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The Entry Level Resume: Making it Count

February 21st, 2018

Snagging your first job out of college or an entry-level role in a new industry can be tough. You research the organizations, look at their networks, and check their reviews.  But after you have applied, is your resume being seen at all?

Software programs search for keywords – meaning there is a chance that your resume may never make it into the hands of a recruiter.  Recruiters and HR sometimes have hundreds of resumes for one position.

Every day, the Talener Talent Acquisition Team strives to give dozens of applications the attention they deserve. They look for key elements that help them decide whether an applicant will receive a call back.

Objective Statement

Sometimes it is a goal, a mission statement, or an objective. But most of the time, it is not a make-or-break on your resume.  If you’re running out of space, nix the objective. It’s a few more lines that may keep a recruiter from going further down your resume.  If you think your objective statement is unique and a key part of your personal brand- don’t leave it out.

Information Overload

Creating narrow margins, minimizing font size and, tightening spacing can be just as detrimental to your resume as misspelled words or poor grammar.  Your resume should provide a flow and easy reading for the recruiter.  Keep sections neat, organized, and in chronological order.


Whether we like it our not, we are programmed to pick up keywords and phrases that support the necessary skills for a role.  What qualifications did that job description ask for? Do your keywords compliment or complete these requirements?


Skills build over time.  As an entry-level applicant, it is important to show how you have used your education, previous jobs, and time to maximize your skills.  Do your skills illustrate your willingness to learn new things?

Quality Over Quantity

Most resumes receive less than 60-seconds of facetime.  Important information should always be first and stand out. The amount of jobs you’ve held or clubs you’ve been a part of are less important than what you did during your time.


Taking a leadership role always stands out. It shows your ability to juggle time constraints, oversee projects and interact with people.  Highlight where you made the biggest impact and how you got to your position.


Education can be a sensitive topic. Many people who do not follow traditional education routes may feel boxed out of certain positions.  Use your resume to show your path and how it has made you what you are today.  Never discount your non-traditional background- but be prepared to qualify your experience.

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Posted in Talener Blog

Talener Spotlight: Kate Byrnes

February 1st, 2018

Kate Byrnes, Regional Director of Talener Chicago & DC, sat down with our team to reflect on how her career has taken shape over the last few years.  Byrnes, a 2013 Colgate University graduate has made her mark on Talener, taking on every challenge presented to her as an opportunity.

How did you hear about Talener?

When I graduated from Colgate, I already had a strong relationship with Talener.  Austin Douglas (also a Talener Regional Director and Colgate grad) reached out to me to tell me about his experience.  His enthusiasm for what he was doing as a Relationship Manager was infectious and took me down the path of interviewing for the company.

What attracted you to the position?

 It was more than the position itself that attracted me to Talener.  It was clear that everyone was highly-motivated and worked with such optimism.  Everyone had goals that benefitted themselves, their colleagues, and the organization.

 Talk to us about your first job title – and the evolution of your role

 Four and a half years ago, I started as an entry-level Relationship Manager (like most people at the organization!).  Since then, I have been promoted five times and am currently the Regional Director of the DC Metro & Chicago regions.  My movement through the organization is not unique; Alicia Scully (also a Colgate grad!) started the same day as me and we were both promoted to Regional Directors on the same day.  There is a sense of accomplishment and pride starting at the beginning and now overseeing two regions and more than two dozen team members.

Did you expect to be where you are today? Very few people stay at their first company out-of-college for this long.

 Yes and no.  At each new level, I experienced new challenges and obstacles that I had never faced before.  But at every turn, I knew that I was supported and that each challenge was presented to me because someone believed in my abilities.  I made the decision to move to Washington DC in 2015 to help launch a new office.  This gave me the opportunity to expand my responsibilities, both at a local and national level.  I was able to see a huge potential for myself to affect individuals on a greater scale.

What are you most excited about in your new role?

I can’t wait to impact individuals beyond our DC market.  I’ll be able to continue to foster client and candidate relationships in a different geography.  It’s a great learning opportunity.  Plus, I can influence internal growth expansion and development.

 What is one thing you enjoy about coming to work every day?

 I get to help individuals navigate through the same learning curves that I once went through.  It’s not only inspiring to see their transformation, but something that I love to be a part of.

 What advice do you have for someone just starting out in an entry-level job?

 In sales, or in any job, I always tell people to take everything day-by-day, step-by-step.  Don’t discredit the small wins.  Most of us who start our professional lives have little to no practical experience doing what we’re hired to do.  It’s imperative to be patient with your own learning curve and not to be afraid of making mistakes.  The only way to grow is by putting yourself into as many situations as possible to succeed.  Success doesn’t happen if you aren’t willing to try.

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Posted in Talener Blog

Learning from Negative Interview Feedback

January 25th, 2018

“Take criticism seriously, not personally,” encourages Talener’s Gabe Klein.  The Chicago Director echoes this sentiment when he delivers negative feedback to his candidates during the interview process.  Whether he is conveying constructive criticism or relaying a ‘no’ after several rounds of interviews, Klein tries to focus on providing honest information.

Hearing negative feedback about yourself is never easy.  “Delivering it is just as tough,” says Klein.  “After making it through three or four rounds of interviews, candidates are often hopeful that they will get the call asking them, ‘when can you start?’”.

