Dallas Technical Jobs Blog

Blog for the Dallas IT and technical job markets. Fresh tips for job searching, resume writing, interviewing and how to get a job in the 2015 economy.
Dallas Technical Jobs Blog

Landing a new job is never easy, but if you have the right skills then you can find hot jobs in the IT field. Information technology jobs are still in high demand in almost every area of the country, even in cities where persistent unemployment has hurt the economy. But not all IT jobs are created equal. It seems as soon as you learn the skills needed to land a specific job, the requirements change.

If you want to know how staffing agencies can help you get in the door of major employers, then it may be time to find to look for IT staffing companies in your area.  You see, it’s not the average recruiter who can help you with a big IT job; it is the technical recruiter who knows what it takes to stand out as an IT professional.  They know that your chances of getting past the gatekeeper greatly improve when you go beyond the typical resume and cover letter.

smartphone mobile resumeUnless you rarely leave your home, it should come as no surprise to you that recent reports show that 75% of Americans now use smartphones and that there are more smartphones in use that there are people on this planet.

It's almost impossible to go anywhere without seeing people using their smartphones to stay connected with friends, search the web, or play games. Besides keeping up with Facebook and Twitter, smartphones are replacing desk and laptop computers for Dallas job seekers to search for employment while on the go.

According to a survey published last September by Internet job-search company Indeed, 65% of Americans would like to be able to apply for a job using their mobile phone. They warn that companies who fail to make the application process optimized for smartphone users will end up losing top talent to businesses that make it quick and easy to apply for open positions.

As a leader in Dallas IT staffing recruitment, we pride ourselves on staying abreast of trends that our clients who seek technology jobs in Dallas expect from a top-notch recruitment firm. In this article I'm going to share what I've learned about mobile-optimization and talk about what recruiters can do to make sure they are able to snag the top talent and I'll explain to job seekers how they can use their smartphones to find and apply for the best jobs.

tips-for-resumeIf the prospect of writing a resume feels overwhelming you….wait, scratch that. Of course you are feeling overwhelmed. After all, the reason you are sitting here reading this article is because you are unemployed, underemployed, or just bored with your current job and the only way you’re going to get to change things is to get a quality resume out to prospective employers. The problem is that there is a big, fat gray elephant standing in the way of you getting started.

Building an updated resume that gets the right kind of attention is hard work; it requires thinking about the past, both good and bad work experience.

It requires being honest with yourself and acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses. You may not know where to begin.

Whether that elephant is procrastination or simply not knowing how to get started, it is a huge obstacle standing in the way of you getting where you want to go.

There is no way over, under or around it. Well, grab your knife and fork (okay, a pen) because, as I’m sure you’ve heard, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

iPhone Apps for Job Seekers

Do you still remember the days of typing up a resume and cover letter on “linen resume paper” and mailing it to that anonymous post office box listed in the newspaper’s Help Wanted section?  Believe it or not, that was less than 20 years ago.  It hasn’t taken long for technology to completely change the recruitment landscape.

Today’s job seekers don’t need to devote an entire day composing the perfect letter, nor do they need to spend any money on ink or postage.  That’s because job seeking has gone digital; and it is no longer limited to just your laptop or PC.  A whole host of iPhone and smartphone apps are now available to help job seekers stay in touch with potential employers wherever they go.

it jobs in dallas txEven the savviest IT professionals are bound to make a mistake now and then, but in a talent market that is expecting perfection, even the smallest error could cost you the job of your dreams.

By learning the best ways to navigate potential pitfalls, your IT job search will be a positive experience that yields enviable results.

As any technical recruiter will tell you, when trying to find their dream jobs IT job seekers fall into the same patterns as people from other industries.

These patterns are often enough to prevent an otherwise qualified candidate from receiving that coveted offer letter. If you expect to be in the highly competitive 2015 information technology job market, see if any of these mistakes sound familiar. Our experts offer advice on how to avoid them.

interviewEven before most Dallas job seekers meet with their first hiring manager or recruiter, chances are they’ve spent some time examining their options and aligning their career goals with the needs of the marketplace. Whether they know it or not, these activities are the start of a career action plan.

Monday, 01 December 2014

Social Media and Your Job Search

Perception is nine tenths of reality, or so the adage goes, and regardless of whether that’s fair, it is largely true. That means the cool Facebook pic of you in the marijuana T-shirt is likely to convince a hiring manager to go with another candidate.

