USTAS Technologies, Inc. provides high quality custom IT solutions and services to leading government and commercial organizations, by employing an elite pool of highly-skilled IT specialists with a wide range of expertise.

Looking to Begin a Career with USTAS? Contact Us!

We Are Moving

USTAS is moving to a new home!

As of July 1st, 2012 our new address is:

1901 Research Blvd
Suite 360
Rockville, MD, 20850

For the last three years, we have been renting 2 to 3 dedicated rooms from a flexible office space company, Intelligent Office, located in Rockville, MD, off the i-270 Technology Corridor. We couldn’t thank all of the Staff in the IO enough- they were a major factor in our success. Special thanks to Mark, Leslie and Nancy- who were always there throughout our 3 year residency at IO to help us along the way.

And now we are extremely excited to announce that we need more space! Our company and our operations are growing fast and as part of that expansion, we are leasing our very own suite. After all, 3 years of hard work, we think we deserve it :)

In the mean time, if you would like to make an appointment with us or to chat with one of our sales or recruitment professionals, please visit the Contact Us page on our website.

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USTAS 3rd Annual Summer Picnic

On Saturday, June 23 2012, USTAS Technologies, Inc. held its 3rd Annual Summer Picnic! Many of our employees and contractors came out for some fun in the sun with their families! This is just one of several events that we hold throughout the year to show our employees our appreciation for their hard work year-round. See our pictures on our facebook page: http://facebook.com/USTASTech

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Referral Rewards Program

We are now happy to introduce our Referral Rewards Program for client referrals.

The way this program works is: you refer USTAS Technologies, Inc. to your company or any other company that is hiring in their IT department, that is not a current client of ours; thanks to your referral and introduction, USTAS signs a contract with the given company; USTAS pays you a bonus, that is a pre-determined percentage of the profits that USTAS wins on the given contract.  That means, your payouts may be up to Thousands of Dollars, depending on the scale of the contract.

Who can you refer us to?

The decision makers at your place of employment and your friends, associates, and family members who work at mid to large size organizations that you know are looking for qualified talents, such as Software Developers, Systems Analysts, DBAs, QAs, and other positions in the IT sector or that have a web development project that needs consideration.

How can you be certain that your interests remain protected?

If you think you have a referral for us, get in touch with me at Kira@ustas.us, or leave us a comment on our website in the Contact Us section.  Before making any introductions, we will sign a contract agreement with you, stating that if USTAS earns a profit through any efforts of yours, you will earn a percentage of those profits, to be determined during the drafting of the agreement.

Who can participate in the USTAS Referral Rewards Program?

Everyone!  A participator can, but does not have to be affiliated with USTAS in any way to be eligible for this promotion.  Please help us out by spreading the word.

What USTAS Services can you refer?

USTAS offers a variety of IT solutions to fit any company’s needs.

* Contract Staffing- for those organizations that like the security of knowing that USTAS takes full responsibility for their consultants, including salary and benefit administration.

* Direct Placement- for those organizations that want to increase their own employee base

* Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)- for companies that need professional technical resume sourcing and screening expertise

* Customized Software and website Development- for companies who want to improve, create, or migrate their web materials

If you have any questions about Referral Rewards or any other employment-related questions, email me at any time!

Best Regards,

Kira Portnaya

Kira@ustas.us

www.ustas.us

www.facebook.com/USTASTech

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The USTAS Interview Process- and How to Pass It

Every company is equipped with its own recruiting and hiring practices and cultures. At USTAS, we have developed and refined a multi-step process to ensure that your talents and expertise are matched with the right client, project, and requisition.

Our hiring process is divided into several stages. In stage one, our dedicated team of recruiters collect and sort through resumes. (See “How to Write a Technical Resume” about how to write a winning resume). Once the best candidates, according to the resumes, are found, the interview process begins.

The first step is that first phone call, when the recruiter first gets in touch with you to find out if you are, indeed, interested in the position. This step is called the initial screening. During this screening, you will be evaluated on your communication skills, your interest and understanding of the position, as well as your availability and your desired salary. While we will not conduct a thorough technical screening until you pass this stage, your general understanding of the requirements and whether your skills match up with those requirements, will, certainly, be observed.

