Sometimes you can tell even before you walk out the door that the interview was going badly. Other times, you think everything was going great and are surprised to hear the company disagreed. Whether you can tell the rejection is coming or not, it still stings. Develop positive ways of coping with those negative responses in order to maintain the energy and enthusiasm you need while you search for the job of your dreams.
Find Out What Went Wrong
A lot of times, a company won't give any specifics, but it doesn't hurt to ask why they felt you weren't right for the job. If you were referred to the interview by a staffing agency, they may tell the recruiter, so ask your contact there as well. Once you know why they felt you weren't a good fit, you can work on improving your skills or learning how to present your abilities better.
Target Your Search
Minimize the odds of being rejected by being selective about the jobs you apply for. Although the job market's improved, it's still very competitive. Evaluate your qualifications carefully before you even apply. It's fine to apply for a stretch position, but recognize that your odds of getting that job will be small. By accepting that in advance, rejection won't hurt as much.
Quit Worrying About It
It's impossible not to be rejected at some point during a job search; accept that it's simply part of the process. If you focus too much on the rejections and overanalyze the situation, you undermine your confidence. That sets up a negative cycle where you appear to lack confidence at interviews, which leads to rejections that further undermine your confidence. Learn what you can from a rejection, and put it out of your mind.
Work With a Skilled Recruiter
Minimize the odds of rejection by working with a staffing agency and a skilled recruiter. By understanding your skills and goals, plus the needs of employers, an agency can match you to the jobs you're likely to get. This can reduce the odds of rejection and the time it takes to find a job you want.
When companies want to hire a standout project manager, they look for a rock star. What does that mean, and how can you prove you're one? Make sure you can point out how you handled these rock star skills in your previous job.
Rock stars know how to command an audience.
They're comfortable getting up on the biggest of stages, speaking to the crowd, and getting the audience behind them. So hone up on your interpersonal skills and develop confidence in your interactions and ability to present. Point out an example of how you persuaded the organization to buy into a successful project.
Rock stars put the band together.
Rock stars lead their bandmates to success; they make the hiring and firing decisions. Explain how you built a successful team, how you lead them towards a goal, and how you handle the inevitable intra-team conflicts that arise.
Rock stars understand what music sells as well as how songs are structured.
That is, rock stars understand the business they're in. As a technical project manager, you need to demonstrate that you understand the business and how to structure technology projects to support the business needs.
Rock stars communicate.
Rock stars document their song lists; they make sure the crew knows where to put the equipment and when to trigger the lights, smoke, and special effects. Prove your communication skills by explaining how you built your network – up, down, and sideways.
Rock stars revel in their position.
Rock stars seek out the spotlight; they love being the center of attention. Demonstrate that you love your job too; passion combined with talent is the best way to achieve a rock star level of success in any profession.
Are you a rock star project manager? Whether you're a rock star or still aspire to reach that level, The Armada Group can help you find a position at the top of the charts. Contact us to learn how to start your search now.
A job interview is a sales call. Isn't it? You're there to convince the hiring manager that you're the right person for the job. That means you have to sell yourself hard. Doesn't it?
It shouldn't. Go to an interview focused on selling yourself, and you'll be focused on yourself. That's the wrong focus. An interview isn't about you; it's about the company and the company's needs. Focus on understanding the company, the job, and the problem the company needs to solve, instead of on yourself, and you'll automatically stand a better chance of getting hired. Why?
By paying attention, you'll answer the questions that are asked – and the questions that weren't asked.
If you go to an interview with stock answers that you think will impress the interviewer, and then look for opportunities to throw out those lines, you won't be answering the questions that are asked. You'll be missing the opportunity to show your understanding of the company or project through answers that are tailored to the question, or by referring to related subjects.
You don't connect with the interviewer.
he point of the interview is to get to know you; when you focus on selling a prepared image, the interviewer can feel that you aren't being genuine. When you stop concentrating on selling yourself, you are free to let your real self show and the interaction with the interviewer feels much more natural and comfortable to them.
Selling yourself requires hiding parts of yourself.