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Before you start your job search, be sure to check all of your social media pages, including LinkedIn and Facebook and any forum or site that you can be found on … ahem, YouTube. For this blog, this author did a quick Google search for selfies and other images and was relieved to see nothing out of sorts. A search is easy to do and just as important as making sure your hair is combed before you walk into an interview.

We can argue all day about politics and how people and companies ought to be more open to diverse thinking, etc. The reality, though, is that if you are looking for a job, your chances of being considered increase if you don’t look shady, goofy, inappropriate or just generally unprofessional on the internet.

And while you are reviewing the internet’s photographic essay on your life, make certain to check the backgrounds in each shot. Sometimes you are not the one being inappropriate, it’s the dude doing the beer bong in the background that looks, well, questionable.


As a job candidate, you trade on your skills. So it’s important you treat those skills as valued commodities.

That’s why the job description doesn’t matter. Yes, you read that correctly. The job description doesn’t matter.

technical skills 220x220

Job descriptions are often written by committee, or at worst, by someone in another corporate department with limited understanding of what the hiring manager needs. Job descriptions, as a result often end up as a jumble of technologies, some of which don’t even go together.

The best approach is to self-determine your true skills, whether that be SharePoint development or Network Security Architecture. Tout those skills in clear and decisive language throughout your resume, and work with your recruiter, who will understand the priority skills for which a company is searching.

A good recruiter will know whether your core skill set is what the client seeks and will be able to work with an account manager to ensure the client looks at your list of valued commodities on a holistic level.

Your recruiter may even determine it is best to give you an overview of the hiring team and environment, rather than cloud your judgment and skew the power of your resume by showing you the client’s bloated grocery list of tech skills. As always, choosing a skilled recruiter is key.

dallas it jobsIf there is one thing that seems endemic to the IT industry, it is youthfulness and newness; the concept that results in tech professionals being almost obsessed with refreshing their skills. Most IT pros are fully aware of how common it is for rapid changes in technology to change the landscape of their careers, and they know that the technology so much in demand today may not be popular tomorrow. Keeping up with these changes can feel a full-time job but it’s a necessity, especially if you are in mid-career.

gtn 5k - resizedGTN staffers raced to help the Dallas community on Saturday as part of the Dallas MK5K 2014.

The 10th annual 5k race and Fun Run raised more than $100,000 last year and supports women in need, particularly those facing issues such as breast cancer and domestic violence.

Employees at GTN Technical Staffing & Consulting in North Dallas organized a race team weeks ago with members training in preparation and talking enthusiastically about the opportunity to help out through their participation.

“It was cool to see so many people out early on a Saturday, supporting a great cause, and it was great that GTN organized a team to participate,” said GTN Recruiter Hilary Kuykendall.  “It was a blast, and I can’t wait to do it again next year.”

Shown in the photo here (left to right) are: recruiters Hilary Kuykendall, Lesley Bautista and Cindy Adler, along with GTN owner Jim Bright.

Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Manage “Forever” Perceptions

job interviewWelcome to the Cloud and the ever-living database, the one where errors in a resume are preserved forever and where companies can access the notes on every rude conversation or no-show-interview that a candidate might ever have had.

Keep this in mind as you enter the job market.  Hiring managers and even recruiters are quick to note:  Manipulated job dates on a resume, completed certifications or degrees that weren’t really completed, and changing stories.  Snap at the administrative assistant?  It gets noticed.   Blow off an interview or cancel at the last minute?  That, too, gets a raised eyebrow.  

Why is it important to properly manage the professionalism of all your interactions during your job search? Because 10 years later, after everyone has forgotten your behavior, the HR database will happily remind them.

What’s a candidate to do in the age of the Cloud?  Be polite.  Be honest.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Cover Letter 101: Sell, Don’t Tell

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A cover letter is just another opportunity for you to sell yourself to the hiring manager.  Take full advantage of that advertising space and make it powerful and convincing.

How do you accomplish that?  Sell, don’t tell. And by that, we mean: Use powerful anecdotes from your personal experience to illustrate your super powers.

For example, you might want to say: “I have excellent growth potential.”  Your reader, though, may simply judge your statement as hype.  After all, the average person is inundated daily with sales pitches and exaggerated claims.  Instead, sell by providing a convincing story.

Try this: “I was hired as a junior administrative assistant and worked my way up through the ranks to become a department director.”

Your reader is more likely to be wowed by that example and to conclude: “Hey, this candidate has excellent growth potential.”  Instead of “telling” the hiring manager something, you let the hiring manager come to his or her own conclusion.

It is, of course, the conclusion you wanted them to come to, all along.

computer staffing agencyIf there is one industry that never gets "old" or feels mundane, it is the Information Technology business. It seems like every few months there is another new skill that must be learned in order to "survive" and thrive in today's new world of work.

