Tag: IT jobs

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 résumé writer. Some people just write résumés; 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/stephenvanvreedeTo see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, text “STUCK” to 866-294-1324 to start a dialogue OR click on the calendar below to schedule a free 30-minute résumé 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 Technical Sales Resume Makeover 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 Outstanding IT Resume Makeover 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 IT Resume and LinkedIn Profile Revamp January 2, 2015

Why You Need to Have Good Relationships With Junior Employees

Why You Need to Have Good Relationships With Junior Employees

You’ve made it to the top–congratulations. Your years of hard work, late nights, and sacrifices have paid off, and now you’re at the top of your corporate food chain. But is it us, or does it sometimes feel a little bit like an echo chamber way up on high? You might not miss the busywork and second-rate projects, but you are missing out big time if you don’t foster excellent relationships with the folks who are now where you were ten years ago.

The most successful businesses fully leverage the intelligence and know-how of all of their employees, not just those at the top. But in big corporations, most of the vital decisions are made by only a fraction of the employees. Not only does this deprive your organization of its full resources, but it can lead to unilateral thinking that will keep you stuck in place rather than moving forward. Junior employees have a lot to learn from you, but you also have a lot to learn from them. Although you are the resident expert and have the final say on every business decision you make, your juniors may have valuable input that could surprise you.

If you look at today’s startups, you’ll see that they way senior staff interfaces with newbies is changing. Gone are the hierarchies, processes, and sometimes even office doors that separate one level of employee from the next. In tech, innovation is the name of the game—and what better way to foster innovation than by listening to fresh ideas? You don’t have to work somewhere with a “flat hierarchy” to reap the benefits of interfacing with juniors, since some companies are better suited towards this than others. What do you have to do? Simply start talking!

When you speak face-to-face with a new or lower-level employee, two things happen immediately:

  1. You contribute towards a company culture where people feel comfortable talking to anyone and everyone, allowing for cross-pollination of ideas.
  2. You begin to build a relationship that could benefit you down the road.

It’s needless to say that the more positive relationships you foster at work, the better. You don’t have to become somebody’s formal mentor to make a difference in his or her life. Sharing your expertise and listening to the struggles and experiences of your juniors will make both of you better at your jobs. Plus, the person who is your junior today could end up being part of your team in just a few years. The better working relationship you develop now, the easier it will be to continue working together down the road.

How can you start to reach out to new or junior employees?

Start a club. Whether it’s learning a new coding language or simply a book club, a regular organization that all staff is invited to become part of is a smart, practical way to socialize and exchange ideas.

Put in face time. Nobody needs more email–instead, try walking over to your junior employee and discussing the matter at hand in person.

Encourage family events. Try holding monthly family potlucks or a “family day” at the office to make your work environment a little more personal, and to get to know your coworkers that much better.

Create a company project. Some companies start gardens, volunteering projects, or even microbreweries to help employees bond. It doesn’t take much–what ongoing project could benefit your company and help improve your company culture?

Don’t go straight home after work. It’s tempting to head straight for your car after work, but that immediately erases any possibility of socializing after-hours with your colleagues. A good, old-fashioned drink or coffee after work is a classic, foolproof way to get to know coworker better.

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 Consider Bringing Your Authentic Self Into The Workplace

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Consider Bringing Your Authentic Self Into The Workplace

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede weighs the benefits and repercussions of being your “real self” at work, suggesting that doing so might benefit employees and employers alike.

Rochester, NY — Oct 21, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new blog post titled “Should You Try—Or Avoid—“Being Yourself” At Work?” In the post, he explains that researchers have found that there are some sizeable benefits to “being yourself” at work, from having more energy to bonding better with colleagues, though exactly how much to conceal or reveal is ultimately a deeply personal decision.

Van Vreede says, “For many people, it’s only natural not to reveal certain parts of their personality or history that could be viewed negatively in the workplace…But for the 63% in question, it’s not foibles or quirks that they are hiding–it’s major aspects of their humanity, such as natural appearance, health, sexual orientation, family situation, affiliation with certain groups, or belief systems.

And while it’s each employees prerogative to make the decision about what to reveal and what to conceal, some experts are beginning to question how much good it does to hide one’s true self in the workplace.”

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/should-you-try-or-avoid-being-yourself-at-work/

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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Should You Try—Or Avoid—“Being Yourself” At Work?

Should You Try—Or Avoid—“Being Yourself” At Work?

If you happened to run into your boss during the weekend, would he or she recognize you?

For many tech employees, the answer might be no. That’s because a staggering 63% of Americans hide their authentic selves at work. For many people, it’s only natural not to reveal certain parts of their personality or history that could be viewed negatively in the workplace. Nobody needs to know about your Beanie Babies collection, or that you secretly hate going to football games. But for the 63% in question, it’s not foibles or quirks that they are hiding–it’s major aspects of their humanity, such as natural appearance, health, sexual orientation, family situation, affiliation with certain groups, or belief systems.

And while it’s each employee’s prerogative to make the decision about what to reveal and what to conceal, some experts are beginning to question how much good it does to hide one’s true self in the workplace.

It’s an energy suck. Depending on what you’re hiding, it could take an awful lot of effort to cover your real self up each and every day at work. That’s energy that could be directed towards your job.

It prevents bonding. The feeling that you can’t be yourself at work makes it harder to want to open up to colleagues–and it prevents you from identifying with others in your same position.

