Most job seekers have seen the warning; gaps on your IT resume can hurt you when you try to find a new position. This can be particularly disheartening, especially when the gap was at least partially unavoidable.
In some cases, candidates try to disguise or minimize their gaps by adjusting employment dates. But, falsifying information, even with the smallest tweaks, can come back to bite you if they are discovered.
Luckily, there are things you can do to address employment gaps on your IT resume the proper way. If you are dealing with a gap in your work history, here’s how to get started.
Highlight Your Skills, Accomplishments, and Education
One of the biggest concerns a hiring manager may have when they see a recent employment gap is that your IT skills may be out of date. However, you can put those fears to rest by showcasing any competencies, accomplishments, or education that demonstrates you have the required level of knowledge and experience to succeed in the role.
An easy way to make sure that what you have to offer is front and center is to add the proper details to the “Professional Summary” section of your resume. Make sure that the points you make are targeted to the job if you want to make a positive impact on the hiring manager.
Going to School isn’t Inherently a Gap
Just because you stepped away from the workforce that doesn’t mean you are necessarily dealing with an actual gap. Most employers don’t view someone choosing not to work will they pursue an education as a red flag, particularly if the field is challenging.
If you left a job to earn a degree and are now looking to re-enter the workforce, make sure to list your recently educational accomplishments near the top of your resume, especially if you are changing fields or specialties. This allows you to show precisely what you were doing while you weren’t employed, eliminating the issue quickly.
Connect with Area Recruiters
Many companies turn to recruiters to help fill IT positions, particularly if the required skills are hard to find. If you haven’t made a connection with a recruitment agency, now may be the perfect time to get started.
Typically, you can build a relationship with a recruiter, allowing you to explain the nature of your employment gap to someone who can then function as your advocate. In most cases, a single gap in your work history won’t hurt your chances of landing a great job, especially if you have someone to go to bat for you with local hiring managers.
If you are seeking a new IT opportunity, the experienced recruiters at The Armada Group can connect you with leading companies throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services can help you take the next step forward in your career.
Some have begun to question the usefulness of bootcamps. Not only are the expensive, but they also require a substantial time commitment. Additionally, they might not be an ideal path to a job in tech.
Often, bootcamps are touted as a way to break into the development field. However, the majority of attendees already work as developers, using the bootcamp to help advance their skills. And, for those that aren’t currently employed in the field, completing a bootcamp isn’t a guaranteed path to employment.
In fact, nearly 20 percent of bootcamp graduates don’t land jobs as developers within the first 90 days of graduating, according to a recent survey. When those who are currently employed in the field, that results in odds of landing a job within three months of graduating just only slightly better than 1 in 3.
But why is that the case? Here’s what you need to know.
Not All Businesses Trust Bootcamps
By and large, the bootcamp world is unregulated. This means there are no set standards regarding the quality of instruction or what topics or skills will be covered.
Plus, there are some irreputable bootcamps floating around, thanks to the lack of regulations and the high potential for profitability, that don’t leave graduates equipped to function in developer roles.
Overall, this leaves a lot of companies hesitant to trust that a bootcamp graduate who doesn’t have any other experience or education in the field is actually capable of meeting the demands of their developer jobs.
You May Leave Ill-Prepared
As mentioned above, not all bootcamps offer the same quality of education. This means, if you select the wrong one, you might not end up with the skills you need to succeed as a developer, particularly if you have no background in the field or supporting education.
Now, this doesn’t mean that all bootcamps are worthless, just that you have to be incredibly diligent in selecting one. Do your research before enrolling, and don’t assume that a high price tag means quality, as that isn’t necessarily the case.
Additionally, you need to look beyond the placement rate advertised by the bootcamp, as these figures may be artificially inflated by attendees who entered the program as an employed developer and left to rejoin their existing team.
Some bootcamp graduates do find a developer role quickly after graduating, or even immediately after finishing their program. However, there is a range of factors that can play into those statistics, including prior experience and other forms of education.
Can a bootcamp be beneficial to your career? It certainly can. But it’s important to remember that graduating from a bootcamp isn’t a guaranteed path to employment, so consider weighing other options, like courses through a local community college or university, before you pay for a bootcamp.
If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a new tech position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced team members today and see how our services can benefit your career.
As big data made waves in the business world, a range of new job titles emerged that described some of the critical functions associated with harnessing the power of a company’s data. But, with many of them being similar, it can be hard to identify the differences between the roles based on their job titles alone.
