How to Find Your Dream UX Job: Q&A

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A couple weeks ago, one of our Michigan Account Managers, Joe Tebben, had the honor and pleasure of serving as both a guest panelist and sponsor at Detroit’s User Experience Monthly Meetup. The group, informally known as DUX, is made up of approximately 550 members ranging from seasoned UI/UX professionals to recent graduates and folks still working towards becoming UI/UX professionals.

This particular meetup, titled “Finding Your Dream UX Job” allowed Joe, along with 6 others, to serve as a sounding board for DUX who had several great questions for the group of panelists. Some of these questions included:

  • What types of UX jobs are available?
  • What skills/experience do I need to get a UX job?
  • What types of software/prototyping tools should I be able to use?
  • What are some important do’s and don’ts’s in a UX interview?

While these were just a few of the many questions asked at the meeting, the conversation shared some great insight on what candidates and hiring managers both look for in a UI/UX position. For more information and pictures from the event please visit the DUX Meetup Website. Missed out on the event, but still want to talk to someone about UI/UX positions? Give our Michigan office a call at (734) 667-4126 and ask for Joe!

4 Ways to Ensure You are Working Effectively With Your Recruiter

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Working effectively with a recruiter relies heavily upon an open line of communication between both the recruiter and the candidate. To match the right candidate with the right position, there are a few things both the candidate and the recruiter can do to make the process go smoothly.

  1. Ask Questions

You can never ask too many questions and there is no such thing as a stupid question. For a recruiter, it’s crucial to find out as much as you can about a candidate before submitting their resume. Same goes for a candidate. It’s important for you to know everything you can about the role before you interview and accept the position.

2. Be Honest

There’s nothing worse than getting to an interview and finding out the position was not what you thought it was because the recruiter was not open about what the role entailed. It’s also equally upsetting for a recruiter to submit a candidate who may not have been completely honest about their qualifications. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to recruiting.

3. Stick to Deadlines

Going through the on-boarding process is something no one particularly likes to do. Between the paperwork, background check, and potential drug screen, who has time for all of that with their busy schedule? To make the process as pain-free as possible, it’s important for the recruiter not only to get the process started on-time, but also for the candidate to fill out the paperwork and go through all other screenings in a timely manner.

4. Meet in Person

So much can be lost in translation via email or telephone. Meeting with a candidate or your recruiter is a great way to break down any communication barriers. You might even have time to knock out some on-boarding paperwork over a cup of coffee.

An effective relationship takes two. The recruiter and the candidate both have to buy in to the process. While there are definitely more ways to work effectively with a recruiter, these have proven to be the simplest and, well, most effective, in our experience, at creating long-lasting recruiter-candidate relationships.

 

10 Ways to Kick Start Your Week

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It’s finally Friday and you’re so excited about your weekend plans that you aren’t even thinking about Monday, well, that is until Sunday night rolls around. Then the premature “Case of the Mondays” sets in and you’re already setting yourself up for a bad start to the week. We’re here to help and really, the solution is pretty simple.

1.Plan out your outfits for the week

 

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Chances are you know what your schedule entails for the week, so plan ahead. Take 30 minutes Sunday night and plan out your outfits for the week.

2. Get a good night’s sleep

 

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For some this might be 6 hours and for others this could be 12 hours. Either way get a good night’s sleep so you are ready to go Monday morning!

3. Eat a healthy breakfast

 

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CNN: Breakfast Mistakes)

4. Get to the office early

 

 

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Early? On a Monday? No-I’m not crazy. Avoid hitting that snooze button and get moving. Hitting the snooze button can actually make you feel groggier, so don’t put off the inevitable. Get up, grab some coffee, and get to work early. (CNN: Don’t hit snooze!)

5. Greet the team with a smile

 

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It takes effort to be grouchy so why do it? Start your week off right with a little positivity!

