Monthly Archives: July 2013

IT Professionals Should Be Sending This Email

IT recruiters, IT managers, and IT contractors are all inundated with email on a daily basis.  IT recruiting firms and IT professionals all tend to use email incredibly frequently in their IT jobs, as is natural in the information technology field.  There is one email that everyone doesn’t send, though, that would make a huge difference for IT headhunters and IT consultants alike: a progress email to their boss at the end of every week.  IT recruiters Boston to IT recruiters CA can all benefit from sending a very brief email listing their accomplishments to their boss every Friday.  This email lets managers know that technical recruiters and IT contractors are practicing not only the skills on their resumes, but actually managing themselves and making sure they stay on task.

Summer Fridays in IT are Dead?

IT staffing firms, IT contractors, and IT managers may be basking in the glow of Summer Fridays, but all things considered, they are merely a mirage these days (and not just in information technology, but in most fields).  IT recruiting companies can testify to the fact that IT consultants are no longer just reachable on the clock.  They’re also generally available on cell phones and email, no matter the day or hour.  (IT headhunters themselves are also often expected by IT staffing companies to be available 24-7 via various methods of contact.)  A willingness to be constantly available at work is so common IT recruiting agencies often see it on resumes.

Obviously this trend alone tends to make the Summer Friday more of an idea than a practice in various IT jobs.  Perhaps the upside of this death of actual Summer Fridays means the birth of a kind of ‘Summer Everydays’.  When technology allows for work to be done outside of work, technical recruiters are seeing flexible work arrangements on a stunningly regular basis.  Even if constant availability is a necessity of ‘Summer Everydays,’ IT staffing agencies should remember all the benefits of an equally constantly flexible schedule.


Leadership in IT– In Every Tier

Information technology is often a team-oriented field, requiring strong leadership skills.  Technical recruiters are particularly attracted to IT contractors with not only stellar resumes, but the ability to emulate leadership qualities, even if they are not being submitted as IT managers.  IT professionals in all ranks of a team can contribute much if they can emulate the qualities that make a great leader.  This is because IT recruiting companies find that the most successful teams are comprised of IT consultants that not only perform their IT jobs, but also possess the key qualities that make a great leader: warmth of personality and confidence.  IT staffing agencies obviously prefer candidates who possess some combination of these two qualities, but leadership studies show that having even just one of these qualities is particularly helpful.  IT recruiters Boston to IT recruiters CA can testify to the fact that a confident or a personable employee can bring a great deal to their company and team.


Productivity in IT

IT recruiters Boston to IT recruiters CA are all aware of the evergreen issue of keeping IT consultants as productive as possible.  There are two general reasons why IT staffing agencies might find that their IT contractors are not as productive as they could be.

The first reason IT staffing firms might hear that IT professionals are not meeting the expectations of their IT jobs is actually related to IT managers and other co-workers.  Constant interruptions—including personal, email, phone calls, text messages, etc all take time away from productivity.  IT recruiting companies have noticed that these interruptions take time away from productivity in two ways: in the moment of the interruption and response, time is lost.  However, IT staffing companies also point to the adjustment time in getting back into work after the interruption.

The second major reason IT recruiting firms hear that IT contractors might not be living up to the potential of their resumes is their own ability to focus in work.  Information technology positions, like most others tend to be affected by the availability of the internet, smartphones, or other office distractions.  Thankfully, some of the same technology that distracts us can also provide solutions for maintaining focus.  IT recruiting firms can point to plenty of apps that help workers stay focused, rather than checking irrelevant websites or various phone messages.

Performance Reviews in IT: Harmful or Helpful

Information technology is a field that revolves around quantifying things precisely.  Yet, IT professionals might benefit from not quantifying one particular thing:  performance.  Performance reviews in particular, especially standardized ones are not the best way for IT managers to gauge how well IT consultants are doing in their IT jobs.  IT staffing firms can testify to the damage that performance reviews can sometimes do to IT contractors’ productivity.

While IT recruiting agencies are aware of particular spikes in lowered productivity before and after performance reviews, mostly due to lowered morale and stress, technical recruiters can point to an effect throughout the work year.  IT recruiting firms could easily recount stories of communication breaking down between team members and managers and subordinates due the constraints of impending performance reviews.   In addition to the effects these reviews have on workplace culture, IT staffing companies can also easily argue that ‘standardized reviews’ are simply flawed tools anyways.  Like in the job search, IT recruiting companies would never simply judge candidates by their resumes.  The same is true of performance: it’s not quantifiable by a few numbers.


Communication Techniques Are Becoming Imperative in IT

IT professionals, despite their reputation for being kept behind closed doors in the information technology department, are becoming integrated into the office more and more. This change means that communication skills are becoming far more imperative for IT contractors and IT managers.  IT recruiters are finding that they aren’t just looking for perfect resumes any more, but IT consultants who work well within larger team and company environments.

In particular, IT contractors can make themselves more attractive to IT staffing agencies trying to fill IT jobs by working on both their verbal and nonverbal communication skills.  Verbal skills that technical recruiters look for would include things like knowing how to actively listen, encouraging the speaker to elaborate and suppressing the urge to contribute to a conversation.  IT staffing companies notice when somebody is good at making a speaker feel like the only person in the room and that everything they have to say is valid.  IT staffing companies like nonverbal skills like mirroring body language or giving ample personal space.  If IT job candidates can sharpen both nonverbal and verbal communication skills, they will make themselves irresistible to IT headhunters.

Guest Blog Post: Four Résumé Myths That You Must Dispel

****Note:  This is a post done by Guest blogger Debra Wheatman of Careers Done Write.  See the very bottom of this post for more information about her and Careers Done Write.

