Monthly Archives: March 2015

A ‘Hook’ for Your IT Job Interviews

If you’ve got interviews for IT jobs coming up soon, you’re probably preparing the usual things with your IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies.  These things are important, and you should certainly focus on them.  But once you’ve covered all the bases your IT staffing firms and technical recruiters tell you too, you may want to consider developing a “hook” that will make you stand out.  What exactly would that be?

A good hook is something that will make you stand out to your interviewers in a good way.  They’ll remember you for more than just the skills your IT recruiting companies have vetted you for—something quirky like an unconventional hobby or an interesting story you can tell about yourself (that’s still relevant to the topics discussed in the interview).  For instance, if you have done some IT- centered volunteer work for an interesting nonprofit, this is a good hook that your interviewer can remember you by.  If you’re unsure if your hook is appropriate or just a good idea, you can always run it by your IT recruiting agencies. Even if you don’t get this particular job, your hook might impress your IT staffing companies and they might make sure they can place you at another job!



Nail your Skype IT Job Interviews

More and more IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies these days are able to offer their job candidates skype (or similar technologies) interviews.  If your technical recruiters or IT recruiting firms set up a skype interview for you, here are some tips to make sure you get offered the IT jobs.

  1. Start by scheduling the interview a day and time when you can be fully prepared.  Your IT staffing companies and IT recruiting agencies want you to succeed in your interviews.  So they’ll understand when you ask them to help you schedule the interview for a day and time when you’ll be able to do the interview with a secure internet connection, have a clean, quiet, and appropriate location to do it in, and be able to wear interview-appropriate clothing.
  2. Make sure you practice interviewing with the technology you’ll be using ahead of time.  It’s not enough to simply practice interviewing.  You want to know how you come across and what it feels like to use this technology.  You also want to know how to use it so you can easily set it up the day of the interview.
  3. Lastly, it may seem obviously, but remember that this interview is just as serious as an in-person interview.  It could be easy to forget this because you’re at home, but don’t!  Stay professional and keep your head in the game—your IT recruiting companies will really appreciate it and so will your interviewers!



Help IT Recruiters Find You

Are you looking to connect with some IT recruiters and IT staffing firms to get started on a job search? Are you having a tough time creating good relationships with technical recruiters and IT recruiting companies?  It might have to do with your online presence.  Here are some ways to make sure you’re more visible to IT staffing agencies and IT recruiting firms online—and in most flattering way possible.

Firstly, you’ll want to clean up your online presence.  If you have a Facebook page or are on any other social media, try to take down any inappropriate, unprofessional, or embarrassing pictures or posts.  You don’t want IT recruiting agencies to come across these, nor do you want a hiring manager to see them!

After making your unprofessional aspects of your life invisible, it’s time to make sure your professional achievements are visible.  IT staffing companies will be more likely to contact you if you make sure to have a great profile on LinkedIn and post your resume on major websites for job seekers.  Once you’re on LinkedIn, it’s important to start using your profile to make connections.  It will be even easier for recruiters to find you if you wind up being connected to people already in their network.



Are Tests Necessary in IT Job Interviews?

Sometimes your IT recruiters and IT staffing firms will tell you to prepare to take a test at your interview.  An employer may want to test your abilities with particular technologies or methodologies, even if your resume and IT staffing companies and IT recruiting firms already suggest you’re good at something.  Sometimes this can frustrate job candidates—they don’t want to have to take a test because it’s stressful or time-consuming.  However, your technical recruiters and IT recruiting agencies can tell you that there are reasons why these tests are helpful to you and the potential employer.

The main reason these tests are worth taking, is that they will likely show you whether you’d be able to succeed in a job.  You don’t want to take a job that you’ll flounder in, and neither does the interviewing company or your IT recruiting companies.  The best IT jobs for you are the ones that you already have the skills to succeed in—and a test can help determine this.

Perhaps the other main reason these tests are worth taking is that putting in the time and effort just to take the test distinguishes you as a candidate.  There are plenty of other candidates who won’t want to take the test.  This will weed them out as competition for you.  So bit the bullet and take the test—even if you don’t get 100%, you may still get the job!


Tips for Long IT Job Interviews

If your IT recruiters and IT staffing companies are booking you for long job interviews (ie half a day or longer) then congratulations.  You’re probably very close to a job offer, since IT recruiting agencies, technical recruiters, and interviewers often don’t want to waste their time or a candidate’s time if they don’t have some real interest.  If your IT staffing firms and IT recruiting companies have set you up for a long interview, here are two tips to help you nail it.

Firstly, dress comfortably and professionally.  While this may seem obvious, sometimes your interview clothes aren’t your most comfortable.  It’s really important to wear something that will give off a good impression but won’t leave you feeling too hot, your feet hurting, etc.  You won’t be able to give a good impression to your interviewers if your clothes that normally work for a 1 hour interview start bothering you—with 4 or 5 or 6 hours left to go.

Secondly, try to think about ways you can use the same stories or answers to questions in different ways.  If you’re going on a long interview, you’re likely to have several mini-interviews with a few people.  You may have to answer a few questions twice.  Or you may run out of answers to questions.  Think about how to re-use answers and stories in advantageous ways.  Sometimes, a story about the way you handled a disgruntled customer can also demonstrate your attention to detail.  Or a story about the way you fixed a bug in some code can demonstrate both your ability to be a team player and your excellent coding skills.  Come to the interview with a few anecdotes like this in mind.  It will help and might just win you the IT jobs of your dreams!


