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Best Means of Getting Job References

 

If you advance enough in the interview process, you may be asked for a list of job references. These references might be contacted to endorse your skills and qualifications.

As a result, you should carefully decide who you would like to serve as a reference. These professionals must attest to your work ethic, character, and abilities to increase your likelihood of receiving a job offer.

Follow these guidelines to secure the most effective job references.


Determine Who to Ask

Think of your past colleagues, coworkers, managers, and supervisors who would say positive things about you.

  • You made important contributions to the team.
  • You consistently completed projects on time.
  • You made the professional’s work easier.
  • The professional could count on you.

Reach Out

Call each professional to ask whether they would serve as a job reference.

  • Email typically takes too much time to create a thoughtful message.
  • You can cover the key points and quickly respond to questions over the phone.

Share Information

Let your former colleagues, coworkers, managers, and supervisors know relevant details about the job you want.

  • Share what you have been doing since you last spoke with the professional.
  • Discuss the job responsibilities and their impact on the organization.
  • Ask if the professional would serve as a job reference.
  • Respect the professional’s time by being brief but thorough.

Bring Up Talking Points

Ask these professionals to mention specific types of information when talking to your potential employer.

  • Your professional strengths and value
  • Your memorable contributions
  • Your attendance and work habits
  • Your ability to collaborate and make decisions
  • Your ability to self-start and self-manage
  • Your latest projects

Verify Contact Information

Ask former colleagues, coworkers, managers, and supervisors to update their information so your potential employer can contact them.

  • Job title
  • Company name
  • Work address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Preferred method of communication

Thank Your References

Express appreciation for your job references’ time.

  • Share that you will keep them informed about your job search.
  • Offer to do something in return.

Want Help with Your Job Search?

Partner with RightStone to find your next IT job. Visit our job board 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.


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.


How to Highlight Contract Work on Your Resume

 

The inclusion of contract work on your resume helps show you have the education, skills, and experience needed to be successful in a role. This can help you stand out among all the other candidates.

Engagement in contract work demonstrates your ability to quickly adapt to new environments and begin producing. It also helps eliminate potential gaps between full-time jobs.

Follow these guidelines to include contract work on your resume.


Use a Reverse-Chronological Order

Begin listing your work experience with your most recent position first. For your contract work, include the name of the staffing firm, its location, the name of the company you worked at, your position title, and the duration of the contract. For each full-time job, list the name of the company, its location, your job title, and the duration of your employment. Then, work backward for the past 10 years.

Listing each position helps provide a cohesive picture of your work experience. It also helps hiring managers understand what your background is like.

Another option is to list your contract work by industry. You can organize your work under one heading, such as a staffing firm, to ensure continuity. This helps show the relevance of each position to the job you want.

In either case, clarify the staffing firm you worked for, the companies you worked at, and the contract positions you held. This shows that the staffing firm was your employer and you held multiple contract positions through them. Including the names of the companies you worked at can increase your authority in the industry.

Emphasize Your Accomplishments

Include your achievements for each contract position or job. This shows the value you added to each organization.

Use numbers to quantify your benefits for each employer. Show how you helped each company make or save money or increase efficiency. This indicates how you can provide value for your next employer.

Highlight Your Skills

Point out the skills you gained from each contract position or job. Be sure to review the job posting to determine which keywords and requirements to focus on. Include your skills that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. This helps your resume get past an applicant tracking system (ATS) and to a hiring manager.

Get Help with Your Job Search

Partnering with a recruiter from RightStone provides you with resume and interview coaching and other job search assistance. Get started by visiting our job board today.


How to Get Your Foot in the Door with Top Employers

 

Connecting with a hiring manager at the company you want to work for can be challenging. This is especially true if your resume does not get past the applicant tracking system (ATS). Fortunately, there are other ways to get in touch with a hiring manager at a targeted company.

Follow these guidelines to connect with the top employers you want to work for.


Interact Online with Targeted Companies  

Like, follow, and interact online with the employers you want to work for. This may be through social media platforms or company blogs. Be sure to comment on and share company posts. Also, ask questions to initiate conversations. Show the employers you are interested in working for them.

Set Up Informational Interviews

Schedule a time to talk with employees at your targeted companies. Find out all you can about the role you want, team, and employer. Also, discuss the company culture, structure, and which positions match your skills and experience. Additionally, ask about topics you cannot find information about online.

Ask for an Introduction to a Hiring Manager

Talk with one of your connections about introducing you to a hiring manager at your company of choice. Use LinkedIn to determine which mutual connections you may have with the manager. Then, ask the member of your network to provide an introduction. Include why you want to meet the manager and how your skills, experience, and qualifications position you to add value to the organization. Be sure to thank your connection and offer to return the favor.

