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9 Ways to Compare Job Offers

September 18th, 2018

When it rains, it pours. Receiving multiple job offers at the same time puts you in a great position.  But it also means having to decide which job is the right match for you.  And it might not be apparent if you’ve only interviewed at places where you could see yourself building your career.

1. Make a List

Before your job hunt, make a list of non-negotiable items that you need to accept a job offer. This list will give you an opportunity to objectively look back and understand why certain benefits, compensation, or job environment are right for you.  In the moment, it can be easy to compromise with an offer in front of you; but there is a reason that these sticking points are important to you.

2. Evaluate the Commute

Are you taking public transportation, riding a bike, or driving? How long are you willing spend on your daily commute?  And what are you willing to pay? If your commute has you going in and out of a large city, public transport costs can run several hundred dollars per month.  Or, if you’re driving, is parking included, or are you expected to pick up the cost? When all else is equal, factor in the commute to determine how valuable your time is.

3. Compare Health & Retirement Benefits

Don’t be afraid to ask to speak with HR to evaluate the health benefits or retirement plans.  Know whether your health plans are paid by you, the company, or both.  And evaluate things like deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, and the overall quality of the plans offered.  Does the company offer a 401k and match it? Or will you need to put more money away to reach your retirement goals?

4. Company History

Dig into the company’s background to determine the stability and viability of the organization.  If they are a startup, what type of funding have they received? How has it been used? The way in which bankruptcies, mergers, or re-organization have been handled can give you a clearer picture of how these events may be dealt with in the future.

5. Learning Opportunities

Is it important in your line of work to know the latest cutting-edge technology? Will you fall behind professionally if you take a higher paying job but aren’t learning new systems or techniques?  If you are concerned that a job won’t provide you with the opportunities to learn and stay at the top of your field, add this to your list of must-haves.

6. Growth Opportunities

During the interview process, learn about how individuals have built their career path during their time at the company.  Does your growth depend on someone else leaving the organization?  What type of system is in place to ensure that you are challenged and working towards your own growth goals?

7. Evaluate the Perks & Benefits

From parental leave to paid vacation, look at your must-haves list to determine how these perks and benefits will impact your work-life balance or bottom line.  If you are expected to be at the office late, will the company pay for a car service home? Does the company offer disability insurance or employee wellness benefits?  How important are free catered lunches in your decision-making process?

8. Culture & Values

How do your values align with the organization?  Do you feel that their mission and vision reflect what you respect and expect from a company?  Look at how their mission and vision parallel their core values to decide if it is the right culture fit. Likewise, if you’ve had a chance to interview with your direct manager, consider the rapport that you built with them during that time.

9. Go with Your Gut

Take your time assessing all offers objectively – but also listen to your gut.  Take a few days to consider what’s important to you, ask questions, and get clarification on anything in the offer that is nagging at you. Chances are, your gut is right if you have lingering hesitations.

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Posted in Career Tips, Talener Blog

H-1B Premium Petitions: USCIS Extends & Expands Suspension

September 13th, 2018

Employers should adjust hiring time frames when preparing to onboard H-1B employees.  The suspension of the premium H-1B processing means that employers should factor in normal petition and approval time (2-6+ months), particularly if they are considering a time-sensitive hire.

What does this extension & suspension mean?

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept initial petitions for premium H-1B visa processing as of September 11th, 2018.  This will apply to most of the H-1B visa petitions that are filed at the California and Vermont Service Centers.

The California and Vermont Service Centers are responsible for initial petitions for a nonimmigrant worker (H-1B specialty occupation).

When does it take effect?

The expansion and extension of the current policy took effect on September 11, 2018 and is currently slated to remain in place until February 19, 2019.

What is a “premium” H-1B petition?

A premium H-1B petition is a way for an employer to pay an extra premium processing fee to the USCIS to have the H-1B decision within 15 calendar days.

As an employer, what does this mean?

