All IT jobs require particular technical skills, but they also require soft skills that are beyond the usual content of resumes. IT recruiters can all attest to the power of likability in IT professionals. IT managers will always pick the IT contractors who not only have the ability to do the job, but also have these important soft skills:
1. An optimistic, happy demeanor: The happier and more optimistic IT consultants are, the more pleasant it is to work with them. It’s easy to demonstrate this in an interview. Make sure you smile and keep conversation upbeat and positive.
2. Confidence: Nobody wants to hire somebody who seems unsure of themselves. In IT, this lack of confidence can leave users feeling unsure about the quality of service they’re receiving.
3. Strong communication skills: In some sections of IT, this is absolutely imperative. If a client is involved, it’s very important for the IT professional to always be able to communicate well and maintain positive working relationships.
Most IT professionals who search with IT recruiters for their IT jobs are pretty well prepared for interviews. With all the potential questions- technical and not, technical recruiters usually have lengthy conversations with IT consultants before interviews. But there are some questions that IT professionals need to prep themselves for: the tricky ones that IT managers may throw out to get the info they don’t want to ask for explicitly. Here’s one question you may be messing up and not even know it: How Did You Make Time for this Interview Today?
At first glance, it’s pretty straightforward. You could easily say you ducked out at lunch, asked for a vacation day, etc. The point of this question, though (especially in the world of IT contractors who often jump IT jobs more often than other fields might) is to gauge your reliability and loyalty to employers.
If you’re looking to move on, it’s best to highlight that you’re not leaving your current employer in a lurch. Maybe your contract is ending and your boss knows you’re leaving. Perhaps you intend to put in plenty of notice and to help find your replacement. Take this moment to highlight the fact that you care about your current employer and you’lll be a great, reliable, loyal employee to future employers. It may just get you the job!
Sometimes in information technology, a team’s workload is unrelenting. Perhaps there are just too many top-priority projects and too few IT consultants on staff to finish them. How can IT managers delegate to the IT contractors reporting to them even if their plates are already full? Here are a few options to consider:
Show your appreciation for the work your IT professionals do and show an understanding of their current workload. Even if you can’t ease it, sometimes it’s effective to just acknowledge that somebody is working very hard and, more importantly, you know it and appreciate it.
Reconsider priorities and assignments. Sometimes shifting projects around, possibly even from employee to employee, will make IT jobs a lot more do-able.
Lastly, consider calling your local IT staffing firms. You may need to think about hiring more staff—either permanently or for the short-term. Your employees should always have room for things like sick days and vacations and they should ideally be far from burnout level. Adding more staff is sometimes the solution for this.
As open-plan offices increase in popularity, IT contractors and IT managers are all finding themselves experiencing—or perhaps becoming—a office oversharer. According to studies, more than 3 in 5 workers says they are dealing with people oversharing at work. Information technology tends to be team-oriented, with IT consultants working closely together on projects. This kind of work does require some sharing. Building bonds with coworkers can boost productivity, accountability, and overall effort from IT professionals. However, it’s best to draw a line, too. Oversharing can hurt your reputation, and not just at your current company. IT recruiters have a hard time placing people who have a reputation of overstepping personal boundaries at work, no matter how stellar their resumes are.
How do you identify somebody who’s oversharing, or whether you are the one oversharing? There’s no hard and fast rules for this, but there are some ways oversharing tends to hurt a team or individual employees at work. Firstly, if somebody is oversharing personal info so often it gets in the way of actual work, it’s time to ask for a little silence. Less obviously, oversharing will make people feel uncomfortable. People don’t generally want to know the intimate details of their coworkers’ lives. If it’s venting or advice you’re seeking, hold off at work. Personal conversations that go deeper than general pleasantries or weekend plans are better left for your friends.
For IT contractors, the leap to new IT jobs occurs a little more often. How should IT consultants evaluate a new job offer before accepting? Here are a few things IT professionals should ask themselves and their IT recruiters before filling out final paperwork.
What are the IT managers styles? What’s the corporate culture like? Can I succeed in these circumstances?
Will I enjoy most of, if not all, the basic duties of this job? Does it speak to my passions and the skills on my resumes?
