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Personal Branding 101: How to Market Yourself to Your Next Employer

Marketing and branding aren’t just for businesses.  Building your own personal brand is an important tool in your career arsenal.  Your personality, interests, job experience, goals all make your “brand” and help tell your story and differentiate yourself from other candidates to prospective employers.

How do you create a brand that communicates your qualities and abilities to your employer?

  1. Keep An Up to Date LinkedIn profile: When it comes to modern recruitment, everything is on the table for employers to review in their candidate search. LinkedIn is one of the first places that a hiring manager will search when looking at a candidate’s background. That means it’s important to keep it current and complete. In addition to listing job experience and education, it’s important to list hobbies, volunteer experience, and other projects that can give employers a full picture of who you are.
  2. Keep Other Social Media Accounts Clean: The rest of your online personality and presence can also come into play when employers are searching for your history. It’s ok to have elements of your personal life in your public social media presence – in fact, you should as an authentic show of self – but you want to make sure there isn’t anything that an employer might see as a red flag to their bringing you on board.
  3. Ask For References: One of the strongest points in a personal brand can be someone else vouching for you. Asking a former boss, professor, or other professional contacts for a reference can be a good way to market yourself to employers. Using that as part of your application submission can go a long way in telling employees about who you are.

Having a strong personal brand is an important part of getting an employer’s attention. Giving potential new employers a way to see the whole package of everything you have to offer makes them more likely to see you as an asset to their company.

If you need help finding your next position, our experts can help. Our network of employers searching for qualified talent means we can find you a great match. Get in touch today.


How to Keep Your Small/Mid-Sized Business Competitive in a Challenging Job Market

You don’t have to have big brand name recognition to draw in top talent. There are plenty of ways that smaller businesses can differentiate themselves to employees and get candidates excited about coming on board. Here are some ideas to try to see more quality applicants.

  • Quality, Not Quantity: Your small business might not be able to offer a fully stocked kitchen, game room, and six-figure salary for everyone; instead focus on what you can offer. Most employees want a solid salary, retirement savings options, healthcare, and time to recharge. You might not be able to offer employees everything, but you can ensure that what you do offer in employee benefits are the highest quality your company can provide.  Focusing on a good 401k match, comprehensive health insurance, and enough PTO can secure you more hiring wins.
  • Be Flexible: More and more people are looking for flexibility in their working arrangement. One way for your company to stand out is to offer that from the get-go. Remote work and flexible start and end times of the day are preferred by many people and businesses are offering those options to get the attention of job seekers. Not only are companies who offer flexible working arrangements and remote work opportunities more likely to snag qualified candidates, but the overall flexibility can also save your business money.
  • Prioritize Culture: Company or corporate culture is about more than beer pong and standing desks. It’s about keeping employees engaged by making sure they know their value and the impact of their work. Growing a positive, healthy culture is something that money can’t buy but can make a huge difference in attracting and retaining talent.

The most important thing to remember in your recruitment efforts is to focus on what you can offer today, that meets the needs of the talent you are seeking.  Our team can help in your search to fill your staffing needs – we’re connected to some of the best talent and the best businesses in the industry. Contact us today to let us know how we can assist.


3 Telltale Signs You’re Ready for a New Job

There are plenty of obvious things that prompt your new job search – being overlooked for a promotion, company layoffs, or needing to make a cross-country move. But sometimes the need for a new job is much more subtle. How can you tell if it’s time for a change?

Below are three possible signs it might be time for a change:

  1. You Aren’t Sleeping Well: If you’re having nightmares about a project gone wrong, dread getting out of bed in the morning, or are putting in so many hours it prevents you from getting to bed at a reasonable hour; it might just be a temporary slump – or it might be time to reevaluate your job situation.
  2. You Have Health and Wellness Issues: Several symptoms might pop up if your job is taking its toll on you. Frequent headaches, reduced appetite, more frequent illnesses, or increased stress-inducing interactions might be signs your job is no longer a good fit.  You spend 40+ hours a week at work and so it makes sense that, if those hours are difficult, unfulfilling, or overly stressful, it would have a negative effect on the rest of your life.
  3. You’re Daydreaming About Retirement: If you’re spending a lot of time fantasizing about what life will be like when you don’t have to work anymore, it might be time to consider whether a different position or a different company might be a more fulfilling fit – or at least something that doesn’t make you want to race to retirement.

