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All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian IT Contractors relating to linkedin.

IT Industry News for June 2016

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee,
Chairman of the Board at Eagle

This post first appeared on the Eagle Blog on July 6th, 2016

Tech News HeaderThis is my 30,000 foot look at events in the tech industry for June 2016. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.

A Little History of June in previous years

Five years ago in June 2011 the big deal of the month was Ericsson’s $1.5 Billion purchase of Tecordia; Oracle made a couple of acquisitions (storage vendor Pillar Data and Google signFatwire Software); Google also made a couple of acquisitions, (analytics company PostRank and advertising management company Admeld).  In June 2012 Microsoft’s $1.2 billion purchase of Yammer was the big deal of the month.  Salesforce paid $689 million for Buddy Media; Google reputedly paid $100 million for Meebo; Facebook bought facial recognition company Face.com; and Oracle bought “social intelligence” company Collective Intellect.  Another “buy” of interest to us at Eagle was the reputedly 7 figure purchase of Bullhorn by Vista Equity Partners (Bullhorn is Eagle’s front office software). Salesforce logoThree years ago, June 2013 saw Salesforce.com’s $2.5 billion purchase of marketing technology company ExactTarget as the big buy of the month.  Other acquisitions saw Irish mobile company Three pay $780 million for O2 Ireland; SanDisk paid $307 million for SMART Storage Systems; Cisco bought Composite Software for $180 million; IBM bought cloud company SoftLayer Technologies; and Buytopia.ca was on a spree with six acquisitions in the last year.  June 2014 saw some significant deals announced with Oracle paying $5 billion for Micros Systems; Sandisk paid $1.1 billion for solid state storage company Fusion-io.  Google continued its push into home automation, witnessed by its subsidiary Nest paying $550 million for cloud-based home monitoring service Dropcam.  Google itself paid $500 million for Skybox Imaging a satellite maker that would enhance the Google Maps capability. Twitter paid $100 million for mobile marketing Intel logoplatform Tap Commerce and Red Hat paid $95 million for eNovance.  Last year, June 2015 saw Intel pay $16.7 Billion for semiconductor company Altera Corp.  Cisco paid $635 million for security firm OpenDNS in addition to picking up OpenStack company, PistonCloud Computing. Microsoft bought 6Wunderkinder, maker of task management app Wunderlist; Ricoh Canada bought Graycon Group a professional services firm headquartered in Calgary; and finally IBM bought OpenStack company Blue Box Group.

Which brings us back to the present

LinkedIn LogoJune 2016 was certainly an interesting month, with the Brexit vote upsetting the markets and causing uncertainty that will likely continue for some time yet; plus there was plenty of M&A activity.  The big deal was undoubtedly the Microsoft purchase of LinkedIn for a whopping $26 billion.  There were other billion dollar deals this month too, Salesforce paid $2.8 billion for e-commerce platform maker Demandware and Amazon announced an extra $3 billion investment in its India operations.  Other significant deals saw Daetwyler Holdings AG pay more than $877 million for Raspberry Pi maker Premier Farnell Plc; Red Hat paid $568 million for API management software company 3Scale; and OpenText paid $315 million for HP’s Customer Communication Management products.  Other deals saw an investment group buy Dell’s software arm; Microsoft bought natural language start up Wand Labs; and Samsung bought cloud computing company Joyent.  Also Google Capital announced its first investment in a public company, investing $46 million in Care.com, an online personal services marketplace platform.

The US economic news was less buoyant, but they still added 170,000 new jobs and all indicators are relatively positive, just not as positive as the past couple of years.  Canada continues to show little sign of booming, but that is likely expected given our dependence on a hurting resource sector and the ambivalence of our governments to provide any help to that sector.

That’s what caught my eye over the last month, the full edition will be available soon on the Eagle website.  Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with the July 2016 industry news in just about a month’s time.

Don’t Get Caught Lying on Your LinkedIn Profile

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee,
Chairman of the Board at Eagle

This favourite post from The Eagle Blog was originally posted January 7th, 2014
Job applicant being interviewed and demonstrating his lies with a growing nose

There have been many articles written about the consequences of lying on your resume … consider this article about the biggest lies and how people get caught.

