For many IT professionals, the idea of working remotely holds a lot of appeal. Often, you can choose to work in the comfort of your own home and may have increased flexibility regarding your hours as well. However, applying to a remote position comes with some additional challenges that aren’t necessarily present for office-based jobs. To help you navigate the idiosyncrasies associated with getting one of these positions, here are nine tips to help you land that remote tech job.
We aren’t referring to how quickly you prepare your resume or submit an application, but to how fast you make an impression on the hiring manager. Often, competition for remote positions can be plentiful in comparison to office jobs since people from all around the country (or even the world) are likely to apply. And bigger candidate pool means you need to stand out from the crowd quickly.
Make sure the first few lines of your cover letter and resume will truly speak to the hiring manager, and end ensure the important details are easy to spot if they aren’t contained at the top of these documents. Otherwise, you may end up in the discard pile regardless of what else you have to offer.
Do Your Research
Companies that hire many remote workers likely have a substantial amount of information available online. Do your best to identify who is either receiving your application or will be making the hiring decision, and try to cater your resume and cover letter to them specifically. This helps you speak to them more directly, and may help you land the position.
Create a Strong Cover Letter
As a remote worker, the majority of your communication with management and co-workers will likely be in writing. If your cover letter falls short, it can have the hiring manager wondering if you are the right person for telecommuting.
Make sure you customize the cover letter to the position and spend extra time reviewing it for spelling and grammar errors. Then, if you are applying via email, include the cover letter in the body of the email itself AND add it as an attachment. This way, you make a strong introduction and provide them with a version that is appropriate to print or save.
Explain Your Value
Companies want to know more than what you’ve done; they need to understand what value you’ll bring to their organization. Explain how your experience will apply to the role in a meaningful way and show exactly what you can do for the business. Making the right connection can be the difference between being selected or not.
Whether you are writing a cover letter or covering information in an interview, if you have a story that demonstrates your experience, consider using it. Not only are stories more interesting than simple fact statements, but they also provide a clearer picture of what you have to offer.
There’s a difference between just being brief and being concise. Ultimately, you want to convey your point as efficiently as possible, so remove extraneous details or anything that might appear to be fluff. Finding the right balance can seem tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Just get to the meat of the matter quickly, but make sure you still thoroughly cover the information being requested.
Avoid Cockiness and Negativity
You have one chance to make a great first impression, but being overly confident about your abilities or exhibiting self-doubt can both backfire equally. If you are truly great, you shouldn’t have to be overt about it. Similarly, disparaging yourself or your current position in any way is an automatic turn-off.
Manage the Details
Everything from the formatting of your resume, language choice in your cover letter, and grammar usage in your LinkedIn profile all make an impression. And failing to get the details in line isn’t going to reflect well on you. Make sure you are presenting yourself in the best light by taking the time to review all of your information for spelling and grammar errors. If you have links or attachments in your profile, confirm they all work properly.
Since written communication is a large part of remote work, you need to show you are capable of using these methods well from the beginning. Otherwise, you might not even get a chance to interview.
Show Your Passion
Remote workers are must motivate themselves to complete tasks in many instances, so the hiring manager needs to feel confident you can do just that. If you are passionate about the work involved, show it! Passionate employees are often more productive and self-motivating, so make sure it is clear you find the opportunity exciting if you want to make the best impression.
If you want to learn more about remote work opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to see what is available in your field today.
Almost every business relies on some level of network to complete daily operations, making opportunities for network administrators particularly plentiful in a wide range of industries. If you are interested in pursuing a career in network administration, here is what you can expect along the way.
What Does a Network Administrator Do?
Most network administrators are tasked with managing the day-to-day operation of a company’s network. This includes planning new solutions, installing the necessary hardware and software, managing upgrades and repairs, ensuring overall system performance, and even handling certain aspects of security. Additionally, many networking professionals interact with other employees who are experiencing difficulties with certain aspects of the system or who need training in related IT areas.
Education and Training
To work as a network administrator, formal education or training is typically required. In some cases, a computer networking program at a community or technical college can be suitable for obtaining and entry-level position in the field, while others find a bachelor’s degree to be a more appropriate option for starting their career. In some cases, a four-year degree focused specifically on networking can be found, making the transition into the working world fairly intuitive. However, a degree in a related area like system administration can also be suitable depending on the specific coursework involved.
Like many areas of IT, continuing education may also be necessary to stay abreast of new technologies and other developments. However, some of this can be managed by obtaining and maintaining certifications dedicated to the field.
While holding various certifications isn’t necessarily a requirement to become a network administrator, it can certainly help you develop your career. Modern systems involve a wide range of technologies, and obtaining various certifications demonstrates you hold to necessary competencies in each area.
