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Back in the Game – Relaunch Your IT Career in a COVID-19 World

Whether you’re employed or looking to get back in the game, the current job landscape is full of uncertainty. Everything from where to how we work has been impacted by the last six months. But the uncertainty doesn’t mean that it’s not a good time to relaunch your career.

Here are a few tips for getting back in the game in a COVID-19 (and hopefully the soon-to-be-post-COVID-19 world).

Use Self-Analysis to Start

Everything around you has changed, and if you’re like most, some of your circumstances changed, too. So, now is a good time to check-in and re-establish what you’re looking for.

  • Are you able to return to your past roles?
  • Do you want to return to past roles?
  • What do you value from work now?
  • Do you need a flexible part-time option?
  • What would you compromise to get the right working conditions?
  • What supports do you need to transition back to full-time work? Do you have them?
  • Are you looking to transition to a new role or career?

Keep Networking

Who you know is going to be just as important as what you know when you re-enter the job market. But networking isn’t just about getting your foot in the door of a new opportunity. It’s also a chance to strategize.

By keeping up with the people in your network, you’ll know what’s happening in IT. You’ll hear more about the better places to work, what to expect from salary negotiations — and of course, about vacant positions.

Networking also includes reading. So, dive into industry and trade media to keep up with dier trends. Then, when you walk into your first interview back, it will sound a lot more like you never left.

Tailor Your Application and Transferable Skills

Today is not the time to send out 100 copies of the same resume. There’s a combination of huge pools of talent and far fewer opportunities to stand out in the process thanks to virtual recruiting.

As you apply for jobs that interest you, take the time to tailor your application to the role. Don’t worry if you aren’t a carbon copy of the job description. You can use transferable skills to make your application stand out.

Take the time to think about your skills and strengths and wield them to show recruiters what a strong candidate you are.

Consider Contract Freelance in the Meantime

Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t re-skill and up-skill. Freelancing and remote learning are a great way to get this done. You can not only pick up new skills but put them to practice.

Plus, both options give you a chance to practice the skills needed for remote contract work, which was already growing before the pandemic.

 

Are you ready to get back out there and wondering if this is a good time to re-enter IT? RightStone is placing candidates like you right now. Get in touch to learn more about our current listings and how we pair the right client and candidate.


Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Interview

There’s one big job interview error that almost everyone makes. Do you know what it is?

It’s not talking too much or too little. The mistake has nothing to do with what you wear. No, one of the most pervasive misconceptions about job interviews is that the interviewer asks all the questions. On the contrary, an interview is a two-way street. Asking questions is the easiest way to demonstrate an interest in the role you applied for. They also help you assess whether the role and employer are right for you.

What questions get the best responses from interviews? Make sure you ask these questions at your next interview.

Questions About the Role

There are two types of questions you need to ask during your interview. The first relates to the role and the day-to-day responsibilities that come with it. These include:

  • Who do I report to?
  • What soft skills do successful people bring to the role?
  • What are the challenges of the role?
  • What did the past role occupant do to succeed?
  • How long did the last person to occupy the role stay in the position? Why did they leave?
  • What happens during a typical day?

The answers to these questions give you a good idea of what’s expected of you and what you can expect from the job itself. Not only will they help you distinguish the job from other roles, but they’ll give you something to think about if asked back for a second interview.

Questions About the Employer

Understanding your daily responsibilities is only have of the puzzle. As you know, the structure of the organization can help or hinder you in your job and down the road as you progress in your career.

What questions draw out the answers you need? Make sure you ask:

  • How would you describe the office/company culture?
  • What do you (the interview) like about working here?
  • How does the company promote employee and team development?
  • How does the role fit in with the company’s goals and vision?
  • How does the company evaluate success?

These questions help you identify the goals and values of the company and identify whether it’s a culture that suits your working style. You’ll quickly figure out whether the employer promotes from within, fosters talent, and prioritizes engagement without ever having to ask directly.

Interviews Go Both Ways

It’s a common misconception to think that a job interview places you and only you in the hot seat. For an interview to work, it’s important for you to interview your employer, too. You will learn far more about what they expect from you and the role, which gives you a better idea of whether you’re a good fit.

Are you looking for your next IT role?

At RightStone, we place candidates with clients that are right for you. Get in touch to learn how your next consulting job could be the start of a long-term relationship.


Career Spotlight: Software Developers

Have you seen a lot of software developer roles open up lately? We’re not surprised. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the economy to add 284,100 software developer jobs between 2018 and 2028, making it one of the fastest-growing jobs available.

