16 July 2015
On August 1st, The Execu|Search Group is celebrating a big birthday – 30! In honor of our upcoming anniversary, we will be sharing throwback memories every Thursday on Twitter and Facebook through July and August. Last week, our TBT post showed our original logo from 1985. This week, we bring you the template of our Irish Setter logo from the 90s, which came complete with the slogan “Others search. We find.” The logo represented The Execu|Search Group’s mission to find the perfect match for each of our unique clients and candidates. Irish Setters are known for their keen ability to find and “point” to hunting game with their iconic stance—straight tail, nose forward, one leg up—just like The Execu|Search Group was becoming known as a leading search firm. Next week, we bring you another #TBT moment from The Execu|Search Group’s history. Stay tuned!
16 July 2015
Have you ever wanted to pick up a new hobby or learn a new skill, but can never seem to find enough time in the day to devote yourself to the task? Like most working professionals, balancing a full-time job and learning something new can be an overwhelming task. So what exactly is the best approach for an IT professional to take to build their technical skills, while holding down a full time job? Jed Pillion, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s IT division, highlights the importance of proactively keeping your IT skills up-to-date. “While it can be easy to become complacent with your skill set (i.e., Big Data, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, etc.), especially while working full time, IT professionals must always find ways to build upon their skills,” advises Jed. “Technology changes frequently and the skills that you possess now might not be relevant in a year from now, so it’s important to continuously improve your technical skills to remain competitive in today’s job market.” To help you pick up new tech skills while working full time here are 4 areas to focus on: 1. Utilize online tutorials and training manuals There is always so much to learn in the IT space and whether it is a new programming language or a different type of framework you want to learn, books and online tutorials can serve as a great resource. With the advances in smart phone technology and mobile applications, which allow you to read books or watch videos almost anywhere, you can easily learn new technical skills on your commute to and from work. In addition, sites like codeacademy.com or codeschool.com provide a great supply of video tutorials on learning different programming languages. “Whenever you have downtime, get in the habit of browsing these sites or reading articles relevant to what you’re interested in,” recommends Jed. The more information you can pick up in your spare time, the easier it will be to put these skills into use once the right opportunity arises. 2. Work with the IT community at large One of the unique advantages of working in the IT industry, are the sheer number of communities on the internet where IT professionals share and critique each other’s work. “One of the best ways to gauge your progress in a new skill is by sharing it with like-minded professionals that can give you honest, constructive feedback,” says Jed. For example, GitHub allows you to post code to an IT community, and ask questions for coding advice from other users. Users on this site range from novice coders to the most experienced professionals, so you will be able to get a wide range of feedback on your work. The more comfortable you become with sharing your progress, the more you will feel confident about trying something new. 3. Start a side project As you continue to learn a new technical skill, starting your own side project is a good way to measure your own growth. For example, you could build a website or a mobile application geared towards something you’re passionate about to make it seem like less of a task, and more of a hobby. “For working IT professionals, not only can a side project create a way to build new skills, but it can also serve as an illustration of your strengths during an interview. “Many hiring managers specifically look out for candidates who are genuinely passionate about learning and evolving their skills,” highlights Jed. “Employers need to trust that their IT staff members will be able to keep their business up-to-date with advances in technology. As a result, it’s vital to demonstrate your commitment to professional growth.” In the end, make sure that you’re learning these new skills not because you have to, but because you want to, as it will take you a long way in mastering them. 4. Take on additional projects at work While it can seem counterintuitive to take on more projects during working hours, if you already can’t find the time to learn something new outside of work, this is one of the most straightforward ways to further develop your skills. This is not to say that you should take on the biggest project you can find to impress your supervisor, but instead, find an opportunity to lend a hand in a specific area you’ve been practicing or are interested in learning more about. Keep in mind, choosing to take on additional projects at work should never take away from your core responsibilities, so make sure you’re able to be as productive for your normal projects.
16 July 2015
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
Before reaching out to a potential candidate, many hiring managers will take a look at their LinkedIn profile, a web tool that can be beneficial to both employers and candidates alike. On one hand, the employer can learn more about the candidate before committing to a more time consuming interview, while on the other, the job seeker has the opportunity to highlight things about their background that may not fit on a resume. One way a job seeker can impress an employer is through the recommendations feature. These recommendations don’t need to be long—generally 3-6 sentences will be more than enough—but it’s important that they speak to your performance and professional skills. Here are a few quick tips for obtaining one or more solid recommendations on LinkedIn. Understand what it will be used for Think about where you are in your career right now. Are you a seasoned professional looking to make a jump to a more advanced position? Are you fresh out of school looking to begin your career? Perhaps you’re looking to make an entirely new career change. In any case, a recommendation can help companies understand your contributions to past employers, and any value you can bring to the table. If you’re looking to make a career move within the same profession, be sure you know what kind of move you’d like to make. Seek a recommendation that can prove your track record with handling industry-specific tasks/deadlines/projects. If you’re looking to move toward a different career path, seek out a recommendation that is less industry specific and can speak to your ability to adapt to change and make a transition. Also try to ensure that your other crucial soft skills that can transfer across fields, such as the ability to work independently and punctuality, are emphasized. Seek out someone with experience Having a few solid recommendations is far more preferable than a long list of short ones—you want quality over quantity. When looking for someone to ask for a recommendation from, look for someone who is not only experienced in your field, but someone with good writing skills. While these references will generally only be a paragraph, you want whatever is written to avoid lax/cliche language such as “They are great to work with” or “I enjoyed working alongside…” without any explanation behind it. As a result, it can be helpful to reach out to a more experienced professional who has probably written at least a few recommendations before and knows what content and key words future employers are looking for. An employer will want to know how you perform with colleagues and bosses alike. Asking both a former supervisor and colleague for a recommendation can speak to your abilities from different points of view. Keep your request succinct When asking for a recommendation, be aware of the fact that you’re not only asking for a favor, but one that requires forethought. Be respectful of their time and keep your request brief, personal, and courteous. To make sure you get the most out of your request, inform them of key points such as: A reminder of how you know each other What you’re hoping to accomplish professionally with this recommendation Your availability for any further questions Keep your request short so that they are able to read your message and draft a response in a timely manner. Finally, remember to always thank them for their time and offer to return the favor!