Planet4iT Blog

rss

Providing you with information on the IT and Digital marketplace.


Job Hunting1.png

Job Hunting can be mind boggling. Knowing what kind of job you are qualified for can be intimidating. Don't let things overwhelm you. Think of the positives and form a plan to accomplish your goal. First thing I do when anything is overwhelming me is make a list.

  1. What kind of jobs does your education qualify you for?
  2. What experience do you have and is it transferable from industry to industry? (ie banking to government)
  3. Who do you know in the industry? Call them and set up an information interview to find out what types of jobs you would be qualified for or that would interest you.
  4. Network. Let everyone know that you are looking. Do you volunteer? let the board know you are looking for a new job. Play sports or enroll your children in sports, teams are a great place to network. The gym, yoga studio - everyone knows someone who knows someone, and most people are more than happy to lend a hand.
  5. Use a Recruiter. Recruiters have job boards sometimes exclusive to them. Research your recruiter and find the one who deals with the companies on your list of places you would like to work. Also find the Recruiter who deals with your skills. Recruiters specialize - IT, Finance, Admin, etc so make sure you contact the right one. Be diligent, don't them forget about you, keep in touch with him/her.
  6. Check the job boards. Don't be afraid to recontact your Recruiter and let him/her know about job openings.
  7. Check specific company websites. Again, before applying online check with your Recruiter to see if he has a contact there.
  8. Connect with people on LinkedIn who work for specific targeted companies that you are interested in.

And then go back and do it all again!

There is a job out there with your name on it!


PLANET4IT BLOG.png
Priya is a Senior level contractor whom we have deployed at one of Canada’s major Banks for the past 12 months.

Q1:  Hi Priya, thanks for allowing us to profile you in our monthly broadcast.  Can you give us a brief overview of your skillset around ServiceNow - Development, Architecture and Design?
 
A:  My name is Priya and I am currently working as Senior ServiceNow Developer at a major bank here in Toronto. My journey with ServiceNow started 5 years ago as I come from a programming background, I instantly felt comfortable with the tool. I have experience working with many ServiceNow inbuilt applications like ITSM, HR and Customer Service Management (CSM) applications.  I have expertise in building custom applications and service portals.  I have participated in all project implementation process like Solution Designing, Integrations, Development, Implementation and Operational Support.  My Specialities: ServiceNow API’s, JavaScript, HTML, AngularJS, Workflows, Access Controls, Java
 
Q2:  What is your day to day involvement in terms of projects and what is your role?
 
A:  As I am the Senior Lead Developer for the Portal Team, we are replacing the old CMS portal with a new advanced self-service portal that is more user friendly and compatible with mobile applications. This portal will offer users to request goods and services, offered by the company, in a more organized way. Users will be able to raise tickets; monitor the lifecycle of their tickets; interact with live agents; and search knowledge articles. We are also implementing a process to post announcements on the portal that would keep end users more informed of whatever new is happening in the company or if there is a service outage. 
 
Q3:  What do you love about your job/role?

A:  There are 2 main reasons as to why I enjoy my job:

  1. Interact with people: People who know me, would know that I love talking. One of the best part of my job is that I get to meet different clients, understand their requirements and develop something that would help them. 
  2. Learning: Another reason that I love what I do, is that I learn something new everyday. Whether it happens while debugging an issue, or for preparing for new project or while working with my other teammates. 

Q4:  How are you making a difference?

A:  I think my passion for technology does help others and makes things easier for my client and the business. 
 
Q5:  What challenges do you see in the future for ServiceNow and how do you aim to make yourself relevant?

A:  ServiceNow is an ever-evolving platform. They roll out 2 major releases every year, which offers many new features & functionalities. I aim to be highly active within the ServiceNow community, enroll in training for new modules when they are released or updated.


5 Tips to take the Jitters Out of an Interview

Interviews are stressful.  Whether this is your dream job you are interviewing for, a promotion, or your first job there are little things you can do to help ease the stress.  There are very few people in the world who don't get pre-interview jitters.  These jitters will be worse if you are not prepared for your interview.  Here are my 5 tips for helping to get you to the interview with a few less jitters.  