What is the commute like? Can I handle it on a twice, daily basis?
If the answers to any of these are ‘no,’ you may have a tough road ahead of you if you take the IT job. All of these factors affect your daily life on a deep level. If it’s hard to consider them objectively, talk things through with your recruiter. They want you to love your new job, too!
It may not be shocking, but information technology has seen one of, if not its first, scandal of an IT company abusing its technology. In the last few weeks, it has come to light that Facebook has used its IT contractors and IT consultants to help a psychological study to be carried out on an unwitting 700,000 participants. The IT managers and others at Facebook are coming under fire now for having a blanket policy that seems to imply that any Facebook users could be included in such studies without their consent.
While the Facebook scandal is interesting, what is most relevant here is probably the bigger moral questions IT professionals are forced to think about now in relation to their IT jobs. What are the moral responsibilities that the IT world needs to uphold? What will IT companies owe its users? Questions like these will undoubtedly be debated hotly in the wake of the Facebook scandal and as technology continues to evolve.
IT recruiters and IT staffing firms always do their best to prep IT consultants for job interviews, but there are some things IT contractors are expected to know before they interview for IT jobs. Here are a few things any IT professional should know before they interview with an IT manager:
1. Show interest in the particular job you’re interviewing for. Do no give a longer career trajectory in which this job is just a stepping stone. Do not suggest that you don’t know what you want to do with your career, but you think this job works well for now. Do not ask about how quickly you can be promoted from this job. The interviewer wants to know you want this job and that you’re excited about it.
2. Don’t ask about the hours or the perks. These are things to discuss if you’re given a job offer. You can ask about what a typical day looks like, but you want to give the impression you’re more concerned about the work and expectations rather than when you can jet out of the office every day.
3. Research the company. Then research them again and again and again. Try to focus on what information might be relevant to the particular department you’re interviewing for.
All IT recruiters and IT staffing firms are adamant that IT contractors write thank you notes to interviewers and IT managers. However, a shocking number of IT consultants don’t do it. While it’s hard to say why some IT professionals would choose not to use this huge advantage in their search for IT jobs, but one reason may be that they’re unsure how to write effective thank you notes. Here are some tips that will transform your thank you notes.
1. Use them to head off any concerns: If you detected any concerns from your interviewer(s) you can use your thank you note as a way to address them. Avoid coming off as defensive, but simply acknowledging the concern and giving a response to it will go a long way.
2. Reiterate why you’re a great fit: You can give your interviewer a strong impression of why you’d be a great candidate in your thank you note. Explicitly list relevant skills experience, and past achievements. Drive home your point one more time, but this time, do it in writing!
3. Share resources: If you spoke about an article, a business solution, etc, use your thank you note to share it. This is a moment to show off your resourcefulness, your research skills, and thoroughness.
Having a long commute on top of their IT jobs can really start to drag down IT professionals. However, there are a few ways IT contractors, IT managers, and IT recruiters stuck on the bus or train can make the most of this time. Using some of these techniques in really effective ways could even result in cutting time in the office. Read on for ways IT consultants can be more productive during their commutes.
Make your to-do list for the day as you ride into the office in the morning. Creating this list will give you purpose and jump-start your ‘work’ mindset. It will also make you more efficient all day long.
Use the bus or train ride to catch up on emails. Don’t waste time in the office when you could be interacting with people face-to-face. Get emails out of the way before you get there.
Start to set aside tasks you can do on your commute during the day. Be honest about this and make sure you can absolutely do the task well, no matter what’s going on around you. This is key to making good use of your time!
University of California, San Diego’s recent release of their fifth annual list of “Hot Careers for College Graduates” underscores information technology’s consistent wealth of IT jobs for IT contractors and IT managers. While other fields are very slowly recovering from the recession, IT professionals have enjoyed robust economic opportunity—and this trend seems likely to continue. IT consultants can look forward to growth in the IT industry for at least the next 6 years, according to the study. The field also boasts higher salaries and better workplace environments. Combined with the fact that the study is done by an objective, trustworthy source, the perks of IT should have recent grads running to IT recruiters and IT staffing firms.