Category: Salary

Boost Your Image to Boost Your Salary

Boost Your Image to Boost Your Salary

salary-man-wearing-suit-holding-word-his-hands-41219907I recently read a series of posts by a colleague of mine on what candidates should and should not do when negotiating a pay raise at their current company. The information was largely accurate and relevant, instructing candidates to avoid arguments that focus on fairness, need, or length of tenure while emphasizing performance and success.

After reading and reflecting on these posts, I was struck by one overwhelming thought:

This is all very logical.

Immediately, I recognized that the problem here is too much logic. Don’t get me wrong, I love logic. I fancy myself a very rational, logical thinker. Most of us examine the decisions that others make with our logic, but make decisions of our own because of feelings. Think about it logically (smile)…consider advertising campaigns. When you see an ad for something you’re not interested in, you scoff and shake your head. However, when you see an ad for something that piques your interest (like the next new gadget), you’re transfixed and suddenly willing to overlook the cheesy marketing ploys used in the ad.

The same concept applies here. You’re not going to talk yourself into a raise (not a great one, at least) by using only logical arguments.

Image Is Vital

As much as you and I may hate it, image and perception trump substance in the world of work today. Actually, this has always been true to some extent, but in this era of teamwork and collaboration, if the people around you perceive you as a poor worker or a pain to deal with, your image across the organization won’t be so hot. There are always those people that are terrible at what they do but can game the system and make people think they’re great. On the flip side, there are amazing performers that contribute a ton of value who never go anywhere because they’ve done nothing to boost their image.

How Do I Boost My Image?

There are many things you can do to boost your image. In fact, there are various layers here, making the answer really complex. However, it will probably start with changing your thinking. If you’re like me, you are able to identify the frauds and can see through every move they make. It’s obvious to everyone, right? Wrong! Most people are so busy or are caught up faking things themselves that they don’t see what’s so obvious to you. I’m not advocating being fake yourself, but evaluating what the “successful frauds” do well and learning from that. So when you add a positive perception with substantive performance, your image is going to skyrocket.

That’s when you’ll be in a powerful position to negotiate a great raise based on your positive image (the feeling you produce in others about what you offer) and the value you bring (the logical evidence giving credence to those feelings).

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!

Should You Talk Openly About Your Income?

Should You Talk Openly About Your Income?

salaryWhat would you do if you found out your colleagues were making significantly more than you for the exact same work?

Think back to all of those times you stayed late at the office. The skipped lunch breaks. Missed social opportunities. And especially all of those brilliant ideas of yours that helped your organization save money and work more efficiently. As a top-notch employee, you’d expect to be earning as much—or even a little more—than your peers.

Reality check: You might not be. But you’d never know it unless you talked about it.

There’s nothing like discussing salary to summon up corporate smoke and mirrors that deflect the conversation, or even prevent it from happening in the first place. It’s understandable—money is personal, and even emotional. Thinking of your value as a worker in terms of dollars and cents can feel dehumanizing and uncomfortable. Add to that the old-fashioned idea that discussing money just isn’t polite, and you’ve got radio silence when it comes to how much money you and your co-workers make.

Even worse, companies benefit hugely from propagating the myth that it’s illegal to discuss salaries. Whether it’s written into the contract that you sign upon hiring or gently discouraged by your HR manager, many corporations don’t want you discussing how much you make with fellow employees. After all, if you find out that they’re making more than you, you might ask them for more money.

Sound fishy to you? It is.

In a large majority of cases, it is absolutely legal to discuss your salary with your coworkers. You don’t need to be part of a union, and you don’t need to be a government employee. Though certain workers are exempt from this law (such as supervisors and independent contractors), roles are sometimes miscategorized and actually do receive legal protection for salary discussion.

Since 1935, the National Labor Relations Act has protected the right of employees to engage in discussions for mutual aid or protection—and that includes talking about salaries. The problem? Many consider the act to be weak in terms of holding companies accountable for violations. This is one reason President Obama has been working to strengthen workplace transparency and accountability, having recently signed two executive orders to do just that.

For tech and IT workers where salaries can have a very wide range, it’s crucial not to get stuck at a lower salary range than what you deserve. And for women and minorities in tech, the wage gap can spell out an average of 25 percent less earnings than non-minorities. We think that everybody deserves to be paid fairly for what they do. Don’t you?

So what can you do if you think you’re earning less than you should be?

Find out if you’re protected under the National Labor Relations Act.

Don’t assume that you aren’t! Try contacting the National Labor Relations Board if you’re unsure.

Learn the power of negotiation.

