For many, the technology field is incredibly enticing. However, if you do not have a Bachelor’s degree, you may assume that there are not many options you can explore. In reality, you may just need to take a look at a “new collar” job if you want to make the leap into tech without formal education.
While making a hiring decision based solely on a candidate’s age is potentially illegal, that does not mean that age-related discrimination does not occur. At times, younger workers have an edge when it comes to technology roles, as employers assume they are more adept naturally. As a result, older professionals may need to take certain steps to ensure that age-related stereotypes do not prevent them from landing an interview.
Luckily, it is not hard to age-proof your resume. Here is how to get started:
Remove Old Jobs
There is no rule that says you have to list all of your previous employers on your resume. In fact, doing so can actually allow hiring managers to estimate your age, and that may not work in your favor. Plus, in many cases, hiring managers are more concerned about what you have done as of late, not what you accomplished 15 years ago.
Instead of including everything, focus only on relevant recent experience, going back no more than 10 or 15 years, max. Include details that cover all of the requirements in the job description, highlighting applicable accomplishments and quantifying the data whenever possible.
Avoid Unnecessary Dates
If you earned your degree or certifications near the start of your career, then listing the dates you received your degree or other credentials will make it easier to guess your age. Instead of including the date, omit it entirely. While the hiring manager will want to know that you earned a degree or certification, they do not necessarily need to know when, so do not think that you have to include anything that creates a timeline in this case.
Update Your Contact Options
Did you know that your email account domain could lead a hiring manager to assume you are older? It’s true. Similarly, listing a landline could cause them to make assumptions too.
Today, you want to be seen as tech-savvy. Start by making sure your email domain is one that younger professionals would use, like a free account through Gmail. Additionally, only list a smartphone number on your resume, and do so without labeling it with “cell” or “mobile,” as that is unnecessary.
Get Rid of the Objective Statement
The objective statement used to be a standard addition on any resume. If you haven’t searched for a new job in quite some time, then your last one may have featured that section. And it’s time to remove it.
Objective statements fell out of favor some time ago. After all, they didn’t really provide hiring managers with much value, so it shouldn’t be a surprise. By keeping it, you don’t just look like you haven’t kept up with the times, it also makes you appear older as younger workers would never list one.
Instead, craft a high-quality professional summary that highlights your strengths and how you can provide value to a prospective employer. This is much more impactful and ensures your resume matches with current trends.
Reach Out to The Armada Group for More Resume Help!
By following the tips above, you can age-proof your resume. If you would like more information, the team at The Armada Group can help you craft this critical document. Contact us to speak with one of our staff members today and see how our resume writing expertise can benefit you.
As the labor market only seems to get tighter each day, companies are increasingly having to focus on retention. Keeping your most talented cybersecurity professionals on board is a must. Otherwise, you are stuck having to recruit a replacement, something that can be an incredibly difficult task in today’s job market landscape.
Luckily, there are things you can do to make your company more attractive to your current employees. If you want to make sure your best and brightest cybersecurity talent stay onboard, here are some tips to help you improve retention.
Offer the Right Working Arrangement
An increasing number of IT professionals are looking for more flexibility from their employer. The wish to work from home has made remote positions increasingly popular. Similarly, a desire for work-life balance may lead some skilled professionals to forgo traditional, full-time work.
If you want to keep highly skilled cybersecurity professionals on your team, then you need to consider these needs and accommodate them. For example, a telecommuting program that allows employees to work from home at least a few days each week can help. Adding a few part-time positions to your staff could attract skilled candidates who would otherwise turn to the gig economy, ensuring they can achieve the right level of balance.
While these options may be dramatic shifts from the usual paradigm, they could be essential if you are struggling with retention.
Create Opportunities for Growth and Advancement
Cybersecurity has a reputation for being highly analytical, and even somewhat repetitive. As a result, it makes the career path as a whole less enticing, decreasing the odds that people will stay in the field.
