Why Confidence Matters for IT Job Seekers

January 8th, 2015

It seems odd to think of Information Technology professionals as walking, talking examples of corporate swagger. Most are considered to be brilliant introverts who are hyper-focused in their own environments. But in reality, hiring the top IT candidates often means seeking out those who have both the technical and social confidence they need to remain on the top of the competition.

If you are an IT job seeker in Michigan or other competitive regions, it’s important to boost your confidence in order to be a more attractive pick by the best companies. Read on to learn how to get your ‘mo-jo’ as an IT candidate.

Why confidence matters in IT job seekers

There are several reasons why confidence matters for IT job seekers. Number one, the first impression you make on any recruiter is often critical to the overall success of your job search. If you have a confidence in your own abilities, this speaks volumes to recruiters. However, don’t go overboard — too much boasting comes off as arrogant and self-centered. Demonstrate your value through the projects you’ve worked on, a friendly demeanor, plenty of eye contact, and a good sense of humor.

Try these tips for demonstrating confidence as an IT job seeker: 

  • Create a well-written cover letter and resume that reflects your personality
  • Dress for success, look sharp and use proper grooming and personal hygiene
  • Arrive to any interview at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time, and with a smile
  • Bring your best portfolio with you to show what you can do and what you know

More ways and IT job seeker can build confidence

Confidence as an IT job seeker also conveys the message that you care about the work you do, and you can drive yourself to complete tasks on time. In other words, you are someone who the employer can count on to get the job done well to make them look great to their clients. If you give the impression that you have a foundation for organizing, prioritizing, and getting tasks done – you’re well on your way to increasing your confidence.

Being confident also means that you are someone who cares about keeping skills and knowledge up to date. This puts you ahead of candidates who have outdated skills or don’t put as much emphasis on this area of the IT industry. Make it part of your career to be a life long learner, taking IT related courses, accepting temporary IT assignments, and completing programs that give you access to credentials. Leverage this when applying to new jobs and during interviews.

When a hiring manager meets an IT professional who can speak well, makes and effort to be interesting and engaging, as well as having a solid understanding of the industry; this can help any candidate to stand out from others. It’s highly competitive in the IT market, despite certain skill shortages. Your goal is to get in front of the decision maker and then convincing them to give you a challenging and rewarding job.

So, get out there and do your best to be confident as an IT job seeker!

5 Cover Letter Keywords That Brand You as Entry Level

December 26th, 2014

If you are sitting down to write a new technology cover letter, or update your old one, then you need to be mindful of the keywords used throughout it. There are about five cover letter keywords that you need to remove immediately because they scream entry level. You want the cover letter to impress employers and show them how much experience you have in the business world, not show them that you are right out of college and praying for a first job.

Here are five cover letter phrases to avoid at all costs in your technology job search this year:

To Whom it May Concern

This is one of the worst keyword phrases to put on your cover letter. It screams “entry-level” because it is a generic phrase. When you are going to apply for a job, you need to perform research to find out who is accepting the applications. The name of the hiring manager or human resource executive might be found at the bottom of the job posting. When writing the cover letter, be sure to address it to this person so you do not use “To whom it may concern.”

Looking for an Interesting Job

If you are sending out resumes and cover letters at random, it is highly likely that your cover letter will include this phrase. When you write “Looking for an interesting job” in your cover letter, you are telling hiring managers absolutely nothing about yourself or your work experience. Of course everyone wants to work an interesting job, which is why you do not need to use this phrase the next time you write a cover letter.

Extensive Experience

Another commonly overused keyword phrase on cover letters is that of “extensive experience.” You should not waste precious space with this phrase, ever, no matter how much experience you have in the profession. Instead of saying you have extensive experience, you should show the reader you have experience by writing about it. Replace that phrase with how many years you have worked in the profession or the advanced degrees you hold in the industry.

Strong Communication Skills

Even though this was a popular keyword phrase to include on a cover letter 10 years ago, it needs to be removed from your cover letter right now. Strong communication skills have become mandatory in order to succeed in the business world these days, which is why you are wasting space including the phrase on your cover letter. If you do not know how to communicate, you will find yourself searching for a job quite often.

