Archive for category Professionals

How to answer the question “What’s your biggest weakness?”

biggest-weaknessIt’s been a standard interview question for so long, it’s become a bit of a cliche. Still, the question “what’s your biggest weakness” is likely to show up, in some form or another, in your interviews.

For example, a hiring manager might ask you about an area for improvement on your last performance review.

So how should you answer?  Many people are tempted to share a weakness that’s really just a strength in disguise. Our advice? Be more authentic than that. Hiring managers can see through the “I’m a perfectionist” answer, and it’ll come across as a brag – even if it’s true. 

At the same time, you don’t have to air your dirty laundry – after all, you are trying to sell yourself, not bash yourself.

Instead, give an honest, specific example of something you’re actively working on improving (be sure to include what you’ve done to successfully address the weakness). People find a little vulnerability charming; it shows you’re putting yourself out there for the job.

Whatever your “biggest weakness,” take our advice, and you’ll be a breath of fresh air to the person interviewing you. After all, hiring managers aren’t as interested in what your biggest weakness is. They’re interested in how you answer the question.

Ready to start interviewing? Visit TRC Staffing Services, Inc to browse temp, temp-to-perm, and full-time opportunities with some of the best companies in the country.

 

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Three times you should always follow up

FollowUPThree 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.

 

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Unexpected ways you’ll be evaluated by recruiters.

Spark-Hire-Reasons-To-Find-A-New-Recruiter-870x400We all know the typical things recruiters look for in any job candidate. But there are also some unexpected ways they go about assessing your skills. Here are a few specific tricks hiring managers, potential bosses and recruiters use to determine what’ll happen once you’re out of the interview and on the job.

Big data. Today, recruiters can use tools that aggregate a candidate’s online presence, scouring profiles, forums, shared projects, and posts to form a more comprehensive picture of your skills, interests, and behaviors. What they say is true: be aware that the things you do online in “public” places should always be things you wouldn’t mind a potential employer seeing.

Receptionists. Yes, hiring managers often refer to office receptionists to get a little more information about how you behave when in front of people you don’t necessarily expect to be evaluating you. Some companies even go so far as to have receptionists fill out their own evaluations of candidates during their brief time in the lobby. So even though it seems obvious, always be courteous and put your best face forward for everyone.

Checks for consistency. Recruiters often check to see if claims on your resume and other professional materials match up with your actions online. If you claim you’re one thing, but the organizations you belong to and job boards you frequent say another, they’ll question your legitimacy.

Surprise tactics. Potential employers sometimes like to get you out of your comfort zone, to see how you’ll react when you’re caught off guard. They may call you after hours, or interrupt you in the middle of an interview panel or test, to see how you handle it. Whatever your potential employer throws your way, it’s okay to be genuinely surprised – just go with the flow, and above all – always be polite.

References you didn’t provide. If a potential boss or hiring manager knows someone you worked with or for, they’ll often reach out, whether you included this person on your list of references or not. That’s just the reality of the small world we live in – word of mouth is your best form of advertising. So even though we all have people we didn’t exactly jive with, do your best to never burn bridges.

Are we missing anything? What are some other screening tactics job candidates should be aware of during their search? We’d love to hear your experience in the comments section below.

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Why more tech professionals are quitting their jobs.

https://goo.gl/SD7HxB

Male Architect With Digital Tablet Studying Plans In Office

In April, more tech professionals quit their jobs than in March. This is according to the latest U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. And it’s part of a continuing trend, as this quarter, more techies quit than in the last. 

Why the voluntary quits? Many workers are simply leaving their current positions to accept or search for new, better ones that pay more for their skill set. This confidence in their ability to find new jobs suggests a strong economy, at least where tech is concerned. 

But besides money, there are other reasons more tech pros are quitting their jobs. A recent Dice survey found that 43 percent of tech professionals who plan on quitting are searching for better working conditions. A third of the workers who are leaving their jobs desire more responsibility within their position. Another 16 percent are looking for a shorter commute, while 14 percent are relocating. And companies are taking notice. 

As tech professionals get choosier, employers are responding by increasing incentives to retain them. More companies are offering higher compensation, more challenging assignments, flexible work schedules, opportunities to work remotely, and more frequent promotions. 

All that to say, it’s a great time to be in tech. If you’re interested in pursuing your own new opportunities, the cards are stacked in your favor. Check out TRC Staffing Solutions for jobs available in your desired area.

 

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What can we do about the widening technology skills gap?

https://goo.gl/8lFidrA 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.

