Information technology work is often project-based and IT contractors usually have to have their resumes polished and ready to present to IT recruiters and IT staffing companies. Most IT consultants are well-versed in what makes a great resume—or if they aren’t, technical recruiters usually set them straight pretty quickly. However, there are some mistakes that people always seem to make in creating their resumes—and they’re not inconsequential. Avoid these mistakes at all costs, because they’ll sink your chances of getting IT jobs!
Don’t use gimmicky formats. It may seem like a great way to make your resume stand out, but the truth is that IT managers want to see pretty conventionally-formatted, clean, concise resumes. If you are the right person for the job, you’ll stand out. Don’t let a weird format throw off your potential employer and distract them from all your great qualities and experience.
Don’t give away confidential information, including your references. If your resume is the first impression a manager or IT headhunter has of you, don’t let it suggest you’re disloyal or untrustworthy. Putting confidential information on your resume, including the contact info for your references, demonstrates that you’re not willing to or capable of keeping sensitive information to yourself. Nobody wants to hire that person, so make sure that’s not who your resume suggests you are!
In a field like information technology, there are plenty of reasons why IT contractors might have a reason to say “I don’t know” to their IT managers or coworkers at their IT jobs. Technologies are constantly being updated or new ones are being created and IT consultants can only do their best to stay current with them. There is a better way to deal with a question you don’t have the answer to, though, a way that will keep your reputation stellar with your employer, IT recruiters, and IT staffing firms.
Next time you’re tempted to say “I don’t know” stop and take a breath. Think about what you do know that could be useful and proved that info. Then finish by saying that you’ll look into this matter and get back to the person who asked you the question. You may even mention that you think you know, but you’d like to confirm the answer first. The reason this kind of response works better is that it demonstrates a few good qualities about you—qualities that make IT managers, technical recruiters, and IT recruiting companies want to work with you. Firstly, answers like this demonstrate that you’re willing to be helpful—possibly even if it’s above and beyond your job description. Secondly, giving a partial response, or showing that you’re able to get one, shows that you’re both competent and resourceful. Remember this trick the next time you get a tough question—it can turn an ordinary moment into one that reflects well on you.
IT contractors usually know that it’s imperative to ask questions in interviews for IT jobs. (If they don’t, IT recruiters and IT staffing firms usually set them straight!) What IT consultants may not know is that there are some questions you should always include in the ones you ask. The following questions aren’t just helpful for you, but also for forming a great impression with your interviewer (and that will help form a great impression with your IT recruiting agencies and technical recruiters).
What defines success in this role? What would the ideal candidate contribute to this company and team? This is the kind of question that shows you have your priorities straight and you’ve got an organized, focused approach to your work. Employees who care about carrying their weight in a company and have the foresight to request their goals before they’re given are the ones people want to hire and keep.
What are attributes you’d like to see in the person who fills this role? What are attributes you would NOT like to see in the person who fills this role? These questions are important for the prospective employer and for you as the prospective employee. You need to know if your work style, personality, and experience are a good fit for this job. If they aren’t, these questions will quickly reveal that. For the employer, asking this question lets them know you are looking at the bigger picture: the company’s needs. Asking questions like this is far more effective than saying cliché things like ‘I’m a team player!’
The information technology industry in the US is booming, with plenty of opportunity for IT recruiters, IT staffing companies, and IT consultants. However, future US IT jobs may involve another country: China. As one of the largest IT companies in the US, LinkedIn, has recently shown, it’s possible to work with China and all its differences in laws and regulations.
Some companies, like Facebook and Twitter, have had some serious problems doing business in China. Their refusal to follow Chinese protocol has resulted in either roadblocks that make it hard for their IT consultants to do their work, or out and out blockages. Companies like LinkedIn have had to make some hard choices about how to deal with China in business—while there are certainly plenty of issues that would make it easy to dismiss as new ground for growth, China’s financial power and potential is too hard to ignore. It may be that IT recruiters and IT staffing firms find a need for Chinese speakers sooner than they ever anticipated they would.
The information technology industry in the US has had a dearth of talent for a long time. The story of too many IT jobs and not enough IT consultants to fill them is a familiar one to most companies, IT recruiters, and IT staffing firms in the US. Some companies are working on new solutions to deal with this problem and to ensure more IT contractors in the future.
