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Engineering Degree? Tips to Help Your Resume Stand Out Throughout Your Job Hunt

January 23rd, 2012

As an engineer, you have the potential of finding more lucrative positions than many other fields. However, the fact is, the United States has not kept up with the overseas competition and that has driven many jobs out of the country. For those graduating with an engineering degree, there are jobs out there, but getting them means, you will have to shine brighter than the competition. That is often the most challenging aspect.

Tips for Resume Boosting for Engineers

The engineering resume needs to communicate skills and abilities properly. While many engineers are good at providing basic information about the jobs they have completed, that may not be enough. Rather, a resume must provide more details and help to display your talents instead. If you do not plan to have a professional write your résumé, there are some tips you can use to get it right.

  • Choose an organized format for the resume. Allow your skill set to shine rather than just your job history. A chronological order may not work for you in this case, but that is okay. Make sure your achievements rank first.
  • Rather than an objective, create a summary that outlines the type of job you are looking for and how your skills and experience play into that. A traditional objective may not provide enough information.
  • You can and should consider adding a project list to the resume. As an engineer, this will help to pinpoint specific examples of how you will benefit their company. Your accomplishments stand out.
  • Use the right buzzwords within the resume. Since most initial screening of applicants is computer based, you will need to ensure your resume contains the right buzzwords those computer programs are looking for through the scan. That way, it lands in human hands. Buzzwords can include the power words and verbs related to your skills and experience.
  • No errors allowed! Ensure you pay attention to the details. As an engineer, it is expected of you to do so.
  • To stand out, be sure you list your accomplishments clearly rather than just outlining your job duties. This draws in the reader and gets them thinking about you in a positive frame of mind.
  • Remember to sell the benefits of your skills, too. How can your skills benefit the company?

For those who have an engineering degree, having a resume that reflects skills and experience is critical. For those still in school or hoping to land that first position, still focus on achievements and your strongest skills. In this very competitive market, these traits make the most impact on the prospective employer. Display how you can be a benefit to the company – and be specific. There is no room for guesswork here. You want to entice them into working with you.

Unemployment and Hiring Trends Going into 2012

January 14th, 2012

While the career market did experience some promising growth at the end of 2011, the New Year is looking to be promising for many companies in the administrative, technology, energy, health care and engineering industries. According to the US Department of Labor, the national average of unemployment at the end of December 2011 was at 8.5 percent, but there were several states that saw a nice decline in the number of claims filed. However, these industries are growing at a steady pace, which means plenty of career opportunities for job seekers.

Unemployment and hiring trends should change the way you hire people. Employers can learn a great deal from the trends occurring in today’s very challenging and every changing employment field. There are ideal candidates out there. There are also highly competitive employers looking to get the best they can.

What’s Going on Today?

According to the LinkedIn Recruiting Trends 2011 report, there are some interesting changes occurring in the employment field. For example, about 60 percent of companies in the United States say they plan to hire more professionals than they did the previous year. However, of those, 55 percent say they do not expect to increase their hiring budget to do it.

Social Media is the Route to Take

How do companies plan to hire more without paying more to find those employees? Many are turning to social media to do the work for them. The top recruiting trend in the country, in fact, is using social and professional networks to locate the ideal candidate for open positions. The same report indicates that about 35 percent of business worry that competitors will learn to use social media more effectively than they are using it and therefore land more of the best candidates in the field. Ninety-six percent of those who responded noted that LinkedIn was their choice for social networking for recruiting needs. Is your business using it?

Who Is Hiring?

Express Employment Professionals, one of the largest staffing companies in the country, released a report indicating where hiring trends are in North America at the end of 2011 and start of 2012. Here is a look at where jobs are.

  • The commercial and light industrial sector accounts for about 32 percent of all job openings.
  • About 28 percent of businesses plan to hire administrative or office staff.
  • About 32 percent are hiring for other positions such as customer service, food service, healthcare, sales or general labor.
  • 14 percent of those that responded to the company’s survey indicated they plan to hire for engineering positions.
  • 13 percent plan to hire marketing professionals.
  • Another 10 percent say they plan to hire into their finance and accounting sectors.
  • Information technology jobs account for about nine percent.

