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One Year in IT Staffing: My Best Advice to Job Seekers

technical confusion

I started working at EdgeLink, an IT staffing firm, just over one year ago. I had no prior recruiting experience and my only involvement with technology was through my own personal use of the internet, iPhone, TV and Facebook. I always believed that I was savvy on a computer and could navigate myself through just about any problem that I encountered. But after just one day at EdgeLink, my head started spinning and I quickly realized that I really didn’t know anything at all… Up until that point, my technical vocabulary was limited to “website, PDF, Word, Excel, Email, and Text.”  But now, Java was no longer just coffee. Flash wasn’t just the thing my Aunt couldn’t figure out how to work on her camera during family photos. AJAX was no longer short for my morning bowl of Apple Jacks. My world was turned upside down and I had to adjust quickly. With time, patience, persistence, and the help of many software engineers and our excellent team here at EdgeLink, I finally figured out what was going on and how all of the random acronyms and technical mumbo jumbo fit together.

Now that I have settled in and am one year into the job, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about recruiting and offer some tips that can help make your job search more efficient and enjoyable:

Network, Network, Network! – When that doesn’t work, network some more. When you are looking for work, you must reach out to everyone you know and let them know what you are looking for. (For more tips on networking, read my post on “10 Steps to Networking Success.”)

Use a Recruiter – Recruiters can provide guidance, support, and another set of eyes on the job market for you. When the perfect job opens up, you will want a recruiter that already knows your career goals, interests, and skillset to speed up the submittal process.

Attitude and Effort – Stay positive in your job search even when things look glum. The perfect opportunity is right around the corner and hiring managers will pick up on your positive attitude.

Clean up your Resume – Your resume is your one chance to make a great first impression. It is good to have one master resume, but you should tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for. Your recruiter can provide assistance with this and can also send you sample resumes to help you with formatting.

Interview Tips – Once you have applied for a position, the hiring manager has had a chance to view you’re your resume online profile and has built a basic impression of you based on this information. An interview opportunity is the time for you to separate yourself from the competition:

  • When you have a phone interview, try standing up during the call. This will help raise your energy level and it will come through on the other end of the phone. (Also, visit Shannon Malcom Peters’ great article about how to prepare for a phone Interview.)
  • Show your enthusiasm for the position and company
  • Answer the question that was asked and keep your answers detailed but concise and to the point–Too often, we let our nerves get the best of us and we ramble on and on without effectively answering the question that was asked.
  • Be prepared to ask questions. Engage the hiring authority and get them talking about their background, the company, how success is measured, etc.
  • If you want the job, make sure they know it.

Be Honest – Be up front about your goals, motivating factors, and interests.

I still can’t code, set up routers and switches, or fix your system, but at least I have figured out how to help a candidate find a job that matches her skill-set, career goals and interests. Good luck!

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