6 People You Should Never Use as a Reference

Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out who to list as a reference. Ultimately, you need to select people who can speak to your professional abilities in a positive manner, as the information they provide the hiring manager is a crucial part of their decision-making process.

That means, there are certain people you should never include on that list. With that in mind, here are six people you should forgo listing as a reference.

1. Anyone Who Fired You While it seems obvious, it’s still worth saying: anyone who fired you should never be used as a reference.

Generally, a manager who terminated your employment won’t have positive things to say about you in the workplace and may be inclined to be honest with the prospective employer about their experience. Even if the reason you were fired wasn’t related to an infraction or issue, such as when it just isn’t a […]

Red Flags to Watch Out for on Tech Resumes

When a company lists an IT job opening, hiring managers are often inundated with resumes. It is their job to narrow down which candidates actually have potential, but reading through every application isn’t always viable.

Luckily, by scanning for red flags, you can eliminate applicants who do not possess the traits, skills, or experiences you need on your team. If you aren’t sure where to get started, here are a few red flags to watch out for on tech resumes.

Issues with the Basics Usually, a skilled IT professional is going to have the basics covered. Their spelling and grammar will be correct, the formatting of their resume will be visually friendly, and they will cover all of the major sections, like work history and education. Additionally, they will have followed any instructions regarding critical points to include or supplemental documents, like a mandatory cover letter.

If any of […]

Doing Good for the World and Your Resume: How Volunteering Can Help You Get IT Experience

When you want to land a coveted IT role, having formal training or the latest certification might not be enough to get you the job. Most employers prefer professionals with real-world experience, so being able to use your skills in a work-style environment is a must if you want to be a top candidate.

However, you need to secure a position to gain that experience, creating a sort of catch-22. Luckily, there is a way get started that isn’t as complicated as landing a job: volunteering.

Landing a Volunteer IT Role Many non-profit organizations need assistance with technology, though they can’t always afford to hire a highly skilled professional. Often, they turn to volunteers to help get websites built, local networks set up, and much more, creating unique opportunities where you can gain experience while assisting your community.

You can look for opportunities through formal volunteer matching organizations and […]

Does the Slipper Fit? 9 Ways to Tell if a Company is the Right Fit for You

Before you accept a job offer, making sure it is actually a good fit is critical. Otherwise, you may end up unhappy with your choice, leading you to need a new role faster than you originally intended.

If you want to make sure that a company is the right fit for you, here are nine questions to ask yourself before you accept a job offer.

Can I Be Successful in This Role? The point of this question is to consider whether you have the proper skill set and level of experience to excel in the job. While this doesn’t mean you can’t learn a bit as you go, making sure that you have all of the critical core competencies increases your odds of long-term success.

Does the Job Fit into My Life? While you may have career goals that a role can help you achieve, it’s also wise to […]

4 Principles to Craft a Strategic IT Plan

When it comes to IT, strategic planning is essential. Without a formal approach, meeting your goals and objectives is unnecessarily challenging, particularly since you have to be reactive instead of proactive in your day-to-day.

If you need to craft a strategic IT plan, here are four principles to follow.

Embrace the Big Picture As technology becomes more ingrained across all business areas, maintaining a big picture mindset is critical for creating a solid IT strategic plan. Often, this entails forging strong relationships with other departments and business areas, ensuring you fully understand their needs and unique missions. Similarly, it ensures that you remain informed of larger company changes at all times, as priorities and goals usually shift and being able to adapt is essential.

Enable the Ideas of Others New product ideas and business models emerge regularly, and being able to join the conversation by discussing ways that these […]

The Only Sentence You Need to Negotiate Your Salary

Interviewing is stressful enough. But, if you prove to the interviewer that you are the ideally fit candidate, then you’ll make it that next stage: the job offer.

To some, negotiating a job offer is actually worse than the interview. To others, they love the chase and the negotiating game. Whatever side you are on, there is only one sentence you need to know to quickly negotiate your salary.

Recruiters, like the professionals at ASK Staffing share their negotiating tips with their candidates. This is one of the many reasons, you should seek out professional recruiters when you start thinking it’s time for a job change.

With negotiating, it all comes down to one, politely delivered sentence.

These 12 magical words can get you a higher salary, increased paid time off, and whatever else that’s in reason on your wish list: “If you can get me X (and Y, […]

7 Interview Questions To Ask Your Tech Candidate

When recruiting and interviewing for a technology role, most hiring managers know that they need to look beyond the resume and certifications and learn the soft skills, like initiative, innovation and communication abilities of the candidate.

Here are seven situational and behavioral questions to ensure your next tech candidate has the skills needed to excel in their role.

Explain [this] technology in layman’s terms The ability to communicate with non-technical people is imperative. You can assess candidates’ communication skills with this interview question. Do they avoid obscure acronyms and jargon? How well can they break down a complicated process? Try asking a few obvious follow-up questions to get sense of how they’d interact with fellow employees and managers.

How do you keep your technology skills current? Tech professionals work hard to keep their skill set current, and they do that by reading blogs, taking courses, joining hackathons and taking […]

How To Retain Your Best IT Staff

The chances of losing a top employee from your IT staff are quite high these days. According to recent studies, 40 percent of IT professionals are planning to look for a new job within the next 6 months, and close to 70 percent are passively looking. As an employer, how do you retain your best IT staff?

We asked our team of recruiters to share the best and most innovative practices they have seen to increase retention in IT teams.  Here are the top five suggestions:

Show Respect Respect for the individual employee, for the work they do, and for the role their department contributes to the overall organization is all important in ensuring your information technology professionals feel like contributing members of your organization.

Too often, IT departments are treated as cost centers or referred to in one dimensional stereotypes. You can show respect to your IT members […]

Is Empathy The Future Of Technology?

There has been much discussion on how information technology (IT) professionals need to incorporate the human interaction skill of empathy to stay relevant and employable in the age of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.

But an interesting twist and possible employment niche for forward-thinking IT professionals is: how can we test and measure empathy, and then use this knowledge to better serve our customers and each other. Is technology able to teach us how to be more empathic?

Our tests and measurements need to change Customer-focused companies are interested and have been collecting customer feedback for years. They conduct Net Promoter Scores (NPS), Smileback surveys, and all kinds of voice, email, and in-person survey collection. And while this information is consistent in quality of data collection, and provides quantifiable transactional and functional customer experience information, surveys do not help us understand customer emotion.

A survey can’t accurately measure common […]

Transferable Skills That Will Make Your Tech Resume Stand Out

The technical requirements of an IT professional are always evolving. To advance your career, it’s the transferable, soft skills that will get your resume noticed or get you promoted. Communication skills, innovation, and business acumen are the skills that will separate you from the other IT applicants, as well as the new IT replacement of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic replacement.

Enhancing your Communication and Empathy Skills Enhancing your soft skills is a lifelong pursuit. Practice by listening to others and then asking questions to ensure you understand the meaning, intent and emotion of what is being said. Work to understand your entire business, not just the function of the IT department. And above all else, express empathy. People want to be surrounded by people they like and that understand them.

Be an Innovator and Problem Solver Highlighting ways that you have creatively approached a problem demonstrates that you […]

Next Page