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More often than not, employers have a tough time filling tech positions as it is difficult to find someone with the best qualifications. This is especially true when it comes to finding front-end developers; people who have skills in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), HTML, and JacaScript. CSS is becoming increasingly important, and it’s very difficult to land a job if you are weak in the CSS department. When interviewing for a job, employers will want to assess your skills by focusing on CSS questions. Our IT recruiters at Atlas Consulting have compiled a list of the top CSS-related interview questions asked by employers.

 

What is the different between display block, block-inline, and inline? Employers are asking this question to test your knowledge of the CSS box model. This question should start a discussion leading to more advanced concepts such as margins vs. padding.

 

In what order to CSS style definitions take priority? To answer this question successfully, you’ll need to know all of the places where CSS can be defined. You will also need to understand CSS selectors and their effect on priority. The “!important” keyword will naturally be part of the discussion leading to best practices.

 

As a whole, what is your web design experience? Your answer should give the employer a feel for how well you understand CSS as applied to both a layout framework and a styling mechanism for HTML elements.

 

Are you familiar with web standards? This question is designed to test whether or not you are continually educating yourself. It’s important to understand design standards, but it’s also important to show that you are always learning.

 

How do you test your CSS layouts? As you know, not everyone uses the same browser. The employer wants to know that your work will adapt with a variety of browsers. It’s important to have a solid testing regime, so make sure you stress that in your answer.

 

How would you design a grid system using a CSS language like SASS or Stylus? Using language like SASS or LESS generates CSS code for you and allows you to do a lot of shorthand things. It’s important to employers that you can use this language effectively, and that the design would still be fully responsive. Show that you understand these languages and your ability to understand basic programming.

 

Even those these questions are all CSS focused, keep in mind the interviewer will probably ask more general, company-related questions. For more interview preparation, including tips on how to ace your next interview, contact us today!

 

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Big data is growing exponentially, and job prospects for big data are following. Demand for big data skills is expanding, and according to a recent report by Dice, big data jobs have shown a triple-digit-surge annually. Many of you already know what big data is, but for those who don’t, big data is the term used to describe the exponential growth and availability of data, both structured and unstructured. Many companies are seeking big data IT pros whose skills include consulting firms, defense contractors, financial firms, and more. To help you get a better understanding of big data and what it means for job opportunities, our IT recruiters here at Atlas Consulting are sharing some tips from Dice’s report.

 

According to the Dice report, Hadoop is the most popular skill in the big data category, up 85 percent year-over-year. According to their website, “Hadoop is a free, Java-based programming framework that supports the processing of large data sets in a distributed computing environment.” It supports data-intensive distribute applications, and if you know how to use it there are many employment opportunities.

 

Big data jobs are finally more than defense and government-related careers. Previously, big data jobs required security clearance, but now they make up only 3 percent of available opportunities.

 

One thing that’s really great about big data is it spreads across all industries, meaning you don’t have to be tied down to a specific sector. Popular industries include food manufacturing, retail, consultants, online travel, insurance, gaming, and more!

 

It might be a little tricky to find a job in big data if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Job titles do vary from Software Engineer-Platform to Big Data Architect. Other common job titles include Data Engineer, Senior SDE Java, and Cyber Systems Administrator. Some jobs combine the big data aspect with other top skills such as Java.

 

There are also top cities for these jobs, and here are the top ten (in order):

  1. New York
  2. D.C. / Baltimore
  3. Silicon Valley
  4. Chicago
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Atlanta
  7. Boston
  8. Dallas
  9. Seattle
  10. Philadelphia

 

Maybe you already live in one of these cities, or maybe you’re searching to relocate, either way we can help! Contact one of our IT recruiters for more information on big data careers today.

 

 

 

 

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Most of us look back on our college years and remember them fondly. But now we are in the real world, and some may have noticed that finding a job isn’t always easy. I mean, have you ever received a call from a company looking for someone with a philosophy degree specializing in theories? Probably not. Liberal arts degrees are majors that many college students graduate with each year, but it isn’t necessarily easy to find jobs.