This should help businesses to gauge just how much competition there is in the market. The survey conducted by the company was given to more than 17,000 businesses that plan to hire.

There is more demand today for skilled workers than previously. Most employers are talking about hiring again. Some sectors will not likely begin hiring until the economy is performing far better, including those who are unskilled laborers or those who are highly skilled engineers or architects. The housing market is simply not growing. According some experts, salaries will increase but not by high levels and the money in salary increases is unlikely to be spread around evenly to all workers.

Keeping these factors in mind, where is your business headed? Are you conducting the same types of hiring or is your sector skill holding back to see if the economy improves? Employers must compete in a very different world today than they did pre-recession, but for many employees that is a good thing.

Your Age Shouldn’t Matter. How to Make Your Career and Your Resume Age-proof

November 29th, 2011

Under current Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) guidelines, it is illegal to discriminate against job applicants based on age, along with other identifying factors. It’s also illegal to stop giving older employees less opportunities for career growth. However, there are some companies that continually focus on “youthful” employees, finding ways to get around these laws. Oftentimes too, older job seekers believe they cannot find good career opportunities and are not offered jobs based on their age or appearance.

Generally speaking, while you cannot do much about your age, you can do something about the way you present yourself to potential employers so that you do not “date” your skills and abilities. It’s not so much about age, as it is about how you present yourself as a job seeker. Here are some ways to “age proof” your career and your status as an applicant.

Keep Your Skills Up-to-date – The number one factor to maintaining your career for a lifetime, and for presenting yourself in a positive light to recruiters, is keeping your work related skills current. This mean being a lifelong learner, taking in as much information as you can about the work you do, and being able to present your credentials. You don’t have to be in college to get these credentials, but merely being in touch with your industry by participating in continual learning opportunities will keep you knowledgeable and fresh.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle – This goes for everyone, but it is especially true for those who are entering their mature years. Now is the time to start taking better care of your physical and mental well-being. Make friends with a fitness center. Learn to make healthier eating choices and drop the bad habits. Get involved in extra-curricular activities that provide encouragement to improve your mental state. By doing these things, you will not only improve your personal appearance, but you will have an energy that most recruiters will find irresistible and co-workers will marvel at.

Share Relevant Information – One of the biggest mistakes that many people make, when drafting a new resume or when filling out online applications, is sharing all of their career and educational history. Putting a graduation date that’s older than most people’s recollection is generally going to date you right off the bat. It is recommended that you leave off dates longer than 10-15 years, and only include work experiences that are relevant to the specific job. Include achievements and references to further bolster your strength as a candidate.

Get Representation. As a serious career-minded professional, your best ally can be the support of a progressive staffing agent or career coach. This person can look out for new opportunities for you, and advise you on the most favorable ways to present yourself from application to interviews. Ask for guidance with designing a brand new resume that will place you in the best possible light to companies you want to work for. After all, you have the skills they are looking for and there’s no reason to be shy about applying. You are smarter, wiser and a lot more capable of making a great first impression to secure a great career, with the support of a reputable staffing agent.

Find out how Stark Talent can help you get past the age-gap and into a great career today!

Technology Career Opportunities: Top Cities for IT Jobs

October 31st, 2011

Jobs in the technology sector are on the rise, according to the US Department of Labor and Statistics (DOL), which shows that Information Technology is expected to grow at a much faster than average rate and provide the most jobs for all industries during this decade. While there are IT jobs readily available in most regions, there are some hot spots in the nation where there is a higher concentration of opportunities.