6. Give your inbox a once over before heading into that 8:30 AM meeting

 

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Some of those emails might have information you need for that morning meeting. Don’t look unprepared because you didn’t check your email yet.

7. Organize your thoughts and goals for the week into a to-do list

 

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Giving yourself clear goals  will keep you focused and ready to tackle the week with ease.

8. Tackle your biggest challenge first

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Perception is reality. Making a mountain out of a molehill will not get your work done. Stay positive. Stay confident. Stay humble. And get your work knocked out.

9. Set aside time in your schedule for the inevitable contingencies of a Monday

 

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Leaving that little bit of extra wiggle room will keep you from short circuiting the minute that curve ball gets thrown at you. Need 10 minutes to put out a fire? No big deal if you already allotted an extra 30 minutes in your day for contingencies.

10. Exercise for at least 30 minutes.

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Some prefer to workout before work while others like to stop by the gym on the way home. Either way exercise is a great way to combat stress and clear your mind!

Monday’s are what you make them. Make this next one great!

How to Handle a LinkedIn Connection Request from a Recruiter

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Accepting a connection request from a recruiter can be tricky business, especially if you are not actively seeking new opportunities. That doesn’t mean you can’t connect and keep a working relationship in the event you do start looking for something new. Here, we look at a few things to consider when deciding whether to connect with a recruiter on LinkedIn or not.

  1. Are you actively seeking opportunities?

If your answer is yes, then your decision is probably an easy one. If you are actively seeking new opportunities, chances are your profile contains key words that automatically grab recruiters’ attention when they search for someone within your area of expertise. It’s also probably fair to say you are not too concerned with people knowing who you are connecting with. In this case, you can go ahead and click “connect”.

If your answer is no and you are passively seeking new opportunities, your decision is a little trickier. You are still employed and you probably don’t want your boss questioning why you’re connecting with a recruiter.  Fortunately for you, there are a couple of ways to hopefully avoid that awkward conversation.

Helpful Tips & Tricks:

  • Connect over the weekend when there’s not a lot of traffic
  • In your LinkedIn Privacy & Settings, under the “Select who can see your connections” tab change your setting to “Only You”.
  1. Did they include a personal message with their connection request?

While there are plenty of spammers out there filling up your inbox, there are also serious inquiries hidden among the masses of generic messages.  Someone who has taken the time to send a personal message is probably (hopefully) not looking to spam you. It’s never a bad idea to ask why they would like to connect or how they know you. Better safe than sorry!

  1. Have you already talked or met with this recruiter before?

Depending on a recruiter’s strategy, they may or may not have already given you a call or met with you over coffee and the LinkedIn connection request is nothing more than a secondary step towards building a relationship. If the phone call or coffee went well, then the decision is an easy one. If not, well, we’ll let you answer that one for yourself.

Accepting a LinkedIn connection request from a recruiter can be tricky business. Every situation is different and ultimately the decision is yours. Curious about what we do? Check us out on LinkedIn–we’d love the chance to connect and meet with you.

To Contract or Perm: That is the Question

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Moving from a perm role to contract work can be a little scary and the same can be said for moving from contract to perm work. Each comes with its own set of nuances and when making a decision between the two, most find it beneficial to jot down a list of pros and cons.

There is no “right” or “better” choice. Choosing between contract and perm work is personal and to help you get a jump start on the decision-making process, we’ve outlined some of the pros and cons generally associated with each kind of work.


 

CONTRACT | PROS

Many find fulfillment in contract work because of the associated freedoms that come with it. The choice to work a 6 month stint or a year-long commitment is often enjoyed by those who want flexibility in their work schedule. With that flexibility comes the opportunity to move around and experience a wealth of different technologies in various industries. Varied experiences can often enhance a candidate’s marketability, which is extremely valuable when moving from contract to contract every 9-12 months. While contractual work may sound extremely attractive to some, it does not go without saying that working on a contract-to-contract basis has drawbacks.

