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Interview Habits that Won’t Get You Hired

It has been said that it takes about two months to form a habit. Unfortunately no one really tells you how long it will take to actually break a bad habit.

Believe it or not, there are some habits that may prevent you from getting a call back after a job interview. Here are just a few:

You Sound Over-Rehearsed

You’ve gone over your interview questions so many times that you sound a little robotic. The thing with job interviews is that they need to be more like a conversation than a Q & A. If you’ve already prepared scripted answers to questions you think they may ask, you are not fully engaging in the conversation. Sure, you want to be ready, but allow for a little flexibility in your responses.

You Fidget

I happen to bite my lip and I have to make a conscious effort to not do so during certain situations. If you bite your nails or furiously shake your leg during a job interview, it can come across like you’re a little too nervous. An employer may take this as a sign that you lack confidence.

You Focus Too Much on Job Perks

I think we can all agree that those company extras are very nice – a company car, lots of vacation time, a cell phone, etc. But if you ask about the available perks too soon, it may seem as if you’re more interested in ‘what they can do for you’ rather than ‘what you can do for them’. Remember, if you’re the right candidate for the job, they’ll do what they can to make you accept the position.

You Forgot Your Manners

There are two times during the interview process that you absolutely need to say “Thank you” (three if you get the job). One, after the interview – a simple, but genuine “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me” is perfect. Two, a thank you note or email the day after the interview is expected. Again, simply thank them for their time and offer any additional information they may need to make their final decision. It reflects well on you AND your mother will be so proud.

Need more career advice? Maxsys Solutions is here for all of your interview questions, professional staffing, and job search questions.

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Bad Boss, Bad Job. How Do You Know?

We’ve all had a bad boss at least once in our lives – it’s like a rite of passage that makes us appreciate a great boss when we finally get one. It may also be an experience that can provide comic relief at dinner parties.

But how do you spot a bad boss before you even start a job? There are actually a few tell-tale signs you need to look out for. We wanted to feature a few of them from Lisa Quast’s Forbes article and add some of our own:

They Obviously Hate Their Job

Waiting for an interview is expected, but if the hiring manager has you wait for an inordinate amount of time and then acts as if he’s annoyed you are there, this can be a bad sign. Remember that, while yes you need a job, he also needs an employee; he’s not doing you a favor by meeting with you.

They Ask Illegal Questions

Did you know that it is illegal to ask a potential employee about their race, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, and disabilities? And if you’re a woman, they’re not allowed to ask you about the possibility of having children or whether or not you have childcare. A hiring manager should know the law and if they ask any of these types of questions, it shows they’re unethical.

They Seem Very Distracted

It is not unreasonable to ask for someone’s undivided attention during a job interview. If the person conducting the interview is distracted, it can throw off the interviewee and that’s just not fair. You want a boss who will put his phone on Do Not Disturb or tell his assistant to hold their calls during any important meeting with you.

They’re Negative

My mother always said “any friend who always talks negatively about others is probably talking negatively about you”. Same with a boss. If during an interview, the hiring manager is bad-mouthing his staff, former employees or even the “higher-ups”, that’s a turn-off. You want to work for someone who is positive about their job and the people around them.

Check out the Forbes piece for more ways to spot a bad boss. And for ways to spot a great potential job, check out the professional staffing services at Maxsys Solutions.

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How to Interpret “We’ll Keep Your Resume on File”

As job seekers, there are many nail-biting aspects of the whole process. And most of that includes simply waiting. Between waiting to get a phone call to schedule an interview, to waiting for the interview to begin, to waiting for yet another phone call to see if you got the job, it’s exhausting.

After the waiting, you think the two options would be “congratulations, you got the job” or “we’re sorry, we went with a different candidate”. But often you may hear “we’ll keep your resume on file”. If that has left you confused, you’re not alone. MedReps.com has created an infographic called Recruiters are From Mars, Job Seekers are From Venus to clear up any miscommunication you may feel while looking for a job.

If you’d like to speak with staffing professionals who speak your language, give us a call at Maxsys Solutions.

Some Answers to Important IT Questions

As an IT professional, chances are you have been asked “what do you do all day?”, a few thousand times.

Some people still have it in their head that those employees who work in the cold office with no windows are just tinkering with their “toys”.  And that the only thing you do to actually fix a problem is to tell them to restart their computer.