In most cases, certifications are offered by specific technology vendors, such the Cisco CCIE or CCNP and Juniper JNCIE-ENT. However, CompTIA also provides one of the most in-demand certifications through their Network+ offering. Often, the CompTIA Network+ is considered an entry-level certification, demonstrating you possess the core competencies required to work in the field, while the Cisco CCIE is one of the most advanced certifications available today.
While technical ability is vital, having a range of soft skills is just as critical if you want to have a successful career as a network administrator. Here are just a few of the additional skills that can help you get ahead:
- Customer Service
- Technical Writing
- Disaster Planning
- Stress Management
- Research and Problem-Solving
In 2016, the median pay for a network administrator in the United States was just shy of $80,000 per year, making it a potentially lucrative career. Those who reach the top 10 percent of the field can even expect wages well above the six-figure mark at nearly $128,000 annually. Additionally, many of these positions are full-time, meaning they often come with strong benefits packages including items like medical insurance and retirement programs.
If you are interested in pursuing or furthering your career as a network administrator, the recruiters at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us today and see where our services can take you.
While IT professionals in almost every specialty are seeing increased demand thanks to low unemployment, certain skill sets are more lucrative than others in today’s job market. If your goals are to find a new tech position with one of the top companies in the area, here are the skills that are gaining the most attention in 2017.
Java skills are highly prized since much of the code can be written once and applied to a range of environments, which is a level of efficiency most other programming languages simply can’t beat.
Another programming language that has gained recognition based on its use in the data science and in back-end web application development community is Python. With data analytics and web-based development remaining popular in the business world, understanding Python will likely lead to lucrative employment opportunities for the foreseeable future.
While this programming language previously saw demand fall, Matlab is experiencing a resurgence thanks to big data. The fact that it hasn’t regained its position as an in-demand competency until recently, many professionals who possess the skill may be able to market their ability as a somewhat unique addition to their resume, helping you stand out from the crowd.
As long as data remains a kind in the world of business, SQL will be a sought-after skill. The quintessential way for interacting with relational databases, professionals who can use SQL to run queries, create reports, and generate insights are positioned to see some excellent employment opportunities throughout 2017 and beyond.
With the cloud representing cost savings and increased efficiency to many businesses, professionals adept at managing key areas of cloud storage, computing, and application development are positioned to do well in a variety of sectors. And, since the use of the cloud spans most industries, opportunities may arise in almost any company in the country.
While the skills listed above represent some of the most in-demand competencies, that doesn’t mean your experience can’t be translated into new opportunities this year. If you are interested in furthering your IT career by landing a new job, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with employers looking for professionals just like you. Contact us today.
Having the right credentials on your resume is only part of what you need to advance your career; you also need to make a great impression during the interview. Being able to demonstrate why you are the best candidate is the key to ultimate success, so proper interview preparation is critical. So, what do you need to do to nail your next IT job interview? Here are some steps to get you on the right track.
Find Examples of Real Interview Questions
Everyone’s heard that practice makes perfect, but figuring out which responses you need to hammer out isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are resources available online that can give you example questions to work on based on topics covered in real interviews. Glassdoor, the popular job site, gives users the chance to post information about their interview experiences, including the exact questions they were asked by hiring managers. These tidbits of information are a gold mine for preparation material, so taking the time to research what may be asked can help you get great answers together in advance.
See if any questions have been posted by people who have interviewed with your target company for similar positions first. If you find the information lacking, then check into what competitor businesses have asked candidates for similar positions. Then, consider your responses and practice them before you meet with the hiring manager. This gives you a chance to have a strong plan in place, making it less likely you’ll be caught off guard when you’re sitting in the hot seat.
Get Your Questions in Order
Towards the end of your interview, you’ll likely be given a chance to ask some questions of your own. Neglecting this part of the discussion isn’t wise, as failing to ask great questions can have the hiring manager doubting your interest in the position.
Begin by researching the company and the role for which you are interviewing. If you can’t find information about certain details, then form a question to get the feedback you need. Make sure you don’t ask questions that can easily be answered with some simple web searches, as this suggests you didn’t take the initiative to do basic research, and stay away from topics like compensation, as it is likely too early in the process. However, questions about how the position may change over the next few years or what the company’s culture is like are often fair game and show you have a long-term vision regarding the role.
Keep Expectations in Check
Even with a strong resume and well-managed interview, there is still a chance you won’t be selected for the job or that you might not even want it when all is said and done. In that regard, it is wise to keep in mind that an offer may not come, but remember that every interview experience is valuable as it lets you practice your interviewing skills. Always make sure to give it your all, and you may find that even if this job doesn’t pan out, it could help your performance at your next interview.