Though it’s a long-term investment, some companies are working with educational institutions to sponsor programs that will help graduate young professionals with resumes ready for the IT world. There are still plenty of sticky issues, like making sure these programs are not only good for the companies, but good for the students. However, these programs are a good start to dealing with a big problem. As time goes on, technical recruiters and IT recruiting companies will only have more jobs to fill. If schools become one more ally in the work of expanding our IT workforce, all the better!
In early October the importance of security in the information technology field became strikingly clear when JP Morgan announced that they’d been hacked. While IT recruiters, IT staffing companies, and IT contractors have long been aware of the possibility of the major damage hacking could incur, this particular attack was epic in the damage it will and has already wrought. It’s also troubling to know that JP Morgan Chase wasn’t the only company that was infiltrated—apparently 9 other companies were also hacked by the same group.
If there is any silver lining to be found in this terrible circumstance, perhaps it will bring urgency to corporate America, IT consultants, IT recruiting firms, and prospective IT professionals in building a stronger IT security presence to protect our country’s data. Clearly more IT jobs focused on security are needed- and fast. Hopefully this event will inspire people to create, fill, and prepare to fill those jobs in the future so we never have to experience such a terrible attack again.
Since IT consultants change IT jobs a bit more frequently than most other professionals, they definitely spend more time comparing benefits. Recently, a company in the information technology field has started offering a bold, innovative benefit: pre-cation. What makes pre-cation different from anything IT recruiters, IT staffing firms, and IT contractors have seen before? It puts more faith into new hires. 42Floors, the company offering this benefit, basically grants a paid vacation before new hires start, so they can be fully recharge and refreshed on their first day of work.
While IT recruiting companies, technical recruiters, and IT professionals may be quick to dismiss this benefit as too good to be true, it’s actually exactly what a benefit should be. Benefits are meant to make employees happy. Happy employees are the ones who work hard and contribute the most to their companies. So will pre-cation become more popular? Only time will tell, but it’s a good lesson to other IT companies: awesome benefits attract and keep awesome employees.
While the information technology field has still certainly kept afloat in the past recessions, it looks like things are about to get even better for IT consultants, IT recruiters, and IT managers. Recent projections show a probably uptick in hiring IT contractors for this quarter. What should IT professionals do with this information? Act on it!
If you’re looking for new IT jobs, or have even vaguely considered the possibility, now is the time to make yourself available to technical recruiters and IT staffing firms. Polish up your resumes and contact your favorite IT headhunters today. Even if hiring takes a week or month to actually pick up, you’ll be ready when it does.
The question of how long resumes should be has been debated by IT recruiters, IT contractors, and IT staffing firms for a long time. While it’s unlikely there will ever be one answer for every in the information technology field, Google has recently given an interesting answer to the debate. IT consultants and technical recruiters should obviously take many factors into consideration when polishing resumes, but here’s the excellent advice Google has given on resume length.
Resumes don’t necessarily have to be confined to one page, but they shouldn’t be novels, either. The more concise a resume, the better a consultant looks. A resume that is well-edited reflects well on an employee. It doesn’t hurt to leave out details on a resume, as these can be filled in during interviews. So take the time to edit and remove all the details you could fill in later in the hiring process—it may be key to getting you your dream IT jobs.
IT consultants, whether working on their own or with IT recruiters and IT staffing firms, must all rely quite a bit on their resumes as they search for IT jobs. Beyond job interviews and good IT recruiters, IT contractors should consider their resumes to be the most important asset they have in their job search. Here are 2 mistakes that will sink even the best resume to the bottom of the pile:
- Typos. Depending on the company, typos can be a huge deal. Google, for instance, always tosses any resume with typos in it. While typos on a resume could be a big deal for any profession, in information technology, attention to detail can be crucial. Typos on your resume make it pretty easy for potential managers to question how detail-oriented you really are.
- Sharing confidential information. If your resume is the place to prove your value as an employee, it’s certainly important to prove that you are trustworthy. The worst way to do that is to include confidential information about an employer on your resume. Just don’t do it. Additionally, avoid giving contact information for your references. While it’s not the worst mistake you could make, giving out all their contact information on your resume could and probably will be considered a breach of your references’ trust. You’re revealing all their confidential contact information on something you’ll be sending out to a lot of people. Save references’ information for later in the job process—they’ll thank you and it may just help save your chances of getting the job!