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Job Search Advice for College Grads

You’ve moved out of the dorm, you’ve officially received your degree from that fancy university, and you’ve bid farewell to your college friends. Now all you need is a full-time job.

Job advice is everywhere, but we wanted to share some non-traditional tips for helping recent college grads find their new career:

Find Someone You Admire

It may be someone you met during an internship or a family friend, but it’s important to reach out to a person of influence in your field. Simply email or call them to touch base and ask for some advice. I couldn’t hurt to stroke their ego a bit. At the very least it could lead to a potential mentorship.

Network…Away from Your Computer

LinkedIn is a great way to network, but unfortunately you still have to leave the house and meet people occasionally. Websites like Meetup.com are a great way to find events, volunteer work, and other professionals in your industry.

Create a Professional Email Address

If your email is FendiPrincess@aol.com, there are two problems – you’re an adult now, your email needs to convey that and an AOL email address is for your 85 year old grandfather. Set up a custom email address through your personal website or simply get a Gmail account. You don’t want to use your “.edu” email from college either.

Build Something

Whether its a mobile app, a YouTube channel or a website, you want something to show exactly what you’re capable of. It will also prove that you are passionate about your work. You also may want to consider participating in hackathons.

Have some advice to add? Or if you’re interested in speaking with someone on our team in regard to an IT job in North Texas, contact Maxsys Solutions.

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Top 5 Reasons Your Resume Was Ignored

Have you ever wanted to contact a company that received your resume, but never called you in for an interview? Maybe you were just curious as to why they were not interested in you. Or maybe you wanted to say a few choice words to them.

Since neither of these is a good reason to place that phone call, we decided to bring you some explanation as to why your resume was ignored:

You Have No Presence on Google

To further check you out, the least a hiring manager will do is a quick Google search of your name. If there is not so much as a LinkedIn profile, this will negatively affect you. Potential employers want to see some sort of professional social media presence.

Your Social Media Accounts are too Personal

Is your LinkedIn profile picture a shirtless selfie from your last beach vacation? Or do you have a drink in your hand in ALL of your Facebook photos? Let’s clean up those social media accounts.

You’re Not Highlighting Your Accomplishments

Be sure to market yourself effectively by listing all of your business accomplishments. Be clear and concise and make sure to detail how what you did helped your previous company grow and succeed.

You Applied to Several Jobs in One Company

If there is a company that you really want to work for and they have a few different positions open, do not apply to all of them. If you’re not sure which specific job is right for you, apply to the one that you think fits best, but also explain in your cover letter that you would consider another position.

Your Cover Letter is Addressed to the Wrong Company

Sure, it’s difficult when applying to several different jobs each day. But it’s important to double check your cover letter for the right company information before hitting “send”.

We understand that searching for a job is hard work. That’s why we are here to help – call Maxsys Solutions for all of your IT job needs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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Questions to Ask at Your Next Job Interview

We may not know exactly what questions will be asked of you at your next job interview, but we do know that you will eventually be asked “do you have any questions?” And when this question is asked, it is always best to have a few questions handy to show your interest in the job.

Asking questions will also show your potential employer that you’re a forward thinker who is detailed oriented.

It’s also important to remember that by asking certain questions, you are making sure this is the right job for you. So here are some questions you may want to consider asking at your next job interview:

What are some of the expectations in the first 2-3 months?

This will help you know exactly what to expect and show your new boss that you’re ready to hit the ground running.

What does it take to be a top performer?

Different companies have different ideas on what it takes to be the best employee. For some it means long hours, for others it’s intense problem-solving. Or maybe they want you to bring in new business.

What can I do to truly make a difference in the company?

This is a great question because it shows that you are a true professional and it also helps you to know if you can succeed in this position.

What is the future of the company?

With any industry, there are factors that affect the future of any company. If you keep on top of industry news, you can ask a specific question, like “how do you plan to deal with the decline in PC sales and use?”.

For more information about searching for a job – or if you’re looking for an IT job in the Dallas-Fort Worth area – contact one of our team members at Maxsys Solutions.

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Don’t Get Stumped at Your Next Job Interview

There is nothing worse than being asked a question and having your brain go completely blank. Oh wait, there is something worse – having it happen during a job interview.

If ever there is a moment when you wish for a superpower to stop time, being stumped at a job interview is definitely it.