Not every day in the office is going to feel like a home run and other life stress can easily make work feel more difficult. Many times, project anxiety passes, new bosses settle in, and stress passes. But if every day at work is causing you to feel significant impacts in other parts of your life, it’s worth paying attention to and asking some questions.

If you’re looking to jumpstart your job search, we can help. Our expert staffing team excels at matching qualified candidates with the opportunities that are right for them. Let us join you in your job hunt today.


5 Signs You Need to Change Your Company’s Culture

Company culture can be defined as the crossroads between your corporate “vibe” or general temperament and the company values. A positive, productive culture is necessary for business success and to attract and retain the best talent. When a culture becomes toxic or stagnant you can see negative business repercussions that range from higher turnover to a negative reputation.

Below are the top signs your culture needs a change.

  1. Negative Reviews on Glassdoor: Glassdoor is like Yelp for employees or potential hires of businesses. Glassdoor allows anonymous employee reviews on their work experience, company perks and benefits, management, and more. If you’re noticing your Glassdoor rating take a nosedive, make sure you’re listening to the feedback of both current and former employees.
  2. Good Employees Are Quitting: If you’re losing quality employees, you need to take a look at your culture. Of course, talented people will move on from their current job – their talent makes them attractive to more employers. But if your company can’t hold on to any of the smart people you’re hiring, your culture might be to blame.
  3. People Are Passing on Perks: Part of the reason companies offer perks like on-site massage, pop-up yoga, and free lunches, is to garner a culture of excitement and motivation within the workplace. If there are fewer people taking advantage of your office perks, it may be because they don’t want to be there anymore. Don’t confuse “culture” with “perks.” Perks are an added bonus, where culture is a representation of attitudes, communication, and values.
  4. Lower Attendance at Happy Hours: If your out-of-office team events are getting a lot fewer RSVPs, it’s possible the culture feels so negative and oppressing to team members that they don’t even want to socialize outside of the office.
  5. Higher Work From Home Requests: If you don’t have an official work-from-home policy but hear from managers that employees are asking to be able to work off-site more, it might be an indicator the office culture has taken a turn for the worst.

Company culture is key to a successful organization. If you’re seeing reduced productivity and employee engagement, have honest conversations with employees and leadership alike to start thinking about solutions that can create positive changes.

If you’re looking for the quality talent that’s going to elevate your company and impact your culture in a positive way, call RightStone today. We can help you find your next great hire.


Phone Interview? See What the Tech Industry Is Asking

The first step to getting a job? Successfully nailing the phone interview. Your resume is the calling card for your career; the highlights of your skills and experience that can help you get noticed. After that comes the first conversation. A phone interview is a chance for a recruiter to get a feel for your personality, gauge a little bit about if there’s a skill match for the position, get a better understanding of a possible corporate culture fit, and ultimately decide if it makes sense to introduce you as a candidate to the hiring manager. Here are some of the most common tech-industry phone interview questions – and how you should handle them.

  1. “How familiar are you with [specific programming language]?” – This question will only come up for some tech positions, but don’t let its straightforwardness fool you. Companies want to know that you’re adaptable and willing to learn. Even if you don’t work in that specific language, make sure you’re clear about which ones you do have experience with and if you’re looking to add more to your portfolio of experience. Also, avoid simple yes or no answers by giving brief examples or context.
  2. “Why do you want to come work for us?” – Before you talk to a recruiter, make sure you take a look at the company’s website, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor page so you can get a sense of what kind of business they are. What about their goals or mission statement resonates with you? Do they have a lot of positive reviews where people are excited to be contributing their skills to a worthwhile company? Are they developing a solution or product you believe in? Make sure to highlight your interest in the work the company is doing and why you want to be part of that specifically.
  3. “What are your weaknesses?” – This question isn’t a trick. You don’t need to answer with, “Nothing, I’m great at everything I do” and you also don’t need to go into detail about how you’re bad at budgeting. Stay within the lines of the job description. It’s ok to be honest, as long as you can make it seem like it’s not a strong suit without making it seem like a hindrance. For instance, saying, “I’ve never been a strong extrovert, which is why I decided to build my experience in developing instead of help desk or administration work” can make it seem like you’ve identified a way to make your weakness work for you.

Later interviews will often ask for more examples of your work on projects and possibly ask you to do a work sample for evaluation. A phone interview is the first step to bigger conversations that can help you land your next job.