It perpetuates systemic issues. Some people hide aspects of themselves because they fear prejudice. While it’s deeply personal to decide whether or not to be public about some things, it’s also true that concealing differences makes it harder for them to become part of the fabric of everyday life.

Should you open up about yourself at work? Only you can decide. If you find that you’re expending large quantities of time and effort maintaining appearances and having a hard time building strong relationships at work, you could consider it. There’s an accepting, healthy workplace for everybody–and you’ll find yours, no matter how much of your authentic self you choose to bring into the workplace.

 

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 You Don’t Have To Be 100% Qualified To Apply To The Job Of Your Dreams

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says You Don’t Have To Be 100% Qualified To Apply To The Job Of Your Dreams

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede helps readers determine whether or not they should apply to jobs they aren’t entirely qualified for—the trick is to have a bulletproof application game plan.

Rochester, NY — October 13, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new article titled “Not Quite Qualified For The Job You Want? Here’s What To Do.” In the article, he guides job seekers through the process of applying to jobs they are slightly underqualified for, stressing the importance of finding equivalent experience, qualifications, and skills to match the ones listed on the job description.

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

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/not-quite-qualified-for-the-job-you-want-heres-what-to-do/

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

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

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

Skills vs. Experience vs. Qualifications

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

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

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

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

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

Start by writing the best cover letter of your life.

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

Be frank and transparent about your background.

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

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

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

Tune into the company’s pain points.

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

Use your network.

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

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

 

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

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

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Try A Daily “Power Hour” To Increase Productivity And Decrease Stress

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Try A Daily “Power Hour” To Increase Productivity And Decrease Stress

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede shares a brilliant new productivity trick that can help IT and tech employees prioritize their most important work without the overwhelm that results from an unmanaged schedule.

Rochester, NY — October 6, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new blog post titled “Can a Daily ‘Power Hour’ Make You Happier & More Productive?” In the post, he cites author Gretchen Rubin’s productivity trick, “Power Hour,” as a beneficial practice for employees who struggle with prioritizing and completing their most challenging tasks at work.

Van Vreede says, “For most employees, productivity comes in fits and starts that spread out over the course of the workday. It’s impossible, after all, to be working to your maximum potential 100 percent of the time. And, some job functions simply require more focus and brainpower than others. Because of this, it’s all too easy to put off the ‘real’ work for another day and chip away at tasks that are relatively easy to do, but only moderately important.

The result is that you might feel like you’re working to your maximum potential, but you’re not actually getting anything done, which can be awfully stressful. This is where ‘Power Hour’ can save your sanity—and your job.”

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/can-a-daily-power-hour-make-you-happier-more-productive/

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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Can a Daily “Power Hour” Make You Happier & More Productive?

Can a Daily “Power Hour” Make You Happier & More Productive?

Okay, be honest: do you have a productivity problem?

For most employees, productivity comes in fits and starts that spread out over the course of the workday. It’s impossible, after all, to be working to your maximum potential 100 percent of the time. And, some job functions simply require more focus and brainpower than others. Because of this, it’s all too easy to put off the “real” work for another day and chip away at tasks that are relatively easy to do, but only moderately important.

The result is that you might feel like you’re working to your maximum potential, but you’re not actually getting anything done, which can be awfully stressful. This is where “Power Hour” can save your sanity—and your job.

Bestselling author and productivity expert Gretchen Rubin writes about Power Hour in her new book, Better Than Before, and we think it’s a genius concept. Ready for it?

  • Set the timer for 60 minutes
  • Complete as many of your challenging, high-priority tasks as possible
  • Stop as soon as you hear the buzzer

Deceptively simple, Power Hour is a productivity trick that can actually help employees get more done in far less time. Think about it. If you are highly productive—and we mean highly—for 5 hours out of the week, every week, you can accomplish practically anything. We’re talking no distractions, nose to the grindstone, old-fashioned hard work here. Does this mean you stop working the rest of the week? Of course not. It means that you get what’s important done on time, every time—but in reasonable chunks that never feel overwhelming.

You can adapt the idea in any number of ways, increasing the time frame or spacing them out to work for your job and schedule. How will you use the concept of Power Hour to get more done at work with less overall stress?

 

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 Objective Signs Can Prove A Job Candidate’s Likelihood Of Getting Hired

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Objective Signs Can Prove A Job Candidate’s Likelihood Of Getting Hired

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede reveals the five biggest indicators that a job interview will turn into a job offer.

Rochester, NY — Sep 29, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new article titled “5 Signs You’re Going To Get a Job Offer.” In the article, he explains that job candidates are not in the optimal position to evaluate their own interview performance, which is why memorizing the telltale signs of an interview gone well can help them determine whether or not they should expect an offer.

Van Vreede says, “When you’re a job-seeker, there’s perhaps no greater mystery in life than how well you did during your interview. Chances are you were at least a little bit nervous. Your mind was preoccupied with all the research you did beforehand. You got up extra early to be certain you arrived on time. And you may have stayed up a little too late the night beforehand, polishing and printing your resume. It’s no wonder job candidates aren’t in the best position to evaluate their interview performance!

But let’s say you gave it your best shot, avoiding interview pitfalls and presenting the best version of yourself to your interviewers. Is there an objective way to tell whether you’re going to get the offer?

Yes and no.

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-5-signs-youre-going-to-get-a-job-offer/

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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