Call me at…

There is no reason to write the phrase “Call me at…” in your cover letter. The interviewer or hiring manager knows that you want to be called. You should use more subtle language in your cover letter and say something along the lines of, “You may contact me at your earliest convenience.”

If you want your cover letter to scream experienced professional and not entry-level, you must remove the five keyword phrases discussed in this post. Need more help drafting a strong resume? Contact the staffing experts at Venteon.

Why You Should Never Hire “Average” Candidates

December 19th, 2014

Hiring an average employee or “warm body” to fill an opening in your company is never a good idea. Why? Companies need to hire the best candidates possible for their open jobs, not just someone to fill an open spot. When companies hire average candidates because they must fill an open job within a specific time frame, they are putting themselves at risk to bring in someone who will not perform well within the job. Hiring to simply hire is referred to as the “Warm Body Syndrome,” and your company needs to avoid it as much as possible.

Here’s how to avoid hiring an average employee:

Never Rush Things

One way to avoid hiring average candidates is by taking your time during the hiring process. You should never rush the hire of a new employee. Do not put a time limit on the hiring process, such as four weeks or 90 days because you are limiting your company in finding the right person for the job. When you give the human resource department enough time to fill an open job, the right person will be hired and onboarded.

Don’t Hire in a Silo

When hiring for open positions at your company, try to work with at least one other person or a team of people. If you can afford to form a hiring committee, then this might be a good idea for your company. A hiring committee makes it easier on everyone involved to vet a candidate, look into their background, come up with different questions and make educated decisions about who the company will hire.

Don’t Hire After One Interview

When it comes to hiring the right candidate, you must avoid doing so after just one interview. Interviewing a candidate just once and then making an offer of employment is never a good idea. You need to have a series of interviews to best gauge the candidate and how he or she will perform at your company. A series of interviews might not even be enough time to vet a candidate, which is when you can implement a trial work period, if necessary.

Investigate References

As you prepare to hire a candidate for an open spot at your company, you must investigate the references they provide. Take a long look at these references and have in-depth conversations in order to determine how the candidate fit in at previous jobs and how well they perform their work. Make sure you perform a background check and even conduct a drug test to make sure you are not hiring someone who will be a problem at the office after a few weeks on the job.


It is easy to take the simple route and hire an average candidate because you need to fill an open position. Do not let this happen at your company. Take the extra time to interview multiple candidates, use a lengthy interview process and check all references in order to avoid the average hire. It is also a good idea to partner with a staffing company like Venteon, which will vet all of your candidates and provide you with excellent workers.

Fostering Relationships Between Lower and Upper Level Tech Employees

December 11th, 2014

The most successful companies should be able to foster strong relationships between lower- and upper-level tech employees. This means that lower-level employees will not be worried or scared to talk to upper-level employees. When you can foster relationships, you make the environment at the workplace enjoyable and the culture a positive one. We will explain three ways you can foster relationships between lower and upper level tech employees.

  1.  Provide Resources Needed to Perform Well on the Job
    One of the first ways to foster relationships between lower and upper level tech employees is to provide resources needed to perform well on the job. Employees who are forced to perform jobs they are not qualified for will resent the work and become unhappy. Your company will begin to notice the poor results and it will affect the output of the company negatively.As an organization, upper-level tech employees need to provide their lower-level tech employees with the proper resources. This includes training courses, materials, documents, classes and attendance at conferences. Whatever your employees need to succeed, they should be given without question in order to keep them happy and foster strong relationships between the groups.
  2. Promote the Understanding of Shared Goals
    The second method to fostering a strong relationship between lower-level employees and upper-level employees is to promote the understanding of shared goals. As an organization, you need to explain your goals as a whole and as individuals. You also need to make sure that each individual department explains its goals to its members.When there is a lack of understanding, your employee morale, work quality and work efficiency will all see a major drop. All of these issues can lead to conflict among the employees, assigning blame on others and a higher turnover rate of employees.As you promote the understanding of shared goals, your employees will be more likely to feel valued and their work will have more meaning for them. This will force them to have a stronger commitment to the company, which means your turnover rate will not be too high.
  3. Provide Effective Interaction
    No matter how well your company does with the first two methods, they will not succeed if you fail to provide effective interaction for employees. When there is poor communication among lower-level and upper-level employees, information sharing will not be at its best and the wrong people will get involved on a project at the wrong time. Another negative of missing effective interaction is that people will try to solve issues on their own, in isolation from others, which can lead to even worse problems within the company.

