people waiting for an interviewHave you ever found yourself wondering why you didn’t get a call back after that interview you thought went well? You answered all the questions. You have all the skills they want. But you still didn’t get the job. Where did it go wrong?

Modis Austin Recruiting Director Kristin Lauderback sees it all the time: qualified candidates not getting the job because they’re overlooking some very simple but crucial factors that can make or break an interview. More often than not, candidates are forgetting simple rules of social etiquette and making these interview mistakes, and it’s costing them to get passed over.

Interviews are your chance to make an exceptional first impression, and here’s Kristin’s expert advice for starting off on the right foot:

1) How’s Your Handshake?

A good handshake should always be firm and not loose, but not so firm you’re breaking a hand! Too hard of a handshake can seem overpowering, whereas too loose can come across as lacking respect.

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Obama’s Cybersecurity Executive Order

by Modis on February 26, 2015

With a growing number of high profile companies becoming the targets of devastating hacks and data security breaches,it’s imperative that organizations double down on their IT security defenses. In the U.S., collaborative IT data security strategiesinformation sharing on cyber threats between the private sector and the government is also becoming a bigger piece of the puzzle, thanks to a new measure rolling out from the oval office.

President Barack Obama’s newly signed cybersecurity executive order aims to bridge that gap, opening a dialogue for tighter security and enacting a nation-wide initiative to strengthen the system as a whole. Here’s a breakdown of the main takeaways from the Presidential order and a look at key standards in information security.

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The Latest in Cyber Security Degree Programs

by Modis on February 16, 2015

As the need for cyber security continues to grow, the career opportunities for security experts are rapidly expanding. In response to this need for skilled professionals, many universities have developed new programs that provide students with opportunities to earn security degrees and certifications at the same time.

Firewall WhiteboardThese programs aim to provide students with the defensive skills needed to protect against cyber attacks as well as the insight and expertise required to create preventative cyber security strategies. For those considering this rapidly expanding IT sector, these educational programs are an exceptional avenue into this career path:

Cyber Security Degrees 101

Whether a school’s cybersecurity program is a specialization, a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree, much of the coursework has similarities. The focus of curriculums center on ethical hacking, network security, detection tactics, cybercrime, preventative tools and strategies, and systems defense. Prerequisites for these programs often include advanced mathematics (a year of calculus plus linear algebra, discrete mathematics, or differential equations) and programming languages like Java or C++ as well as data structure and computer organization courses.

The University of Southern California’s IT Program Security Specialization features a course specifically on Ethical Hacking and Security Defense. According to the university’s website, it was “designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of ethical hacking and becoming an ethical hacker. The course focuses on the code of conduct and ethics of attacking systems.”

The following universities are leading the pack in cybersecurity education:Apply for an Exceptional IT Career

Tracks Within Cybersecurity

Within the cybersecurity educational realm, there are a few common paths for students to take:

  • The Analysis Track: This track focuses on providing the skills needed to analyze security systems for potential weaknesses and detect intrusions based on a curriculum of ethical hacking, cryptology, digital forensics, and reverse engineering.
  • The Networks Track: As the name suggested, this track focuses on designing, implementing, administering, securing and troubleshooting corporate networks based on a curriculum of network security, digital forensics analysis and troubleshooting.
  • The Systems Track: The curriculum for this track focuses on all software components of security. Coursework includes a substantial focus on programming languages and relational databases as well as learning industry and government recommendations and best practices.

Cyber Security-Focused Scholarly Research

Within the scholarly research community, Cornell University has launched a wide variety of cybersecurity related research initiatives. The ivy league university is working to ensure security and reliability of within the global critical computing infrastructure and boasts faculty members involved in DARPA, DoD, and Microsoft advisory boards.

Similarly, Northeastern University has assembled an internationally-recognized cyber security group. The group has received grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research for their works while also co-founding and co-directing the International Secure Systems Lab — a collaborative effort of European and U.S. researchers focused on Web security, malware and vulnerability analysis, intrusion detection, and other computer security issues.