Well the funny guys over at ORSYP put together an infographic. So if you’re a software, programming, database, networking or web specialist, or a technical writer, you now have an answer to the question “what do IT guys really do?“.

Do you think these IT job descriptions are accurate? And if you’re looking to perform any of these jobs in the DFW area, contact Maxsys Solutions for the best in career placement.

When Certifications Expire

Certifications are the best ways that IT professionals can stay on top of the information technology trends. Sure your computer engineering degree comes in handy, but with the way technology changes, certifications give you that competitive edge. Oh, and you may learn a thing or two.

Now unfortunately certifications expire and then the question comes, “should I renew or let them go?”

Well, the answer to that depends on a few details:

Is Your Certification Useful?

Now you may look at your day-to-day tasks at work and think that you don’t use a particular certification, but that does not mean that there’s no value to having it. If you think that it may help you in the future either achieve a promotion or new position, then it is worth keeping. No one wants to see on a resume that you were once a Microsoft Certified IT Professional, but now you’re not. Even though you still have the skills, having the actual certification has its benefits.

Will You Go Back?

If there’s even a small chance that you will go back to a previous career, it’s a good idea to renew a certification. Just like you never want to burn a bridge in your professional life, you never know when you’re going to need to fall back on an old job and need that certification once again.

How Much Did it Cost?

How much did you pay for the certification? And not just with money, how much did you pay with time? If you didn’t study and it only cost you $45, then you don’t have much vested in it. But you’re better off keeping a certification current if it cost thousands and you took a training course to obtain it.

Remember that certain certifications also offer exclusive networking events, so that alone may make it worth while to keep it.

For more answers to your career search questions and if you’re looking for IT employment in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, contact Maxsys Solutions.

The Best and Worst Resume Terms

When you’re creating or updating your resume, you may Google “resume keywords” or “powerful resume words”, which is a great way to learn since you’re not a professional resume writer. But the truth of the matter is that unless you’re hearing the advice from a hiring manager, you may still be utilizing words that are tired, overused or simply cliche.

CareerBuilder and Harris Poll recently teamed up to survey over 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals to find out which are the best and worst resume terms used. We wanted to share our favorites with you:

Resume Terms to Avoid

  • Best of breed
  • Go-getter
  • Think outside the box
  • Go-to person
  • Team player
  • Hard worker
  • Self-motivated
  • Detail-oriented
  • Track record

Resume Terms to Use Instead

  • Achieved
  • Improved
  • Trained/Mentored
  • Managed
  • Created
  • Increased/Decreased
  • Negotiated
  • Volunteered
  • Under budget
  • The survey also found that only 17% of hiring managers look at perspective employee resumes for just 30 seconds. 68% of them spend less than 2 minutes reviewing resumes, which is why it is so important to include the correct wording and avoid resume mistakes.

    For the complete list of the best and worst resume terms, head over to read the CareerBuilder press release.

    And for more career or resume advice, contact one of our team members at Maxsys Solutions.

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Does Your Career Need a Tune-Up?

We are all guilty of getting too comfortable with work. You follow the same routine every day, you see the same people, you may even eat the same lunch day in and day out. You’re not necessarily unhappy, but you’re not excited about the work you do either.

If your career is in the need for a tune-up, you should start getting ready before it’s too late. Too late meaning the unfortunate circumstance when you have to quickly look for a job and do not have the luxury of taking your time.

Here are some tips to tuning up your career:

Get Up-to-Date

Can you remember the last time you updated your resume? If you’ve been comfortable in your current position for a while, we’re guessing it’s been much longer than that since you’ve even opened your resume. Well now’s time to delete those outdated jobs, revamp your objective, and add all of your accomplishments from your current job. Remember, it never hurts to have multiple resumes that are tailored to different positions you may be applying to.

Don’t forget to update your social media accounts – LinkedIn and Google+ are the important professional networking sites. Update that photo, clean up your profile, and then do a Google search for your name to see what comes up.

Reach out to People in Your Network

Have you lost touch with anyone in your professional network? Well, there is no time like the present – and when you’re without a job is the WORST time to reconnect. Instead, pick up the phone, invite them to lunch, and see if there is any way you can help them. This way, if there is a point in the future when you’re in need of a favor, they are more likely to help.

Create a Professional Portfolio

Have you always wanted to create something that showcases all of your work but just never got around to it? Well, get to it. Ideally you want to build your portfolio as you go, but if you start now you can continue to add to it and have something great for when you need it. Even if you don’t necessarily “create” something, you can keep testimonials from clients, a compilation of projects you worked on, or coding examples.

