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7 Tips to Start Your IT Career Search

The start of a new year is a great time to start a new job. This may include changing your career to IT.

Starting your IT career search can be challenging. You may be unsure of which path to take or how to enter the field.

Developing a plan to start your IT career search helps you map the steps to reach your goals. Working with a staffing agency that specializes in IT also can be beneficial.

Follow these guidelines to start your IT career search today.

1. Determine Your Career Goals

Understand the type of IT career you want before you begin looking for roles.

  • Focus on your dream job.
  • Include the type, size, and culture of the company you want to work for.
  • Think about the salary, benefits, and perks you desire.
  • Determine the types of jobs that can lead to your dream role.
  • Focus your search on jobs that align with your career path.

2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Show you have the qualifications needed for the IT position you desire.

  • Ensure your contact information, profile statement, and profile summary are current.
  • Include your relevant education, skills, work history, and certification.
  • Request endorsements from previous supervisors, managers, colleagues, and coworkers.

3. Create a Digital Portfolio

Use your digital portfolio to display examples of your work.

  • Showcase how your projects benefitted an employer.
  • Include quantitative results from your work.
  • Demonstrate how your skills can add value for your next employer.
  • Include a link to your digital portfolio in your resume and LinkedIn profile.

4. Network

Set up informational interviews with technologists in roles similar to the one you desire.

  • Connect with relevant IT professionals through LinkedIn.
  • Ask if you can talk for 30 minutes about their job, company, and career path.
  • Develop three to five questions that can guide your IT career search.
  • Determine whether a position may be right for you.
  • Find out whether the technologist knows of any job openings or can introduce you to a hiring manager.

5. Apply for Jobs

Customize your resume to the role you desire.

  • Include your relevant education, skills, experience, and certifications.
  • Share your relevant achievements, quantifiable results, and awards.
  • Use keywords from the job posting throughout your resume.
  • Show you are well-qualified for the position.

6. Customize Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter provides information not included in your resume.

  • Discuss whether you are beginning or changing your career.
  • Explain any gaps in your work experience.
  • Show how your qualifications make you stand out from other applicants.
  • Clarify why you are the best candidate for the position.

7. Practice Interviewing

Engage in mock interviews.

  • Research the company you want to work for.
  • Practice answering interview questions.
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer.
  • Monitor your body language.

Partner with an IT Staffing Agency

Partner with a recruiter from RightStone for guidance throughout your IT career search. Visit our job board today.


Industry Leaders’ Suggestions for Climbing the Current Technology Management Ladder

 

Virtually all companies value technology. This increases the number of opportunities available for technology professionals to be closely involved in business activities.

Companies’ increasing dependence on technology creates jobs at every level of the organization. This includes executives who lead technical teams and other leaders who help manage the business.

Industry leaders are one of the most reliable sources of information about management paths for tech professionals. Following their advice for climbing the corporate ladder can increase your career success.

Implement these industry leaders’ suggestions to move up the technology management ladder.


Plan Your Career Path

Determine where you want to be in 5 years. Then, make a plan to get there.

  • Discover the qualifications and steps for advancement.
  • Gain the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to reach your goals.
  • Develop your understanding of the tech side and business side of the company.
  • Understand the needs of the internal customers and how their role fits the bigger picture.

Stay Adaptable

Be ready to change. Adapt along with the company and industry.

  • Continue to add to your skill set.
  • Surround yourself with employees who complement your abilities.
  • Change your strategy until you discover what works.

Diversify Your Skill Set

Focus on developing your hard and soft skills. This helps you more effectively manage employees.

  • Live the company’s mission, vision, and values.
  • Understand the organization’s strategic plans so you can attain business goals.
  • Gain a comprehensive knowledge of fields beyond the one you work in.
  • Continue to find new ways for technology to solve problems.

Network

Develop a network within the company. Include employees at all levels and areas of the organization.

  • Take advantage of the opportunities to meet fellow employees, especially with a remote workforce.
  • Invite colleagues, coworkers, and leaders to lunch.
  • Focus on understanding other parts of the company.
  • Work with your team to overcome the organization’s tech challenges.
  • Use technology to promote innovation and advance the company.
  • Collaborate with your team to innovate business models and increase productivity.
  • Participate in an organization created for tech professionals.
  • Find a mentor for career guidance and advice.