Job seekers are often victims of misinformation, particularly when it comes to résumé writing.  These résumé myths can cost you a job opportunity.  Today, commit to dispelling these four résumé myths that may be holding you back.  Some of these concepts may seem counterintuitive, but read on and you will see the logic.

My résumé just needs a quick update to show my new skills and jobs.


One of the biggest mistakes you can make on a résumé is to simply add new skills and job details over time.  You are not the same person you were eight years ago, so why would you use the same résumé?  You have grown professionally and you have new goals.  Every year, modify your résumé to reflect your current career focus.  This requires more than adding new skills, expertise, and accomplishments. It is also a time to update your profile, trim the early history, and remove aspects of your history that do not support your current goal.

The more skills I show on my résumé, the better.


If you include every technology that you ever touched on your résumé, the result will be a long résumé full of outdated and extraneous skills.  Long résumés with tedious lists do not get read.  Furthermore, those weak skills take the focus off the top skills the hiring manager is seeking. (Yes, it is time to take dBase and Quattro off your résumé!)  Quality trumps quantity.  Take a moment to study each job posting to determine the technical requirements. Those are the skills to show in the “Technical Expertise” section of your résumé.

You must limit yourself to one career path when job searching.


Most candidates, especially technologists, possess a wide range of skills.  This often means a candidate may be suited for many different career opportunities. However, don’t be tempted to create one résumé for multiple job types.  If you try to be a Jack of All Trades, you will have a résumé that lacks focus. The reader will not see you as the perfect candidate if they cannot easily identify the role in which you will fit. You don’t have to limit yourself to one career path. The solution is to tweak your résumé for each potential career path.

Employers are most interested in your daily job functions and technologies used for every task.


For the most part, a hiring manager can surmise you basic job functions when they see your title.  A short summary of your major functions and the scope of your responsibilities are appropriate. Readers really want to see your accomplishments.  What did you do beyond the job description?  Did the effort you led increase efficiency, reduce expenses, or improve quality scores?  Whenever possible, quantify the results. Also, there is no need to list the technologies used in every task.  The “Technical Expertise” section is the place to list the skills you possess relevant to your goal.

Let go of the résumé myths that hinder your job search success!   Create a concise, tightly-crafted résumé focused on each particular career path.  Omit the less important details of experience and the skills that create clutter.  This new résumé strategy will lead to the interview of your dreams.

Debra Wheatman, an experienced human capital management strategist, will help you take the next step up your career ladder. She is the president of Careers Done Write, a leading career development service. Debra possesses both Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC) designations and is globally recognized as an expert in advanced career search techniques.

About Debra: Debra is a featured blogger on numerous sites where she covers career planning topics. She posts regularly on her own site at and has been featured on Fox Business News, WNYW with Brian Lehrer, and quoted in leading online, print, and trade publications, including, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and CNBC.

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How IT Professionals Can Deal With Difficult People

Technical recruiters, IT contractors, and IT managers alike all encounter difficult people at their IT jobs.  Information technology, like most professional fields, is not exempt from unfortunate work relationships or clients.  In particular, IT professionals are likely to handle difficult clients who are upset that their technology isn’t working.  The good news is that there are plenty of tactics IT recruiters and IT contractors can employ in dealing with difficult clients, co-workers, or managers.

The most comprehensive approach to dealing with difficult people is to remember that co-workers, managers, etc are more than their resumes.  They have their own personal concerns, values, and communication styles.  If IT staffing agencies try to mirror the communication styles of difficult clients, they will suddenly get much further with them.  IT recruiting companies will also find far more success with difficult clients if they try to understand their priorities.  IT headhunters can easily overcome a difference in priorities once it’s identified.  Lastly, IT consultants and IT staffing companies will find a great deal of success keeping interactions with difficult people as short as possible without being rude or incomplete in their work.  Letting any kind of abuse or anger build is not necessary and won’t make the interaction any better or more productive.  This also means the less response IT recruiting firms give to difficult people’s tantrums, the sooner they are over.

Weakness and Mistakes are No Longer Taboo in IT

IT professionals are experiencing a new trend: information technology companies are reporting their mistakes and weaknesses in real time (or something very close).  This means as a startup’s founder admits to his massive error in front of a large collective audience including IT recruiting companies, IT headhunters, and IT consultants, the damage from that mistake has just barely been fixed.  IT recruiters Boston to IT recruiters CA are finding a new kind of candid attitude that might be a direct product of the etiquette and speed of social media.

IT contractors and IT managers are participating in social media that demands blatant honesty and moves at the speed of real time.  Technical recruiters could be tweeting what they’re eating for breakfast as they eat it.  This tweet, of course, will be followed by a slew of more throughout the day.  This kind of pace and honesty is possibly making startups and other companies far more willing to share their weaknesses with IT staffing firms.  If IT recruiting companies become aware of a company’s weakness or mistake, this will not seem so odd in a culture influenced heavily by a digital culture of honesty.  And furthermore, this information will probably be replaced by new information so quickly that IT staffing companies will forget it quickly.


IT Sees An Infusion of New Jobs

As big data pervades more and more of everyday life, new IT jobs crop up at a faster pace for IT contractors.  IT recruiters Boston to IT recruiters CA are seeing a new infusion of very different kinds of jobs into the IT market.  IT staffing agencies are noticing new job openings at companies that previously had no or very little need for IT headhunters.  Industries like fitness and weight loss are suddenly seeking IT recruiting companies and IT professionals at a far more frequent pace.  IT consultants are not only finding economic value in this expansion, but chances to take forays into new industries.  IT recruiting firms can bring IT professionals’ resumes into intriguing new fields where information technology is suddenly more useful as big data becomes sought after.  Of course, the best part about big data is that it’s here to stay and IT staffing companies will only see more business from this growth in the market.