IT people are sometimes seen as gods, at least within their organizations. If they do the job right, it’s not all that difficult to achieve near-legendary reputations as miracle workers. They’re the only ones capable of keeping the networks humming and the printers from not jamming.
The only problem with this role is when they start seeking other employment. Then, they’ll often be among dozens, maybe even hundreds, of other minor deities, who likely have similar skills, backgrounds and reputations. Many recruiters, front-line HR employees or even automated resume scanners may start the screening simply by looking at every candidate’s IT resume. If something is found lacking, the candidate won’t advance any further, no matter how strong they think their skills are.
So the key, of course, is to show how exceptional he or she is on paper, at least when compared to other candidates, and make sure that their info is at least seen by a human. Try these strategies to punch up your credentials.
The right keywords. Automated screeners are designed to reduce the pile of applications that may come in for any position into something manageable, and the first step is weeding out the ones that lack these required skills even before a human takes a look. This can include operating systems, languages, hardware or other software. The full listing of an open position may give an idea of what specific words are included in the screening, so you can make sure these are inserted in your IT resume or cover letter.
Keep it short. Someone who has worked in IT for years may have an impressive background or a resume that keeps on growing with various contract jobs. But a busy HR employee may not have time to read everything or may not understand the significance of some. Unless a prospective employer requests more, try to keep everything on one easy-to-skim page. Some of these other accomplishments could be shared later in the hiring process.
Current certifications. Keeping up with operating systems and processes like the data cloud can sometimes be a challenge especially if you’re more familiar with older systems. But people coming into the workforce recently from schools will have newer knowledge, which may also be higher in demand as more companies upgrade. Luckily, training can easily be found online through employment sites like GreyMatters. A current employer may even pay for some of all of this training. It’s still useful to have proficiency with older languages and process though, since the newer candidates may not have this foundation. Being well-rounded is useful but sometimes employers may only want newer skills.
Creating a perfect IT resume can be a challenge, especially since so many people in this industry have common skills. But the more memorable candidates find ways to get theirs noticed.
IT is a growing field that is constantly moving and changing. As such, there are now more opportunities than ever before and for those graduating with an IT degree, working with a recruiter may be the best way to get the job of your dreams.
So why should you work with a recruiter instead of going it alone? The first benefit of using a recruiter is that you can get the best job without having to do all the leg work yourself. Anyone that has ever been on the job hunt knows that finding a job is not as easy as putting in an application and getting the job you want. You can start to look for a job and not find the one you want for months, or you can get job offers for positions that you do not really want.
A recruiter can make a world of difference in how quickly you get a job and how long you end up trying to search. Recruiters are trained to get the best talent each and every time so they are going to offer quick turnaround, instant job applications, and opportunities that require very little waiting in terms of when you can start work and start earning money.
Another benefit is that many recruiters offer bonuses like sign on incentives, great deals on furthering your education, and even competitive job offers. Recruiters are again, trained to pick the best and the brightest so the better your grades, the more impressive your resume, the more job offers you are going to get and possibly better incentives as well. For those that do have high marks and have great resumes, you are likely to get better job offers and better overall incentives in terms of signing with one company or another.
The last thing you want to keep in mind with a recruiter is that they are going to offer you the least they can but still entice you. This means that you do have some haggle room. You can counter offers to a certain extent and tell them just what you need in order to be able to work with them. Recruiters are going to work to sign the best talent they can and they are also receiving incentives for getting the best people to work for their company.
If you do work with a recruiter remember to take your time and really consider the offers on the table. You should never jump and take the first offer just because you want to start working. Taking the time to consider all the options is going to get you the best deal right out of the gate and get you the best job opportunities possible.
When it comes time to hire new employees for your organization, the process of selecting the right candidates is critical to your ongoing success and effectiveness. Here are three simple tips to help you choose the right candidate for the job, each and every time.
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Much of a job interview consists of the employer asking questions to the prospective employee in an effort to determine whether they’re the right fit. But many hirers don’t know which questions will illicit the most revealing and actionable responses.
When designing your interview questions, look for those that will surprise the candidate. Answers to questions that haven’t been pre-prepared are usually more genuine and revealing of a candidate’s true nature.
You should also seek out questions that will give the candidate a chance to differentiate themselves from the other candidates. For example, “We are interviewing a few other qualified candidates. Why should we choose them over you?” This will help you access the unique traits that a candidate has to offer.
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Almost all employers ask for references when it comes time to choose a candidate. But very few actually use those references, and even less know how to use them effectively. Most employers who do contact references listed on a candidate’s resume only ask the most basic questions. But smart employers know how to use contact with references to gain a more complete picture of the candidate.
When contacting candidate references, go beyond their work history and ask about their character, personal style, sense of humor, social skills, and other parameters that may not relate directly to the job description but will help determine how well they’ll fit in with your organization.
3#: Use a Staffing Firm
One factor that makes interviews with candidates so difficult is that you have a great deal if information to glean in a short amount of time. An interview can be revealing, but it’s a limited sample that doesn’t necessarily allow you the opportunity to dive deep into a candidate’s work history, character and potential fit for your organization. Fortunately, there is a way to make your job easier as you strive to find the right man or woman for the job.
Staffing firms that select candidates from a pool of applicants do much of your work for you. They have the time and resources to provide candidates who have been pre-screened for their work experience, education, skills and accomplishments in order to fit your company. This means less desperate grasping for as much information at the interview, and more time to focus on the personal characteristics of the individual being interviewed.
