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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.


6 Ways to De-Stress at Work

 

Meetings, presentations, and deadlines are among the most common sources of stress at work. If left unchecked, your increasing stress level can lead to decreased engagement and productivity. This can result in anxiety, depression, and burnout.

These are reasons why you must learn to overcome stressful situations at work. The following strategies can help.

Choose among these six methods to decrease your stress level while at work.


1. Schedule Your Tasks

Take time each night to plan your tasks for the following day. Be sure to include your most challenging activities in the morning. You should feel rested and ready to produce during this time. Allow enough time between tasks for interruptions. Be sure to check off each task when it is completed. This helps you stay focused and complete what you need to do.

2. Organize Your Desk

Make sure everything on your desk is in its place. Keep out only what you are working on. Clear your workspace of everything else. Organize your files and documents so you can find the information you need when you need it. This saves time and reduces the stress of seeing everything else you need to work.

3. Listen to a Calming Sound

You may want to play soothing music or a quiet sound while you work. This might involve classical or instrumental music. Or, it might be the sound of waves, a campfire, or whales. Calming music or sounds help relieve tension.

4. Move Your Body

Establish a habit of walking and stretching throughout the day. This is especially important if your work involves a lot of sitting. Taking walks during your breaks and lunch hour helps clear your head and let the creativity flow. Stretching your arms and legs for 10 minutes three times a day helps you feel energized.

5. Eat at Regular Intervals

Consume healthy foods and drink water throughout the day. Your snacks may include a bowl of dry fruit, pretzels, or other non-perishable food. Regularly eating small amounts of food provides the fuel needed to work throughout the day. It also helps control your blood sugar level and mood.

6. Focus on Your Accomplishments

Pay attention to what you get done each day. This may include small steps toward the completion of a project or the attainment of a long-term goal. Emphasis on your achievements increases your confidence and helps you relax.

Find a New Job

If your efforts to de-stress do not work, it may be time to find a new IT job. Let RightStone help you find the one that best matches your goals and interests. Visit our job board today.


How to Deal with Difficult People at Work

 

You are likely to come across a difficult coworker at some point in your IT career. This can happen to anyone at any company. How you deal with the coworker depends on your personality and the support you receive from colleagues, coworkers, and leaders. The sooner you take action to handle the issue, the sooner you may start experiencing results.

Choose among these suggestions to help you effectively deal with a difficult coworker.


Focus on Yourself

Make sure your coworker truly is causing a problem and you are not simply overreacting. Perhaps you commonly experience a similar issue with the same type of person or behavior. Or, maybe you see a pattern in your interactions with coworkers. This may mean you have a hot button that easily is pushed.

Talk with a Colleague

Find out whether a trusted colleague is noticing or experiencing similar issues with the coworker. Ask for an objective observation about the issue. If your colleague agrees that the problem exists, discuss some ways to professionally address it.

Meet with the Coworker

Discuss the issue with the coworker who is creating it. Use “I” messages to focus on your experiences of the situation. Explain the impact their actions have on you. Remain pleasant and agreeable during the discussion. Try to reach an agreement about one or two positive actions to engage in going forward.

The coworker may not be aware of their actions or how you feel about them. They might agree to consider changing their pattern of interacting in the way you described. Or, the coworker could decide not to do anything differently.

Point Out the Coworker’s Behavior

If you do not feel comfortable talking privately with the coworker, use humor to publicly address their behavior. Perhaps you can salute your coworker after an interaction. Or, you might place your hand over your heart to show that their words wounded you. Then, ask the coworker to consider using more positive words or behavior going forward.

Follow Up

Focus on whether the coworker’s behavior gets better, worsens, or does not change going forward. Determine whether a follow-up talk may make a difference. Focus on how badly you want to make peace with the coworker and keep your job.

Talk with a Manager

Determine whether you want to discuss the coworker’s behavior with your manager or the coworker’s manager. Be sure to write down notes clarifying the issue and how it impacts your productivity. Plan to participate in follow-up discussions as well.

Limit Your Interactions

Spend as little time as possible in situations that may involve interacting with the coworker. Avoid working with them on projects, voluntary committees, and other circumstances whenever you can. Transfer to another role within the organization if possible.

Find a New Job

If the coworker decides not to change, work with RightStone to find a new job. Here is a link to our job board.


A Guide to On-the-Job Training Programs

 

When you want to change jobs or careers, you might not have the time or money to pursue ongoing education or a degree. Although having additional education can benefit your job search, taking classes is not your only option to fulfill this objective. Due to the shortage of skilled workers, many employers are modifying their educational requirements and implementing paid training systems to recruit motivated talent. This means you may be able to take advantage of on-the-job training to move forward on your professional path.

Learn how on-the-job training can lead you to your next career opportunity.


Defining On-the-Job Training

Experience in a role typically is not required for one that offers on-the-job training. Instead, you get paid to learn while working in the position. You also might receive mentoring, classroom learning, and/or assistance to earn licensing or certification. Examples of these setups include internships, co-ops, apprenticeships, certificate programs, short-term training programs, and company training programs. These types of training are especially common for jobs that are hard to fill because they require specialized skills.

Determining the Options That Fit Your Interests

Knowledge of which fields offer on-the-job training helps you narrow your job search. You can use your transferrable skills and interests to further determine which path to move forward on. Or, you might want to take a career test, choose a job that fits your needs, and determine the types of training you might have access to.

Find Employers Who Provide On-the-Job Training

You may want to search job boards to find companies that are hiring trainees for immediate openings. For instance, you can search the top job sites using keywords like “on-the-job training,” “experience not required,” or “no experience” to find openings that fit your interests. You also can visit your state job bank and use keywords such as “training” or “apprenticeship” to find available roles. Plus, you can partner with a local staffing agency that specializes in the field you want to work in to see which jobs you can be matched with.

Prepare Your Application

When you find the job, apprenticeship, or training program that interests you, learn all you can about what you need to do to apply. For instance, double-check your eligibility so you know whether you fit the qualifications. Then, prepare your application materials. Even if you do not need a cover letter and resume, you should have your education, work experience, contact information, and other relevant details ready. Additionally, gather two to three professional references who can attest to your skills and qualifications. The application process should go smoothly when you have all of the information available.

Get Help with Your Job Search

Involve RightStone in your search for a role with on-the-job training. Visit 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.


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