Monthly Archives: December 2015

Use These Verbs to Revamp Your IT Resume

The New Year is a great time to polish up your resume for your IT recruiters and IT staffing firms.  Employers often hire much more in January than November or December.  To make the most effective bullet points, put the verb at the front of the sentence.

The first kind of verb that will really wow employers and IT recruiting firms are verbs that show a dedication to great customer service.  IT staffing companies often are tasked with filling IT jobs that require not only great technical skills, but also excellent communication skills and abilities with end users or clients.  Some verbs that you might want to use for these bullet points might include: Delivered, Enhanced, Expedited, Improved, Accelerated, and Outpaced.

The second kinds of verbs that will impress your IT recruiting companies and IT staffing agencies are verbs related to significantly improving something (perhaps a process, software, websites, etc).  Listing concrete achievements like this will help employers see your worth and envision you at their company.  Try using verbs like Customized, Merged, Modified, Overhauled, Refined, Remodeled, Restructured, Streamlined, and Upgraded.

The last kind of verb that will impact your resume is one that shows leadership.  Whether it’s a project you officially led, or simply a project you showed some initiative on, make sure to show off a bit and mention them as bullets under your relevant jobs.  Try to use verbs like Designed, Developed, Initiated, Instituted, Launched, Pioneered, and Spearheaded.


IT resumes accomplishments
What have you achieved at previous IT jobs? Don’t forget to list it on your IT resume! Photo credit: Foundry via Pixabay


Try Using A Slogan in Your IT Job Interviews

There are plenty of obvious, conventional tips and etiquette that your IT recruiting firms and technical recruiters can give you that you should use as a guide when you’re interviewing IT jobs.  Here’s one unconventional tip that will really impress your interviewers and IT recruiters: Work with a personal slogan.

What does this mean exactly?  Your IT staffing companies and IT recruiting agencies don’t want you to have some sort of cheesy personal slogan that you keep throwing out awkwardly in the interview.  What this means is that you should think about a single statement about why you’re an excellent candidate.  Maybe it’s because you’re great at problem-solving, or your debugging skills are legendary.  Whatever it is, keep this in mind when you are answering questions in your interviews.

The point is not to be repetitive, but to help you focus in on the main point of your interview: strengthening your candidacy.  Your IT recruiting companies set the stage for you, but you need to hammer this point home in every question you answer. Try restating your slogan at the beginning of a many of your answers, fitting it to the questions you’re asked.  For instance, if you’re asked why you want to leave your current job, bring it back to your slogan.  If your slogan is about how you’re a legendary de-bugger, you can answer the question by saying that you want a job where your programming and debugging skills will help your team achieve success on new projects.

If you’re unsure about this tactic, you can use it for less questions or only questions that you don’t feel confident answering.  It might also help to check in with your IT staffing firms and make sure your slogan is something would appeal to your potential employer. Does this company need somebody who is really excellent a de-bugging?  Or are they more interested in other skills?  Your IT staffing agencies are there to help you understand what the ideal candidate is like, so don’t hesitate to talk to them as you prepare!


nachoto7 via pixaby
Take time to think about what your ‘slogan’ is for your candidacy. Now let that guide you in your IT job interviews. Photo credit: nachoto7 via Pixabay.


Telling Interviewers Why You Want a New IT Job

One question that IT recruiters and IT staffing companies tell you to always be ready to answer in interviews is ‘Why do you want to leave your current IT job?’  Most of the time, technical recruiters and IT recruiting firms find that candidates have a negative reason they want to leave their current IT jobs. You want to spin things in a positive way, though.  Here is how to talk about a couple of the reasons why you want a new IT job.

  1. If you’re working with IT recruiting agencies to find a new job because your boss or team are difficult to work with or just plain jerks, you obviously can’t say this. How can you get around this? Try keeping a positive spin by talking about what you want in a future team or manager.  It will be tempting to go into detail about what your boss or team does wrong, but don’t do it.  You’ll scare away potential employers.  Your IT recruiting companies are likely to get good feedback if you can say something about what you want in your next IT role, especially if these are qualities this employer prides themselves on. You’re effectively recasting yourself as a good culture fit for the company.
  2. If you’re working with IT staffing firms because you want more money, you can tell them this. They’ll be upfront with you about what the compensation might be for the jobs you interview for.  However, money isn’t something you should really mention in the interview.  While you don’t want to lie, try to focus on other things you’re looking for in your next job.  Maybe you’re looking for a new challenge, more responsibility, or a better commute.  Don’t forget to make sure these are actually things the jobs you’re interviewing for can offer, or else this answer will make things awkward and potentially ruin the interview.