It is imperative that your company fosters strong relationships between lower level and upper level employees in order to succeed. By following all three methods in this post, your organization should be able to foster those relationships quite easily.

Spotting Signs of Seasonal Burnout in IT Workers

December 5th, 2014

Seasonal burnout in Information Technology (IT) workers is very common these days, especially since many IT workers see their responsibilities and hours on the job increase during specific seasons. One of those busy seasons occurs around the holidays each year. With so many companies experiencing increases in customer/client volume, software and computers will crash. This makes the job of the IT professional very important. You need to learn how to spot the signs of seasonal burnout in IT workers so you can prevent it before it takes hold. Here’s how…

Ask Questions

One of the first steps you must take is asking yourself the following questions about your employees:

  • Do your employees have trouble getting their day started upon arrival at the office?
  • Have your employees become cynical while on the job?
  • Have your employees become irritable with their co-workers or clients?
  • Do your employees have a lack of enthusiasm for their achievements?
  • Do your employees appear to have a lack of energy at the office?
  • Do your employees complain about constant headaches or other physical issues at work?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions about one of your IT workers, then he or she might be starting to suffer from seasonal burnout.

Common Signs of Employee Burnout

Some of the most common signs of employee burnout include the following:

  • Constantly exhibiting a negative attitude and distaste for new tasks
  • Frequent absences and tardiness
  • Constant need to recruit new candidates due to high turnover rates
  • Constantly disputing with management and other employees
  • Decrease in the quality of their work and less productivity

How to Prevent Seasonal Burnout in IT Workers

So, now that you have spotted seasonal burnout in your IT workers, you need to know the best ways to prevent it in the future. As a company, you must have a strong line of communication between all of your departments and management. When a company has an open door policy, it makes life a lot easier on everyone.

Your company must also provide employees with scheduling rotations or flexible schedules. This ensures that they will not be overworked, which can lead to burnout. It will also let them know how much you value their lives outside of the office.

Companies that want their IT workers to be relaxed and avoid burnout will also need to provide those employees with the proper resources to perform the job duties to the best of their abilities. If a large project is assigned to an employee, make sure he or she has the proper help to complete the job on-time without sacrificing quality.

Seasonal burnout in IT workers can be common, especially during the holidays, which is why you need to be able to spot it and fix it as quickly as possible.

5 Financial Interview Blunders That Will Make Sure You NEVER Get the Job

November 27th, 2014

Preparing for a job interview is a must today, especially if you want to nail the interview and receive an offer of employment. It is very common for people to make mistakes during a job interview. Here, we will discuss five financial interview blunders that will make sure you never get the job. Make sure you study these and avoid them as much as possible.

  1. Discussing Salary Too Soon
    One of the biggest financial interview blunders you can commit is discussing salary too soon. Even if you have been in the industry for 10 years, there is no reason to mention salary in the first, or even second, interview. You will give the impression that you are only concerned with receiving a paycheck at the end of each week and not concerned with bettering yourself or with helping the company succeed.
  2. Failing to Listen
    The second blunder you can make sure a financial job interview is failing to listen. Listening is important in all aspects of life today. The more you listen, the more likely it is that the questions you have will not need to be asked. When you fail to listen, and wind up asking questions that have already been answered, your interview will not lead to a job offer.
  3. Looking Sloppy
    When you attend a financial job interview, it is imperative that you show up well groomed, wearing business attire and not in ripped, wrinkled or stained clothing. When you come to an interview looking sloppy, you will likely not be offered the job. Companies want to see how well you present yourself because you will be representing the company to clients, customers and the public.
  4. Arriving Late
    Financial interview blunder number four on our list is arriving late to the interview. You need to arrive early for the interview, but no more than 15 minutes early. If you arrive on-time, you are late. If you have no way to avoid being late, call the interviewer so you can let them know what happened. If the circumstance is serious enough, the company should understand. If it is not, do not expect to have the interview rescheduled.
  5. Talking Negatively about a Former Boss
    The fifth financial interview blunder on our list is when you talk negatively about a former boss. When asked about your former employer, you do not have to speak glowingly, but you absolutely cannot gossip about them or speak negatively about them. If you speak badly about a former boss, chances are you will do the same if hired by the company for which you are interviewing right now.

