Dating Advice That Applies to Your Job Search


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Dating Advice that Relates to Your Job SearchFinding a recruiter, building your relationship and working to get a job through them can be a long, complicated, some-what awkward and sometimes painful experience… not too different from dating. In fact, the two experiences are quite similar and you can apply the same rules and best practices to finding recruiters as you can for seeking a life partner. If you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while, you may not be familiar with how that world works today. This post will catch you up and help you find a job.

Rather than hashing out the same old job search tips, let’s review common dating advice and apply it to building a relationship with the right recruiter.

  1. Online Dating vs In-Person Dating 

    Introducing yourself to a recruiter face-to-face is more beneficial to you than sending them a summary of yourself online. When you meet at a networking event, you get the opportunity to sell yourself, make a more personal connection, and know a lot sooner if things are going to click. Vice-versa, a LinkedIn introduction or applying to an online job means you have limited space to write the perfect message and present a professional image. You’re also depending on the recruiter to open it and interpret it as you’d intended.

Still, those face-to-face opportunities are far and few between. And once there, it will be difficult to get the attention of the popular recruiters who have more to offer, especially if you have to compete with a smooth talking, desperate job seeker. Keeping a great profile on online platforms like LinkedIn and job boards lets you browse multiple recruiters and agencies at the same time, and allows them to search and send you messages as well.

  1. Beware of “Ghosting” and “Catfishing” (and don’t do it yourself) 

    Have you heard of these two terms? They’re a result of advent of online dating and the Urban Dictionary defines them as follows:

Ghosting: The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date.

Catfishing: Hiding who you really are to hook someone into an online relationship using social media or by cell phone.

When searching for jobs online and building relationships with recruiters, be aware that there are unfortunately some unethical ones who will suddenly stop calling you without providing feedback on your skills, or who will promise you the world only to reveal later that they have nothing. You can’t control these types, but you can ensure you don’t become one.

Never ghost your recruiter. Try to return their phone calls as promptly as possible and, if you do decide that for whatever reason you do not want to work with them, be upfront so they can remove you from their contact lists. Similarly, catfishing recruiters by claiming you have skills and experiences that you do not only tarnishes your reputation. Recruiters talk to each other and it will just be a matter of time before the entire industry blocks your profile.

  1. That Awkward First Date 

    Possibly the most dreadful start to any relationship is the first time you meet. Will they be who they say they are? Will we click? What will we talk about? Naturally on your first meeting a recruiter will lead the conversation but be prepared to open up about yourself. Engage in small talk, let them know what you’re seeking and your future plans, and be honest about your past experiences. Finally, put in an effort to get to know them as well. Learn about what they’re offering, who they are as a person and the best ways to communicate with them.

  1. Should You Keep It Exclusive? 

    This question can be taboo in the dating world but has a very simple answer when it comes to recruiters — absolutely not! No single recruiter can offer you everything you want for the rest of your career. When you put all your eggs in one basket, you risk being left at the start of the dating process, alone and unemployed. Therefore, it’s completely acceptable, in fact encouraged, to build relationships with multiple recruiters and agencies. Some you will like more than others, some will offer you more money, and some will even get jealous, but you’re under no obligation to tell them about each other.

  1. Know When to Cut Ties or Move to the Next Level 

    Unfortunately, all-too-often relationships with the person we thought would last forever come to an end. Perhaps they haven’t offered anything enticing, maybe they’ve changed since you first met, or it’s possible they moved to a place where you do not want to be. Regardless, it’s important to recognize when the relationship has played its course so you can move on. Just avoid ending things on bad terms so a flame can spark up again in the future and be quick to replace them with somebody new, with whom you can start to build a mutually beneficial professional relationship.

A Job Seeker’s Guide to Brand Building — How to get Started


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Brianne Risley By Brianne Risley,
Delivery Manager at Eagle

A Job Seeker's Guide to Brand Building -- How to get StartedChances are if you’re engaging in a career search, you’ve heard about the key role Personal Branding plays in landing you the job you want. A brand is your elevator speech. It is your career and unique value proposition shared in 30 seconds. It is how you want others to view you — hiring managers, colleagues, peers, friends.

For as important as it is, it can be daunting to figure out where to start to build a personal brand of your own. I recently reviewed many articles and sources on this topic which all suggest this basic framework or something similar to it. Answer these questions simply and read the result aloud. The result should be the beginning of your 30 second elevator speech that you can tweak before your next interview:

Step 1: State WHAT you are — your primary job role.

“I’m a visionary coding artist who connects bipeds to binary”.  No.

“I’m a career Business Analyst….” Yes.

Be specific on what your primary job role is — two words. Don’t come with a long list of your capabilities, just mention the one that aligns well with the job you are interviewing for. A hiring manager won’t want to hear how passionate you are about Management Consulting when she’s interviewing you for a Business Analyst position.