Perhaps you could read this Globe article from 2010.

This is a 2013 article on About,com talking about the consequences of lying on your resume.

OK … I think we can all agree that lying on your resume has the potential to cause you a lot of problems.

Here is the thing … your LinkedIn profile is your online resume!

You are declaring to the world that THIS is who I am, this is my experience and these are my accomplishments.

How stupid is it to lie on your LinkedIn profile?

  1. Everyone sees your LinkedIn profile … the only people who see your resume are the people you send it to!  So … lying on LinkedIn is infinitely more likely to be found out!
  2. To be caught in a lie is a huge blight on your personal brand.  With your resume the impact is likely the person you sent it to, and perhaps people within the company.  If you are unlucky it may become public.  To be caught online by all the people who know you lied magnifies the problem many fold, hence it WILL go public.
  3. Once you have been caught in a lie then your credibility is zero … that’s pretty tough on you if you make your living based on your credibility.

SO …

Don’t lie.

  1. Do not remove work experience from your profile by stretching the dates of the company before and/or the company after.
  2. You can get away with a little “pumping up” of your role … but you can’t invent a new title, or change the amount of time that you had a title.
  3. Credentials can be checked … don’t give yourself academic credentials that you have not earned.
  4. Less is better … if you don’t want stuff on your profile don’t put it there,.  Better to have a work history going back two years and omitting your offensive experiences than to lie about them.

Keep Up-to-Date and Improve Your Job Search

3 Tools That Will Make You the Most Informed Contractor in Your Network

Having the right knowledge and information is a massive competitive advantage in the IT contracting market. The more up-to-date you are on client news, industry trends, and opportunities, the easier it is to find work and keep a steady flow of contracts. Unfortunately, there is no magical place you can go to that has all of that customized and readily available for you each morning… or is there? No, there isn’t.  At least not without a bit of work up-front.

What do you want to know?

The quest for being well informed begins with knowing what it is you want to be informed about. Take some time to plan out every source from which you want frequent updates. Consider your top clients or companies with whom you want to work, your top staffing agencies, some other job boards that have brought you success, and news websites or blogs that provide information on the latest trends in your trade. Now you have a list, albeit long, it’s a list. Your next step is to find a tool that will aggregate and organize all of the information for you.

LinkedIn

LinkedInThe simplest tool is probably LinkedIn because most contractors are already there. Go through your target client list, company-by-company, search out their page, and follow them. Now, updates from that company will appear on your newsfeed whenever you log in. As long as you’re in the habit of checking regularly (LinkedIn’s mobile app makes it very easy), you should be fairly up-to-date on your favourite companies.

Unfortunately with LinkedIn, “fairly up-to-date” is the best you can hope for. If you manage to find all of the LinkedIn pages for your favourite companies, you’ll also find that some don’t post updates. For those who are active, it’s almost guaranteed that they’re not posting all news and opportunities – they don’t want to spam their newsfeeds.

Speaking of newsfeeds, just because you follow somebody, it doesn’t mean their updates will appear in your feed. LinkedIn can’t show you everything, so it automatically filters posts based on what it thinks is more relevant to you.

Twitter

Twitter is the other social network where you’ll have good results with company updates. As with LinkedIn, there’s no guarantee that everybody has a Twitter account and, if they do, there is no guarantee that they’re active. The biggest differentiator between Twitter and LinkedIn is the posting etiquette. Where most pages on the professional social network only post a maximum of two to three times a day, Twitter profiles are more open, sometimes posting over twenty times per day. And Twitter feeds include all posts.

Many companies have a Twitter account dedicated to posting everything they publish — every article, every job opportunity, and all company news. Twitter is fantastic if you want instantaneous news, but it’s overwhelming, which is why lists are mandatory if you want to be organized. Twitter Lists allow you add certain profiles into a group, for example “IT Contract Opportunities.” Then, when you’re interested in learning more about that specific topic, you can view the news only in that list. We recommend using a tool such as HootSuite to manage and view your lists even more efficiently.

