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IT Recruiters Give Their Best Job Search Advice

Real KellyMitchell recruiters give job seekers the dish on what it takes to get hired in the field of tech – and what pitfalls candidates should avoid.

Meet our Panel:

Megan H. Technical Recruiter

Erin D. Technical Recruiter

Caroline A. Biz Dev Manager

Bryan W. Technical Recruiter

Lyndsey H. Technical Recruiter

Q. How has the world of recruiting changed since you first started?

ED: There are so many great sources to find candidates. I have learned to connect with great talent in a variety of ways!

CA: This industry changes every day. The market has definitely shifted in the last year, from companies having ample candidates to the candidates having numerous offers and opportunities from a variety of companies.

MH: The amount of jobs has picked up and contractors are in the job market for less time between contracts!

LH: The market has definitely switched since I started recruiting. The ball is now in the consultants’ court as there are more opportunities readily available. Companies can’t get top talent as easily as the candidates are getting multiple offers!

Q. What’s the most difficult or most interesting interview question you ask and why do you ask it?

CA: Why did you leave your last job or why are you looking to leave? This is a simple, but telling question. You can find out a lot about the candidate’s personality and ability to work with others on how they talk about his or her previous job.

BW: It’s hard to narrow down to just one question! But one question would be: What do you bring to the table? Always be prepared to tell your interviewer about your qualifications and strengths and what sets you apart and why you are the best candidate for the job. Even if you aren’t specifically asked, work those qualities into the interview at some point!

MH: It’s not so much a question as it is an explanation. Before a candidate goes to an interview, I want to make sure they can explain what they think the position entails. It’s so important for them to be able to articulate what the position is about to make sure that they understand it.

LH: How many windows are in New York City? I don’t really ask this but I’ve heard clients do so if you are prepping for an interview, you might want to think of a creative way to answer that one! In reality, behavioral questions usually cause the most difficulty for candidates. Most people can easily tell you what they do on a daily basis but it’s hard for them to describe what their greatest strengths and weaknesses are. These always come up in interviews with the clients, so it’s a good way to prepare consultants before that stage.

Q. What is the strangest thing you have ever seen/heard on a resume or in an interview?

ED: “I drove to the interview and realized the commute is too long, so I decided not to go in.” Really?! I had a guy do this.

CA: The best has to be my colleague’s candidate who spit out her gum out into her hand just before the introductory handshake. Then….continued to hold her gum in her hand throughout the entire interview.

MH: I can’t think of a particular here, but I looove when resumes include pictures and extra-curriculars.

LH: The strangest section on a resume is definitely when candidates choose to include their Interests. You never know what you’re going to see when people list things that they enjoy outside of their typical work day. Mine would simply say “Being Awesome.”

Q. How do you think social media has changed the recruitment landscape?

MH: People are more accessible and more willing to enter into “groups” or discussions to network and help each other.

BW: It has made connecting with others easier and it is evolving every day. I use everything: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Follow me! @bryanwomack

LH: From a recruiting standpoint, I think social media is a 50/50. The best way to recruit is still through referrals. Whether you use social media to uncover referrals or not is at the recruiter’s discretion.

Q. If you could give one word of advice to someone looking for a job, what would it be?

CA: Keep an open mind – the job description does not always give the whole picture.

MH: Update your resume for every position you are applying to and make sure all the keywords and key points are included!

BW: Be yourself! Don’t be afraid to show your personality to potential employers. This will make you stand out as a memorable candidate instead of falling into a big pile of resumes.

LH: Change your email address. “Babygurl” or “phatdog” won’t get you the job. Make it something more professional, like your first and last name. If you want to spice it up a bit and include your favorite number, that’s totally appropriate.

Q. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

ED: Helping boost the economy by employing contributing members of society.

CA: Getting to know candidates’ personal stories and understanding how important a job is to them and their families.

MH: Knowing that I can truly make a difference in people’s careers and their lives.

BW: Knowing that I provide people new and exciting ventures is the most exciting part of being a recruiter. Often consultants are getting their first “real” job and I get to share and be a part of that with them!

LH: The most rewarding part is finding the right job for great people. Our consultants are amazing and I love the opportunity to work with them and see them grow in their positions.

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