Job Hunting

Daily Tip: Keep Your Portfolio in Order

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Most tech pros spend so much time perfecting their resumes and cover letters, it’s easy to forget another vital element in applying for a programming or developer job: an immaculate portfolio of past projects. Every software developer, engineer, and product lead should keep such a portfolio, preferably accessible via a personal website. Even if you don’t have a website, you can offer links to SourceForge, GitHub, or wherever else you keep your projects. Just as you’d take care with every… continue…

Daily Tip: Handling Technical Interview Questions

Posted In Looking in Tech
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If you’re applying for a highly technical role, you can expect a job interview filled with highly technical questions. Depending on the company, the interviewer might ask you to whiteboard a problem, or solve some fun-sounding but devilishly hard puzzles, take some sort of online test, or tackle a question verbally. However the interviewer frames the questions, these tips will help you solve them as quickly—and correctly—as possible. Take the Obvious Route: Some technical questions demand an elegant solution, but… continue…

5 Ways to Finesse Illegal Interview Questions

Posted In Looking in Tech
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There’s one key way an interviewer can trip you up, even if you’ve sailed through a whiteboard test and get along famously with everyone in the room: You may be asked a very personal, unexpected and inappropriate question, one that can knock you completely off course. While inquiring about your marital status, children, or religious background may seem illegal, most of the time it’s not: The legal line gets crossed if an employer refuses to hire you because of the… continue…

Daily Tip: Emphasize Your Expertise

Posted In Looking in Tech
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It’s tempting to cram your resume with as many skills as humanly possible, even if your grasp of those skills is tenuous at best. Recruiters and HR staff will tell you stories about all the candidates who included knowledge of particular platforms under the “Skills” portion of their respective resumes, even though the aforementioned candidates hadn’t interacted with that platform in any way, shape, or form for years. Those stories rarely end well: If a job interviewer drills down into… continue…

How to Ace Your Technical Interview

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Success at any job interview is based on putting your best foot forward. But that gets that much more difficult when you have to prove your skill set on top of charming everyone in the room. So what’s the secret to success in a technical interview? Get the Game Plan “The most critical thing a candidate can do to prepare for a technical interview is to ask the person organizing the interview what the game plan is,” said Janine Davis,… continue…

Daily Tip: No Rambling Cover Letters

Posted In Looking in Tech
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The best cover letters get right to the point. Recruiters and company HR staff have only so many hours in the day, and they appreciate when a letter outlines the applicant’s qualifications and background as succinctly as possible. In addition to brevity, winning cover letters contain a few additional elements. Recruiters and HR have a keen eye for when a cover letter is boilerplate, often because the skills it describes don’t fully align with the position on offer; the best… continue…

Daily Tip: Networking for Folks Who Hate Networking

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Everybody always says that the best way to build out your professional connections is to network as much as humanly possible. But many shy people would rather walk over a hundred yards of broken glass than strike up conversation after conversation with strangers. Fortunately, a few simple tips can make networking a little easier for introverts and others who hate to schmooze: Smile: When you smile, you attract people to you. A smile suggests confidence. There’s even some scientific research… continue…

Daily Tip: Building an Effective Social Network

Posted In Looking in Tech
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In the 1989 film Field of Dreams, a ghostly voice tells Kevin Costner’s character, “If you build it, he will come.” So Costner’s character builds a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield and, lo and behold, a bunch of deceased baseball players appear and begin running the bases. But with social media, if you build it, they won’t come… unless you take the time (lots of time) to solicit an audience. You can spend hours creating the… continue…

10 Resume Buzzwords That Have Lost Their Sizzle

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Your resume should always address the IT manager’s needs, and showcase your mastery of the latest technical tools and techniques. But peppering your career history and cover letter with random buzzwords could make you seem phony and dated. Buzzwords are empty adjectives or terms that are trite, overused, or no longer relevant. Instead of making your resume stand out, they make your documents look boilerplate and unimaginative. “If you really want to use a cliché like ‘innovative’ or ‘outside-the-box thinker,’… continue…

Daily Tip: Judging Multiple Job Offers

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Many tech pros have spent months (if not years) trying to land a single job offer. But sometimes all that hard work—sending resume after resume, posting to job board after job board, setting up interview after interview—can pay off in the form of multiple job offers at the same time. For your average tech pro, it’s an interesting conundrum: How to decide between different companies clamoring for your services? The answer? Make lots of lists, to better organize your thinking.… continue…