Do you ever feel like your resume could use some tightening up? Or maybe you feel like it’s not as appealing as it could be. Here are some quick fixes that can help ensure that your resume will stand out from the crowd.
Make Your Resume Internet-Friendly
Always remember while crafting your resume that in-person interviews are no longer the only place that your resume will matter. The internet age has made online recruiting a critical tool for both employers and potential employees, so you should take steps to make your resume shine online. Include keywords that relate to the jobs you hope to land, as many recruiters will search keywords to find and select the right candidates. Use the job description of the job for which you’re applying to choose suitable keywords that will grab attention.
Relevance, Relevance, Relevance
Once you’ve completed the first draft of your resume, go over each and every item in every section and ask yourself this question—Is this relevant to the job for which I’m applying? If it’s not, then remove it. Recruiters and employers want to find someone who seems built for their position. Filling your resume with meaningless fluff will only distract from your actual qualifications and relevant experience.
Keep It Simple
The sad truth is that many recruiters will make a snap decision about your resume before they even reach your past job experience. Poorly designed resumes that are not visually appealing, straightforward and easy to read will immediately leave a bad first impression. Stick to simple designs, easy-to-read fonts and familiar approaches for your resume’s format.
Forget Buzzwords, Use Words with Power
There is a fine line between choosing words that suggest competence and inspire action, and those that have been overused by countless job applicants before you. Going in-depth about which words are effective and which are not would fill an entire article in its own right, but do some searching online for respected lists of buzzwords to avoid and power words to include.
Put In the Work
One way to ensure that your resume stands out from the crowd is to make it stand out. Put in the work. Post your resume everywhere you can—on social media, with recruiting websites and services, and anywhere it might be seen by potential employers. Being proactive about your resume is one of the most effective ways to get yourself out there and land that dream position.
Do you ever feel like you don’t belong in your current job, and find yourself itching to start trolling the market? If you’re wondering whether your issues with your current workplace are real or in your head, read this article to learn about four major signs that it’s time to consider making a change.
You Don’t Enjoy Your Workday
We’re not idealists here—no one should expect their workday to feel like a nonstop party, five days a week. But if you feel that your current position isn’t allowing you to pursue the elements of your skills that you feel most passionate about, it might be time to make a change. Your work should not only pay the rent (though that’s important), but should also challenge you, teach you new things, and give you opportunities to grow and expand both as a person and a skilled worker.
You might also find that while the work may be enjoyable, your fellow employees or employers are less than pleasant. Don’t remain in a workplace that makes you feel unhappy.
Your Greatest Skills Are Not Being Put to Use
Do you feel like your most impressive and potential-rich qualities and skills aren’t being put to use in your current position? This can be one of the most frustrating experiences for skilled workers when trying to find a new job, and can lead to significant job dissatisfaction. Don’t stay in a position that doesn’t give you a chance to shine—find your perfect role sooner rather than later.
The Corporate Culture Doesn’t Work for You
Some workers thrive in the modern-era workplace filled with recreational perks, unique incentives, and progressive workspace designs. Others function best in a more traditional and focused environment. If you find yourself struggling to adapt to your company’s culture after a significant amount of time at your position, it might be time to consider making a change.
You Don’t See Opportunities to Grow or Progress
Not every job will be a one-way rocket to the top of a company. But if you feel that your current position isn’t providing any opportunities for personal growth or progress toward a better position, you might feel that you’ve become stagnant. You want to work somewhere that will challenge you and push you to new heights each and every day. Don’t feel that you have to settle for anything less.
There are plenty of articles available all over the internet that help prospective employees as they try to nail their job interview and land that dream position. These pieces are a dime a dozen. Less common, but equally important, is genuinely effective advice for those on the other side of the table—how do businesses ensure that they’re interviewing effectively to ensure that they end up with the perfect employees in a timely manner? Take a look at these 3 tips for conducting effective interviews.
Most of the equation comes down to the questions you ask. It’s surprising to find how often interviewers ask questions that don’t truly reveal the qualities they really want in an employee. Here are some tips to help you ask the right questions and hire the right employees.
Focus On Your Company Values
Questions that deal specifically with an individual’s work history and experience are important, but beyond this, you want to find employees who will believe in and strive to meet your company’s unique standards and values. Phrase questions designed to reveal how your interviewees feel and think about the things that matter most at your company. Lose open- ended questions for ones that will speak directly to your interviewee’s ability to contribute to your individual company’s success.
Find Out How Your Interviewee Solves Problems
Asking broad, open-ended questions that address a candidate’s tendencies might give you a bird’s-eye-view of their character but won’t show you how they’ll act in given situations. Present hypothetical scenarios and ask the candidate how they would solve the problem presented or react to the situation outlined. This will go a long way in showing you what you can expect from them in the future.
Know Your Prospect Before They Enter the Interview Room
Imagine trying to find out in thirty minutes whether someone is your soul mate. While the stakes are slightly lower in a professional interview, that’s what is expected in many traditional interview situations. You are handed a piece of paper with a candidate’s qualifications and you have a short time to determine whether they’re a good fit.
This is where an organization such as Grey Matters, designed to provide IT staffing could be an invaluable resource. They can do the learning on your behalf, so you can have the confidence that every client who finds their way to the interview room has been pre-screened and confirmed as a promising candidate. This takes away the guesswork on your end, making your job easier.