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Learn What The Top Employers Are Looking For On Your Resume

Your resume is your first real point of contact with any potential employer, the document that will serve as their first impression of your background and suitability for a role. Everyone’s resumes vary depending on their personal experience and skills, but there are some common features that all employers look for in a resume when trying to determine if a candidate is a good fit.

Here are some tips for organizing your resume to increase your chances of having it catch the eye of a potential employer:

Include Industry and Role-Specific Keywords – Top employers typically receive huge numbers of resumes, which they need to have strategies for sifting through. One of the quickest ways for an employer to gauge how well-suited an applicant is for a role is to look for “keywords” on a resume. These are words describing skills, background experience, and knowledge that demonstrate an aptitude for the specific role and industry being applied to. Before you submit your resume, study the job description, company, and industry you’re applying to so that you can add keywords that will grab a hiring manager’s attention.

Watch Out For Embellishing – Most top employers who are trying to fill a role get inundated with resumes that are exaggerated. When a candidate’s resume includes, to the letter, every single required skill that was listed in the job post, that’s a pretty good indicator that that applicant does not possess those skills. When you’re building your resume, make sure not to include skills or expertise that don’t accurately reflect your professional background. When it comes to applying for a new role, it pays to be honest and to use your legitimate skills and background as your selling points.

Communicate the Progress You’ve Achieved in Your Career – When they’re looking at a resume, employers want to be able to tell that a candidate has accomplished some forward progress throughout their career. This will come across from your past job titles and the companies you’ve worked for, but there are other ways of communicating progress as well. When you’re outlining job descriptions for each position you’ve held, be sure to describe the specific responsibilities that you had and the skills that were required for you to be successful. That way, employers will get a much clearer sense of what you’ve learned, how and when you gained those skills, and how they were translated into you excelling throughout your career.

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

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

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

What Do IT Recruiters Do?

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

How Can Someone Get in Touch With an IT Recruiter?

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

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

Why Should You Consider Working With an IT Recruiter?

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

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

Ready to Grow Your Career?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page.

 


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

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

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

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

Ready For Your Next Career Leap?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page.


How to Write the Perfect IT Cover Letter

In the course of the IT professional’s job search, certain steps can ultimately mean the difference between being selected for an interview and being lost in the crowd. One of the most crucial of these steps is the crafting and submission of strong, compelling, and up-to-date cover letters.

The cover letter is your opportunity to leave a strong impression in the mind of a hiring manager. This document should communicate enough personal information that it creates a comprehensive picture of you, your background, and your experience; but it should not be so long that it leaves recruiters feeling bored. The bottom line is that creating the perfect cover letter is a balancing act; one that requires some knowledge about what, specifically, IT managers are looking for.

With that in mind, let’s explore four crucial steps to drafting the perfect IT cover letter:

  • Draft Your Cover Letter so That it’s Complementary To, Not Duplicative Of, Your Resume – Your resume and your cover letter are two separate documents serving separate purposes, and they should be drafted accordingly. Your resume will delineate the specific roles you’ve had throughout your career, and your cover letter should detail the specific skills that you’ve acquired as a result of working in each role. In other words, your resume should be seen as a more technical document; your cover letter, on the other hand, should describe how your experience has caused you to grow and develop professionally over the years.
  • Don’t Include Too Much Personal Information – Your cover letter should leave hiring managers with a detailed sense of your professional skills and experience. You don’t need to take up too much space discussing your personal or family life (unless that’s specifically requested in the job post). As a general rule, you should stick to elucidating your professional credentials and how they qualify you for a particular role when you’re crafting your cover letter.
  • Tailor Each Cover Letter for the Role You’re Applying For – If you’re submitting a generic cover letter for every role that you apply to, hiring managers will be able to tell. This will not reflect well on your suitability for a role. Before you submit, be sure that you mention somewhere in your cover letter the following pieces of information:
    • The position you’re applying for (this should be mentioned in the first couple of sentences)
    • How you first heard about the job
    • The skills and experience that qualify you for this particular role
  • Be honest – As with any part of the application and interview process, honesty is always the best policy. Your cover letter should focus on your background, experience, skills, and aspirations in as transparent a way as possible. Stating – or even implying – that you have skills that you haven’t developed may benefit you in the short-term, but it will eventually come back to haunt you. Be yourself and sell your merits exactly as they are.

Looking to Grow Your Career?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.


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.

 

 


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