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When searching for a new job, it’s more than finding the right position; it’s finding the right cultural fit. Your qualifications allow you to work anywhere in your field, but it’s important to work at a company that fits your personality, too. Whether you’re looking for a company that is very laid back or super creative, this post is designed to help you uncover and evaluate company culture during an interview.

It’s tempting to ask straightforward what the company culture is like, but chances are you won’t get a completely honest answer. Here are some telling questions to ask in an interview:

How often does the staff meet? This question will give you insight about the level of communication between the employees. The employer may think you are interested in the daily routine, but the answer will be telling about whether you’ll be mostly working alone or if you’ll be collaborating with a team.

What does it take to be successful in the position? The employer will answer with the top traits he is looking for in a candidate. Ask the question in the beginning of the interview and listen to the characteristics carefully, this will give you a chance to incorporate them into your answers later.

Can you tell me what it’s like at the busiest time of the year? This question will give you an idea of what the hours are really like. If the employer answers with, “When are we not busy?!” know that the job is more than 9-to-5. Or, listen to whether the employer answers with one employee being busy versus the entire department staying late.

What’s the best part about working here that I won’t get from the tour? This should give you a better idea about the reality you’ll be working in. It’s hard to get an idea of what the company is really like from just a walk around the office.

Just remember, when finding your next job the cultural aspect is just as important as meeting a company’s qualifications. Let us help you find your next position, contact us today!

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Applying to jobs can be tedious, but a good resume can make the difference between the recycle bin and an interview. Our team at Atlas Consulting has designed this post of eight resume red flags to avoid, helping you to land the job of your dreams.

 

1. Generic resumes with no customization. If you don’t take the time to customize your resume to a particular job, recruiters and employers are going to wonder if you are relevant to the position. It’s important to tailor each resume to the job description you are applying to, and use keywords from the position.

 

2. Difficult to read resumes. Have you ever seen one of those resumes with a font size so small that you need a magnifying glass? Or a margin so narrow that you don’t know where the page ends and the text begins? Avoid these poor aesthetics when composing your resume. Remember, it’s not necessary to cram every bit of previous work history on one page. Use standard size fonts and only put the most important items on your resume. The rest of the items that aren’t listed can be used as conversation topics in interviews.

 

3. Poor grammar and spelling. This one is pretty simple — avoid all grammar and spelling errors on your resume. One way to do so is have another set of eyes look over your resume. After reading your resume over and over again, you may miss something small that someone else will catch.

 

4. Full sentences. Hiring managers are getting hundreds of resumes, so make sure yours is short, sweet, and to the point. You want to catch an employer’s eye, so bullet out the important accomplishments.

 

5. Using an unprofessional email address. With so many free email services out there, create an email for job searching. Employers aren’t looking to hire candidate@sparkle.com, instead they are more interested in jane.doe@gmail.com. There is no excuse for an unprofessional email address.

 

6. Timeline gaps. An employer should be able to piece together your employment history pretty easily. Your prior work history should be listed in sequential steps that make it easy for the employer to understand. If you do have gaps in your work history, it’s okay to state why when relevant. For example, writing “left position to pursue educational opportunities” is perfectly acceptable on a resume.

 

7. Listing references. Don’t get us wrong; references are great to have, just not on a resume. References should be on a separate page and readily available when asked for.

 

8. There are no numbers. Employers want to know what you accomplished at your previous job, so they can get a glimpse of what you will do for them. Make sure you quantify results on your resume.

 

Crafting the perfect resume can be tricky, and we are here to help you. For more information on compiling the best resume, contact us today!

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Maximizing cloud computing should be an essential strategy for your organization. It seems as though companies are finding new ways to take advantage of cloud computing and are flying ahead of their competitors. According to a study of 800 cloud decision makers and users from IBM titled, “Under cloud cover: How leaders are accelerating competitive differentiation,” companies who utilize cloud broadly are gaining a competitive advantage over their rivals who are not doing so. The survey called these organizations “pacesetters” and they are growing revenue faster than other organizations.

 

It’s important to understand how these pacesetters are making the cloud work for them. Pacesetters are finding new ways to use the cloud and differentiating through new strategies. Cloud is the focus of their plan and includes their organization’s analytics, mobile, social, and big data information.  Another group the survey defined was “challengers,” those who are on par with pacesetters but are still behind on strategy differentiation and overall responsiveness.

