Category: IT Resume

Interview with Kurt Phelps of Phello

Interview with Kurt Phelps of Phello

Starting in 2019, ITtechExec has begun incorporating Phello’s advanced contact management system into our Job Search Solutions. In a recent podcast with Phello owner, Kurt Phelps, our own Stephen Van Vreede discusses resume writing, your network, and utilizing it in the process:

Listen to Podcast Interview with Kurt Phelps of Phello

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

4 CIO Leadership Tips to Propel Your Brand in the Executive Job Market

4 CIO Leadership Tips to Propel Your Brand in the Executive Job Market

CIOIn 2016, Nigel Travis, CEO of Dunkin’ Brands, spoke at the SIM Boston Technology Leadership Summit to a group of CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives. In case you didn’t know, Mr. Travis also served in leadership roles at Papa John’s, Burger King, and Blockbuster. Interestingly, his 4 CIO tips had nothing to do with technology directly. They all focused on leadership, and leadership tends to be the area that most CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives avoid when writing a resume or LinkedIn profile. So let’s take a look at the CIO tips, and then we’ll discuss how important each one is for the resume or candidate profile.

Invest in People
Recruiting, building, and retaining an elite team in IT is a constant challenge in today’s market. Most companies struggle to develop and retain their best people. Investing in training is important. Once you’ve identified the best people, it is cheaper to reward them financially than it is to replace them.

For the Resume: This is definitely important, as talent combined with good execution is really powerful in business. So what have you done from an organizational leadership perspective to win the day with the building and growth of your technical teams? Have you been able to get these people you’ve developed to stay and grow with you?

Effective Communication
An open and continual dialog with your team is critical. Travis cites his use of technology to stay in touch with his employees and leadership team; however, he also mentions that in-person discussions over coffee work well whenever possible.

For the Resume: Everyone knows that good communication skills are important. The problem is, if you just say “good communicator” or “excellent communication skills” on the resume, it comes across as trite. You’ll get a ho-hum response. What is an example of a communication program you’ve put into place or a business outcome that stemmed from excellent communications in your line of business?

Inspiration
You’ve got to overcome the dull, unexciting reputation that many IT leaders get pegged with. Sorry, but that’s the perception. Some of it has to do with the dominant personality trait that attracts people to technology to begin with: they prefer interfacing with the technology or solution more than with people. I get it, you can fix a broken gadget, enhance code, and come up with a more elegant solution to a problem…but when it comes to people, you can’t fix stupid, right?

For the Resume: As a technology leader, what have you done to inspire teams? Have you been able to steer the team in a common direction with a positive energy to deliver a solution?

Culture
Culture is the biggest buzzword of all these days, especially in technology organizations. Culture goes well beyond inspiration, which is great to get things kick-started. A culture is built over time and is something that requires continual maintenance. More importantly, culture is not something that can be faked.

For the Resume: Cultivating a vibrant culture is a huge deal! Technical deliverables are great too; however, I would contend that the IT organization that puts these four things together (Investment in People, Communications, Inspiration, and Culture) will deliver timely, high-quality, and innovative solutions.

Conclusion
A winning presentation today for a CIO, CTO, or IT executive must delve into what I call the “intangibles” like business and leadership skills, personal strengths, and management philosophy. That’s why providing a traditional resume with facts and figures is only a part of the picture, not the whole. Get out of that paradigm and discover what you can do to highlight your abilities to invest in and inspire people, communicate effectively, and build a winning culture. Think about it…don’t you want to be part of an organization that recruits you because they value these things highly as well?

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

The One-Two Punch Every Job Search of Today Needs

The One-Two Punch Every Job Search of Today Needs

When I first started in the resume and career document design business, times were good, especially in the tech/IT job market. Online tools, such as job boards, seemed like a long awaited answer to speeding up and making the hiring process more efficient, jobs were plentiful, and even though we now had online tools, the job search process itself had not changed all that much.

Then came 2007 and things began to change.

The recession hit in the U.S., upward mobility in IT/tech jobs stagnated, social media began to insert itself into hiring practices, and companies began demanding more and more automation in the hiring process. For a few years, it was hard to tell which direction things were going to go, as well as what was good and what was bad. All we really knew was things were changing, and the job market was less and less pleasant.

But by the early 2010s, it became apparent that the job search landscape was altered for good.

The online tools that were supposed to make life better for companies and job seekers alike persisted, but it was apparent no one gave much credence to them actually working, especially past the manager level. And those newly automated hiring practices became so wieldy that, frankly, only HR people seemed to like them.

