Archive for category career advice
Writing a professional tech resume seems simple enough, but there’s an art to writing a great one. To improve your own resume and make landing the interviews you want easier, check your resume against these common mistakes.
Stretching the truth.
With tech employers getting pickier about exactly what sort of technical skills they need, it may be tempting to exaggerate some of the details on your resume. But it almost never pays off in the long run. The truth is, tech recruiters do their research – and often discover these stretches. And even when they don’t, if you get the job, your new company will likely realize that how you came across on paper is inconsistent with how you perform on the job. It’s better to exceed expectations than to disappoint, so just be honest from the get-go – starting with your resume.
Not being specific enough.
While it’s important to be honest on your resume, it’s also important to give yourself credit where credit is due. And that means replacing vague, meaningless language with impactful, specific actions. For example, instead of just saying you “created software,” include the type of software, your exact role, and the result of your efforts.
Skipping your results.
Don’t just list your projects and job responsibilities. Explain the impact you had on your organization. After all, this is the bottom line of what any hiring manager really wants to know – how you will impact their organization.
Forgetting about keywords.
If your skills are in engineering, information technology, or finance or accounting, don’t forget to include more specific keywords, that speak to exactly to your expertise and skill set, in the body of your resume. Recruiters scan for these words in order to find the perfect fit for each available job – and so do programs created to sort through digital resumes. Make sure yours doesn’t get lost, just because you weren’t specific enough about your technical skills.
Setting the wrong tone.
Be professional in tone. Always. That means forget trying to be funny – it’s difficult to pull off and can come across as silly, and not in a good way. So just convey the facts succinctly, cordially, and effectively. If you’ve done that, you’ll eventually end up on the desk of the hiring manager, for a company where you’ll be a great fit.
Looking for the perfect new career opportunity in engineering, information technology, finance or accounting? Go to TRC Professional Solutions to learn more.
Changing jobs has its challenges, but changing fields is a whole other matter. No matter how much theoretical knowledge you may possess, the bottom line is that hiring managers really like you to have experience. That doesn’t mean you should let your lack of experience deter you from taking a risk and trying something new. Everyone has to start somewhere, and jumping through a few hoops in the short term can really pay off for your long-term happiness.
Let’s say you’ve been working in IT for 10 years, and you’d really like to move to a new field of information technology. While you’ve studied up on your own and feel you’ve got a good understanding of the field, you don’t have any actual work experience. How do you proceed?
First, keep in mind that if you’ve been a strong performer and are highly valued in your current position, this will speak volumes to hiring managers. That’s because employers are smart enough to choose a sure bet over someone with a perfect skillset who doesn’t have a clear history of always delivering. So make sure you’ve got measurable results to show, as well as recommendations from bosses and colleagues.
Your past success isn’t all you’ll need, if you want to change fields. Make sure you invest in any classes that can help get you fully up to speed on the required skills. You can also join professional organizations and attend events to learn about what’s going on in the field. List these classes and organizations on your resume.
Another great idea is to request a meeting with a hiring manager or recruiter. Without having to be selected for a formal interview, you’ll frame it as a conversation. You can then discuss your goals, and how what you’re working on now relates to what’s required in your new field.
Finally, don’t give up. It may take a little time to make the change, but if you keep at it, it will happen.
Looking for new opportunities in your field, or in a brand new one? We love hearing from qualified candidates. Check out job openings at companies all over the country with TRC Staffing Services, Inc.
A 2013 study funded by Microsoft found that each year, 230,000 new tech jobs are created. The report also showed that each year, only 49,000 students graduate with a computer science-focused degree. That leaves more than 70,000 jobs available – so why are eight million people in the U.S. unemployed, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics?
It’s called a skills gap, and the U.S. job market as a whole is experiencing it. There are Millennials straight out of college applying for jobs that they are under-qualified for – not because they lack field experience, but because they didn’t receive the college education needed to complete the tasks at hand.
Though the entire job market is being affected by the skills gap, the technology market is taking one of the hardest hits. In a recent article about the tech skills gap, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that software development, data science, and systems engineering are among those STEM fields suffering the most from the talent gap.
Another skills gap study, conducted by Microsoft and Washington State, finds that one out of two jobs requires tech skills. Within the next ten years this number is predicted to increase to three out of four jobs. With Millennials unable to land these jobs, and employers unable to hire candidates, the market is not progressing.
This all sounds pretty negative . . . but it’s actually the perfect opportunity for people interested in pursuing a career in technology. Here’s why. By 2020, IT salaries alone are predicted to rise by 5.1% per year. The fewer qualified candidates there are for the technology field, the more invaluable tech gurus will become.
One way the tech industry is tackling the problem head on is through education. Companies are offering mentorships, industry experts are sharing their knowledge for free through blogs and online coding tutorials, and companies are even providing free training. For example, the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy teaches technology courses to active-duty military service members, in an effort to prepare them for the workforce upon completion of their military duties.
As for those who want a great career in technology – the key is to get the education needed to be successful – the education that, for some reason, others are not receiving. Research programs and education tracks before attending any program or school. Ask about success rates and investigate what the tech community has to say about those programs. The opinion of the tech community will tell you a lot about whether or not an education program will lead to a successful career.
Have you already received a great education? Are you ready to dive in to the technology field? Check out the Top Five Stem Cities for Employment on the TRC Professional Solutions blog to find the perfect city for your career.
A major component of creating a successful career in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math industries (STEM) is to continually educate yourself. With new technologies developing every day, it takes a lot of effort to research new certifications and degrees needed to “climb the ladder” in your profession.
To become certified, you sign up to take courses that will increase your knowledge of your desired industry. Graduate school is also a great route to take in the long run. The more experience and knowledge you have, the better. However, it can be hard to know what specific certifications are needed. The TRC Professional Solutions team of recruiters have offered a few key certifications that they look for to fill specific positions.
If you are interested in applying for Networking and Systems jobs, look into becoming CCNA, CCNP, MCSE and MCSA certified. If you are able to understand these 5 certifications, you will be able to use Cisco Systems. Just to give you an idea, Cisco Systems is used worldwide in North America, Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin American and the Middle East.
If you are leaning more towards the Security route, check into becoming CISSP and CEH certified. To become a “Certified Ethical Hacker”, it will take a little more dedication than the other certifications listed above. It takes a bit longer and is a more expensive route, but it’s worth it. If you learn these systems, you could literally be hacking into corporations systems to find their defaults! Being CEH certified is pretty rare and will make your resume stand out to recruiters.
Finally, if you’re interested in understanding Science and Technology Languages, get your Matlab certification. This will help you manage everything from computer vision – to database reporting and connectivity. Companies like to use Matlab because it is like a programming language for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It’s also used for science and applications.
With any career, the more certifications, qualifications, and experience you have – the better. This is especially true for the STEM industries. Do you have other certifications that you feel are desirable?