Monthly Archives: December 2014

Are You Making These Mistakes in Your IT Job Interviews?

If you’ve spoken to your IT recruiters and IT staffing companies about how to prep for interviews, you’ve probably spoken about the basics: questions you should practice answering, technologies to study up on, etc. Your technical recruiters may not have prepped you on a few subtle mistakes you could be making—mistakes that might cost you IT jobs.  Here are a few things to avoid doing in interviews to make sure you land jobs and impress your IT recruiting agencies.

Don’t wear anything distracting: This includes jewelry, clothing, hair, makeup, or perfume or cologne.  You don’t want the hiring manager to remember any of your wardrobe or grooming habits.  You want them to contact your IT staffing firms ASAP because they can’t forget how skilled and competent you are.

Don’t let your phone make an appearance.  Your IT recruiting companies might advise you of this, but it’s worth repeating.  Keep your phone in your pocket or purse and don’t play with it or answer calls when you’re in the office building for your interview.

Don’t let your confidence waiver.  The best employee is the one that doesn’t need constant management.  IT staffing agencies want to represent job candidates who are confident in their abilities and experience.  Don’t do things like ‘uptalking’ or adding “I guess” onto the end of statements.  These undermining your confidence– and the interviewer’s confidence in you.

Don’t Make These IT Job Interview Mistakes

So you’ve worked with IT staffing agencies and IT recruiters, found IT jobs that would be a great fit, and you’re ready to interview.  Are you ready to put your best foot forward and really impress the hiring managers (and of course the technical recruiters who are representing you)?  Take a minute to run through this list of mistakes to avoid.  It could be the difference between getting the job and making a bad impression on your IT staffing companies and interviewers.

Don’t dress poorly.  Your IT recruiting firms will be happy to give you guidelines for how to dress for your interviews.  If they absolutely aren’t sure (which is pretty unlikely), then it won’t hurt to just go with a suit and tie.  It’s always much better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Don’t lose focus on the most important topic of conversation: the job.  Putting too much emphasis on the perks of the job, small talk with the interviewer, or anything else, will detract from your overall candidacy.  You’re at the job interview for a reason, so focus on that.

Don’t try to wing it.  Study up on any relevant technologies that your IT recruiting agencies tell you about.  Research the company.  Get a job description and stud


Graduating Soon? How to Prep for Your Upcoming IT job search

Will you be finishing school and ready to search for your first IT jobs this Spring (or maybe even this Winter)?  Whether you’re searching for your first job, or it’s just your first time working with IT staffing agencies and technical recruiters, here are some tips below.

1. Create a first draft of your resume and pull all your references onto one document.  This is the first thing you’ll need to show to any IT recruiters and IT staffing companies you decide to work with.

2. Contact IT recruiting companies and make appointments to meet with IT recruiters if possible.  You may want to develop a long term relationship with a few select IT recruiting companies, so meeting recruiters in person will help you decide what IT staffing firms will be the best fit for you.

3. Buy a suit or two that fit well and will last for a few years.  You’ll need them for interviewing, and you may need them for other work occasions.  Make sure you have plenty of time to buy a suit that’s flattering, conservative, and will last.  Buying it at the last minute isn’t usually conducive to this.


Don’t Forget to Add Awards to your IT Resumes!

If you’ve ever worked with IT recruiters and IT staffing companies in your search for IT jobs, you have some idea of how to format your resume or the basics of what to include.  Your technical recruiters don’t know everything about your career, though.  This means if you’ve won any awards or honors, particularly ones in your industry, your IT recruiting firms may not have told you to include them on your resume.

It may seem obvious, but there are a lot of reasons to include awards on your resume, even if they’re not entirely relevant to your industry.  Even in IT (an industry that has far more jobs than candidates) you still want to make sure you make your candidacy as appealing as possible to hiring managers and IT staffing agencies.  Awards that show off a skill that could be relevant to your job, or be translated into a skill relevant to your job, can provide a competitive edge.  For instance, an academic award is appealing to IT staffing firms, even if it’s not directly in IT.  It shows your ability to work hard as a student—and perhaps you can apply this skill in learning new technologies.  The same could be true of an athletic award, or maybe one in a different field.  If you could articulate how the award or honor showcases a talent that’s relevant to an IT job, it’s worth adding to your resume!

How to Get Recruited for IT Jobs

If you’re searching for new IT jobs over the year, you may be wondering how to connect with IT staffing firms and technical recruiters.  The good news is that it’s pretty easy to get the attention of good IT recruiters and IT recruiting agencies.  Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Contact IT recruiting companies yourself.  Call the main line, email their info number or reach out on LinkedIn.  Most IT staffing agencies welcome calls, emails, and contact from candidates.
  2. Make yourself visible online.  Make sure you have a profile on LinkedIn, Monster, and other job searching sites.  Post your resume so IT staffing companies can easily find you as they search for particular skills.
  3. Go to networking events, particularly ones that list a lot of recruiters who plan to attend.  Bring copies of your resume and/or business cards to hand out to IT staffing companies who may be there.

How to Write Follow Up Emails After IT Job Interviews

Landing IT jobs definitely gets easier when you enlist some strong IT recruiters and IT staffing firms to help you in your job search.   There are some things you need to do on your own, though, to strengthen your candidacy.  One of the most important things that your technical recruiters can’t do for you is to write a thank you note after job interviews.  How do you do this well?