 

Many graduates often get the question of “now what?” Now what are you going to do with your life, now what are you going to do for work, etc. It’s not always easy to recognize, but a liberal arts degree may not be enough to get a good job. UC San Diego Extension put together a recent report on top jobs that help bridge the gap between the job market and a liberal arts degree. This report identified career sectors with strong employment potential, and ten of the highest in-demand jobs are in computer-related fields. Here are the top five with brief descriptions:

 

  • Software Developers, Systems Software – Employees in this field are the creative people behind computer programs.
  • Physical Therapists and Assistants – Therapist Assistant positions are growing rapidly, and they are the employees who clean treatment areas, help people to the sites, assist with paperwork, etc.
  • Software Developers, Applications – You know all those times you’ve downloaded a song or found directions online? Well, software developers are the people who made that happen. It’s a very large, well-paying field.
  • Market Research Analysts/Data Miners – Companies rely on research to be successful and since companies want to do well, the market research analyst field is constantly growing.
  • Cost Estimators – Cost estimators main focus is to assess the real costs of doing business.

 

The above degrees may require a little extra training and certification, but are worth it in the end. They represent promising opportunities for college graduates with non-specific degrees, and most don’t require graduate programs. For more information on training and education to qualify for the above jobs, contact one of our expert staffers today!

 

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IT professionals play an important role in all organizations, but do their colleagues see it that way? According to a survey of 2,300 IT professionals conducted by TEKsystems, that may not be the case. In this recent survey, 80 percent of IT professionals believe their role is critical to their organization’s strategy, but only 55 percent of those professionals believe the organization things the same. In general, almost 30 percent of the survey respondents believed their roles provided more value than sales, marketing, and other departments within the company.

 

As an organization, it’s important to make your IT professionals feel valued, so here at Atlas Consulting we have prepared some tips on doing so.

 

Communication is essential when it comes to making employees feel appreciated. Increase the communication level between company leaders and IT employees. This helps employees stay informed and makes them feel more a part of the organization as a whole. It’s especially important for upper-level executives to communicate the goals and strategies of the organization down to their line-level employees; everyone should be on the same page.

 

In addition to communication, listening is also very important to employees. According to the survey, more than 85 percent of respondents said their company’s leaders could benefit from having a better understanding of the IT employees functions. Make sure your organization has an outlet for asking for feedback from employees. 71 percent of the survey respondents believed they would come up with ideas that are more likely to work, but have no way of communicating that to the top-level executives.

 

Hiring great managers is also important. Look for someone who is willing to listen and seek out their employees’ ideas. Professional growth is also important to many people, so a manager who is willing to help employees achieve their goals is very beneficial.

 

When organizations understand their line-level employees and how they affect the company, they are better able to develop realistic strategies that will help better their business. This understanding also helps organizations improve their retention of high-performance IT employees because they will actually enjoy working for the organization. Remember, the more IT employees feel valued, the more invested they become in the organization. For more information on making your employees feel valued, contact one of our experts today!

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You’ve finally landed an interview for your dream job and it’s scheduled for next week. As the date quickly approaches you think to yourself, “What do I wear?” This is a surprisingly important question that most interviewees don’t give enough thought. Our IT recruiters here at Atlas Consulting have compiled some tips on dressing for an interview.

When you’re choosing your outfit, be mindful of the position you’re interviewing for, who you’re meeting with, where the interview takes place and, most importantly, what image you want to convey. It’s always safe to dress a bit dressier than the normal work attire. Appropriateness is a top factor on what to wear to an interview. Here are some guidelines when dressing for success:

• Make sure your clothes are neatly pressed. It seems simple, but nothing says lack of attention like wrinkled clothes.

• Make sure your clothing fits properly and comfortably. When buying a suit, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Having the proper measurements can make a world of difference.

• Don’t be too flashy. This one is pretty straightforward; you want the interviewer to notice you, not your jewelry. This also applies to bold, busy prints. Try going for solid colors that flatter your skin tone.

• Avoid wearing perfume or cologne. You probably want to smell your best, but you never know if the interviewer is allergic. Also, you don’t want the interviewer to be distracted by how you smell.

• For men, make sure you shave and keep your facial hair to a minimum. It’s important to look clean and well-groomed.

• For women, avoid clothing that is too revealing. It’s always best to not be too exposed.