RSS Feeds

LinkedIn and Twitter are fantastic, but they are flawed in that they require a company to continually maintain their posts. Organizations often start with good intentions of posting everything, but those posts can start to fade. That’s what makes RSS Feeds the superior method of following a company.

RSS Feeds automatically publish frequently updated information from specific web pages, such as blog entries, job boards, press releases and news headlines. RSS Feeds are a great “set it and forget it” tool, meaning once an RSS feed has been created, as long as no other back-end code changes affect it, the feed is continuously updating. (For example, you can view the RSS Feeds for the Talent Development Centre, Eagle Jobs, and Eagle’s CEO Blog)

RSS IconIt takes a little bit more work upfront, but you can take advantage of RSS Feeds by subscribing to a feed reader (ex. Digg, Feedly, or any other app that you may find). Then, visit each company’s website to search for their feed (it’s often found by clicking on an image like the one to the right) or search out the company directly from your feed reader.  Like Twitter, you can then group all of your feeds, and all of the most up-to-date information is available to you each time you open the reader. If you’re still loyal to Twitter accounts but like the idea of RSS Feeds, this site will help you turn any Twitter feed into an RSS feed.

So what are you waiting for? It may take a time commitment to set yourself up properly, and you need to set time aside to keep up with all of your new information, but it’s well worth it. You’ll know about jobs as soon as their published, client news as soon as it breaks, and hot trends before they make it to the water cooler!

How to Get on a Recruiter’s Bad Side

How to Get on a Recruiter's Bad SideOver the past month, we’ve shared some posts about why you should want to become one of your recruiter’s top-of-mind candidates and some tips to earn you that status, as per responses from Eagle’s recruiters in a recent survey. As hinted to in those posts, if it’s possible to become a favourite candidate, it’s also possible to become a not-so-favourite candidate.

In the same survey that asked recruiters how to become one of their favourite contractors, we also asked them the easiest way to be disliked. The results didn’t present any surprises or one particular outstanding characteristic, but there were four characteristics that stood out among the rest:

  • Bad behaviour at a client’s site;
  • Bad work ethic;
  • Rude during the recruiting process; and,
  • Lying about your skills.

In the previous post, we discovered that the best way to be remembered is to be personable, so it’s only logical that the first three traits are all related to the opposite of that. We also noted that great performance while on contract could make you top-of-mind, so again, it’s understandable that bad behaviour and bad work ethic leads a recruiter to have a negative impression of you.

The final one — lying about skills — is worth further discussion. The temptation to fluff up your skills in your resume or on LinkedIn can be strong, especially if you’ve been out of work for some time, but the consequences can be detrimental. The client will recognize quickly that you’re not qualified, at which point it will be surprising if you last more than a few weeks. The impact is more than just losing a contract, though. The client will lose faith in you and it will harm the relationship the recruiter has with the client. In return, the recruiter will not trust you, will think of you as a last resort for any future calls, and will probably speak of their experience with you within their recruiting network.

The good news in all of this is that redemption is possible! In our survey, we also asked recruiters if once in their bad books, a contractor has a chance of moving up to top of mind. More than a third of Eagle’s recruiters said yes, you do, and more than half responded maybe, depending on the situation. If it was a one-time first impression, your odds are better and most recruiters will be open to learning more about you in future interviews and experiences. That said, ethical issues such as lying or bad behaviour with a client decreases your chances significantly.

Being remembered by a recruiter as somebody they dislike hurts your chances of winning a contract even more than not being remembered at all. If you don’t see value in putting in effort to become a top-of-mind candidate, we recommend, at a minimum, making sure you don’t become a bottom candidate.

LinkedIn – The Ultimate Cheat Sheet (Infographic)

Last week we shared the Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Coding. It was long, detailed, in-depth and generated some positive feedback, but not everybody needs to find the best code. Here’s another extensive cheat sheet infographic that is for everybody. It was created by leisureJobs and covers everything there is to know about LinkedIn.

Whether you want to build the perfect profile, create optimized images, gain more recommendations, learn the hidden features of LinkedIn, add SEO capabilities, enhance security, or just get started, this infographic will benefit you. A word of caution before you look at it: this may distract you for a while.
Leisurejobs.com

Leisurejobs.com

How to Quickly Lose LinkedIn Connections!