This month, we’d like to put a spotlight on software developers the backbones of software architecture. 

What does a software developer do, and could it be the right career path for you? Keep reading to learn more.

What Does a Software Developer Do?

Software developers imagine and then create applications that make businesses run. Some developers work on specific task applications but others focus on the core systems that underpin entire networks or devices. Either way, they produce the creative vision that directs the software from inception to completion (with maintenance in between).

On any given day, a software developer might:

  • Identify and analyze end-user needs
  • Design, test, develop, and maintain software
  • Create models to direct programmers in creating code
  • Document and record the application for future reference
  • Collaborate with programmers, engineers, and other specialists

How to Become a Software Developer

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most software developers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. While you don’t need a degree to be creative or to be a great developer, hiring managers do prioritize the skills taught in computer science programs. Developers with degrees find it easier to get hired and enjoy a higher earning potential.

In addition to understanding theory, you also need to know how to code. Even though coding isn’t a heavy part of your day-to-day activities, you know how to direct the programmers who do it on your behalf. Although there’s no ‘best’ language for developers, you will be more successful if you know multiple because you will use multiple languages in large-scale projects.

Your success as a developer goes beyond your technical skills. You also need soft skills like:

  • Analytical skills
  • Project management
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership

What about certifications? Are they required or simply in-demand? You might consider certifications like:

  • SAP Certified Development Associate – SAP HANA 2.0
  • Oracle Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP) Data Engineer
  • Certified OpenStack Administrator

Are You Ready to Take Your Career to the Next Level?

Software developers are incredibly in demand in cities around the U.S. So, if you like to think big and find creative solutions to meet end-user needs, why not consider a career as a developer?  Create a RightStone account and submit your resume to receive customized job alerts.


Best Practices When Working Remotely

Remote work was once considered a perk, but it’s now becoming more than ‘desirable.’ For many businesses around the world, it’s essential. In 2019, 3.4% of U.S. workers skipped the office and worked from an off-site location. It goes without saying that the figure is much higher in 2020. Facebook and Google just extended their work-from-home policies until the end of 2020.

Working remotely is a big change, and while there are many benefits, adjustments must be made to succeed. Because so many jobs in IT and tech cater well to remote working, employers are looking for candidates who bring remote work skills to the table.

To help you out, we put together some of the best practices candidates and employees can use when making the transition to remote work.

Choose Your Working Hours Carefully

Finding the right hours requires some careful experimentation. Because whether you’re easily distracted or tend towards workaholic tendencies, working from home (or a coffee shop) requires you to know what you want to accomplish and when.

If your company doesn’t require you to track your time and has flexible hours, start by playing around with your most productive working hours. For some people, prime time starts at 7 AM. For others, nothing gets done before lunch.

Don’t try to force yourself into the typical 9-5 at home unless it’s required by your employer. By giving yourself space to find your most productive periods, you can then create a structure that allows you to be productive and consistent and say “pencils down” at the end of the day.

Find a Work Station 

The first big wave of remote workers started in March, and about two weeks in, they all realized that working on your computer from your sofa or kitchen table is fairly untenable. 

It’s important to find a space in your home where you can work that’s not only private but also not in a space where you otherwise spend your time.

One of the biggest problems remote workers have isn’t being productive but switching off at the end of the day. Working from your sofa makes that much harder.

Make finding a place to work each day a priority, and if that means getting out of the house when things reopen, don’t be afraid of that either!

Play with Task Management Methodologies

Because you’re not physically at work, it can be difficult to prioritize or manage tasks. Ideally, you’re working with a project management app or channel, but even then, it’s easy to look at the long list and not get anything done.

Consider adding other methodologies like the Pomodoro technique to help you complete tasks and refocus when you need to. Other apps and techniques you can try include:

  • Flowtime
  • Cowrkr
  • Swiff

Are You Ready for Remote Work?

Remote work was already a force to be reckoned with, but the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed it from an experiment in employee perks to a way of life. It’s very likely that even when businesses can return to work as normal, many will still seek to keep certain staff working off-site.

Learn more

Are you on the hunt for your next role? Get in touch to learn more about how we place consultants like you with projects that match your skills and work-style.


8 Traits That Successful Engineers Show

With the rate at which new technologies are currently being developed, the IT industry remains in a perpetual state of flux. Tech companies that are able to adapt to the shifting technological landscape tend to grow and thrive, while organizations that remain fixed to the tools of the past run the risk of being left behind. As an extension of that phenomenon, it’s vital to the success of individual engineers to be able to continuously update their skillset and to be a fluid learner within their dynamic work environment. The responsibilities of the average IT engineer may, at times, feel monotonous, but the fact is that engineers must hone a broad array of skills – both technical and interpersonal – in order to achieve success.