If you are interested in finding a new job, the team at The Armada Group can connect you with great employers in the area. Contact us to see what is available today.
As an IT professional, you may have tried to weigh the benefits between holding a full-time job or working on short-term contracts. While each can be viable options for your career, which is right for you ultimately depends on where your priorities lie. To help you sort through your options, here are some key points to consider about these employment opportunities.
Even if a full-time and contract position function with the same job title, the actual duties that will be assigned can be somewhat difference. Often, contract employees are given the chance to focus on their core skill set, since the positions are typically associated with a particular project or goal. This means you’ll spend less time on tasks outside of those core competencies, making it ideal for those who want to work in specialized positions without any excess.
Full-time positions often have duties outside of the core set. For example, software developers may be responsible for projects as well as providing a level of support to end-users and performing certain maintenance activities. This can provide a more well-rounded experience and may appeal to those who like diversity in their daily tasks.
Most full-time positions come with a range of standard benefits, including health insurance, paid time off and retirement options. This allows you to coordinate multiple needs through your employer, and can provide a level of security to those who don’t want to manage these requirements on their own.
In contrast, many contract positions provided limited, if any, benefits beyond a paycheck. Depending on the length of the contract, you may have some opportunities for paid time off, but companies aren’t required to provide these benefits. Additionally, you’ll likely be responsible for managing your own retirement, healthcare, and even tax withholdings as a contract employee. You may have a chance to explore less expensive options for insurance or have more control over your retirement, but it will require you to be more hands-on than full-time employees generally have to be.
Sometimes you don’t know whether a workplace is right for you until you are seated at a desk trying to get your work done. While full-time employees have limited options for leaving, often feeling they have to tolerate less than ideal circumstances for at least a year or so before jumping ship, contractors have a defined end date from the beginning. This means if the environment isn’t a great fit, you already know when you can head out the door.
However, if the company offers a great place to work, contractors might not have the option to stay regardless of how well they perform in the position. In some cases, you might be given the chance to sign on full-time, but that isn’t guaranteed. Full-time employees are generally hired with long-term potential in mind, meaning they can enjoy the workplace for as long as they choose.
Whether you should choose full-time or contract opportunities depends on what you value. Both approaches to your career have merit, so there is no inherently right or wrong answer. Instead, consider which advantages appeal to you most and whether the drawbacks are tolerable. Then, shape your career in that image. In the end, if your original choice isn’t the right one, you can always choose to change directions.
If you are looking for either a contract or full-time opportunity, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us today and see what is available in your area.
Demand for DevOps engineers is on the rise. Companies look at the approach as a method for automating processes, saving both time and money through increased efficiency. But since DevOps is more of a strategy than a defined process, it can be challenging to determine what skills they businesses are actually focused on when hiring.
If you are interested in landing a position in DevOps, here are the skills you need to have to get further in your career.
Experience with the Right Tools and Languages
When looking for a DevOps professional, companies target those with expertise in the right infrastructure automation tools and programming languages. Being familiar with tools like Ansible, Chef, Docker, Puppet, SaltStack, and Windows PowerShell DSC is going to help you stand out from the crowd. Additionally, experience in web languages like Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby are considered essentials for workers focused on DevOps.
Strong Soft Skills
Collaboration is fundamental to the DevOps approach to projects. Professionals with multiple specialties are involved in the development life cycle, and being able to communicate effectively with everyone involved is critical to the success of a project.
Additionally, the ability to consult with clients and build business relationships is also critical. At times, even negotiation skills may come into play.
DevOps professionals need to display their expertise in areas like problem-solving, team-building, and other interpersonal communications skills to be considered a top candidate for an available position.
Understanding of Continuous Integration
A fundamental part of DevOps is continuous integration (CI). The process allows source code updates to be rolled in whenever the need arises. The focus is on continual improvement and simultaneous input from all teams instead of completing a product from beginning to end, with each team taking their turn then sending the product on to the next group. It also provides a method for increased engagement across all team members through the development of the project.
Various CI tools that DevOps worker should learn include Bamboo, CruiseControl, Jenkins, ThoughtWorks’ Go, and Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server.
At its core, DevOps is an approach to project management, so experience with the latter supports your efforts with the former. Whether you choose to pursue formal training and certification or have the opportunity to learn the skills on the job, demonstrating your prior experience with project management will help you qualify for DevOps jobs more easily than trying to go forward without them.
Other IT skills can also be helpful in DevOps, including experience deploying code, programming applications, managing databases, and more. However, those listed above can be seen as some of the most important when you are interested in developing a career dedicated to DevOps.