While there is certainly no formula for the best way to prepare for this call, some general guidelines should be observed:
1. Be courteous, polite and professional
2. Be honest and realistic in all your answers. If you tell us that you are extremely proficient in certain software, the technical screening will show us if you lied about it, which will lead to the uncontested disqualification.
3. Know your worth. If you request a salary that is unreasonably higher than the market, you will not be hired. If you quote yourself too low, that will lead us to believe that you’re really not that good.
4. Ask questions. If you don’t understand something about either the position or the company- ask it before it’s too late.
5. Don’t ramble on. Our recruiters have to speak with dozens of people a day. You will lose their attention by speaking in circles or going on tangents. Just answer the question as simple as possible and provide a brief explanation when necessary. Wait your turn to speak.

Once this call is complete, congratulations, the easiest part is over!

The next stage of the interview is the technical screening. Here, one of our technical experts will evaluate your skill and knowledge in the technologies required for the position. The questions asked will depend solely on those technologies: the programming languages, certain software, various systems, applications, etc.

More likely than not, you can expect to be asked mathematical as well as logical problems. The purpose of these questions is tri-fold. For one, we believe that for most positions in IT, an understanding of math and a firm grasp on logic is necessary. A good programmer should know certain mathematical formulas, equations, and disciplines at the top of his head, since a computer essentially works like a giant calculator. It’s just like writing a cookbook- anyone can sit down and put the words to a recipe on a piece of paper, but only someone who can make the meal himself, will write a recipe worth cooking.

Second of all, we want to hire not just professionals who know the material, but the extraordinary talent who are great problem-solvers. Show us you can solve real-life problems by solving one of our logical puzzles. Even if you cannot come up with a correct answer, do tell us how you arrived at your solution, for your thought processes are as important as knowing the answer. Finally, if you can pass our rigorous problems, we are certain that if the client should ask you a similar question, you will be well-prepared.

Best advice for this stage:

1. Preparation is key! Practice different logic problems that you find online. Brush up on your old text books and tutorials. Look up technology-specific tests online, and take them!
2. Do not give up on a question right away, even if you do not know the answer. Like I said before, your thought processes are just as important as the actual solution, so tell us how you think this problem should be solved, or what steps you take to come up with your answer.

If you pass this stage, Congratulations, you are ready to meet with the client! At this point in time, we send your resume and the results of your interview to the Project Manager whom you will be working for, and if approved, we will set up your in-person interview at the Clients’ site. The rest is out of our hands.

Some guidelines to remember throughout this entire process:

In most cases, our whole interviewing process is conducted over the phone. However, do not assume that just because you are not physically in front of us, that general rules of in-person interviews don’t apply.
• Smile- it translates across phone lines and gives you an impression of a more positive attitude.
• Don’t eat or chew gum- the recruiters can hear you chewing over the phone, not to mention your speech is not as clear
• Have a glass of water in front of you- in case your mouth gets dry
• Have your resume in front of you- so you can refer to is with ease
• Have a piece of paper and something to write with- take notes
• Dress proper- what you wear impacts your mood, so if you’re interviewing in your pajamas, you are more likely to feel lazy and sleepy. If you wear a suit, you are more likely to feel professional and be more focused answering the interview questions
• Mind your tone of voice
• Don’t interrupt the interviewer
• Short answers are always better than long unnecessary explanations
• Eliminate distractions- find a quiet room where you are not going to be bothered by kids, pets, music, or the television.
• Finally, relax. Remember that the interview process is not something you should fear- it is rather a chance for new challenges and new opportunities. What’s the worst that could happen?

Also, do keep in mind that we want you to get the job as much as you want the job. In the end, your skills, qualifications, and professionalism will speak for itself.

********************************************************************************************
If you were scouted by our recruiters, please go to our website, and in the Contact Us section leave us a comment about what you thought of your interview and the recruiter that you worked with. Your feedback helps us work better for you.

© 2011 by Kira Victoria Portnaya and USTAS Technologies, Inc. Do not reproduce without permission from the authors.

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How to Write a Perfect Technical Resume

It is not a secret that employers seek different things when making hiring decisions and that the standard formats of chronological, functional, or combination resumes are nothing more nothing less than light guidelines for your resume.