Being on the cutting-edge of a hot topic in IT can reap a lot of benefits for one’s career. At Modis, we’ve been tracking the trends of the security sector and taking note of the professional talent needed. We work with companies large and small every day looking for talented tech workers. Submit your resume today.

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The Cyber Security Challenge

by Modis on February 13, 2015

Meeting Exceptional Security Challenges white paper cover2014 was a year plagued by massive data breach after massive data breach. In the aftermath of these highly-publicized hacks, the importance of cyber security has come to the forefront of discussion for both the media and businesses alike. Experts are predicting that not only will the costs associated with these hacks continue to rise, the number of them will increase in 2015 and beyond.

As a result, businesses must address their current level of cyber security and often increase spending on enterprise security accordingly. Deploying a comprehensive strategy that’s regularly evaluated and updated is a proactive approach towards cyber and information security. Some best practices for combating the cyber security challenge include designating executive security leaders and employing certified security expert, but it doesn’t stop there.

Meeting Exceptional Security Challenges

In our latest white paper, “Meeting Exceptional Security Challenges,” we’re evaluating the damage caused by cyberattacks while offering security tips for to help your business maximize IT spend and developing the most effective hiring practices. Some of the topics covered in our white paper include:

  • High-Profile Hacks: A quick review of the most high-profile hacks illustrating the importance of cyber security.
  • The High Cost of Hacks: Cyber attacks cost American companies time and plenty of money.
  • Damages From Breaches: Damage from hacks can be widespread and have a significant impact on your bottom line.
  • Security Goes Mobile: As mobile and cloud-based services usage increases, new threats are arising.
  • How Businesses Cope with a Breach: A look at the data breach response plan deployed by a major company in the wake of a hack.
  • Action Steps All Companies Should Take: These eight critical data security best practices are crucial for a company to include in their information security strategy.
  • The Growing Need for IT Security Experts: Why it’s more important than ever for companies to hire IT staff with security expertise.
  • The Hiring Outlook: Several jobs and skill sets have increased in demand as businesses evolve their cyber security strategy.

Cyber attacks can damage your company’s network, productivity, reputation and bottom line. Get a head start on your cyber security strategy—download your free copy of our white paper, “Meeting Exceptional Security Challenges” today.

Get your free copy now

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Work At Modis

If you’re looking for a recruiting job, you’ve probably learned that there are a lot of options to consider. You could work for a company in-house, pursue a position at a small agency or work for a big firm. You could even start your own business as a solo consultant.

If your mind is made up and you want to join a recruiting firm, consider these 5 things that your top choices should bring to the table:

1. Good Base Pay

Many recruiting firms pay a base salary plus commission. Some opportunities are commission-only. In both of these roles, it’s not unheard of for top recruiters to be making more than $200K.

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January 2015 Unemployment ReportIn the first Employment Situation report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2015, January saw the creation of 257,000 new jobs. Coming off of the best year for job creation since 1999, the unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.7%. But that’s not necessarily bad news: Experts suggest the rate increased as a result of more Americans seeking employment as confidence in the economy grows.

As reports have shown in the past, the January employment report numbers will likely be revised in the coming months. Broader trends are indicating positive job growth. In this month’s jobs report, November’s employment was revised up from 353,000 to 423,000 — the strongest month of private-sector hiring since 1997. Additionally, December’s numbers were revised up from 252,000 to 329,000. Combined, the two revisions account for 147,000 previously unreported jobs.

With the two aforementioned revisions, the average monthly job gain for the past 3 months is 336,000. Another positive sign was the 2.2% increase in private-sector average hourly wages from January 2014.

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January’s Fast Facts

The IT Sector’s January Statistics

Employment in the Professional and Technical Services sector increased by 33,000 in January. Of those new jobs, computer systems design contributed 8,000 while management and technical consulting services reported a gain of 3,600.

Despite an increase from December, the unemployment rate for Professional and Technical Services sits well below the national average at 4.0%. The competition for tech talent keeps getting tougher and tougher. As leaders in IT staffing, Modis has the connections with exceptional IT professionals to meet the toughest challenges and branches located conveniently throughout the United States.

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