Tag Archives: IT contractors

New IT job? Keep This In Mind To Succeed!

For IT contractors who’ve worked hard with their IT recruiters and IT staffing firms to land a new job, it may feel like you have confirmation that you know what you’re talking about.  Your technical recruiters and new bosses clearly approve of your technical knowledge and your ability to work as a member of your new team.  But before IT consultants start new IT jobs, the best thing they can do is check their ego and closed mind at the door.  Information technology may seem like a field where jobs are pretty uniform-  what you know about one technology and way of doing things carries over from job to job.  However, your best bet is to ask a lot of questions and listen well. 

Even if you know how to use a technology perfectly, your new company will probably have its own corporate culture and way of doing things.  Try to adapt to this as well and quickly as possible.  Your prior knowledge is important.  But one thing holds true even if you’re the most competent programmer, Business Analyst, or anything else.  The more seamlessly you blend into your team, the better an impression you’ll leave on your bosses, coworkers, and IT recruiting firms.  Companies don’t just want somebody who’s good at something in a vacuum.  They need somebody who’s good at doing something within their company.  Keep this in mind at your new job, and you’ll definitely succeed.



Want to Appear Calm at IT Job Interviews? Slow Down.

Interviews for IT jobs can be pretty nerve-wracking for IT contractors.  No matter how much their IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies prepare them, IT consultants may still feel very nervous on the day of their job interviews.  Plenty of people, including your technical recruiters, IT staffing firms, friends, family, etc can give you their advice on how to calm down.  But there’s one thing you can do to appear calm, even if none of this advice works: Slow down.

Being nervous tends to make people do everything quickly: speak, move, breathe, you name it!  So to minimize the appearance of stress, make a conscious effort to do everything a little bit slower.  Take your time when you speak.  Think a minute before responding to questions from your interviewer.  Make sure your breaths are deep and slightly slower.  You don’t want to appear as if you’re in slow motion, but making an effort to slow down your actions, words, and breathing will help you appear calmer.  It will also likely help to actually make you calmer.  Focusing on this tactic, rather than how nervous you are, will ease your anxiety.  Try it at your next interview!

A Tip to Make Your IT Job Interviews Even Better

The art of acing interviews for IT jobs is complex—IT contractors have to be well-versed on their information technology knowledge, their knowledge of the company of they’re interviewing at, and in interview etiquette.  This is all pretty standard stuff that IT consultants know to practice and IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies know to help prepare them for. There are some things that will help IT professionals go above and beyond, though and really impress their interviewers and technical recruiters.  Here is an important tip to set you apart at your next interview.

Stretch your interviewing muscle and get warmed up. In some ways, interviewing for a job can be like playing a sport.  Try practicing a few interview questions within the hours before you got to the job interview.  Do it with a friend, family member, your IT headhunters you’re working with, or just in front of a mirror. Start cutting any inappropriate interview language out of your speech so you’re already used to it when you show up at your potential employer’s office.  Get your head in the zone as you travel there.  Interviewing requires a different mind-set and you’ll do yourself a favor if you’re already in it the moment you arrive at the interview.  Think about the way professional sports players have been running drills for at least 30 minutes before a big game and apply that to your next interview.  It will help you really hit a home run.


3 Little Things IT Contractors Should Know about IT Job Interviews

Most IT consultants know that there’s a certain etiquette for interviewing for IT jobs.  There are the easy rules, like what to wear, what to bring with you, and what not to say.  However, IT contractors will make their IT recruiters and IT staffing firms very happy if they are aware of some of the smaller, more nuanced rules of interview etiquette as well.  Here are some things that seem small, if you pay attention to them it will really impress your IT recruiting agencies and technical recruiters—and it may just land you that dream job.

  1. Be on time, but don’t be too early.  Especially in information technology, you won’t be doing yourself a favor to show up 30 minutes early.  If anything, you may really inconvenience your interviewers, since they may feel rushed to meet with you.  If you’re more than 10 minutes early, walk around the block or grab some coffee to kill time.
  2. Speaking of that coffee, don’t bring it into the building with you.  It’s distracting and makes it look like you’re not prepared to start interviewing.  Don’t bring any snacks or cell phone calls with you either.  Just sit patiently and quietly in the reception area, so it seems like you’re ready to go, but at your interviewer’s leisure.
  3. Lastly, be kind and polite to any receptionists, drivers, etc you may encounter in your potential employer’s building.  Some companies, like tech giant Zappos, actually speak to these people about you later.  If you’re rude or difficult, that could lose you the job!


Interview Thank You Note Tips for IT Consultants

Most IT consultants hunting for new IT jobs know a lot about how to polish resumes and ace interviews.  However, it’s almost as important for IT contractors to do something they rarely do: write excellent thank you notes after interviews. Here are some pointers that will help you write thank you notes that wow IT recruiters, IT staffing firms, and hiring managers.

Write a timely thank you note, but take your time writing it.  Whether you send the thank you note yourself, or your technical recruiters or IT recruiting agencies send them for you, make sure the note is free of errors and thoughtful.  It will make a far worse impression to just dash a note off for the sake of doing so—no matter how good the interview may have gone.

Don’t cross any boundaries. Being overly friendly or familiar in your note will make the hiring managers uncomfortable and your IT staffing agencies upset with you.  Remember to remain professional in the note.

Make sure the note highlights not only why you’d be a great candidate, but also shows that you paid attention and learned more about the company.  Making the note all about your own candidacy will make you look like less than a team player.

