Monthly Archives: May 2017

Don’t Burn Bridges! 5 Tips on How to Properly Resign

Whether you are tendering your resignation because you’ve accepted a new opportunity, or because your job has become completely intolerable, you should always exit in a professional manner. It’s never a good idea to burn bridges because you never know where your career path may take you. You may need a reference from your former employer, or the boss that you loathe could wind up as a colleague down the line.

Resigning gracefully can be especially difficult when you are leaving a stressful or tense work environment. No matter how gleeful you may feel about quitting, there are some steps that you can take to ensure that the door won’t be sealed and locked after you exit.

Keep Your Resignation Letter Short

Your resignation letter should be short and simple. At a minimum it should include the name of the person to whom you are submitting the letter, your statement of resignation, your last day or work, and your signature. You can include positive statements about your boss and the organization, but never put any criticisms in writing. Your resignation letter will be a part of your employee file, on hand for HR staff to see in the event of a reference check. Choose your words carefully.

Resign Face To Face

Type up and print your resignation letter at home, and bring it with you when you speak to your supervisor. Tell your boss verbally that you are leaving, and then follow up by giving her the letter. If you have taken a new position, say so, and always express your appreciation for the opportunities that your current position has afforded you.  If you are leaving a bad work environment without another position, simply tell your boss that you are moving on, and again, express your appreciation.

Give as Much Notice as You Can

A minimum of two weeks is standard practice, but if you can give your employer more notice, do so.  Two weeks is usually not enough time for employers to properly transition your work to new employees.

It’s never a good idea to schedule vacation during your notice period, even if you’ve given as much as 30 days. There isn’t much your employer can do to stop you, but it will leave a bad taste in the mouth of your managers and coworkers.

Offer to Help With the Transition

Offer to be part of a transition plan to wrap up your current projects or hand them off to other employees before you leave. Transitions are never easy, and it can ease a lot of stress if you commit to seeing your projects through to completion.  Your boss may or may not take you up on the offer, but she will appreciate the gesture.

Things You Should Never Do When Resigning

Employees can often act impulsively when they resign. No matter what your circumstances may be, there are several things you should avoid doing at all costs:

  • Don’t announce your new job on social media before you’ve given your notice.
  • Do not announce your resignation through a company-wide mass email.
  • Do not use your exit interview as a therapy session to get things off of your chest. Always be gracious and constructive.
  • Don’t lie about where you’re going or what you’ll be doing. If you don’t want to share your new position with your current employer, you don’t have to.
  • Do not delete computer files or remove any paper files from the office.

Following these tips will help you resign with grace, even under extremely tense circumstances.  Always remember that impulsive decisions can lead to regret, and you never know who you’ll run into later on in your career.

If you are an IT professional seeking new opportunities for professional growth, contact The Prevalent Group today. Our team of recruiters can help you locate ideal information technology jobs in northern Illinois that align with your skills and your long-term career goals.

3 Free Resume Templates for Engineering Sales Positions

Resume builders can be a great tool for professionals in technical fields like sales engineering who don’t necessarily feel comfortable composing and designing a resume from scratch.  Online resume software allows users to access applications and templates for free.

Choosing Resume Templates for Engineering Sales Positions

When choosing a resume template website, be sure to do some comparisons before you decide. You want to be sure that you’re comfortable with your choice and that the resume you create meets the standards of the hiring managers you’re trying to impress.

If you’re looking for some guidance when it comes to choosing a resume builder, here are three options to get you started:

  1. LiveCareer is simple to use, and offers a variety of professional templates to choose from. They help job seekers strike the right balance of keywords and “buzzwords,” based upon the industry in which they work. You can build your resume for free online but they do charge a nominal fee to download the resume (less than $5), and offer a $35 monthly membership plan. If you do not wish to join the membership, be sure to contact their online customer service as soon as you’ve downloaded your resume to prevent the charge.
  2. Resume Genius is also easy to use. You are able to browse templates to determine whether or not this site has what you’re looking for before you create an account. You can search and select resume templates by job category, to help compose a resume that utilizes the right keywords that hiring managers will be looking for.  This site also charges a nominal download fee, and will auto-enroll users into a membership plan if the user does not cancel their subscription within a week.
  3. Resume Now works similarly to other resume template websites. You can build your resume for free, and then download it for a nominal fee. They offer helpful tips when it comes to choosing the right template for your industry, and they offer resume content creation tips, as well.

No matter which resume builder you choose, always read the terms and conditions before creating an account. If you take the time to build a professional engineering sales resume online, it can be worth it to pay the download fee, but if you don’t want to join membership sites, be sure to cancel as soon as your new resume is saved to your computer.

Seek Additional Advice

Before you create a resume online, it can be helpful to seek out some professional advice from recruiters who are “in the know.”  Working with a recruiter can give your job search a boost, and can give you a fresh perspective when it comes to the creation of your resume.

The Prevalent Group is a nationally recognized search firm based in Northern Illinois that specializes in the placement of high caliber talent across all major industries, including engineering sales. Our experienced and knowledgeable recruiters work with qualified job seekers to help them locate and land their ideal position. If you are looking for new opportunities in engineering sales and you’re ready to partner with a recruiter, contact The Prevalent Group today. Our team can help you locate and apply for ideal sales engineering positions in northern Illinois that match your experience and your career goals; and we can give you guidance when it comes to composing an effective resume.

Five Ways to Stay Motivated in Your IT Job Search All Summer Long

Keep it Mobile While you’re sipping lemonade and catching up on your beach reading, employers are still looking for qualified IT talent, and your competitors are still pounding the pavement. Putting your search on the back burner for June, July, and August could cause you to miss out on your dream opportunity.

