Category: Resume Writing

8 Steps for Your First Year in a New Job

8 Steps for Your First Year in a New Job

Congratulations on Landing that New Role!!

You did it. You made it through the job market zoo, maneuvered through the corporate hiring “goo”, and negotiated your way into your next position…it’s time to celebrate! Woohoo!

It’s also time to be wise, and I know you, simply because you are reading this, are wise. 🙂

Now, I don’t want to bring down the mood in anyway because we should be doing our happy dance, BUT I always strive to be real with my clients and network. So here it is: The first year of any new role is pivotal for two reasons: (1) You want to get off on the right foot, and (2) you want to enter into a “cautiously optimistic” mode where you hope for the best but yet don’t completely abandon the work done during your job search to build your network  and get yourself into a “ready” position.

The last thing we all want is for anything to go awry, but in today’s market, sometimes it does. So our goal here at ITtechExec is to help you transition into the new role with ease while taking a “cautiously optimistic” approach that gets you off on the right foot in your new role while keeping you “always ready” to make a move should a new opportunity come along. And you can do all that without a heavy burden.

*This is how Stephen’s concept of “Corporate Entrepreneur” works in today’s career market. You give your all to your new role, but you wisely keep yourself ready to make another move. It’s not that you want to do so; it’s that you want to stay strong all the way through your career to the finish line.*

8 Steps to the First Year in Your New Job

Step 1: Write a Short Introduction/Bio

  • Start by putting together a short bio that you can send out and use to make intros across the organization. It’s nice to have something succinct, yet prepared, that you can use to make the best first impression, whether that is to your in-house team, global team, vendors, contractors, etc.

Step 2: Update Your LinkedIn Profile to Add Your New Role

  • We usually recommend you wait at least a month into a new role before doing this. Let’s get you acclimated a bit and see how things are looking first. Then let’s make it public on LI. Plus, you might have a little more say after you’ve put in a few weeks…like what the job is really about.

Step 3: Contact Network

  • If you’ve been through our Document Design & Job Search Membership, then you are familiar with the CM system we use, but even if you haven’t been, you can still find a better contact management tool than LI, to prepare a message to go out among your contacts announcing your new role (you can’t just assume everyone will see this through LI).
  • As with the LI profile, it is wise to wait a few weeks in to see how things are going and to consider how we want to announce it.

Step 4: Build a Testimonial Page

  • Here’s something we try to get every client to start doing…collecting testimonials, whether that is from executive leadership, peers, end users, partners, etc.
  • Every good entrepreneur knows how important it is to have others do the talking about them, so they collect testimonials. Every good “corporate entrepreneur” should do the same.
  • A testimonial page is an excellent resource to have at Performance Review time, Promotion time, or when entering back into the job market.

Step 5: Update  Your Resume

  • OK, as you get later into your first year in your new role, and likely have some early accomplishments under your belt or at least underway, now it is time to update the resume.
  • You might not think it is important, but it is good to do it yearly. This way your resume is always current and ready to go. And if you do it yearly, it takes a lot less time than if you wait 3 or 4 years.CIO resume example IT recruiter

Step 6: Transition into Maintenance Phase for 2nd Year

  • Think about what you can be doing on an ongoing basis to keep yourself poised for the future. We don’t tend to have static careers anymore, where it is 10-15 years before we change roles or companies, so having a yearly maintenance check-up is important. Here are some things to consider:
    • What is the state of your resume? LI profile?
    • Are you continuing to collect those testimonials?
    • Have you kept up communicating from time to time with your close network connections?
    • What about those recruiters you spoke with during your job search? Do you touch base every once in a while?
    • Do you have a “Next Opportunity” profile? In other words, if you were looking to make a move, what would that next role look like and where? What can you do in the meantime to keep your eyes and ears to the ground?

Step 7: Pay It Forward

  • So often when we think about networking, we think about what others can do for us, but now that you are securely in your next role, is there someone in your network you can help by making an introduction or referral?
  • What would it look like if you let your network know that you are available to chat with or mentor if someone needs some job search advice (within reason, of course).
  • The careers of tomorrow are going to be based more and more on networks of professionals sharing and supporting one another, so it is wise to be someone who is ahead of that game.

