Tag: IT career

Kick in the Pants: How to Stop Wasting Your Time and Find the Ultimate Recruiter

Kick in the Pants: How to Stop Wasting Your Time and Find the Ultimate Recruiter

In today’s job market, there’s perhaps no worse feeling than sending out an unsolicited application to an opening you read about online, knowing that you’ll likely never even get a response. We’ve all been there, trolling the job boards, checking companies’ websites, and poking around LinkedIn for the next great opportunity. When the facts show that most people who send resumes out online don’t get the job — or even an interview — why do so many of us waste our time with it?

The people who get the really good jobs aren’t any different than you; they simply know that it’s people who make it possible, not your resume alone. Of course, some people get lucky and find great work through online application systems. It can happen. But your time is better spent focusing on two additional tactics: using your network and finding a great recruiter.

Today we’re going to focus on finding you the ultimate tech recruiter. It’s not hard, but it’s also not what you might expect. Can we let you in on a little secret? To find amazing recruiters, you have to do more than seek them out — you have to help them find you.

A recruiter is your advocate on the job hunt; a professional who will listen to you, challenge you, give you useful feedback, and help make seemingly impossible connections possible. Finding the ultimate recruiter can make all the difference in your job search.

How To Find The Best Recruiter For You

Use your network. Ask respected colleagues about their experiences with recruiters, and get the contact info for those who actually found your associate a job.

Do your homework online. LinkedIn is a treasure trove of talented recruiters with a seemingly infinite variety of focus areas. Make connections online with those who look promising.

Get tips from companies you admire. Call up the companies where you would love to work and ask them if they use a particular recruiter or staffing agency — make sure to get the contact information.

Stay informed.

If you’re keeping up-to-date on industry news (and you are, right?), you’ll likely see the names of recruiters show up now and again, especially in press releases when companies make a new hire.

Look on message boards in your tech specialty.

Find the message board in your precise field and see if anybody has already recommended a recruiter. If not, start up a new thread.

How to Help Recruiters Find You

One of the best parts about recruiters is that often, they will seek you out for great opportunities — that is, if they can find you.

Keep all communication short, specific, and to-the-point.

Make sure to include keywords so your messages don’t get lost in overstuffed inboxes.

Tell a story with your resume.

With an easy-to-understand resume, your recruiter will better remember your skills and have an easier time telling companies about you.

Avoid generic cover letters.

Recruiters are a busy bunch, so be specific and concise in your cover letter so they know exactly how they can help you.

Build a relationship.

Like any relationship, a successful pairing involves trust, honesty, communication and respect — treat your recruiter with dignity, and he or she will return the favor.

Be ready to hit the ground running.

The work of recruiters is to fill job openings, often quickly. The more you emphasize your preparedness, the better you’ll stand out as a candidate your recruiter will suggest for the next big opportunity.

Use directories to save you hours of research looking for the right recruiter.

At ITtechExec, one of our main goals is to make the job search process more convenient and simple for our client members. And because we really believe that being matched with the right technical recruiters for you is essential to any career move, we offer several different directories at low cost:

Our Directory of 1350+ U.S. Technical Recruiters

Our Directory of 800+ U.S.-based IT Project/Program Management Recruiters

Our Directory of U.S. CIO Recruiters


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!

A Career in IT: Is It “All Ball Bearings Nowadays?”

A Career in IT: Is It “All Ball Bearings Nowadays?”

Today, I want to use it to talk about some changes occurring in the IT job market that are shifting the landscape of what it means to have a “career in IT.” Right now there seems to be two camps, and they aren’t necessarily opposed to one another. One says that the IT job market is ripe for non-IT people because soft skills are paramount. The other says those with true tech knowledge (and industry experience…and a desire to be more in “management”) will be moved into other business areas within the organization with a dotted line back to old “IT.” Together, these camps create a new image for the IT career path.

IT: Your Friendly Neighborhood Strategic Business Partner

IT: Your Friendly Neighborhood Strategic Business Partner

We’ve been witnessing a major transition in the role of IT in most organizations from service provider (or resident “firefighter”) to strategic business partner for some time now. Or at least we have been witnessing a lot of “talk” about this transition.

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.

In 2014 Tech Job Market, Ignorance Is Not Bliss

In 2014 Tech Job Market, Ignorance Is Not Bliss

With the plethora of job openings in the tech industry, and a shortage of talent (aka “a shortage of talent that the companies want”), it pays to listen to what they are asking for, despite whether you have hands-on tech experience or not.

Now That Techies Are Cool

Now That Techies Are Cool

With a plethora of job openings in the tech sector, it should come as no surprise that those who once thought they would rather do anything else but program code or work with “tech” (much less hang out with those who do) are now suddenly changing their tune. It also doesn’t hurt that the title of “geek” or “techie” is suddenly something cool, thanks to the rise of innovators like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.

Techies and Likeability: Do They Go Together?

Techies and Likeability: Do They Go Together?

Now, I hope no one will get offended by what is clearly meant to be somewhat tongue and cheek with a bit of truth mixed in. The truth part is that our beloved, hardcore techie geeks are not known on a general level for being the most, well, likeable. And by likeable, I mean engaging, charismatic, and socially aware.

The Career Referral Engine

The Career Referral Engine

John Jantsch wrote a book called The Referral Engine that has been a great resource for us here at ITtechExec. Not only does it highlight how to tap into any business’s dream, happy customers who refer you to other potential customers (and thus saving you loads of precious marketing dollars), but in the end, it helps you build a company that does more than just “sell” a product, hoping to trick someone into buying it; it gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you built a company full of clients who actually look forward to referring you. As I was reviewing Jantsch’s book again recently, I began thinking about how corporate professional could and should apply many of these same principles to their career moves…well before they even start considering their next job search.