May 9, 2013
IT job seekers are in luck. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the professional and technology services industry added 23K jobs in April. The overarching professional and business services industry have added 587K jobs over the past year. Consequently the demand for highly skilled technical talent is very high. Yet degrees and certifications likely won't be enough to get you a job, even in today's candidate-driven market. Harvey Nash's National Recruiting Director, Michael Tosto, has spent countless hours with employers discussing minimum requirements needed from IT professionals in 2013. Here are two attributes employers expect candidates to have:
Tosto says it's very rare these days where a company only wants a head-down developer. The person may be an incredible developer, but if he/she is unable to communicate with colleagues, he/she will quickly fall off the short list. Instead, today's developer--and really IT professionals in every facet of the industry--needs to be able to work well on a team and clearly exchange with team members about obstacles that come up during a project, solutions to those obstacles, deadlines, etc. It's important for everyone on the team to bring ideas to the table.
An array of technical skills.Being talented in more than one area is desirable in any industry, but especially IT considering how quickly technologies emerge and change. According to Tosto, being just a Java guy/gal and that's it may be okay for the larger, corporate-type roles, but definitely not for the smaller to mid-size firms where people are expected to wear more than one hat. "Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone to become familiar with new applications and platforms. Your resume will thank you," says Tosto.
Training programs through local colleges, online universities, or even firms like Harvey Nash, can help IT job seekers acquire missing skills and increase their value to potential employers. "We help IT professionals enhance their competitive edge through our Technical Learning Libraries," says Tosto. He goes on to explain that the program provides high quality, interactive training videos on everything from application development to networking--with streamed content available 24/7.
The technology profession, likely more than most skilled professions, demands a robust and often changing set of hard and soft skills. Although IT job seekers clearly have lots of opportunity as the BLS numbers indicate, continuing to enhance ones knowledge-base can make all the difference when it comes to getting a coveted position or joining a highly regarded company.
April 17, 2013Harvey Nash's team of recruiters has helped thousands with their job searches, and has been part of countless interviews. This month's featured recruiter, Joe Hirlinger, wants job seekers to know that it's ok to not know everything. Read Joe's thoughts here. s to know that it's ok to not know everything. Read Joe's thoughts here.
August 16, 2012
Bombing a job interview is the worst. And when it happens, you know it. Showing up two hours late. Letting it slip that you want the job just to pay the bills while you look for something better. Saying you'll Google something during your interview with Yahoo. (Yes, we know someone who actually did that!) While we don't all necessarily make huge mistakes in our job interviews, or in our general job searches, most everyone is guilty of making small ones. Here are some ways you may be sabotaging yourself without even realizing it:
1. Waiting until you know for sure
Confidence is definitely key for job seekers, but you shouldn't assume that because you got the interview, you'll get the job. So, just because you have an interview on Tuesday, you shouldn't cancel your Wednesday networking lunch with your current boss. Don't waste time waiting for a definitive "yes" or "no" before continuing your search--pursue good opportunities right up until you receive an actual job offer.
2. Believing "no" means "no"
We're not saying to keep following up on the same position even after the hiring manager tells you that you didn't get it. But a tactful thank you after being turned down for a position can keep you in the running if their first pick falls through, or even for a different opportunity with the same company. A "no" isn't a burned bridge.
3. Lugging around a messy briefcase
While it might not bother you to have to sift through a jumble of papers to find the right one, your doing so will be a red flag to a hiring manager. (If her briefcase is this messy, how can she get any work done?) So toss those old receipts and only bring the organized essentials to your interview--a hard copy of your resume, your references, and any other specific document the company asks you to bring.
In addition, always show a good attitude in communications with potential employers, whether they're written or spoken. And remember to position yourself as an asset to the success of their business--don't talk about how the job will benefit you. Do this and they won't see you as anything but an asset.
April 27, 2012
We all know that waiting is one of the hardest things to do. Never is it tougher than after a job interview. Questions fly through our heads, like, did they like me? Do they think I'm capable? Will they hire me? Yes is the answer we hope is true for all of them, but there are some things we can do during interviews that ensure the answers will be no--things that absolutely kill any chance of getting hired. Here's a short list of what NOT to do during an interview.
1. Come unprepared
The whole point of interviewing you is to see what you can do for the company. What you bring to the team. How can you sell yourself as an asset to a company you know nothing about?
While there's no way you can know the ins and outs of the organization, Harvey Nash's Regional Recruiting Director, Cheryl Blumenberg, says some basic research on the company and management team is crucial. (Read suggestions from Cheryl on the best ways to get acquainted with a company and even come up with a personal pitch before your interview.)