Depending on your profession, your personal style, or even the country in which you’re trying to get the job, your resumes may vary significantly.

In this article, I will not go over what the basic styles are and how they differ; nor will I tell you that the tips I’m giving you will guarantee you a job.  Instead, I will provide you with guidelines to put together a great technical resume- that is perfect for our recruiters and probably most recruiters in the Information Technologies fields.

A few points to remember:

*“It is no longer enough to be a talented technologist! Now, you must be a strategic marketer, able to package and promote your experience.” 1

*In technical fields, the emphasis of your CV should be on your technical skills- not your personality, not yourself.  In other words, you should want your resume to be a marketing communication of your skillset and technical background.

*A computer finds your resume, people read it.  Optimize it for computerized databases and electronic scans, like you would a website: simple, clear, precise, targeted keywords.  Make it easy for a recruiter or a hiring manager (who has to read hundreds of them a day) to look at and see all that you have to offer: DON’T use tiny fonts, unnecessary text or explanations; DO- organize, format (use bold, italics, underline, bullet points, etc.).

*I cannot stress enough the importance of keywords!  In most instances, “just by describing your work experience, projects, technical qualifications, and the like, you will naturally include most of the terms that are important in your field.”2 However, do make sure that all keywords representative of your skill set are included.

*While your resume should by no means be a book, it is okay to have it longer than just on page in length.  There is no right or wrong length, but if you have had plenty of experience, do not try to fit everything into just one page.

*Remember, that in today’s job market, you most likely want the employer more than the employer wants you.  You have to make yourself stand out from the rest and show in your resume that you are a one of a kind candidate.  One of the easiest ways to do that is to include numbers, stats about your performers, and titles, when applicable.  In other words, “Sell it to me…Don’t tell it to me.”3 Use specifics.  If, as a Senior Software Architect, you also managed a team of 25 people, say so.  If you completed a project 7 days before deadline and $7000 under budget, say so as well.  As a technical professional, you must pay attention to those details and specifics.

*The below should give you a good idea how to sell yourself to a perspective employer.  4

Telling It:

Describes Features

Tells What and How

Details Activities

Focuses on What You Did

Selling It:

Describes Benefits

Sells Why the “What and “How” are Important

Includes Results

Details how What you did Benefited the Company, Department, Team Members, Customers, and so on.

*“Be sure your greatest ‘selling points’ are featured prominently, not buried within the resume.  Conversely, don’t devote lots of space and attention to areas of your background that are irrelevant or about which you feel less than positive; you’ll only invite questions about things you really don’t want to discuss.”5

*Proof-read your resume!  Make sure it is free of errors and mistakes!  “Consider your resume an example of the quality of work you will produce on a company’s behalf.”6

Your Resume, by Section

“For most of you in technology, writing may not be your primary skill.  In fact, writing is a right-brain skill, the exact opposite of what you do when you use your left brain to develop theory, analyze, synthesize, extrapolate, plan a process, or handle a variety of other functions related to the technology industry.

Therefore, to make the writing process easier, more finite, and more ‘analytical,’ we’ve consolidated it into five discrete sections.

*Career Summary. Think of your Career Summary as the architecture of your resume.  It is the accumulation of everything that allows the system (you) to work.  It is the backbone, the foundation of your resume.

*Technical Qualifications. Your technical qualifications are equivalent to the functionality, the underlying foundation of the system and of your career.  This section is a consolidation of the comprehensive summary of your specific technical qualifications and expertise.

*Professional Experience. Professional Experience is much like the software and applications of your system.  It shows how you put all of your capabilities to work… in ways that benefit ‘users’ (employers).

*Education, Credentials, and Certifications. Think of this section as the system specifications, the specific qualifications of the system and of your career.

*The ‘Extras’ (Professional Affiliations, Civic Affiliations, Publications, Public Speaking, Honors and Awards, Personal Information, and so on).  These are the bits and bytes of your resume, the ‘extra stuff’ that helps distinguish you from others with similar technical qualifications.”7

Contact Information

At the top of your resume, in plain sight, type your full name (First and Last), contact information (phone numbers, emails, address, website [if you have one]).  If you have active clearance, you can mention that at the very top, right under your address.