A Quick Way to Dramatically Improve Your IT Job Interviews

Most IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies will tell you to make sure you do research on the companies that you’re interviewing with.  Your technical recruiters and IT staffing companies may even give you a bit of background information on the companies.  But having a familiarity with the company won’t impress your interviewers and win you IT jobs.  If you want to really stand out and impress your IT recruiting firms with your interview performance, you should try to find one or two things that you really like or admire about the IT companies you’re interviewing for.

The key to doing this is two-pronged.  Firstly, try to make sure you can speak about these items that you really like about the company for at least a few minutes.  If you merely state that you like that the company is doing things to be more environmentally friendly, that’s not enough.  Be able give a few examples and/or to tie this to your own career trajectory.  Secondly, it will really impress your interviewer and IT recruiting companies if you can talk about these one or two things in an authentic way.  To return to the environmentalism example, don’t mention it if you aren’t actually interested in this topic.  If you try to fake an interest, it will likely show through to your interviewer.


Why is Passion Important in IT Job Interviews?

Working with IT recruiters and IT staffing firms, you’re probably talking a lot about how to sell yourself to future employers.  Your IT staffing agencies and technical recruiters have probably covered the bases you already know—being on time, dressing appropriately, and practicing answering basic questions.  To give yourself an edge in winning your dream IT jobs and impressing IT recruiting companies and hiring managers, you need to find a way to show your passion for important elements of jobs.

How do you show passion in an effective way in a job interview?  To start, it has to be authentic.  If you tell your interviewer that you’re passionate about a particular programming language, it won’t mean much to them.  If you’re actually passionate about a particular programming language, you’ll be able to tell stories that demonstrate that. Beyond authenticity, it’s important to be able to keep your professionalism as you describe your passion for customer service or elegant code.  IT staffing companies have an easy time finding jobs for people who can strike that balance between being easy to work with and having passion for their work.  For instance, it might be easy to speak condescendingly to an interviewer if you think you know more about a technology than they do.  However, that will make you seem like a terrible potential employee.  Lastly, make sure you can draw the connection between what you’re passionate about and how it’s key to the job.  Sometimes this will be obvious, but sometimes you may have to draw that connection for the interviewer.  Show a little bit of relevant, well-demonstrated passion to your interviewer and you’ll really impress them and your IT recruiting firms.  You may just land the job!


One Easy Way to Improve Your IT Resume

Perhaps you’re trying to create a resume that attracts IT recruiters and IT staffing firms.  Or maybe you’re already working with technical recruiters and IT recruiting companies, but your resume needs a little oomph.  Here’s one tactic to make that resume more powerful and alluring for both IT staffing agencies and hiring managers alike.

Arguably the most important part of your resume, the part IT recruiting firms and interviewers spend the most time considering, is the bullets you have beneath previous IT jobs.  One of the most efficient ways to make your resume more impactful, then, is to polish these bullets.  How can you do this?

Ask yourself this question about each job: ‘What did I do to increase this employer’s revenue, make their workplace better, or make my team or boss’s workload easier?  Now go back and try to work some of these answers into your bullets for each job.  You’ll want to keep a brief reference to your main job duties, but your achievements are most important.  If you can help IT staffing companies and interviewers see what value you bring to employers in a very concrete way, you will immediately increase your chances of landing a job.


Delete These Things from Your IT Resume

When you’re working with IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies, they’re likely to help you edit your resume.  To really impress your technical recruiters and IT recruiting companies, you can hand them something that won’t take much editing.  Here are three things you can clean off your resume before giving it to IT staffing firms and IT recruiting agencies.

Start by deleting irrelevant personal information.  Take out hobbies that don’t pertain to the kinds of jobs your IT staffing companies will likely be submitting you to.  For instance, hobbies and interests like ‘spending time with family’ are most likely just taking up unnecessary space on your resume.

Next, if you graduated college or high school more than 5 years ago, consider taking off the year you graduated.  Unfortunately, employers may still discriminate against older job candidates.  If you take off signifiers of your age, you maybe be increasing your chances of getting a job interview later.  Age discrimination may still occur, but it’s harder to dismiss a candidate who makes a stellar impression in an interview—especially if it’s only for being older.

Lastly, make sure to delete your references and their information if you’ve listed them on your resume.  Your IT recruiting firms may want to contact those references for the hiring company.  In any case, references don’t belong on resumes, they belong on their own separate document.

Leave the Photo Off Your IT Resume

Recently, IT staffing agencies and technical recruiters have been seeing a lot of resumes with photos of candidates included.  This trend is certainly puzzling to IT recruiting companies and it doesn’t do much to impress hiring managers.  Here’s why it’s better to give IT recruiters your resume without adding in your photo.

Firstly, IT recruiting firms will usually want you to remove your photo from your resume because your LinkedIn profile will already provide a picture of you.  It’s actually best to have a LinkedIn profile in addition to your resume, since both are tools that hiring managers and IT recruiting agencies appreciate.  So don’t create unnecessary overlap between these two—leave the photo off the resume.

Secondly, IT staffing companies prefer you leave your photo off your resume because it takes up valuable space on a document that hiring managers will usually just briefly skim.  Even though most IT candidates don’t have to limit themselves to 1 page resumes, it should be noted that hiring managers still don’t spend hours poring over your resume.  It’s best to keep it as concise as possible.  This would mean that beyond simply editing your resume, take out all unnecessary elements—especially photos.

Lastly, IT staffing firms would rather you left a photo off your resume because it detracts from your actual skills and experience.  The best resumes are the ones that just honestly lay out the kind experience and skills a hiring manager wants.  If you add flashy things, like an unconventional design or a photo, that might deter a hiring manager’s attention from the true content of the resume.  In a worst case scenario, they even assume you’re trying to deter attention from a lackluster resume with flashy elements.  So leave the picture off and let your experience and skills speak for themselves!