THERESA ZANDI TO PRESENT IN PANEL DISCUSSION WITH S.J.HEMLEY MARKETING AT 2019 TECHSERVE ALLIANCE CONFERENCE

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WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 29, 2019 – Centurion Consulting Group, a Woman-Owned Small Business national IT services consulting firm, will be represented by Theresa Zandi, Principal Owner, in a panel discussion presented by S.J.Hemley Marketing at the 2019 TechServe Alliance Conference in Huntington Beach, CA. The panel will be held on November 7th at 1:30pm-2:45pm Pacific.

The panel discussion, titled Driving Sales and Recruiting Through Effective Marketing, will feature panelist Theresa Zandi, Principal Owner, Centurion Consulting Group, Michael Paradise, CEO, Sysazzle, and Matt Eckert, EVP Sales, Genuent and be led by Larry Hemley, President of S.J.Hemley Marketing.

In this panel, the audience will hear how the panelists have successfully employed marketing to boost sales revenue growth and increase the effectiveness of their recruiting efforts.

“I am proud to represent Centurion Consulting Group in the panel discussion, Driving Sales and Recruiting Through Effective Marketing, at the 2019 TechServe Alliance Conference,” said Theresa Zandi, Principal Owner, Centurion Consulting Group. “This is a great opportunity to share our marketing efforts as well as how it has impacted our sales and recruiting success.”

“We are excited to have someone with Theresa’s background and knowledge of the staffing industry included on the panel,” said Larry Hemley, President, S.J.Hemley Marketing. “This panel will provide great insight for staffing firms of all sizes and allow them to learn how to drive success in their marketing / sales / recruiting efforts.”

The TechServe Alliance 2019 Conference and Tradeshow will be held at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa in Huntington Beach, CA, November 5th-7th.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients – from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms – in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations. www.sjhemleymarketing.com

About TechServe Alliance
TechServe Alliance is the premier IT & engineering staffing association dedicated to advancing excellence and ethics within the IT & engineering staffing and solutions industry. www.techservealliance.org

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Building Out Your LinkedIn Profile for Technology Career Success

Posted on Posted in Technology

By Blaine W. Smith

We speak with technology candidates every single day and most of them ask a simple question, “How can I improve what I am doing to drive success in my career?” One of the first things we do is sit down and review their LinkedIn because it has so many possibilities. Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Do you know how to build it to provide advantage in your technology career? LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that can really help you. Here are some tips on how to build your profile for career success whether you are an application developer or project manager or business analyst and etc.:

Make your professional passions and interests known
First and foremost, LinkedIn is a professional forum. Along with your work experience, employers want to see your professional interests and the things that matter to you. I like to look at the groups that people have joined because it illustrates their professional passions in their career ecosystem. Be sure to include your volunteer and philanthropic involvement and where you donate your time. Employers want to see what you do and care about beyond financial and corporate ladder gain.

Resemble your resume
Although there are many different thoughts on this subject, I believe your LinkedIn profile should resemble your resume, but does not need to be identical, as it is not your professional resume, but instead your branding site and there are areas where the two will differ for good reason. One thing that should be consistent is the dates of your employment. Highlight information you might already have on your resume like your education and previous employers. When listing your past employer, remember to be confidential and respectful with data, clients, numbers, etc.
Technology Services
When it comes to listing your experience, more often than not, people don’t allow the company to autofill in their experience. For example, if someone does not allow Centurion Consulting Group to autofill when they type in the company, it won’t make the tie to Centurion and you won’t be viewed as part of that organization. It’s an easy oversight as LinkedIn users think they can just type it in, but you need to allow it to accept, auto populate, and then select, in order to be linked to the company. If done correctly, the company’s logo should show up in your employment section, and you will be added to the total number of employees for that firm.

Adjust your privacy settings
Depending on the position that you are in and what you are trying to receive from LinkedIn, it’s important to either allow yourself to be viewed or not allow yourself to be viewed. If your connections are viewable, you can open up your information to the world. This can be positive or negative depending on your vocation. A recruiter or someone in HR Talent Requisition typically wants to have everything viewed as would a technologist who would want to be viewed in building their professional brand and network.

Personalize your profile
The first step to personalization is changing your URL so that it is easier for you to publicize your profile. You can get rid of the long list of numbers at the end of the URL and replace it with your name and/or something relevant to your career. You should also put your professional headshot as your profile picture. You want this photo to reflect the industry you are in and to be appropriate and professional. You can also create a headline for yourself in the “about” section. This headline should showcase your specialty, value, and go into specifics about yourself that can set you apart from other candidates. Think of this as your personal – yet professional – tagline. The other areas under this profile section are explained in my next point.

