Category: social media

The Real Skinny: How Will the “Internet of Things” Affect Your Career Future?

The Real Skinny: How Will the “Internet of Things” Affect Your Career Future?

Good news for IT and tech employees: A whole new employment sector is on the rise. Will you be on the cutting edge or one of the people trailing behind?

Late last month, CNET reported that IBM will be investing $3B in a new “Internet of Things” unit. While this is a monumental move for a company of IBM’s size and repute, the news didn’t come as a surprise to many. The Internet of Things (IoT) has been all the rage in the tech world for the past few years. Only now, companies are putting their money where their mouths are — and this means more money for you if you play your cards right.

What Is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is an idea that encompasses the connectedness of everyday objects — “anything with an on/off switch” — to the Internet. It’s a powerful concept that holds the possibility for huge leaps in technical innovation, from automating machines we turn on manually (think alarm clocks and coffee makers) to possibilities we haven’t even thought of yet. There’s no shortage of information about IoT if you want to find out more, but in a nutshell, it combines household technology with Internet technology in new and exciting ways.

What Does This Mean For Jobs?

If IBM’s investment is any indication, we’ll see a lot more tech companies hiring IoT experts. Think about how your specific field relates to these innovations and what you can do to prepare yourself for new and exciting career paths as the state of technology changes. Fields like agriculture, data security, wearable tech, transit, cloud computing, and medicine are already well on their way to becoming part of the IoT.

For those of you looking to get ahead — or out of a job rut — start becoming an expert in it now so you can advance your career once IoT becomes the new normal.


About 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 (check out his exclusive offer). Contact Stephen directly at or send him an invite at 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?

Internet of Things



Don’t Think Social Recruiting Affects You?

Don’t Think Social Recruiting Affects You?

As I speak with our members at ITtechExec and NoddlePlace and engage across social media with IT/technical professionals, many are still not convinced of the value of social recruiting in today’s market. Although there are many different job search techniques (and I advocate a diverse “pipeline” approach), the rise of social recruiting should not be ignored as this infographic from RecruitLoop shows.


Are You Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn?

Are You Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn?

Perhaps one of the biggest frustrations I hear from job seekers has to do with LinkedIn. Somewhere along the way, we got this notion that it was supposed to be more than it actually is (a numbers game). Nevertheless, with 96% of recruiters scouring it daily, job seekers play along. To help optimize your time on LI, I’ve put together the following presentation.

Is Google+ Really a Plus for Job Seekers?

Is Google+ Really a Plus for Job Seekers?

Many IT/tech candidates ask us at ITtechExec about the effectiveness of Google+ in their social media job search. They’ve obsessed over their LinkedIn profiles. They’ve cleaned up and fixed up their Facebook accounts. They’ve begrudgingly joined “the Twitter” (because they read that they should). And now they hear Google+ is a must as well.

But the idea of managing yet another social media account exhausts them. So they want to know, “Is Google+ really such a plus?”

My answer, “yes….and no.”

I know. It’s an annoying response because it isn’t the definitive answer we all are looking for.

Welcome to the wonderful world of social media. Very little of it is definitive.

Here’s the “yes” part of the answer. Google+ can be a plus for job seekers for a couple of reasons:

  1. Google+ is growing…and growing. And the atmosphere is different than it is elsewhere. You can post and share content differently, Google keeps adding new features, and you can present your professional background while tying in all of your social media profiles together.
  2. The communities on Google+ are active, and that bodes well for job seekers. The communities are sensitive to spam, and they often are happy to promote job openings as well as job seekers.

Now here’s the “no” part of the answer:

  1. Like social media in general, you can waste time on the wrong things on Google+. You can share, share, share until the cows come home, and engage, engage, engage until you are blue in the face. And not really get anywhere. So it’s wise to have a presence and use it somewhat, but don’t go overboard.
  2. The site is overly sensitive to spam. Although we all despise the dreaded spam, in many cases, the communities on Google+ take it too far. Self-promotion and spam are not the same things necessarily, and social media is meant to give people an outlet to brand and promote their expertise. Google takes the higher ground and says that others should promote you, while you promote others. I am actually in one community that will kick you out if you even dare to share one of your own blog articles. It’s a nice thought, but it’s a little silly to ban me from sharing informative articles that are meant to assist people in my communities (like this one; I won’t be able to share this one with my circle friends in that community for fear of eternal banishment from the group).

So, in the quest to decide which social media sites to use during your job search, Google+ is certainly one option. But you do need to learn how best to use it, develop a strategy for your search, and build connections quickly (unless you have enough foresight to build them BEFORE you start your search, which is the best social media approach of all).