The data scientist and data engineer titles are a prime example, as they may seem similar on the surface. However, these are unique professions, and which you choose with impact how your career develops.
If you aren’t sure whether a data scientist or data engineer career path is right for you, here’s what you need to know.
A data scientist is a professional who can take raw data and turn it into something meaningful. Often, an understanding of statistics, analytics, and machine learning are required, enabling these specialists to solve a variety of critical business problems or answer important questions.
At their core, data scientists take large quantities of data and use the information to generate actionable insights. This requires strong programming skills, an understanding of algorithm creation, data visualization skills, and high-level problem-solving skills.
Some of the commonly requested hard skills include Apache Spark, Hadoop, Python, R, deep learning, machine learning, and statistics.
A data engineer is usually responsible for handling the infrastructure that supports the big data activities of data scientists. Often, this includes designing systems, building solutions, and creating mechanisms that allow information from a variety of sources to integrate.
They may also compose complex queries, ensuring that the data is accessible and the larger system operates efficiently, and design data warehouses.
The ultimate goal of most data engineers is to ensure that the proper system design and architecture are in place, and usually aren’t expected to have high-level skills in areas like analytics and machine learning.
However, commonly requested skills include Hadoop, MapReduce, SQL, NoSQL, MySQL, and Cassandra.
Which is Right for You?
Ultimately, which career path is right for you depends on your skill set and personal preferences. Both options can lead to a lucrative and long-lasting career, particularly since companies are likely to continue pursuing data-oriented objectives for years to come.
Both roles are important in the data landscape, so one isn’t inherently more valuable than the other. Without data engineers, data scientists wouldn’t have the infrastructure they need to get their jobs done.
There are also other roles associated with big data that may be appealing, such as data analyst positions, so you aren’t restricted to only exploring data scientist or data engineer job.
If you are interested in finding a new opportunity in any of the above career paths, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore your options and connect you with leading companies throughout the area. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can benefit you.
In the vast majority of occasions, companies are all too aware that the tech talent gap is real. Many businesses struggle to find the IT professionals they need, and it’s a trend that is expected not just to continue but get worse in the coming years.
As organizations struggle with recruiting top talent, many put other objectives on the back burner. But, if you let your diversity efforts fall by the wayside, you could be missing out on an opportunity to close your tech talent gap.
Women and Minorities Underrepresented in Tech
By and large, women and minorities are underrepresented in tech roles. In fact, the percentage of women holding tech jobs has declined since 1990.
Typically, this is seen as a demonstration that the tech industry doesn’t fully reflect the communities in which the companies are based. And unconscious biases may facilitate a lack of diversity.
But there are steps that can be taken to increase diversity, allowing your company to experience benefits like increased creativity and innovation. Here are a few to get you started.
Always Consider the Impact
A diversity initiative won’t be effective if it isn’t ingrained into your company culture. Instead of treating it as a separate issue, it’s important to consider how any action may impact diversity, and choose approaches that support the objective.
This could include evaluating how the gender and racial makeup of a hiring team could affect who is hired, and whether ensuring that a minority is always present could be beneficial. It could also involve adjusting recruitment approaches, such as what resources are used, to reach a more diverse pool of candidates.
Reexamine Your Job Requirements
For IT roles, it isn’t uncommon to see a minimum higher education requirement, such as a bachelor’s degree in a related field. However, education alone may be insufficient when it comes to actually performing the work.
Instead of limiting your pool of candidates based on an educational requirement, consider shifting the focus to skills and applicable experience. Ultimately, your goal during the hiring process is to find a candidate that can actually do the job and not just have a diploma they can hang on the wall. There are many skilled professionals who acquired their level of competency through routes other than formal education, so don’t automatically eliminate them just because they don’t have a degree.
Recognize the Role of Unconscious Bias
Often, people are more inclined to hire people who remind them of themselves. This can lead teams to predominately consist of variations of essentially the same person, with everyone having a similar education, background, type of experience, and even race or gender.
Unintentional bias can harm diversity efforts, even if people don’t mean to make decisions in that matter. By recognizing that unconscious bias may be influencing hiring decisions, actions can be taken to limit its effect, ensuring a more diverse workforce.
By seeking out diverse candidates, you can access a larger pool of skilled IT professionals to fill your vacancies, increasing the odds that you can overcome your talent gap.