If you're focused on selling yourself, you naturally try to conceal parts of yourself. You try to avoid talking about times you failed; your answer to "what is your biggest weakness" is that you work too hard. Besides the fact that hiding takes energy, interviewers are likely to be more impressed if you acknowledge a shortcoming or a time that you failed and discuss how you addressed the issue to ensure a better outcome next time.
When you work with The Armada Group, we'll match you to jobs that fit your talents and aspirations so you can be yourself and still land the job. Contact us to stop selling yourself and start an effective job search now.
One reason selecting The Armada Group as your recruiting firm helps you find great employees fast is because of the dedicated recruiters on our team. The environment at The Armada Group encourages our recruiters to work hard on your behalf.
As our recruiter Jesse Oehler says, "I love the people I work with, from the CEO Jeff to my fellow recruiters who are in the trenches with me every day. We all have a similar drive to succeed, a passion for helping people, a competitive fire and a true 'work hard, play hard' mentality."
It helps that the work is so rewarding. Jesse says, "I really enjoy talking every day with so many intelligent, accomplished people. I’m calling people with a job to offer them, so almost every conversation I have is warm and pleasant, even if it is with someone who will ultimately not be a good match for the position. I have been able to build a network of outstanding individuals to work with."
Having great networks lets our recruiters find you great employees you wouldn't be able to find on your own. Because the placements we make benefit both the candidate and the company, it's doubly rewarding for our recruiters. Jesse particularly remembers placing a candidate who called her afterwards to let her know that she loved the new job and that it had improved her quality of life.
The company also let Jesse know about the candidate's – the new employee's – success on the job. "It is rewarding to know that I was truly able to make a great match for that particular requisition," Jesse says.
The recruiters at The Armada Group strive to make great matches for all the organizations we work for. Jesse's had the opportunity to work with top-notch firms including with Apple, Cisco, Fujitsu, HP and PayPal.
"These organizations are made up of awesome, responsive and engaging individuals and teams that value and demand both quality and excellence, not only from their staffing partners, but from the consultants that work with them as well," Jesse says. The companies help the recruiters make great matches by giving them timely and detailed feedback.
Our recruiters develop the skills that help them make great matches over time. The Armada Group’s recruiters receive incentives to work together and build long-term careers here. Through their own successful careers, our recruiters learn how to identify candidates who'll enjoy successful careers at our clients' companies. Contact us to learn how working with us can build your team.
Technology changes fast, and developers need to keep their skills current to keep up with the marketplace. If you want the opportunity to work on the most challenging new projects, these are the skills you need to know now.
Companies are gearing up for big data projects, hoping to gain a competitive edge from analyzing the data collected by all their interactions with customers and suppliers. There's a vast range of skills needed to support big data work, ranging from engineering tasks that focus on managing and storing these giant collections of data, to analytical tasks that focus on understanding the business and using that data to create insights that drive business success. For the engineering-oriented jobs, focus on skills like Hadoop, Spark, and NoSQL databases like MongoDB. The analytical tasks require data science skills, such as statistical methods and text analysis, plus the ability to program in languages like R and Python.
More and more companies are implementing a "mobile first" development strategy. Because of the small screen size, strong UI and UX skills are needed to build an effective interface. Android is by far the dominant platform; iOS trails in second and Windows, Blackberry, and other mobile operating systems barely register. Learn the languages of choice for both Android and iOS development – Java and Swift, respectively – plus a cross-platform development framework such as Sencha will give you the most options for mobile application, and mobile career, development.
Float on a Cloud
Cloud computing is fast becoming a dominant method of application delivery. Learn the features and APIs for the major cloud platforms, including Amazon Web Service, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. The cloud is also a major contributor to the growth of DevOps, opening up deployment and support career paths for those who understand how to automate the process and monitor deployed applications.
Work With a Staffing Agency
Working with a staffing agency like The Armada Group is a great way to explore the jobs your current skills prepare you for and help you identify the skills you need for the best jobs on the market. Search our jobs or contact us to learn how our services help you build your career, not just find a new job.