One of the major reasons for pay gaps is that some people are simply better negotiators than others. Leverage the power of a convincing argument to show what you’re worth and get a better offer.

Ask for a raise.

Are your co-workers asking for more money, but not you? Don’t hold your breath until your boss decides to give you more money. Ask for it, and you might just get it.

Don’t suffer in silence.

If you have the legal protection to do so, go ahead and talk openly about how much you’re earning and why you think it should change. It could make a major difference in your career advancement—and your bank account.

Report violations to the NLRB.

How much you earn should depend on your qualifications, not your gender, age, race, negotiating skills, or how much the boss likes you. Work against inequality and the illegal silencing of salary discussions by contacting the NLRB if necessary. You’ll not only help your own salary, but you’ll promote a more just and fair treatment for all qualified employees.

 

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 Ask For the Salary You Deserve

How To Ask For the Salary You Deserve

money36You might be worth a million bucks, but you could wind up with a fraction of that number if you make the wrong salary negotiation moves.

Most people aren’t thrilled at the prospect of salary negotiation, which is understandable. Done incorrectly, it can feel like a tense argument that leaves everyone offended and unhappy. But even if you’ve had an unsuccessful negotiation or two, that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your odds the next time around. Negotiation is a skill you can learn with the help of a coach or close friend. And, once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be amazed at how simple it can be to take your salary range up to the next level.

Check your emotional baggage at the door.

Negotiations can inflate or deflate your sense of worth in ways that trigger strong emotions — something that’s far from helpful when you’re starting out on the job. Remember that both sides are looking out for their own best interests, and whatever happens, it’s not personal. When you treat your negotiation like business, your employer knows you’re serious about the job.

Put yourself in their shoes.

You’ve had time to learn about the company, its culture, and your new job. If you were in your employer’s position, how would he or she want to see the negotiation go? For instance, a small, family-owned company might not be able to offer the same salary as an international corporation, so they might be surprised to learn you’re asking for a very high salary. Or, a hip new tech company might take a more casual attitude toward negotiation than you’re used to.

Never, ever put yourself down.

The time for modesty is never during a negotiation. (Or an interview, for that matter.) When the topic of salary and benefits come up, that’s the crucial moment to make your expertise and professionalism known. Don’t back down on discussing your qualifications!

But don’t be too aggressive, either.

At the same time, seeming overly proud or self-congratulatory can come off as rude or condescending during a negotiation. A good negotiation feels civil and friendly, not like you’re on the attack. Tame any aggression and transform it into confidence instead.

Take it slow and easy.

Don’t cut to the chase when you’re in a salary negotiation — let the conversation flow at its own pace. Even better? Let your future employer be the one to start talking brass tacks.

Know what you want ahead of time.

Websites like Glassdoor.com offer valuable salary information based upon job title and location, so set your expectations before you enter the negotiation. Understand the bare minimum you need in terms of salary and benefits to make the job worth your time.

Never be the first to name a number.

It’s a classic piece of advice, but sometimes hard to follow — let your employer name the actual salary figures; don’t let them persuade you into revealing your ideal number. If they insist, let them know that you’re looking for a salary that’s fair for somebody with your skills, experience, and qualifications.

Get educated ahead of time.

To learn more about this, check out our full presentation:

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!

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Strive For Workplace Equality Systemically And Personally

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Strive For Workplace Equality Systemically And Personally

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede discusses gender equality in tech workplaces, explaining that changes must happen at both individual and structural levels.

Rochester, NY — May 27, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new blog post titled “Women in Tech: Top 5 Career-Building Tips.” In the post, he shares with readers five ways they can build better careers in tech and IT as the world of work determines — though not quickly enough — how to hire, promote, and compensate women equally.

Van Vreede says, “There are few more important questions in tech right now than how to correct the gender imbalance in the workplace … While ideally all women in tech would be afforded equal opportunity, advancement, and compensation by their employers, that’s not everyone’s reality quite yet. This is why we’ve assembled our top five tips for women already in tech or just starting to build their careers.”

Stephen Van Vreede is a personal brand strategist, certified resume writer, job search agent, and the CEO and owner of ITtechExec. Stephen has 10 years of experience in employment strategy and 8 years of corporate management experience. He holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Villanova University.