If you are looking for top talent to join your team, the knowledgeable staff at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s most skilled candidates. Contact us to learn more about our services today and see how we can help you defeat your talent gap once and for all.
When you head into a job interview, your goal is to convince the hiring manager that you are the best person for the position. Effectively, the answers you provide to each of the questions functions as a sales pitch, and they all need to be spot on.
Certain interview questions are especially common, so nailing these responses is crucial. To help you do just that, here are a few that you need to prepare answers to in advance to help you achieve interview success.
Tell Me About Yourself
This prompt sounds like an invitation to discuss any part of your life, but it generally isn’t. Instead, they want you to walk them through your career, touching on important points and achievements that highlight your relevant skills and experience. This provides the hiring manager with an overview of your professional background and effectively sets the tone for what is to come.
What is Your Biggest Strength and Weakness?
While this inquiry may be separated into two separate questions, it may also be asked together, so its wise to prepare for both scenarios.
For your strength, it’s best to focus on one that is especially relevant to the position for which you are interviewing. You also want to do more than just spout out a single word. Instead, provide some additional details that highlight why you see it as your greatest strength, such as a specific scenario where it helped lead to your success.
When addressing your weaknesses, don’t try to disguise a positive as a negative, such as “I work too hard” or something similar. Instead, pick one that isn’t particularly relevant to the role, supporting it with an example that demonstrates that point. You can also discuss steps you are taking to improve on your weak area, showing that you have the initiative to overcome your shortcomings.
Why Did You Leave/Are You Leaving Your Last Job?
This question allows the hiring manager not just to gauge what happened with your past jobs, but also what motivates you to make a change. This can help them determine if their workplace is likely to meet your needs, which may encourage you to stay over the long-term, or if there is an inherent disconnect that will cause issues.
For example, if you left your last position because of a lack of opportunities for advancement, then, by all means, share that detail. The hiring manager knows whether the same problem exists in their workplace, and can use your response to decide if the cultural fit is appropriate.
In cases where you were fired or laid off from your last position, you need to be honest about what occurred, but try to keep things brief.
There is a wide range of other common questions a hiring manager may ask, so don’t be afraid to do some research to see which are likely to arise, allowing you to prepare your responses in advance. This will help you respond more confidently and properly, increasing your odds of impressing the hiring manager during your interview.
If you are looking for a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to learn more about our available opportunities and see how our services can benefit you.
Companies are continuing to see the benefits of DevOps in their organizations, leading many to create and maintain positions dedicated to these roles. If you are interested in landing a new DevOps position, then being prepared for the interview is likely the key to your success. To help you stand out from the competition, here are some of the most intelligent answers to common questions you’ll probably be asked during your next DevOps interview.
What is DevOps?
Many hiring managers use this question to ensure you have a solid understanding of the main themes associated with DevOps, so failing to nail this question can lead them to question whether you are right for the role.
Luckily, crafting a strong answer isn’t difficult, as long as you focus on the proper points.
Begin by mentioning that DevOps focuses on developing and deploying software (and associated services) with greater agility and flexibility in a shorter timeframe, and how an agile relationship between IT operations, security, and software development play a substantial role in overall success.
You can also discuss how DevOps is the next step beyond Agile methodology, allowing lean practices to be integrated with the full product development cycle.
What are the Highlights of Your DevOps Experience?
When answering this question, you need to have specific examples that you can discuss based on your career experience. This means taking a look back and determining which instances best reflect either the cultural or technical side of DevOps, regardless of whether the project was ultimately a success or failure.
Think of times when you were faced with a problem and relied on DevOps principles to learn, grow, and find a solution. Treat your response like a story by including a beginning, middle, and end based on the project being undertaken, how DevOps played a role in the project, and the final result.
How Will You Help the Company Take DevOps to the Next Level?
For companies that are just starting to embrace DevOps, the hiring manager may be curious as to how you can further their objectives in this area.
Since DevOps is more of a culture than procedure, explaining that you would assist the organization in getting away from silos and embrace cross-functional teams is a great place to start. You can also reference any learning sources that you rely on for insights into DevOps, showing that you intend to continue learning about the approach and growing in the field.
Ultimately, a successful DevOps interview often involves showing that you have the right mindset for the role as well as the technical skills required to perform in the position. By highlighting both, you can leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager, increasing your odds of receiving a job offer.