Step 8: Think of It as “Career Protection”

  • We all would like to have some sense of “job security”…it’s one of the main items listed on any survey done on careers. In today’s market, the best way to get that, or at least some semblance of it, is to build in your own “career protections”. That is what these steps are meant to do, and it is what I talk about in my book UNcommon with Brian Tracy. I see it making a difference for the hundreds of clients I work with each year.

Sometimes these steps seem hard, especially when all we want to do is sit back and enjoy the new role. We don’t want to hear that there is more work to be done! I get it. As a small business owner, I really get it! And if you need to take a week or two to enjoy the moment, go for it.

Just remember, a cold job search is getting tougher and tougher to launch even in a good hiring market because corporate hiring practices are increasingly getting, well, crazier.

So a little preparation along the way will give you a head start later on! It’s one reason why we recently started offering our “New Job First Year Membership”.

Here’s how it works: Throughout your first year at the new job, we walk along beside you, basically taking care of all the steps listed above on your behalf, to make sure you update your LI profile, notify your important contacts of your new position, prepare a short introduction (or bio) to help you get going within your new organization, touch base with you a few months in to see how things are progressing in the new role, update your resume so it is “always ready”, and make new strategic introductions across our network based off of your new role (as you always wants to be networking as long as you are working; now we can leverage the new role).

Our membership solutions are designed to be flexible to each situation, manageable, and diverse. Of course, we want you to be focused on this new position and on making it as successful as it can be. So our membership isn’t meant to be time-consuming. Think of it as us working in the background to help keep some momentum going that will get you updated and ready to go should you decide to or should you decide to go for a move internally with this new organization.

To find out more, email me at stephen@ittechexec.com, or if you want to know about our resume and job search support solutions, set up a time to speak with me below:

About Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede IT Job Search Tech Recruiter ExpertStephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. Some people just write résumés; he cares about the whole job search. Serving as a Job Search Recruiting Agent, 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/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, text him at 866-294-1324 to start a dialogue OR click on the calendar below to schedule a free 30-minute résumé assessment:

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.

 

Resume and Job Search Strategy for an Aerospace Engineer Program Executive

Resume and Job Search Strategy for an Aerospace Engineer Program Executive

Every candidate faces some unique challenges, which is why it is so important to work with an executive resume writer and job search coach who have a deep understanding of the industry and the market. Let’s take a look at one client we worked with recently who had a unique challenge of her own. Suzanne is a senior executive in the aerospace industry, with quite a successful track record leading large-scale programs with the U.S. and foreign governments, the DoD, and major commercial accounts.

Suzanne’s Challenge

Suzanne’s problem was that she’d worked for several of the large players in the space, all within the past five years with each ending after a short period for various reasons. In addition, she wasn’t able to relocate to any of the major aerospace hubs, at least for another few years. Being bound by non-compete clauses and having a limited selection of opportunities within her geographic market made the pickings very sparse. Suzanne knew that she needed a new strategy.

Positioning Strategy

When we started working on the project to develop her positioning statements and marketing materials (Resume, LinkedIn Profile, Executive Bio, and PSR), my goal was to identify the attributes that would make her truly stand out in the market.

Her old resume was very focused on one of the big aerospace companies, whom she had worked with for nearly two decades. She had a ton of great material for that role; however, that job was five years in the past with four different jobs and four different companies in between.

This sent a signal to the market that her best work was well behind her. Of course, this wasn’t true at all, but reflected how she was feeling on the inside about the value she brought to the four short-term roles she’d held since then. So the initial challenge for me was to understand what she accomplished in each of these roles and affirm the value that she created. This took away any negative feelings associated with the succession of company changes in recent years.

Current Is King

Once Suzanne valued her achievements, we were able to build out the details for the four recent roles to give them some weight and significance. After all, we operate in a world that takes a “what have you done for me lately” perspective.

With the content we added, I focused Suzanne’s narrative on her experience leading and transforming programs, delivering within expedited time lines, and developing a strong customer relationship pipeline to fuel sales growth.

Job Search Strategy

The biggest area of opportunity for Suzanne was with her approach to the job search. Traditional channels just weren’t working because the recruiters she knew all recruited for past employers. When she responded to postings on job boards, she either wasn’t considered or they told her that she was overqualified for the roles, usually from recruiters or HR reps.

We not only created a strategy, but we helped Suzanne execute on a strategy that would connect her with senior executives in the industry. By interfacing with actual decision makers, she was able to talk through the constraints she was facing and make genuine headway in her search. The result was multiple offers that within the level and salary range she was hoping for while meeting the geographic requirement and offering schedule flexibility to suit her family needs.

About Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical rĂ©sumĂ© writer. Some people just write rĂ©sumĂ©s; he cares about the whole job search. Servings as a Job Search Recruiting Agent, 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/stephenvanvreede. To 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 30-minute rĂ©sumĂ© assessment:

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/stephenvanvreede. To 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:

CTOs and CIOs: Transitioning from Keeping the Lights On to Investing in Innovation and Disruptive Technologies

CTOs and CIOs: Transitioning from Keeping the Lights On to Investing in Innovation and Disruptive Technologies

realized-1238069When a senior technology executive (CIO, CTO, SVP of IT, Head of Development, etc.) talks to me, it’s because they are interested in making a job change or seeing what’s out there in the job market at the least. The overwhelming factor is the frustration they feel with their current company. After all, their passion is being able to leverage technologies to transform the business, revolutionize the customer experience, and deliver breakthrough capabilities that give the company a distinct competitive advantage. But many companies handcuff their CTOs and stifle innovation because they are not willing to invest or have assumed a completely risk-averse posture when it comes to technology. They’d rather do what everyone else in their field is doing and play catch-up, which reminds me of a story.

What’s Everyone Else Doing?

I have a close friend that is the head of technology for a mid-sized company providing professional services in the financial sector. He is a forward thinker and very strategic in the way he approaches technology acquisition. But he understands how the business leadership thinks, so he’s extremely pragmatic in what he recommends and presents for his technology roadmap. Even so, the rest of the executive team thwarts any attempt to be a leader with innovation. Many years ago, he delivered a detailed strategy to consolidate and virtualize their data center environment and to create a private Cloud for their business applications. No dice! But, three years later, when their buddies who were executives at competing firms talked about their plan to go to a virtual data center and put their applications in the Cloud, it was suddenly a top priority.

You’ve Heard This Story Before

Sound familiar? I thought so.

It’s time to do it right and find an organization that doesn’t just talk innovation but actually puts their money where their mouth is and invests in emerging technologies. Don’t get me wrong, running an IT operation that’s lean and stable is an admirable thing, but is that why you got into this business? To run a cost center with a shrinking budget, zero ability to contribute to the growth of the organization, and the scapegoat for most of the problems in the company?

You’ve come too far and have too much yet to give to simply sit back and just make sure that you keep the lights on in IT. There are plenty of aggressive up-and-comers at the next level down who are willing to take on these types of roles until they’ve arrived and been-there-done-that long enough to realize they’re not doing what they love either.

Protect Your Legacy

To protect what you’ve built in your career so far and to continue to fuel your passion until you retire, you deserve to discover the opportunities that are available. Despite what it seems, there are companies out there that are market leaders and willing to invest in the development or early adoption of disruptive technologies. It takes a focused effort to identify them, engage them, and present a brand image that is appealing to them.

Build Your Support Team

To be successful in this endeavor, enlisting a team of experts to collaborate with you and support you is a great approach. This includes building your brand message and articulating it effectively in your Executive Resume, LinkedIn Profile, Executive Bio, and other materials. But it’s more than that. These market leaders are going to be highly selective, so developing viable channels or inroads into these companies is vital.

 

About Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical rĂ©sumĂ© writer. Some people just write rĂ©sumĂ©s; he cares about the whole job search. Servings as a Job Search Recruiting Agent, 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/stephenvanvreede. To 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 30-minute rĂ©sumĂ© assessment:

I can't believe it. I spent hours and hours trying to write my own resume. What you delivered is beyond my greatest expectations. I can't thank you enough!

Kevin K., Technical Sales Leader Atlanta, GA January 2, 2015

This resume is outstanding! You were able to pinpoint my key skills and present them concisely.

Peter A., IT Engineer Memphis, TN January 2, 2015

I think the resume and LinkedIn profile are perfect! I can't thank you enough for your hard work on this

Joe G., IT Data Center Director Long Island, NY January 2, 2015

3 Ways to Get Your First CIO or CTO Job

3 Ways to Get Your First CIO or CTO Job

Breaking into the CIO or CTO ranks is challenging. But people do it…the question most people have is “How?”CIO

To better understand how, it’s important to know why it is so difficult to land that first CIO or CTO position.