Read the entire article here. http://www.ittechexec.com/kick-in-the-pants-women-in-tech-top-5-career-building-tips/

About ITtechExec:

ITtechExec is a new kind of full-service employment agency that combines resume writing, portfolio building, and job search solutions to launch extraordinary tech careers in the 21st century job market. CEO and Executive Solutions Guide Stephen Van Vreede created ITtechExec in 2001, using his background of personal branding and corporate management to create a multi-pronged approach that gets results. ITtechExec serves as the job seeker and career changer’s trusted adviser, helping them make the best of the careers they’ve built and guiding them into the professional futures they desire.

 

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Kick in the Pants: How to Ace a Video Interview

Kick in the Pants: How to Ace a Video Interview

job interview

Kick in the Pants: How to Ace a Video Interview

So you got the interview. Congratulations. But you don’t have the job yet. If the only thing that’s between you and your dream job is a video interview, it’s crucial for you to be extra prepared. Video interviews pose a whole new set of challenges for job candidates — and they aren’t all what you’d expect.

Video conference company PGi’s infographic on video interviews sheds light on some staggering statistics. Aside from reporting what we already knew — that video interviews are on the rise — they also reveal that the way we communicate over video differs greatly from the way we communicate in person. If you’re a Skype or Google Hangouts user, you already know that between technology glitches, faulty microphones, and time delays, getting our message across over video can be a big challenge. The infographic confirms what you may have already expected:

Your facial expression and tone of voice matter far more than the actual words you say.

True, it’s shocking to think that hires are made based upon factors that many of us don’t consciously control. But we see a silver lining in these statistics: First, video interviews have the ability to cut through some of the typical nervousness caused by in-person interviews because you are in the comfort of your own home. And second, when you put verbal communication on the back burner, it frees you up to find your “personality match” at a job — a factor that can play a big role in how happy you will be at the company.

When you look at it this way, it’s easy to see many reasons to embrace the format of the video interview.

Still, a video interview requires just as much preparation as an in-person interview, only the typical interview prep advice needs a little update. The following are some tips that can help you put your best foot forward, even when you’re not asked to step outside your home:

Do your part to make the interview go smoothly.

The same courtesies that apply to an in-person interview also apply to a video interview. This means you must show up on time and not let technical difficulties stop you. It’s imperative to test your equipment beforehand. Make sure your computer is charged, your microphone works, and that you have a steady internet connection in a quiet, calm space. Also, know how your equipment works. If you will be asked to screenshare as part of the interview, be 100% sure you aren’t sharing too much.

How you look and act matter more than ever.

Your interviewers may only see you from the waist up, but that half is crucial. Video interviews are the right time to break out your inner film director and plan out your wardrobe, angles, and lighting. It doesn’t make you vain — these are precautions that allow your interviewers to see you clearly and not get distracted. Set yourself up in front of a solid background with the camera at eye level, and make sure you aren’t backlit. Look at the camera, not the screen, so you make digital “eye contact” with your interviewers. And remember to speak a little more slowly and clearly than you need to in person.

Be ultra-prepared.

Have you sent over all important documents ahead of time? Do you know each of your interviewers’ names? Have you planned out answers to potential questions? The better prepared you are, the smoother the video interview process will go, and the better “digital” impression you’ll make.

Remember, you’re working with a different set of challenges in a video interview, but it’s also a different set of benefits. Work to create a frictionless interview experience where you can showcase how bright, friendly, and interested you are, and you’ll be well ahead of the curve.

Take a crash course.

Believe it or not, but you can get help. Just like you would take a course on almost anything, you can take mock interview courses to improve your skills here. Yes, it takes eating some humble pie, but it’s wise to find out where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Click here to learn more about our Video Interviewing Crash Course.

 

 

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!

 

 

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says High Paying Tech Jobs Are Becoming More Widely Available

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says High Paying Tech Jobs Are Becoming More Widely Available

The Tech Job Search

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede talks about TechHire, the Obama administration’s answer to the 500,000 high-paying job openings in the tech and IT fields.

Rochester, NY — May 12, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new blog post titled “Why Higher-Paying Tech Jobs Are Just Around the Corner.” In the post, he uses TechHire, the government initiative to fill tech jobs, as a jumping off point to encourage tech and IT workers to build their skills and seek out challenging, great-paying jobs in their tech job search.

Van Vreede says, “Are you staying sharp? When was the last time you added to your skill set? Are you thinking ahead in terms of not months, but years? As IT and tech workers, you have the good fortune of having some of the best job opportunities in our nation regarding your tech job search — if, that is, you do everything you can to be the best candidate you can be.”

Stephen Van Vreede is a personal brand strategist, certified resume writer, job search agent, and the CEO and owner of ITtechExec. Stephen has 10 years of experience in employment strategy and 8 years of corporate management experience. He holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Villanova University.