If you are looking for a DevOps position, the professionals at The Armada Group can identify new opportunities that may interest you. Contact us to see how our services can help you land your ideal DevOps role.
Even if you are generally satisfied with your position, the idea of expanding your role can be exciting. This can include getting your hands into a particularly interesting project, gaining a new skill, or working with a team that you admire.
Branching out isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t want to overstep any boundaries that may exist within the organizational landscape. But failing to expand your tech role could lead to missed opportunities and stymied growth, making an attempt typically worth your while. To help you explore new opportunities without stepping on any toes, here are some tips to get you started.
Before you ask to be added to a specific project or request additional responsibilities, it is essential that you have a full understanding of how you can provide value to the business by getting involved in those tasks. This allows you to explain how your participation positively impacts the bottom line, making your case more powerful, especially if you can quantify the result.
Ultimately, you have to create a pitch to “sell” why the company should let you expand your duties, and your points can’t all be self-serving. Demonstrating your value shows the business what is in it for them, making it easier to secure their approval.
Make the Most of Learning Opportunities
At most companies, there is a range of learning opportunities available to employees; you just have to know how to spot them. Anything from formal training to workshops during lunches to job shadowing can be effective ways to branch out and increase your knowledge.
Start by exploring the kinds of options that are made available to workers and see if any catch your interest. If so, examine the requirements for participating and explore the value of your attendance.
In some cases, offerings that may not be specifically aimed at you could still be helpful, though you may need to pitch the idea to your manager to get approval. To do so, use the advice above and demonstrate how your participation benefits your department or the company as a whole. Whenever possible, use specific examples and quantify the information, as they will be the most effective approach.
Invest in Yourself
Sometimes, your company won’t have the kind of learning opportunities you need to help you meet your goals. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in yourself and pursue additional education on your own time.
Often, the majority of your professional development falls squarely in your hands, so don’t let a lack of options in your workplace stop you from exploring skills that interest you. And, if your company has a training budget that allows them to cover educational costs for things like classes and conferences, see if you qualify.
If you are interested in branching out by finding a new position, the team at The Armada Group can connect you with leading employers in the area. Contact us today to see how our services can benefit you.
Generation Z currently makes up the largest portion of the population across the world, and the oldest members of this group have just recently started to enter the workforce. Like Millennials before them, Gen Z represents a significant shift in how they must be recruited, as they have their own sets of priorities and experiences.
While many companies are aware of Gen Z, few have crafted strategies designed to attract these potential employees. With that in mind, here are some tips for recruiting members of Generation Z.
Look Beyond Job Boards
Gen Z understands just how much information is available online, and that knowledge actually has them turning away from traditional online searches when they are hoping to find a new position. Instead, these new professionals favor referral-based processes, so hiring managers will need to do more than just post a vacancy online if they hope to garner attention.
The easiest way to start is to institute referral programs at work, creating mechanisms and incentives that get your current employees involved in recruiting. This allows you to access your staff’s network and connect with Gen Z prospects with greater ease.
Abandon the Cold Call
Typically, a member of Gen Z isn’t going to answer a phone call from a number they don’t recognize and may be hesitant to return a call based on information in a voicemail if contact wasn’t solicited. That means cold calling isn’t going to be ideal for recruiting prospects in this generation.
However, online or text-based communications, including reaching out over social media, may be effective, as long as you respond quickly. Gen Z is used to gathering information almost instantaneously, so a slow reply may lead to the conversation dying, and then moving on to a more responsive competitor.
If you haven’t made your application process mobile-friendly, then now is the time to get those updates in place. Gen Z is used to having access to information over smartphones, so mobile processes will be more enticing than those that require a computer to complete.
Offer What Matters
Each generation has their own priorities when it comes to benefits and perks, and Gen Z is no different. This group is particularly well-connected with their peers, thanks to social media, so they may have more competitive tendencies, making things like job titles more relevant to them. Additionally, work perks, such as travel opportunities, and a photograph-worthy workspace could also be enticing.
However, like Millennials, Gen Z also appreciates a clear path for advancement, so having benefits like mentorship programs, company-provided training, and obvious career ladders can attract positive attention from job seekers.
Since Gen Z is new to the workforce, there is still a lot to learn about what interests them, so make sure your company remains flexible with its approach, allowing you to adjust as more information becomes known.
