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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.


Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance

 

Work-life balance is your prioritization of the time and energy committed to your professional and personal responsibilities. How you divide your time depends on what best fits your needs on a given day.

Work-life balance typically does not mean an equal balance of your responsibilities. As your priorities change, how you balance your commitments typically changes as well.

Your ability to achieve the work-life balance that is right for you helps increase your motivation, engagement, and productivity. The better able you are to find a healthy balance between your professional and personal life, the happier and healthier you should be.

The maintenance of work-life balance is especially important if your work arrangement is remote or hybrid. It can be challenging to enforce set work hours when your teammates and manager are not present to encourage you not to work during the early morning or late-night hours. This is why you must enforce boundaries for your work hours. The rest of your time needs to be spent on yourself and your family members.

Implement these tips to better manage your work-life balance.


Limit Nonessential Activities

Maintain a schedule of your most productive tasks as much as possible. The prioritization of the tasks that need to be finished increases the odds that they get done when planned.

Spend a small amount of time on your less important activities. These typically include checking your personal email, browsing social media, and surfing the internet. You can make time for these activities during your non-work hours.

Learn to Say No

Turn down the projects and activities you do not have time for. This may include social requests such as coworker parties that you have little interest in.

If you agree to take on everything that is asked of you, you likely will begin to feel overwhelmed. Your increasing workload and social activities can take away time from your core responsibilities or the personal activities that mean the most. This can result in increased stress and decreased productivity.

When asked to take on additional work, check whether there is room for it in your schedule. If not, explain to your manager why you cannot help out. Be sure to thank them for considering you.

Manage Your Stress

Schedule time to participate in activities that reduce stress. This may include yoga, meditation, running, reading, or working out.

Participation in activities you enjoy helps take your mind off work. It also can improve your mood and health. The better you manage your stress, the more engaged and productive you likely will be.

Regularly eat healthy foods. This helps strengthen your immune system and reduce your blood pressure.

Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Your body needs time to mentally and physically rest. You should wake up energized and productive.

Find a New Job

If you need a new IT job that offers better work-life balance, let RightStone help with your search. 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.


Successful Professionals: How to Improve Your Communication

 

Strong communication skills are necessary for career success. Because every job requires human interaction, the more easily you facilitate communication with others, the more efficient and effective your work will be. This is why developing your communication skills should be one of your top priorities.

Implement these five tips to improve your workplace communication.

1. Pay Attention to Communication Styles 

Knowing how others tend to communicate helps you effectively facilitate conversations. For instance, passive communicators typically act indifferent or agreeable to keep the peace. Aggressive communicators often freely express their emotions and can be intimidating. Passive-aggressive communicators may appear aloof when they are upset or annoyed. Assertive communicators usually are considerate and express themselves in a clear, direct manner. Careful observation of others’ verbal and nonverbal communication can help you adapt your own style to build a foundation for mutual understanding.

2. Actively Listen

Pay close attention to what others are saying. Ask clarifying questions to show interest and understanding. This builds respect for the people you communicate with and facilitates collaboration.

3. Show Empathy

Demonstrate a shared understanding of others’ emotions. Showing you can relate to how someone feels helps you more effectively communicate with them. You can determine an appropriate approach and exhibit the proper feelings toward what they are talking about.

4. Be Persuasive

Convincing others to complete a desired action or behave in a certain way is important. It can lead to increased productivity and help achieve a goal. The stronger your ability to influence others’ attitudes and behaviors, the stronger your impact within the organization.

5. Practice Public Speaking

Increase the effectiveness of your presentations by repeatedly practicing them. For instance, begin each talk with something that immediately engages your audience and holds their interest. Also, use notes to guide your presentations. Additionally, maintain eye contact with your audience. Plus, project your voice and pace your discussion so the information is easy to process. Further, use visual aids and end on a strong note to leave a lasting impression.

Looking for a New IT Role?

RightStone has a variety of IT roles that fit your skills, experience, and interests. 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.


Successful Professionals: How to Improve Your Work Discipline

Self-discipline is what helps you complete tasks when you do not feel like doing them. This is important whether you work remotely or at the office. The more self-discipline you develop, the greater your long-term career success will be.

Follow these guidelines to increase your self-discipline while working.

Set Your Work Hours

If you have flexibility, determine which work hours best fit your schedule and lifestyle. Include the time during which you are most productive. Try to keep the schedule as much as possible. Be sure to allow time to run errands and take care of personal responsibilities when needed.

Begin with Small Exercises

Choose something easy you can use self-discipline to improve on and consistently do. Or, use self-discipline to break bad habits and form good ones. For instance, choose a task you dislike, such as checking your inbox each morning. Perform the task first thing each day. Then, reward yourself with something else you like, such as a cup of coffee. After a few weeks, you should have a new habit.

Schedule Breaks

Taking regular breaks helps you maintain self-discipline. This helps you stay focused for significant periods and motivated to continue working. Be sure to leave your desk for each break. Go for a quick walk, listen to music, or do something else to relax. You will come back rested and ready to work.

Break Up Large Tasks into Smaller Tasks

Tackling a significant assignment can feel overwhelming. This can lead to procrastination and lack of achievement. To combat the issue, break up the complex task into more manageable tasks. Begin with the first assignment, then move to the next. Continue until the entire task is finished. This increases your motivation to complete the assignment on time and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Prepare for the Next Day

Finish each day by getting ready for the next one. For instance, think about what you accomplished throughout the day. Then, consider what needs to be done tomorrow morning. Next, write down the tasks you need to finish the next day. This gives you a plan to work from tomorrow.

Looking for a New IT Job?

When the time comes to find a new IT job, include RightStone in your search. Here is a link to our job board. Or, send us your resume to learn about future opportunities.


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