Objective

The objective section is optional and only has a great impact when you are applying for a specific position.  When uploading your CV to a database, to be found, objective is not necessary.

Also a good idea, though not necessary, to place at the top, is your availability.  If you are ready to start working as soon as possible, you could include a line such as “available immediately.”

Career Summary

Right underneath the contact information you should place your Career Summary, which comprises you’re your career highlights, major accomplishments, greatest responsibilities and abilities, and specific skills related to the position you are applying for or your overall objective.  Anything that truly makes you stand out from other candidates or especially notable about you, you should include in this section, including noteworthy certifications, awards, published materials, etc.

Technical Qualifications

Somewhere at the top of your resume, should be a list of your technical skills, programming languages, familiar applications, operating systems, special certifications, etc.

*If your list turns out to be extremely long, insert a table or a chart and organize it by categories

*Next to each skillset, write how many years of experience you have with the particular application or language, or your level of proficiency.  This makes the recruiter’s job a lot easier and given that you have the qualifying skills, it makes your resume stand out.

Professional Experience

Now, it’s time to write out your employment history.  Use the standard accepted format for this section.   Make sure to include your Position/ Job Title,  Dates employed, Which company you are employed by AND the client where you performed the job, the Project that you worked on, Job Description, Project Description, Your Duties, Tools and Skills used, etc.  This section should be one short paragraph in length.

*Within the employment history section, omit jobs that have nothing to do with the position for which you are applying and bring no value to your resume.  For example, the part time job delivering pizzas to supplement your income, or your retail and waitressing experience in college- nobody cares about that when looking for a seasoned software engineer.

*If you have gaps in employment, you may write a short explanatory note about why that gap exists.  For the most part, employers like to see candidates that show a steady career progression, and gaps are sometimes interpreted that you are not a worthy candidate.   If you took maternity leave, or took that time to do volunteer work in Guatemala, say so.  If, however, your gap exists because it took you a whole year to grieve the death of your dog, do not mention that in your resume… or at the interview for that matter.

*Are you a habitual job hopper?  Good luck finding your next employer!  If, on the other hand, you frequently switched employers, or haven’t stayed at any one company for very long because you do contract, per project, work- do include project length and in your description state that you left because the project came to an end.

Education

After your professional experience section, you should place your education section.  Please list the following: which school you attended, the location of the school (city, state or city, country), years attended OR year of graduation, major of study, and the degree received.  Do not list your high school; only list college and beyond

Since, in your technical field, your continuing education is as important as your initial degree, list all other out of college programs that you have participated in.  Any classes that led to certifications, refresher courses and seminars in updated software, any other training that helped you acquire your technical skills.

If your educational background is especially impressive, or if you are recent college graduate and your education outweighs actual work experience, place your education section at the very top of your resume, above the work experience.  For example, you have a PhD in computer sciences form MIT or you’re only 25 years old and your greatest accomplishment thus far is your degree, you want your potential employer to be impressed by presenting that information first.

The Extras

Towards the bottom of your CV, include another section with skills, but this time list skills and talents that have less to do with your technical expertise and more so with what else you can contribute to your new job.  For example, other languages that you speak, your incredible team-leading abilities, or your self-published book of poetry.

Finally, at the very bottom of your resume, you might wish to include your U.S. employment status, such as U.S. Citizen, Alien Resident, “Authorized to work in the U.S. for any Employer,” or “Require H1B sponsorship to work.”  While these statements are by no means a necessity, and given that everything else in your resume looks good, a recruiter will contact you regardless, it does help the recruiter out to know exactly the package that you come with.

I am once again going to reiterate that the guidelines above are nothing more, nothing less, than just guidelines.  Nobody expects your resume to follow this exact format.  However, following those guidelines while writing your resume might just help out the recruiters in sorting you out to the top of their “to call” pile.  Good Luck and Happy Job Hunting!