CIO Recently released some updates on the IT career market, giving an overview of the top cities for IT jobs. Here’s a run down of the top 7…

New York City – This mecca of new technology is the second highest producer of technology related jobs in the world, with over 315,000 IT jobs with some of the biggest software and financial companies. With IT annual salaries ranging from $62,000 to $91,000 USD, there is a small gap between entry level and more seasoned IT professionals, making it a great place for new grads to start searching for a job.

Washington DC – The nation’s capital has long been a place of innovative thinking, so it should not be surprising that IT jobs abound here. DC has over 290,000 IT jobs with mid to large corporations that work directly with the government, as well as multiple financial and technology companies that grace this temperate region. Salaries range from $55,000 to $92,000 USD annually, and many areas still have a reasonable cost of living.

San Jose, CA – Silicon Valley still boasts some of the top IT jobs in the world, with technology geeks making up a high concentration of the population since the Dot.com era. Look for above average salaries in the $100,000 to $150,000 range, due to tech giants like Microsoft, Google and Apple leading the way in Web 2.0 and consumer technology development.

Boston, MA – Beantown would not be the same without it’s massive IT pool of professionals who are earning between $57,000 to $95,000 annually, with one of the best places to live and raise a family. Red Sox fans will love that they can work and play hard in a variety of jobs in IT, alongside some of the leading professional minds of this century.

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX – The lonestar state is home of Ross Perot, former presidential candidate and founder of tech giant EDS. Perot is not the only big thing around Dallas however, as there are some 176,000 tech jobs in the private sector, with salaries ranging from $48,000 to $83,000 USD annually.

Los Angeles, CA – Not far from Silicon Valley is the second largest concentration of IT jobs on the West coast in the “City of Angels”. This area has some 170,000 IT jobs, many of which pay in the $47,000 to $83,000 USD range per year, with plenty of cool places for techies to unwind after a hectic project at the beach or favorite entertainment venues.

Chicago, IL – The “windy city” is the best place in the central United States to find IT jobs, with some 164,000 technology jobs with large financial and software firms making up the most. While the weather can be frightful, the salaries are delightful with a $48,000 to $81,000 USD range per year.

Want to learn about more of the USA’s top IT cities? Read more here then check out the full and part time contract IT opportunities to be found at Stark Talent today!


Photo Credit : Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tips for Surviving the Executive Leadership Shortage

October 23rd, 2011

Career trend experts have been predicting the shortage of executive leadership candidates for quite some time. A 2008 talent survey conducted by Aon indicated that as much as 60% of all companies are dealing with a lack of leadership candidates, which is significantly impacting their productivity. Almost 31% of these companies expect a lack of leadership talent to adversely affect their performance in the next decade, most likely as a result of an aging workforce and a large number of unskilled unemployed workers in the USA. In 2009 alone, American companies spent nearly $12 billion on leadership training and development programs, which amounts to almost a quarter of their training budgets.

However, are we keeping up with the demands of the workforce in terms of executive leadership needs in 2011 and beyond? In the USA alone, some 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 daily, making them eligible for Social Security benefits. This means many of these capable folks are stepping down from key leadership roles in order to enjoy their golden years – with no one to replace them. Oftentimes, small and mid-size companies do not adequately prepare for such transitions, which can lead to chaos and miss-managed organizations. We hear about cases of unworthy CEO’s and CFO’s in the news every week.

There are a few ways to offset these shortages, by implementing a plan to develop the next generation of leaders. Here are some suggestions from the well-respected Annie E. Casey Foundation that can help make leadership transitions a success.

Place value on the ideas of young executives. Chances are you have some brilliant minds among your younger staff members. Along with recognizing the achievements of your senior execs, take the time to encourage new ideas and innovations from your younger executives. In this way, your leadership can embrace the contributions of all your executive staff as one cohesive effort to reach company objectives.

Blend the new with the old. Encourage your seasoned executives to work as teams with younger executives in order to foster an intergenerational environment. This allows all to share their perspectives on issues, solve problems, and come up with better solutions to previously tired problems. Use this to identify key problem solvers to assign to higher-level projects.