  1. There are a limited number of C-level opportunities (CIO, CTO, CxO)
  2. The number of candidates at the VP, Director, or Senior Manager level waiting to get their chance to head up the technology organization is at least an order of magnitude greater that the number of available roles
  3. Most larger companies expect to interview candidates who have already served as a CIO or CTO with another firm

OK, so that leaves out the possibility for jumping directly to a C-level role at a Fortune 500 company, but what about all those small and medium-sized businesses, start-ups, early-stage firms, and private companies? That certainly will be your target if you want to be successful. Now, let’s look at the 3 most common methods used to pursue one of these roles.

CIO Job Boards

There are hundreds of places to find CIO or CTO jobs posted online. These include Dice, LinkedIn, Career Builder, and Monster, as well as executive subscription sites like BlueSteps or Execunet. The paid sites offer the advantage of less competition, so there can be some value-add there. But C-level roles posted at free sites are highly competitive because of the sheer volume of people who respond…many of whom aren’t remotely qualified.

Recommendation: Join one premium site and use the public sites mostly for researching companies, their competitors, and the market in general.

Technology Recruiters

Recruiters are the be-all-end-all for senior executive roles, right? Not always. Only 4% of all positions are filled through recruiters (slightly higher for executives). Recruiters will typically not pursue candidates that aren’t already at the level for the role they are recruiting for. However, smaller companies will sometimes provide the recruiter with a desired candidate profile that includes people in the next tier down at a large corporation or working for a direct competitor.

Recommendation: Connect with recruiters, focusing on those that work with small and mid-sized companies. You can work with more than one recruiter at a time (and should). But don’t allow this to take up all of the time that you devote to the job search.

Executive Networking

You’ve heard it before…and I’ll say it again…networking is the most important thing that you can do to break into the ranks as a CIO or CTO, and it’s not even close. Industry research indicates that more than 70% of all executive positions are secured through networking. Here are the things that I hear most frequently when I tell candidates to network:

  • It’s too hard
  • It takes too much time
  • I can’t stand it
  • I’m introverted, so I’m not very good at it
  • I don’t have enough connections
  • I don’t have the right connections

Recommendation: Yes! Do it…but you’ve got to go about it the right way so that you don’t burn your network and ruin your opportunity to make a dormant network active for you.

Look, you don’t have to be a used car salesman type of person to make networking work for you. But there is a methodology that works, even for the most introverted person out there. If this is you, and you want help putting things into motion, schedule an appointment with me and we can get you on the path to success with networking.

But first, there’s one more thing that impacts your ability to land your first CIO or CTO role…

Positioning

No matter how you come across opportunities — job boards, recruiters, or networking — the manner in which you present yourself is a huge factor in determining where things go from there. That presentation has everything to do with positioning or a host of other terms that are used to describe it today (messaging, branding, etc.). The resume and LinkedIn profile are key, as they are typically the initial presentation of your skills and experience that people see. But it goes well beyond that to creating a portfolio that differentiates you from the pack…taking your candidacy from good to great!

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.
  • Check out the video on this post on YouTube.

 

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!

Don’t Make These Cover Letter Faux Pas

Don’t Make These Cover Letter Faux Pas

cover letterA killer resume might be able to get you the job, but you’ll never have the chance if your cover letter is a dud.

In the world of hiring, there’s a lot of attention paid to writing the perfect resume. Especially for those of us who are better at coding than writing, getting the resume help we need can be a crucial step on our career path. But for every perfect resume in the world, there seems to be at least double the amount of lackluster cover letters. That’s because people don’t understand that a resume isn’t just a resume — the cover letter is part of the package, too.

This is to say: your cover letter should never be an afterthought.

Whether the job you’re applying to has a casual or formal company culture, you need a cover letter that’s somewhere in between the two. Too casual, and you’ll look sloppy; too formal, and you won’t be memorable. Your cover letter needs to strike the right balance between friendly, professional, and engaging to get the hiring manager to actually look at your amazing, perfectly polished resume.

If you’re starting to realize just how many pitfalls there are in writing a great cover letter, you’re on the right track. Doing it well takes time and attention to detail.  Fortunately, some job candidates make the same types of cover letter faux pas over and over again, which means you can learn from their mistakes.