Remember that your social image and professional image are often two different things, but at the end of the day what you are most confident in is what will work best. When you feel comfortable in an outfit, your confidence will shine through. If you are ever unsure of what to wear, ask a trusted friend or family member their opinion. For more tips on dressing for an interview, contact us today!

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You’ve graduated college and are ready to enter the working world. You think you’re fully prepared because you’ve spent the last four years studying and perfecting your expertise. After a brief time in the office, you realize there are many things you didn’t know and weren’t prepared for. For those of you fresh out of school, our IT recruiters at Atlas Consulting have prepared some tips on what you need to know that you didn’t learn in school.

 

Listening is crucial. Learn to listen to your customers, fellow developers, testers, and most importantly your system. Without listening to what others want and need from you, you won’t be able to fully meet and understand their needs.

 

Testing is important! Testing is how you prove that the software you are building meets and exceeds expectations now and in the future. Testing is something not usually covered in schools, but is crucial in the workplace. After all, if you don’t test your software, how do you know it actually addresses your customers’ concerns?

 

Be prepared to work with a team. How many times do you remember getting assignments in school and heading to the library to complete them on your own? The answer is probably more often than not. Unfortunately, that’s now how most organizations operate. Chances are you will be working with a team of people rather than individually. This transition may be difficult, and certainly is not always easy. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open with your team so you aren’t overlapping on projects, and in the end you’ll all end up learning from each other.

 

Learn graphic design basics. We all know that user interface and look and feel of an application is the selling point for customers. Do your best to understand graphics, colors, workflow, and other key design elements. We aren’t saying you need to be a graphic designer, but you should know the basic principles of good design.

 

These are just some of many tips to help get you prepared for entering the workplace. For more information on tips you may not have learned in school, contact us today! We are here to help you become a valued employee to any organization.

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Salary negotiation is never an easy topic to approach. Most people discuss negotiation techniques with their family, friends, and possibly coworkers. Unfortunately, not everyone gets the correct information when it comes to salary negotiations. To avoid taking the wrong approach, our IT recruiters here at Atlas Consulting have prepared the top salary negotiating myths and how to address them.

 

Salary negotiations are cut and dried. Many people are afraid to let their personalities show through during the negotiation, as they are told there is no room for flexibility. Well, likeability is a key factor to influencing people, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. In fact, emotional and social intelligence are crucial for a successful negotiation.

 

Benefits and other perks are non-negotiable. Although Human Resources may drive base salary, your direct supervisor usually is the one to negotiate additional benefits. Avoid focusing strictly on salary during your negotiation and make sure to discuss tuition assistance, paid time off, bonuses, and even cell phone reimbursement.

 

Companies aren’t willing to pay more for additional skill sets. The complete opposite is true; companies actually do pay more for in-demand skills. Often times they don’t advertise this, but employees with desired certified and non-certified skills are worth the extra pay. Some companies pay the employees with a bonus check, while others incorporate it into the base salary.

 

If you’re going to work for a startup, you’ll have to accept a lower base salary. Although it may seem like most startups have little funding, that’s not always the case. If you are applying to a startup, be upfront and ask what the funding situation is like and tailor your salary accordingly.

 

Equity can’t be negotiated. This might seem a bit trickier, but if you take the time to understand equity packages and all of their parts, you may be able to negotiate. The financial benefits of changing a few things about a stock agreement can be substantial, but you really need to know your stuff. If you are planning on negotiating equity, do your research and call in an expert if need be.

 

Remember, salary negotiation has a lot of moving factors and it’s important to understand them all. By understanding these factors, you’ll be able to negotiate a tailored solution to your needs. For more information on negotiating your salary, contact us today!

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Finding the perfect candidate for your organization is never an easy task. These days there tend to be hundreds of candidates per job posting, but how do you know you’re choosing the right one? Here at Atlas Consulting, we have prepared some tips on how to hire the best IT candidate for the job.

 

Really Understand the Job. When hiring, make sure you take time to review the position and post requirements for what you really need. This is essential. Positions often grow and change with time, so take the time to really understand what you are looking for and what your company needs. Be specific in order to draw the attention of the best candidates.