Evaluate your current decision-making model. Consider if your younger executives are getting “shot down” by senior executives when it comes to critical decisions. This can and will discourage rookie executives from sharing their ideas and leaves them frustrated and looking for other opportunities.

Promote work-life balance. Today’s generation of executives value family and personal time, unlike the values of past generations who placed a higher value on work time. Help all your employees develop a better balance between work duties and personal responsibilities, to keep future leaders engaged and on board for the long term.

Partner with an executive recruiting firm. An effective method of keeping up with the demands of a shrinking workforce is by contracting with a quality executive recruiting company like Stark Talent. You can be connected with a wide range of pre-screened executive talents, to fill key assignments on demand.

Want more tips for maintaining the right mix of executive staff members? Be sure to visit Stark Talent for more great ideas and resources designed to help you stay successful!


Leadership Matters: Start Grooming Young Executives for Leadership Roles Early

October 15th, 2011

It’s never too early to start grooming young executives for key leadership positions in your organization. Growth is a part of being successful in business, so without people to manage this growth, a company cannot realize its full potential. Neither can your young leaders. They need mentoring and training that only your top executives can provide, based upon years of experience and learning. The trick is recognizing who are your most promising employees, nurturing them, and retaining them for the long-term success of your organization. Here are some ways to handle this.

Talent Identification

One of the biggest challenges of grooming young executives into tomorrow’s leaders is finding out whom they are. While some leaders stand out among the masses, many others are not so obvious – instead preferring to work in the background letting others take the glory. It has been said that leaders are born, not made, but this is not entirely true. Very often your most talented people have got to that point through diligence and mentoring. Start a program whereby talent can be recognized for a variety of skills and aptitudes. Give immediate supervisors the encouragement to identify these top performers and refer them to the HR department for further development.

Enrichment Opportunities

In addition to talent recognition and employment recognition initiatives, your biggest investment should be on your employee training efforts. By providing enriching environments in which to work and learn, you have a better chance of developing your top performing executives into future leaders. While they will need to learn traditional leadership skills and methods, your best execs will also need to have up to date skills in order to compete in a volatile marketplace. Make sure that your company provides enrichment opportunities to work with strategic mentors as your executives grow into their respective leadership roles, to give them a solid foundation for success.

Career Mobility

Your current upper executives need to realize that sooner or later one of their younger counterparts can and will replace them at the top. Instead of seeing this as potential threat, use this as an opportunity to transfer one generation’s learning to the next generation of leaders. Match up execs based on their interests and aptitudes to encourage relationship building and career mobility. This will cement younger employees to the organizational objectives as they will feel a greater sense of loyalty based upon the time spent grooming them.

Need more ideas for improving the workplace and grooming young execs into future leadership roles. Want access to candidates who demonstrate leadership ability? Be sure to visit Stark Talent today!


Now That the Job Market is Showing Signs of Improvement, is it Time to Start Looking for a Better Job?

September 29th, 2011

Putting yourself back on the job market can be a scary proposition. When the economy was at its lowest many people chose to stay in their current position instead of looking for something that was better or more suited to their skills. However, now that the market is starting to show signs of improvement,  is it a good idea to put yourself back out there? The answer may surprise you.

Job Growth Expected

After a sluggish several years, some economists are forecasting that the coming year will create a boom in several industries. Some forecasts predict more than 2.4 million jobs will become available. When you compare this to data from the past several years it’s a huge increase and could potentially be one of the best hiring years in recent history. This makes it a good time to get your resume and references in order, and brush up on any certifications that you may have let slide.

Look at Your Field

Some job fields are expected to grow by leaps and bounds, while others look like they will remain in the same rut they’ve been in. If you fall into one of the growing fields then looking for a new job could benefit you. Network systems and data communication careers will be on the rise. The tourism industry is also bouncing back quickly. Anything in computer science and programming is also expected to be a booming business in 2012.