If you’ve been thinking about a new job, get in touch with RightStone today. We can work with you to find your next tech role and get you interview ready.

 

 


How to Stand Out in a Competitive Tech Market

While there are more and more tech jobs opening up in businesses across the country every day, it’s still a competitive market. If you want to make sure you’re considered top talent, you need to take certain steps to ensure you’re being considered for every position. Skills, experience, and education are important, but  How can you make sure your application stands apart?

  1. Improve Your Resume: Chances are that you and the candidates you’re competing against for a position have similar skill sets and educational backgrounds. Finding ways to get the edge on your competition is important and it doesn’t need to be dramatic to make an impact. Have you taken any continuing education classes? Are you currently working towards gaining a certification? Make sure that even in-process achievements are listed on your resume. Also, make sure your resume is clean and buttoned up – have a friend or peer review it for errors, typos, or other issues. Having the right skills for a tech job is important, and being a clear, a careful communicator can go a long way towards helping make the right impression.
  2. Do More Than the Minimum: Your resume and cover letter are important parts of your application, but they don’t tell the whole story and they certainly don’t have to be the limit of your application materials. If you can show a strong work sample – even if it’s not outright requested – you may be able to set yourself apart from your peers. Keeping an up to date digital portfolio of work projects and samples can help you effectively show employers why you’re the best candidate for the job.
  3. Be Mindful of Social Media: Recruiters aren’t going to single-handedly depend on your Twitter profile to make a hiring decision but making sure your social media presence is professional – or at least not offensive – is an important part of looking for work. Having personality is important, but if it comes down to you and another candidate, you want to make sure you’re the one that the company will be proud to be associated with.

These small adjustments can go a long way towards helping you stand out for a competitive position. Looking for your next role? Get in touch today. RightStone can help you find the right job for your experience, skill set, and career goals.


Are You a Preferred Working Destination for Generation Z

As of 2019, Generation Z makes up about 25 percent of the US population. Defined as the group born between 1997 and the early 2010s, there are some features of this generational group that make it distinct from the generations that came before them. Here are some things to consider about this group that has already begun entering the professional workforce.

  • More Pragmatic and More Budget-Oriented: Most members of Generation Z grew up during a recession. That means they’re more practical than most members of the millennial generation and also more focused on saving money. This means salary will play more of a role in their acceptance of job offers.
  • Mobile Natives: Generation Z was born into an age of the internet. They are quick learners and are used to engaging digitally. If you want to recruit Gen Z talent, you’ll need to make sure you’re providing a good online application process; you might also consider offering Gen Z applicants their choice of Mac or PC or other digital perks like remote work.
  • Prefer Face-to-Face Communication: As digitally savvy as Gen Z is, they are used to things, including communication, moving quickly. In the workplace, email can be a slower form of communication that slows down their process, so many prefer to communicate face to face for a faster resolution. Creating a space that enables more collaboration and easier communication will be important to this generation.
  • Growth-Oriented: Generation Z works hard and wants to be rewarded for their impact. One of their biggest goals is to advance in a company and meet their full career potential. Gen Z will need acknowledgement to remain loyal to a company.

As the baby boomer generation continues to retire and more millennials step into company leadership roles, it’s important to make sure that the upcoming generation, Gen Z, is considered in the building and improvement of company culture as they will begin to make up a larger portion of companies in the coming years. Attracting and retaining the best talent is important for any brand. You might not be able to make everyone happy all the time, but it’s important to consider the needs of your employees as you shape employment policies. Even your physical workspace can help create the best possible balance for generation Z.

If you’re looking for your next hire, RightStone can help match you with the best talent. Give us a call today.

 


Are You Doing Enough to Retain Your Top IT Talent?

Retaining the best talent is one of the most important parts of the recruiting and hiring process. It’s important to be able to attract qualified talent; however, you want to make sure they’ll stay and support your business. This is particularly true for quality IT employees – advancing technology often means there are more job openings than there are qualified applicants. Here are the most important things to consider when working on your retainment strategy.

