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How to Write the Perfect IT Cover Letter

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.

Looking to Grow Your Career?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


5 Ways an IT Recruiter Can Help Your HR Staff

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.

Looking to Grow Your Team?

 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.


Remote Work: Learn How to Properly Manage Remote Staff Members

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Looking to Staff Up?

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!

 


5 Recruiting Tactics That Will Help Attract Top Talent

The rapid pace of development currently being experienced within the IT industry means there is more competition than ever — not only to innovate more advanced tech, but also to recruit the most talented engineers. In order to remain ahead of the curve, it’s crucial that IT companies implement the most effective and up-to-date tactics into their recruitment methods. The pace of change within the industry, however, can make it difficult to stay updated on the current best practices for finding talented candidates.

We’re here to help by providing you with five recruiting tactics that are sure to help your company attract top-talent IT professionals:

1. Be Clear About Mission Statements and Goals: It’s important for applicants to have a sense of the guiding purpose(s) that are driving your company, and how they would specifically fit within that scheme. Increase the chances of having talented candidates apply for open positions in your company by being clear in job descriptions about the mission statement that would define their role, and how that would fit into the larger context of their department and the organization.

2. Let Them Know About All Perks and Benefits: The more perks you’re able to offer, and the more clearly, you’re able to describe them in job posts and during the interview process, the more likely you’ll be to attract talented IT professionals.

3. Sell Your Company’s Scalability: Talented IT job candidates will seek employers who are able to offer opportunities for growth and advancement. When setting out to find new talent for an open position, it’s important to communicate to applicants exactly how they’ll be able to climb the ladder of success within the company. These details will vary from role to role, so it will be necessary to speak with team leaders before you advertise these opportunities in job posts.

4. Streamline Your Recruitment Process: Talented engineers in today’s IT industry are highly valued commodities, so the sooner you can secure a new hire, the better. This means it’s important to streamline each step of the recruitment process as much as possible — including establishing communication, reviewing their background, interviewing, and eventually hiring them.

5. Incentivize Employees to Help With Sourcing: When it comes to finding talented engineers, your existing employees could be one of your strongest assets. By offering incentives (either financial or benefits-based) for employees to connect your recruiting team with talented job candidates, you’ll be ensuring that your team helps to provide you with IT professionals that are in their network and looking for new roles.

Do You Want to Find Top Talent?

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, we’re here to help.


Top Ways to Identify Your Ideal IT Job

 

As revolutionary new technologies continue to arise in an increasingly dynamic industry, there are more specialized roles available to IT job candidates than ever before. While this leaves them with more options and thus more opportunities than ever before, job applicants are often faced with the difficulty of finding the position that is just right for their unique skill set, experience, and lifestyle.

Here are our top three ways to narrow down your job search and find the IT role that’s a perfect match for you:

Identify the Aspects of Your Last Job That You Won’t Miss:

In most cases, the search for a new job begins by acknowledging there are some aspects of your current job that were just not a good fit for you. Whether it was a toxic coworker, an overbearing boss or just not the sort of work you dream of doing, there are always concrete reasons why we finally decide to take the leap and look for a new role. Paying close attention to these factors and taking the time to write them out — so that you know to look for the opposite scenario in the future — can help you find the workplace and job opportunity that is right for you.

Don’t Judge a Role by its Job Title:

In order to maximize the number of applications submitted each day, it’s easy for candidates to simply search their most recent job title and submit applications to anything that matches. While this can be a useful exercise for getting a sense of the opportunities are available, it can often lead to applications getting submitted for positions that are not a good match. When you’re looking for a new role in IT, it’s always worthwhile to take your time and submit quality applications to positions with descriptions that you’re able to break down, detail by detail.

Use Your Peers as Resources:

The people we work closely with often have a better sense of — or at least provide secondary insights into — what our particular strengths are, and thus what an ideal job might be in terms of environment and responsibilities for us. If you’ve made the decision to seek out a new job, you don’t need to go it alone. If you have peers that you trust and who know your working style and skills, ask them for feedback about the sorts of jobs you’re looking into and if they have any recommendations for places to apply.

Additionally, networking with colleagues who are currently working in a position or company you realistically see yourself in is a great way to get a better sense of what it’s like to work in a particular role. If you decide to reach out to someone, be sure to ask them what they enjoy and are challenged by in their job and their workplace, and if they would recommend a similar position to someone with your background.

Ready For Your Next Career Fit?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page.


The Top IT Industry Skills You Need to Get Noticed During Your Job Hunt

 

The modern IT industry is dynamic and multifaceted, drawing on many different areas of expertise in order to build technologies and incorporate ideas that are dramatically changing the world. In order to be successful in such an industry, modern IT professionals need to be equally adaptable and must be equipped with proper technical and interpersonal skills. In an industry which morphs as rapidly as ours, however, it can be difficult for job seekers to stay up to date on what the most highly valued industry skills are.