Whether you use a recruiting firm, or you are applying to a position on your own, it is important to objectively digest the negative feedback.  Did lack of sleep contribute to a less-than-stellar interview? Were you late? Or simply, was someone else more qualified for the job? Receiving negative feedback without understanding why you’ve gotten it, puts you back at square one in your job search. If you are taking on the job hunt alone and have received negative feedback, it is paramount to ask your HR team / interviewer what went wrong.

“Often, candidates don’t dig beyond surface feedback,” explains Klein.  “I’m trying to help both my candidate and client, so my goal is to listen for understanding rather than for debate. I can dig for detailed feedback that candidates may be uncomfortable asking for or too upset to address.” Klein says that he uses the feedback as a means for prepping the candidate for future opportunities. He has seen some of his best candidate relationships stem from a role in which they had been passed over or had received negative feedback.  Likewise, this feedback is an opportunity to qualify future candidates for that client.

“I often take responsibility for an unsuccessful interview process. It is my job to make sure that candidates are appropriately and effectively prepared. If they aren’t, I know that I have to do better as their recruiter.”

Overall, Klein advocates for open dialogue and transparency.  This includes things like knowing the number of candidates who are being considered, the interview type, and general information about the organization. The more questions you ask and the information you know, the better prepared you will be. Open dialogue and transparency all go hand-in-hand with providing feedback. Klein’s opinion is that any feedback can be good feedback, if you are willing to be open-minded and transparency on all sides shows that expectations are being managed and maintained.

Klein promotes cautious optimism. Being excited about an opportunity is part of the job hunt, but that doesn’t mean that a candidate should put all their time and energy into a single role. By looking into multiple roles, you’re given the chance to further develop your interview skill set as well as understand that each role and process is different.  And who knows? You may receive negative feedback from an interview on Monday and apply it to an interview on Wednesday.

If you are unsure about how to ask HR or an interviewer why you’ve not been offered a role or what you could have done differently, reach out to Gabe at for tips and tricks to successful interviewing.

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Posted in Career Tips, Talener Blog

Justin Cottrell Named President at Talener

January 12th, 2018

Talener CEO, Michael Dsupin, announced today that Talener Technology Staffing has promoted Justin Cottrell to President. Cottrell will oversee sales operations in Talener’s six offices: New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC Metro, Los Angeles & San Francisco.

Cottrell, a graduate of Dartmouth College, joined Talener as an entry-level Relationship Manager in 2010. He has excelled in sales with the help of his competitive spirit, business savvy, and leadership qualities. Over the past seven years, Cottrell has taken on 6 different positions, including launching Talener’s DC Metro office in 2015.

“Justin was among our first group of Talener employees who were hired in New York City,” says CEO Michael Dsupin. “He has been an integral part of helping to grow Talener.  Over the past year and a half, Justin has been delivering the Talener story to our six offices. He has developed deep, meaningful relationships across the entire organization. I look forward to helping him continue to grow our platform and take us to levels that we haven’t yet seen.”

In addition, Talener is also proud to announce the promotions of Kate Byrnes and Alicia Scully to Regional Directors. Byrnes & Scully, both Colgate University graduates, will oversee the Chicago / DC and New York regions, respectively.



Started in 2007, Talener is a technology staffing practice headquartered in New York City. Talener matches top tech talent with leading organizations across industries in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco & Washington DC Metro areas.

Posted in Talener Blog

The San Francisco Commute

December 27th, 2017

Do you ever avoid a destination because it’s over a bridge, too confusing to get to, or too dangerous? Would you avoid those same destinations even it was for your dream job? Our San Francisco team works with many candidates regarding commute, location and important factors to be considered when interviewing. “About 90% of candidates mention location when looking for a job. Often, it’s not just geography they consider, but also traffic patterns around the city. For instance, there are certain bridges or routes that are musts to avoid for some people.” San Francisco Director of the DevOps & Systems Administration team, Margo Slaff, comes across candidates quite often who will not even consider a position that does not meet their commuting preferences.

How do companies attract employees who do not want to make the daily commute to their office?  More organizations are starting to change their policies and benefits surrounding daily commutes.  Sara Madding, Director of the JavaScript & Mobile team in San Francisco, is seeing these changes at that clients with whom she works. “Larger companies are offering shuttles from public transportation hubs to their offices to ease the stress of commuting on their employees. Some smaller companies who don’t have the funds to support this type of benefit are offering more remote opportunities and flexible arrival times.  This can bring in candidates who live further outside an area who would be a great fit for the role.”

Adding to the list of recruiting challenges, commuting in major metros like San Francisco has become an important factor for organizations looking to attract top talent.  One particular issue that Madding and Slaff have run into are the two distinct markets in the San Francisco Bay area.  It is more likely to find a candidate with a car if they live in Silicon Valley versus living within the San Francisco city limits. Having a car gives people more options of where they are willing to commute because they have their own mode of transportation. However, those who live within the San Francisco limits typically rely on public transportation and do not need cars for their daily lives.

Whether it’s the close commute or flexible work hours, it’s always important to talk to the company or your recruiter to explain your needs.

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Posted in Talener Blog

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