Here are some tips on how to handle those painful couple of seconds when your mind stops after being asked an interview question:

Keep Calm

If you panic, it will show in your body language. If you remain calm, cool and collected, you are more likely to come up with a response. Take a deep breath and give yourself permission to not to have the perfect answer, but to just respond the best way you can.

“I Don’t Know” is NOT an Answer

Whatever you do, please do not say “I don’t know”. Take a few seconds and mull it over. If you’re still not sure, it is perfectly acceptable to let your interviewer know what steps you will take to find an answer and get back to them. Companies like to see that a potential employee can problem solve.

Follow-Up

If there was a question during the interview that you did not fully answer, it’s a good idea to follow-up in your thank you email. Explain that you’re researched it and now have an answer to a particular question.

Good luck! There is no magic formula for the job interview, but it’s always helpful to have some tricks handy. For more interview and job search questions, contact a team member at Maxsys Solutions today.

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Watch Your Body Language

While preparing for your next job interview, you’ll most likely go over what you’re going to say and what you’re going to wear. But there is one important thing you need to consider practicing – your body language.

It’s true that the words that come out of your mouth are important, but it’s also necessary to pay attention to how those words are actually coming out of your mouth. Are you making facial expressions or using hand gestures? And how will they be interpreted?

Here are some body language tips for your next job interview:

Make Eye Contact

This tip is important in any conversation you have. My mother always said “never trust a person who can’t look you in the eye”. Obviously you don’t want to stare the interviewer down, but it’s a good idea to find the right balance between looking them in the eye and looking away. But only look away for a few seconds and come right back to the eyes. The Art of Manliness has a great article on how to make eye contact the right way.

Smile!

A potential employer is not going to get a good impression from you if you do not smile. Smiling shows that you are confident, trustworthy, and happy. And who wouldn’t want to hire that person?

Don’t Fidget

You do not want to be the guy who shakes his leg uncontrollably. It makes it look like you are nervous, which shows that you aren’t very confident. Plus it doesn’t look professional.

Steer Clear of Closed Body Language

Closed body language is when you are doing something like crossing your arms or not smiling. It makes you seem hostile and unprofessional. Try to sit in a way that makes you seem receptive and polished. Practice in a mirror if you have to.

If you’re looking to put these tips to good use and you live in the DFW area, call Maxsys Solutions today and let us help you find your next job.

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Ways to Tweak Your Cover Letter

We can all assume that cover letters are like the garnish that comes with your meal – it has to be there, but doesn’t always serve a purpose. Some hiring managers have even admitted that they don’t always read them.

However, they will notice if you do not include one. So since it’s necessary to send a cover letter with your resume, why not make it stand out?

The blog over at Glassdoor recently featured 6 Unconventional Ways to Start a Cover Letter because “18 percent of employers say a creative cover letter is valued.”

Some tips include:

- Illustrate your accomplishments using numbers, such as the exact amount of money you saved your previous company.

- Tell a story about why you would not only be a good fit for the position, but a good fit for the company.

- Pretend you were offered the job and you’re speaking with someone about why you chose this company and position, then relay that story in your cover letter.

- Be brief, but effective. Hiring managers – if they do read your cover letter – don’t have an unlimited amount of time, so keep it short and sweet.

While there is no perfect formula to writing a cover letter or getting a job, it’s important to be well-informed. For more staffing and hiring information, give us a call at Maxsys Solutions today.

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Need Help? Try 50 Ways to Get a Job

With the current unemployment rate at 6.3%, there are many people out in the field looking for a job. But the thing about searching for work is that it’s a not one-size-fit-all undertaking.

The folks over at 50 Ways to Get a Job realized this. They created a website where you select where you are in your job search – Starting, Finding my Purpose, Overwhelmed, Learning New Skills, Networking, Stuck, Applying for Jobs, Interviewing, Happy – and then they break down the tasks you need to do to obtain that perfect job.

The goal of the creators is not for you to follow the tasks, “but if you commit to doing every exercise, with authenticity, serious effort, hustle and follow through, you will discover your path, find your ideal career, and get hired.”

Some examples of the steps when you click on “Interviewing” are decide when to work for free, read this conversational guide, prove you are aligned, start work without telling the company. Again, you do not have to follow the steps, the website allows you to select any of the 50 tasks that resonate with you and your job search.