Big Data is one of the hottest technologies around, but companies are struggling to succeed in their Big Data projects. Bringing in developers with Hadoop and NoSQL skills isn't enough, so companies are now turning to data scientists to help them find value in their data.
Data Scientist Is a Top-Rated Job
As a result of that push, Data Scientist sat in the number one position in a recent Glassdoor survey of the best jobs in America. Not only does the job offer a high median base salary, the position provides plenty of opportunity and job satisfaction.
Data Scientist Skills and Responsibilities
Data Scientists help companies make sense of the structured and unstructured data collected by corporate information systems. Insights from this analysis can help companies identify new marketing opportunities to increase profits or improve manufacturing processes to reduce costs.
Creating those insights requires a combination of analytical and technical skills. Data Scientists need a strong background in advanced statistical, mathematical, and analytical methods. They may use methods such as textual analysis, machine learning, or data mining to search for meaningful patterns in very large databases.
Data Scientists work with tools to help them manage and manipulate large-scale databases, including SQL, NoSQL, and Hadoop. In some companies, the technical aspects of creating an infrastructure to store and retrieve large data sets is handled by the Data Scientists, while in other firms those responsibilities fall to an engineering team.
Data Scientists can fill the role of business intelligence or data analysis, writing reports against existing databases. They may write programs in statistical tools such as R and Matlab, as well as general purpose programming languages like C++, Java, and Python. Because a large part of their job requires presenting insights to business management, understanding data visualization and reporting technology is vital. Data Scientists need a strong understanding of the business domain to relate the connections found in the data to business operations. In many cases, the end product of a data science project is a computer program and data scientists often work as part of a team that incorporates their analytical methods into a production software application.
Given the varied responsibilities of a Data Scientist, it's important to understand exactly what you'll do on the job at any given company. Conduct an analysis of your own career interests to help you select the right Data Scientist job for you.
One thing about technology: it either works or it doesn't. A fancy brand name can't make up for a program that doesn't do what it's supposed to do. That pragmatic approach applies to degrees in STEM fields, too. A recent study found that for degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math, the "brand name" of the school granting the degree had less impact on long-term salaries than for degrees in liberal arts.
The reason for that is the skills that lead to success on the job are both standardized and easy to assess. Programming languages are the same whether they're learned at an Ivy League school or at a community college. And coding skills are easily evaluated through technical questions and small coding problems during the interview.
The high demand for STEM skills means even students who develop those skills in an untraditional setting find opportunity. Online courses, hackathons, and nanodegree programs provide job-oriented training outside of the college classroom. Industry finds graduates of these programs appealing because training through these programs often includes the latest programming tools that haven't been incorporated into school curriculums yet.
A degree from a top school will definitely open doors, but once you start working, it's your achievements on the job that matter more in STEM fields. Managers can easily track quality metrics tied to a specific employee, such as whether features are delivered on time and how many bugs were in their work. These metrics can impact the salary increases and bonuses employees receive.
The degree is also less important when switching employers after you've been working for a few years. Because technology changes so rapidly, the specific methods and techniques you learned in school are no longer relevant. It's important to take training and continuing education classes to become familiar with the new technologies in demand. In addition, employers value the nontechnical interpersonal and leadership skills that develop after working for several years. Employees who demonstrate up-to-date technical skills plus an understanding of how to get things done in a business environment will have a solid career no matter what it says on their diploma.
It takes years to learn all the ins and outs of any technology, but you don't need to know everything before putting the skill on your resume. Focus on the must-have skills first, then stand out from everyone else with the nice-to-haves. For Python engineers, the skills break down this way.
Must-Have Python Engineer Skills
You don't need to know every module, but you need to know the basics, including the differences between Python 2 and Python 3.
Almost no project today starts from scratch; most leverage an existing framework. Learn one of the common Python frameworks such as Django.
It's easier to connect an application to a database through an ORM rather than through writing SQL.
Understand multi-process architecture.
The ability to correctly write and manage threads and processes is key to developing high-performance applications.
Developing and using RESTful APIs.