Frances McCart By Frances McCart,
Vice-President, Business Development at Eagle

business time outLinkedIn has become a very important social media tool for business professionals.  With more than 400 million members in 200+ countries, it has become a ‘go to’ site for networking, potential job opportunities, and interesting posts.

Inevitably, with the positives come some negatives.  I recently read a post about some of the most annoying behaviours on LinkedIn – and I’ve unfortunately come across many of these behaviours myself.

Although I maintain a very lean network of professionals that I have worked with and met personally, I am sometimes surprised at the content that I come across on a daily basis.  One of my biggest pet peeves is how overcrowded my LinkedIn network feed has become.  I am finding that I have to sift through a lot of junk updates to actually find out what my contacts are up to or to find an interesting or relevant article.

When speaking with candidates about how to manage their LinkedIn profile, I often caution the LinkedIn user to post content carefully.  Like any social network, people are interested in you but don’t always want to be keep up to date on every thought, opinion or personal situation. You won’t necessarily know that you’ve been ‘unfollowed’, but rest assured, it’s an option that users take advantage of.

When posting updates, make the content meaningful and more importantly, make sure it is professional.  For some additional tips, here is a post on how to manage who sees your network feed and how to manage what others see of your postings.  Also, check out this more recent article discussing some default LinkedIn settings you should change in order to have a more successful LinkedIn experience.

Never Do This on LinkedIn

Never Do This on LinkedInAre you driving away recruiters and other valuable connections with a terrible LinkedIn profile? You probably wouldn’t know, unless you knew what makes a terrible LinkedIn profile. Once again, rather than scouring infographics and statistics, we went to the best resource we could find to learn first-hand what you should never do on LinkedIn. Here’s what Eagle’s Recruiters said when we asked them “What are your biggest turn-offs in a LinkedIn profile?”

Surprisingly (note the sarcasm), poor use of profile photos is a pet-peeve, as you may note from these turn-offs:

  • No picture or an unprofessional photo
  • Terrible profile picture
  • Ridiculous photo
  • Weird selfies
  • Bad LinkedIn photos: blurry, no smile, face covered, photo of children, multiple people in the photo, in costume, etc., unless any of it is relevant to that persons career.
    (editor’s note: we’re unsure what “in costume” references, but we’re just as curious as you are to see some examples of people who wear irrelevant costumes in their LinkedIn photo)

Disliked profiles also come with similar traits about quality of information:

  • Profiles with no details
  • Having no information
  • No descriptions
  • No dates
  • No details about the project (job title only)
  • Very little content
  • Profiles that have not been updated in years and ones that have barely any information or detail in them

Other  turn-offs include:

  • Bad grammar, spelling mistakes and inappropriate profile photo
  • Few connections
  • Using LinkedIn like Facebook
  • Inappropriate posts or pictures
  • Inappropriate comments on articles (yes, people can see those!)
  • Inflammatory comments or posts made by user

And of course, the same annoyances they see in resumes carry over to their dislikes in LinkedIn profiles:

  • Years instead of actual dates, and job titles without descriptions
  • Walls of text
  • Employers listed with no position details
  • Employment gaps

What profile features keep you from connecting with somebody on LinkedIn? Share your pet peeves below and together, maybe we can create a more enjoyable LinkedIn experience for everyone!

Recruiters Reveal What Makes a Great LinkedIn Profile

What Makes a Great Profile, Answered by RecruitersYou’ve read the advice over and over, especially on the Talent Development Centre — a great LinkedIn profile is important for networking, especially as an independent contractor. You’ve also seen all of the cliché tips scattered all over the internet telling you how to improve your profile.

Rather than just throw more of those same old facts at you, we decided to go one step further and sought advice directly from Eagle Recruiters. Here are some exact quotes from when we asked “What makes a great LinkedIn profile?”

