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First Impressions Last

May 20th, 2015

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We all know that the cover of a book never tells the whole story; but on the job hunt- first impressions last.  Recruiters and hiring managers want to get past the title page and uncover your story. And in technology staffing, these impressions are vital as the market moves at light speed, languages & software are constantly updating, and companies demand more than just technical skills.  Some of our top recruiters sat down and talked about what makes a good first impression and what immediately turns them off.

KThumbs Up Greenim: I’m most impressed with someone who is passionate about what they do. If you are truly passionate about your job, you go above and beyond. A hiring manager once told me, “if you tell me you are open to learning a technology, but you don’t do anything on your own to learn, it’s like telling me you want to lose weight, but you’ve never been on a treadmill.”

Thumbs Up GreenMike: In the tech industry, there is a misconception that coders & developers are buried in a back corner, headphones in their ears, hunched over a keyboard. This just isn’t the case. Communication skills and personality are becoming more and more critical to our clients.  Effective communication is always a great way to get my attention.

Thumbs Up & Down Red_GreenMarina: Confidence. I guess this can be both impressive and a turn off. You need to believe in yourself, your skills, and your ability to land a job.  But, there is a fine line between confidence and an inflated ego.

Thumbs Down RedOlivia: Leave your ego at the door! We know that you have some of the top tech skills in the country but we have a lot of experience working through the hiring process for your specific skills set.  Plus, we have insight about how certain hiring managers conduct their interviews or how do you get you more money! My goal is to help!

Thumbs Down RedNick: It is frustrating when people immediately shut themselves off to certain industries without even taking the time to research or talk with the company.  It never hurts to network, practice your interview skills, and learn more about an industry that you might not be familiar with.

Thumbs Up GreenRachel: A smile, a handshake, and a put-together appearance (stained clothes happen a lot more often than you think!) go a long way.  But I’m really impressed by someone who can bring in a well-written, easy to follow, 1-2 page resume.  This gives us more time to go beyond the resume and truly get into your needs and wants in a new position.

Thumbs Up GreenNick: I find it really impressive when candidates are able to articulate what they really want. It makes a big difference if you can tell me your ideal type of working environment.  Small team? Collaborative? Work from home? Large organization? Learning opportunities?

Thumbs Down RedMike: Sometimes candidates have had a really bad experience with another recruiting agency and that attitude transfers to me.  I guess it is the classic “one bad apple spoils the bunch” mentality.  But it is really a turn off because my goal is to help you find a job. This is a partnership and the results are mutually beneficial.

Thumbs Up GreenOlivia: I am always on board when a candidate can communicate well.  A candidate who can express what they truly want in a position, helps us to help them.  Communication leads to a relationship, a relationship leads to trust. It is definitely a win-win for everyone.

Thumbs Down RedKim: I’m always turned off when someone thinks their resume is the be-all, end-all. There is so much more to your story and that is one of the reasons we meet with every candidate.  Personality, communication, presentation, and drive are just as important, if not more.

Thumbs Down RedRachel: It sounds cliché, but it happens ALL the time: Don’t be late! Traffic happens; trains are late.  But a quick heads up is always appreciated. If you are late without any explanation, it puts me in a situation where I don’t know if you’ll do the same thing to a hiring manager.

Thumbs Up & Down Red_GreenJustin: Demeanor & presentation: these both impress me and turn me off.  Being put together is more than just how you dress. It is about whether you are prepared, have eliminated outside distractions, and are focused on the the task at hand.  Someone who is well put together, with a clear head, confidence, and goals… has my attention.

Recruiters and hiring managers can screen hundreds of resumes every month.  At Talener, we also meet with all of the candidates we represent in order to build relationships, find the right candidate-client match, and to make sure that we are getting you the best possible package.  Getting to know you is part of opening your story and learning more about you. The hiring process can be daunting at any stage of your career and our goal is to have you put your best foot forward when you do get in front of your potential future boss.

Need more interview tips or want to prepare your resume?  Contact us for expert advice, market trends, or just to talk about potential positions what we have open!

Posted in Career Tips, Talener Blog

Land a Job at a Tech Meet Up?

March 3rd, 2015

Landing a Job at a Tech Meet Up? Some of the best talent can be found after hours, and recruiters are there looking for it.

FYour Future Career Name Tagrom hackathons to novice developer nights—meet ups have become a great outlet for coders, developers, programmers, and anyone else to gain experience. Whether you attend because a CTO of a Fortune 500 is speaking or you’re a brand new coder looking for support, these meet ups are a great outlet to learn! But, what you may not know, is that these meet ups are more than a social or learning experience; they could land you your next job.

