In the course of the IT professional’s job search, certain steps can ultimately mean the difference between being selected for an interview and being lost in the crowd. One of the most crucial of these steps is the crafting and submission of strong, compelling, and up-to-date cover letters.
The cover letter is your opportunity to leave a strong impression in the mind of a hiring manager. This document should communicate enough personal information that it creates a comprehensive picture of you, your background, and your experience; but it should not be so long that it leaves recruiters feeling bored. The bottom line is that creating the perfect cover letter is a balancing act; one that requires some knowledge about what, specifically, IT managers are looking for.
With that in mind, let’s explore four crucial steps to drafting the perfect IT cover letter:
Draft Your Cover Letter so That it’s Complementary To, Not Duplicative Of, Your Resume – Your resume and your cover letter are two separate documents serving separate purposes, and they should be drafted accordingly. Your resume will delineate the specific roles you’ve had throughout your career, and your cover letter should detail the specific skills that you’ve acquired as a result of working in each role. In other words, your resume should be seen as a more technical document; your cover letter, on the other hand, should describe how your experience has caused you to grow and develop professionally over the years.
Don’t Include Too Much Personal Information – Your cover letter should leave hiring managers with a detailed sense of your professional skills and experience. You don’t need to take up too much space discussing your personal or family life (unless that’s specifically requested in the job post). As a general rule, you should stick to elucidating your professional credentials and how they qualify you for a particular role when you’re crafting your cover letter.
Tailor Each Cover Letter for the Role You’re Applying For – If you’re submitting a generic cover letter for every role that you apply to, hiring managers will be able to tell. This will not reflect well on your suitability for a role. Before you submit, be sure that you mention somewhere in your cover letter the following pieces of information:
The position you’re applying for (this should be mentioned in the first couple of sentences)
How you first heard about the job
The skills and experience that qualify you for this particular role
Be honest – As with any part of the application and interview process, honesty is always the best policy. Your cover letter should focus on your background, experience, skills, and aspirations in as transparent a way as possible. Stating – or even implying – that you have skills that you haven’t developed may benefit you in the short-term, but it will eventually come back to haunt you. Be yourself and sell your merits exactly as they are.
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As job requirements for professionals across the IT industry continue to become more and more specialized, it’s becoming an increasingly difficult challenge for even the most well-equipped HR departments to find and recruit candidates with the necessary experience and skills. In addition, the quick pace of the modern IT company puts pressure on hiring managers to fill roles quickly, often forcing them to sacrifice quality for expediency. As a consequence, it’s not uncommon for HR departments in the IT industry to go into acute crisis mode whenever it’s time to hire a new employee.
To help with the process of finding, contacting, and recruiting top-talent employees, many HR departments are finding that working with IT recruiters is beneficial. The resources and expertise of these third-party hiring specialists make the recruitment process less cumbersome and can produce stronger and more long-lasting relationships between employers and employees.
If you’re curious about the benefits of working with an IT recruiter, then look no further: below we’ll explore five proven ways that an IT recruiter can empower your HR staff:
Sharpen Job Requirements – Oftentimes, HR departments will only be able to describe the requirements of a particular IT job in general terms. Recruiters, on the other hand, can hone in on the particular responsibilities, qualities, and skills that will be required for a candidate to be successful.
Make the Distinction Between Needs’ and Wants – It’s easy for HR departments to confuse “need-to-have” qualities with “nice-to-have” qualities when searching for a candidate, which can significantly delay the process. By working with an IT recruiter, hiring managers can enter into the search with a much clearer distinction between these categories, which will go a long way in keeping priorities straight.
Provide Follow-Up Support – Once initial contact is made with a promising candidate, it’s vitally important that the communication continues at a steady pace. Many HR departments are unable to commit enough time and resources to this phase of the hiring process. Recruiters, on the other hand, specialize in steady and productive conversations to ensure the process stays on track.
Create Productive Interviews – Any time your company is looking for that perfect candidate who will be able to bring the right set of skills, personality, and experience to a role, conducting generic, standardized interviews can be counterproductive. Alternatively, working with recruiters to design interview questions that are tailored for particular candidates will leave your team with a much clearer sense of their eligibility.
Provide Quick and Accurate Feedback – Many HR departments struggle to provide prompt feedback to candidates once the interview process has begun. Given the number of people being interviewed and the other demands placed on HR, this is unsurprising – however, it can often result in the loss of a promising candidate. IT recruiters remove the friction from this part of the process by gleaning thoughts and impressions from hiring managers and the candidates, shortly after the interview to provide constructive feedback to both parties.
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At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to make connections that last. To learn more about how to get connected with top talent, let’s talk.
As communications, technologies, and workplace models continue to evolve, it’s becoming more and more common for IT companies to allow remote work options for their employees. In an illustrative example, a recent Gallup poll found that 43% of Americans now work remotely at least part-time (compared to 39% in 2012). Despite the increasing popularity of allowing employees to work remotely, there are some management and logistical problems that employers can encounter.
If you manage a team of remote employees but find yourself struggling to maintain a sense of unity, cohesion, or common purpose, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are some simple tactics which employers can adopt to manage remote employees more easily:
Make Time for Facetime – This is a rule that should be applied for all employees, regardless of whether they work on-site or remotely. When you’re strategizing for a project or planning for an important goal, make an effort to connect with remote employees via a video chat or meet for coffee, as opposed to communicating via email or a phone call.
Leverage Communications Technologies – To maximize cohesion within your team of remote employees, use multiple communications platforms (such as Slack, Skype, or Google Hangouts). Using multiple communications platforms to keep the conversation going will ensure that they feel their needs are being addressed and that they have a direct line of communication to their team leader.
Get Them Connected With Other Off-Site Employees – By facilitating the communication between remote employees who are in the same area, managers can strengthen their network of off-site employees and ensure that there is a chain of support for managing projects.
Maintain Steady Communication and Provide Regular Feedback – The communication must be a two-way street with remote employees. If you don’t provide them with regular feedback, remote employees can quickly start feeling alienated, unimportant, or excluded.
Acknowledge Their Achievements – It’s easy to make an on-site employee feel recognized and acknowledged when they’ve made a notable contribution, but things can be a bit trickier when it comes to our remote employees. Nevertheless, managers must make an effort to make remote workers feel recognized by their peers for their accomplishments. When a remote employee goes above and beyond, make sure you acknowledge them in a line of communication that will be visible to their teammates.
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At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to make connections that last. To learn more about how to get connected with top talent, contact us today and let’s have a discussion!