I came across this infographic from that I thought had some good tips for how to get started with Google+. Enjoy.


Is Your Facebook Profile Job Search Ready?

Is Your Facebook Profile Job Search Ready?

A lot of people think that even though they have made their FB profiles “private” and have shared nothing more than their undying commitment to their favorite TV show or pictures of their children, that their is really nothing more to be done to their profiles when they launch a job search. As this infographic from Purdue University’s Center for Career Opportunities shows, there are a few other things to think about.

Technical Job Search: You Say “Engagement”; I Say “Value-Add”

Technical Job Search: You Say “Engagement”; I Say “Value-Add”

Essentially, you can have all the “engagement” you want in today’s job search, whether it is online or face-to-face in industry networking groups, but when you understand “value-add,” then you will find success in any form of networking.

Does Your Career Hinge on Perception or Reality?

Does Your Career Hinge on Perception or Reality?

IT careerI was having a conversation with someone in the telecommunications field the other day, and she was telling me that she has a new director for her department. Within minutes of starting their first one-on-one meeting, the director quickly explained that his leadership style was based on perception over reality.

What he meant was that how a direct report was perceived by his or her staff/peers mattered more to him than the reality.

In other words, he went on to say, he didn’t really care if you thought you were good. He only cared whether others thought it too. He didn’t really care whether you just thought you were direct. He only cared whether your directness hurt someone else’s perception of you.

I’m not sure whether this is a new tool in the corporate leadership arsenal, or just unique to this dude, but it led to an interesting discussion about perception versus reality when it comes to our careers.

Does Your Career Hinge on Perception or Reality?

In the case of my telecom friend, her new boss was setting the ground rules. He wanted her to know that if he received a complaint about her management style from her staff or peers, he was going to believe it. And, essentially, it was up to her to fix it…even if the complaint was based more on the perception of one person or a couple of persons than on reality. (I have no idea what his plan is if some people say one thing about you and others disagree. I guess he will rank your reviews, much like Amazon and Google do. Congrats…you get 3 out of 5 stars!)

As a personal branding strategist, I think I “get” what he is saying. It is what a lot of social media/content marketing people are saying…you need people to like you (even if those people aren’t very good themselves)…because if they don’t like you, then you’re not good…even if you are. (If a tree falls in the forest, blah, blah, blah.)

Of course, after they say this, causing you to run all over the Internet begging for “likes” and “shares” so your Klout score will go up, they then say, “but just be yourself. Be authentic.” Isn’t it wonderful?

Can anyone say “it’s the confusing world of the 6th grade all over again?”

(When my telecom friend was telling me about this meeting with her new director, I did wonder whether this is how he parents his children: “If all the kids are saying you’re a loser, son, well, then that just must be true. It’s up to you to fix it.”)

In the case of this director, and apparently in the online personal branding world of today, perception is the reality.

Now, some might argue, that it has pretty much always been true. But with social media and the “branding” strategies being touted, it seems to be more acute.

Of course, my friend was a bit unsettled by this conversation (which I would assume was the new director’s point). [I really wished she had asked him whether this was the same standard by which she should judge him, but alas, she did not. :-)]

In his defense, he obviously cares a lot about “cultural fit” and is letting everyone know that he is placing that high on his list. And I’m guessing he picked up this strategy at some recent leadership conference, where it sounded so…smooth.

But, like most of these things, the truth comes out in the “reality” of the strategy in application, not in the “perception” of the theory.

It’s really nice to say that how a person is perceived by co-workers or across social media “says” something true about him or her. I mean, if a lot of people are saying it, then it must be true, right? (Yeah, kind of like how mob rule and mutinies are always “right” and “true.”) So, the argument goes, by being more sensitive to these perceptions, you are going to help create a better “culture” where people want to recommend you and work with you.

The problem, however, is that when these same directors and personal branding “experts” make these statements, they also somehow believe that the end result is going to be real, authentic.

In other words, the “experience” will be more authentic once everyone spends their every working second worrying about what everyone else thinks about them…er, what?

And of course, our businesses will thrive…our careers will soar…and we will just be so happy to work in a setting where perception is the reality. Right?

Hmmm. It is a pickle. But does it have to be?

Wouldn’t it be better to create a culture (corporate or otherwise) built on authentic, imperfect people who are considerate of other people’s perceptions of them but not consumed by them?

I mean, this way, you would really know whom you are working with? Results would matter more than likeability?

Yes, being recommendable or referable is a great thing, but do we only recommend people we like? I would much prefer people to recommend someone who is really good and can “show” it, not someone who goes around playing the perception game.

Sadly, however, most people like to play games.