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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.
People are back at work after a long Labor Day weekend – though perhaps not as many as economists had predicted. Let’s take a look at the August 2016 BLS jobs report.
1. Pay didn’t increase as much as predicted. Average hourly wages were only up .12% (3 cents) from last month, whereas last year they were up 2.4% from a year ago. According to the Wall Street Journal, this could have something to do with the fact that the lowest-paying sector – “food services and drinking places” – also added the most jobs of the month.
2. Fewer jobs were added. While 270,000 jobs were added in July, only 151,000 jobs were added in August. That’s a sharp decrease, and also less than the consensus, which had been 180,000. Still, that number is considered enough to absorb workforce growth, says bankrate.com.
3. It’s not as bad as it sounds. For some reason, possibly due to school starting, August numbers have often been disappointing. This is why economists say month-by-month reporting isn’t as reliable as year-by-year reporting. Plus, while the numbers aren’t great, they still show steady if slow growth.
Three times you should always follow up
Picture it. You’ve been searching for a job for weeks now, and you’ve even had some interest in the form of recruiters reaching out for interviews. But you haven’t found that perfect job you know must be out there somewhere. Suddenly, you see it. The job description matches exactly what you’ve been looking for. You submit your application. A few days go by. And you start to wonder…when, and how, should you follow up?
If you seem too eager, will you scare them off? Too persistent, and you might annoy them? But if you don’t reach out and show you really want the job, will someone else beat you to the punch?
Whereas before, you didn’t bother overthinking the follow-up process because the stakes weren’t that high, now you really want this job – and you don’t want to ruin your chances by making the wrong move.
The truth is, everything will be just fine and if you’re meant to have that job, you’ll get it. But to eliminate some doubt, here are three specific circumstances where you should absolutely follow up.
1. When you didn’t get an automated response. After submitting your application, wait 24 hours. If you haven’t received an email assuring you your application was received, contact the hiring manager (if possible) with a polite email to let them know you’ve applied and are excited to hear more about the opportunity (don’t forget to attach your resume).
2. After the interview. Always, always send a thank-you note. These days, an email is often appropriate, but a hand-written note will show you went the extra mile. Don’t let too much time pass between the interview and the follow up. Later that day, or the next day is best.
3. When you didn’t get the job. Just because you didn’t land the job this time, doesn’t mean you won’t be considered at a later date. A well-crafted follow up, thanking them for their time, and expressing interest in future consideration, will make you seem like a class act who genuinely wants to work there. You’ll keep the doors open, and you never know what may come of it down the road.
Ready for a great new opportunity. Check out the TRC Staffing job boards today.
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.