1. Don't be late

There is no valid excuse for being late to an interview.  You should plan on being there at least 10 to 15 minutes early.  You don't need to check in until 5 minutes before but at least be in the building 10 to 15 minutes before the interview.  This allows you to go to the washroom and check your hair, teeth, wash your hands and relax before you are called in.  

2. Do a Practice Run

If you aren't sure where you are going or where parking is or how long it will take then do a practice run.  Schedule your practice run around the same time as the interview if you can to get a feel for traffic flow and/or public transportation glitches.  Nothing worse then being on the subway and having an emergency stoppage.  Find that nearest taxi stand and get going.  

3. Prepare your Outfit the night before

Yes, layout your whole outfit.  Hopefully you have picked up your suit from the cleaners ahead of time.  This is also a good way to know if you have to leave earlier to pick up a new pair of nylons.  Are your shoes shined?  Yes people do still shine their shoes or at least get the dust and grime off of them.  Remember don't overdo the cologne or perfume, if possible just don't use any.  Cleanliness and hygiene is more important than your cologne.  

4. Prepare your Kit

Take a couple of extra hard copies of your resume with you.  They will ask you questions relating to your resume so this gives you the chance to reread it before your interview.  Kleenex, a couple of safety pins, a charged phone , breath mints, can come in handy in case of an emergency.  Don't forget to put in a hard copy of your references (that you have prepped ahead of time) just in case the interview goes really well and they want to move to the next stage.  

5. Find out how to pronounce the Interviewer's Name

In our multi-cultural Canada it's important to verify how to pronounce the person's name.  The last thing you want to do is walk in and say "Hi Mr/Mrs ........" and have them say "well my name is .........".  Ask your recruiter, phone the actual company and ask for their extension - hopefully if you pronounce it wrong they will correct it for you.  Write it down phonetically so you will remember the pronunciation.  

Being prepared for your interview will help to set the tone for the whole interview.  Let me know what little practices/rituals you do before an interview to help you start your interview off on the right foot.  

 


Specify Alternate Text

Let's say right off the top - Technologies are boring. Can you make them more exciting? Probably not, but you can make them less boring. I have seen resumes with a page of technologies, each one listed on a different line. By the time I am halfway through them my brain is going "blah blah blah". How do you catch the employers eye and highlight your technical skills at the same time? Try these simple tips. 

Pertinent Technologies need to stand out

If the job description is asking for a certain technology then put it in your profile.  

"Over 14 years of Java development experience including 7+ years in design, development, implementation, testing, deployment and support of Java based web applications. Working knowledge of Object Oriented Design and Programming methodology. Able to learn new technologies and applications quickly."

Highlight them in each position.  

"Complete redesign of the web application suite to incorporate recommended design patterns (Front Controller, Synchronization Token, Business Delegate, DAO, Singleton, etc.), iterative preparation of project specifications and implementation, AJAX-based modification of data entry pages, estimates per clients’ requests."

Have a Technology Section on the first page of your resume. 

1.    Group your technologies by category, ie Operating Systems, Programming Languages, Scripting Languages, Databases, Tools, Hardware, Software, Methodologies, etc depending on your skills.  

2.    List the ones that are pertinent to the position you are applying for. If it is listed on the job description then it should be in your technology section.  

3.    List the technologies that are current.

4.    List the current versions of a technology especially as they are pertinent to the position you are applying for.

5.    Don't list old versions of technologies, ie Windows ME.  

6.    Don't list old technologies - there are very few jobs that use Fortran or Cobol, they don't need to be included in the technology section. 

Do you need a Technology/Tools section for each job.  

Try incorporating your technologies into the actual detail of the position. Use them with action words in your achievements. This way you don't need an actual list of Technologies/Tools for each position. It is much more interesting to read about how you used the technology then to just list them. A Technology/Tools section is just clutter, so often you are using the same tools in multiple jobs so you are just repeating the section over and over again. It ends up filling your 1 to 3 page optimum resume size up with "blah blah blah". 