If you can avoid the five financial interview blunders discussed above, you should have no trouble securing an offer of employment. Look for support for your career in finance by registering for work with Venteon, a finance staffing agency in Troy MI.

Candidates In The Spotlight – Accounting & Finance Troy, MI

November 24th, 2014

Big 4 Senior Manager

  • 10 year CPA with Big 4 Public Accounting experience
  • Strong SEC reporting, internal controls and project management background
  • Publicly traded international client base
  • Exceptional GAAP and IFRS technical background

 

Senior Accountant:

  • CPA with 6 years of public accounting and industry experience.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting with a good understanding of financial (ERP) systems and has a core understanding of financial accounting fundamentals.
  • Experiences with preparing journal entries, maintenance of the corporate general ledger, supporting monthly close process and assisting with monthly variance analysis to support business improvement initiatives.

 

Senior Financial Analyst

  • MBA and Master’s Degree in Finance from Walsh College
  • Bachelor’s Degree from Wayne State University
  • 7 plus years of financial analysis experience; Budgeting, Forecasting, Variance Analysis, Financial Modeling, Planning & Analysis
  • Highly skilled in SAP Global Business Warehouse and Supplier Relationship Management
  • Expert of Microsoft Products
  • Skilled in financial valuation tools

 

Financial Resume Red Flags

November 20th, 2014

Building a resume is not always easy, and finding red flags on resumes as a hiring manager can also be difficult to do. The more resumes you get to look at, the easier it will become to find red flags. As you look to hire financial employees for your company, you need to be cognizant of the most common red flags on financial resumes. Here are a few:

  • Too Many Jobs
    It is understandable if a financial employee has worked a handful of jobs over the past couple of years, but too many jobs in a short period of time found on a financial resume can be a red flag. As you look to hire a new financial employee, you will want someone who stays loyal to their employer for at least a couple of years, not someone who has jumped from job to job every two years.
  • Long History
    When a candidate puts all of their history on a resume, it can be a little overwhelming and even annoying, especially when it comes from financial candidates. Even though the candidate is looking for a job in the financial industry, he does not need to include a job worked 10 or more years ago. This will only cause confusion and take up too much valuable space. Too much on the resume is also a sign that the candidate is not proud of their current achievements or organized.
  • Lack of Evidence of Achievements
    Any financial resume that does not include evidence of achievements will give off a major red flag. This can be seen when a resume lists only job duties from each job, not accomplishments from those jobs. This red flag signals that the employee did nothing more than the bare minimum at their previous job stops during their career, or did not take enough pride in their work to make any noteworthy accomplishments.
  • Large Gaps between Employment
    When a financial candidate submits their resume to your company, you need to look for the red flag of large gaps in employment periods. A financial professional who has experienced large gaps between jobs could be hiding something. They might have been fired, laid off, or do not have the skills or knowledge necessary to work within the industry for prolonged periods.
  • Missing Theme for Career
    A financial resume that does not have a career theme to it is a major red flag. Moving from unrelated job to unrelated job is never a good thing, so be sure to look for this on all resumes submitted for open jobs at your company — they should contain some for of financial experience, at minimum.
  • Grammar and Spelling Mistakes
    The biggest red flag for a financial resume is a mistake involving grammar or spelling. Even though the candidate will need to be more concerned with numbers than words, they still need to know how to write and create documents for their profession.

There are plenty of financial resume red flags to look for when candidates submit their qualifications to your company. If a resume has one or more of the red flags in it from this post, make sure you throw it in the trash immediately.

Handling Difficult Employees – When Do You Step In?

