Leslie Stevens-Huffman

Leslie Stevens-Huffman is a business and careers writer based in Southern California. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the staffing industry and has been writing articles, blog posts and moderating the Dice Discussion Board since 2006. In addition to her writing pursuits, Leslie is a part-time instructor for UC Irvine Extension and a member of the Human Capital Institute’s Contract Talent Advisory Board. Leslie has a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from the University of Southern California.

3 Interview Questions for Network Infrastructure Engineers

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As they become more complex and traffic volumes increase, networks take more than great technical skills to design and maintain. So, infrastructure engineers need a designer’s mindset and approach to problem-solving, believes Ethan Banks, senior network architect for Columbus, Ohio-based Carenection and co-founder of Packet Pushers Podcasts. “When I interview candidates, I’m looking for someone who will step outside their comfort zone, dig into problems and design creative solutions,” he says. Click here to find network infrastructure engineering jobs. Here… continue…

How to Break the Interview’s ‘Q&A’ Format

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Serious Man
A lot of IT professionals think of job interviews as interrogations, tense encounters where managers or engineers fire off a series of questions and you respond with terse answers. But if you’ve been reading our Interview Qs series, you know the opposite is true. In fact, managers frequently ask open-ended questions to spark a discussion. Even technical evaluators hope you’ll ask for hints and walk them through your steps as you solve a problem on the whiteboard. They want to… continue…

Use Data to Make Yourself Stand Out During a Job Search

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Stand Out
On paper, the two finalists for the massive data center consolidation project looked identical. “Both business analysts had great resumes and similar experience, neither one really stood out going into the interview,” recalls Joel Manfredo, managing director of ACIES Consulting Corp. in Orange County, Calif. But the tie didn’t last long: One candidate used data and metrics to describe his project experience, while the other was less specific and tended to ramble. “We hired the candidate who quantified the cost… continue…

4 Interview Qs for Business Analysts in Product or Marketing

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The duties and requirements for business analysts vary from position to position. While some BAs support an entire organization or a particular function, others are tethered to a product or marketing manager and assist in the creation of deliverables for external customers. That can be a tricky role, says Laura Brandenburg, a former BA who trains and coaches prospective professionals for Colorado-based Bridging the Gap. “You may not have access to the external customers who are using your product or… continue…

Always Include Cover Letters When Responding Online

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Apply Online
Tip of the Day If you’re using a job board like, say, Dice, always include a cover note or introductory paragraph when using your saved information. If the “apply now” button takes you to the company’s website or an application form without a designated space to introduce yourself, merge a short cover letter into the top of your resume before pasting it into the resume builder. If a strict format’s being imposed, customize your profile and summary toward the company… continue…

Know When It’s Time to Refine Your Job Search

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Examine Resume Details
Tip of the Day New job seekers usually score several interviews fairly quickly, or at least hear from several recruiters soon after they post their resume. But if you’ve been searching for several months and interest seems to be waning, it’s time to ratchet things up. First thing, ask an objective expert like a local recruiter or former boss for an honest evaluation of your resume and marketability. Assess everything from the number of hits your resume has received to… continue…

6 Technical Interview Questions for .NET Developers

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Businesses like Microsoft .NET’s efficiency, simplicity and ease of deployment, so application developers’ enthusiasm for the framework is spreading. With demand for skilled professionals rising, Mark Kendall likes to give candidates the benefit of the doubt. The senior software engineer for Dallas-based EXCO Resources evaluates .NET developers for staffing firms. “Some interviewers want to take you down, but I prefer a different style,” he says. “I ask questions to assess a developer’s proficiency level, listen to their responses and give… continue…

One Way to Track Down a Hiring Manager’s Name

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Investigator
Tip of the Day Contacting the hiring manager increases your visibility and success rate, but it’s hard to connect when you don’t know his or her name. How do you find it? Start by calling the company and asking to speak with the appropriate manager, for instance, the manager of tech support or engineering. Your goal is to make a positive impression and to verify whether they’re the right contact. So when they answer, politely explain that you’re a veteran… continue…

10 Simple Ways to Mess Up a Job Interview

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Interviews
The interview with the hiring manager is usually the last hurdle standing between you and a job offer. Even if you prepare and rehearse, it’s easy to make a mistake that could hurt your chances. And a mistake doesn’t have to be big to trip you up. Since the devil is in the details, here are 10 potential goofs to be aware of. 1. Asking About Salary, Benefits or Vacation Right Off the Bat You’ll relinquish your negotiating power if… continue…

10 Questions to Ask a Recruiter Before You Sign On

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Interrogation Chair
Recruiters can be a big help when you’re looking for a job. They’re an excellent source of market intelligence and the experts who know how to get your resume in front of elusive hiring managers. But with dozens of them to choose from, how can you tell which recruiter is right for you? The short answer is by learning as much about them as you can. To start, ask these questions early on. What’s your niche or specialty? IT recruiters… continue…