And there is one step after number 50 – once you find employment, the website asks that you share your story about your job search journey.

Still stumped? Call our team at Maxsys Solutions for more job search help.

Get Your Foot in The Door With These Tips

If you’re currently looking for a career in IT, you’re in luck. It is projected that computer-related occupations will grow 22% from 2010 to 2020. That is 12% higher than other industries.

Did you know that the job you want may be at a hot new tech start-up? Why you ask? Because a new startup will add an average of 3 million jobs in their first year. Compare that to a one-year-old tech startup, which will create about 1 million jobs, and 10-year-old firm may generate around 300,000 positions.

This is great news if you’re interested in working for a start-up, but we want you to be prepared before you submit your resume:

- Learning doesn’t always take place in the classroom. If you can master JavaScript, Java/J2EE, Ruby and PHP (on your own or in a class), you have a better chance of getting employed than someone else.

- Take social networking to the next level – try starting a profile on GitHub or Stack Overflow. This is where you’ll find the leading tech professionals.

- Participate in hackathons. Some of the largest tech companies are involved in hackathons, which is where programmers, developers, designers and project managers collaborate on software projects.

- Be a joiner. There are plenty of interesting clubs and organizations centered around the tech industry where you can network. Some great ones include Girls in Tech or Association for Computer Machinery.

And you’re in even more luck if you’re looking for a job in IT and live in the DFW Metroplex because Maxsys Solutions is here for all of your job search needs. Give us a call today.

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Find Your Next Job on Twitter

You love to use Twitter to connect with strangers all over the world to discuss current affairs. Or just to complain about who was voted off American Idol. But did you know that many professionals are using Twitter to find employment?

Twitter can be a very effective social media tool to use as part of your job search. Here are some time on using Twitter to your benefit:

Update Your Profile Picture

Yes, your dog “drinking” a beer is adorable, but it’s not the profile photo you want for Twitter if you’re looking for a job. It’s important to upload a professional photograph so perspective employees can see you’re an adult.

Refresh your Twitter Bio

We understand that there is only so much you can fit into your 160 character Twitter bio, but you should probably include a link to your other social media profiles, such as LinkedIn. If you have a personal website (and you should!), add that as well.

Follow Job Resources

If you follow certain hashtags or users, you’ll be amazed how many jobs are advertised via tweets. We previously featured job resources on Twitter and you should also be monitoring the hashtags #Jobs, #JobSearch, #ApplyNow, #Hiring, #HR, #Recruiting, #Employment.

If you’re in the DFW Metroplex and are looking for a career in IT, be sure to follow us at @MaxsysSolutions. We post available jobs as they come in!

When & How To Ask for a Raise

If you’re currently on the fence about switching jobs, or possibly careers, there is one factor that may persuade you – money.

Now, while a raise in pay may make your current job situation more bearable, we wanted to remind you that money does not buy happiness. But with that said, we will still share with you some tips on when and how to go about asking for a raise in pay.

How Often?

Well that depends on a few factors. Obviously, the economy plays a large factor and currently compensations continue to rise. From 2012 to 2013, salaries in the U.S. rose 1.9% (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). And if you’re in the finance or tech fields, you can expect larger raises, more often. Typically an annual raise is expected, but if that hasn’t happened since the economic downturn, it’s time to ask. In the super-competitive tech industry, you can ask every six months or so.

When to Ask?

Again, there are a few factors to consider. Does your company grant raises at the end of the year or on your anniversary? If you’re not sure, always ask! Either ask your fellow employees or your manager – “if one wanted to discuss their salary, how and when should they go about doing that?”. Remember that when you do work up the nerve to ask, give your manager some time. Department budgets may already be set and you may have to wait until they review them again.

How to Ask?

One number one piece of advice is to be prepared! Have notes with you with a list of your current responsibilities, all of your achievements, and any new projects or tasks you have taken on. Remember, you are looking for a salary that reflects all of the work you do, so make sure your boss is aware of everything you have accomplished for the company. You especially want to remind them of additional responsibilities you have taken on.

Remember that the worst that can happen is that the answer is no. If that’s a dealbreaker for you, then you can call a staffing agency to find you something even better. If you’re located in North Texas, find out how Maxsys Solutions can help you today.

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