As a staffing agency, part of our job is to find the best candidates for our clients. Luckily, at Talener, we like to go one step beyond that and meet all of our candidates in person. This way, the client and the candidate both get what they want. Tech meet ups are a great, informal way for recruiters to understand the current environment, what people are interested in, and how the future of IT is being shaped.

But beyond that— here is why we like people who attend or speak at meet ups:

  • After Hours: For those of you who are already working, meet ups show recruiters that you are constantly learning and improving yourself after hours. If you aren’t working—then you are proving how dedicated you are to bettering yourself and your future. Spending time away from your family or friends shows a lot of dedication to your craft.
  • Communication & Interaction: We hear over and over again that real-life (not behind a screen!) communication skills are needed in many of the positions in which we place candidates. Even many back end positions require clear communication between team members in the same office, or around the globe. Meet ups let us see how you help others– ask for it, talk about your skills, or interact with a group.
  • Constant Improvement: You are improving your skills after hours and making sure that you are up to date on the newest technologies. While companies may ask for knowledge in a specific technology, their expectation is that you are willing and able to learn additional skills. Some are even leery to hire those who are experts in one area, but can’t or won’t transfer their skills into a new technology.
  • Meeting in Person: Recruiters want to meet you in person! Often, we attend these events. Whether we are just observing in the background, or telling you how we can help you find your ideal job—we have the opportunity to interact with you and get to know you on a personal level. They are less formal, more fun, and less stressful than meeting someone for the first time in an office.

Be Prepared

So what can you do to prepare yourself in case a recruiter from Talener or another company approaches you at a Meet Up?

  • If you are actively searching for a job, carry an updated resume with you or have one readily available to send via email
  • Take a few moments to ask about what they are seeing in the job market for your particular technology. A good tech recruiter will know exactly what the environment looks like.
  • Ask for a business card and check out the company’s website if you aren’t comfortable with giving out your resume to just anyone
  • If you are passively looking for a position, consider giving out a business card instead of a resume
  • Ask them why they are attending this particular meet up. Do they have jobs that they need to fill? Have they had success before?

If you would like to host a meet up in our office space, speak at one of our events, or just have questions about the recruiting process, contact us! We are happy to provide you with career advice, tell you about the current hiring environment in the tech space, or help you find a new position! Our offices are located in some of the top cities in the country- NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Metro Washington DC & San Francisco.

Posted in Career Tips, Jobs

“Sales” is Scary…Until it Isn’t

February 24th, 2015

Bad Sales Man & Chart [Converted]It’s almost that time of year again. Unfortunately, I don’t mean spring. Even though we are battling snow and ice here in New York City, the days are starting to get longer and before you know it we’ll be at graduation season. Graduates are putting in their resumes, hoping to secure a position by the time they walk across the stage, diploma in hand. In the staffing industry, we are seeing potential internal candidates taking the time to apply to multiple positions and take the best fit, rather than taking anything that crosses their path. Unlike the past few years, 2015 graduates may have job choices.

For some, there is a road laid out for additional school or volunteering abroad. But for many others who may have graduated without a clear path in mind, finding a position that can turn into a career can be hard. While scrolling through the pages of some of the biggest career sites, I found myself cringing at all of the all caps “ENTRY LEVEL, PAID TRAINING, NO EXPERIENCE, EARN $120K RIGHT OUT OF COLLEGE”, positions that are listed over and over again. It gives great sales positions a bad name.

It makes me think about our own sales people and what they must have thought when joining a sales team. Because, in the end, staffing is sales; and if anyone says differently, then they’re doing it wrong. Staffing is about selling your search services to your client and then turning around and selling the position to a qualified candidate. There is a lot of relationship building, trust, and understanding in between. And, at the end of the day, you do help someone with their career.

If the “ENTRY LEVEL EARN UP TO $120K” positions sound too good to be true, they probably are. Free training? Well…I would hope so. Training should be part of a company’s desire to have the best staff in the industry. There are buzzwords to make graduates feel like they can snap up six figures without lifting a finger. From cold calls to intense competition, unreasonable quotas, to surviving solely on commission; I can understand the “scary” part.

When I look around the Talener Manhattan office, I don’t see that. I won’t deny that it is a sales environment. We sell our services; the drive to make money lives in every single one of our recruiters. But there is more. It is energetic, exciting, with intense team comradery, and a drive to match the right candidate with the right client.   What it isn’t…is scary.

