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Good CS Recruiting Starts With an Engaging Tech Talk

Good Quora entries on the most effective recruiting events to attract top computer science students on campus:
http://qr.ae/RFHQVn

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Name Consistency During Your Job Search

Some people have been gifted with a beautifully intricate set of names that weave a unique, historic, personal tapestry. Family surnames, parental names, christening names, nicknames, etc., may all be part of who you are in the convention of your originating ethnicity and language. For the purposes of professional networking and applying for new jobs in the U.S., however, a complex name can be challenging for even the most motivated recruiting sleuth.

Search engines, networking sites, and widely used resume parsing systems process names differently, but always attempt to simplify a person to a first and last name. Employers interested in talking with you about your job application will additionally look for your online profiles and accounts in the attempt to differentiate you within their stack of applicants: With multiple names they will struggle to find the dots to connect you across LinkedIn, Meetup, GitHub, Facebook, and other sites which help to create a fuller picture of you. They may erroneously match the new grad LinkedIn profile to you, and rule you out of the running for a role requiring 5+ years of experience, for example.  If multiple people at one company are coordinating and conducting interviews, they may struggle to find your contact information and resume in their system fast enough to make a scheduled call to you on time.

Let’s look at this from the perspective of a recruiter or hiring manager.  Say your full name is Charles Vijayaragavan Gomez Zhao. In college they called you Charlie, and at home mom uses Vijayagaravan. Your email is Charlie.Go@gmail.com, and you sign your email message to me as “Thanks – Vijay”.  Meantime, on the resume you submitted, you put your full name in the header or footer of your resume (Charles Vijayaragavan Gomez Zhao), but the top body of your resume has “Vijay Gomez” as the primary name.  My system may have parsed you as Vijay Gomez, but more likely it picked up the header first and named you Charles Zhao.  Your email to me requesting more information does not match anyone I have in my system. If a colleague approaches me and asks if his buddy “Chuck” is scheduled for an interview, I may have no idea who he is talking about.  The time delay caused could mean we don’t get you to, or through, our interview process efficiently enough to land the job, or at all.

Don’t lose your unique identity in everyday life by changing your name altogether, and definitely teach your colleagues to pronounce your name of choice correctly once you have joined the team, but for professional records, and online profiles which factor with growing frequency into filtering and hiring decisions, make sure your name is consistent and is easy for the typical interview coordinator to find and remember. You may discover that you are much more professionally in demand than you thought, and start getting more call backs!

New Graduate Resume and Networking Tips:

I attended a Speed Networking event at San Francisco State University, and put together some quick tips for new grads getting ready to look for their first full time job. Let me know if you have some basics to add:

