IT recruiters often advise their candidates to have questions to ask at the end of interviews. There are a lot of great questions your IT staffing firms want you to ask, but here’s one topic you should not ask about: vacation time andor your upcoming vacation plans.
Why do technical recruiters advise against asking about vacation time or asking if you’ll be able to take a vacation you’ve already scheduled? There are few reasons. Firstly, your time in interviews is precious. Your IT recruiting agencies start by advocating for your candidacy, and you should consider pretty much every minute of your job interview your chance to do the same. Don’t waste that time asking about things you could clear up with your IT recruiting firms, like benefits and vacation time.
Secondly, when you ask about vacation time or talk about your upcoming vacation plans in your interviews, you’re actually hurting your chance of landing the IT jobs you’re interviewing for. If you focus any of your questions on your vacation time, rather than the job itself, you give the impression that you’re not interested in the job. Worse, you may even give the impression that you’re just generally lazy.
Lastly, IT staffing agencies advise against asking about vacations because you may make the interviewer feel like you’re wasting their time. Since IT staffing companies and human resources are often the ones who handle negotiations for vacation time and other benefits, it’s very possible your interviewer knows nothing about these items– nor do they likely care about them. Add to that the fact that your interviewer is likely interviewing you on top of an already full day of work. Any unnecessary questions you ask may actually make the interviewer feel that you aren’t valuing the time they have taken out of their day to talk to you.
These days, IT recruiters find that most of the candidates they work with are on LinkedIn. Most IT professionals are on LinkedIn to either actively seek IT jobs or for networking or professional purposes. IT staffing firms also see plenty of candidates publishing posts on LinkedIn. Some of these posts are great, but some are really detrimental to the candidates who post them. They might offend technical recruiters, hiring managers, colleagues, or even make the author seem unprofessional or unemployable. Here’s a basic set of guidelines IT recruiting agencies would suggest using as you decide what to post on LinkedIn.
1. Stay away from politics, religion, money, or other hot button topics. If what you’re writing would feel inflammatory or risky to say in an office setting, it’s not going to go over well in a LinkedIn post. Even if it’s not the main topic of your post, references to religion or politics probably won’t help your professional reputation. Remember that the point of a LinkedIn post is boosting your reputation as an IT professional with your network, potential employers, and IT staffing companies. Don’t publish a post that could negatively impact the way IT recruiting firms, hiring managers, coworkers, etc see you.
2. Use anecdotes and info from your personal life judiciously. Sometimes using stories from your personal life can make a post more interesting and make it easier for people to relate to you. Say you’re writing a post about learning a new programming language. It could resonate with people if you talk about seeing similarities in your learning process and the way your child is learning to talk. On the flip side, your network, IT staffing agencies, and potential employers don’t want to read a post that is all about your personal life. They may get the impression that you don’t understand professional norms — which is never attractive to IT recruiting companies or hiring managers.
IT recruiters find that some candidates like to use an elevator pitch in interviews or when first meeting technical recruiters. While elevator pitches are a good tool to have in your back pocket, IT staffing companies would suggest you make one important tweak to yours: make sure it speaks to what you can offer a hiring manager, rather than what you want from your next role.
How do you achieve this? Focus your elevator pitch around your professional achievements, rather than the ‘objective’ section of your resume (which, by the way, IT recruiting firms would suggest you also delete). When a hiring manager or IT staffing firms ask you about yourself, what they want to know is why you should be hired for their IT jobs. For instance, did you provide excellent customer service? Did you help your team deliver a program on time for your users? These are the kinds of highlights IT recruiting agencies want to hear. You want a job where you can grow or be appreciated by your managers and end users? Not worth mentioning in your elevator pitch. When they start looking for roles for you, IT staffing agencies will ask you directly what you’re looking for in your next role. Keep your elevator pitch about what you can offer a future employer—and they may just actually become your employer.