2. Talk too much/not listen to the interviewer
Good communication skills are necessary each and every day on the job, so there's no better place to display yours than in an interview. When your interviewer has to work to get a word in, or keep repeating questions, it's just plain annoying. It's also a preview of how it will be to work with you. No one is going to write you off because you're a talkative person, but in an interview situation, you must listen carefully to the questions, give thoughtful answers and stay on point.
3. Talk negatively about current or past employers/managers
Ok. Your previous boss may have been a real piece of work, but it's extremely unprofessional to put them down when talking to a hiring manager. It can make it look like you don't hold yourself accountable and are more likely to blame others for your mistakes or problems. These are not signals you want to send to the person who's deciding whether or not to bring you on board. They want to know that you'll enrich the team, not bring it down with trash talk.
In addition to the tips above, please do yourself and your job search a favor by holding back your questions about raises and drug tests. Also, remember to dress and behave professionally. Hiring managers like candidates with clean pants AND clean vocabularies!
December 19, 2011
Anyone who's ever had to review someone else's resume knows what torture it can be to read through pages and pages of what a person has done since the day they graduated high school. Can you help it if you've accomplished a great deal along the path that is your career? No. But you can keep your resume short and sweet so hiring managers don’t fall asleep looking at yours. Here’s how.
For your eyes only: a master resume
It is a good idea to have a resume that lists e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g you’ve done throughout your career—your titles, responsibilities, accomplishments, awards received, articles published, salary information, volunteer efforts, etc.—but this will be for your eyes only. When applying for a new position, you want to send a resume that’s tailored to that specific role and list accomplishments that meet the specific needs it requires. This means picking and choosing your past jobs and responsibilities that are relevant and leaving out the ones that aren’t. According to Cheryl Blumenberg, Harvey Nash’s Regional Recruiting Director, “Anything more than three pages will drive recruiters crazy!”
Here’s a quick reference list from Cheryl on what to keep in and what to leave out:
Keep it in
• If you held the job within the last decade, and it’s relevant to the one you’re going for now, keep the details in.
• Same goes if your previous job was in a different industry, but required some of the same skills as the one you’re applying for now(e.g. leading a team, writing or communication skills).
• If your hobby is one that actually applies to the new position, by all means, include it.
Leave it out
• If you worked in the position 12 years ago and you have no intention of carrying on with the skill set it required, or the skill set doesn’t apply to the new job, leave it out.
• Leave out awards, certifications, articles or books written that have nothing to do with the job you’re going after. They take up valuable real estate when you’re trying to keep your resume short.
• Personal information other than your contact details should be left out as well (e.g. ethnicity or religion).
It’d be a shame to miss out on a job opportunity because the recruiter couldn’t bear searching your mile-long resume for relevant qualifications. Keep yours from being too long, and it’s more likely to go in the “keep it in” pile.
When you send your resume to a hiring manager, it's easy to picture it being tossed in a foot-high stack of resumes to review on top of their desk. And while your resume is most likely one of many the hiring manager will receive, there are ways to make sure you don't blend in with—or completely disappear behind—your fellow eager job seekers. Harvey Nash’s Regional Recruiting Director, Cheryl Blumenberg, has a few tricks to help you catch and hold a hiring manager's attention.
Rock your resume
First, you’ve got to make sure your resume is clear and short, showcasing the experience most relevant for the job you’re applying for (click here to read our advice on keeping yours from becoming a novel). And rather than listing your awards and recognition at the very bottom, give them the real estate they deserve in the top third of the resume.“When we can easily see that you’ve been publicly recognized in your industry, by your peers, subordinates, supervisors—whoever—it lets us know that you really are good at what you do,” says Blumenberg. “It automatically makes your resume more than just words on paper.” She says additional things that can be listed here include relevant speaking engagements and articles you’ve written.
Another trend Blumenberg is seeing with resumes is including a link to an online portfolio featuring your work. “While this might not be applicable for everyone,” she says, “it certainly can make a lasting impression.”
Talk the talk, and explain how you’ll walk the walk
While surfing the company’s website the day before your interview is a good thing to do, there are stronger ways to show your interest in working for them. In addition to reading through their site, Blumenberg suggests taking a peek at their social media pages as well as any current news articles and industry publications you can find that feature the company. By signing up for a Google Alert, you can receive links to articles that mention it and a quick search at www.twitter.com/search can tell you what’s being said about it. This will help you learn as much as you can about the basics of the organization, plus it gives you insights to the issues they’re concerned about. “Once you do the research,” says Blumenberg, “you can come to the interview prepared with an explanation of how your experience can help the company. Tailor this ‘personal pitch’ the right way, and you’ll be hard to resist.”
September 28, 2011
With more than 100 million members, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network. A place where you can build and engage with your professional connections, and gain access to career knowledge, insights and opportunities.