Get Certified

Earning advanced tech certifications can help you move up the management ladder. Examples include the following:

  • Project Management Professional
  • Certified ScrumMaster
  • Certified Business Process Associate
  • Certified Business Process Professional
  • Certified Business Process Leader
  • Certified Brand Manager
  • Certificate in Analytical Skills

Ready to Find a Technology Management Job?

RightStone has the technology management jobs you need to reach your career goals. Visit our job board today.


Weird IT Job Interview Questions

 

Before interviewing for your next IT job, you likely will practice answering potential questions. Some questions are designed to get the conversation going. Others are about your skills, experience, and qualifications. More in-depth questions cover your creativity, problem-solving ability, or fit with company culture. This preparation helps you perform your best during the conversation.

You should include some off-the-wall questions when reviewing your next round of practice interview questions. These questions likely have no connection to IT.

Instead, some of these unique questions are designed to assess your personality or critical-thinking skills. Other questions are created to show interviewers how you respond in surprising situations. Knowing how to answer these questions helps you prepare for the unexpected.

Practice answering the following weird IT interview questions to help land your next job.


What would you do if you were the sole survivor of a wilderness plane crash?

Setting up odd scenarios shows how you solve problems and react to challenging circumstances. Include in your answer the steps you would take, in which order, and why. Emphasize your independence, ability to stay calm under pressure, and related personality traits.

For instance, “I would ensure there were no other survivors. Then, I would find the basic necessities I need to stay alive and find help. Next, I would locate a water source, use plane parts to build a shelter, and then focus on being rescued. After that, I would build a fire or start walking to find civilization. Finally, I would devote a set amount of time to one rescue attempt before moving to another.”

How would you direct someone to create a balloon animal using only words?

Show you have strong speaking skills and can give clear directions for complex processes. This is important for the processes you might perform in an IT role.

For instance, “We are creating a balloon dog. I will break down the process into simple steps and guide you through it. Begin by blowing up the balloon. Keep a few inches uninflated at the end for the dog’s tail. Then, every three inches down the length of the balloon, twist the balloon so it looks like sausage links. Next, twist the second and third links together so they interlock for the dog’s ears. After that, lock together the next set of links to form the front legs and the last set of links to form the back legs. Your balloon should look like a dog. Do you have any questions?”

Someone gave you an elephant and will not let you sell it or give it away. What do you do with it?

Demonstrate your reasoning and problem-solving skills. Include your personality in your answer.

For instance, “Because my backyard will not fit an elephant, I would pay a local farmer to keep the animal. I would begin training the elephant to be ridden to offset the costs of housing and feeding it. I then would take the elephant to events and charge people for rides.”

Want Additional Interview Preparation?

Partner with a recruiter from RightStone for additional help with your job search. Visit our job board today.


You Just Landed Your Dream Job! Now What?

 

Congratulations on securing your dream job! Your hard work and dedication paid off.

Now comes the challenging part. You must show your employer they made the right decision when they hired you.

Most employers can tell within a few weeks whether a new hire will be successful in their organization. This means you must pay close attention to what you learn each day to maximize your performance.

Follow these guidelines to make a positive impression during the first week of your dream job.


Clarify Expectations

Meet with your manager to determine what is expected of you. Once you have a clear understanding, you can begin working toward your objectives.

Find out what a successful first month and first 6 months look like. Asking questions to uncover the details helps you perform at the level your manager wants.

Understand that you need time to work toward reaching these expectations. Be sure to learn from your mistakes and do better going forward.

Listen and Observe

Pay attention to the things that go on around you. You need to develop an understanding of what is happening, who your main partners are, and how you can add value to the organization.

Take the time to establish a foundation in your role. Then, you can start making changes and impacting the organization.

Learn the Company Culture

Focus on how your colleagues and coworkers interact and have fun. This shows what the company culture is like.

Paying attention to the signals around you helps you blend with the culture. This includes the typical work hours, how long lunch is, and how employees communicate throughout the workday.

Ask Questions

Use your available resources to learn more information about things. If you are unable to find what you are looking for, talk with a colleague or coworker for the answer.

Asking questions shows your ongoing interest in learning. It also demonstrates engagement in your work.

Monitor Your Work Hours

Continuously being the first to arrive at the office and the last to leave does not increase your value to the company. Instead, it can lead to overworking, increased stress, and poor performance. Other results may include job dissatisfaction and burnout.

