Tag: networking

How to Boost Confidence For Job Interviews

How to Boost Confidence For Job Interviews

job interviewYou might be the hands-down best candidate for the job, but without enough confidence, you’ll never make it past the first interview.

Qualifications, experience, and even personality all play second fiddle to your level of confidence during an interview. That’s because unlike the position you’re applying for, your duty during the interview is to sell yourself. The amount of confidence you bring into the room correlates directly with the amount of confidence your interviewers will have in your ability to do the job they’re hiring for.

Try one or more of the methods below to boost your confidence before and during your next interview.

Come Prepared

Do your homework! You’ll feel far better in your interview if you know exactly what you’re getting into so you can position yourself for success.

Look the Part

Confidence may come from the inside, but it also shows up in your appearance and clothing. Aim to look clean, contemporary, and professional — you can even throw in a personal touch that makes you feel good about yourself.

Watch Your (Body) Language

The way we hold our bodies speaks volumes about what’s going on in our heads. Learn more about what power poses you can use to bump up your confidence and appear more open and friendly.

Make Eye Contact

Looking people straight in the eye shows that you’re honest, respectful, and friendly. Aim to make at least some eye contact each time you or your interviewer speaks.

Take It Slow

You’re in an interview, not a race. Give yourself time to think before speaking, and don’t rush through the details. You’ll appear smarter and more confident.

Even if you’re don’t quite feel confident on the inside, these methods can help you appear more confident to others. Why not give them a try?

 

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!

The Real Skinny: What You Need to Know About Diversity In Tech Hiring

The Real Skinny: What You Need to Know About Diversity In Tech Hiring

workplace diversityHighlighted by the recent Re/code conference, the tech industry right now is buzzing about a crucial issue that affects workers across the board: Diversity.

Despite the fact that diversity has been a major issue in the tech and IT fields for years, reports show that progress has been sluggish. But, in part due to the media attention attracted by Ellen Pao from her gender-discrimination lawsuit earlier this year, industry voices are piping up once again to work through some of the complicated issues that prevent women and minorities from entering, succeeding, or rising to executive-level roles. Pao, who claimed that she failed to be promoted in her company due to her gender and then was fired for complaining about it, lost the suit to former employer Kleiner Perkins. Taking her loss in stride, she has been leveraging the media attention to further important discussions about workplace diversity, and has recently decided to appeal her case.

For tech workers of both diverse and non-diverse backgrounds, the conversation sparked by Pao and many others is one that’s crucial to each and every company, team, and employee. As the Houston Chronicle elegantly puts it, “Access to a larger talent pool is one of the biggest advantages of having an employment recruitment policy that values diversity.” Diversity means equitable hiring and treatment regardless of race, class, creed, religion, age, sexuality, political views, abledness and any other differences that don’t affect an employee’s skills and workplace performance. A successful diverse workplace means a better workplace on all levels, including both profitability and positive work culture.

This is why it falls to all of us to take part in the conversation.

Reactions from the Re/code conference indicate that the needle is moving on workplace diversity, but there’s still more work to be done. While some celebrated the coup of even talking about diversity in the first place at this year’s conference, others noted that the conference itself was problematic, bringing on board only 6 female speakers out of a total of 27.

Leaders across the most important tech companies are trying to solve the diversity issue with varying degrees of success. Chief Business Officer at Google Omid Kordestani proclaimed of diverse hiring practices, “We’re all terrible at it.” And indeed at Google, a whopping 70 percent of employees are men, 60 percent are white, and 31 percent are Asian. However, Kordestani and others are using innovative new methods such as “bias training” to teach employees how to account for the unconscious biases that can lead to hostile workplaces for diverse employees. At this time, over half of Google’s workers — some twenty-thousand people — have attended these seminars.

Other companies are investing large sums of money into hiring programs that will help them build stronger, more diverse workforces. Intel, for instance, announced a $300 million campaign at the start of the year that has already increased diversity by 9 percent. To a lesser extent, Ebay — also a non-diverse workplace — has increased their diversity by one percentage point as of Q2.

Even some of the world’s brightest minds haven’t cracked the code for workplace diversity yet. There may be a long road ahead of us, but it would seem that we’ve at least taken the first step. As Google’s Kordestani put it, “There’s not a silver-bullet answer here.”

 

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!

 

The Real Skinny: How Wearable Tech Might Influence Your Next Job

The Real Skinny: How Wearable Tech Might Influence Your Next Job

wearable techThe internet can’t stop talking about wearable tech, and why should they? With many thought leaders suggesting it could be “the new smartphone,” businesses are clamoring to get an edge on the market. But with businesses and consumers raving about this new technology, where does that leave employees who are working in related fields, and what does it mean for their jobs?