What are the most important character traits for an engineer to possess in 2020?

1. Constant learner

New technologies can become essential for the engineer’s toolkit practically overnight. It’s crucial, therefore, for the modern engineer to be able to take the initiative and educate him or herself when trying to master new platforms or programs.

2. Detail-oriented

No one knows the truth behind the phrase the devil is in the details better than engineers. When you’re consistently working with and building code, it’s absolutely crucial to develop a hyper-attention to minute details.

3. Communicator

Discussing the more technical aspects of a project to your fellow engineers is one thing; breaking it down to clients and customers is quite another. Given the necessity for modern engineers to often work closely with people outside of their department, the ability to communicate complex information in layman terms is invaluable.

4. Determined and driven

It’s inevitable. Every engineer will – at one point or another – be faced with an obstacle that feels insurmountable or a technical problem that appears to be unsolvable. The successful engineer, however, is the one that views these occurrences as challenges to be overcome rather than as reasons to give up.

5. Collaborator

The modern engineer will frequently be required to work within a team setting. As a result, it’s vital for the success of the individual and of the team that each engineer understands the value of compromise, listening, patience, delegation, and teamwork.

6. Leader

An integral part of any engineer’s job description is encountering and resolving complex problems that even company executives may not be able to offer solutions to. When such technical problems present themselves, companies will frequently turn to their engineers to provide solutions. Consequently, it’s important for engineers to possess the confidence and motivation which will allow them to take the lead.

7. Analytical

At its core, engineering requires an ability to digest vast quantities of information, identify patterns, and finally to reorganize information or develop new patterns that will optimally serve the interests of the organization. In order to perform these duties effectively, engineers must constantly sharpen their analytical and data-processing capabilities.

8. Creativity

Lastly (but certainly not least), engineers must be able to think outside of the box. If an engineer’s methods become too fixed and rigid, he may struggle to adapt to the changing conditions of the industry in which he operates. By constantly updating his own skillset and daring to adopt unconventional modes of thought, on the other hand, he’ll be able to continuously innovate and meet the challenges of the future head-on.

Looking for new IT job?

At RightStone, our goal is to help IT candidates achieve their loftiest goals. To find out more about how you can level-up in your career, check out our jobs page.

 


New Year, New You: How to Set Career Goals For 2020

2020 has finally arrived, which means that working professionals across the country are thinking about the personal resolutions and career goals that they’ll endeavor to work towards in the new year. Setting career goals for yourself early on in the new year is critically important: it will provide you with a clearer vision of success towards which you can aspire to, which can, in turn, provide you with real and focused motivation to be at your best on a day-to-day basis. At the same time, it can be tricky to establish goals for the upcoming year that are simultaneously ambitious and practical.

Four tips for setting strong career goals in 2020:

1. Reflect on your values.

The beginning of the new year is an ideal time to think deeply about what you truly value, both in your personal life and in your career. Is your current professional trajectory aimed in a direction that will allow you to continue to build upon those values? If not, it may be worthwhile to set goals for the new year which focus on integrating your values into your work.

 

2. Work towards a balance between your career and your life that you’ll be satisfied with.

It’s important, obviously, to be ambitious in your career goals. If you’re not aiming at a position or a pay grade that is loftier than your current role, then what’s the real point of setting annual goals for yourself at all? At the same time, it’s important to set career goals for yourself that, once realized, will not too dramatically interfere with your personal life. The definition of an ideal work/life balance will vary from person to person, so it’s therefore important for each individual to reflect on what career goals might yield maximum satisfaction for them in the long run.

 

3. Make goals that are S.M.A.R.T

    • Specific. Your goals should be clearly-defined, articulated, and written down.
    • Measurable. You should have a metric or criteria by which you can track your success.
    • Achievable. Will it be possible for you to achieve this goal within the next year?
    • Are your goals conducive to your longer-term professional aspirations?
    • Time-sensitive. Your goals should always come with a realistic deadline.

 

4. Build a plan.

Just like any New Year’s resolution, a career goal for 2020 won’t be attainable unless you break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, let’s say that you’re really aiming at receiving a promotion by the end of this year. That’s a great end result to strive towards, but it can only be realized at the end of a much longer series of daily, weekly, and monthly wins. It’s crucial, therefore, to continuously ask yourself: what can I accomplish this month, this week, today, or even in this moment that will result in me moving closer to the realization of my long-term goal?

