Archive for category New Year

4 Key Tech Trends to Watch for in 2015

trendsAs the technology industry continues to generate more career opportunities, employers are seeking specific skills to fulfill their open positions.

As job seekers continue to broaden their careers, take a look at the following trends to watch for in 2015:

  1. Shift from Temporary to Full-Time Employment: Business News Daily reveals, “Employers planning to hire temporary or contract workers in 2015, fifty-six percent plan to transition some of those workers into full-time permanent roles.” Studies have also shown organizations are planning on hiring more employees in 2015.
  2. Big Data: If you are in the tech industry, then you have probably heard this term. Big Data is one of the hottest topics within the job market right now. Organizations are determining how to use Big Data to help them operate it effectively and efficiently. The need for candidates who know how to, mine for, manage and use this data for businesses will continue to grow.
  3. Mobile Focus: Did you know that 86% of job seekers who have a smart phone would use it to search for a job, but 50% of career sites aren’t optimized for mobile? Moving forward, more companies are spending additional funds to ensure their technologies are mobile friendly, which will provide more opportunities for candidates with related skill sets who can fulfill these needs.
  4. Help Desk Roles: In 2015, there will be a higher need for staffing agencies to place candidates in positions catering to technical support and help desk associates. As technology continues to change, the number of devices and variety of hardware and software that organizations support will sky rocket. As a result, it becomes more difficult for organizations to support these platforms and hiring needs will increase.

The real question at the end of the day is, how can you, as a job seeker prepare for these trends? Stay on top of the latest updates within your industry, learn new skills to make yourself marketable, and over-prepare for the interview. If you have any other key technology trends to look out for in 2015, we would love to hear from you!

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5 New Years’ Resolutions That Will Boost Your Career

New Years ResolutionIf you are like the rest of us, then you might’ve let a New Years’ Resolution fall between the cracks a time or two mid-year. But this year, calls for a new you and a change in direction. With that being said, take a look at the following five New Years’ Resolutions that will boost your career in 2015:

  1. Excel in Your Current Role: Learn how to master the skills in your position and you will stand out to your manager and team members. Continue to go above and beyond by helping out your boss with projects and assignments that might not fall into your job description. Go ahead and brainstorm new ideas to improve or expand your responsibilities too.
  2. Develop New Skills: Start off the New Year by refining your writing skills or show off your knowledge with the latest technology updates. Try to pick up new skills such as coding or mobile development- candidates who specialize in these areas stand out to hiring managers. Be more knowledgeable about changes in your industry and share what you learn with others.
  3. Establish Your Career Goals: When you define a New Years’ resolution or goal, it is crucial that you are realistic and set definable objectives. Brainstorm what you want to accomplish in 2015 and then write down how you are going to achieve these things.
  4. Keep Up with Your Accomplishments: Track multiple achievements that you have accomplished throughout the year. Doing this can be very beneficial- it can be a vital resource during your performance review or it could also serve as a tool to help you update your resume, cover letter, and Social Media accounts like LinkedIn.
  5. Make More Connections: In your current role, develop new connections along the way. Take the time to get to know your coworkers, clients or former alumni on a personal level. Engage in group discussions on Social Media or meet for a coffee break and wish them a Happy New Year!

Most importantly, as you narrow down your options for choosing a New Years’ Resolution, define your goals in a clear and specific way in order set yourself up for a success. Once you treat your goals as a routine, it will increase your chances of maintaining your New Years’ Resolution. What are some of your resolutions in 2015? We would love to hear from you!

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Why You Did Not Land the “Follow Up” Interview

interviewIf you are like the rest of us, then you have probably have gone through an initial interview process, but unfortunately never heard anything back about finalizing the “next steps”. Chances are, you thought you aced the interview, but were soon disappointed to never receive a response. Don’t worry- you are not the only one- we have all been there!