Step 2: Share WHO you enjoy helping.

“I can work with anybody, I like People!” No.

“…. and I’ve enjoyed success partnering with Fortune 500 companies….” Yes

Mention specific industries? Business groups? Methodologies? Keep it short and simple. This line captures an element of what makes you passionate about your job. When you say it, it should get you smiling, or at least give you a charming eye twinkle.

Step 3: Say HOW you make their life/work better.

“…to give individual teams the chance to collaborate and voice design ideas. Small design stories have made the biggest impact on my best projects.”

Step 4: Give PROOF that you are credible.

“I am a proud holder of my CBAP designation…”

Results? Rewards? Credentials? Pick one to mention here.

Step 5: Wrap it up and turn it over to the manager.

“I’m looking forward to hearing more about your project team and how I can help”

You’re expressing interest in the role (ie: I want to hear more) and giving the manager an opening to do some of the talking about his/her project team.

Just like consumers who line up to buy the newest phone, hiring managers are making an emotional buying decision when they select a candidate for hire. A personal brand is your ticket — your bridge to move beyond just the skills on your resume and connect with your leader on a more personal level. It gives you access to that emotional buying centre. Invest the time, build your brand, and be prepared to really impress someone in your next interview.

Other Tips:

PRACTICE — Sit in front of the mirror, make eye contact with yourself, and practice it until your branding pitch is second nature. Focus on making sure you get a little sparkle in your eye when you say it — that’s how you know it’s personal enough, and it will help you connect emotionally with a manager!

VALIDATE IT — Use the dinner party rule. If you shared your brand with a stranger at a party, can you get through it without sounding ridiculous? A brand is personal and central — if you feel silly saying it, the statement needs fixing. “I’m a visionary coding artist who connects bipeds to binary”.  No.

IF YOU ARE STILL STUCK – If you don’t know where to start, LinkedIn is like the “Amazon” of personal branding. You can shop, browse, and select something that works. The “Whos” in your industry — how have they branded themselves? Is there anything that works for you? Ask people you know and trust what your brand is — how might they describe you to a person you don’t know.

Quick Poll Results: How often do you restart your cell phone?


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We’re quite confident that almost everybody reading this blog uses a cell phone (you may even be reading this from your smartphone right now). What we have no idea about is how each individual IT professional uses and maintains their phone… at least not until today, when we can finally get a very small piece of insight into the topic.

Last month’s contractor quick poll asked our readers how often they take the time the restart their phone, as recommended by many cell phone experts. The results are below and there is no single time period that stands out.

How Often Do You Restart Your Cell Phone?

Quick Poll Results: How often do you restart your cell phone?

The Secrets to a Perfect Interview Follow-Up Email


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It should be no secret to you that a quick follow-up email after an interview is a valuable action to take after meeting with a recruiter or client. In fact, some would argue that it no longer differentiates you from your competitors, but puts you on the same level. It may be more accurate to say that failing to send a follow-up would differentiate you in a negative light.

Still, too often this task gets missed by independent contractors. Or, if it does get completed, the follow-up is not always as valuable as it could be. There are many factors to consider when sending an interview follow-up email and this infographic from The Sales Pro Blog sums them up nicely. It reviews the basics of a follow-up email, why they’re important, what they should accomplish, when to send them and what to avoid. Do you send follow-up emails after every interview? Do you believe them to be important? Share your knowledge below.

Click Image to Enlarge

The Art Of The Interview Follow Up Email
Source: Interview Follow Up Email Infographic

 

Is DNA the Future of Data Storage?


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Move over floppy disk, there’s a new storage device in town! Ok, there have already been a few innovations since our old “save icon” became obsolete, but one has to sit back and be impressed by the progress we’ve made in storage. From massive machines that used an entire room to tiny chips, it’s almost unthinkable how much data we can put into one place. According to this video from TED-Ed, we still haven’t seen the best of it — apparently DNA is the future of storage!

The video explains how scientists have developed a way to send secret messages via DNA. The technology has since been advanced to store massive amounts of data on a microscopic piece that can last hundreds of thousands of years. Sound too good be true? Check out the video…