There are several newer fields that are starting to make it into the spotlight as well. Organic farming and processing will rise, genetic counseling will start to see more growth, and even space tourism is expected to pop up more. If you want to use the skills you’ve already learned in a futuristic way that can garner a higher salary, looking into some of the new in demand fields may be the way to go.

What to Watch Out For

If you work in a tight knit community you may want to hang on to your job a little longer unless you’re willing to relocate. The same can be said for fields that don’t have a huge presence. Since so many people have been unemployed recently potential employers will be looking more at your current situation and references. If you’re just testing the waters it can be easy for your boss to find out that you’re looking elsewhere in these situations. All this will do is put you on their bad side, make you look sneaky and could jeopardize your current job as well as future opportunities.

You should also be aware that even though the market is on an upswing this doesn’t necessarily translate into higher salaries and better jobs. If you’re currently getting great benefits and have a decent salary package you may want to stick it out for a little while longer. With so many people fighting over the jobs available you may only be making a lateral move instead of moving up.

Want to find a job in a growing industry with better job security? Check out the temporary and permanent job opportunities at Start Talent today!

How to Stand Out as New Graduates are Competing for Technology-sector Jobs

September 22nd, 2011

An increasing number of current M.B.A. students are naming information technology firms as their employers of choice following graduation, according to a recent survey conducted by Universum at the end of 2010. This leads many to believe we are in the midst of a technology boom not seen since the likes of the Dot.com era in the early 1990’s. As a result, new graduates and existing technology candidates can expect some tough competition in the coming year.

The top ranking IT firms that students are focusing on is not at all surprising, including Google, IBM, Microsoft and Logitech in the top four. These companies have consistently done their best to attract high-level students graduating from top universities around the world. Google offers a famously casual work environment along with “individually tailored compensation packages” that appeal to IT professionals seeking both financial and personal reward. Other companies are following suit, with above average salaries, free lunches, onsite fitness centers, ongoing training opportunities, and even cubicles complete with beds for napping in between creative sessions.

If you want to stand out amongst the competition, and land a great job in the information sector, there are several things to start doing now.

Get the best education for the money. The biggest IT companies will be actively recruiting from the best technology schools, so invest in your future by getting an education with a reputable university. Not sure which one is the best? Contact several and ask who recruits there.

Increase your skills and credentials. To be in the IT field means to continually stay up to date on your skills. Make it a habit to be a lifelong learner by participating in industry associations, and take all the certifications you need to stay ahead of other candidates.

Consider an IT internship. A great way to position yourself for a solid career in IT with a great company is to take on an internship during your junior and senior years of college. In fact, some of the best IT companies require this to be considered for a permanent job for new grads.

Look for a good match in an IT company. Before you launch into a full-on search for a new job, take the time to research the potential IT firms you may be applying for. Look at the factors, benefits and requirements of each company to find one that shares your philosophy.

Develop an IT portfolio to impress. As a student, you are in a unique position to develop a killer IT portfolio of work, while getting helpful feedback from instructors. Put together a portfolio that links recruiters to your best projects and use this to impress them come application and interview time.

Register with an IT staffing company. When you are looking for the best job, your best bet is to immediately register with a quality IT staffing company like Stark Talent. This will connect you to a wide network of superior assignments, which will help you get hired faster by one of the big name IT companies.

The Alberta Oil Sands: What you need to know about how to gain legal entry to work on the oil sands projects

August 20th, 2011

Over the course of the next decade, the Alberta oil sands offer excellent opportunities for temporary and long-term employment. By the end of this year, science is predicting that more than 50% of the supply of oil in North America will come from this region. That means there is definitely a need for skilled workers to handle the various jobs to handle this work. “It is estimated that 17,000 new jobs in the oil sands sector will be created in the region by 2011.” (www.hrsdc.gc.ca ) However, it’s important to know how to gain legal entry to work on the oil sands project, if you are not a native Canadian.

Here’s what you need to know if you want to get a job on a crew in the Alberta oil sands.