Utilize recommendations, endorsements, and posting
Make sure you offer recommendations and endorsements as well as receive them. Endorsements, recommendations, published articles, and shared posts all give a view of who you really are by showcasing what matters to you in your professional passions. Recommendations coming from third parties give a genuine insight into the colleague, manager, and/or professional you have built your career on. You are allowing a human component to be added that reaches a different point in someone’s mindset when reviewing your LinkedIn profile. It makes you more personable. However, it’s important to remember that it’s a professional forum, and the intent is to publish and like information that is relevant to what you are passionate and interested in, therefore growing your brand for professional and career growth. Avoid the pitfalls of doing anything that can diminish that viewpoint.

Stand out to employers
What stands out the most for me in a LinkedIn profile is tenure. Whether you’re relatively new or established in your career, a history of tenured success is the number one representation of future success. Nothing spells future success like past success. It shows loyalty, levelheadedness, and it gives the employer confidence. Modesty and humility are always the correct approach, however, in this social media forum, if you don’t toot your own horn, no one will toot it for you.

Building your LinkedIn profile professionally can improve the chances of success in your technology career. Be articulate, personable, and accurate and you’re on the road to success. Good luck out there.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients – from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms – in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

Handling the In-Person Technology Interview

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By Theresa Zandi

So, you’ve applied for multiple jobs, you’ve spoken to several recruiters, you had a phone screen, and you’ve just been asked in for a face-to-face interview. Now is not the time to let your guard down – being prepared for that interview is your top priority. For any position, whether it be Java development or DevOps or other technology careers, here are some tips on how to handle an in-person interview:

1. Research the company and your interviewer(s)
Being prepared encompasses the whole interview process. Preparedness includes knowing some amount of details about the manager you are interviewing with and the company. Do your homework to learn what the company does; where they are located, the route you’ll take to get there and plan for traffic delays; what you can tell is important about the position; where the manager went to school and previous companies they worked for to see if you have any common bonds; and more. If you have the answers to those, then you are on your way to a successful interview.

2. Dress to impress / soft skills IT Business Solutions
The next stop when handling an interview successfully is to dress professionally. Always look the part and don’t get yourself disqualified for the position before you’ve even uttered a word. Walking into your DevOps interview looking disheveled won’t get you far, so make sure you look at least as good as the person interviewing you. Also, be sure not to gas them out with excessive perfume/cologne to leave your interviewer with a migraine and you without a job offer.

Along with your attire, you want to carry the essential supplies with you: pen, paper, copies of your resume, and prepared questions written down. Consider these to be part of your interview outfit.

When you walk into the building with your power suit on, be prepared to greet people with a firm handshake, strong eye contact and positive body language. If you are in an interview with multiple people, be sure to do this with all of them. Make sure you have good eye contact with the person asking the question as well as the other people in the interview and your body language reflects your interest in the position. You want to sell yourself to each person so that every individual knows you can do the job.

3. Know your resume
Many of us don’t take the time to review our own resume before an interview, but it is very important. There are areas on all of our resumes that were written quite a while ago and you need to be able to concisely speak to them. Be sure you know how to sum up your technology experiences and be conscious of what is on your resume. You should be able to reference it and know your skills in a nutshell.

4. Have questions written down
The interviewers are not the only ones asking questions. If they ask you if you have any questions, don’t respond with a “no, I’m good” or “you have answered all my questions.” That’s not a good look for you – it’s quite possible your interviewer will take this as you’re disinterested or arrogant.

Examples of questions you can prepare yourself to ask include: What would a day in the life be like in the role of this person? Where do you see this position evolving over time? Where does this fit into the overall project or goal of the company? How can I advance from this position? What kind of technology do you think you’ll be getting into that I might be responsible for?

Even though they are screening you for the position, understand that you are also interviewing them. Your main goal is to walk out of the interview knowing whether or not you want the job if they select you, so ask questions beneficial to you. If you’ve determined this is a great position for you, as the interview closes and they ask if you have any further questions, simply say this, “Yes, when can I start? I’d really love to come to work here.” Whether it be DevOps, application development or any other technical skill and you definitely want the job, don’t be afraid to ask for the opportunity.