What became obvious to us at ITtechExec was that we needed to do more than just design documents; we needed to help guide professionals through this new job search “zoo” by offering solutions that would help them build momentum using other, more effective methods to create opportunities for themselves.

For the past 8 years, we have been offering our very own “concierge” Job Search support solutions. Our clients would start with the career document design with Stephen Van Vreede, Executive Resume Writer, and then move into our job search strategy development and support solutions with Sue Sacco, our Job Search Agent.

Due to the demand for both types of solutions, we now offer them as part of a comprehensive, month-by-month Document Design and Job Search Membership that walks side by side with you throughout your job search introducing you to recruiters identified just for you, working within our own ITtechExec network to help you build contacts in your industry and target market, and offering support in reaching out across your own network more effectively. We aren’t a replacement for your own search efforts, but we do ease the burden and offer you potential connections that could lead to opportunities in today’s market.

In other words, we provide the “one-two punch” that is often missing in today’s job search approach.

Too many professionals find themselves blindsided by this marketplace when they embark on a job search. They’re still remembering the 1990s or early 2000s, and it is hard for them to orient themselves in today’s market. And although things were a bit simpler back then, it’s not all bad today.

You just have to know how to maneuver through it while having some patience.

To find out how it can work for you, book a free 30-minute “Upcoming Career Move Prep” phone or Skype session with me, your IT/Tech Job Search Strategist & Resume Writer, Stephen Van Vreede.

 

What’s Your Tech Career Road Map Look Like? Smooth or Bumpy?

What’s Your Tech Career Road Map Look Like? Smooth or Bumpy?

country-roads-wallpapers-1When mapping out your next IT or tech career move, knowing your value and setting achievable goals is a vital first step. In setting goals, the priority should not center on the number of opportunities (quantity) rather on the right opportunities (quality) that align with those values. Specificity in these matters is the key. If it is the right opportunity, go all IN! If not, don’t pursue it. It will take time that you could be using for researching the right opportunity that is in alignment with your roadmap.

Project Manager Job Jungle

When Christina began her job search adventure, she was lost in the wilderness of which way to go. She started out the same way most of her competitions does: by posting for any job that had the words “project manager” in it. She did not define industries, location, or really any other specifics. So as you can imagine, what she got was an avalanche of emails that basically made her frustrated and somewhat lost. Soon she began wasting the little job search time she had trying to sift through them. Her LinkedIn profile and resume really branded her as a project manager, and she was lost in a sea of project managers all vying for the same roles.

Nothing was specific for Christina. She did not stand out. Her values were lost in the job search jungle.

Project Manager Road Less Traveled

It was then that Christina came to me. We began to put together a roadmap that included values that were important to her…location near home including remote possibilities (family and recreation time is important to her), she always wanted to work in the aerospace industry, and she wanted to work at a smaller company after working in a large corporation for years.

So we took these values, revised her resume and LinkedIn profile to align with them, and made some specific introductions to valuable contacts instead of just trolling the job boards.

roadmapShe now had a roadmap inclusive of her values and goals. As a result, she started using her job search time more efficiently and had greater results in much less time. It wasn’t long before she found opportunities that met her goals and gave her that family and recreation time she valued.

In beginning your job search adventure and as you progress through it, ask yourself these questions to stay focused and on track:

  • Am I willing to fight for my values?
  • What’s important to me?
  • Am I am willing to bend or not bend in my unique value or perceptions?
  • Do I know what my value-add is?
  • Do my “stories” reflect my values and goals?
  • Am I pursuing opportunities that I do not really want?
  • Am I being specific?
  • Do my resume and LinkedIn profile portray the brand I want for career goals?

Sticking With It

But here is the real key to the whole thing. Setting goals is one thing. Sticking to them is another. It takes a lot of willpower, and it takes support. Various detours will pop up along the way and get you sidetracked. Other opportunities will arise that might seem worth pursuing. This is why you need a “team” behind you. Every Olympic athlete, even those in “individual” sports has a coach and an entire support system behind him or her. Yet most of us attempt to maneuver through the job search jungle on our own. Considering not only are our livelihoods on the line with each career move, but also our lifestyles, where our families live, how much we work, how long our commute is, and so on, it makes sense that we would build our team as well and not try to “go it alone,” doesn’t it?

If you would like more information on how to use your road map , without so much recalculating, text me at 866-294-1324 to start a dialogue OR schedule a time (see below) to speak with me and learn more about our “concierge” job search solutions:

IT career adviser 5Sue Sacco is a Certified Job Search Strategist (CJSS) for ITtechExec who blends a unique background in managing both IT and telecom day-to-day operations with extensive hiring and recruitment experience for small/mid-sized organizations as well as for a prominent Fortune 1000 company. She is also a Career Thought Leader Associate.