If you are interested in finding a DevOps position, The Armada Group can match you with relevant opportunities in your area based on your level of expertise. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our professional recruiters today.
When it comes to salaries for IT professionals, not all industries are created equal. In fact, some provide significantly higher pay than their counterparts, even when hiring candidates with the same skills. If you want to make the most money with your next tech job, here are the industries you need to explore first.
Banking, Finance, and Insurance
Tech professionals working in the banking, finance, and insurance sectors receive the highest average salary when compared to every other industry. Average wages cross the six-figure mark, reach close to $104,000 per year.
The variety of IT positions with these companies cover all of the major bases including software development, cybersecurity, data analytics, and mobile development. As more consumers expect to be able to access information and interact with their financially-oriented accounts through any device, the demand for skilled professionals will continue.
Utilities and Energy
Many systems used by utility and energy companies require significant amounts of tech to remain operational. Everything from how services are delivered to customers to regular billing activities rely heavily on hardware and software. As systems are updated with newer technologies, and the use of IoT devices becomes more prevalent, demand for workers in these sectors may increase as well.
To attract top talent, many companies in these industries offer average salaries just over $103,000, making them a strong option for professionals looking to get the highest payoff for their skills.
Aerospace and Defense
The aerospace and defense industries are highly recognized for their technical components, making it a priority for these organizations to secure the highest caliber talent available. Average salaries for IT workers in these industries fall just shy of $100,000. Those who find positions with various levels of government can also expect strong benefits packages and generous retirement options to make these job particularly enticing to those looking for more than just a substantial paycheck.
What You Need to Get a Position in a Top-Paying Industry
To land a job in one of the industries above, you need a combination of the right experience and education. The most lucrative offerings will be in high-demand fields, such as software development and data analytics, both of which require specific skills. Most people working in tech fields get their foundation through formal degree programs, though possessing in-demand certifications and on the job experience are also quite valuable.
Along with the technical skills, you also need to know how to communicate with those around you, regardless of whether they are fellow IT professionals or not as tech-savvy. Being able to make technical information accessible to those who are less familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the work can make you a powerful member of any IT team, and makes it easier to command top dollar when an opportunity arises.
If you are interested in finding a tech job in any industry, including those outlined above, The Armada Group can connect you with key employers in your area. Contact us today to discuss where you would like to go in your career.
Whenever a technology begins to get a foothold in an industry, fears generally arise regarding how the innovations will affect the availability of employment. But even if it does impact those working in specific positions, that doesn’t mean the number of jobs available actually decreases. Often, it just indicates a shift within the job market, and can even lead to more work being available than before.
AI has the potential to make workers more efficient, eliminating tedious and repetitive tasks and allowing professionals to focus on duties that require human input. So, instead of eliminating positions in IT, it is more likely to change the nature of those working in the field.
Here is an overview of AI in the workplace, and how it could create more jobs, not less.
AI Requires Support
While AI may take certain duties out of the hands of workers, the systems that use the technology will continue to need support. AI systems require human input to determine how the solution needs to react to certain variables. Additionally, issues can present within any system, making the need for troubleshooters a critical part of any AI implementation.
AI systems are not self-sustaining. Instead, they represent a part of overall IT strategy, and workers are needed to make any associated goals a reality. Skilled tech professionals are responsible for the creation and implementation of AI-oriented solutions, effectively creating new IT positions specifically designed to support these innovations.
AI Doesn’t Stand Alone
An AI system is only as powerful as the data with which it works, and that means people are still highly relevant to its operation. Additionally, employees are needed to oversee outputs and finalize conclusions or courses of action. Further, workers are responsible for taking outputs and turning them into meaningful information that can be used throughout an organization, a task that AI simply isn’t prepared to manage at this time. Experts in data analytics and engineering are needed to manage duties that require additional intelligence beyond what the system can provide.
Without the involvement of data professionals, the AI can’t perform its duties any better than a person who doesn’t have sufficient information to draw accurate conclusions or identify relevant patterns.
Pursuit of More Complex Objectives
Since a primary benefit of AI is the ability to remove repetitive administrative tasks from the hands of skilled professionals, companies have the capacity to refocus their goals in pursuit of higher level development objectives. Businesses will have the opportunity to invest more in the hiring of individuals with critical tech skills like coding.
While certain entry-level positions may become less available, more advanced positions might be created. This is essentially beneficial to IT workers who traditional pursue higher education to gain entry into the field, as companies can focus on hiring these individuals over those previously required for less technical tasks that support IT objectives.