 

There are many things you can do to make your organization part of the pacesetter category. Start by reevaluating you organization’s strategic plan. Start with your customers, how can you improve relationships with them? Evaluate your products and services. Are you doing things the old-fashioned way? Is there room for innovation? Take a look at your business model. Is your organization doing things the way they have always done them? Chances are there is room for improvement in all of these areas. Define the areas that need improvement and incorporate cloud. Here are additional questions to consider when defining your organization’s business objectives:

 

  • What new strategies could cloud facilitate?
  • How can cloud help you engage your customers?
  • What decisions would benefit from big data?

 

Developing a new strategic plan is the first step in becoming a pacesetter, but the next step is to make better decisions. Take the analytics from big data and see what insights come of it. One key attribute of a pacesetter is that they are able to make data-driven decisions that provide results. According to the survey, 54-percent of pacesetters use cloud-based analytics to derive insights from big data. This is just the beginning of how to use cloud to your company’s advantage. For more information on cloud computing, contact one of our experts today!

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Uh-oh. You sent an email to the wrong person. You missed the deadline on an important contract. You sent a worksheet to corporate with the wrong year-end numbers. If you have ever made a mistake as big as this, you know exactly what happens the minute you clicked send: complete panic. The first instinct for most people is to run and hide and hope nobody finds you. Shortly after, you realize you can’t undo what you just did, so you need to figure out a plan for damage control. Our recruiters have compiled six tips for handling the blunder:

 

1. Immediately admit your mistake. The last thing you want is someone else pointing out your mistake to your boss. Of course it’s not an ideal situation, but you need to admit to your boss that you made a mistake and you are taking steps to fix it. Your boss may be angry at first, but he also may have a solution.

 

2. Don’t make excuses. You may have a legitimate excuse for this mistake, but it’s really the last thing your boss wants to hear. Excuses make you look like you are trying to lay the blame on something or someone else. All that matters is that you are doing what you can to fix the situation.

 

3. Acknowledge the inconvenience to others. Chances are your mistake affects not only you and your supervisor, but others in the company. Tell the others that you are sorry for the inconvenience and you are working your hardest to make things right. A little acknowledgement goes a long way.

 

4. Do everything you possibly can to correct it. Does correcting your mistake mean staying at the office late? If that’s what it takes, your overtime will show that you’re willing to take the needed steps to correct your mistake. Or if you’ve accidentally emailed the wrong person, give them a call and ask them to delete the email immediately. If the information was confidential, you may want him to sign a waiver saying the document is destroyed.

 

5. Be prepared for the repercussions. No matter how sorry you are, you need to prepare yourself for possible consequences. You may need to rebuild trust with your boss because of the mistake, and you will definitely be frustrated that you made a mistake, but it’s important to be prepared for any implications that may occur.

 

6. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. You aren’t the first person to do it, and you certainly won’t be the last. Figure out where you went wrong, and take steps in the future to avoid it, but don’t beat yourself up over it.

 

The most important thing you can do is learn from your mistake and move on. Have you ever committed a workplace mistake? How did you handle it? For more tips on dealing with a blunder at work, contact the expert recruiting team at Atlas Consulting Group today.

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Having great job references can be the different between landing the job and sending out another application. When employers are deciding between their top candidates, job references are the people they often turn to. This makes it that much more important to be selective when it comes to picking professional references. To make sure you choose top references, our team at Atlas Consulting has gathered some tips on selecting the best professional references.

 

If you are currently employed, most likely your potential employer will want to speak with your current supervisor. This situation is almost always tricky because you probably don’t want your employer to know you are job searching. Luckily, it’s acceptable to let the potential employer know that your job search is confidential and you would prefer they do not speak with your boss until you have a chance to speak with him first. Other types of professional references that should make the list include clients, vendors, or coworkers who you work closely with.

 

When choosing a reference, be selective with who you choose. Keep the employer in mind when selecting your reference, as companies are looking to speak with someone who can talk to your skills and accomplishments in the workplace. Make sure to pick a professional reference who can clearly communicate those skills and areas of expertise, and will be able to give examples. Employers look to references to provide insight about you as an employee, so your professional reference should be able to provide specific detail.

 

When you have a list of potential professional references in mind, make sure you contact them first and ask if they mind being listed as a reference. This is extremely important because you never want someone to be caught off guard if an employer calls. Be courteous and let your reference know when you are job searching, so he has time to prepare relevant information. Make sure to keep your references current, as you never want to give employers incorrect contact information.

 

References can make or break the decision of an employer to hire you, so take time and consideration when selecting your professional references. For more information on choosing the reference that is best for you, contact one of our expert recruiters today.