Want a new job with a higher salary? You can tell your IT recruiters, but leave that out of your interviews.



Thank You Notes that Might Salvage a Bad IT Job Interview

All IT recruiters and IT staffing firms have had a candidate or two not perform as well as they wanted to in an interview.  Interviews for IT jobs can be intimidating and technical recruiters see IT professionals who prepare and practice, but still get nervous at the actual interview.  If you make a mistake in answering a question, there’s a chance you might be able to salvage it with a good thank you note that you give to your IT recruiting firms and IT staffing agencies to pass on to your interviewer.

Start by trying to directly address any mistakes or areas where you wish you had said more.  While the whole thank you note shouldn’t be consumed by this, a brief, well-written paragraph could go a long way.  If you mention that you wish you had given more of your technical background, or perhaps that you had solved a problem differently, you might make an impact on your interviewer.

Secondly, if you have some concrete professional achievements, projects, or work that might cast you in a better light as a candidate, go ahead and provide that.  The most effective way to prove something, especially in an IT job interview, is with hard evidence. Your IT recruiting companies and IT staffing companies will be thrilled if you can do that in your thank you note.


miradeshazer via Pixabay
Messed up in your IT job interview? Your thank you note may save the day. Photo credit: miradeshazer via pixabay.


2 Questions To Learn More About an IT Company’s Culture

IT professionals tend to enjoy their IT jobs for two reasons: their work and their company/team culture.  If you’re working with IT recruiters and IT staffing companies to find a new job, there are plenty of questions you can ask about the work itself.  Your technical recruiters and IT recruiting firms will also be able to tell you a lot about the work.  However, if you want to know about the culture of a company, you need to ask some questions in your interview.  Here are two questions that will help you get more info about the company culture, yet won’t make your interviewer uncomfortable.

  1. Do team members give each other feedback? If so, how?  If the answer suggests a formal process that feels more about blaming and punishment, you may want to consider how you feel about that.  If a company uses mistakes as true opportunities to grow and fix problems, that’s a good sign.  It’s also a very good sign when a company gives a lot of public praise.
  2. Especially in IT, you’ll want to know not only how things are between you and potential teammates, but also between you and clients or end users. Your IT recruiting agencies and IT staffing firms should already be setting you up for job interviews in which you’ll do the kind and amount of client interaction that you enjoy.  Basically you can just confirm this by asking questions like ‘how often do people in this role interact with clients or end users?  What are these interactions like?’


IT Jobs Culture
How much would you be interacting with end users? Don’t forget to ask in your IT interviews! Photo credit: gail via Flickr.


Ask These Questions in IT Job Interviews

IT recruiters and IT staffing companies often encourage job candidates to ask in interviews about what a typical day looks like.  Sometimes this doesn’t yield enough information about what the responsibilities will really be for IT jobs.  Perhaps the interviewer says there is no typical day, or is simply too vague.  While your technical recruiters and IT recruiting firms can provide you with some info, here are two ways you can try to dig for more detail.

Firstly, try asking if the IT job you’re interviewing for has changing responsibilities throughout the year.  Perhaps there are seasonal projects, databases need to be updated, installations are necessary, etc.  Not only will this help you, but your IT recruiting companies are bound to hear that you impress your interviewer with this question.  It shows a real interest in the role and the ability to plan and see a bigger picture.  A good IT professional isn’t just great at their day-to-day work.  They’re also able to prepare for, and excel in, future work.

Another way to get more insight into an IT role is to try asking if there are any projects the team anticipates taking over or helping with outside of the ones already mentioned.  Again, you will not only get a more comprehensive idea of the role, but you’ll also likely impress your interviewer.  IT staffing firms have an easy time finding roles for candidates who are thorough and capable of critical thinking.  You can demonstrate both qualities by asking this kind of question.  You’re doing more than taking the basic job description at face value (which counts critical thinking).  You’re also gathering all the info about the role that you can (which demonstrates an ability to be thorough).

Questions IT Job Interviews
These questions won’t just get you info about IT jobs, they might guarantee some good feedback to your IT recruiters! Photo credit: Ryan via Flickr.