CONTRACT | CONS

Working on short-term projects can often mean relocating every 9-12 months. Contract work definitely requires a certain level of personal planning on the candidates behalf in regards to timing and financials. The flexibility to work 6 month or 1 year long projects means that at some point a decision will have to be made about lining up your next job. Or, perhaps, you want to take a few months off. Either way, building a strong relationship with a recruiter will ease some of the stress often associated with contractual work.

PERM | PROS

While many find the flexibility of contract work enjoyable, others find the stability and security of perm work to be a better fit. A familiar environment with strong leadership can open doors for promotional opportunities and is a great way to build a solid reputation within a company or industry. This line of work will almost always offer traditional benefits that may not be found within a contractual agreement.

PERM | CONS

The attraction of  security and stability in a perm role can have its drawbacks. Staying with one company has the potential to limit the number of technologies you work with and can also limit your experience in various industries. As with any kind of work, it is important to continually maintain a sharpened skill set. Taking classes and networking can be a great way to combat stagnation in a perm role.


 

Decisions like these are never easy, so if you still find yourself on the fence, talking through the pros and cons with a trusted recruiter might help dispel any concerns you have. The good news is the IT industry growing and there are plenty of perm and contract positions ready to be filled. To perm or to contract–the choice is yours!

Need help deciding? Feel free to give us a call at (615) 242-1014. We’d love to chat with you about your next career move!

 

City Series Pt. 3 | Orlando, FL

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Our third, and final, stop in the City Series lands us 1,100 miles south of Detroit in the beautiful Sunshine State. Not widely known for its tech industry, Orlando is quickly earning a spot among the fast growing cities in the nation. Orlando, home to Conexess’ newest office, is showing great growth opportunity and is poised to continue pushing the envelope. Just this year we’ve added 2 recruiters and we’re looking to add a 3rd member to the team by the year end.

General Business Overview

In the past year, Florida has seen over 260,000 jobs created and for the fourth month in a row, its growth rate has been number one among large states according to the Orlando Sentinel. Forbes has even named Orlando one of the Best Cities for Future Job Growth in 2015.

Orlando IT Market Snapshot

According to the South Florida Business Journal, Technical Occupations are ranked as the 3rd highest-paying jobs in South Florida. Forbes also named Florida, one of Top 10 Fastest Growing States for Tech Jobs in 2015. With a growth rate of 4.27%, technology has quickly become Orlando’s second largest industry behind tourism.

Thousands of software developer, computer programmer, graphic designer and engineer positions are opening and we’re eager to fill them. Our Orlando team has already done a phenomenal job establishing Conexess as the go-to recruitment firm in the area and we couldn’t be more proud of all their hard work has accomplished. The future is looking bright for our Sunshine State team!

If  you are interested in a position in the Orlando or surrounding area, please feel free to give our Orlando Office a call at (407) 988-3965 or send an email to admin@conexess.com. We’d love to chat with you about your next career move!

Data was gathered from the following sources:

Orlando Sentinel//Forbes//South Florida Business Journal//Fox Business

City Series Pt. 2 | Detroit, MI

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Known as Motor City and Motown, Detroit, MI houses our second office in the city series. Once labeled the “most dangerous city in America”, Detroit is now turning over a new leaf. The city is pushing forward, making strides to once again become a respected place of business. Famed for its impact on the music and automotive industries, Detroit now serves as an optimal incubator for start-ups and prime real estate for tech business.

General Business Overview

Low startup costs, a preexisting infrastructure and huge growth potential are just a few reasons why entrepreneurs are choosing Detroit over Silicon Valley. The city is revamping its existing infrastructure with a high-speed fiber optics cable system set in place to push Detroit to the next level of technologically advanced business.  Improvements like this one will help “restore Detroit to its long-ago glory days as a center of commerce, innovation and culture”.