  1. Include all skills: specific programs and generic program names. Important for recruiter resume searches and brief resume review by a hiring manager.
    CRM, Salesforce
    Project Management Software, Primavera P6
    PowerPoint, Prezi, Presentation Software
  2. Many hiring managers are extremely judgmental of spelling, punctuation, resume formatting, alignment, etc. Have others review your work. Print it and look at it with fresh eyes.
  3. Include work samples if applicable: an online portfolio (art or webdev), code samples (software), project pictures, writing sample, CAD sample, process improvement, etc.
  4. Industry experience, ex: Digital Marketing, Mobile Applications, Retail Sales, Nonprofit
  5. List work or internship experience.
    Give a reference name for each, but no contact information. Let them call you for that, but they may recognize the name.
  6. $$, ##’s: Have you been part of a project that saved money or boosted numbers? Be specific….
    How you changed a process, introduced a new vendor, created a social presence that drove new sales, etc.
  7. What did you own on a project, or significanly impact?
  8. Cut out words like “helped” and “assisted” wherever possible and be more detailed on your contribution.
  9. List your key or specialty courses (ex: Cognitive Psychology, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning)
  10. List professors in key courses who can be references.
  11. List volunteer activities, and give reference names.
  12. Hobbies: List some that may be related to the job, or which give a sense of your personality. Sports show you are healthy, can work on teams, and are likely healthy.
  13. Line up your references and let them know when they may be expecting a call. They also may have other job opportunity suggestions for you! Keep a list of your references on GoogleDocs for easy, timely sharing. Do not OVERUSE or over-introduce these people – only share full reference contact detail when a hiring manager is serious about considering you for a position.
    Include:
    –Name
    –Current Company/Title
    –Company/Title/Relationship when you worked together -or- School/Class
    –Phone (work, mobile)
    –Email
    –Time Zone
    –Best time/way to contact
  14. LinkedIn.com – Use It!!! Make sure it is consistent with your resume.
    –Link with interesting people: parents of friends, professors, students, work/intern colleagues, recruiters, neighbors.
    –Actively continue linking – calendar time to touch LinkedIn once per week.
    –Request recommendations and post them.
    –Search for contacts at the companies you are interested in. Ask for introductions through your connections.
    Call people for informational interviews.
    –Search for recruiters and HR personnel at the companies you are interested in. Link with and contact them.
    –Track these contacts, your contact attempts and methods, dates, and repeat at least monthly.
    –Gather company information.
    –Look at job postings on LinkedIn.
    –Join groups.
    –Set alerts for news from companies you are interested in: Also do this on Google.
  15. Meetup.com – search for your specialty/industry; then join, attend, network, connect, and link.
  16. Scan the online job boards (Craig’s List, Indeed.com, Dice, etc.), or search online for keyword combos and the word “job” or “apply”. If you apply, personalize your resume submission with a letter that targets your matching points to the job requirements.
  17. Online Community Participation: write or participate on blogs; write reviews for books in your field online (ie: on Amazon); ask questions on LinkedIn and Meetup groups; join open source or coding groups, etc.
  18. Learn about a company before you interview. TechCrunch, LinkedIn, Google it, industry magazines, contact people there for informational interviews, etc.

Well Employed, But…..HAPPY?

You are a great engineer / developer / lead / manager and are well-employed in this economic downturn. But are you HAPPILY employed? If you are a good to gifted developer, don’t settle for “employed” – people with big things to build are looking for you!!!

  • Are you underpaid?  If so, but you like your environment, team, and challenge, go ask for a raise!
  • Do you want, and are you on, a promotion track?  Is your company growing enough to provide that rapidly?
  • Are you sufficiently challenged?  Are you innovating with the most cutting-edge tools and technologies?
  • Are you constantly learning new skills?  If you are not, your market value is shrinking as time passes.
  • Are you loyal?  Ensure your company is loyal to you as well, and keeping your best interests in mind as well as theirs.
  • Do you have significant equity?  If you do not, perhaps a startup – early, mid or mature stage – or a small or mid-sized company is a good move for you now.  If your expertise is building the company, you should have a piece of the investment.
  • Are you aware of your options “out there”?

Assess your current situation, improve what you can on your current job, and talk to a recruiter like me to keep tabs on other opportunities, which skills are in the highest demand, what the market is paying, and which opportunities come with pay, benefits, AND equity.    Recruiters – or Head Hunters as the good ones LIKE to be called – have access to jobs and companies that you may never otherwise find.  There is no obligation to simply check in with us once in a while.  🙂

The ABC’s of H-1B’s By Carl Shusterman

worth reposting:

http://www.recruitingtrends.com/the-abcs-of-h-1bs?dm_i=AH1,AGA4,1ZQMJH,SMJ9,1

Talent Makes the Company

Talent is a critical component of any business in any economy.  Is your company working hard to attract and keep the best talent?  Your company’s HR leader needs to be focused on this because it’s PEOPLE that make the difference.

If your company has turnover, WHERE is it (which teams, which managers) and WHERE do they go?  To your direct competitor(s)?  Somewhere else?

Companies that cut costs in a recession, rather than “heads”, fare better in the long run.  This is not a knee-jerk reaction:  It is a less tactical and more strategic approach.  Cutting people breaks trust with all employees, while keeping employees through the tough times fosters loyalty.

When you are considering a new company to work with, look past the base salary and also consider what kind of culture, career growth opportunities, and creative benefits they provide.  Some HR departments allow spouses to call in to handle benefits management.  Some companies have mentoring and leadership training programs, and encourage changing teams, changing offices, and promoting internally to stay challenged in your career. Career path planning and employee retention programs can tell you a great deal about how invested the company is in its employees’ job satisfaction, and its valuation of the people who make the company successful.