For More Information, read Expert Resumes for Computer and Web Jobs by Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark

Quotes and information excerpted from Expert Resumes for Computer and Web Jobs by Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark (© JIST Publishing)
The following page numbers correspond to the quotes in the article:
1 ix
2 7
3 5
4 6
5 8
6 17
7 19-20
© 2010 by Kira Victoria Portnaya and USTAS Technologies, Inc.  Do not reproduce without permission from the authors.
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USTAS Technologies, Inc. Helps to Raise Funds for Blood Cancers

Ijamsville, Maryland (August 2010)- USTAS Technologies, Inc. sponsors a hole at the Indo Open 2010 Benefit Tournament  to help raise funds for  The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  This was the first year that USTAS participated in the event, sponsoring hole #16 with an undisclosed amount.   Attendees included Yuliya Sirotinina, CFO, and Raj Dubey, Director of Business Development.  The event took place at the Whiskey Creek Golf Club.

“This event was a wonderful opportunity for us to give back to our community and extend a hand to those struggling with the diseases beat their cancer,” says Kira Portnaya, Marketing Manager of USTAS Technologies, Inc.  According to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website, one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer every 4 minutes.  “If our sponsorship helped at least one patient and saved at least one life, I feel we have done our job,” comments Portnaya on this statistic.

USTAS Technologies, Inc. is looking forward to participating in the Indo Open again next year.

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Why Your Profession will Never Go out of Style

If you are reading this, chances are you perform some type of computer-related services.  You might be a software developer, an systems engineer, a database administrator, networks integrator, or any of the other many professions that work with computer and information technologies to make everyone else’s lives a little easier and navigation around the digital world a little more user friendly.

You might have chosen your profession for many reasons.  Maybe you were that mathematically-genius kid throughout your school years and a degree in computer sciences seemed logical.  Maybe, you are fascinated by technology and all the things that you can create in cyberspace and then bring it to life in the real world.  Maybe you were drawn by the prospect of high salaries paid to seasoned professionals in that field and a potential to set up a stable and prosperous life for yourself and your family.  Whatever your reasons were, one thing is certain, and that is that the knowledgeable and innovative Information Technology specialist will never go out of style.

Since the first era of tremendous analogue calculating machines, innovational growth and usability have grown exponentially.  One day a long long time ago, these machines were only accessible to NASA and MIT researchers and would only perform elementary level mathematical calculations.  Today, not only does every home and every business use these (of course, now a lot smaller and portable and powerful) machines, but the functions and calculations that the machines can perform are limitless.  They can build giant databases able to process trillions of bits of information and translate it in a way that any elementary school child could understand it.  They can create interactive dynamic games that allow the user to absorb into a magical world of play controlled by a few buttons that appears as real as life.  They can create budget reports for individuals and multi-billion dollar corporations.  They can tell your location from anywhere in the world and give you directions to exactly where you want to go.  They can respond to your touch and your voice to play your favorite song, vacuum your carpet, and launch a missile.

It is you, however, the IT professional that makes this all possible.  All the infinite possibilities are only limited by the human imagination.  As long as ideas prosper, you will be in demand.  We are in the midst of the technological revolution that will not cease anytime in the next several centuries.  More and more companies set up their own IT departments to create proprietary solutions to their needs.  In fact, most people today find it difficult just to imagine their lives without machines that can automate their tasks.  However, just as in any other profession, but even more so important it information technologies, you are only as safe as the programming language that you use or equipment that you are familiar with is still in.

Whether you were born in 1996 or 1976, technologies utilized during your birth era are now all but obsolete.  New languages, software, and equipment emerge that you must be aware of to continue being successful in your field.  Never underestimate the power of refreshing your knowledge.  Take a certification course, attend a workshop or a seminar, and read a book.  Stay abreast on new developments and take some time to familiarize yourself with the current needs of your market.  Do this, and be certain  that there will always be an employer out there for you to put your technical knowledge to the test.

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Welcome to Our Blog

Hello Visitor!

Just wanted to take a moment to welcome you to our blog and to thank you for taking your time to read what we have to say.  All comments are appreciated.  If there’s a specific topic you would like to read about, submit it to Kira@ustas.us.  A fan of USTAS Technologies, Inc.?  Like us on Facebook.com/USTASTech and follow us on Twitter @USTASTech.  Interested in career opportunities?  Submit your resume on http://ustas.us/jobseekers_applynow.htm.   Or are you a company looking for some great IT personnel?  Submit your request on http://ustas.us/clients_hireus.html.

Thanks for Visiting!

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