However, by offering your team chances to grow and advance, you can help them explore more of what the cybersecurity field actually involves. This can increase engagement, making the career more viable and intriguing. Plus, it adds a level of variety to the day, ensuring boredom is rare and decreasing the odds that your workers will burn out.
Embrace New Technologies
Technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation can make certain cybersecurity tasks easier to manage. The solutions can handle more repetitive portions of the work and are incredibly effective at certain kinds of detection, at times even outpacing their human counterparts.
By embracing these technologies, you can remove those duties from your employees’ plates. Then, they can spend more time on engaging work, increasing interest in the roles and improving job satisfaction.
Plus, you will be viewed as an innovative company. This can be incredibly enticing to cybersecurity professionals, increasing the odds that you will be seen as an employer of choice.
Are You Looking to Add to Your Cybersecurity Team? Contact The Armada Group!
By following the tips above, you can keep your most talented cybersecurity professionals onboard. If you would like to learn more about improving retention, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our retention experts today and see how our knowledge can benefit you.
The H-1B visa program was designed to help companies find skilled workers in instances where there wasn’t a sufficient supply in their local, American workforce. However, abuses of the system have led to a series of changes, and one of the most recent ones takes aim at the outsourcing industry.
Form ETA-9035 & 9035E from the US Department of Labor (DOL) now have questions that could force employers to state whether the H-1B visa holder will be assigned to a “secondary entity” as part of their employment. Additionally, it requires employers to identify who those companies are, effectively forcing them to reveal their clients.
The Updates to Form ETA-9035 & 9035E
On the new version of the form, employers applying for H-1B visas first have to answer whether the workers “will be placed with a secondary entity at this place of employment.” Essentially, the DOL is determining whether the visa holder will actually perform duties for a third-party, acting as a contractor.
If the answer to the question is “yes,” the employer applying for the H-1B visas then has to identify the “entities,” providing a legal business name, pay rates and prevailing wage rates for the work for every third-party worksite.
H-1B applicants aren’t the only ones who have to address these questions. The new form also applies to H-1B1 and E-3 petitions.
Who is Impacted by the H-1B Change
While the most obvious group impacted by the change to the H-1B process is companies that contract out their employees to other business, the impact will actually extend beyond those businesses. Anyone who uses firms that rely on H-1B visa holders to function as contractors for the firm may also feel the sting.
Exactly what impact the changes will have, aside from requiring employers to reveal information about clients they provide contractors to, isn’t entirely clear. However, the US government hopes it will help them combat H-1B visa fraud, which is actually beneficial to companies who use the program properly.
Some organizations that need H-1B visa holders to maintain operations have previously had difficulty securing enough visas, and some suspect that large contracting firms played a significant role in those challenges landing the majority of the visas. If those activities are even somewhat curtailed, the impact may be positive for companies that previously struggle.
Additionally, businesses that rely on reputable staffing firms for contract or contingent workers likely won’t see any difference. Many recruitment agencies don’t rely on (or even use) the H-1B visa program to secure enough workers to handle their client’s needs. Instead, they focus on the existing US workforce, using their recruitment and hiring skills to obtain top talent.
Contact The Armada Group for Questions About H-1B Hiring
If you would like to learn more about how the H-1B visa change may impact you, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with your questions or concerns today and see how our services and H-1B visa program expertise can benefit you.
Your first 90 days on the job are critical. During that period, your coworkers learn what to expect from you and managers are deciding whether you were actually a good hire or not. Your initial few months at your new company set the tone, and missteps during this time can haunt you.
Luckily, there are things you can do to make sure that you shine during your first 90 days. If you want to make sure you make the best impression, here’s what you need to do.
Find the Flow
Every workplace has patterns. They may expect certain tasks to be completed in a particular order or have an innate understanding that some phrases should be interpreted in a specific way.
By finding the flow, you can integrate yourself into what is already there. Not only does this makes you seem like a more natural fit, but it can also save you a lot of frustration. Instead of pushing against the norm, you are recognizing it and working with it, which is going to be universally appreciated.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be a champion for change in the future. However, coming into a new workplace and asking people to conform to what you want isn’t going to win you any allies. Similarly, telling a group of colleagues that you don’t know well that their wrong is going to leave a sour taste in their mouths.