IT Industry News for October 2017


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

This post first appeared on The Eagle Blog on November 14th, 2017

A Little History of previous year’s Octobers

Tech NewsFive years ago in October 2012, news was dominated by Hurricane Sandy and the US presidential election.  The big deal of the month was a $1.5 billion merger of two US cell carriers, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. There were also a number of smaller deals, with EMC beefing up in the security area (Silver Tail), Telus expanding its medical solutions portfolio (Kinlogix Medical) and Avnet improving its IBM capabilities (BrightStar and BSP). In the social networking world, Yelp bought its European competitor Qype in a $50 million deal. In October 2013, Oracle announced two acquisitions, both cloud based companies: Big Machines and Compendium. Other “names” out shopping included Avaya buying the software division of ITNavigator for its call centre and social media monitoring software; Rackspace bought ZeroVM, a tech company with a software solution for the cloud; Intuit bought consulting company Level Up Analytics, primarily to acquire its talent; VMWare bought “desktop as a service” company Desktone; Netsuite bought human capital software company TribeHR; and Telus enhanced its mobile offering with the purchase of Public Mobile. Three years ago, in October 2014 we saw a new trend with two public companies both choosing to split into smaller entities. HP announced it was creating a business service focused Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and personal computing & printer company HP Inc. Symantec also chose to split into two independent public companies, one focused on business and consumer security products, the other on its information management portfolio. Other interesting news saw IBM pay $1.5 billion to GlobalFoundries so it would take away its money-losing semiconductor manufacturing business. NEST bought competitor Revolv; EMC bought three cloud companies — The Cloudscaling Group, Maginatics and Spanning Cloud Apps — and in Korea, Kakao and Daum merged to form a $2.9 billion internet entity. October 2015 brought some big deals with the biggest seeing Dell offer $26 billion to buy storage company EMC. Interestingly an EMC subsidiary, VMWare was also out shopping, picking up a small email startup, Boxer. In another deal involving “big bucks”, Western Digital paid $19 billion for storage competitor Sandisk. IBM were also writing a big cheque, paying $2 billion in a big data/internet of things play for The Weather Network (minus the TV operations), and IBM also picked up a storage company, Cleversafe. Cisco paid $522.5 million for cybersecurity firm Lancope; LogMeIn paid $110 million for LastPass; Trend Micro paid $350 million for next generation intrusion prevention systems company HP Tippingpoint; Red Hat picked up deployment task execution and automation company Ansible; Vasco Data Security paid $85 million for solution provider Silanis; and Apple bought a speech processing startup, VocalIQ. As industries converged, it was interesting to see Securitas pay $350 million for Diebold’s US Electronic Security business. October 2016 saw Qualcomm pay $47 billion for NXP Semiconductor. The only other sizable deal saw Wipro pay $500 million for IT cloud consulting company Appirio. Google picked up Toronto-based video marketing startup FameBit and Pivot Technology Solutions picked up Ottawa-based Teramach.

Which brings us back to the present

October 2017 continues a recent trend of reduced big ticket M&A activity, although there was certainly some action. Not yet a done deal, but Broadcom is chasing Qualcomm pretty hard and if it goes through it will be the biggest tech deal yet.  The latest rejected offer was north of $100 billion (some reports said $130 billion), but watch that space. In the meantime, Cisco is shelling out $1.9 billion for Broadsoft which improves Cisco’s software capabilities. The final significant deal saw Telus beef up its service provider capability with a $250 million purchase of Xavient.

The other company in the news was Amazon (a) because of its much publicized search for a site for its second headquarters which has 239 cities around the world excited at their prospects; (b) because they also announced a second presence in Vancouver, bringing another 1,000 jobs and (c) for its growing influence in the AI world, announcing a research center in Germany.

The economy continues to have many positive signs, although Hurricane’s Harvey, Irma and to a lesser extent Maria caused some temporary negative impact to employment numbers in the US. The general consensus seems to be that things will pick up again now, with some sectors even benefiting from the clean-up work. Canada’s numbers were again good with Canada adding more than 300,000 jobs in the last year.

The Workplace of the Future? The Answer is Probably Somewhere in the Middle


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Cameron McCallum By Cameron McCallum,
Regional Vice President at Eagle

There are a number of generally accepted theories as to what the workplace will look like in the near future. With the advent of new and more powerful technology, change is inevitable. And while it is fun to imagine a world of AI, advanced robotics and other marvels of the future which will make our lives so much better, the truth probably lies closer to the middle in that for every potential win for humanity, there is likely an offsetting loss and which side you are on might be as simple as the circumstance and geography to which you were born. Here are some of the most common predictions with a cold, hard look at what it might really mean.

  1. The Rise of the Freelancer

Much has been made of the fact that today more than at any other time, the use of freelancers is expanding. In the information technology field, independent contractors are seen as an essential part of the labour mix. They bring specific experience not available among client’s employees or they help to shore up a project that requires a temporary increase in manpower. But ideas like the “Taskification” of work whereby companies tap into a global pool of freelancers who perform work or “tasks” for a fee is also seen as a growing trend. Taskification allows for employers to tap into a global pool of workers but with no obligations to those individuals. Simply hiring the lowest-priced labor with no concern for their well-being or the conditions under which they deliver their labor is potentially no different than the existing issue of the sweatshops of developing countries.