Don't Lie

This applies to every section of your resume. Don't Lie. Don't exaggerate. Your technical skills should reflect your actual abilities. Trying to learn the skill as you go will almost always backfire. If your supervisor doesn't notice, your co-workers will and if you are in a position where you are supposed to be mentoring someone - watch out for the fireworks.  

It doesn't take long for an employer to find out that you don't have the experience in the technology you alluded to. Having to do a technical test is quite common nowadays, often followed by a technical interview where you will be quizzed by professionals on the required skills. If you don't have the skill all you are doing is wasting your time and theirs.  

Technologies are boring, but it is the way you use them that can be exciting. Updating 2000 desktops with the newest version of Windows without any glitches is what an employer wants to know. The employer wants to know how and when you have actually used your skills, not just see a tedious list of every technology you have ever worked with. Remember, resumes should be 2 to 3 pages telling the story of your professional life, not just a list of technologies and education. 


Specify Alternate Text

Why didn't I get the job? What was I missing? What do I need to do for next time? These are all valid questions to ask the company you have been interviewing for.

There is nothing more difficult after being rejected for a job than to find the confidence to phone the interviewer and ask WHY? You were so excited, felt the interview went great, what happened? You were enthusiastic and really wanted to work for this company and this group. What happened? You won't ever find out if you don't pick up the phone and ask.

First thing you need to do is be honest with yourself.  

Would you have taken the job if it was offered?  

Were you as qualified as you thought?

Did you have as good an interview as you thought?

Was there anything you said, or did that might have produced a negative impact in the interview?

​If you answered all of these positively then there is no harm in trying to get some feedback.

Did you get the interview through a recruiter or directly with the company? If you worked through a recruiter, than your first phone call is to him/her.

Recruiters

You have a much better chance of getting constructive feedback from your Recruiter. They are like your agent and there is nothing they want more than for you to get the position. The recruiter also wants to fill this job in the future so they want to know exactly what the company is looking for so they will be asking the company what my Candidate was missing.

Keep in mind that a Company isn't going to want to tell you or the recruiter much more than "your candidate didn't have enough experience in ....". The interviewers are employees of the organization and they owe a fiduciary duty to their employer. This means they will be very careful about what they say. The last thing they want to worry about is a lawsuit because they said something about your personality or age or sex.

Wait a few days if calling the Company directly.

Don't call right away, wait a few days. Call the interviewer you seemed to have the best rapport with. Re-introduce yourself, be positive.  

I wanted to thank you personally for interviewing me. 

I love your Company and was wondering what I could do to improve my chances for the next time.  

Is there anything that I did that prevented me from getting the job?

Are there other positions coming up that would be more suited to my experience and skills?

If you want truthful constructive criticism, then you have to be willing to listen. And don't get defensive. The Interviewer doesn't want a confrontation and you aren't going to change their mind. Getting defensive will only reinforce the fact that they made the right decision and there go your chances for a future chance. Ask specific questions:

Were my answers too short?

Did I seem confident when I answered your questions?

Was I too relaxed or too stressed looking?

What could I do to come across more effectively in the future?

What was the one thing I did best?

What could I improve on?

If it was a skill or experience, then these are things you are going to have to improve with education or more time in a junior position. Cultivate a positive relationship with the Interviewer, let him/her know that you are going to work on their recommendations and would love a chance to keep in touch about future opportunities.  

Do Mock-up Interviews

Ask your recruiter or a career coach, or at least a friend to take the interview questions and do a mock-up interview with you. Treat it like a real interview. You want to be relaxed in an interview but also hungry. Being too relaxed in an interview can come across as arrogant, being too hungry can come across as too aggressive. Finding that happy medium is very difficult, especially if it is a job you really want. If you were trying out for a hockey team you would be out there shooting pucks every day. So why not practice for an interview?

Look at the positive

You got an interview, maybe even a 2nd and 3rd. Wow - you know how many people applied for these positions. Your resume got you in the door., that's the hardest part. Take the constructive criticism and wow them the next time!