Connect Today

At RightStone, our goal is to help IT candidates achieve their loftiest goals. To find out more about how you can level-up in your career, check out our jobs page.


Working With an IT Recruiter: How It Could Be The Best Move For Your Career

We’ve all experienced at one point or another what it’s like to be stuck in a rut when we’re searching for a new job. Sometimes we’re lucky, and things just seem to go our way while we’re searching and applying for new roles, but other times, it can feel like we’re just pursuing dead end after dead end. Those experiences can leave job seekers feeling frustrated and helpless.

IT recruiters can be powerful allies during the job search process, and they can help us work through those moments when we feel like we have nowhere to turn. In this post, we’ll explore how working with an IT recruiter can help you level up in your career.

What Do IT Recruiters Do?

Recruiters partner with employers in the IT industry to fill open positions within companies. It is the primary goal of an IT recruiter to screen multiple resumes and applications and connect the best-qualified candidates with hiring managers. In this way, they’re able to conduct deep dives into applications and can catch candidates that might otherwise have been overlooked by an employer with limited recruitment resources.

How Can Someone Get in Touch With an IT Recruiter?

In most cases, a recruiter will reach out to you on behalf of the employer once you’ve applied and if you’re a good fit for the role. Recruiters also shop around career networking sites such as LinkedIn to find-well suited candidates and so occasionally reach out via those sites even if a candidate hasn’t yet applied for a role.

Alternatively, many job postings will list the name of the recruiter overseeing the candidate-screening process for a particular role; in those cases, you have the option of reaching out to them directly and requesting an informational interview. This is an opportunity to connect with the recruiter and discuss how well your background, skills, and experience might match with an open position within a particular work environment. In other words, you can work with a recruiter during an informational interview to gauge a job opportunity before you commit to applying.

Why Should You Consider Working With an IT Recruiter?

There are many reasons why working through a recruiter can help expedite your job search, but here are the big ones:

  • Time
    • Most job seekers don’t have the freedom to spend eight hours a day searching for job sites and submitting applications. Recruiters, on the other hand, specialize in doing exactly that. When you partner with a recruiter like RightStone, you’re essentially doubling the number of hours that you spend searching for opportunities.
  • Access a Broader Network
    • One of the main parts of an IT recruiter’s job is to create and maintain a huge number of connections within the industry. You may have established a sizeable network throughout your career, but you can bet that working with a recruiter will provide you with new and beneficial connections.
  • Connect With More Career Opportunities
    • There are huge numbers of career opportunities that you’ll miss if you focus your search exclusively on job search sites like LinkedIn or Indeed. Lots of employers don’t post opportunities on those sites and instead only advertise on their website. Recruiters specialize in scouring every available resource to know the landscape of all IT career opportunities and are thereby able to help you find the position that is the best fit for you.

Ready 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.

 


Keep Your Career On Track: Top IT Hiring Trends For 2019

For any candidate looking for their next role in IT, certain tactics will never go out of style. Building strong interviewing skills and providing comprehensive resumes, for example, are two strategies that are bound to help your chances, regardless of when and where you’re looking for a job. There are some hiring trends, however, which evolve and change from year to year. To stand out from the crowd, candidates must maintain their “traditional” job-seeking skills while continuing to incorporate new skills with each passing year.

With those themes in mind, let’s take a look at four hiring trends that all candidates should be aware of in 2019:

  • Employers are Embracing a More Flexible Work Model – Many (if not most) IT companies currently employ a mix of full-time, part-time, and remote employees. If your career has, up to this point, been defined by only full-time positions, you may want to consider expanding your search to include positions with flexible work options.
  • Hiring for Soft Skills – Candidates must have the necessary technical skills and experience before applying for a new role, but companies are increasingly starting to value soft skills in their job search. In other words, employers are looking for employees who will be able to bring strong interpersonal skills, such as communication and empathy, into the workplace.
  • Greater Emphasis on Past Projects – As the demands placed on the modern IT professional continue to increase in scope and complexity, employers are focusing more on how well a candidate might be able to contribute towards particular projects, as opposed to being responsible for a broad array of traditional duties. Therefore, IT candidates need to be able to provide recruiters and interviewers with illustrative and specific examples of projects they’ve contributed to in the past.
  • Increased “Creativity” in the Hiring Process – As the industry continues to evolve, IT professionals are expected to be more and more dynamic, adaptive, and flexible. Hiring managers understand this; as a result, job requirements are becoming less and less rigid, and employers are increasingly looking for candidates with a unique experience, novel ideas, and creative ability.

Ready For Your Next Career Leap?

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.


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.


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