Why You Can’t Just ‘Be Yourself’ In IT Job Interviews

Technical recruiters and IT staffing firms see IT professionals make a lot of mistakes in interviewing for IT jobs.  Some are understandable, but one of the biggest mistakes that IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies often see IT professionals make when interviewing is to ignore interview etiquette completely and just be their unedited selves.  Why is this a problem?

IT recruiting firms do want candidates to be genuine and honest when they interview. You can still be honest and genuine, while adhering to interview, etiquette, though.  For instance, often IT staffing companies will advise their candidates to wear a suit to an interview.  Some candidates will ignore this advice, presumably because they want to present themselves—the way they are on an everyday basis.  The company they’re interviewing may even have a very relaxed dress code.  IT recruiting agencies very rarely see these people who don’t wear a suit get the job, though.  Wearing a suit isn’t about hiding yourself, it’s about showing that you’re capable of following rules and it shows respect.  Interviews are a formal circumstance that generally requires formal dress.  When you choose to wear jeans, you aren’t showing your true self.  You’re showing that you’re not respectful or capable of following etiquette and directions.

Another example of this kind of problematic thinking is when IT job candidates cuss or tell off-color jokes in an interview.  Editing yourself in these situations isn’t about hiding yourself.  As with wearing a suit, it’s about showing respect and conforming to the rules of certain circumstances.  Again, IT recruiting companies do not tend to see candidates land the job when they choose to swear or make rude jokes or comments.  No matter how relaxed the workplace, an interview is a special circumstance.  It’s not the moment to show yourself at anything other than your best!

Wearing a suit and tie is important for most IT job interviews– whether the company dress code is relaxed or not. Photo credit: bark via Flickr.

Answering ‘How Would Coworkers Describe You?’ in IT Interviews

Sometimes in IT job interviews, you might be asked how your managers and coworkers would describe you.  IT recruiters and IT staffing companies come across plenty of candidates who feel uncomfortable answering this question—or just don’t know how to.  Here’s how you can prepare to answer this question—and maybe land yourself the next IT jobs you interview for!

Start by asking your technical recruiters and IT recruiting firms a few quick questions before the interview.  You’ll want your IT staffing agencies to tell you what qualities are important in this role or in the company’s corporate culture in general.  Make a list of these for yourself, then think about what qualities might apply to you.  If you see any on this list that you think apply directly to you, then highlight those.

Now think back to any performance reviews, letters of recommendation, and general feedback you’ve gotten in your current and previous jobs.  Has anybody mentioned these qualities?  Write a quick note about it for yourself.  If you can’t think of any examples of people directly mentioning it, your next best bet is to think of times when you did something for somebody that demonstrated one of these qualities.  Jot down a quick note for yourself about that moment.

The last step is to practice actually talking about these qualities as though you were speaking to an interviewer.  While your IT recruiting agencies don’t want you to sound robotic and over-rehearsed, it’s good to practice answering questions a bit before the interview so you feel comfortable doing it.  You also won’t really be able to refer to your notes on this, so it’s good to practice so that you can remember the salient points.

IT job interviews questions
Make a list of qualities your IT recruiters think are important to this IT job. Photo credit: Caleb Roenigk via flickr.



IT Job Interviews at Unconventional Locations

Sometimes your IT recruiters and IT staffing firms may set you up for IT job interviews at unconventional places, like a coffee shop.  Though it’s certainly not common for technical recruiters or IT staffing companies to do this, it’s good for IT professionals to be prepared for these kinds of interviews.  While the rules are fairly similar to interviews for IT jobs in conventional locations (like offices) here are some rules that may be less intuitive.

  1. Ask your IT recruiting agencies for advice on what to wear.  Don’t assume that the dress code will be more or less relaxed because you’ll be meeting outside an office setting. This is an easy way to start off with a good impression, so make sure you find out from your IT staffing agencies how you should dress.
  2. Ask your IT recruiting firms if they can give you a picture or description of what your interviewer looks like.  Since you’re meeting in a public place, this will help you figure out how to spot them quickly and without any awkwardness.
  3. Be on your best behavior.  Be exceptionally polite to the staff at the coffee shop, pick up after yourself, and don’t curse or tell off-color stories.  It can be easy to fall into more casual behavior outside an office setting.  Resist this urge – your IT recruiting companies are more likely to hear good feedback if you be your best, politest, most professional self throughout the whole interview.


IT job interviews coffee shop
Don’t order a drink that will give you a foam mustache during your IT job interview! Photo credit: Stephan Rosger via Flickr.