Always strive to make yourself a part of how things are first, as this gives you a chance to have the full experience. Plus, you may learn that things are the way they are for a reason, and that change isn’t actually necessary. If you do have a potentially beneficial idea, then you can share it once you garner the respect of your colleagues, and that usually won’t happen in the first 90 days.
Seek Out Expectations
Exceeding expectations is usually a great way to make a positive impression. However, you can only do that if you actually understand what expectations exist in the first place.
If your manager hasn’t clearly defined any expectations, objectives, or goals associated with your role, schedule a meeting and ask about them. You can also talk to your coworkers about what they anticipate you’ll be able to provide, giving you an idea of how they think your position fits into the bigger picture.
As you learn about the expectations, don’t make grand promises about exceeding them. Instead, acknowledge them and make commitments that give you a little breathing room whenever possible. Remember, it can take time to familiarize yourself with a new environment, so it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver in the beginning.
Contact The Armada Group for More Help with Your Career!
By following the tips above, you can excel during your first 90 days on the job. If you would like to learn more about making a great first impression, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with one of our skilled team members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.
When it comes to motivating your staff to remain productive during the holidays, money is only one solution. While holiday or year-end bonuses can raise morale, not every business can afford to shell out a significant amount of cash.
Luckily, there are simple things you can do to keep your tech team engaged during this hectic holiday season. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Close the Office (or At Least Offer Flexible Scheduling)
Many tech professionals feel guilty if they take time off around the holidays, especially if it tends to be a busy period for the company. Additionally, many wonder if it is worth the effort if they are going to be contacted regardless of whether they are on vacation, making their time away feel like work anyway.
If possible, consider closing your office on more than just the federal holidays. That way, everyone gets time away and the likelihood that they’ll be contacted by their manager or coworkers during their time off decreases dramatically.
However, if that isn’t an option, consider institution a flexible scheduling policy. Give your tech team some level of control over when they are available, allowing them to handle personal obligations while still covering their duties. Even if you need to make certain core work hours mandatory, adding some flexibility can go a long way when you need to boost engagement.
Embrace Telecommuting to Promote Work-Life Balance
The ability to work remotely can alleviate stress. It allows your tech professionals to work in environments where they are comfortable and spend more time with their friends and family since they don't have to accommodate their commute.
Often, your employees will be at least as productive at home as they are in the office. If a worker’s duties tend to require concentration and focus, they may even be more productive when telecommuting as they don’t have to deal with any office-related distractions.
Plus, your team can work remotely from nearly anywhere as long as they have a suitable internet connection. This can even allow them to travel during the holidays without having to take time off, something that can keep your team productive and engaged.
Recognize Their Contributions
Even if you aren’t offering bonuses, recognition can help boost engagement during the holidays. When employees feel that their efforts are seen and appreciated, they feel more connected to their employer. This can boost morale and enhance productivity, allowing your tech team to be at their best.
Anything from a simple “thank you” to small gifts to a catered lunch can make a difference. Consider what options are both meaningful and affordable, and make sure to make recognition a priority.
Learn More About How The Armada Group Can Boost Your Hiring Efforts!
If you are interested in learning more about increasing engagement, the skilled team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace productivity expertise can benefit you this holiday season and beyond.
Top performing site reliability engineers (SREs) often have a few things in common. While technical prowess is a given, they also share a certain attitude toward their role and how their efforts integrate into the larger picture. If you are looking to excel in the field, here are seven things you can do to be a successful SRE.
Look at the Big Picture
Exceptional SREs always have the big picture in mind. They are able to analyze how each change could impact the business today as well as in the future. This ability to look beyond the now to effectively consider risk and future impacts is a critical habit for anyone who wants to be successful in the field.
Similar to the point above, great SREs are able to determine how their efforts impact others, including the system itself and their coworkers. They strive to break down informational silos and aim to always keep the work of others in the back of their mind, ensuring their changes don’t harm the business by negatively affecting the team.