To give you a leg up in your search for a new role in IT, here are the five most important IT skills that are sure to get you noticed:

● Creativity

○ Rapid innovation brings with it novel problems, which in turn require out-of-the-box thinkers. IT professionals today tackle increasingly complex technical problems, which means employers value the ability to creatively and effectively devise solutions over virtually any other quality.

● Collaboration

○ IT companies increasingly need their employees to work closely with other teammates throughout the organization in order to complete projects in the fastest and most efficient way possible. The ability to communicate and cooperate with, as well as lead large groups of colleagues,  is invaluable to modern IT employers.

● Analytic Problem Solving

○ IT companies are always on the lookout for job candidates that can analyze complicated problems and be able to formulate strategies to solve them. As the IT industry sets its sights on tackling bigger and more complex technical problems, the ability to be decisive and to chart a course to success will be more valuable than ever before.

● Cloud Computing

○ The cloud is now everywhere, connecting and integrating every facet of the IT industry — from data analytics to product management, to cybersecurity. Job candidates that are able to demonstrate an aptitude for cloud computing will have a huge advantage in today’s IT industry. A good place to get started is to take one of several cloud computing training courses that are available online.

● Analytics and Data Management

○ IT companies today are racing to become more data-based and data-driven. As a result, more and more critical business decisions are being made on the basis of data analysis. IT professionals who have experience and understanding of data analytics and management are in huge demand for IT companies striving to make this transition to the new data model.

Looking For a New Job?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page.


Learn How to Speed Up Your IT Recruitment Process

 

Many IT leaders and businesses struggle with implementing new and effective ways of recruiting top talent to their teams. This is not due to a lack of trying, but rather the constantly evolving nature of recruitment methods themselves. As our industry grows and develops, so too do the means of identifying and communicating with job candidates. In order to optimize their recruitment processes, it’s important for employers in the IT industry to position themselves appropriately and take advantage of the proper resources.

Here are some simple and effective ways to enhance your recruiting process, so that your business can begin to quickly attract expert job candidates:

Strengthen Your Employer Branding

One of the most important qualities that all leading IT companies share is a strong, engaging, and consistent brand story. In other words, all top IT employers understand the value of a coherent and attractive mission statement that candidates will be able to relate to. If your company has a strong employer brand that is communicated in online copy, blog content, and emails, it will give candidates a much clearer idea of the driving goals behind the company, and how they would — if hired — fit within that larger scheme.

Develop Personal Relationships With Candidates

Finding a new job in IT is often a lonely and frustrating road to tread. With so many automated responses and impersonal application processes, it’s no wonder that job seekers often feel alienated as they search for a new position. Employers that take the time to engage in personally communicating can make a huge impression with candidates and have a much greater chance of having an applicant follow through. This doesn’t mean that you need to personally respond to every single application, but quickly and personally reaching out to candidates whose CV and experience catch your eye is sure to keep the recruitment and interview process moving forward on the right foot.

Partner With a Staffing Agency

Staffing Agencies specialize in connecting IT candidates that are on the job market with IT companies who are searching for top talent. While most in-house IT HR departments tend to (by necessity) prioritize finding talent quickly over digging deep to find the best candidates, staffing agencies have the resources, time, and personnel to commit to reaching out directly to engineers who might otherwise be overlooked. In addition to looking for candidates to fill a role, staffing agencies can also be great resources for advocating your company’s mission statement, values, and ambitions.

Looking For Top Talent?

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, we’re here to help.


5 Tech Trends That Are Helping HR

 

New technologies are reshaping every dimension of IT, and the industry’s recruitment practices are no exception. In 2019 and beyond, emerging digital tools like social media and predictive analytics are revolutionizing the ways in which HR departments are being connected to top-talent engineers.

Here are the five technology trends to be on the lookout for that are improving HR tactics in IT:

1. Social Media: Though social media platforms are nothing new to society at large, HR has been adopting novel uses for them that are changing the recruitment process. With the enormous reliance on social media demonstrated by younger employees entering into the workforce, more and more employers are advertising jobs and using these platforms to get connected with talented candidates.

2. Online Staffing Firms: Staffing firms are companies that specialize in connecting job candidates with employers in any industry. In the case of IT, staffing firms are an especially powerful asset to utilize during the recruitment process, because they have the skills and resources to dig deep through the candidate-pool to find talented engineers that would be easily overlooked by traditional HR methods.

3. Predictive Analytics: HR departments throughout the IT industry are implementing data analytics software into the recruitment process in order to quickly analyze candidates’ experience, qualifications, and the chances of their long-term success in a particular role.

4. Mobile Apps: There is a skyrocketing reliance on smartphones for candidates who are searching for jobs and submitting applications. In response to this, an increasing number of companies are developing their own mobile apps which candidates can use to more easily submit applications and receive a personalized response from HR.