Ultimately, AI isn’t going to eliminate workers across the board. Instead, it will change what kind of tech professionals are needed and how their daily tasks are managed. If you are interested in pursuing a new IT position related to AI or any other specialty, The Armada Group can help you explore your options based on today’s job market. Contact us to discuss your ideal job and experience how our services can benefit you.
Most of Silicon Valley rely on the H-1B program to find skilled foreign workers to fill their vacancies. It has been a great source of quality talent for skills that can be challenging to find, like software developers and engineers. But the current administration, led by President Donald Trump, have begun taking a different stance on the program, looking to make sure that employers aren’t favoring H-1B visa holders over qualified US workers.
The H-1B program was designed to help companies grow and succeed when suitable American workers weren’t available. However, not every company has used the program in that matter, leading to concerns that businesses are being discriminatory in their hiring and may be favoring foreign workers who have the necessary skills but are willing to work for lower wages.
Part of this shift in policy involves the Department of Homeland Security scrutinizing the program. And the immigration enforcers are poised to increase the use of site visits to evaluate how companies are hiring.
But what do these changes truly mean to Silicon Valley employers? Here’s what you need to know.
Defining Required Job Skills
The new policies put in place will require companies to clearly demonstrate a need to look outside of the US for candidates, especially for computer programming positions. This involves showing that specialized skills are needed for the jobs and that they are somewhat unattainable when examining available job seekers from the US.
Companies will need to carefully examine how they define must-have skills and whether they are available within the current pool of candidates before looking for H-1B job seekers for potential employment.
Individuals are now being encouraged to file H-1B abuse complaints, with specific information regarding how to use the process being released by both the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor. This step may impact a US workers likelihood of stepping forward if they believe they were inappropriately displaced by an H-1B employee. This could increase the level of scrutiny some companies will experience, especially if a complaint is filed against them.
While a complaint isn’t a guarantee anything was done incorrectly according to the law, it does mean a great level of involvement from the government agencies tasked with investigating such complaints.
The Bottom Line
While many companies with H-1B employees have little to fear, as they are using the program in the manner it was intended, any company with foreign workers obtained through the program may be subject to increased scrutiny. It is important to prepare accordingly and to make sure that all hiring through the H-1B program follows the letter of the law.
It is also critical to look for local talent when filling technology positions. If you are interested in finding top talent in the Silicon Valley area, The Armada Group has the industry expertise you need to select ideal candidates. Contact us to discuss your hiring needs and see how our services can work for you.
As businesses struggle to fill their tech vacancies with skilled employees, the daily pain of low unemployment is widely felt. But there is more at stake than just a company’s ability to meet its goals. The U.S. economy also takes on some of the burdens when these positions remain unfilled, spelling larger trouble for those inside and outside the tech sector.
To help understand more about the effect of unfilled tech jobs, here are some of the most notable points to consider.
Money on the Table
Every job in the economy is represented by a paycheck. When a person works in the position, they are rewarded with compensation that is then spent in the local and national economy. These funds are used to buy food, clothing and other household goods, as well as to participate in various investments. In turn, other people receive wages to support the demands of the employee turned consumer, helping to keep the cycle moving.
However, when no one is there to take the job, these funds remain stagnant. And that means the local and larger economy suffer. Often, budgets directed towards IT roles can’t simply be transferred to other areas to support growth, so they simply sit unused until the right candidates are found to take the jobs.
While vacancies hurt a company’s bottom line, they can also slow developments that provide value to the larger population. Instead of creating new software solutions or other product and service innovations, businesses may struggle to maintain their current offerings, causing innovation to be put by the wayside.
While there is no guarantee what a company may develop, not being able to concentrate on creation means some potential developments are simply being shelved until the right employees can be secured. And, when you consider that IT plays a role in such diverse sectors as healthcare, manufacturing, and retail, it is important not to underestimate the impact unfilled positions can have on the population as a whole.
While hiring new tech professionals is often a top concern, additional efforts have to be directed towards retention as well. Since organizations are competing for the same talent, many companies are at risk of losing their employees to stronger offers from competitors. This means the risk of turnover is high, simply because another business may actively pursue another company’s current employees. Higher turnover can lead to increased costs for businesses that lose employees along the way.
The shortage of strong IT candidates isn’t just a short-term issue. In fact, many have concerns that there simply isn’t enough of a supply coming into the field to support growing demand, especially in key areas like software development and security. If the number of available tech pros remains low, the issues being experienced today may not resolve for some time.
If you are a company looking for top IT talent or a tech professional looking for a new position, the experienced team at The Armada Group can help you locate the opportunities you need. Contact us to speak with a member of our professional staff today.