Setting Expectations for Our Job Search Solutions

IT career adviser 5What Sue & the ITtechExec Team Will Be Doing

Strategic Networking

The main focus of our job search solutions is momentum. Our goal is to provide you with various outlets to pursue as part of your job search effort. Therefore, we will  be reaching out across our network, your network, and the networks of some of our partners to find “strategic” connections for you to make or nuture, i.e., people who either work for companies you are targeting, in industries you are pursuing, or in roles you are interested in.

We will make introductions and give you pointers on how to make those connections more effective for you. (Most often, the first connection is an opening to a second connection…or at least that is the goal.) Sometimes these connections are very effective for you right out of the gate; sometimes they take more nurturing…maybe more than one meeting…

We have a deep network that has taken us ~15 years to grow, and we work hard to stay engaged with our connections. However, that doesn’t mean they are always as responsive as we’d like. Think about the last time you tried to get your connections, even a close colleague, to help you with your job search. How many of them never replied or really didn’t do much of anything to help you? It happens. Now, we do have a methodology to our messaging that gets a higher rate of positive responses, but building momentum through networking is methodical and requires time to grow.

Obviously, once we make the introduction for you to the connection, you and the connection are then one-on-one. We can offer, and will offer, guidance, but we can’t guarantee what happens (who could?). All we can do is our best to make sure you have some potential leads that will give you the opportunity of going around the normal job board approach.

tech recruiters IT career advisersRecruiter Matching

Recruiters can be difficult to predict. We have been reaching out to them on behalf of clients for ~10 years now, and their level of response basically comes down more to timing than it does to something specific about a candidate. If a recruiter does not currently have an opening that matches your skill set, often the recruiter will just ignore our reach-out e-mail. Sometimes he or she will send you a polite note, but most often, you will be ignored (OR you will be told there is something wrong with your resume; this is a very odd way some recruiters have of pushing you off). Recruiters today generally don’t keep a log of resumes of potential candidates for future positions. They are more about the “here and now”…what’s right in front of them.

By ignoring you, honestly, they are doing you a favor (even if it doesn’t seem like it). You don’t want to spend time talking to recruiters who aren’t currently placing for your role anyway. It’s a waste of time all around.

If we reach out to 200 recruiters, what is a good response? Well, it all depends on how you define “good”. I’ve had clients receive responses from 50 of those recruiters, resulting in 5 interviews, after which the client either turned down or was not offered a position. From our perspective, the client received good momentum, but of course the client ultimately did not end up with a position from those opportunities. Maybe the fit just wasn’t right; maybe the client did not interview well. There are various factors.

In other cases, I  have had clients only hear back from 10-15 of those recruiters and maybe it only resulted in 1 or 2 interviews, but the client landed the role.

It’s one reason why we don’t only rely on just recruiters OR on just strategic connections. We do them in tandem, along with your face-to-face networking and job posting, to create different types of momentum. One thing is for sure: We work very hard to make sure you get connections that can lead to opportunities, but as mentioned, how well the discussions go with those connections (recruiters or other professionals) is not something we can control. We can advise, however, and that is something we will do.

What We Are Seeing Happen Here With Many Job Search Clientsexecutive IT resume

To give you some idea of the experiences many of our clients are having, I have put together some overviews. I think you will find them useful for rounding out how to make the most from your time with us:

What You Can Do to Make Your Experience More Effective

Here are the top tips we have for our job search clients:

  • Follow up on all introductions we make for you. If someone agrees to speak with you or “meet” you, this is a kindness on their part. We have an active, supportive network, and we want them to feel appreciated for giving of their time. (We’ve found a thank-you note goes a long way, and if you really want to go all out, Cheryl’s Cookies offers great “cookie cards” that can be sent via U.S. mail for as low as $5.99. And they really are amazing cookies!)
  • Don’t fall off the map and stop communicating, especially with Sue. Sue will be keeping records for you on the responses and contacts made. All she will ask in return is for some basic info on how things went and when you followed up. This way she can track the level of momentum you are getting. But if you fall off the map, it is hard for her to know how best to help you if/when you do pop back up.
  • Remember, this is a collaborative effort. We are here to make your job search easier, but we are not a placement service. You will need to work with us to make the solution work best for you.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for support in how to approach an upcoming meeting with a contact. You don’t do this everyday; no one does. So don’t be afraid to use us as your support.
  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is in good order. ALL recruiters and strategic connections you make through this process will be reviewing your LI profile. For that matter, any interview you go on, or other networking event you attend, will lead to your profile being reviewed. So, it is not the place to ignore. (If you’re one of our Document Design & Job Support Members, we are taking care of this anyway.)
  • Avoid the “wait and see” trap. The job search process is tiring. So when a hot lead comes our way, and we have what we think was a “slam dunk” interview, there is a very real, and very understandable, tendency to put everything on hold to “wait and see” what happens. The problem is that (1) companies often move slowly, really slowly, especially when it comes to making final decisions about hiring higher level management; (2) just because you had a great interview and got a good vibe from those you spoke with during the interview doesn’t mean they will extend an offer (there are often many things going on, which of course you are not privy to); and (3) you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket and lose the momentum we started. If you wait too long for something to happen with this one opportunity, you (and us) have to kick-start everything over again, which costs you more time. So do your best to resist the urge to stop. Instead, surge ahead when you feel like you want to pull back. You can always turn down something else if/when this opportunity finally pans out. Plus, it might give you some leverage in negotiating. Wouldn’t that be a nice position to be in? Trust us on this one!
  • Tell us when you land a job. We want to celebrate with you! We may be in a different state or across an ocean, but to us, you are part of the ITtechExec family, and we want to know how things turn out.
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