After all, one of the biggest complaints from job seekers is not hearing back from employers. We have provided some feedback as to why you may not have landed the “follow up” interview:

  • The Position May not be Available Anymore: Unfortunately, the recruiting process can change at any time. There are many outside factors that can come into play: the company might not be able to provide for this position financially or some candidates from within the organization decided to apply for the same job. It is also possible they have chosen to not move forward with hiring someone for this role. Bummer, we know!
  • Some People Avoid Confrontation: This is something to keep in mind during your job search. Due to the increasing amount of applicants, some hiring managers place their focus on candidates who will make the right fit for the open position and choose not to follow up with candidates they are not moving forward with.
  • Employers Are Still Deciding: Sometimes companies have not fully committed to creating a new position or may take their time sorting through candidates for the position. If this is the case, it doesn’t hurt to follow up with the hiring manager down the road!
  • Increasing Number of Applicants: In today’s competitive market, the HR department is swarmed with numerous applications, many of which are qualified for the current open position. There is also a chance your resume might have gotten mixed in with other applications. Now that you know this, go ahead and follow up with a “thank-you” letter and a phone call a week later thanking them for taking the time to meet with you.
  • There is Still Room for Improvement: First impressions are crucial, so make sure you arrive early and dress to impress. Work on your presentation skills by speaking confidently during the interview process and cater your resume and cover letter specifically to the position you are applying for.

The bottom line is that there could be many external reasons that could come into play when deciding who to hire. If you didn’t land that “follow-up” interview- don’t get discouraged- the right position may be just around the corner! If you have any experience of why you did not land that “follow up” interview, we would love to hear your story!

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How to Separate Yourself as a Job Seeker When Applying to Tech Jobs

hire meWhether you have recently graduated or are looking to advance your career, figuring out how to differentiate yourself from your competition can be challenging. As we approach the New Year, the month of December might be the best month to get hired. Extra attention from your recruiter and several networking opportunities during the holidays are just a few examples of ways to make connections this month. Here is how you can separate yourself:

  1. Each Application Should be Specific: As you apply to various job postings, cater each resume and cover letter to each position that you are applying for. When looking to fill positions, recruiters search for key words within your resume that cater to the positon you are applying for.
  2. Update Social Media Accounts: Your resume will not be the only item recruiters and hiring managers are evaluating before setting up an interview. Employers will scan your social media accounts to gain a feel as to whether or not your personality will fit well with the company culture. Update and clean up your Social Media Accounts before you begin sending out your resume.
  3. Prepare for the Interview Process: Once you land an interview, it is important to prepare accordingly for the interview process. For tech related positions, it is normal to demonstrate your experience and answer hypothetical scenarios that might come up on the job.  For example, you may be asked to demonstrate your skills in coding or describe how you would solve a problem. These types of interview questions are not uncommon for positions such as a software developer or engineer.
  4. Acquire Internships: Many tech related careers often begin with an internship. Participate in programs related to your field as early as possible- not only will this build your skillset, but you can develop connections through networking that will help you advance in your career.

Lastly, speak confidently during the interview process as you discuss your qualifications and answer the hiring manager’s questions. Sometimes the process can be lengthy, but conveying confidence in your abilities and what you can bring to the role will not go unnoticed. If you have any other suggestions as to how to separate yourself as a job seeker, please let us know!

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Career Mistakes You Can Avoid

urlMistakes are part of the path to success. It’s just that simple. Still, the more you know, the more you can circumvent. So borrowing from the wisdom of others who’ve been down this path, let us save you a bit of trouble. Here are a few common career mistakes that you can avoid.

  1. Not continuing your skills training. Especially in the rapidly changing tech fields, you’ve got to stay current. Attend seminars or presentations from leaders in your industry. Convince your employer to invest in training. Take a class. Join a meet-up. Subscribe to an online publication. Or, if you’re self-motivated enough, browse the internet or the book store and teach yourself. If your specialization is on (even the early stages of) the path to irrelevancy, make sure you’re getting experience in other, upward trending areas.
  1. Following money. Never take a job solely for the money. If you’re following your passion, money will come. Take a job for money, and you may get stuck there while true opportunities to become great pass you by.
  1. Standing still for too long. It’s easy to become comfortable where you are. But there’s an opportunity cost to not being challenged. This is especially true for STEM careers.
  1. Losing sight of your dream. Each job can potentially take you off in a different direction, introducing you to new skills, people, and responsibilities you didn’t know existed. That’s part of the journey, and it’s important to remain open to new possibilities. However, if you’re getting swept up instead of steering the course, you may end up far from where you intended. So enjoy the ride, all the while keeping your eye on your long-term goals.