Build a Relationship with a Recruiter

Find a staffing firm recruiter who has your targeted company as a client. Talk with the recruiter about how your skills, experience, interests, and goals align with the company’s needs. Provide your resume for the recruiter to go over. Talk about potential openings with the organization that you may qualify for. See whether the recruiter can get you an interview.

Share What You Learn

Use online platforms to educate others on the topics you learn about. This may include social media posts, your personal website, a blog on Medium, or a YouTube channel. For instance, use Goodreads or Amazon to share your takeaways from a book. Answer questions on Quora or contribute to a conversation on Reddit. Engaging in these discussions helps you learn and shows you are a thought leader. Top employers may join your discussions and be interested in getting to know you better.

Get in Touch with Top IT Employers

Work with a recruiter from RightStone to get in front of the best IT hiring managers. Visit our job board today.


Reaching Out to Someone You Know About a Job Opportunity with Their Company

 

One of the best ways to land a new job is to have an employee refer you to the hiring manager. The manager is more likely to bring aboard someone their team member knows than another candidate. You are more likely to blend with company culture, fulfill the job duties, and remain with the organization long-term. This is why reaching out to a member of your network during your job search can be beneficial.

Follow these steps to reach out to a connection about a job you want with their company.

Write Down Your Talking Points

Make a short, bulleted list of where you have been and where you want to advance to. Include your last three job titles, the companies you worked for, and your top responsibilities. For instance, Account Executive, Smith PR: Served as the main point of contact for tech clients including Microsoft. Share the job title and function you desire and others you would consider. For instance, Senior Account Executive, Account Supervisor, or Public Relations Manager. Point out how you would be a good fit for each.

Send a Targeted Email

Craft a personal email to your connection at the company. Include a specific request about how they can help you. Ask for specific introductions at their company, such as to the hiring manager or an interviewer. Consider requesting an informational interview, general advice on the role and organization, or feedback on the resume you included with your email. Thank your contact for their help. Encourage them to stay in touch.

Remain Patient

Keep in mind that your contact is busy and may not reply to you right away. Wait a few days to follow up with them. Let your connection know you still are interested in the position and would appreciate an introduction to the hiring manager or an interviewer. Include any other request you may have, such as insider information about the organization, an informational interview, or input on your resume. Share that any help would be appreciated. Offer to return the favor when possible.

Partner with a Recruiter

Work with a recruiter from RightStone to find the IT job you want. Visit our job board today.


Why You Should Always Do Your Research Before an Interview

One key to success during an interview is sharing the information you learned about the company. This can be just as important as demonstrating your education, skills, and experience relevant to the role. The more you know about the organization, the better the impression you make on the interviewers. This can help you land a job offer.

Here are some reasons to find out all you can about an organization before an interview.

Understand the Company

Researching an organization lets you learn about its history, achievements, and culture. This includes how long it has been in business, the products/services it offers, and how they have improved throughout the years. Be sure you find out whether the company expanded to other locations, who the CEO is, and other relevant information. This helps make a good impression on the interviewers and can serve as a guide for your questions for them.

Behave in Line with the Culture

The more you know about the company, the better you can align with its culture. For instance, the attire you choose for your interview will be appropriate for the office. Also, answering interview questions in a way that aligns with the culture helps show that you would excel in the role. The better you present yourself, the greater your odds of moving forward in the interview process.

Share Excitement About the Organization

Knowing a significant amount of information about the business lets you show excitement about working there. For instance, you may be excited about the position because the company has a history of philanthropy and you enjoy giving back to the community. Sharing enthusiasm about this detail shows you would enjoy working for the organization.

Link Your Qualifications to the Role

The more you know about the company and position, the better you can point out why you are best qualified to work there. For instance, use the education, skills, experience, and other requirements mentioned in the job description to show you have what it takes to be successful. Also, provide specific examples of how your prior achievements are similar to what would be expected of you in the role. Additionally, discuss your ideas for how you could help increase efficiency if brought aboard.

Interested in a New IT Role?

Let a recruiter from RightStone know when you are ready for a new IT position. Visit our job board or send us your resume to help with your job search.


Is Your Resume Hurting Your Job Search?

Your resume often provides a hiring manager with the first impression of you. You have a page or two to convince them your education, skills, and experience make you best qualified for the role. The manager will be more inclined to contact you for an interview if they believe you have what it takes to be successful in a role.

Follow these resume writing tips to help you land a job.

Select a Professional Font

Use a basic, clear font that is easy to read. Examples include Arial or Times New Roman. Also, keep your font size between 10 and 12 points. Plus, make sure there is a minimum of white space so the hiring manager focuses on your information.

Include Keywords  

Find keywords from the job description to pepper throughout your resume. Pay special attention to the keywords showing what the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate. Emphasize the skills, requirements, and qualifications you have that make you best equipped for the role.

Share Relevant Information  

List only the information that pertains to the job you want. Because a hiring manager probably will skim your resume, you want them to see you have the required education, skills, and experience to do the work.