 

Preparation is Crucial. Make sure to take the time to review potential candidates’ resumes prior to the interview. It’s a good way to gain insight on their background, and when it’s time to interview, you should have questions prepared based on their prior work history. Keep in mind, the best candidates are going to have multiple offers, so it’s up to you to point out the benefits of working at your organization.

 

Find Someone with Expertise. If you are unsure of any aspect of the position, which is common with tech positions, find the person who knows the ins and outs. This person can be extremely helpful during an interview because they are able determine whether or not the candidate has the right skill set.

 

Call References. We can’t stress this one enough. So many interviewers do not call references, but if they’re available, utilize them! Ask questions about the candidates work style. For example, “Is the candidate more of an independent worker or does he/she work well with a team?” Avoid generalities when checking references.

 

Corporate Culture. Corporate culture tends to be a huge part of most companies. When hiring, look for someone who finds themselves aligned with your company’s values and able to mesh with the team. You want the transition to be as seamless as possible.

 

Don’t sell your company (or department) short during the hiring process. Take time to interview candidates and make an informed decision. Contact us today for more strategies on how to hire the best candidate.

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As many of you know, just about everyone is using social media (think LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) both professionally and personally. With this, keep in mind that employers are increasingly using social media to recruit candidates. Even if you are using your social media profiles for personal networking only, that doesn’t mean employers won’t search for you. Our IT recruiters at Atlas Consulting have compiled some information on social recruiting and what it means for your job search.

 

First things first, be prepared for companies to find out on the Internet. Not only are companies using social recruiting to scout for candidates, they are using it to investigate applicants they are considering hiring. Be mindful of what you post online and how others may perceive it. Did you know that every single tweet you post can be found on Google? Here’s a brief list of what not to do on social media:

 

  • Be aware that people are reading everything you post
  • Don’t post things that would embarrass yourself
  • Don’t say anything about your boss and other coworkers that you wouldn’t want them reading
  • Don’t take a chance of hurting your career

 

On the flip side, there are many positives to knowing that employers are utilizing social recruiting. One thing you can do to be found by recruiters online is expand your network before you need to. Talk to your connections on various social media platforms, and be engaged and proactive in your communications. The contacts you make online will help you transition to real face-time conversation.

 

Once your network is built, think about joining relevant industry groups and adding to conversations. You want your contacts to think of you as knowledgeable in your field, and that is a great way to start. Don’t feel the need to rush into everything either. Take it one contact at a time, and you will see your network build gradually. As you build your network, just remember to do so wisely and carefully, thinking twice before you post. Contact one of our IT recruiters for more tips on building your network and utilizing social media platforms.

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The area of Internet Technology has always been on the brink of innovation and thanks to the increase in cloud usage by businesses, the demand for IT experts is increasing. Business subscriptions to consumer-oriented, cloud-based storage are on the rise, leading to the creation of more IT jobs. As you may know, more and more providers are trying to monetize their cloud space (think 5 free gigabytes of storage forever) by adding paid services.

 

According to a recent survey of 855 respondents, made up of IT leaders, business users, and cloud vendors, cloud adoption is up 67% from last year. The survey also states, “Growth is consistent with forecasts from GigaOM Research, which expects the total worldwide addressable market for cloud computing to reach $158.8B by 2014, an increase of 126.5 percent from 2011.”

 

So, what does this mean for you? It means to start looking for careers in the area where cloud usage is most prevalent. One area to look that you might not have thought of is with mobile service providers. Mobile service providers are uniquely positioned because unlike other platforms (think Facebook and Google) they do not need to mine the information for marketing purposes.

 

You might be thinking, what qualifications do I need to land a job in this area?  For starters, you should be an expert in C programming for network and/or real-time systems. You must also have an understanding of networking technologies and L4-7 functions in complex network environments. Lastly, experience with Linux network application and REST API usage and definition are necessary.

 

There are also jobs out there for those who know data warehouse/data mart architecture and have experience with relational databases and big data technologies. It might seem like there are rigorous requirements for this job, but getting the proper qualifications are definitely worth it and the proof is in the numbers. Two short years ago, Forrester Research projected that the total cloud computing industry will grow from $40 billion in 2010 to $241 billion by 2020. If you’re looking for ways to break into this rapidly growing industry, or about how to get the proper qualifications, contact one of our IT recruiters today!