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After a lot of job searching, you received a call to come in for an interview! Even though the first few steps seemed like a lot of work, interviewing can be the toughest part of the process. It’s the time where you want to sell the employer on why you are right for the job. One common piece of advice that many job seekers get is to ask questions during the interview, and we couldn’t agree more. We aren’t talking about salary, benefits, and scheduling questions either; save those questions for later. The employer wants to know that you are a good fit for the position, so we’ve prepared four questions that you should ask that will make an interviewer want to hire you.

 

  • “If I started the job tomorrow, what would be the top task on my to-do list?” This is a great question to ask because it gives you a better idea of what the job really entails. It will give you insight into what your daily tasks are and what is important to the employer. It also shows the interviewer that you are interested in starting off the position with a bang.
  • “What improvements or changes do you hope the new candidate will bring to this position?” The answer to this question can give insight as to why the last person left the job, and also should give you tips for the path to success. By asking this question, you show the employer you are eager to start this position and you want to be the best at what you do.
  • “Do you like working here?” Chances are, the employer isn’t going to expect you to ask this question, but the answer to this question can be very telling. If the employer doesn’t answer with yes and an explanation why, this may be a red flag. Don’t weigh too much on this answer though, as each individual has their own opinion.
  • “What are the top personality traits required to do this job well?” This question is more for you than the interviewer. It will help you feel out whether or not you’ll be a good fit. It does benefit the employer too, as it gives them the opportunity to look past your resume and see you as a potential employee.

 

If you’re in the process of looking for your next job or are interested in more questions to ask employers during an interview, contact one of our recruiters at Atlas Consulting Group today!

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Have you ever considered allowing your employees to telecommute in order to increase employee engagement? If not, maybe it’s time you should. According to a recent survey by Gallup, a research firm with a business focus, employees who are most engaged are those who telecommute about 20-percent of the time. We aren’t saying that your employees should telecommute full-time, but it should be an option if you want to keep your employees satisfied. Our recruiters at Atlas Consulting have designed this post to help your organization understand how telecommuting increases employee engagement.

Let’s discuss the benefits to employees who have the opportunity to telecommute. Employees who are able to work from home have less commuting-related expenses and increased flexibility with their schedule.  Work-life balance is extremely important to employees, so that added flexibility is definitely a crucial part to employee engagement. Other benefits that employees experience are increased happiness, and increased loyalty to their organization. This means they are willing to devote more hours to work!

Telecommuting doesn’t just benefit employees either. There are several benefits for your organization as well. For each full-time employee who works remotely, businesses save an average of $20,000 per year. This also frees up physical office space in buildings that are sometimes too cramped. Another great benefit of telecommuting is increased productivity by employees. According to a report from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, employee productivity increased by 22-percent when telecommuting was allowed. Decreased turnover rate is also a benefit to companies. The same report mentioned above states that allowing employees to work remotely reduces employee turnover by nearly 50-percent.

If your organization still fears that employees may not be as productive when they are at home, there are still some things you can do to “check-in” on them. For example, supervisors can talk with their employees each day and give them a daily to-do list. They can also include employees on conference calls and department meetings. Just be careful of suffocating your employees and avoid micromanaging. Another thing to make clear to supervisors who have employees working from home is that employees aren’t always working. Yes, they will be working the majority of the time, but you can’t expect them to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you’re interested in more information about telecommuting and how it can work for your business, contact one of our expert recruiters at Atlas Consulting Group today.

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Today’s job market is competitive, and employers are looking for top applicants. Candidates who have a unique skill set and are knowledgeable with industry trends, among other things, tend to be the most wanted. Our recruiters at Atlas Consulting have compiled important personal branding tips to help you land the job of your dreams.

 

Figure out what you want to do and how you want to be perceived by potential employers. Take the time to learn and understand the specific skills and attributes you can offer employers that your competitors may not have.

 

Create a personal brand that employers love. It’s necessary to create a brand for yourself that employers and recruiters will love. There is no one-size fits all answer on how to do this, but let your personal brand tell a story about you. Show potential employers that you love what you do, but remember to keep things consistent and professional.

 

Take control of your personal brand. Most potential employers are going to Google your name to see what information they can find about you. Take control of their search by developing an online portfolio. This gives employers access to your work, the ability to assess your skills, and identify your accomplishments. Remember, your professional reputation is tied directly to your brand.

 

Be open-minded. The job market might not be the best, and plenty of recent graduates have made their pessimism apparent. It’s time to push your negative thoughts aside and show employers that you are curious, open, and willing to learn. Companies are looking for employees who have a strong point of view, and aren’t afraid to bring their fresh ideas to the workplace.