Instead, prioritize work-life balance. This includes watching the range of times when your colleagues end their workday. You should leave sometime around the midpoint. This shows you will not always work late during your time with the company.

Partner with a Recruiter

When the time comes to find your next opportunity, include RightStone in your job search. Here is a link to our job board or to submit your information.


IT Job Security

 

The latest IT trends are changing the way companies and consumers interact. This elevates sales, marketing, and ways of conducting business.

These IT trends also are creating job opportunities for technologists. As a result, you have more employment choices than before.

Discover some of the latest IT trends and how they create IT job security.


Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the belief that all tech-enabled devices can connect to the internet and each other to blend the physical and digital worlds. This increases opportunities for consumers to engage with products. The data can be used to maximize the results of marketing campaigns and user experiences.

IoT is changing the way business is conducted and the models used to do so. For instance, pay-per-use models are increasing in popularity as additional customer data becomes available. The growth of IoT increases the IT jobs related to it.

Machine Learning

More computers are able to analyze data and track patterns to facilitate learning. For instance, social media platforms use machine learning to analyze users’ likes, shares, and comments to see how users connect with the members of their networks. The platforms use this information to show users content from their closest connections.

Machine learning lets companies more effectively do business with customers. The technology helps businesses interact with customers to better anticipate and meet customers’ needs. The increasing need for machine learning means ongoing job opportunities for technologists.

Virtual Reality

Ongoing improvements in the hardware and programming of virtual reality technology impact almost every industry. In addition to its use in video games, virtual reality lets companies more effectively engage with customers.

Increased customer engagement maximizes sales and marketing campaigns. It also promotes learning, especially in educational organizations. All of these developments increase the number of IT jobs in the market.

Touch Commerce

Blending touchscreen technology and one-click shopping lets consumers purchase products from their mobile devices. Consumers link their payment information to their accounts so they can purchase virtually anything.

The increase in touch commerce increases sales related to this technology. It also creates new jobs for technologists.

Cognitive Technology

Natural language processing and speech recognition are examples of cognitive technology. These technologies are used to automate tasks previously done by people. Examples include certain accounting and analytics tasks.

Automated analysis of user data is especially beneficial for software companies wanting to scale. Staying current on cognitive technology in a given industry opens up a range of opportunities for IT professionals.

Ready for a New IT Job?

Partner with RightStone to land your next IT job. Visit our job board or submit your information today.


Advantages of Doing Your Homework Prior to an Interview

 

Success in interviews requires more than showing how your skills and experience equip you for a role. It also involves knowing as much information as possible about the company.

Researching the organization before an interview increases your odds of advancing in the hiring process. It also impacts whether you receive a job offer.

Discover some benefits of doing your homework on a company before participating in an interview.


Understand the Company Culture

Knowing about the company’s culture shows you intend to stay long-term.

  • Learn about the company’s history and achievements.
  • Research the products or services and how they changed over the years.
  • Determine whether the business expanded to other locations or parts of the world.
  • Find out who the CEO is.

Show Interest in the Company’s Success

Demonstrate that the organization’s success is your priority.

  • Show you have the qualifications to fulfill the job duties and responsibilities.
  • If you are applying for an entry-level position and lack experience, clarify how your company research demonstrates dedication to the business.
  • Suggest specific ways the company can operate more efficiently.

Demonstrate Interview Preparation

Clarify that preparation is key to success in a position.

  • Show your enthusiasm for working for the company.
  • Demonstrate the value you can provide the organization.
  • Clarify you take the initiative to gather information to make decisions.
  • Develop conversation topics and questions for the discussion.

Express Enthusiasm About the Company

Show you are genuinely interested in working for the business.

  • Demonstrate your willingness to invest time learning about something that interests you.
  • Clarify how you value the opportunity to secure employment with the organization.
  • Emphasize what you like best about the business, such as the fact that it gives back to the community.
  • Show you would appreciate being offered the job.

Prepare Questions About the Company

Asking questions shows interest in working for the business.

  • Demonstrate you want to learn more about the organization.
  • Ask higher-level questions not answered in your research, such as whether the company intends to expand its offerings or reach new markets.

Explain Why You Want the Job

Detail what drew you to work for the company.

  • Focus on how you can reach business goals to benefit the organization.
  • Express exactly why you are interested in the position.