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What You Post Today, Will Affect You Tomorrow: A Social Media Lesson from Yelp

https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=934&q=fired+by+social+media&oq=fired+by+social+media&gs_l=img.3..0i24.988.3554.0.3753.21.9.0.12.12.0.88.596.9.9.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.21.632.okZh9zbDtwk#imgrc=JBBqGfFgm_IlmM%3AIf you have been keeping up with the latest Technology news, you have probably heard about the dissatisfied Yelp girl. If you haven’t, the Yelp employee (Talia Jane, 25) was a Customer-Support Representative based out of Silicon Valley. She wrote a very detailed, emotional blog called “An Open Letter To My CEO” – which went into depth about the San Francisco housing crisis, her emotional stress, poor wages paid by her employer, and a little bit about her career aspirations.

“So here I am, 25 years old, balancing all sorts of debt and trying to pave a life for myself that doesn’t involve crying in the bathtub every week.”- Talia Jane

After the blog was posted, Talia Jane was let go from her position at Yelp almost immediately. There has been a lot of discussion on social media the matter. Most of the talk is being based around tech wages, Millennials, and whether or not the girl should have been let go at all. All of these discussions are valid, but there is one discussion in particular that should be duly noted. It is VITAL to always stay professional on social media, even if you believe you have a valid point to make regarding your employment.

This situation is a prime example of letting your emotions take hold of your career. Talia went from having a job that paid the bills (kinda), to not having a job at all. In her case, she is getting a lot of attention but that isn’t the case for everyone who declares war on a company through social media. In fact, if you break any HR policies by talking negatively about your company or providing “insider information”, you can even get sued.

Misusing social media will not only affect your career today but tomorrow as well. If you speak negatively online about people or companies, remember that other will see this. Future employers will be unimpressed, recruiters will see it as unprofessional, and you could damage a potential job interview before you even have a chance to speak with the company.

If you are feeling frustrated with your work, take a step back and look at the big picture. Whatever your problems is – you don’t like your job, your boss is rude, you don’t like the person who sits near you, etc. is it really going to help if you post about it online? Even if your account settings are on lock-down and are private, nothing is private online. Someone, somewhere, could find it . . . leaving you one screenshot away from dipping into your savings.

Whatever your problem is at work: think through it; or talk it over with someone who is separated from the situation, and think about your career logically. Acting in the moment doesn’t always help (though sometimes we admit it does feel good). Even if you can’t fix your problem and want to leave, put in your two weeks’ notice the appropriate way. This way, you can use your current company as a reference.

Everyone has positive and negative situations they have to handle at work. What are a few professional tips you have to relieve stress? Tell us about them by commenting below.

 

 

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How-to Stay Connected With Your Company and Colleagues in the Technology Age

https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=934&q=remoting+in&oq=remoting+in&gs_l=img.3..0i24l10.6165.8394.0.8689.11.11.0.0.0.0.133.1104.8j3.11.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.11.1094.0hSqh8-B7XY#safe=active&tbm=isch&q=telecommuting&imgrc=2OqGvEqcdFdhnM%3ASince 2005, the amount of people who now remote in to work has increased by 60%. Over 2 million people are able to work flexible schedules and choose whether or not they want to go into the office five days a week. This increase is due to more companies allowing flexible schedules. How could they not? Employees are 20% more productive when performing creative tasks at home and most of them work more than 40 hours a week. Just because they aren’t physically in the office, doesn’t mean the work isn’t being completed, in fact, it’s the opposite.

There are a few obstacles to overcome if you work from home as it can be easy to forget that there are actually faces behind the computer screen. How can our team members get to know us and create professional relationships – when we don’t actually meet face-to-face? Below are a few suggestions that can help you stay connected with your team in the technology age.

It can be easy to misinterpret emails and Instant Messages. Sometimes, emails can seem a little unclear and may not be detailed. Utilize programs such as Skype for Business to help communicate effectively with group members. Skype offers both verbal and written forms of communication. You can set up conference calls, Instant Message, and update your work status (available or not) all with Skype. Even if you are just changing your availability status, you will be communicating with your team.

Know WHAT you are trying to get accomplished and stay on track. It can be easy to lose track of time when you are devoted to what you are doing and work alone. It helps to set time limits on projects for both yourself (and team members) when working remotely. By track your own productivity, you can ensure you are keeping up with the team and progressing forward on the whole project. Calling in and giving a daily progress report with your boss could also help. It lets them know what you have gotten done and you can communicate any progress or setbacks that you have encountered.

A great visual resource to use when you’re out of the office is Screen Share. It can be difficult describing a problem, situation, wordy paragraph, etc. over the phone. Screen Share can help you communicate with your team visually by giving you the ability to share your screen with others. Sometimes, visual collaboration is the only way to solve a problem and this resource can help you stay connected.

Stay available. Whether you finish your work early for the day or if you worked till 9:00 at night, keep up with your emails and your phone calls. You may have completed your task at hand, but that doesn’t mean the day is done. Checking your email and answering your phone will help you stay connected to not only your team but your company as well.

Lastly, check out your company’s social media. It’s a great way to engage with the brand and learn about what other projects or initiatives are happening within your organization and not just your team. Do you have suggestions on how to stay connected to your colleagues or company when you work remotely?

 

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