Sue has been up close and personal with HR and has had to wade through layoffs, acquisitions, and corporate restructuring. (That means she’s a veteran of the job market zoo and has been so deep in corporate goo that nothing surprises her anymore!)

Text me at 866-294-1324 to start a dialogue OR schedule a time below to speak with me and learn more about our “concierge” job search solutions:

IT Director With Long Tenure at Same Company: Asset or Liability?

IT Director With Long Tenure at Same Company: Asset or Liability?

tech job search cartoon 15

Unlike Sam, whom we featured in our last segment as a Technology and Software Innovation Leader, Danielle is a Technology Director who has been with the same company her entire career. She started with them doing database work and hardware support before growing into development and IT operations roles. She wanted to position herself for managerial roles in application development and product management, but she had no idea if other companies would consider her qualified for these roles.

Titles Make a Difference

One major concern for Danielle was the fact that her company had never formally changed her title after nearly 20 years, even though the scope and accountabilities of her role had altered drastically. Did she really need to list that she was a Database and Applications Support Specialist on her resume and in LinkedIn?

No…you are afforded some flexibility with titles to ensure that they align with what the general market would understand based on your job duties. For Danielle, that meant we were able to tweak her title a bit to better communicate the level (Manager) and type of work (technical product management and development) she had been performing for the past 12+ years.

Is Only Working For One Company a Liability?

Danielle had received a bunch of calls and LinkedIn inquiries for Database Administrator and Technical Support roles. When sending her resume to recruiters, she got feedback that they didn’t think she was qualified for a Technology Manager role, and that being at the same company for nearly 20 years gave them concern that she couldn’t handle a change in environment.

Fixing the Problem by Reworking the Resume and LinkedIn Profile

Danielle explained how her position evolved over time, despite having no change in the formal job title. I did a resume makeover – and a LinkedIn Profile makeover too – that made Danielle’s progression come across clearly to even the most casual observer. A clearer presentation of titles that reflected the level of role she held and the duties she performed was also addressed.

The results for Danielle have been strong since we revamped her resume and LinkedIn Profile AND introduced her to some key players in her target market.

She quickly received calls for opportunities that matched her objective to be in technology management. She also got responses from recruiters and hiring directors when submitting her resume in direct response to open jobs listed on their website. Just as important, she felt better equipped to answer questions about her long tenure and why it made her an even stronger candidate.

About Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical resume writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and innovation leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy. Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreedeTo see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, text “STUCK” to 866-294-1324 to start a dialogue OR click on the calendar below to schedule a free consult:

Executive Resume Strategy for a Technology Software and Innovation Leader

Executive Resume Strategy for a Technology Software and Innovation Leader

second-rightI recently had the opportunity to work with a technology leader – let’s call him Sam — who specializes in solutions architecture design, software development, and innovation, most notably in the areas of real-time Web and mobile solutions as well as business productivity tools. Sam’s company had recently gone through two re-organizations, and he was losing confidence in the direction of the firm, despite being elevated in the company during each restructuring.

Sam’s Challenge

Sam’s problem was that he’d been asked to establish the company’s professional services organization, and he was presenting most of his current information as project-based details. That would be fine if Sam wanted to pursue contract-based or project-based opportunities for his next role, but he craved being part of a larger organization that focused on designing and delivering solutions for internal use.

Thankfully, Sam’s experience included solution design and Web product development at multiple companies over the years, so we were able to successfully present his technical chops in the current role and all his previous roles.

Can You Have Too Much Leadership Experience?

The other factor complicating Sam’s profile was the executive leadership flavor that his current role entailed. Although he didn’t want to be an individual contributor, his passion was to be able to lead a team of engineers, architects, and innovators while being hands-on throughout the entire solution development lifecycle.

His old resume was portraying him as a hands-off business leader who oversaw a consulting group that happened to work in the technology/software realm. This was not getting him the type of calls from companies and recruiters that he was hoping for.

What’s the Solution?

Sam and I had some pretty in-depth conversations about the solutions he and his team actively designed, developed, and delivered. I have to say, some of them were pretty remarkable. I wasn’t the only one that thought so, as they have been implemented at some of the world’s leading tech product firms, insurance companies, and financial institutions, generating some very positive outcomes.

I was able to create a new resume that focused his story on solution design and development as well as on the business problems those solutions helped to address. This totally changed Sam’s narrative, gave him a lot more confidence when speaking with recruiters, and improved the perception that potential suitors had of what he offered to them.

The opportunities that Sam has entertained since our work together are all completely aligned with his passion for being that hands-on innovator and thought leader in the tech space.