Detroit IT Market Snapshot

The recent influx of business has brought enough IT job growth to the area to “outpace the nation by nearly 4%” and “is poised to continue this pace well beyond 2019” according to the Detroit Chamber. Some are even calling Detroit the next Silicon Valley.

One of our account managers from the Detroit office sums it up best:

“As evidenced by the recent rebirth in downtown Detroit, we now have a new moniker as America’s Comeback City.  While new restaurants, bars, stores, arenas, rail systems provide a visual confirmation of improvements, it’s ultimately all about JOBS. For the Conexess Detroit office, this lands us in a great position on this area’s timeline. Our Detroit office began as a bit of an ‘underdog’ too. Starting in a bedroom office, transitioning to four people crammed into a small office, through the current location in downtown Plymouth with 11 employees, finally eyeing our end-of-year destination to our own building with space to grow; Conexess Detroit directly aids the Metro Detroit area by filling our client’s critical staffing needs with our high-quality candidates.

As our reputation has grown in SE Michigan, we’ve been adding new clients, industries and positions. We’re on the cusp of some tremendous times in MI and it’s an honor for the Conexess Detroit office to be a direct participant in Detroit ultimately shedding the ‘underdog’ label.”

If you are interested in working in the Detroit tech industry,  head over to our website. We have several open positions available!

Next week we head down south to the Sunshine State to visit our third office in the city series!

Data was gather from the following sources:

Detroit Chamber//NPR//Detroit News//Travelers Today//The Fiscal Times

City Series Pt.1 | Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN

In this series we will take you to each of the cities our offices call home. Nashville, TN, the country music capital of the world, happens to be home to the Conexess headquarters. While many know Nashville for its country music, southern soul food and hospitality, many don’t realize what a booming metropolis Nashville really is. Just this year it has seen the addition of a new state-of-the-art convention center, an outdoor amphitheater, and the mass-development of the surrounding metropolitan area. Anyone driving through Nashville right now is likely to lay eyes on at least 10 cranes because of the sheer amount of construction happening inside the city center. In fact, Nashville is currently home to over 100 construction projects.

While Nashville draws people in because of its music, culture and food, this massive amount of growth is attracting even more new business.

General Business Overview

Nashville was named the “6th Best City for Business & Careers” by Forbes this year. The state’s capital is also home to several headquarter offices including HCA, Bridgestone, Asurion, and Nissan which are supplying job opportunities for those across the mid-state. Some would even say Nashville has become the “who’s who of corporate relocation”. With major corporate headquarters in town, job opportunities are ripe for the picking with a large portion of those positions being tech related.

Nashville IT Market Snapshot

The Nashville tech sector has been in the works for nearly a decade with growth of 43% in this industry over the past ten years. In fact, just last year the tech sector saw an increase in 2,200 workers with the number of tech-related positions nearly doubling. With all of this growth, Forbes rightly named Nashville the “10th Best City for Tech Jobs”. Even Silicon Valley big wigs are eyeing Nashville. Already Google has shown interest in testing Google Fiber and other tech companies, like Eventbrite and Crestlight, are opening partner offices in the mid-state. The icing on the cake for Nashville was being hand-selected by the President to take an active role in promoting a local tech talent pool through the Tech Hire program presented by the White House.

As you can see big things are happening in Nashville and we are thrilled with all of the current and forecasted growth expected of our headquarters’ hometown. It is so fun to be part of a city where its natives join together to create a one-of-a-kind hub for business. The best is yet to come for this southern sweet spot! Stay tuned next week as we travel up north to our next office location in Detroit, MI.

If you are interested in working in the tech industry in Nashville, then head over to our website. We have several open positions available!

