Monthly Archives: August 2017

How To Transition And Apply For Senior-Level Jobs

Job seekers looking to take their careers to the next level must tailor their resumes accordingly. Junior-level and middle-management positions require significantly different skill sets than senior-level positions. Upper managers must exhibit leadership skills and be able to showcase their ability to get results. Therefore, in order to transition and apply for senior-level jobs, candidates must build a performance-based resume that not only paints a picture of technical success, but one that also shows a history of strong leadership.

Here are some tips for making the transition:

Think like a senior leader:

Before you can take the next step in your career, you must change your mindset. In your current position, begin to think like a leader. Can you volunteer to head up new projects? What steps can you personally take to improve the performance of your entire team? If you think like a senior manager, it can have a positive effect not only on your job search, but your performance as well.

Identify your most valuable skill sets:

What makes you a successful leader? Do you take the reins without asking? Perhaps you are able to quickly take projects in a new direction without pushing back against leadership. Do you find that your team comes to you with questions about specific skills? Identify your strengths and be sure they are highlighted on your resume.

Don’t tell, show:

A resume should not be a laundry list of job titles, responsibilities, and awards. You must sell yourself through specific examples. Don’t simply say you led a team. Instead, cite examples of the steps you took to improve specific team metrics or the processes you implemented to exceed company goals.

Be open to new possibilities:

If you’ve only ever worked at a large corporation, open yourself up to positions at smaller companies where there are more opportunities to wear different hats and take on advanced projects.

Partner with a recruiter:

Making the transition to senior management can be a challenge for some candidates. If you find yourself stuck, it can be valuable to partner with a professional recruiter who can work with you directly to help you modify your resume, and who can coach you on how to interview for senior positions. Recruiters also have a line on jobs that may not be advertised to the public, and they can match you with positions and organizations that align with your unique strengths and goals.

If you are looking to take the next step in your career, we’d love to talk to you. At The Prevalent Group we are always seeking relationships with experienced professionals who have the skills and the ability to deliver results.  As a nationally recognized management and executive placement recruitment company, we place executives in sales, marketing, engineering, technology and more. If you are looking for new opportunities in these fields, visit our job board to scan our current openings, and then contact us to learn more. We look forward to connecting you with your next job.

Effective Nonverbal Communication in an Interview

In a job interview, the answers you give to specific questions are an important part of landing the job. Your answers are not the only criteria that interviewers use to evaluate you, however. Nonverbal communication is just as important as verbal communication. If you can give off the right nonverbal cues, you’ll have a much better chance of impressing the hiring team.

Here are five tips to help you give off the right signals at your next interview:

1. Make Eye Contact

Eye contact is an essential form of nonverbal communication. Strong eye contact demonstrates confidence and can help build rapport with the interviewer. Eye contact should be natural, however. Don’t overcorrect and land in staring territory, which can be uncomfortable.

2. Use Correct Posture

Nobody likes a slouch – especially in an interview setting. Be sure to sit tall, with your back straight, shoulders back, and head high. This will communicate confidence as well as trustworthiness.

3. Smile!

Smiles are contagious. If you smile brightly at your interviewers, it will help them relax, and will set a positive tone for the meeting. Smiling also portrays a positive attitude, which every employer is looking for.

4. Watch Your Hands

Hand gestures are sometimes important for emphasis, but be careful not to talk too much with your hands. Gestures can be distracting, and you don’t want to take your interviewer’s attention away from the content of your answers. Keep your hands on the conference room table, gently folded, or if you’re not seated at a table, fold them in your lap.

5. Tone of Voice

Voice tone is a form of nonverbal communication, and is especially important during phone interviews, as this is the only way the interviewer can get a sense of your personality. Monotone talking can make you seem unexcited. On the other hand, speaking up, speaking clearly, and changing to the tone of your voice to match your emphasis can help engage the interviewer in what you’re saying.

It can be difficult to gage your own nonverbal communication style. An excellent way to prepare for interviews and perfect your nonverbal communication is to partner with a professional recruiter.  Recruiters can help prepare you for interviews by working with you to perfect your posture, eye contact, hand gestures, and voice tone so that you’ll send the right messages to hiring managers.