So if you find yourself out in the wilderness, wondering where to even begin with your next career move, text “STUCK” to 866-294-1324 to start a dialogue OR click on the calendar below to schedule a free consult.

Stephen Van Vreede

About Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical resume writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and innovation leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy. Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreedeTo see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, text “STUCK” to 866-294-1324 to start a dialogue OR click on the calendar below to schedule a free consult:

Becoming a Highly Sought-After Candidate in the War for Tech Talent

Becoming a Highly Sought-After Candidate in the War for Tech Talent

As a professional in the world of technology, you don’t have to agree that there is an aggressive “war for tech talent” as so many companies and media outlets claim. Heck, it can be a total fabrication! Bottom line, though, is that companies truly believe that they will gain a competitive advantage in the market by winning this talent war.

The Race for Tech Talent is On!
The Race for Tech Talent is On!

On April 4, 2016, CIO.com published the article, The Race for Tech Talent Isn’t a Marathon, It’s a Sprint, by Diana Bersohn. In it, she cites an Accenture Strategy – Technology study in which 85%-plus of the businesses surveyed believe that they need to win the war for talent to be successful in the market. Additionally, 80% believe that the workers they hired 5 years ago do not have the skill sets required for success today, with 60% feeling strongly that the biggest organizational challenge for IT specifically is having workers with the right skill sets for today.

My initial response to those figures was “Yikes!” If you’re doing the same thing you were doing 5 years ago, you’re antiquated…outdated…a legacy employee ready to be sun-setted…? If you do nothing, maybe you’ll get lucky and be one of the workers that your current company chooses to invest in for the future. But seriously now, do you have any confidence in that? What has their track record been with investing in their technical staff previously? A select few companies do a great job of developing talent internally, but most are just terrible because it requires knowing your people, evaluating their capacity for growth, and taking the time to prepare a deliberate development plan for each employee.

Make Yourself Marketable

Whether you’ve worked for the same company for 20 years or you are a contractor engaging with a new company every 6 months, how you’re perceived by decision makers in the market is entirely up to you. OK…you can’t control everything (for example, you can’t fix stupid), but you can connect the dots for people to make it obvious how your experience, talents, and technical skills translate into something relevant in today’s digital market.

It Starts with Your Language

The language that you use, both verbally and in writing, make a huge impact on how people view you. Despite much thinking to the contrary today, perception does not equal reality. However, people’s perceptions drive their thinking along with their real-life actions. That translates into the decisions that they make when promoting internal candidates or hiring external talent.

You can shift the perceptions others shape of you starting right now by reconsidering your verbal and email interactions. Think about what CIOs and other tech leaders value today and shape your language accordingly. For example, you’re a senior engineer on a project that management has decided to take a direction to which you vigorously disagree. You’re not a go-along-to-get-along type. Great, neither am I! But instead of continually slamming the project or questioning the intelligence of the management team, shaping your argument so that it focuses on specific business objectives elevates the discourse and can get people thinking about things from your perspective instead of simply a pain in the backside that should be silenced.

Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

Changing the focus of your language applies to your resume and LinkedIn profile, too. When you’re talking about external opportunities, you only get one chance to make a great first impression. Even more challenging is the fact that your one chance gets squished down into 30 seconds or less. That makes the message you deliver in your resume and any online profiles of vital importance.

Are you an outdated employee with antiquated skills? Or, are you a fresh talent poised to help the company springboard into the next phase of the digital age? The answer to those questions has nothing to do with your age, gender, or your years of experience. It has everything to do with the identity that you present.

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (Nodd
lePlace
) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

2 Resume Secrets for the Aspiring CIO or CTO

2 Resume Secrets for the Aspiring CIO or CTO

2014 CIO Resume Sample_Page_1The market is full of Technology Directors and IT Leaders hoping to break into the C-level ranks as a CIO or CTO. The problem is that demand far outpaces supply, making each CIO or CTO opportunity highly competitive. Naturally, every company wants “the best” candidate. But what does “the best” mean? And are you positioning yourself as the best possible CIO or CTO candidate?

The Secret Sauce for Your CIO Resume

There are many factors that go into how companies evaluate “the best” technology executives. It’s ok, you don’t need to guess what those factors are. You just need to consider what type of organization you want to be a part of and what type of leader you want to be.

Secret CIO / CTO Resume Ingredient #1

Call it “culture” or “environment” or anything else. Either way, the chemistry that you form with a company that employs you is important. No, really…it’s very important. Did you know that you can filter out a lot of opportunities that won’t be a good fit by how you position yourself in the resume or your LinkedIn profile? Well, you can. It’s not limiting either, but freeing.