Read the entire article here. http://www.ittechexec.com/the-real-skinny-why-higher-paying-tech-jobs-are-just-around-the-corner/

About ITtechExec:

Not just your typical technical recruiter or technical recruiters…

ITtechExec is a new kind of full-service employment agency that combines resume writing, portfolio building, and job search solutions to launch extraordinary tech careers in the 21st century job market. CEO and Executive Solutions Guide Stephen Van Vreede created ITtechExec in 2001, using his background of personal branding and corporate management to create a multi-pronged approach that gets results. ITtechExec serves as the job seeker and career changer’s trusted adviser, helping them make the best of the careers they’ve built and guiding them into the professional futures they desire.

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When You and Your Technical Recruiter Aren’t a Good Match

When You and Your Technical Recruiter Aren’t a Good Match

Choosing – or finding – the right technical recruiter for you can be vitally important in your IT job search

IT recruitingWhether you love technical recruiters or avoid them like the plague, the fact is they do play a part in the IT hiring process. In fact, in today’s tech job market, they play an even bigger role than they ever have.
That doesn’t mean you have to use them, of course, but why not give yourself as many options as you can?
Where most candidates go wrong with technical recruiters is 1) they don’t properly matched or aligned with them, 2) they expect too much from them, and 3) they fail to nurture an ongoing relationship with the ones who are a good fit to create a potential pipeline of opportunity down the road.
I’ve witnessed many candidates waste a lot of time talking to the wrong technical recruiter for them, and then they can’t figure out what went wrong. 

Sue Sacco, our Concierge Job Search Agent, says that it all starts with a little research. When she is working our client members, she:

  • Prepares a list of properly matched technical recruiters with their contact info to save our members the time and energy of trying to find them on their own. With geographical restrictions no longer at play and the number of technical recruiters skyrocketing, it’s harder than it used to be to find ones that place for the types of positions you want to go for. That is precious IT job search time you have to spend. So Sue takes care of that so our members can focus on other aspects of their search, like networking with colleagues and decision makers (because you should never rely on just one type of job search method in today’s IT/tech marketplace)!
  • Then once Sue creates her list, she either guides the member in how to introduce themselves to these technical recruiters or she takes it a step further and makes the introductions on our members’ behalf, again saving a lot of legwork and freeing up time to pursue other options as well!

Furthermore, once our members do engage with a tech recruiter, Sue can then walk them through their discussions to make sure they stay on track and not waste time here either.

 This is what a concierge job search agent service does. It’s not that you can’t. It’s that you don’t have to.
Either way, though, whether you attempt to find and engage technical recruiters and headhunters on your own or you work with someone like Sue, first and foremost is ask yourself, “Is this technical recruiter a good match?”
If the recruiter can’t say that he or she has placed candidates with your background and your salary range, then don’t waste anymore of your precious job search time.
(Want just a general directory of tech recruiters? Download our directory of 1350+ technical recruiters or our directory of 800+ project/program manager recruiters.)
See, Techies, Strong Writing Skills Can Lead to Better Pay

See, Techies, Strong Writing Skills Can Lead to Better Pay

I’ve harped on this before, and for good reason. Our writing skills matter perhaps more than ever in today’s “remote” working age, and they are especially important for the technical professional. This infographic from Grammarly shows how writing skills can equate to your bottomline: your salary.

Having worked with IT, engineering, manufacturing, telecom, medical device, pharma, project management, and just about every science/technology candidate there is, I can tell you that writing skills are in high demand. The one on the team who can write well (or at least better than the rest) always finds a seat at the table. Period. End of story.

Sadly, the reason is because for too long the sciences/tech fields have pushed off writing skills as a low priority, forgetting that much of the results that are produced from their development efforts must be documented and well written in order to be understood properly.

So while you are busy running around paying for that next fancy cert or advanced degree, be careful not to forget good old-fashioned writing skills in the mix. It might just be more of a salary driver than you think.

technical writing

Tech Salaries Continue to Rise

Tech Salaries Continue to Rise

According to an article published by Dice.com at the end of January, technical professionals saw a 3% growth in salary in 2013, with an average of $87,811 across the US (Silicon Valley boasted the highest paying area with an average of $108,603…of course, have you tried to live in Silicon Valley lately?).

One Interview Tip You Haven’t Heard

One Interview Tip You Haven’t Heard

In the laundry list of interview tips (most of them good) that are floating around out there, there is one you probably haven’t heard before…Because it is a fundamental “law,” if you will, in the art of persuasion, which is really what a job interview is after all.