There are days where every client called will be a “no” or your star candidate will take a different job that you knew nothing about, but that is part of the intensity of sales. We hire recent graduates to instill sales best practices. A good entry level sales environment does more than provide a competitive base salary and benefits—it provides training, support, help, and guidance. Everyone inherently needs this when they start their sales career.

As Sir Richard Branson said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

If you are interested in a job with Talener and you are a recent graduate (or have a few years of experience!), please get in contact with us. Marina Star, our star internal recruiter, is searching for leaders to join our teams in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco & Los Angeles. Contact her today at or apply directly here.

Posted in Career Tips, Talener Blog

When Online Dating Meets Job Searching

August 8th, 2014

Job Searching Online DatingDating and interviewing: we’ve heard the comparison a million times before. But for two new ventures, the key to more effective recruitment may lie within technology that’s already being used in more personal ventures: the online dating industry.

Jobr, a new smart phone app, has looked to the popular dating app Tindr for inspiration in simplifying the job search process. Just as Tindr connects with Facebook, the app uses LinkedIn data as a launching point to create a short profile based on your job history and skill areas before allowing you to browse through potential openings in your area. The heart of the app is the right-left/yes-no swiping that’s so familiar to fans of Tindr. The ambitious mission to simplify communications between job hunters and hiring managers may be a welcome change to burdensome, lengthy job applications and registration systems, but will professionals take this more casual, app-centric approach to the job hunt seriously?

In a similar vein, eHarmony recently announced their own foray into the crowded job search space: Elevated Careers. Recognizing that the average American employee only lasts around 4.6 years at a job and noting the low divorce rates of eHarmony marriages, the online dating giant is looking to use a similar algorithmic approach to professional matchmaking. While the service hasn’t launched yet, at the core is quality over quantity and speed – drilling job success down to the primary basic of personality and cultural factors.

This begs the question: Would you be more willing to test a simple swipe-and-go job search tool? Or would you take the time for a more carefully measured survey approach to career moves? Job seekers tend to use any measure necessary to open options, but only time will tell if either of these services will actually prove valuable as professional cupids.

Posted in Career Tips, Current Events, Talener Blog

Playing the Tech Startup Name Game

August 1st, 2014

Naming Your Technology StartupLet’s do a quick comparison. Think of an online directory of technology or startup companies. Now imagine the technology company section of the yellow pages (remember those?) from thirty years ago or so. Those old company names? Probably more cut and dry, flat-out descriptive (International Business Machines Corporation,) acronym-heavy, “figureoutable”(Microcomputer + Software = Microsoft), or simply based on the company’s cornerstone product or service (xerographic technology = Xerox.) In contrast, it seems like many of today’s companies read more like a jumble of Dr. Seuss character names, cutesy portmanteaus or a seemingly normal word twisted with a funky spelling or “ly” or “err” thrown on the back end.

In truth, naming your company is probably one of the biggest, early challenges a new business faces. And while sometimes the spark of inspiration is there from the start, leading to a sensible and “just right” name, in all likeliness, it doesn’t turn out like this. Instead, deciding a company is a serious exercise in brainstorming, thesaurus crawling, list making, research, testing and debate.

We put together some helpful resources from around the internet with advice for naming your new company, application or service. Take note that some of these pieces contain conflicting advice, but we wanted to show a range of opinions when it came to naming best practices.

3 Tips for Naming Your Business in the Modern, Mobile World via

  • Short & Memorable: Some of the best company names contain 5 – 10 letters in their name, many with a hard consonant and/or a repeating letter.
  • Thinking beyond the website: Today picking a business name takes more than just confirming that it hasn’t been copyrighted before and that your ideal website domain is available. Take into account social media accounts that may use similar names and the search results that pop up when searching your new company’s potential name.

Before naming your startup, read this via The Next Web

  •  The Excuses Behind Poor Names: Julian Shapiro outlines some of the common excuses used to justify bad names, which include a lack of knowledge about your own business, laziness, and arrogance.
  • Using the Power of Online Tools: Included are some action-oriented suggestions for selecting a great name, utilizing keyword generators and domain portfolios for inspiration.

10 company name types on TechCrunch: Pros and cons via The Name Inspector

  • Breaking Down Name Types:  The Name Inspector checks into the good, bad and the ugly in the diverse variations in company names, from the punny to the purposely misspelled.

If after checking out some of these sites you’re still unsure of the direction you should go in, you could always just head over to Buzzfeed’s helpful Startup Name Generator.

Posted in Career Tips, News, Talener Blog

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