5. Follow up
After the interview, you always want to send a thank you note within the first 24 hours. Always send it as an email, but if you choose to go old school and send an actual card, feel free to do so as long as it’ll get there in a timely manner (within two days max). This is always a nice touch but cover your bases and always send an email as well just to be safe. Any thank you note should always be tailored to the interviewer, the company, and the questions they asked you. In case you flubbed something during the interview, address it in your email to be sure they know you can do the job. If you interviewed with multiple people, be sure to make the thank you note specific to things that you discussed with each as managers do compare them.

At the end of the day, you either have the skills or you don’t to be hired. But, how you present them is a whole different ball game. If you fall a little bit short but have the ability to learn and you wow them with your fabulous personality, they just may pick you. Good luck winning your next interview!

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients – from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms – in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

The Importance of Your Application Development Career and Leveraging Opportunities

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By Theresa Zandi

Where do you see yourself in ten years? What is your career plan? How will you get there? When looking for application developer job opportunities, it’s important to have a defined plan. Most people don’t create a roadmap for the professional growth. Many technology consultants think that if they do good work, opportunities will be presented to them. However, you don’t want to keep yourself in “wait and see” mode.

I like to think of each person’s career like surfing. You are on a great wave of technology (a specific technology) and you are enjoying the ride. However, keep in mind that if you wait to learn more and develop your career further, the wave will crash and you will find yourself paddling back out for the next wave long after it has taken off. Instead, become a skill surfer. Be seen as an achiever and constantly strive to learn emerging technologies so you can catch the next cutting-edge wave. Plan and be prepared – your career is important and furthering it by leveraging opportunities gets you where you want to be.
Here are some strategies to take into consideration:

Become an expert in your area Tech Consulting
When it comes to advancing your application developer career, you want to become an expert in specific technologies. Everything in the IT world is very specific and companies are always looking for dedicated experts. If you have learned particular frameworks like Angular or React, it is a good time to educate yourself in others like Node or Flux. Adding to your skillsets increases your application development opportunities across a wider area. Present yourself as an expert in your field, and then translate that into other skills.

Be approachable and put yourself out there
We see that being a good team player as well as a mentor in the workplace is the secret sauce that employers are wanting. Work well with others and use your skills to assist your team. In general, a good trait to have as a human is to be approachable and to ask for help as well. No one knows everything, and the people that think they do are not as approachable. Get advice from others and you’ll both be honing your skills together.

Putting yourself out there is the ticket. It’s a risk for some people, but it can also be extremely rewarding, if you are willing. For example, get published. From blog articles to trade publications and more, there are many opportunities for being published. As soon as you start getting your name out there, you can gain a reputation that betters your career.

Putting yourself out there also means reaching out to others. If you are developing a plan for your career and you know someone that can help, then you should be reaching out to them. You never know where it can get you and how they can help. Be sure to give something to the relationship to make it valuable to them, so it’s not a “take only” connection.

Take on side projects
Another thing you can do to leverage opportunities is to take on some side projects. Do things that are beneficial to your application developer career but that you are also passionate about. Remember when you do something, do it well.

Tech Consulting

Take initiative
Most people are not taking the bull by the horns when it comes to their application development career. In my experience, about 5% of people make a plan for their technology career vs. the 95% of people that wait and see. You want to create a plan and grow from it.

IT is like Talladega Nights – as Ricky Bobby says, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” Realistically, if you are not growing in this business, you are actually digressing, and it will affect your career. In IT, it’s all about learning the latest and greatest.

Growing your career is important. Create a plan for yourself and put yourself in a position that will help you gain new opportunities.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients – from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms – in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

How to Retain the Best Employees

Posted on Posted in Technology

By Blaine Smith

We believe that people are our greatest asset and in taking care of the people that take care of you. This typically leads to their success personally, financially, and professionally. These beliefs achieve an equal success for both the company and employee. Retention is a difficult issue for many companies because they recognize the value of keeping their team together, but don’t always know what to do to make it happen. Here are a few ideas on how to retain the best employees:

Raising success
It’s well-known that retaining employees is less costly than turning people over, but let’s look at the deeper meaning of retention. Helping to raise the success in an employee’s career is a priority. Retaining the best employees is getting to the root of how they are successful in your firm.

On the topic of turnover, a recent Wall Street Journal article explains that a high employee turnover rate costs twice an employee’s salary when finding and training a new person. Along with the financial impacts, high turnover rates decrease overall performance and morale in employees. To avoid all of this, retaining the best employees is your best option. And, when retaining employees, ensuring their success ensures success across the board.