How can you stay motivated when barbecues and swimming pools are calling? Here are a few tips to help you stay focused:

Plan Ahead and Keep a Schedule

As you plan your summer activities, be sure to include weekly job-search activities. Set goals for yourself and stick to them. Perhaps your goal is to apply to two targeted IT positions a week, or attend three tech-related networking events a month. Whatever your goals may be, write them down and be sure to prioritize them. Check in with yourself each week to ensure you’re staying on track.

Turn Summer Activities into Networking Opportunities

Many people enjoy getting involved with charity events during the summer. They may volunteer for local tree-planting and beautification efforts, charity sporting events, or other activities. Even classical networking events become more common and take on a lighter, more social vibe during summer. There is a distinctly different feel to an after-work networking event that takes place indoors in February, and one that takes place on a rooftop in June. Summer is a time to get out and socialize. Make the most of every opportunity by connecting with new people. Just be sure to modify your elevator pitch to reflect the situation.

Your job search doesn’t have to occur only while you’re tethered to your laptop or desktop computer. You can research positions from your smartphone or tablet, while you’re out and about. Spending time by the pool? Grab your table and put in 20 minutes of job-search work before you reach for a frozen daiquiri.  Waiting for the grill to heat up? Take a few minutes and check for new jobs or updates on your phone. You don’t have to devote hours each day to your search in order to make it a productive summer.

Don’t Become Discouraged

Companies have to juggle summer vacation schedules, and projects can often take longer to complete. If you aren’t getting immediate callbacks or feedback, don’t let it get you down. Hiring managers need summer vacations too, and they also have to pick up the slack while their team members enjoy their own summer breaks. Use the slow time to conduct extra research on your target organizations and brush up on your interviewing skills.

Partner with a Recruiter

Internet job boards have helped to streamline job searches, but there are a host of unadvertised positions that job seekers only have access to through professional recruiters. Many companies prefer to work with recruiters to help improve the chances they will attract only the most highly-qualified candidates. IT recruiters focus their efforts on facilitating the perfect match between the companies they work with and top IT talent. Partnering with a recruiter not only opens the door to these opportunities, but it helps give you a competitive edge. Your recruiter will do all of the early leg work for you, including pre-selling the hiring manager on your qualifications.

If you are an IT professional looking for new opportunities and you’re ready to partner with a recruiter, contact The Prevalent Group today. Our team can help you locate and apply for ideal IT positions in northern Illinois that match your experience and your career goals; and we can help keep you motivated as warm weather approaches.

Give Your IT Resume a Makeover Employers Can’t Ignore!

The IT field is competitive. For every job opening, you could be running in a packed field of qualified candidates who all have the same skill sets. That’s why it’s critical to craft a strong resume that gets you noticed.

Because the IT job market is so competitive, hiring managers (especially those in larger organizations) often choose to automate their initial resume screening process. HR software packages have made it easy for recruiting teams to scan resumes for critical keywords, as well as red flags, to help them select qualified candidates.

What are resume keywords? More often than not, they are the skills and qualifications listed in the job posting. If the posting states that candidates should hold a bachelor’s degree in a tech field, automated scans will weed out those that do not include terms like, “bachelor of science,” or “BS.” If the posting requires experience in SQL, resumes that don’t include that term will be eliminated. Always scan your resume to be sure your qualifications match those listed directly in the job posting.

Be Clear About What You Want

An objective statement used to be mandatory for all resumes. But as the market became crowded, some “gurus” suggested omitting objectives so that your resume wouldn’t be immediately pigeonholed. If you don’t clearly state the type of position you are looking for; however, hiring managers won’t know how to classify you.  They typically scan resumes before studying them more closely, so be clear about the type of position you are looking for. A strong objective will tell the reader that you know your goals, and that you are truly interested in their open position.

How Long Should Your Resume Be?

There’s a lot of debate about how long a resume should be, and the trends are always changing. There was a time that many HR managers suggested that IT professionals whittle their resumes down to one page. But that’s not always practical, especially if you’ve been in the field for 20 years. At the same time, you don’t want to submit a 10-page dissertation outlining every task you’ve completed throughout your career.

If you’re new to the field, a one-page resume will probably suffice. But if you’ve held more than one position over the years, two pages is the sweet spot. This gives you plenty of space to highlight your relevant experience while giving hiring managers a good overview of your skills and expertise.

Seek Help From a Professional

Professional IT recruiters can work with you to help you craft a concise, yet effective IT resume that will get you noticed by hiring teams.  Some benefits of working with a recruiter to polish your resume include:

  • Quality writing. Not everyone can write well. And often, technical employees don’t focus on writing from day to day, so they can be out of practice. Recruiters are trained in resume writing and can help you edit and proofread your resume to eliminate errors and improve flow.
  • Modernization. If you’ve been out of the job market for a while, your resume may have a dated feel to it. IT recruiters can help you bring your document up to date, keeping with formatting and layout trends.
  • Positioning. Perhaps you were a job hopper early in your career. Maybe you left work for a while to take care of children or ailing family members and have gaps in your experience. Or maybe you’re a new graduate with only a little internship experience. A professional IT recruiter can help you structure and position your resume so that these types of issues don’t prevent you from getting interviews.

If you are an IT professional whose resume could use a makeover, contact The Prevalent Group today. Our team can help you find open IT positions in northern Illinois that match your experience and your career goals, and we can work with you to craft a resume that employers can’t ignore.