Creating perfect resumes isn’t easy, no matter how experienced your IT recruiters may be. It seems like there’s always some new trick that fellow IT contractors’ IT headhunters gave them. Today it’s your turn to be one of those IT consultants with the newest info on how to create the resume that gets you your dream IT jobs! A recent survey revealed some exceptionally effective words you can make sure are in your resume. It’s likely these words will bring you 70% more attention from IT staffing firms and hiring managers.
You don’t have to be in one of your first jobs in information technology to be making some mistakes that really hurt your career. IT contractors could easily wind up missing some social cues for workplaces that really hurt their reputation with other IT consultants they work with or the IT recruiters they want to work with in the future. Even if IT headhunters find IT professionals with sparkling resumes who ace interviews, they’ll likely not want to work with them if they make these huge mistakes at their IT jobs.
- Your managers and superiors aren’t your friends. While they’re trained to be friendly and make you feel comfortable, it’s important not to overstep your employee-manager boundaries. This includes at work, on social media, and at work functions.
- Be careful about venting. Don’t vent about the difficulties of your job to anybody at work, and try to hold off from doing it in public. This also includes social media. If you wouldn’t want your boss or clients to hear it, don’t make it possible it could get back to them.
- Don’t overshare. Be stringent with personal information you share. This is for your sake and your coworkers and managers. It’s usually best to keep personal information to yourself, especially in a new workplace. You never know who might spread information or who you might be making uncomfortable with your own personal stories.
In information technology, email is often the most commonly used way to communicate between IT consultants and their coworkers, clients, bosses, etc. If your emails aren’t done well, you could be communicating poorly with any of these people. Worse, you might be ruining your reputation with various IT recruiters and IT staffing firms (and thus hurting your chances at getting new IT jobs in the future!). Even with stellar resumes, no IT headhunters can work with IT professionals with poor communication skills. How do you make sure your emails are making stellar impressions on your fellow IT contractors, etc and helping your reputation with technical recruiters (rather than hurting it)? Consider these factors:
1. Clarity and brevity. Are your emails short, to the point, and easy to understand? You might be speaking the same language as your recipient. However, if your thoughts aren’t organized, clear, and uncluttered, it might be the same as writing in a foreign language! Especially if you are providing information to somebody who needs it quickly or asking for something, it’s very important that your emails are short and easy to digest for the important points. Most people in IT just don’t have time to wade through long, unclear emails.
2. Speediness of your responses. While it’s not advisable to try responding for speed alone, it is important to answer emails quickly. If you’re waiting on something to be able to respond adequately, you can simply respond with an estimate of when you’ll be ready to give a final, complete response. Your recipient will appreciate knowing that their request or question is on your radar, even if you can’t take care of it right away.
3. Politeness and respect. Email takes away two of the best tools we usually have for communication: tone of voice and facial expression. Since you’re only using your words to communicate, tread lightly. Leave out sarcasm, most jokes, and anything that might look aggressive or rude. It’s too hard to explain later what your true intention was—make it hard to assume you were being anything but polite and pleasant from the get-to.
IT recruiting firms will always put plenty of time into prepping IT consultants and their resumes for interviews for IT jobs. However, there are some things IT contractors need to do to prepare themselves on their own. Below are some of the things that technical recruiters may not warn you about, but you should never say in a job interview—whether in the information technology field or any other field.
1. Coarse language. It’s obvious but it’s worth noting. Even if your interviewer lets a curse word drop, try to abstain yourself. It’s better to avoid anything but perfectly neutral, professional language in an interview.
2. Don’t portray yourself as a victim. Employers want to see potential employees who can solve problems themselves. Victims succumb to their problems and are overwhelmed by them. They tend to require a manager’s valuable time and energy to be ‘saved’ from issues. Don’t be a victim. Be empowered and an ideal employee.
3. Avoid placeholder words and imprecise words. Anything like ‘uh, um, whatnot, you know, etc.’ don’t do much to help you. The best thing to do if you’re having trouble completing a sentence or thinking of what to say is to pause. Your silence will connote a real attention to presentation and detail. Haphazardly throwing out a word so you can move on in the sentence says something a little less flattering about you.
All IT jobs require particular technical skills, but they also require soft skills that are beyond the usual content of resumes. IT recruiters can all attest to the power of likability in IT professionals. IT managers will always pick the IT contractors who not only have the ability to do the job, but also have these important soft skills:
1. An optimistic, happy demeanor: The happier and more optimistic IT consultants are, the more pleasant it is to work with them. It’s easy to demonstrate this in an interview. Make sure you smile and keep conversation upbeat and positive.
2. Confidence: Nobody wants to hire somebody who seems unsure of themselves. In IT, this lack of confidence can leave users feeling unsure about the quality of service they’re receiving.