Once you’ve completed all of these steps and you’re ready to find a new position, give us a call at Maxsys Solutions and one of our team members will help match you with a great job.

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How to Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor

As an adult there are many things that may be uncomfortable to ask another adult. Like when you’re a four-year-old, it is perfectly acceptable to ask another toddler, “Will you be my friend”, but at thirty-four, not so much.

“Will you be my mentor? is not as ridiculous, but it can still be slightly awkward.

A mentor is a great resource in your professional life. They can help give you useful advice, they can help guide your career, and they can introduce you to influential people. The key is to choose someone with vast experience, who you know you can learn a great deal from.

Here are some tips on how to ask someone to be your mentor:

- Ask to meet them face-to-face. This is not something you want to do via email. If distance is an issue, pick up the phone.

- Be prepared to tell them what you expect from this favor – and it is a favor! Let them know approximately how much time you think you’ll need and what you hope to gain from this mentorship. This way they know what they may be getting themselves into.

- Explain honestly why you want them to be your mentor. Stroking someone’s ego a tiny bit never hurts. But let them know exactly what you think you can learn from them.

- Let them know that you’re not looking for someone to hold your hand and lead you. Show them that you will do your own work, but you’re just looking for a little guidance and advice.

So where can you find a mentor? Believe it or not, there are some people that are in search for a protege.  Look in your area – or even your current company – for mentorship programs.

Remember, even if the person says “no”, do not take it personally. It just may mean that they did not have the time or energy to put into a mentorship.

And even if you have a mentor, a staffing agency is another great resource to help you find that perfect job. Contact Maxsys Solutions to get started today.

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Resume Advice from Google

If you ever wanted to apply for a job at Google, you’re in luck because the VP of People Operations recently wrote a piece for LinkedIn on resumes. Even if you’re not looking to work for Larry and Sergey and the gang over at Google, reading what Laszio Bock has to say in regard to resume mistakes he often sees, is pretty cool. Oh, and informative.

Google gets more than 50,000 resumes a week and it’s Bock’s job to find the best candidates for positions at the number one search engine company. He states, “I have seen A LOT of resumes. Some are brilliant, most are just ok, many are disasters. The toughest part is that for 15 years, I’ve continued to see the same mistakes made again and again by candidates, any one of which can eliminate them from consideration for a job.”

It’s that simple – a bad resume is not going to make it past the initial viewing. And we’ve said this many (many!) times, resume mistakes are so simple to make and so simple to correct.

Some of the examples Bock gives for resume mistakes:

Typos

It can be as simple as a missed period or a wrong subject/verb agreement. Any time you go in and tweak your resume – even if it’s the smallest change – re-proof your resume all over again. Better yet, have someone else proof it. Mistakes in your resume show that you are not detail-oriented.

Formatting

Bock says clean, legible, white paper, black ink. Whatever formatting you choose, make sure it’s consistent. And remember folks, PDFs are universal; not everyone has plopped down $20 for Pages.

Lies

It’s something you learned in kindergarten – just tell the truth. Even if you think fudging your achievements a bit won’t matter, you just never know what information will come back and haunt you.

To read more of what Laszio Bock had to say, click here for the rest of his tips. If you’d like more personalized advice on your resume and job search, contact Maxsys Solutions today.

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IT Temp Jobs on the Rise in DFW

There are many things Dallas/Fort-Worth is known for – Dealey Plaza, the Stockyards, Fuel City Tacos and now the largest creator of temporary jobs, especially in IT.

According to the Dallas Morning News, there were almost 24,000 temp jobs established in the past 12 months, which is a 23% growth rate. And out of the $3.4 billion spent in temporary jobs, $928 million of that was in information technology.

IT has experienced some labor shortage in the area and this helps fill some gaps, and also keeps salaries competitive.

Last year we highlighted several reasons why taking a temp position may be beneficial for you if you have not already found permanent employment. The main benefit is the opportunity to make connections within a company; when they are ready to hire permanently, you may have an advantage over external candidates.

One reason for the temp job surge in the DFW area is due to the increase in businesses relocating here. And according to the article, “in a recent survey, 30 percent of surveyed companies here said they planned to increase staffing levels in the fourth quarter.”

To strike while the iron’s hot, and find an IT temp job – or permanent job – in the Metroplex, contact one of our staffing experts at Maxsys Solutions.

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