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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 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.


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.


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.


8 Traits that Successful Professionals Show

Every job varies in terms of the skills, abilities, and talents that are required for success. A technical skill that’s absolutely crucial to one role might be completely superfluous to a professional working at a separate job. That said, there are some traits that every highly successful professional possesses, irrespective of their particular role or of the industry that they work in.

By understanding the qualities that are conducive to success in any role, we’ll be much more likely to cultivate those traits within ourselves and thereby make it more likely that we’ll enjoy success in our own careers.

With that in mind, here are eight common traits of highly successful professionals:

1. Discipline.

Before success becomes possible, an individual must learn how to forego impulsive pleasure, concentrate for long periods of time, and never veer from their own standards of excellence. All of this must start with self-discipline.

2. Passion.

Professionals who care deeply about their work and who believe that their goals are worthwhile are much more likely to be successful than those whose commitment to the task is merely lukewarm.

3. Eagerness to learn.

Success requires an ability to consistently update one’s store of knowledge and to adopt alternative points of view.

4. Ability to take risks.

If you’re not willing to take risks, you will remain in the same place.

5. Organization.

As success accumulates, so too does responsibility. Staying on top of a growing number of daily tasks requires an ability to keep things in order over long periods of time.

6. They seek opportunities to learn from the success of others.

No one climbs the ladder of success on their own. There are countless relationships that have to be cultivated and maintained along the way. For every successful professional out there, there are mentors, teachers, and inspirational figures behind the scenes who each played some sort of role in that person’s achievements. The ability to engage with and learn from successful individuals who came before you is crucial to our own thriving.

7. Communication.

If you’re able to communicate in a forthright, confident, and articulate manner, you’re much more likely to clearly express – to yourself and to others – what success actually looks like for you, and what you need to achieve it.

8. They prioritize their health.

Physical and mental health is the foundation for any success story. When we fail to nourish our bodies and our minds, we’re setting ourselves up to encounter serious impediments to success. In order to be successful in our careers, we first have to ensure that we’re getting the diet, rest, exercise, and self-care that we need to be able to perform at our best.

Improvement is an ongoing process, and the actions that we take today determine the degree of success that we’ll enjoy tomorrow. At RightStone, we specialize in providing professionals with the resources that they need to advance in their careers. Contact us today to get started!


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