Here are our top 5 cover letter faux pas. Steer clear of these mistakes, and you’ll do your resume justice:

  1. Generic Opening Lines

To Whom It May Concern. I Am Writing To Express My Interest. My Name Is. If you’re currently using any of these in your cover letter, time to break out the eraser and start again. Hiring managers get dozens, even hundreds of cover letters, which means starting off on a bland foot probably won’t get you to the next step. Your opening line doesn’t have to be the written equivalent of fireworks, but it should make the reader want to keep on reading — not stop him dead in his tracks.

  1. Lack of Editing

Spelling and grammar mistakes happen — but not in cover letters or resumes. Any error in your cover letter gives the hiring manager one less reason to keep considering your application. Don’t give him the satisfaction! Proofread like crazy, and have a friend or professional give it a read, too.

  1. Using the Wrong Words

Relying too heavily on jargon, idioms, or slang can make your cover letter appear unprofessional. While some industry speak may be necessary depending on your situation, remember that the person reading your cover letter might very well work in HR, not the department you’re applying to.

  1. Not Using the Right Words

Many companies use software to weed out candidates and reduce the applicant pool. How do they do this? Keywords. This means that it’s absolutely necessary to use the exact terminology that describes what it is you do and what you have to offer. Tip: Look to the job listing for ideas.

  1. Too Much Complexity

Florid language or complicated fonts only make the hiring manager’s job harder. After you complete the first draft of your cover letter, go back through and see how you can make it simpler. Remember, simplicity translates into effectivity, which is exactly what you want. Keep it short, sweet, and simple, and you’ll dramatically improve your chances of showing off that dazzling resume of yours!

 

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!

 

How to Write Tech Resumes, IT Resumes, or Technology Resumes

How to Write Tech Resumes, IT Resumes, or Technology Resumes

Are You Certain About Your IT Resume?

We’ve created a simple way to find out! (Take Our Quiz!)

NoddlePlace_2Dear IT Pro,

If you’re like most professionals today, the idea of making a career move is a bit daunting. The market is, well, uncertain. It often penalizes you for things you can’t control, like age, gender, too much experience, too little experience. And to top it off, corporate hiring practices are a bit of a mess, despite all the efforts to streamline them.

So it is no surprise then that most IT pros are looking for simplicity and certainty when it comes to their next IT job search, and they’re hoping the main document, the resume, is going to provide that. So they scour the Internet looking at resume sample after resume sample, and read up on all the latest resume gimmicks and trends.

Although all that is fine, after awhile it can make your head spin, and you often don’t feel any more certain than when you started.

What works, and why does it work?

Simplified. Targeted. Certain.

My name is Stephen Van Vreede, and I overcome uncertainty everyday for my senior-level client members as an Executive IT RĂ©sumĂ© Writer and Job Search Specialist, as well as a Technical Career Adviser to several news/industry outlets, like TechRepublic, Dice, the Linux Foundation, and CIO.com. I’m also co-author of UNCOMMON with renowned speaker and career coach Brian Tracy (due out June 11, 2015).

uncommon the book with stephen van vreedeAlong with my team of writers and concierge job search agent, from established “techies” (15+ years), to those who lead software/systems development initiatives, to project/program managemers (PMP), to IT strategy visionaries like CIOs and CTOs, and many others in between, they all have one thing in common, most likely the same thing you’re looking for:

To feel certain when you conduct your next career move that you are ready for the market and well positioned to meet its demands (not to hope you are or think you are but to have a level-headed, frank understanding of the market and your place in it).

That’s why after working with hundreds of clients each year, and after reporting on the technical job market to several industry news outlets, my team and I have put together a very simple, anonymous, self-assessment quiz designed to determine whether the IT resume you’ve put together should bring you a level of certainty (or peace of mind) that you are well positioned for the market.

How can an 8-question quiz do all that?

Easy. It looks at a key ingredient in resume design: priorities. If you understand what the priorities should be for the technical job market, then you will build a resume that meets them. If you don’t, then you won’t. You’ll build it for a different set of priorities.

Based on our experience working with hundreds of technical leaders each year, helping them to craft resume and personal brand messages, as well as provide concierge job search solutions, if you can score 80% or better on our quiz, then you are on your way to a simplified, targeted, and certain career move. If not, then there’s some work to be done, no matter how eye-catching your IT resume is or no matter how much you like it.

So, give it a shot. Take the quiz below and find out. It’s free, quick (less than a minute), and anonymous.