3. Strong communication skills: In some sections of IT, this is absolutely imperative. If a client is involved, it’s very important for the IT professional to always be able to communicate well and maintain positive working relationships.
Most IT professionals are aware of the standard career advice. How to be professional, how to make sure their work is recognized, etc. However, the best career advice IT consultants can get, the advice that will make sure IT recruiters are always chasing them and they have their pick of IT jobs, is the advice very few people know. Below are a few pieces of advice that will get the attention of technical recruiters, fellow IT contractors, and keep their resumes growing.
1. Think outside of your job description. The best job employees aren’t the ones that can handle their job descriptions. Employers value the ones who can stretch to meet other unexpected needs for the company.
2. Performance is important, but attitude is just as important, if not more. Entitlement, rudeness and pessimism can all hurt even the best performer. If you’re not easy to work with, people won’t trouble themselves to work with you for long.
3. Think from your boss’s perspective. Always try to keep his or her priorities and values in mind. Consider his problems and do your best to aid him in dealing with them. This kind of effort will make you a hot commodity with IT staffing firms.
Most IT professionals who search with IT recruiters for their IT jobs are pretty well prepared for interviews. With all the potential questions- technical and not, technical recruiters usually have lengthy conversations with IT consultants before interviews. But there are some questions that IT professionals need to prep themselves for: the tricky ones that IT managers may throw out to get the info they don’t want to ask for explicitly. Here’s one question you may be messing up and not even know it: How Did You Make Time for this Interview Today?
At first glance, it’s pretty straightforward. You could easily say you ducked out at lunch, asked for a vacation day, etc. The point of this question, though (especially in the world of IT contractors who often jump IT jobs more often than other fields might) is to gauge your reliability and loyalty to employers.
If you’re looking to move on, it’s best to highlight that you’re not leaving your current employer in a lurch. Maybe your contract is ending and your boss knows you’re leaving. Perhaps you intend to put in plenty of notice and to help find your replacement. Take this moment to highlight the fact that you care about your current employer and you’lll be a great, reliable, loyal employee to future employers. It may just get you the job!
Sometimes in information technology, a team’s workload is unrelenting. Perhaps there are just too many top-priority projects and too few IT consultants on staff to finish them. How can IT managers delegate to the IT contractors reporting to them even if their plates are already full? Here are a few options to consider:
- Show your appreciation for the work your IT professionals do and show an understanding of their current workload. Even if you can’t ease it, sometimes it’s effective to just acknowledge that somebody is working very hard and, more importantly, you know it and appreciate it.
- Reconsider priorities and assignments. Sometimes shifting projects around, possibly even from employee to employee, will make IT jobs a lot more do-able.
- Lastly, consider calling your local IT staffing firms. You may need to think about hiring more staff—either permanently or for the short-term. Your employees should always have room for things like sick days and vacations and they should ideally be far from burnout level. Adding more staff is sometimes the solution for this.
As open-plan offices increase in popularity, IT contractors and IT managers are all finding themselves experiencing—or perhaps becoming—a office oversharer. According to studies, more than 3 in 5 workers says they are dealing with people oversharing at work. Information technology tends to be team-oriented, with IT consultants working closely together on projects. This kind of work does require some sharing. Building bonds with coworkers can boost productivity, accountability, and overall effort from IT professionals. However, it’s best to draw a line, too. Oversharing can hurt your reputation, and not just at your current company. IT recruiters have a hard time placing people who have a reputation of overstepping personal boundaries at work, no matter how stellar their resumes are.
How do you identify somebody who’s oversharing, or whether you are the one oversharing? There’s no hard and fast rules for this, but there are some ways oversharing tends to hurt a team or individual employees at work. Firstly, if somebody is oversharing personal info so often it gets in the way of actual work, it’s time to ask for a little silence. Less obviously, oversharing will make people feel uncomfortable. People don’t generally want to know the intimate details of their coworkers’ lives. If it’s venting or advice you’re seeking, hold off at work. Personal conversations that go deeper than general pleasantries or weekend plans are better left for your friends.
For IT contractors, the leap to new IT jobs occurs a little more often. How should IT consultants evaluate a new job offer before accepting? Here are a few things IT professionals should ask themselves and their IT recruiters before filling out final paperwork.
- What are the IT managers styles? What’s the corporate culture like? Can I succeed in these circumstances?
- Will I enjoy most of, if not all, the basic duties of this job? Does it speak to my passions and the skills on my resumes?
- What is the commute like? Can I handle it on a twice, daily basis?
If the answers to any of these are ‘no,’ you may have a tough road ahead of you if you take the IT job. All of these factors affect your daily life on a deep level. If it’s hard to consider them objectively, talk things through with your recruiter. They want you to love your new job, too!