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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.


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!

 

 

 

 

 


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.


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.


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.


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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