5. Cloud Tracking Systems: The sheer number of applications and employee data is often too much for any single HR department to keep organized. Thankfully, cloud-based applicant tracking systems are a powerful tool for recruiters to keep large quantities of applicant data digitally organized, accessible, and updated.

Ready to Staff Up?

At RightStone, we’re implementing these new and exciting technological tools in order to help companies reshape their recruitment practices. If you’re ready to begin modernizing your tactics for connecting with top talent, drop us a line.


Networking: The Lost Art of Job Seeking

 

To a large degree, the modern job candidate exists in a world of anonymity. Curated social media profiles, online applications reviewed and assessed more and more by algorithms, and automated email responses are all valuable tools for most employers; however, such detached interactions leave most job seekers feeling alienated. Once upon a time, face-to-face networking was the modus operandi for job candidates. In today’s informationally overloaded and impersonal world, it could once again be the best method for sidestepping the digital frenzy and forging meaningful professional relationships.

Face-to-face networking is as powerful a tool as it was two decades ago, but it’s become something of a lost art. Here are a few tips for improving your face-to-face networking skills to propel your job search:

Aim to Learn Before Aiming to Impress: When you’re engaging in conversation with a colleague or a professional contact, make it your primary goal to listen as attentive as possible rather than speaking as much as you can.

Be Equipped With Business Cards: It’s hard to overstate the short-term and long-term utility of having a personal business card — with your name, phone number, and email address — on you while you’re networking. People’s memories are often far less reliable than they believe, so having a tangible record of you will greatly increase the chances of them connecting with you in the future.

Reach Out: After establishing a connection with someone in person, following up with a short, friendly email is a great way to keep the dialogue going. When you’re reaching out, be sure to be specific and reference something that was discussed in your initial conversation.

Have an Intention: Before you set out to meet people, be sure that you’re clear and confident in the specific ways your expertise will benefit them, and how they’ll be able to help you in turn. Having these details mapped out beforehand will make you much more relaxed than if you were simply starting out not knowing what a mutually fruitful relationship might look like.

Get the Ball Rolling: If you set up the meeting with a goal in mind (as you should be if you’re networking with intent), don’t make your contact be the one that has to break the ice. By arriving to the meeting early and starting the conversation by laying out your background and your vision for what a beneficial relationship might look like, you’ll make a positive impression as a confident and efficient asset that people will want to work with.

Looking For Your Next Career Fit?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to make connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for your next exciting role in IT, we’re here to help.


How to Improve Your Soft Skills for Your Next Job

Entering a new IT role requires mastering several “hard skills” such as programming, analytical thinking, and coding. These skills are familiar and universal to all IT professionals. However, there is a parallel category of abilities better known as “soft skills” that receive far less attention but are equally as important to excelling in your IT career.

Most people have a shaky understanding of what specific expertise fall under that category of “soft skills.” Simply put, a soft skill is an attribute, ability or trait that enhances someone’s interpersonal communication skills. As noted above, IT is an industry that highly values hard skills; however, there are some soft skills which, if used correctly, can greatly amplify your hard skills.

By blending hard skills with the following soft skills, you’ll excel quickly and establish deeper relationships within your new role:

  • Teamwork – Whether you’re working with clients, contractors or co-workers, being a professional in the IT industry requires a lot of collaboration. When working with teammates or third parties, be sure to bring your own contributions to the table, but also be open to receiving alternate opinions and new ideas.
  • Flexibility – Working in IT means encountering an ever-shifting landscape of novel problems and hurdles that will require creative solutions. To succeed in a new job, IT pros need to be able to quickly adapt to solving new challenges, using new technologies, and adjusting to new workplace norms.
  • Self-Reflection – Starting a new job means coming to terms with a whole new set of professional expectations and standards. Adapting to a new work environment takes a tremendous amount of self-awareness, which can often be tricky. Asking managers and colleagues for feedback to gauge how well you’re meeting expectations is a great way to connect with co-workers and ensure you’re on the right track.
  • Public Speaking – The ability to address a group of peers and confidently articulate your thoughts is one of the most important skills for succeeding in a new IT role.
  • Creativity – The IT industry is at the cutting edge of innovation, which means IT companies are constantly integrating new technologies, new value systems, and revolutionary new ideas. In such a forward-facing environment, the individual that can bring creative solutions and offer alternative paths forward will be a step above the competition.

Just like learning a new hard skill, becoming adept at any of the five soft skills listed above will require patience, persistence, and practice. Unlike hard skills such as programming, however, soft skills such as creativity, flexibility, and negotiation can be practiced in almost any setting and can be applied to many different areas throughout your career. Becoming a stronger communicator and a more creative thinker will allow you to apply your hard skills in new ways that will make you stand out in any workplace.

Find Your Next Career Fit Today!

If you need help landing your next position, we can help! Our team of experts are ready to work with you to find your next career fit. Contact us today!

 

 

 

 

 


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