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How (and Why) to Determine Cultural Fit

company culture

According to recent polls, only around 30% of workers are actually engaged on the job. The rest are either not engaged or (yikes!) actively disengaged.  (Check out this employee engagement infographic.)  Why is this? Your technical skills certainly make you marketable, but if you don’t enjoy the culture of a company, you too may find yourself looking elsewhere.

For this reason, employers are looking harder at candidates to gain not only an understanding of their skills, but also of their personalities and goals.

You should be thinking of these things, too.  Do your research before the interview, and you’ll be much happier on the job. Trust us; it really makes a difference.

For example.

  • What are the current employees like?   Search on LinkedIn for a company, and browse its employees to get an idea of their career backgrounds.  Use social networks like StackOverFlow, GitHub, and other platforms to connect with employees and listen to them talk about their jobs.  Not only are these are the people you’ll be working with – they also speak volumes about the company you’ll be working for.
  • Can you grow?  How and where do you want to grow? Do you want to pick up certain new skills on the job? Which ones? Does this company have the budget and training in place to help you achieve these goals on the job?
  • Do your business values align?  Take a look at the company’s business model and recent earnings reports to see how its values align with yours – and what tomorrow might look like.

Take a little time to find out the answers to these questions before your interview. You’ll be more knowledgeable during the interview, more likely to impress, and more prepared to dig deeper with the questions you’ll ask the hiring manager.

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Start fresh, with a new way of working

keeping-new-years-resolutions

Happy New Year!  As you get back to work, hopefully refreshed from a little holiday time off, you may be ramping up for a new project, considering fresh new ways to work, or simply re-examining your current situation.  And if you’re doing any of these things, you may be searching for new career or hiring opportunities.  Whatever your industry, it could benefit you to consider contracting…or hiring contractors.  Especially if your field is in information technology, engineering, finance, or accounting. Project-based work in these, and other industries, is becoming increasingly popular for workers and companies alike.  Here’s why.

The Contractor Today

 Let’s take a look at the technical – aka, engineering, finance, accounting, or information technology – contractor.  This highly trained professional isn’t looking for a full-time job, let alone something to last for 20 to 30 years.  Instead, she’s looking to jump in on a challenging project and put her highly specialized expertise to work solving problems others thought unsolvable – all while picking up new skills that help her stay cutting edge in the fast-moving tech world.  Oh – and she expects to be paid well for it, too.  Ten to fifteen percent more than a permanent employee, in fact.

Higher pay is only fair, considering many contractors have years, even decades, of highly valuable experience due to their breadth of projects and work environments.  To contractors, such diversity of projects helps them build upon their skill set and hone their craft in a condensed timeframe, along with just keeping things interesting.  Yet one more perk engineering, finance, accounting, and IT contractors enjoy?  Both their skills and their way of working are in demand, which makes them all the more marketable – and allow you to raise rates even further.

Why companies want contractors

Naturally, it’s much easier to manage your finances and adjust your workforce, come boom or bust, when you include contractors in your workforce.  In fact, as rapidly as technology is developing, and as globalized as our economy has become – it’s pretty much essential to hire a mix of permanent employees and highly skilled contractors.  Another benefit of contractors is that they can come in, go straight to work without much training, be utilized 100% while on the project (in other words, they’re only paid for the work they do), then when the project is finished move on to the next exciting challenge.  This working relationship is a win-win.

How to hire the best

In technical fields, even companies with robust HR departments choose to outsource the work of posting jobs, screening candidates, and performing background checks to find just the right contractor, with highly specialized skills, to a staffing firm that’s an expert in the field.  As a staffing firm with years of experience matching IT, engineering, accounting, and finance professionals with companies and technical projects, we can provide a few tips.

1. Look past paper.  What’s on a resume won’t tell you everything that meeting a candidate, diving deep into his employment history, education, training, and certifications will – especially for highly skilled technical roles. A recruiting company can help you with this process.

2. Pay well.  The perfect candidate isn’t cheap.  In fact, neither is the almost perfect one.  But the wrong candidate, even with a lower rate, will end up being much more costly.

3. Act fast.  Candidates in technical fields are in high demand.  So know what you’re looking for, then jump at the chance when you find it.

Have questions?

We love helping job candidates and hiring companies understand the ins and outs of what we consider our expertise.  Visit TRC Professional Solutions to learn more, or contact us right away.

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