Think about it. Have you ever gone through the hiring process with a company – dealt with the recruiter, completed several rounds of interviews, managed negotiations – before realizing that the culture isn’t what you’re looking for? Or even worse, you think everything is great and the company suddenly tells you they’re going to pass because you’re not a “good fit”?
That’s really frustrating…and your time is valuable, so don’t waste it.

Secret CIO / CTO Resume Ingredient #2

What type of leader are you or do you aspire to be? I speak with a lot of prospective CIO candidates that are tired of operating in a keep-the-lights-on environment that requires a command-and-control leadership style. Instead, they want to be a leader that builds a truly collaborative environment where people’s ideas and perspectives are valued.

That doesn’t mean the company chases down every stray idea each employee comes up with. But it does foster an environment in which employees understand how what they do impacts the business and encourages them to consider ways to improve how the business works.

If this is the type of leader that you are, don’t you think that it’s important to communicate that to your audience…executive recruiters, CEOs, and COOs? I do. In fact, using this strategy has helped the CIO and CTO candidates I’ve worked with be viewed as “the best” by many companies, including start-ups, mid-sized companies, and Fortune 500 corporations.

Take Action

  • To schedule a free consult call with me, click on the link for my online calendar.
  • Learn more about our comprehensive U.S. CIO Recruiter Directory with 850+ names, emails, phone #s, and address…all instantly downloadable for just $49. Click here.

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (Nodd
lePlace
) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

Not Quite Qualified For The Job You Want? Here’s What To Do

Not Quite Qualified For The Job You Want? Here’s What To Do

Is there anything more disappointing than scrolling all the way to the bottom of your dream job listing only to discover that—horror of horrors—you’re technically unqualified? Finding opportunities that make your pulse race and your pupils dilate is a rarity, which is why it feels so wrong to let them pass you by, especially if you’re only slightly lacking in skills or experience. Some job seekers might be tempted to shrug it off and move on—but smart job seekers know that any job is worth applying to, as along as you have a game plan.

Skills vs. Experience vs. Qualifications

Before you start brainstorming your strategy, you need to examine the job description carefully and determine whether you lack skills, experience, qualifications, or a little of each. Needless to say, the more you lack, the harder it will be to sell yourself to the hiring manager. But it’s not impossible!

Skills—like speaking a foreign language or being an expert-level user of certain softwareare perhaps the easiest item to make up for because you can start learning now. Being a beginner is better than having no knowledge whatsoever, and it shows your commitment to the role.

Experience always means time, and often time spent doing a certain set of activities. You can’t make up for lost time, but you can find equivalents in your own history that parallel the experience your future employer is looking for.

Qualifications, most often degrees or certifications, aren’t easy to make up for, either. But if you have experience doing similar work to those who possess the qualification in question, it can be a breeze to prove to employers that you’re the right person for the job.

Now that you’ve parsed out exactly where your resume is missing a few pieces, it’s time to act.

Start by writing the best cover letter of your life.

Consult a professional if necessary—you’ve only got one shot. This cover letter needs not only to capture the hiring manager’s attention, but also to make it crystal-clear that you’re the best person for the job with your exact skill set, even though it varies slightly from the one they are seeking.

Be frank and transparent about your background.

Overselling yourself is the worst thing you could do right now, so don’t just tell the employer what they want to hear. Be honest—and that includes being honest about how amazing you’ll be for the company once they hire you.

Express how your background is equivalent to what they’re seeking.

If you’re confident that you can do a bang-up job, practice explaining how and why. Remember that employers must weed through hundreds, even thousands of candidates, and the job description is their number one way to do it. How are you more qualified than the rest?

Tune into the company’s pain points.

Hiring is all about solving problems—if there weren’t a problem to solve, there’d be no need to hire you. The most reassuring thing your potential employer could hear is that you understand not only what their pain points are, but also that you know exactly how to fix them with the precise skills and experience that you bring to the table.

Use your network.

Sometimes it’s just not possible to make contact with the hiring manager by throwing your name into the candidate pool. Tools like Applicant Tracking Systems may weed you out before your resume ever sees human eyes. This is when it’s vital to call upon your network in order to make a connection. Start by asking for an informational interview and finding out why they are looking for a candidate with skills and experience that are different from yours. Only then will you be in a good position to apply (or reapply) to the job—and you’ll have a contact on the inside.

Remember, not all companies are looking for a candidate that matches 100 percent of the bullet points in the job description. If it’s your dream job, it’s worth the extra effort. Have a plan, be forthright, and go for it—you’ll never get the job if you don’t ask for it.

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!