Important Texting Tips for IT Consultants

With smartphones becoming more and more prevalent, IT recruiters and IT consultants are finding that they’re using texting more and more often in their IT jobs and their IT job searches.  While the nature of texting is always a bit more casual, there are a few things IT contractors should avoid when texting with colleagues, clients, or technical recruiters and IT staffing firms.

Firstly, IT professionals should never use texting to schedule things.  You don’t know if your text will be received.  Sometimes texting isn’t a mode of communication somebody uses, or uses frequently enough.  A phone call or email makes things obvious and lets you know that everyone is aware of the date, location and time of a meeting.

Secondly, always double-check your messages before sending them.  Autocorrect can make a mess of a professional, well-worded message.  Don’t risk offending somebody or coming off poorly, especially when they hold your career in their hands.  Take a few seconds to re-read texts before sending them to IT staffing companies, coworkers, or clients.

Lastly, leave all negativity out of texts.  While in a phone conversation you can soften the blow of bad news or any negative statements, you can’t do the same in a text.  It’s better to keep texts neutral or collegial and warm, because you know there is no way you’ll be upsetting the recipient.

Emails Your IT Coworkers Will Always Read and Respond To

All IT professionals have, at some point or another, had a tough time getting their IT managers or coworkers to read or respond to an email. Information technology is a busy field, and sometimes IT contractors are too swamped to be able to respond to all their emails quickly. In these cases, IT consultants should want to get attention with their emails, but not be too aggressive and build bad reputations (perhaps tarnishing their chances of working with IT recruiters again or getting new IT Jobs). Here are some ways to make sure that your emails are read, but IT headhunters and IT staffing firms don’t know you as the one who’s ‘difficult to work with.’

1. Start with a really positive re line. If you use things people want to hear, like ‘Good news,’ you’ll definitely increase the likelihood your emails will be seen and responded to. It’s always easier to respond to a pleasant, positive email.

2. Make a reference to a request they’ve made or one of their top priorities (if it’s actually relevant) in your re line and early on in your email. It’s always a sure way to get somebody’s attention if you write your email with their perspectives and values in mind.

3. Keep it quick. Whatever the content you use, keep your email short. Shorter emails are easier to respond to. In a time crunch, the easier your email is to deal with, the more likely you’ll get a response.


IT Contracting- More Popular Than Ever

Information technology has always had a lot of contracting, but as of late IT professionals are finding themselves in contractor positions even more.  Why are IT recruiters and IT staffing firms searching for more IT contractors than ever?  There are a few reasons.

Firstly, more and more start-ups are growing and starting in the recovering economy.  This means that IT headhunters are more likely to look for IT consultants to work at these start-ups.  Since a bad hire can be particularly disastrous for a small company in its early years, hiring contractors is a good way to minimize this risk.  Companies and professionals can make sure the fit for IT jobs is good before really making a binding employment commitment.

Secondly, plenty of companies that aren’t strictly in the IT sector are finding a need for IT professionals to do small projects for them.  Rather than needing these professionals full time, they only need them for a short period of time, thus making contracting a popular option.

Lastly, it’s worth reiterating that IT has always been a contractor-heavy industry.  As it grows (and it is definitely growing) so will its demand for contractors. 



Don’t Say These Things As You Quit Your IT Job!

Since a lot of work is project-oriented in information technology, most IT contractors find themselves leaving IT jobs somewhat frequently. What IT consultants say on the last day of the job, whether their IT recruiters and IT staffing firms have found them a new job or not.  Here are a few guidelines for IT professionals on what they should not be saying on their last day at job.

Don’t blast the company, job, your boss and coworkers, or the product or service.  Assume anything negative you say will eventually get back to somebody.  IT can be a small industry, and you’d never want to burn a bridge or tarnish your own reputation.  It’s not worth it– no matter how good it would feel to let the criticism fly.

Don’t say anything about counteroffers and try to end all conversations about them ASAP.  In the long run, nobody is actually happy at a place that gives them a counteroffer.  It’s not worth getting into any haggling over one, either.  Keeping things civil and clean is your best bet.

Don’t frame your decision to leave as something related to money.  This will make things awkward and potentially do a lot of harm to your reputation.  IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies don’t like to work with  IT professionals who just jump from job to job, seeking the highest compensation. Don’t make it seem possible to view you in that light.


Words IT Professionals Shouldn’t Use in Their LinkedIn Profiles

Any IT contractors looking for new IT jobs know that their LinkedIn profile is almost as important as resumes are.  IT recruiting agencies and new potential employers alike are drawn to IT consultants with concise, effective LinkedIn profiles that clearly demonstrate their experience in the information technology industry.  Here are some key words to scrub from your profile (and resumes) so technical recruiters and IT staffing agencies start calling you nonstop.

  1. Buzzwords: People-pleaser, synergy, team player, go-getter, etc.  Just hold back on these.  They don’t actually do you any favors because they’ve been used so frequently that they’re pretty meaningless.  It’s also far more effective to show you have these qualities through any achievements at work or recommendations you get from previous bosses, etc.
  2. I, Me, My, She, He, and other pronouns.  Generally, you don’t need to be speaking about yourself or others directly.  Doing so can get awkward at best and look downright narcissistic in the worst case scenario. While it wasn’t always true, IT companies currently tend to really value hiring somebody with a great personality.  Don’t risk making it look like you don’t have one by using pronouns in your LI profile.
  3. Ninja and other ‘creative’ titles.  While these might fit into your culture at work right now, they may turn off IT headhunters or potential new IT managers.  Better to keep your profile pretty conventional—your skills and experience is what will really turn heads.