If you are working to fill a vacancy, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with top talent throughout the area. Contact us today to see how our services can help you find the skilled workers you need to succeed.
Like most areas associated with technology, which developer languages are considered to be in vogue change on a regular basis. Staying on top of trends is essential, particularly if you want to further your career or land a new position. To help you do just that, here are the programming languages you need to know in 2018, based on anticipated demand.
In 2018, Java is expected to remain the king of developer languages. Not only is it highly versatile, but it also plays a role in emerging technologies like AI and machine learning. Its roots in e-commerce and back-end operations means that Java is still widely used. Plus, the ability to apply Java code to multiple environments is a boon, especially when operational efficiency for multi-platform support is a priority.
Python is also poised to be a strong choice in 2018, partially based on its role in data science and back-end web application development. In fact, the number of job openings that list Python as a requirement is expected to grow, when compared to 2017 levels, making it a potentially lucrative skill to hold as well. Since data analytics is becoming more prevalent in the business world, Python is going to remain popular, making it a highly desirable developer language to have in your repertoire.
Considered a general-purpose object-oriented programming language, C++ is another developer language that most working in the field should become familiar. It is popular for application and server software development, making it a commonly encountered language in a range of businesses and industries.
Another in-demand general-purpose object-oriented developer language is C#. It makes appearances in a range of programs including web, mobile, and cloud applications. It is also associated with IoT, affirming an association with emerging technology.
Like Python, demand for PHP skills is expected to grow in 2018. This server-side scripting language is typically used to add functionality to websites that aren’t possible through HTML alone. It also serves as a general-purpose language, which also supports its overall popularity.
Originally developed for text manipulation, Perl is now used for a range of tasks associated with GUI development, networking, system administration, and web development. It is highly stable across multiple platforms and is recognized for taking the best features from other languages to create an easy to learn and flexible option for developers looking to expand their opportunities.
Ones to Watch
While these reflect the most in-demand languages, others are making significant strides. Swift is popular for iOS development, and R plays a big role in AI and machine learning. While these haven’t reached the upper echelon yet, the potential is certainly there.
If you are interested in finding a new developer position, the team at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s leading companies. Contact us today to see how our services can help you advance in your career.
Even though Millennials make up the largest portion of the current workforce, many companies struggle when it comes to recruiting them for open position. Often, this is because Millennials have different preferences when compared to previous generations, and failing to update certain offerings based on their needs makes the business a less attractive employer.
If you are struggling to recruit Millennials, here’s what you need to know.
What Millennials are Seeking
Millennial workers aren’t always enticed by traditional benefits like healthcare options and retirement plans as previous generations. While they still value those opportunities, they place a greater emphasis on cultural fit and the grander purpose behind their work.
Additionally, Millennials tend to value experiences over material possessions, so they seek out companies that will provide them with chances to learn and grow professionally, often favoring those benefits over more physically-oriented perks.
Why Companies Struggle
Typically, businesses find it difficult to recruit Millennials when they aren’t sufficiently prepared to meet their needs and preferences, particularly if a competitor company is capable of offering what they hope to find. To gain the attention of these job seekers, you need to have a culture that suits their preferences and benefits that provide them with what they consider valuable.
In some cases, hiring managers can actually drive away Millennials, especially if they subscribe to some of the stereotypes associated with this generation. If hiring managers are automatically skeptical of Millennials, it will come through during interviews or may lead them to screen out applicants who appear to be from Gen Y before they are even invited in.
Luckily, there are things you can do to correct any issues that may make your company less attractive to Millennials. This includes reviewing your culture to determine if it meets their needs and generating benefits that speak to their preferences, like mentorship programs and opportunities to experience new things.
Additionally, you need to make sure that your hiring managers aren’t harboring negative stereotypes that may be harmful to your recruitment goals. To do so, consider having them reframe their concerns to see how these characteristics could actually be an advantage.
For example, Millennials may be seen as job hoppers but, if the worker has changed positions and each one was a step forward in their career, the new opportunities actually demonstrate their professional drive. In those cases, creating succession plans that can help them advance gives them the change to keep moving along their career path and gives you a chance to help groom your next leader.
With just a few adjustments, you can make strides towards recruiting more Millennial candidates, which is incredibly relevant as they continue to become a larger part of the workforce. If you are looking to hire a new employee, the recruitment specialists at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s top talent. Contact us to see how our services can reshape your recruitment strategy today.