Firstly, take notes in the interview.  Are there topics of conversation you will want to re-hash in the thank you note?  Maybe something the hiring manager said was vital to the job?  Write it down for yourself during the interview so you don’t forget it later.

Secondly, tell your IT staffing companies you’d like to write thank you notes to your interviewers.  IT recruiting agencies are usually thrilled to pass along thank you notes for candidates, so this won’t be a problem.  You may even be beating them to the punch—sometimes IT recruiting firms will ask you to write a thank you note themselves.  For a timetable, you should try to aim for about 24-48 hours.  A quick response will reflect well on you and the IT staffing agencies you’re working with.

Lastly, do more than just thank the interviewer for their time.  Continue a piece of the conversation you may have been having with the interviewer, mention a resource, or offer some thoughts on what you’d do if you were offered the job.  The point is to show a little initiative and interest in the position itself.  A generic thank you note won’t mean much.  However, one written with real thought about the position, company’s needs, or even just the interview itself, will make a big impact.



Keep This in Mind for Your IT Resume

Technical Recruiters and IT staffing firms all offer a lot of advice on fixing up resumes.  Your IT recruiters may give you advice on formatting, content, or even proofread your resume.  Some of this advice is objective, but sometimes it’s simply tied to the preferences of their particular IT recruiting firms.  Here’s one rule of thumb that aIl IT Staffing Companies would agree on, though: treat the space on your resume as very valuable– particularly on the top of the page.

What does this mean?  For both the IT staffing agencies and hiring managers who look at your resume, time is precious.  This means that these IT recruiting companies might only take a few minutes to check out your resume.  Knowing this, you should edit your resume down to its most concise form.  This ensures that everything gets seen and given ample consideration.  You should also put the most important parts of your resume first, because they will likely be given the most consideration.  Put things like your summary and technical proficiencies first.  These give hiring managers and IT recruiting firms a quick answer to the most important question for them: can you probably do this job?


Build Your Best IT Resume

There’s no shortage of advice on how to build resumes that attract IT recruiting firms and win IT jobs.  For most IT professionals, this is probably overwhelming—some advice conflicts.  Even more confusing, some of this conflicting advice comes from competing IT recruiting companies and IT recruiters.  So how do you sort through the tips from all the technical recruiters and IT staffing agencies and actually build a great resume?

Firstly, try not to get overwhelmed.  Even if advice conflicts, it’s probably not going to make a staggering difference if you take some IT recruiters’ advice over others.  The important stuff, the actual content of your resume, will probably overshadow any formatting choices you make.

Secondly, make sure to check over your resume and ask IT staffing companies to do the same for you.  The more times people check for errors, the better.  Getting the best formatting for your resume is nice, but it’s more important to have something that’s as close to error-free as possible.

Lastly, try focusing on results.  When you list bullets for a job, list your achievements.  When you describe your career, think about achievements you can provide.  No matter what format tricks you use, these results are what will shine through to hiring managers.

Improving Communication Skills for IT Jobs

As expected, IT staffing firms and IT recruiters prize technical skills in a candidate when staffing for IT jobs. It’s important to know that communication skills are nearly equally important for some IT recruiting companies and the jobs they’re filling.  Here are some tips for cultivating communication skills that will impress IT recruiting firms, technical recruiters, and hiring managers.

  1. Keep in mind the perspective of the other person.  When you show that you care about others’ wants and needs, they’re more likely to connect with you.  This makes for better communication and better relationships (which can be key at work).
  2. Keep the playing field even.  Whether you have more degrees, success, a better, title, etc, is irrelevant.  Coworkers, bosses, and IT staffing agencies will respect you more if you show respect to them and treat them as an equal.
  3. Listen more than you speak.  It might take practice, but listening pays off.  People appreciate this deeply and they will appreciate you more if you can be a good listener for them.


Unexpected Questions in IT Job Interviews

IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies can often provide you with an idea of questions you should be prepared to answer in interviews for IT jobs.  You may not even need IT recruiting firms to help you anticipate these questions—they could already be on your radar.  Sometimes, though, hiring managers will ask questions you or your IT staffing companies and technical recruiters didn’t anticipate.  Here are some ways you can respond to these questions gracefully and with the maximum positive impact to your candidacy.

Firstly, take a breath.  Don’t rush in to answer—it’s ok to pause and think for a second about your response.  Interviewers won’t mind that, particularly if you can give a great answer to their question.

Secondly, try to think about what the interviewer is looking for. Even if the question seems straightforward, it’s worth just considering that the interviewer is seeking a little more information.  For instance, one company asks how its candidates picture their retirement.  What they’re really seeking is the candidate’s interests and whether they align with the job in question. Good candidates will pick up on this kind of thing.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask a question in response.  If you give your answer but are unsure you’ve satisfied the interviewer, it’s ok to ask ‘was that what you wanted to know?’  Perhaps you think a question is meant to reveal certain qualities about you as a candidate.  Go ahead and ask.  You may even drive the conversation in a direction the interviewer appreciates, but didn’t even expect.  If you show that you’re thinking about the interviewer and hiring company’s perspective, then you’ll make a good impression on them and the IT recruiting companies they’re working with.