Looking for Additional Advice?

Partner with a recruiter from RightStone for increased success in landing a job. Visit our job board or contact us today.


4 Ways to Become a More Effective Leader

 

Becoming a better leader increases your teammates’ engagement and performance. This elevates success for you, your team, and the organization.

Increasing your leadership effectiveness requires understanding your motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. It also involves openly communicating, promoting growth, and implementing feedback.

Elevating your impact as a leader increases your colleagues’ and coworkers’ productivity and connection to the organization. It also encourages them to develop their own leadership abilities. This positively impacts the bottom line.

Discover four ways to grow your impact as a leader at work.


1. Promote Communication

Engage in open communication with employees at all levels of the organization. Set honest, ethical, and transparent behavior as key values for others to demonstrate.

Tailor your communication styles and interactions to the situation and each person’s preferences. This includes whether the individual likes to talk in person, over the phone, or through email or text. It also involves actively listening to the person speaking.

Be genuine when talking with others. This helps build trust within your organization and increases employee morale.

2. Encourage Growth

Invest in your colleagues’ and coworkers’ personal and professional growth. This includes encouraging them to participate in in-person, virtual, and on-demand learning that promotes knowledge and skill development.

Inspire your colleagues and coworkers to request stretch assignments and cross-train in different roles. This helps them add more value to the organization.

Motivate others to take on challenges. This promotes satisfaction in solving problems and overcoming obstacles.

3. Stay Positive

Things will not always go smoothly each day. Mistakes and obstacles will come up.

Handle these adverse situations with a positive attitude. This includes finding the good in all circumstances.

For instance, look for three positives in each issue. This encourages others to interact more positively while resolving it.

Pointing out the parts of a problem you are happy about helps others work with you to more quickly find an answer. Everyone should think clearly and find a way to overcome the obstacle.

Maintaining positivity promotes engagement and productivity among your colleagues and coworkers. Displaying enthusiasm and confidence creates a work environment that encourages problem-solving.

4. Embrace Feedback

Encourage colleagues and coworkers to give, receive, and implement constructive feedback. Include what is being done well, what could improve, and specific steps to do better.

Promote honesty and clarity when providing feedback. This helps employees improve their performance.

Recognize colleagues and coworkers for their contributions and results. Include what they did, the steps they took, and something specific they achieved. Encourage your colleagues and coworkers to continue to perform their best.

Giving and receiving feedback helps guide employees in the preferred direction. This impacts how successful the company is in reaching its goals.

Land a Senior Role

Work with RightStone to find a senior position that lets you develop your leadership skills. Visit our job board or contact us today.


6 Ways to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

 

Your cover letter introduces you to a hiring manager. It helps the manager form an impression of you as a candidate.

Your cover letter also highlights why you are the best candidate for the position.  This impacts whether you are contacted for an interview.

As a result, you want your cover letter to be as effective as possible. The following suggestions can help.

Implement these six tips to help your cover letter stand out from all the rest.


1. Address the Hiring Manager

There are many ways to find the hiring manager’s name and include it in your greeting.

  • Check the job posting for the hiring manager’s name.
  • Use LinkedIn to determine the hiring manager.
  • Call the company to ask for the hiring manager’s name and title.

2. Promote Yourself

Share your enthusiasm for the position and company.

  • Relate your skills and experience to the job description and qualifications.
  • Demonstrate why you are best suited for the role.
  • Comment on the company mission or leadership to show you researched the organization.
  • Ask to follow up about the position.

3. Be Concise

Limit your cover letter to three paragraphs focused on different parts of your resume.

  • Begin with an attention-grabbing introduction that shows your enthusiasm for the role and organization.
  • Mention the employee who referred you, if applicable.
  • Highlight your most important skills, experience, and accomplishments that relate to the position.
  • Explain why you are well-qualified for the role.
  • State how you would add value to the organization.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their consideration.
  • Request a call or interview to follow up.

4. Customize Your Cover Letter

Tailor your cover letter to the role and company.

  • Tie the most important parts of the position to your skills and experience.
  • Point out how your contributions would be unique.
  • Use numbers to emphasize your accomplishments relevant to the role.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, company, and type of position.

5. Emphasize Your Accomplishments

Demonstrate how your achievements can benefit the company.