  1. The Disappearance of the Bricks and Mortar Office

The downfall of the corporate office workspace and traditional employee has been predicted for years. I can remember during the dot.com boom everyone talking about the new economy and how a much more flexible workplace would mean that more and more tech workers could work from home or from random geographic locations. “Co-working” and “Digital Nomads” offer two solutions and address both the problem of isolation that freelancers experience working from home as well as the wander-lust that more and more workers exhibit. The benefits of co-working seem obvious, a “social” space whereby individuals work on their specific assignments while networking and sharing ideas sounds great. But individuals using these spaces report frequent interruptions, difficulty in locking in on their tasks and constant chatter about new and exciting opportunities…which just might be better than the one they are currently working on. And having a workforce, spread across the globe working off their laptop, probably on a beach in the tropics sounds idyllic. But even with the most disciplined worker, is it unfair to suggest that they might just be more inclined to disengage from work when presented with a constant temptation of leisure and recreational activities?  We are already in the middle of a trend that sees workers move jobs more frequently than at any time in history. The effort that goes into acquiring, training and retaining talent is already daunting. While co-working and digital nomads might not exacerbate the trend, I’m not convinced that it is the answer to productivity and retention.

  1. Driverless Cars

This is not so directly related to work but I was struck by this while I attended a presentation recently at the faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta. The topic was driverless cars and looked at a future of networked, people movers which would move citizens and therefore workers to their destinations seamlessly and without accidents or other human-induced glitches. While the idea of relegating gridlock to the pages of history and reducing the human carnage of vehicle accidents is vastly appealing, the presenter mentioned that networked vehicles would also give the worker of the future a “work pod” connected at all times to their place of work while they travelled throughout the day. As we already know, it is getting harder and harder to disengage from work and the thought of a vehicle designed around my desk at work tends to make me cringe. Sure, we’ll also use the vehicle for fun…

 

  1. Retirement will be a Thing of the Past

For some, the ability to continue to work well past their retirement years is an attractive proposition. If you are in a job you love, retirement may not be something you aspire to. And with advances in health care and medical treatment, people are living longer. Demographic changes and an aging workforce may mean more opportunity for our seniors to stay gainfully employed. But for those who are looking forward to retirement their choices may be considerably more limited. Personal debt is at an all-time high and for many workers, the cost of living in large cities where the jobs are presents a massive strain on their budgets. People are living longer, putting more stress on their savings and the same advances in health care and medical treatment mentioned above, means that individuals will have to plan for longer lives. Seniors may very well represent a viable labour force, and for many of them, that may be a good thing. But for those who dream of a life of travel or fishing after their work years, those dreams may be out of their reach.

The future as always, holds the promise of fascinating advances in technology and with these advances, opportunities for humans to experience the world in new ways. Work is and will continue to be impacted by these changes and many of them should be positive. But we also need to be aware that none, in and of themselves, will work for everyone, nor solve all challenges and that the answer, probably does lie somewhere in the middle.

Contractor Quick Poll: How Often Do You Send Follow-Up Emails?


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An common piece of advice provided by job search gurus is to always follow-up after an interview. Hand-written notes and cards have been recommended for decades and since the internet came around in the last 20-30 years, emails started to take their place (though some still believe in the power of a pen and paper).

Even with all of the preaching of interview follow-ups and research indicating their advantages, we still do not see independent contractors taking advantage of this quick and simple task. To get an understanding how important it is in to those in our industry, we’re asking about it in this month’s quick poll:

The State of PHP Today and Tomorrow


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It’s hard to believe that 2017 is already coming to an end, but it’s not over yet. That means we can squeeze in one more 2017-themed infographic!

PHP is a dominant programming language used throughout technology. At the start of the year, RogueWave put together this infographic summarizing the state of PHP, backing up the fact that it’s important to know and offering some predictions into what we could expect this year.

If you regularly work with PHP, you may have noticed some of these trends continue throughout the year. The 2017 Stackoverflow Developer Survey revealed that PHP continues to be one of the most popular languages (#6) yet at the same time, made the list of the most dreaded (#15). What do you think about PHP and its future for 2018?

The State of PHP Today and Tomorrow

10 Habits of Happy People


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Do you want to be happy? Of course you do! Granted, some days it isn’t possible to get a smile on your face and it’s easier said than done with factors beyond our control. But, there are some actions you can take to make you a happier person in general – that’s according to this video from Practical Psychology.

According to the video, there are 10 habits that separate happy people from less happy people:

  1. Gratefulness
  2. Optimism
  3. Smiling a lot
  4. Having a lot of friends
  5. Weeding out bad friends
  6. Taking frequent breaks
  7. Setting SMART goals
  8. Learning when they’re sad
  9. Taking care of themselves
  10. Helping people

If the list above piques your curiosity, then watch the complete video below for all of the details (and remember to share this with any unhappy friends).