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What Should You Take Into Account Before Learning an In-Demand Skill?

Being proficient with an in-demand skill makes you attractive to employers. Many companies are offering high salaries and competitive benefits to technologists with specialized skills.

However, knowing which in-demand skills are most desirable can be challenging. Understanding which tech skills are popular in the job market can help you determine which one to pursue.

If you want to develop an in-demand skill, now may be the time to start. Knowing how to approach the process can help you map out the steps to attain your goal.

Follow these guidelines to learn an in-demand skill that can benefit your tech career.

Research the Skill

Data science, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and augmented reality (AR) are among the most in-demand skills. These skills will be increasingly important for years to come.

However, before deciding which in-demand skill to pursue, do some research. Find out which related skills you should learn, the certifications you should earn, and the job opportunities available. This gives you a clearer sense of whether you should pursue the skill.

Gather Feedback

Talk with tech professionals for advice on the in-demand skill. Find out how and what to learn and which issues to avoid.

Gathering feedback on the skill helps guide your path to learning about it. This may include whether you should develop the skill on your own or take specific classes.

Talk with Your Manager About Upskilling

Find out whether your manager will cover your education, training, and certification for the in-demand skill. Emphasize the benefits the company receives from employee upskilling.

Your manager may have part of the budget allocated for employee educational activities. If so, the business might cover your professional development expenses.

Publish Independent Work

When you become certified in the in-demand skill, create an independent project to demonstrate your abilities. Then, share your results on GitHub or your personal website.

Publishing an independent project helps you stand out among other tech professionals. It also can help you land a role focused on your new skill.

Ready to Advance Your Tech Career?

When the time comes to land a job with your new skill, make RightStone part of your search. Here is a link to our job board.


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.


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.


What’s New in IT Recruiting?

 

According to the September 2022 CompTIA Tech Jobs Report, the IT unemployment rate was at 2.3% in August. The increase from 1.7% the previous month likely was because the overall US unemployment rate increased. Also, large IT companies laid off employees. Plus, many IT employees left their jobs for other opportunities.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) Economic News Release for August 2022 showed 3.97 million available IT jobs. Like the past 24 months, this trend is expected to continue.

As a result, the competition for IT talent should remain tight. Fortunately, partnering with an IT staffing firm can ease recruiting concerns.

Learn more about the current state of IT recruiting and how RightStone can alleviate your IT staffing concerns.


IT Job Openings

CompTIA stated that the IT industry added 175,700 jobs so far in 2022. This is 46% ahead of last year’s job gains.

Job postings for IT roles were slightly under 320,000 in August. Thirty-one percent of these jobs were in artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, data analytics, and automation software.

IT job postings from January through August 2022 increased by 56% over last year. This shows remote work likely will remain semi-permanent.

Slower IT Hiring

The pace of IT hiring likely will slow due to the recession. CIOs are unsure of how the economic downturn may impact their bottom line. Some businesses stopped hiring and began laying off employees.

An average of 200,000 IT roles remains unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates. According to the Mid-Year 2022 IT Salary Survey by Janco Associates, Inc., many roles are paying up to 10% higher salaries to attract the best talent.

However, this disparity is causing current employees with lower salaries to find different employers. As a result, CIOs must find a balance between the budget, employee salary increases to address inflation, and the resources needed to attain the technology and bottom-line objectives.

IT Education Requirements

Approximately 20% of IT job postings in July 2022 were for roles requiring 2 years of experience or less. Also, nearly 50% required 3-5 years of experience. Plus, 13% of the positions required at least 9 years of experience.

Many employers no longer are requiring college degrees for some of their IT job openings. Candidates’ skills, experience, and personality traits are becoming more important than their educational background. This increases the candidate pools for open roles.

Software developers and engineers are especially in-demand. There were approximately 148,000 job postings for these roles in July 2022. IT support specialists, project managers, systems engineers and architects, and network engineers and architects also are in short supply.

Roles in emerging technologies or roles requiring these skills accounted for 33% of job postings in July. Many companies began hiring IT professionals through coding boot camps, low-code training, and other non-traditional approaches.

Get Help with IT Recruiting

RightStone can match you with skilled IT professionals to fill your job vacancies. Get started with us 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.


Breaking the Ice with New Coworkers

 

Starting a new IT job is exciting! You get to meet new peers and leaders as you take on new challenges.

However, you may feel anxious about not knowing any coworkers at your new company. Meeting people while staying focused during the onboarding and training can be difficult.

Fortunately, connecting with your new coworkers can be accomplished in a few steps. The more you get to know the people you work with, the more comfortable you will feel. This helps improve your engagement, productivity, and longevity with the organization.

Implement these tips to break the ice when meeting new coworkers.


Introduce Yourself

Take short breaks to walk around and introduce yourself to coworkers. You might want to ask basic questions about their job duties, responsibilities, and day-to-day activities. Or, you could ask about a coworker’s family. Share similar information about yourself as well.

Use this information as a basis for future conversations. The more you see your coworkers, the more you will have ideas of what to talk about.

Look for Common Interests

Ask questions to uncover your coworkers’ personal interests. This may include what they like to do in their free time.

Your coworkers may share your love of yoga, reading, or trying new restaurants. They might enjoy going to the farmers market you frequent on the weekends. Or, your coworkers could have traveled to the same destinations as you.

You can indulge in future conversations about these interests. You also might be able to set a time to engage in a favorite activity with your coworkers.

Offer to Buy Lunch

Ask a coworker if they would like to join you for lunch. Find out what food they like, then suggest a place to go. Or, if you are new to the area, ask which restaurant your coworker recommends.

Being away from the office helps you unwind. You should feel comfortable getting to know your coworker on a personal level.

Looking for a New IT Role?

RightStone can provide you with IT openings that fit your skills and interests. Visit our job board or contact us today.


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