  • Share examples of the projects you worked on, the results you achieved, and how they impacted the organization.
  • Include the awards and recognition you received from previous employers.
  • Show you are a top performer who wants to grow along with the company.

6. Use Keywords

Pepper throughout your cover letter keywords and key phrases from the job description.

  • Keywords help your cover letter and resume pass an applicant tracking system (ATS).
  • The ATS scans for keywords to determine how closely a cover letter and resume match the skills and experience needed for the position.
  • The appropriate cover letters and resumes are sent to the hiring manager for review.
  • The hiring manager contacts the selected candidates for an interview.

Want Help with Your Job Search?

RightStone has IT positions that fit your goals and interests. Visit our job board today.


3 Tips for Getting Yourself Out of a Work Rut

 

If you have been in your job a while, you may be feeling stuck. You might feel like you follow the same routine and do the same things every day.

You may begin to feel like your work is disengaging and unfulfilling. This can lead to feelings of meaninglessness and unhappiness.

When you lack creativity and inspiration, you have no motivation to perform. This may lead to letting your work pile up and not caring whether it gets done on time.

If you are feeling this way, you need to find the energy to begin improving your circumstances. The sooner you start, the sooner you can feel better about yourself.

Implement these three tips to help find your way out of a work rut.


1. Identify the Cause

Think about what may be keeping you down. Perhaps you no longer feel challenged by your work. Or, you might not be able to move up within the organization.

Consider whether the source of your unhappiness is temporary or beyond your control. Determine whether there are steps you can take to make things better.

Focus on the parts of your job that bring you joy and the parts that bring you stress. Think about whether you still are in the role because you want to be or think you should be.

Determine whether your work relationships provide meaning and fulfillment. Uncover whether you remain in your job because you do not want to waste the time and effort already invested.

2. Make Small Changes

Make a list of the changes you can make to improve your situation. This may include establishing different habits or behaviors to bring the results you desire.

Choose one or two small modifications you can begin making now. You are more likely to be successful by focusing on incremental changes rather than modifying everything at once.

Implementing small modifications is easier to maintain than big modifications. The process of change typically seems less overwhelming when you break it down into manageable steps. This helps you quickly see results.

The faster you see your hard work pay off, the more inclined you will be to continue to change your habits and behaviors. Over time, this can create significant results. It also encourages you to implement other changes when the time is right.

3. Focus on Your Goals

Consider whether your job is helping you achieve your career goals. If so, you can use this as motivation to continue to make progress toward your objectives.

Having something tangible to work toward helps increase engagement. This can elevate your productivity as you move forward on your professional path.

Is It Time to Find a New Job?

If finding a new IT job would help you get out of a work rut, include RightStone in your search. Visit our job board today.


How to Follow Up During Different Stages of the Hiring Process

 

Following up during each stage of the hiring process can help you land the role you want. This helps you stand out from other candidates. It also lets you have an open and honest conversation about the opportunity.

Follow-up is something you can control about your job search. This helps motivate you to continue moving forward.

Implement these tips to follow up throughout the stages of the hiring process.


After Resume Submission

Reach out to the hiring manager to learn more about their needs, expectations, and timeline for hiring. Show authentic interest in the role in a proactive manner.

You may want to reach out to the manager through LinkedIn, social media, or email. For instance, share that you submitted your resume and would like to learn more about the opportunity and company. Ask whether the manager would tell you more about their experience there.

This can help you decide whether it makes sense to move forward or look elsewhere. It also can provide more information about how you can help the manager reach business goals. This helps you frame your answers to interview questions.

After a Phone Screen or Interview

Email a note of gratitude to the person you had a conversation with. This helps create a positive impression of you as a potential employee.

Highlight how your skills and experience can help the hiring manager solve their problems. Also, express interest in moving to the next step in the process.

If you do not hear back within 5 days, call the person you had a conversation with. You may be able to pick up on nonverbal cues that suggest hesitancy or concerns you can address. Continuing to follow up shows motivation to land the job.

After a Final Interview

Call the hiring manager if you do not hear from them by the given date. Ask what else they need to see from you to make a decision. Or, send a 30-second video reminding the manager why you are best equipped for the position.

Keep in mind that the top candidate may not accept the job offer. This means you still could secure the role.

Work with a Recruiter

Working with a recruiter from RightStone provides fast follow-up during every stage of the hiring process. Visit our job board today.


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