If you are coming from another nation, in order to become employed with a company conducting work on the Alberta oil sands, you will be required to obtain a temporary work permit (or a visa) issued by the Citizen and Immigration Agency in Canada (CIC).  This falls under Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IPPR) jurisdiction, so be sure to check with this agency for information about how to apply for a CIC work permit. Once this request is submitted, candidates will have to wait for an approval from a CIC visa officer.

The majority of candidates applying for CIC work status will be thoroughly background checked, to ensure he or she meets the actual requirements of the job type, and that there are no health or security risks. This may take a few weeks to obtain, so it’s important to start this process immediately as a candidate. It’s important to keep in mind that the CIC visa will only be valid for a certain period of time that the job assignment is required, so please plan accordingly and set up temporary housing arrangements.

As an expatriot, keep in mind that while there will be plenty of jobs available for candidates of all levels, some may be eliminated by the Human Resource and Skills Development of Canada (HRSDC). This agency has the priveleldge of deciding what impact foreign workers may have the Canadian labor market. That means competition for jobs will be fierce, with Canadian candidates coming first.

To increase your chances of getting a job with the Alberta oil sands’ companies, it’s a good course of action to get on board with a reliable staffing company, like Stark Talent. This will allow you to focus on being available to go to work sooner, while letting the staffing agency handle all the legal requirements of getting you a work permit in Canada. You will reduce the time it takes to get on a job, and your staffing agency can also assist with relocation services to help you get on your feet sooner.

For more information about working with Stark Talent to gain access to plentiful employment opportunities in Canada, please visit our website today!  http://www.starktalent.com/


Choose the Right Resume Format for Your Desired Job in IT

August 13th, 2011

For the serious job seeker, being able to present a quality resume is critical to successfully attracting the right kinds of employers. For the Information Technology professional, this challenge is even greater. IT professionals, who range from entry level analysts and developers to highly trained engineers and scientists, have specialized skills which must be conveyed through a well-written resume. Knowing what to include on an IT resume is just as important as how your organize it for the benefit of hiring managers. Here’s how to choose the right resume format for your desired job in IT.

Steps to Building a Great IT Resume

As you develop your IT resume, the first step is to choose a reader-friendly format that will appeal to IT recruiters. This means organizing all of your information into snippets that include your skills, credentials, special certifications, work experience, and education. If you are a new graduate, you will want to highlight your education near the top of your resume. If not, leave this for the bottom section and instead highlight your credentials and work accomplishments.

The format of any great resume, including an IT resume, should be chronological in style. You can easily find free resume templates that follow this style on Microsoft Word, or get resume writing help from your IT staffing company. Start out with all of your contact information, including your full name, email address and at least two telephone numbers where a recruiter can call you directly. Never give out your current work number as this looks bad to hiring professionals. Leave off your home address and other personal details for privacy sake.

Add your special skills and certifications near the top of your IT resume. This is where most IT recruiters will glance to see if you meet basic requirements of each job. Not sure what to list for the jobs you are looking for? Check with the US Bureau of Labor for the most recent statistics and career guidance for IT careers. Or check with your IT staffing company for help in adding the right credentials and workforce training opportunities.

Organize your work experience with a list of jobs you have held, with the most current job you have to the first job you’ve held. Add the dates of employment, your work title and the accomplishments of each job. Don’t simply add your job decription or work duties. Dig deeper and add at least 3 to 5 accomplishments you’ve experienced on each job. Include these accomplishments in a short bulleted list underneath each company name.

Finally, run your new IT resume through a spelling and grammar check. This will eliminate spelling and grammar errors, which will give you a great impression with IT recruiters. Include IT keywords within your document to help get your resume scanned by resume software. Check to make sure all tabs line up correctly and that your resume is friendly to HTML systems. If you do all these things, your IT resume will be ready to impress IT companies worldwide – giving you the ultimate advantage as a job seeker.

Need more help with your IT resume? Contact the IT staffing professionals at Stark Talent today!