Focus on the individualTechnology Talent Acquisition
The first requirement of retention is understanding the employee. Understanding who the individual is and how they operate identifies what is important to them within retention. Employment is a two-way street, the employer has to focus on the individual to see what makes them the most successful in their career and the employee needs to get value from their career. We need to be always focusing our retention ideas on what is truly valuable to the employee, not what we think they will perceive as valuable.

Remember what really matters
When it comes to retention ideas, we have seen all kinds of games and perks that create a fun work environment. However, is a fun work environment what employees deem valuable? Is that what matters to them? Things like commute, benefits, and a work-life balance tend to be more important. Offer a career of significance. Figure out what drives your employees, and focus on that to ensure retention.

Start with good and genuine conversations
One of the best practices when retaining an employee is to have a great conversation about what matters most to them. Building trust and creating honest and authentic conversations, allows for transparent communication and the ability to commit to each other. We use job boards, social media, and marketing to attract talent to a conversation with us to understand their motivation and what is important to them. We keep this conversation going throughout their employment to ensure we are doing the right things for retention.

The greatest asset for a firm is the people that work there. Ensuring success for those people in their careers allows for the retention of the best employees.

Take care of others and they will take care of you.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients – from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms – in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

Advice for Growing Your Application Development Career – Are You A Rock Star

Posted on Posted in Technology

By Theresa Zandi

Are you looking to see your Java / Application Development career go from point A to point Z? That should be an easy…yes. But, how do you get from A to Z and who gives you the advice to get there? When I speak with Application Developers and most recently Java consultants, we talk about the variety of ways to get there. I hope this is helpful to you in your career.

Create A Plan
I seem to always begin here, but just saying that you want to grow your career and creating a plan to get there are very different. We all want to make advancement in our technology careers, but it requires you to take a step-by-step approach. When you build your plan, I begin with where do I think I want to go? If I am a Java developer that currently works with Angular and want to expand into different frameworks like React, then that is one step. If I am wanting to climb into management, that is a different step. Regardless of the end game, you do need to set goals in your plan if you want to grow your career.

Take the Initiative Application Development
The biggest drawback for most people growing their Application Development career is actually taking the initiative. When you are working, do you ask for additional responsibilities? Do you raise your hand for the tough projects? Are you being a great team player and mentoring others? If you want to grow your career, then the best piece of advice is to take the initiative to step out of your comfort zone.

Side Projects
Using the example from above, if you are a Java Developer that already knows Angular, then seek out projects that allow you to expand into different frameworks. There are so many companies and friends of yours that wish they had access to a Java developer of your stature. Let them have access to you through a side project. Charge them or don’t charge them, but be sure to make it clear that you are expanding your skills and want to work in areas that you do not typically work in. Take on additional projects at your job by conveying your interest to leadership. Be sure to be clear that you are wanting to learn something new. Side projects are a great way to expand your technical scope and grow your career.

Getting Published
You are a rock star. You know more about Application Development, Java, Angular, React, Node, etc. than most of the people on the planet. Why are you not sharing some of what you know through writing? Start a blog. Write articles on topics that you find interesting or that you have a wealth of knowledge about. You will be surprised how easily it comes, but the effect is that when you are interviewing, managers are going to Google you and now they see, firsthand, that you know what you are talking about. Take some of your articles and send them to trade publications. Share your articles across social media. Contribute to open source forums. Getting published positions you as an expert and when you take the next steps in your career, it will be noticed.

Communication / Soft Skills
In our society today, communication and soft skills are at the top of the list of what employers are looking to see from candidates. If you are a Java developer looking for your next position, employers are going to want to see how you think, how you write, and how you speak. They want to see your problem-solving skills and how you work and play well with others. We all need to work on our communication and soft skills, but if you are trying to grow your career, then it is a must. We have seen a number of technical candidates not receive offers because they are unable to convey their technical expertise, communicate effectively and efficiently, and/or play nicely in the sandbox. Interpersonal relationships are very important, so please don’t overlook them.

Improving yourself may seem difficult, but the fact is, you are not alone. We are all a work in progress and if you are trying to grow your career then start at the beginning.
Do you have other ideas on how to grow your career? We would love to hear them. Feel free to write us or simply add your comments. Let’s all help each other.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients – from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms – in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com