 

Keep learning. Increased knowledge equals continued employment. Employees who are already in the workforce are taking action by taking training courses and implementing career-enhancing strategies. Find an area of expertise you are interested in and sign up for seminars to make yourself the expert in that area.

 

Take time to network. Have you ever heard, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” Well, this statement couldn’t be more true when job-hunting. You may have all of the qualifications necessary for a particular job, but the person you met at last week’s networking event may be able to help you get your foot in the door. Build a network of trust contacts in various industries that could potentially help you find your next career.

 

Be service-oriented. Service-oriented jobs, such as providing tech support, are on the rise. They help others see you as competent and likeable.

 

For more information on mastering your personal brand, contact the staffing experts at Atlas Consulting today!

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So you’ve been on the job hunt for a few months now, and nothing new seems to be turning up. It might be time to consider working with a staffing firm to find your next position. For those of you who aren’t familiar with staffing firms, they are a great source of employment for job seekers. Staffing firms are often advocates for job seekers, representing the applicant’s credentials to employers. Staffing firms have recruiters who work exclusively for companies, finding them the best person for the job. Our team at Atlas Consulting has compiled a few tips for working with a staffing firm to find your next position.

 

Tip #1 – When meeting with a staffing agency for the first time don’t be afraid to ask questions about the process. Starting a new method of job seeking can be exciting, but it’s important that you know what you’re getting into. Ask questions about the methods the agency will use to help you find employment, and most importantly ask what is expected of you.

 

Tip #2 – Leverage your recruiter. Your recruiter can help you with a variety of tasks, including practice interviewing, reviewing your resume and answering any questions you have throughout the process. Take advantage of the services the staffing firm has to offer.

 

Tip #3 – Stay connected with your recruiter throughout the process. Keep in contact and be top-of-mind; if you’ve left a great impression with your recruiter, your name will likely spring to mind when they receive a new job order that is a perfect fit for you. Establishing a strong relationship with your recruiter is a great first step.

 

Tip #4 – Have realistic expectations. In order for a recruiter to help you, you must help them. Provide more information than is needed and be available when your recruiter reaches out or schedules an interview. It’s important to understand that you may not be the best fit for every job, and your recruiter will work to find the best-fit opportunity for you.

 

Tip #5 – Be open to feedback. Recruiters will often give you advice on your cover letter, resume, and interviewing. Take their advice; after all, they know their clients the best.

 

Tip #6 – Utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn to find a staffing firm in your area. LinkedIn is great because you may come across recommendations from others who have successfully used their services. Take advantage of the abundance of resources available on the Internet, from social media to a simple Google search to help you find the right staffing company for your job search.

 

Working with a staffing firm can be extremely beneficial to your job search. If you’re ready to partner with a staffing firm to find your next career opportunity or if you have questions about working with a recruiter, contact our staffing experts at Atlas Consulting Group today!

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Working in a field that is constantly changing and improving can be difficult, as it is important to change and improve with the industry in order to stay relevant. Keeping up with the latest trends and industry advances is important whether you already have a job or are searching for a new one. Although sometimes it may seem like keeping up with the industry is another full-time job. Our team at Atlas Consulting has compiled these tips on how to stay relevant in the IT industry.

 

Stay current with industry news. Gone are the days of manually searching for the latest industry chatter. Set up email alerts that will notify you of new content based on the keywords you want to search. A popular email alert tool is Google Alerts. You can set up alerts by content or phrases, and can also configure how often you want to get notified.

 

Attend conferences and classes. Conferences and classes are a great way to stay on top of industry news. Yes, there are plenty of news articles and books you can read, but conferences and classes offer more opportunity. For example, they provide networking opportunities, allowing you to meet peers and leaders in the technology industry.

 

Get certified. Certifications show your employer that you are serious about your work. Choose certifications related to your area of expertise and get certified when possible. Certifications are also a great resume builder because they add to your list of qualifications.

 

Subscribe to industry magazines. Lucky for you, many industry magazines are cheap or even free, all you need to do is fill out a qualification form. If you qualify, you most likely will have access to both digital and printed versions. Digital versions also offer a lot of free white papers and ebooks.

 

Follow industry blogs. There are plenty of relevant, informative industry blogs out there. Blogs are a great way to stay informed on specific industry topics.

 

Utilize social connections. Social media platforms like LinkedIn are another great way to get industry news, but it’s also important to join social, industry groups. Usually these groups gather once a month at a communal place and discuss a designated topic of choice. It’s a great way to meet people and talk with your peers.

 

There are plenty of ways to stay relevant in the IT industry. Try one or more of these techniques until you find a perfect combination for you. For more tips on staying relevant, contact one of our recruiters today.