Many recruiters think your LinkedIn profile should have similar qualities to your resume:

  • A complete profile that resembles their resume.
  • Lots of information. It should be just as informative as a resume.
  • Company, job title, summary of experience (including relevant technologies used), and results (where appropriate).
  • A complete, concise profile with dates, job titles, and companies clearly listed.
  • A brief description under each position is also helpful.
  • Succinct info that gives a clear indication of the individual’s skills and experience.

Others want to know you’re taking advantage of LinkedIn’s unique networking opportunities

  • Nice to see lots of connections and recommendations.
  • Recommendations are great if from other respected individuals.
  • It helps if they’re active on the network too.
  • Think key words recruiters are using for searches and add them to your profile.

Of course, the simple and professional details still matter:

  • Correct grammar, no spelling mistakes.
  • Professional profile picture.
  • Personality, especially in the summary. Keeping it professional, but add some personal flare.
  • One that is up to date and accurate.

What about you? What do you do with your LinkedIn profile to grab a recruiter’s attention?  Share them in the comments below.

2015 in Review: LinkedIn

2015 in Review: LinkedInSaying LinkedIn replaces the need for networking events is the equivalent of saying Facebook replaces the need for a New Year’s Eve Party. However, just as Facebook makes planning events and connecting with friends much easier, LinkedIn makes networking and job searching extremely easy.

In the past year, we shared many articles, infographics and videos about LinkedIn and how you can improve your presence. Below are some of our favourites

Stay tuned to the Talent Development Centre in the new year where we’ll share our recruiters’ opinions on what makes or breaks a LinkedIn profile.

The Top 5 Must-Haves in Your LinkedIn Profile

5 Must-Haves for SuccessIt’s no secret that recruiters use LinkedIn to source contractors for different opportunities. As a proactive professional, you probably have a LinkedIn profile set-up, but that may not be enough. LinkedIn offers a number of different sections that you can include in your profile to enhance it and, while you don’t need to complete all of them, you need to know which ones are most important. To help answer that question, we asked Eagle’s recruiters which sections they look at and need to be completed before contacting a candidate, and put together this list of Top 5 Must-Haves (actually, there are 6 items, but #5 was a tie and Top 5 just reads better).

#1 – Experience

Hopefully this isn’t coming as a shock to you. 100% of Eagle’s recruiters stated that experience is absolutely necessary to have in your profile.  The Experience section lets you list all of your employers chronologically and give a brief description what you did with each one. As an independent contractor, you are your own employer which is fine. You can use the Experience section to highlight that you’re self-employed, and describe what it is you do as an independent contractor.

#2 – Skills

Skills are the second most important element and the Skills and Endorsements section is a great place to put them. LinkedIn will automatically generate some suggestions for you and you can add others as you please. What’s better, is your connections can then endorse you for those skills with the click of a button. When you have more endorsements, it shows recruiters that you really are qualified. Finally, adding more skills to your profile makes you more searchable on LinkedIn, and more likely to be found.

#3 – Projects

The Projects section is perfect for independent contractors. Where the experience section described in #1 is for employment details, the Projects section is where you can list specific work completed for clients. This section may not be part of your default Profile options. To add it, while editing your profile, click the “View More” link located right above your Summary. This will open a variety of sections you can add, including the Projects section.  Here you can add many details, including any URLs to more information about the project and link to other Team Members on LinkedIn.

#4 – Education

The Education section isn’t just for the degree you received 20 years ago, but for all other courses you may have taken since then. Recruiters review this section to see how up-to-date your skills are and to find out if you’re serious about staying relevant in the industry.

#5 – Summary AND Profile Photo

Although these two tied at the bottom of the list, they are must-haves none-the-less and 25% of Eagle’s recruiters won’t even look at your profile unless you have these.  A good summary contains keywords that help you get found in a search and is what will grab a recruiter’s attention. We’ve posted a lot about profile photos in the past, including this infographic about what not to use. Of this entire list, both the Summary and Profile photo may be the fastest and easiest to complete, so if you haven’t already, we recommend starting here!

There are many other sections for a LinkedIn profile and you can explore them all. Every contractor’s experience and story is unique, so create a LinkedIn profile that reflects yours. If you have any more tips you’d like to share about getting noticed on LinkedIn, please include them in the comments below!