  1. Salary: What you pay matters. It’s important to make sure that your salary ranges are competitive within the industry and they are regularly reviewed to adjust for cost of living and performance raises.
  2. Employee Engagement: Employees want to stay with businesses who they think are invested in them and care about them as people. Engaged employees are productive, committed employees. What works for engaging employees will vary, but some company initiatives might include a company-wide monthly lunch that updates everyone on the business, paid time off for team volunteering or after-work happy hours. Anything that shows your company is committed to communication and employee well-being in and out of the workplace.
  3. Culture and Environment: It’s important to cultivate the kind of culture and physical environment you know employees want to work in. This doesn’t necessarily mean having a ping-pong room and a zen cave, but getting creative with ways to make work a more engaging place to be can be a good retention strategy. Not every company can afford a slick facility with a gym and spa, but what about a stipend for group exercise classes or monthly on-site yoga? What about offering standing desks for employees to stretch their legs and break up the day in a cubicle? Small changes and perks can make a big difference.

Your talent makes up the foundation of your business and is critical to your success. It pays off to have a retention strategy that will keep your people with you as your business grows and changes.

If you need help attracting and recruiting the best talent – and want some time back to focus on your retention strategy – give us a call today.


5 Tips to Overhauling Your Resume

Your resume is still the best tool to get noticed by recruiters. It’s a streamlined way to showcase your career and education highlights in an easy format to quickly send off to employers. It’s a good idea to keep your resume updated at all times – even if you’re happy in your current position or only passively looking for a new role. This way if a can’t-be-missed or once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ever comes up, you’ll be ready with resume in hand.

Here’s how to overhaul or improve your resume.

  1. Pay Attention to Format: Whether you’re handing out print copies of your resume or sending them through email and job portal uploads, the top of the page matters most. This is what recruiters and hiring managers see first. Make sure the most relevant information is at the top of your resume.
  2. Get a Second Opinion: Have a resume writer or other qualified person take a look at your resume and ask for input. Whether it’s giving you information on what a 30-second review tells them or offering advice on how to format your experience for maximum impact, you can get a lot out of third-party outlook.
  3. Make it Match: Even if it’s not a highly designed resume, make sure it looks clean, professional and consistent. Ensure your fonts in the header section match the body of your resume and take time to match your cover letter to your resume.
  4. Edit Your Experience: If you feel like your experience section is lacking, incorporate more kinds of experience to fill it out. Everything from volunteer work to part-time jobs to freelance and contracting positions can help make your resume more robust and showcase a broader skill set.
  5. Use More Data and Facts: Describing your experience with qualifying information is key – how many projects did you work on and what were the results? If you oversaw a software installation that improved productivity of a department or entire business unit, note the percentage increase on your resume. Showcasing accomplishments that can be linked to hard data is one of the best ways to stand out and solidify your experience.

Improving your resume can ensure that you are taken seriously as a candidate and can qualify you for the best possible positions. Performing an overhaul or making significant changes to your current resume can make sure it’s ready for wherever your career path takes you.

If you’re looking for your next job opportunity, get in touch today. Our expert staffing professionals can help connect you with the next step in your career.


Top Cities for the IT Professional Looking to Relocate

The tech industry shows no signs of slowing down. All across the country, most technology-related jobs continue to see growth, and new positions continue to pop up on job boards. So, where’s the best place for an IT professional to settle down and grow a career? Are there cities worth uprooting and moving to in search of a dream job?

Student Loan Hero notes that certain IT jobs are more common and abundant in certain areas of the country. According to their study, computer programmers have the best chance of finding work in the southern region of the US, while web developers and systems analysts have more success in the Midwest.

Overall, the south is home to 47 of the top 100 cities that are best for those seeking tech jobs to find work. Not only is work readily available in these growing areas, but the cost of living to salary ratio is also higher than in other areas. If you’re looking to relocate for your tech career, you might consider making your home in one of the following U.S. cities:

  • Hinesville, GA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Hattiesburg, MI
  • New Bern, NC
  • California, MD

Another 2018 survey found that tech workers are also finding work in other major cities, all experiencing population growth and new business development, including:

  • Dallas
  • Seattle
  • San Francisco
  • Houston
  • Miami

Whatever your dream IT job is – cybersecurity, business intelligence, programming, web and mobile development or another focus – you don’t have to settle for what’s available within your zip code. Many companies are short on good talent, particularly in certain areas, so it might actually be easier to find your dream job outside of your closest major metropolitan area. Don’t limit your job search to your immediate vicinity. Finding an innovative company in an up and coming city can help accelerate your career, so it’s worth considering spots outside of your current neighborhood.

If you’re looking for your next IT job, we can help. Our expert recruiters are connected to a large network of businesses looking for IT talent and experienced candidates just like you. If you’re working towards your dream job and need some help with your search, get in touch today.


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