Let Go of Duds
At times, an SRE has to determine if a process or procedure is actually enhancing productivity. In cases where a well-intentioned effort isn’t panning out, you have to be able to let it go and move on. This means making efficiency and quality results a priority, no matter how much time was dedicated to an approach that isn’t actually beneficial.
For some IT professionals, automation feels like a threat to their jobs. However, in many cases, it serves as a way to increase accuracy and efficiency while simultaneously freeing you up to focus on tasks that genuinely require your attention. This is especially true of monotonous, tedious, or repetitive work where opting to automate can actually be a source of relief.
Be an Advocate for Change
At times, you’ll need to convince organizational leaders and stakeholders to make a critical change, such as automating a particular task, that provides a substantial benefit but seems to go against tradition. A top-notch SRE understands that being a confident advocate in these instances is a necessity, and they strive to acquire the skills it takes to do so effectively.
Make Learning a Priority
Technology changes at a rapid pace, so trying to avoid the inevitable often means your skill set suffers. Talented SREs understand the value in embracing every learning opportunity, both as a means of future-proofing their skill set as well as increasing efficiency and productivity.
Strive for Better
While perfection is impossible, as preventing a system from ever breaking down isn’t realistic, successful SREs know that always striving to be better is a critical mindset to maintain. It ensures you remain open-minded about change, allowing you to adjust continuously if something will produce better results.
If you would like to learn more about what successful SREs are doing, the professionals at The Armada Group would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our technical expertise can benefit you.
Many Netflix employees extol the virtues of the company’s generous benefits package and positive corporate culture. However, one interesting aspect that often garners positive attention is actually Netflix’s termination policy.
If you are wondering why employees embrace Netflix’s approach to assessing whether a worker should stay or be let go, here’s what you need to know about their unique approach.
The “Keeper Test”
Netflix understands that to build strong teams, every member needs to provide value. As a means of determining whether an employee is meeting the needs of the business, they are subject to the “keeper test.”
With the keeper test, managers consider one key question: If the employee was considering leaving Netflix for another company, would I strive to convince them to stay? If the manager would answer that with a “no,” then the person is either terminated or encouraged to leave on their own.
The approach is designed to ensure that only “highly effective” workers are retained. Not only does it ensure that mediocre employees don’t bog down their teams, but it also motivates employees to always be at their best, as everyone is subject to the seemingly ruthless evaluation.
Netflix has also employed a formal tool, known as “360,” to give everyone the ability to review anyone else in the company, including CEO Reed Hastings. Additionally, it provides every worker with insight into why any person has been let go, a critical part of the company’s transparency-focused culture.
Together, they help managers to determine which employees are actually worth keeping. Additionally, it even leads to shakeups at the upper levels of the corporate hierarchy, serving as a non-traditional playbook for making retention decisions.
Is Emulating Netflix Wise?
Ultimately, when combined, the keeper test and 360 are meant to promote objectivity when it comes to hiring decisions. It removes emotions from much of the process, as whether an employee is liked is less important than if they are effective and productive. While this can certainly be beneficial, it doesn’t mean Netflix’s model is ideal for every business.
In some cases, the risk of being quickly terminated can lead some to constantly fear being fired, even if they don’t make a mistake. This can increase stress and potentially harm productivity, even in top performers if they have a tendency toward anxiety.
Similarly, it relies on management being able to set emotion aside at all times, which isn’t something everyone can do. Further, a good employee who is well liked may be better in your company than a tremendous talent whose personality clashes with the rest of the team, something that can breed conflict and harm overall productivity.
However, that doesn’t mean that companies can’t learn from Netflix’s approach, particularly if there is a tendency to keep mediocre workers without just cause.
If you would like to learn more about effective internal policies, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions or concerns with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.
Toxic workplaces are incredibly damaging to morale and are often considered the leading cause of employee burnout. While most professionals would never willingly accept a role in such an environment, it is often hard to understand the severity of the situation until you are in it personally. At times, this occurs once you begin a new job. In others, the existing culture morphs into something toxic over time, leaving you a bit stuck.
