you for who you are.  It ties into your skills creating an image of an IT professional who not only hones in on his or hers information technology skills, but takes into consideration values when working.

Most importantly, you want to make sure that your employers will be willing to spread the word.  They may tell a friend or a colleague about that IT professional they hired.  If you make a great impression and keep a positive reputation, you might end up creating a brand for yourself.

Updating Your Resume

As an information technology professional, you are consistently using the various IT skills that you have acquired.  You’re also exposed to new technologies that help you master your craft.  If you are an IT professional who is always on the lookout for new technical job opportunities, you need to make sure to keep track and document all of these skills and technologies.

To start, keep a notebook or create a spreadsheet that will contain all of your new skills as well as technologies that you have used in the past.  Then after you complete a project task jot down some notes about everything you participated in.

Taking notes allows you to remember everything while it’s fresh.  Most of us will not remember that small project that allowed us to perfect those IT skills.  Subsequently, when it comes time to update your resume, you run the risk of leaving out some important technologies.

In the IT staffing world, technical recruiters understand the value of listing these technologies on a candidate’s resume.  IT recruiters also know that a candidate’s market value is typically dictated upon how many technologies they have experience in using and/or whether they’re strong with certain ones that are in demand.

When working with an IT recruiting firm, you never know when the next IT job opportunity is around the corner.  So why not be prepared for when that time comes.  You will not only have some good job descriptions readily available, but it will be a cheat sheet for when you are preparing for an interview.