November 13th, 2014

Difficult employees are bound to show up at your company, it is just a matter of when it will happen. Difficult employees, when not dealt with, can negatively impact your corporate culture. This means that they will make co-workers feel uncomfortable in the office, will not complete their work on time, and cause plenty of other issues. We will explain when it is best to step in and handle a difficult employee, and when it’s good to let an employee go.

Never Ignore an Issue with an Employee

One of the first things you must avoid when dealing with difficult employees is ignorance. You cannot ignore an issue when it arises. You cannot ignore a problematic employee at work, especially if you are a manager, because it will be too late when you finally decide to intervene. The longer you let the problem fester, the more difficult it will be to fix it.

Get Involved as Quickly as Possible

As soon as you notice a negative pattern of behavior from an employee, you need to take action immediately. The quicker you take action, the more likely it is that you will be able to solve the issue and turn the employee into a positive force within the organization. There can absolutely be times when an employee does not realize what she is doing is causing negativity in the office. If this is the case, nipping it in the bud early is very important. Even if the employee knows what they are doing is negative, you still need to fix the problem quickly.

Research the Issue Well

You need to perform a ton of research about the employee and the reported issue(s) prior to holding a private meeting. You need to be armed with a lot of evidence against the employee that substantiates your claims of a negative behavior. When you do find it is time to address the problem, you must do so in a private setting. Do not talk with the employee in the break room or at his desk. Take them aside in your office, with the door closed, or in a conference room, with the door closed, and explain the situation to them.

Offer Help to Find Solutions 

Once you have displayed all of the evidence you have to the employee, you need to offer help. Find ways to help the employee fix their behavioral problems at the office so they can be a productive member of the staff without being disruptive. You will need to offer specific feedback for the employee if they are going to improve their behavior. You cannot just leave the conversation at, “it is time for you to make a change.” Let them know what they can do to make this happen.

Termination is the Last Straw

When push comes to shove, and the employee continues to be an issue even after multiple meetings, then you might just have to terminate their contract. If the employee continues to exhibit bad behavior due to a lack of effort, then she might need to be removed from the payroll of your company.

Dealing with difficult employees is never a walk in the park. The process needs to be handled with extreme care and plenty of professionalism no matter the issue at hand. Seek counsel from an employment lawyer for serious employee matters.

Should Your Company Hire Temporary Finance Workers in the Busy Season?

November 6th, 2014

Temporary finance workers can help a company navigate the busy season each year. Companies that operate in the finance industry have long had to determine whether or not they should hire temporary finance workers during their busy season. There are some who would say no, this should not happen, but then there are some who say that this is an absolute must-do. We will discuss both sides of the argument below.

When is the Busy Finance Season?

You might be wondering when the busy season is for a financial company. For most, it will be right around tax time each year. Even if the company employs thousands of people, it might still be a good idea to bring in a handful of temporary finance workers to cut down on the workload for your regular, full-time staff members.

Pros for Hiring Temp Finance Workers for Tax Time

Tax time comes the same day each year, but there are always a large portion of people who decide to wait until the last minute to meet with their accountant to file their tax returns. When this is the case, your full-time workers will find themselves overrun with paperwork that needs to be filled out prior to filing with the IRS.

When you bring in temporary finance workers for tax season, you are lightening the load of your full-time staff, which will help to prevent costly mistakes. These mistakes can lead to issues with clients if they are not caught prior to filing with the IRS.

If you are not running an accounting firm, but a financial advising firm, tax season is still a busy season for your company. The reason for this is that all of your clients need to have the reports generated for their financial accounts. These reports then need to be sent to clients prior to tax deadline day so they can hand them over to their accountant.

If this is the case for your company, you will need to hire temporary finance workers to help with the heavy load of preparing year-end reports that can be used for tax purposes.

Disadvantages of Hiring Temporary Finance Workers

There are some disadvantages of hiring temporary finance workers. One of those disadvantages is that the temporary worker will not know your firm like your full-time staff members know it. Despite this, they can still be a major help during your busy season.

Another possible disadvantage is that the finance worker will not provide high-quality work because they are only there for a short period. This is very untrue because the worker knows what is riding on their performance. They might even be able to turn the temporary position into full-time work.

The bottom line here is that it is in your best interest to hire temporary finance workers during your company’s busy season because the pros far outweigh the negatives.