Focus on Your Accomplishments

Point out your top three or four most important achievements in each position you held. Include the numbers used to measure your success for each accomplishment. You may want to include written feedback on your work performance or acknowledgment from your manager on reaching a goal.

Choose Active Verbs

Include power words such as “achieved,” “earned,” or “completed” throughout your resume. For instance, “Led multiple team projects and effectively coordinated group tasks.” This helps the hiring manager visualize your productivity and engagement at work. These aspects are important for securing an interview.

Proofread  

Read your resume aloud several times to see how it can be improved. Pay close attention to your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Also, ask a family member or friend to review your final draft before submission. They may point out something you missed or suggest a better way to share your information.

Talk with a Recruiter

When you partner with a recruiter from RightStone, they can provide resume advice and much more to help with your IT job search. See which jobs interest you today.


How a Staffing Firm Can Assist in Your Job Search

Finding a job can be stressful. You may spend hours finding and applying for roles that fit your skills, experience, and interests and not hear anything. Or, you might interview for a position you truly want, then not receive a job offer. Fortunately, there is a way to reduce the time invested in finding a job you enjoy.

Discover how working with a recruiter from a staffing firm can help you land a job.

Access to the Hidden Market

Partnering with a recruiter lets you find job openings you would not be able to on your own. Because the recruiter builds solid relationships with hiring managers, the managers often turn to the recruiter to fill job openings not shared with the general market. Or, the recruiter may talk with a manager about the creation of a role based on their business needs and your skills and experience. This means you face less competition when interviewing, increasing your odds of receiving a job offer.

Insight into the Job Market

A recruiter lives and breathes the job-search process every day. For instance, they remain current on changes in the market, including the need for a particular skill or experience, to maximize your search results. Also, because a recruiter continually increases their knowledge of the market, they can negotiate a competitive salary, benefits package, and perks on your behalf. Plus, their ongoing experience with market changes means you receive practical advice on what to expect and how to proceed.

Coaching  

Partnering with a recruiter involves additional guidance with your resume preparation, the interview process, and more. For instance, because the recruiter has close relationships with hiring managers, the recruiter knows what each manager likes and dislikes and what they are looking for in a candidate. You gain additional insight into which information to include on your resume, what the manager’s personality is like, and how you can personally connect with them. This increases your odds of being offered a job and creating a long-term professional relationship.

Feedback from Employers

Working with a recruiter provides you with input from the interviewers you meet with. This means you can gain feedback about your performance. If you are not right for a role, you can use the information to enhance your job search and receive more favorable results.

Partner with RightStone

Find your next IT job with help from a recruiter at RightStone. Visit our job board today.


4 Mistakes You Should Avoid During Your Next Interview

The interview is arguably the most pivotal phase of the entire hiring process. After a candidate has been deemed to be a potentially good fit for a role based on his or her resume and cover letter, the interview is the chance for applicant and employer alike to determine if there truly is a match between the candidate’s personality, temperament, and ability, with the unique culture of the workplace that they would be entering into. It’s crucial, therefore, for candidates to know what they should expect during a typical interview, and how they should prepare.   

Knowing what to say, what to wear, and how to compose oneself during an interview is one thing; knowing what not to say and what sort of behaviors to avoid is quite another. In this post, we’ll walk you through four common mistakes that you should be careful to avoid in your next job interview. 

1. Failing to familiarize yourself beforehand with your interview.

In most cases, employers and hiring managers will let you know before your interview who it is that you’ll be speaking with once you arrive at your prospective workplace. By taking the time beforehand to read up on your interviewer’s (or interviewers’) profile(s), you will have a better sense going in of which points of your experience you should be sure to touch upon. It will also give you a chance to see if you have any professional connections with your employer that might provide some common ground. 

2. Asking questions with answers that were provided by the job post.

Before you head into an interview, always be sure to study (and study again) the job post or other resources from which you initially learned about the opening job. No job posting will be fully comprehensive in its description of the role and its responsibilities, but they will usually provide you with answers to the most basic questions. If you ask your interviewer questions with obvious answers, that could convey a message that you’re disorganized or unable to do your homework prior to an important meeting. 

3. Failing to dress appropriately.

A candidate showing up to an interview looking scruffy, disheveled, or inappropriately dressed is sending a message that he or she might be equally careless with their work. Showing up to an interview looking groomed and sharp, on the other hand, sends a clear message that you have respect for the interviewer and that you take your professionalism seriously.

4. Being distracted by your phone.

For many of us, glancing at our phones during a conversation has become such a deeply ingrained habit that we tend to do it almost unconsciously. This may be (more or less) okay during a normal social interaction, but it can greatly harm your chances of success during a job interview. Before you go into an interview, be sure to turn your phone off so that you’ll be fully present and undistracted by incoming messages or calls.

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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