If you are an information technology professional or engineer in Chicago who is seeking new opportunities for career growth, contact The Prevalent Group today. Our team of recruiters can help you locate electrical engineering positions in Chicago that align with your skills, qualifications, and your long-term career goals.

What to Look For In an IT Job Offer

When you receive a written job offer from an employer, it can be tempting to accept right away, especially given the competitiveness of today’s IT job market. However, you should never accept a job offer without receiving an offer letter in writing. Job offers can tell you a lot about a potential employer and can give you a good idea of just how valuable your position is with the company.

Here is what to look for in an IT job offer:

Job Titles

It is critical to be clear of your job title so that you know what is expected of you and where you fit in to the larger picture.  Your offer letter should also include the names and job titles of your immediate supervisors. Review the titles and be sure that everything makes sense. If, for example, you thought you were applying for a senior developer position and your job title lacks the word “senior,” or labels you a “junior,” you will need to have a conversation with the hiring manager (and receive a new offer) before accepting.

Salary Information

Before accepting an offer, you must understand what your base pay will be and how often you will receive a paycheck. If bonuses were discussed during the interview process, an explanation of the bonus structure should also be included in the letter. Always be sure to ask about the timing of salary reviews, as well.

Health Benefits

Before accepting an offer, find out about the health and dental plan offered by the organization, if any. Also ask for a statement of costs. You’ll want to know how much you are expected to contribute to the health plan, and how much the employer covers. In most cases you will be ineligible for health benefits for several weeks, so be sure to find out how long you must wait to enroll in the plan.

Sick Days, Personal Days, and Vacation Pay and Policies

Before accepting an offer, it’s important to see, in writing, the company’s polices surrounding sick days, personal days, floating holidays, and vacation days. Every company is unique, so never make assumptions about these important policies. You can also use vacation time as a point of negotiation if you are offered less time than you have at your current position.

Start Date

Your start date should be stated in your offer letter, as well. If you are currently employed, the start date should give you enough time to give your organization two weeks’ notice. For managers, or for those employees on a contract, four weeks could be required. It is acceptable to negotiate your start date to help you make a smooth transition into your new 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 information technology jobs in Chicago that will help you achieve your long-term career goals.

How to Explain Short-Term and Temporary Employment on Your Resume

It is not uncommon in this post-recession environment for job seekers to accept short-term employment, temporary jobs, and other types of contract work in their chosen field.  When it comes to listing those jobs on a resume, however, many candidates fumble. They are not sure how to list short-term jobs in a way that won’t make them vulnerable to sloppy resume screeners or employers who may view temporary employment as a negative.

What is the best way to address short-term jobs, and how can you use your resume to clearly illustrate their relevance for the position you’re currently seeking?

  1. Never Omit
    Many job seekers find themselves tempted to leave temporary work off of their resume, viewing it as a placeholder. Omitting contract work, however, leaves holes in your resume, and you never want to leave gaps in your work history when you were, in fact, working.
  2. Include The Name of Your Recruiting Agency
    This is especially important if you worked with a firm on more than one assignment. You may have completed a year’s worth (or more) of temporary jobs for a single recruiter. Reputable firms will be known in their niche, and a long history of successful short-term work for a single recruiting agency can work in your favor.
  3. Include the length of each assignment
    Showing employers a solid start and end date for each assignment that you accepted while working with a staffing agency shows that you have versatility and flexibility, and that you’re able to learn and adapt quickly to new situations.
  4. Include relevant details
    For each temporary job, be sure to list specific accomplishments. You can describe professional teams that you were included on, the goals of the projects you worked  on, and specific ways in which you contributed to the success of each project. Documenting your accomplishments will show that you were committed to the organization, even though your tenure may have been brief.
  5. Ask your recruiter for advice
    Before finalizing your resume, seek the advice of your recruiter. They will be able to help you identify the most relevant details to include, and they can help you frame your experience in a way that will be seen as a positive when seeking a permanent, full-time position.

For job search guidance and advice on how to leverage your temporary experience to land a permanent position, contact The Prevalent Group today. We are a nationally recognized management and executive placement and recruitment company that works with experienced managers and executives in sales, marketing, engineering, technology and more. We look forward to working with you.