Employers who are willing to sponsor an H-1B applicant after September 11, 2018, will not be allowed (in most cases) to file a premium H-1B visa petition to expedite the process.  Potential employees who require the H-1B visa through the employer will be required to submit their H-1B petition through regular processing.

What if I have an H-1B employee and they need to change their status or extend their visa?

Services will still be available to employers for status changes and extensions of current nonimmigrant H-1B visas.  The suspension of the H-1B premium petitions only applies to those who are beginning a new petition process.

How long does the USCIS take to process a “regular” petition?

Every situation is unique. Average processing times can vary between 2 and 6 months, but it could be longer.

Does the expansion and suspension of H-1B premium petitions affect me if I don’t reside in California or Vermont?

Yes. Only the California and Vermont Service Centers process these types of initial H-1B visa petitions.

Are any employers exempt from this policy?

Yes. Cap-exempt employers, typically higher education institutions or non-profit organizations associated with a higher education institution are excluded from this policy.

Can an employer make an expedited request during the time that premium processing isn’t available?

Yes. They can make expedited requests but the USCIS will generally not approve the request unless there is a compelling reason, backed by supporting evidence.

 

To find out more information about your specific situation, please visit the USCIS website.

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Posted in Clients, Talener Blog

Eight Tech Resume Red Flags

September 5th, 2018

Your resume is a short reflection of your experience.  It doesn’t tell the whole story, but it invites potential employers to learn more about your background and open a door into how you can potentially fit into their organization.  Typically, less than 30 seconds is spent scanning a resume before it is moved from one pile to another.  Here are eight resume red flags to watch for as you craft your own:

  1. Perm Job Hopping: Consulting or project-based roles have become increasingly popular for tech jobs. Employers can wrap their heads around this type of work because they have a defined start and end. But hopping from one perm job to another raises eyebrows- even in a market where tech talent is in high demand.

 

  1. Your Resume Isn’t Relevant: Creating a detailed, yet concise resume is tough. But one or two pages of relevant and focused information about you generates further interest without overwhelming your potential employer. Listing every position you’ve held creates noise that dilutes what’s actually important.

 

  1. Being the CTO in a Team of One: Did you start or join a start up as a junior or mid-level engineer? If you were the only technical person, it may be tempting to list yourself as the CTO when you apply to new jobs. But unless you can back up your skills and experience, potential employers may have a hard time translating your resume into your actual capabilities.

 

  1. Your Timeline Isn’t Specific: Are months or years missing on the resume? Asking an employer to fill in the blanks as they read through your resume is a sure-fire way to raise red flags.  Including the to-and-from specifics eliminates guesswork, uncertainty about months or years of technical experience, and provides a neat timeline to assess your abilities developed within a position.

 

  1. Inflating Technical Experience: If it is on your resume as a technical skill, be prepared to answer questions about what you’ve done and how you can apply it to a future job. If you haven’t used a program or language since college and can’t answer a technical question or whiteboard – leave it off your resume.

 

  1. Out of Order: If your resume isn’t listed in chronological order that lists the most important / relevant information first – you’re forcing an employer to seek out information that is pertinent to them.  Provide them with an easy timeline that lists the most important facts about your experience first. Chances are, the 5th bullet point listed under your third job isn’t getting read at all.

 

  1. Resume Photos & Personal Information: In many countries, it is not uncommon to include photos, gender, birthdate, marital status, or citizenship on a resume.  However, this can send warning signals to an employer who may think that you don’t understand local customs. While you may be the best candidate for the position – including this information also sets you up for unintentional bias or discrimination before your resume has even been read.

 

  1. Buzzword Overload: While resume screening systems search for keywords to match resumes up with jobs– too many buzzwords (or too many of the same buzzword) may turn off a human resume reader. Use the most important keywords to convey your experience; but avoid taking up valuable resume space using words or phrases repeatedly that don’t create any additional value.

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Posted in Career Tips, Talener Blog

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