Understanding how to use RESTful APIs is necessary to integrate your application with other components.
Building Python application.
Your team may have a build engineer, but you should know how to package up code for release and deployment.
Good communication skills.
Even in a purely programming role, you need to be able to communicate with teammates and to collaborate to resolve issues.
Good design skills.
You must be able to implement servers that are scalable, secure, and highly available.
Nice-to-Have Python Engineer Skills
Front-end developer skills.
Despite the importance of ORMs, it's beneficial to understand databases as well. Some performance issues may be best resolved directly in the database rather than in code.
Knowing system administration lets you solve problems at the system level rather than just the application level.
Along with systems administration, the ability to write shell scripts lets you control the server.
Other programming languages like Java or C++.
As useful a tool as Python is, it isn't appropriate for every programming project. Know other languages so you can use the best language to solve the problem.
Mobile application development is hot. According to Gartner, demand for mobile apps will grow five times faster than companies can deliver them. The salaries for mobile app developers reflect that, averaging around $102,000 and going up to $135,000. For developers who want to get in on the mobile development action, make sure you have the skills that will make employers notice you.
Know how to develop for Android.
Apple's iOS products get lots of great press, and there are plenty of jobs for iOS developers, but there's even more demand for Android developers. While the two platforms split the U.S. market almost evenly, Android has a far larger share of the global market. So make sure your resume has the skills you need for Android development, including the Android SDK, Android NDK, Java, and C++. If you can develop on multiple platforms, that gives you additional options, so learn Objective-C or Swift for iOS devices.
Build your own app.
There's no better way to demonstrate your capability to build a mobile app than demonstrating a mobile app that you built. You can point to an app that you built at your previous employer, but because company projects are team efforts, it's difficult to really claim credit. Instead, create your own sample app in your free time. The development tools are available for free on multiple platforms. If you take the app live, you'll learn the necessary skills for packaging it and publishing it in an app store. Taking your own idea from concept through deployment shows initiative and drive that impress potential employers beyond the technical skills you develop through the process.
Have skills that go beyond mobile.
Knowing the SDK for a specific platform is only part of knowing how to create a mobile app. Like any software project, you need to understand the business requirements, so business analysis skills and communication skills are still valuable. Databases were invented long before the smartphone, but mobile apps still store data in them, so understanding SQL and database technology is necessary. Many tools generate XML automatically these days, but it's still helpful to understand the syntax.
An MBA degree is a valuable credential, but it's not necessarily relevant to project managers in information technology. Project management certification attests to your knowledge in specific skills that project managers use on a daily basis. Obtain one of these certifications and you'll gain skills that help you do better at your current job as well as attract potential employers' attention when you list the credential on your resume.
Project Management Professional
Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), Project Management Professional (PMP) is one of the most well-respected project manager certifications. This credential isn't restricted to information technology, and requires mastery of skills that will help manage projects in any business domain. The requirements for obtaining the PMP certificate include several thousand hours of hands-on project management work, plus 35 hours of coursework. After these hours are completed, a difficult exam must be passed. Less experienced project managers can obtain the Certified Associate Project Manager (CAPM) certification, a more entry-level credential; PMI also offers additional certification for project managers in specialty areas such as business analysis and risk management.
If your workplace follows agile software development methodology, as more and more organizations currently do, you participate in scrums on a daily basis. The Scrum Master certification from the Scrum Alliance acknowledges your expertise in guiding your team through scrum practices. Obtaining the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) credential requires self-study of scrum practices, followed by a CSM course led by a certified trainer. That course is then followed by an online exam. Successfully obtaining the CSM also grants access to Scrum Alliance resources, including a profile on the Scrum Alliance website, plus a logo to highlight your achievement.
Certified Project Manager
Similar to the PMP certification, Certified Project Manager (CPM) is offered through the International Association of Program and Project Management. Before taking the exam, you should have expert-level knowledge of project management practices, obtained through at least four years of project management work and 36 hours of study on the CPM syllabus. This preparation is followed by a three-hour exam. More junior professionals can obtain the Certified Project Professional credential.