In a study conducted earlier this year by Foote Partners, 500 IT managers honed in on the skills that may be needed in order to continue growing in your IT career. By examining these recognized areas of growth, you may be able to determine a focus for your own IT skills development over the coming months. A recent article published by Work Intelligent, "The 5 IT Skills Companies are Looking For Today", takes a closer look at the five most relevant and marketable skills for IT professionals today.

photo-bright1GTN Technical Staffing in Dallas is being highlighted by the National Center for the Middle Market at its October National Middle Market Summit. GTN was chosen for its strong position as a Middle Market company in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro.

The NCMM, which is a joint project between Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, focuses research on Middle Market companies, noting that those are the businesses that drive the US job market and economic growth.

"Innovation is vital," GTN co-founder Jim Bright told NCMM, during an on-camera interview that focused on what drives the company's success. "Innovation comes from the relationship you have with people."

GTN Technical Staffing employs 280 full-time staff and provides staff augmentation and project staffing to other Middle Market and Fortune 500 companies across the US and in more than a dozen countries worldwide. GTN specializes in IT staffing, providing experts in a broad range of fields from cutting-edge mobile applications to high-security Data Center growth and management.

GTN is noted for its nimbleness and ability to flex and grow with client needs.

"Our decision making process is very lean," Mr. Bright said. "It's go, go, go.

Mr. Bright's business partner and co-founder, Greg Smith, added that GTN invests significantly in its employees, providing them daily and specialized training in order to thrive in a competitive market and to help set GTN apart from the competition.

"The biggest drivers of our success are our employees," Mr. Smith said.

 

 

Friday, 22 August 2014

Preparing for an Interview

it jobs in dallasIn a competitive job market, one way to stand out is to prepare better than every other candidate.  So ask yourself: How well do I know the company where I’m about to interview?

The depth of knowledge you bring to that encounter will tell the hiring managers you truly want the job.  They’re also likely to see your level of preparation as an indication of how you’ll prepare for every meeting and conference call they’ll ever assign you to.

You can find great information on the company website. Read up on the benefits, history, earnings, awards and the company mission. Check out the company’s LinkedIn and Facebook pages, as well. Once you have learned all you can, try some simple searches on say, Google. Type the company name and “Forbes” or “quarterly report” or even “news.”

From the various sources you’ll be able to formulate some meaningful questions to ask during your interview.  Best of luck.

dallas IT job 3We’ve all heard about those “whiz kids” who somehow managed to earn six-figure salaries before they turned 20; or that teenager whose mobile app made him a millionaire before his 18th birthday. But if you’re like me you are probably wondering: what is it that makes these young people so marketable to the big IT companies, and what do they have that you don’t have? Over the past few months, several media outlets have set out to answer this question. A few articles have explored what the top Silicon Valley firms are looking for in new tech talent.

college grad job skillsLet’s face it; all interviews are not created equal, and there are very few resources out there to help people ace a technical interview. That’s because tech interviews are very different than any other profession.  

A recent article on Berkeley’s web site offers insightful advice from an expert on preparing for interviews with technical recruiters. For example, on a typical interview for coding, applicants will be expected to reverse a string, design a program or troubleshoot code that is laden with glitches. While it is entirely possible to find a forum that will guide you through the process, it is much easier to be successful when one can know exactly what to expect.

social_media_jobIt wasn’t long ago that if you said “social media,” people would think you were speaking a different language, but then again, what ever happened to the Sunday “Classifieds” section of Help Wanted ads?  Let’s face it; everything about job searching has radically changed over the past 10 to 15 years.  Technology has changed the way businesses hire and how applicants apply for jobs.  Remember the days when you could walk into a business, speak with the hiring manager and get an interview “on the spot?”  For the most part, those days are over.  Even a teenager’s after-school job usually requires an online form, so how can you stand out in a crowd of digitized resumes?

hiring-nowEvery year it seems like the recruitment industry must adjust to more changes and evolving trends, and this year is no exception.  According to an article on Recruiter.com, “Innovative Staffing Practices: 2014 Trends,” there are several trends impacting the way people search for and find employment.  Hiring has trended upward, but it’s not the same kind of hiring as in previous years.  Data-mining and advanced search tools continue to point recruiters directly to the most qualified candidates, and corporate collateral materials are becoming “experiential” marketing tools that go far beyond an 8 ½ X 11” Executive Summary.  Meanwhile, in terms of hiring, college graduates with STEM degrees continue to outpace all other degrees by more than double.