Intelligent. Personable. Responsive. All things you want to be in the eyes of your professional contacts. One thing you don't want to be? Annoying.
January 31, 2011
August 24, 2010
There's no doubt you want to make a great first impression at your upcoming interview and win that new job. And while you can arrive armed with experience, intelligence and industry insights, the truth is, the person interviewing you will know whether or not they like you a few minutes after you walk into their office. And the reasons they'll decide one way or the other will have nothing to do with your professional background.
So you landed the job interview. Congratulations! Next step--prepare yourself with as much knowledge as possible about the company you're interviewing with. And remember these necessary (and not-so-necessary) ingredients in the recipe for interviewing success. They could mean the difference between getting the job offer and getting passed over…
May 24, 2010
Social networking is one of the most effective ways to expand your access to job opportunities in the marketplace today. The even better news is that it does not require an inordinate amount of work. Through the following five steps you can build a strong, far-reaching online profile that will help increase your chances of being contacted for career opportunities:
Entering the job market is difficult especially if it has been a while. As your resume is your first impression, how do you make it impactful enough to differentiate yourself from other candidates? In a world where few resumes leave the reader wanting to know more, how can you ensure your resume gets noticed?
February 3, 2010
Sure, we all enjoyed the days of performance-based bonuses, company parties and free coffee. But for the time being, those days have changed if not disappeared altogether. Thanks to the economy and the resulting efforts businesses are making to keep afloat, employees are not seeing bonuses offered like they were in recent years or many of the perks enjoyed in the past.
We've all been there: the first day of a new job! You get organized the night before, visit the company Web site, make sure you're familiar with important names, review your job description, set your alarm and then double-check that you set your alarm. The morning comes and, as prepared as you felt you were the night before, you suddenly realize as you walk into the building that you are not exactly sure where your desk is located. Should you check in with your boss first or locate your office and get settled? What did they say about parking again? Oh no -- here comes someone you met in the interview, but of course her name has escaped you.
November 23, 2009
You know it's a strange time in the economy when job seekers are worried more about the skills they have than the skills they don't. Why? Because recruiters and hiring managers get nervous when it comes to "overqualified" candidates...
The social networking scene is quite diverse these days. Not only are participants online to get acquainted with old friends and check out new places and people; social networking has fast become a key tool for finding a job...
September 28, 2009
It's easy to get attached to a job title or focus on rank in your job search process. After all, you've worked hard to get where you are and earn your stripes in the workplace.
You did it! You beat out all the other job candidates. The employer wants you and the job offer is good. It's fantastic, it's a relief and (we're sorry to ruin your new hire high) it's not over yet.
July 9, 2009
These days a paper resume seems more fitting for a museum than an inbox. With the vast majority of employers heavily leveraging online tools to recruit talent - from social media to job boards - the digital resume has become the format of choice for recruiters today.
It's here and it's here to stay. Social media is making its footprint in the employment world. One third of employers now use social networking sites to connect with potential recruits. What does that mean for you? It means that it’s not what you know, but how you promote yourself on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn that can really boost your job opportunity prospects.
June 1, 2009
How do you grab the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter who is sorting through piles of paperwork in search of great candidates? It's not with bright colors and big fonts. And it's never with radical formats or gross exaggeration.
Great job interview performance requires a lot: good etiquette, the right attire, confidence and excellent listening. But the truly exceptional candidate will bring even more to the table than first-class professionalism. An exceptional interviewee brings relevant knowledge - about the company, about the job, about the industry - to the interview.
April 23, 2009
Harvey Nash asked professionals around the world to share the successes they have seen in their job hunt and in their workplaces since the start of the global recession. We have had great response to that request and wanted to share some of the positive lessons and workplace anecdotes we received.
For professionals and job seekers determined to succeed despite today's challenges, we have aggregated advice from our global network of Harvey Nash recruiters and job search experts.
March 17, 2009
Don't panic. Evidence from previous downturns shows that the vast majority of people whose jobs are eliminated are able to secure new employment relatively quickly
March 16, 2009
As we all too vividly know, 2008 closed and 2009 opened in the midst of global stock markets plunging to their lowest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s. These are desperate times for us all as businesses struggle to stay alive, let alone to prosper; a time for desperate measures. A time to declare war.
February 12, 2009
Do your colleagues outside of the IT corridors ever wear a distant look of utter confusion when you begin to explain projects, problems or strategies? If it's happening often, you may have a severe case of the IT Jabberwocky.
February 2, 2009
The UK labour market is on the verge of a 'brain drain' and struggling to retain home-grown talent, according to new research from professional recruitment consultancy, Harvey Nash.
February 1, 2009
Not as far we we can see. Although the economy is going through harder times than of late, they're still hiring. Although the economy is going through harder times than of late, they're still hiring