If you find yourself in a toxic work environment, there are things you can do to make it more manageable. Here’s how to get started.
Resist the Urge to Join In
When it comes to a toxic culture, the old adage, “if you can’t beat them, join them,” should not apply. While going along with the crowd may seem like the easiest way to avoid becoming a target of negativity, it is almost guaranteed to damage your reputation both inside and out of the company. This can make it harder to secure new opportunities when the need arises.
Similarly, it can also reflect poorly on you as an employee. Even if a workplace is toxic, that attitude rarely extends to everyone. If those above you on the ladder notice your change if behavior, it can harm your ability to grow professionally.
Build a Support Network
Having colleagues or other professionals you can trust in your corner can make it easier to survive in a toxic workplace. If you have a few coworkers you can rely on it may be easier to keep your spirits up and avoid negative incidents.
Additionally, having a large professional network increases your odds of learning about new opportunities in companies with more favorable conditions. Then, you may be able to make a speedy exit to greener pastures if you feel that is the best course of action.
Enhance Your Skills
Even the most toxic workplaces have something to offer. If you get a chance to join interesting projects or acquire new knowledge, make sure to take advantage of them. This gives you more to showcase on your resume, increasing the odds that when you apply elsewhere that you’ll impress the hiring manager.
Document What Happens
If you are exposed to toxic events, make sure to keep copious notes about what occurs. Save any emails, record information after meetings, and otherwise track what happened and when it happened.
By documenting everything, you give yourself the evidence you need to either push for change or to simply protect yourself, both of which can be valuable in their own right.
Ultimately, by following the tips above, you can survive a toxic workplace. Then, if you feel like you need to make a change, you can do so at your own pace and without undue pressure to escape. If you would like to learn more about how to deal with a toxic environment or are seeking a new position, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable recruiters and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.
While having the right mix of skills and experience is critical to landing a new role, how you dress and present yourself during your job interview can also be a factor in whether you are selected for the position. By putting additional effort into your appearance, you can inspire confidence in the hiring manager. Plus, by learning to control your body language, it is possible to use your mannerisms to your benefit.
If you are wondering how to make the best impression possible, here is what you need to know about your appearance and body language during an interview.
How to Select Your Attire
How you look plays a role in how you are perceived and can significantly impact your first impression on the hiring manager. People will make assumptions about your competence, intelligence, attention to detail, and trustworthiness based on your appearance, so selecting the right attire is an essential part of preparing for an interview.
First and foremost, all of your interview clothes need to be in good repair. Holes and stains are guaranteed to leave a poor impression, so they need to be avoided at all costs. Similarly, every piece needs to fit well, as loose clothing makes a person appear disheveled while items that are too tight may seem inappropriate in a professional setting.
Additionally, you want to make sure your attire isn’t rumpled when you arrive. While you may not be able to prevent every wrinkle before you come in for your interview, ironing your outfit before you leave home can be beneficial.
If you aren’t sure what sort of clothing is appropriate for the environment, always err on the side of more dressed up and conservative. In many cases, business casual is a solid choice, but it’s hard to go wrong with a classic suit and tie or similar outfit if you aren’t sure what the hiring manager expects.
Master Your Body Language
During your interview, your body language can be just as important as the words you use when answering a question. By using positive body language, like sufficient eye contact and smiling, you increase your odds the hiring manager will see you as a competent professional.
Similarly, learning to maintain an open posture can help you seem friendlier and more self-assured while using power poses and standing or sitting up straight can make you appear more confident.
When you rehearse your interview responses prior to the meeting, spend some time reciting your answers in front of a mirror. This will allow you to observe your mannerisms, giving you a chance to adjust your body language to send the ideal message.
Ultimately, your appearance and body language do matter during a job interview, so working to improve them both can increase your odds of being selected for the role. If you are interested in learning more about how you can make a positive impression on hiring managers, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.