 

 Data was gathered from the following sources:

Nashville Business Journal//Forbes//The Tennessean//Nashville Area Info

6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Relocating

      Relocating for a job is both exciting and confusing all at the same time, with several factors to consider before making a final decision. It’s never one-size-fits-all and should be given serious consideration before making the big move. Take a look at this short list of questions to see if relocating is right for you. Keep in mind each of these questions may mean something different for each individual. Some might value opportunity and experience over a culture fit and vice versa.RELOCATING- Is it For You-

To help you get a jump-start on answering some of these questions we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks of our own:

  1. Do your research. Have you looked through the company’s social media? Do you like what you see? Could you see yourself fitting in there?
  2. Can you arrange a trip to visit the city, new office, and coworkers?
  3. Check Glassdoor for company reviews, salaries and benefits from employees.
  4. Make a pros and cons list.
  5. Listen to your gut.

You can do all the research on a new company and the position they’ve offered you, but if deep down you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right, you should follow your instincts. A job is more than money and benefits; it’s an opportunity to do what you love and to share that gift with others. So, the next time you’re offered a position in a new city and you’re unsure about relocating, take a look back at these questions and ask yourself-Is this right for me?

Conexess: The Best & Brightest

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We are both excited and honored to be named among the Best and Brightest companies to work for in the Metropolitan Detroit area. The Best and Brightest competition identifies companies who excel in communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition and retention. Follow this link for more information: http://101bestandbrightest.com/companies/conexess-group/

At Conexess there’s no set formula we have for creating a “great work environment”. We hire fun, hard-working, intelligent individuals who share the same passion for business and success, and in the end it creates a really awesome work environment.

Here are some of the reasons our Detroit employees love where they work:

“Life at Conexess is like working with your family & friends.  We constantly push, learn from and compete with each other in the way siblings & friends do.  Between the quarterly competitions, drive to succeed and overall fun atmosphere we get to work in everyday, Conexess is completely different than any other staffing & recruiting firm in the industry.  Rather than being metrics driven we measure our work from an accountability standpoint so that everyone is self-aware and responsible for their own success!”-Account Manager


“The individual freedom gives me the opportunity to work harder and smarter than I ever have before in my career.  This is a value that you don’t see in most companies these days.  I can honestly say I look forward to coming into work every day.”-Sr. Technical Recruiter


“For a variety of reasons, there’s an appeal associated with ‘underdogs’. In the case of Detroit, MI, we’ve long been the butt of jokes for comedians and generated negative impressions for the vast majority of people in the nation. Yet, as evidenced by the recent rebirth in downtown Detroit, we now have a new moniker as America’s Comeback City.  While new restaurants, bars, stores, arenas, rail systems provide a visual confirmation of improvements, it’s ultimately all about JOBS. For the Conexess Detroit office, this lands us in a great position on this area’s timeline. Our Detroit office began as a bit of an ‘underdog’ too. Starting in a bedroom office, transitioning to four people crammed into a small office, through the current location in downtown Plymouth with 11 employees, finally eyeing our end-of-year destination to our own building with space to grow; Conexess Detroit directly aids the Metro Detroit area by filling our client’s critical staffing needs with our high-quality candidates.

As our reputation has grown in SE Michigan, we’ve been adding new clients, industries and positions. We’re on the cusp of some tremendous times in MI and it’s an honor for the Conexess Detroit office to be a direct participant in Detroit ultimately shedding the ‘underdog’ label.”-Account Manager


“At Conexess you can be yourself; you don’t have to put on a ‘work persona’ and act different than you would outside the office.  Everyone gets along and you can have fun while working. As long as you are doing your job you have the freedom of a flexible schedule which is hard to find with a lot of other companies in our industry.” -Technical Recruiter


“I like the fact that the office is less than a half-mile from my house and I can ride my bike to the office (weather permitting). It’s great going a work week without even getting into my car and being able to go home and eat lunch with my little ones.”-Technical Recruiter


 I love the freedom of being able to meet candidates for coffee, lunch, happy hour etc. One meeting can make a world of difference when building relationships and getting referrals.”-Technical Recruiter

 

To close, I will leave you with this parting thought: “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first”- Simon Sinek