One of major impacts of wearable technology is that it’s forcing professionals in the field to think creatively. We’ve already written about why tech employees need to use their creative sides, but it bears repeating. Wearable tech is a highly creative new sector that combines artistry with practicality. As the IT and tech industries expand over the coming years, how are you going to push the limits on what’s possible and discover creative, unexpected solutions?

Another predicted result of wearable tech is that employees will become even more productive. Experts estimate that this new technology will make people up to 8.5 times more productive, in fact, which will have huge ramifications on jobs and profits. If the average user is that much more productive armed with wearable technology, how much more productive can you, the tech expert, be in your workplace?

Lastly, you can expect to see even more blurred lines between work and life once wearable technology goes widespread. If today, we use our smartphones to manage our lives and families from our desks, think of how much more we’ll be able to do — and how much more efficiently — when we are armed with smartwatches, smartglasses, and smartclothing.

We hope to see wearable tech make a big different in terms of work-life balance, allowing us easier access to work or to life when we need it the most.

How do you expect wearable tech to affect your work?

 

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!

 

 

Kick in the Pants: Networking for the Socially Awkward

Kick in the Pants: Networking for the Socially Awkward

sell46Let’s face it: If you’re a tech professional, your biggest talents usually lie somewhere other than the field of social knowhow and interpersonal communication.

IT and tech employees love delving in deep, getting analytical, and solving complicated problems — ones that people outside their immediate area of expertise might not understand so well. Of course, tech folks are often highly talented across the board, and there are certainly some who could outdo a diplomat in terms of tact, communication, and sociability. But for everybody else, there remains the elephant in the room — networking — which everybody knows they should be doing, but not everybody knows how.

If you’ve ever felt too reluctant, shy, or socially awkward to even consider networking, this article is for you.

First thing’s first: adjust your attitude. If you truly believe you “can’t” be successful at networking, you probably won’t be. Networking is a skill just like anything else, and it takes practice and a little trial and error to get it right. And if you’re a tech geek, trial and error should be right up your alley, so think in terms of hacking the networking experience instead of lacking the skills.

The next order of business? Lighten up and recalibrate your expectations. So many of those who identify as socially awkward at networking events do so for two reasons: 1) they think they have to stay the whole time, and b) they think they have to talk to dozens of people. You’re not a baby bird; you don’t have to jump headlong off the branch and hope you’ll fly. Start out slow and set different goals for yourself, like staying halfway through an event and talking to just a few people. After all, one great connection is worth far more than ten duds.

As you get ready for the event, make sure to have a plan. Prepare a little in advance so you don’t find yourself painted into a corner. Even skilled networkers will do a little research on the crowd ahead of time, nail down a few talking points, and ask for introductions to smooth things over. Figure out exactly how you’ll introduce yourself to those you meet so you can focus on giving a firm handshake, adequate eye contact, and hopefully a little smile.

Remember to listen and talk in equal measure as you meet new people. It can be tempting to let the other person talk the whole time (or to do all the talking yourself), but aim for the 60-40 rule. Listening slightly more than you talk shows respect, friendliness, and intelligence.

If you find yourself in a lull, don’t hide away at the bar or in your smartphone. There’s a natural ebb and flow to networking events, and you won’t always find yourself caught up in the right conversations — or any at all. Think of a few ways you can fill empty moments productively, such as jotting down a few notes, offering to grab refills on drinks, or locating and thanking the host.

Last but not least, don’t forget to flex your tech know-how by connecting with the people you meet online. After all, in-person networking is an extremely useful, and often necessary, aspect of building up your online social network. So even if you’d rather make connections from the safety of your computer, get out there and give old-fashioned networking a solid try. You’ll be impressed at just how valuable the in-person contacts you make can be.

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 Not to Get Trapped in the Networking Loop

How Not to Get Trapped in the Networking Loop

Although the extroverts seem to hold all the cards in the networking scramble, more often than not, they are stuck in a continuous loop, much like hamsters on a wheel, gathering names and connections like nobody’s business but often not really getting anywhere with the process.

Technical Recruiting Demystified

Technical Recruiting Demystified

tech job search cartoonIf you’re confused about the whole recruiting scene, this will help provide a little clarity. On 10/3, David Graziano, technical recruiter for GE, joined us for a weekly #TCFchat on twitter at 3pm ET.

Dave and our panel discussed the difference between external recruiters and internal recruiters as well as internal recruiters and HR. We also chatted about how candidates should approach the resume and job search differently based on the type of recruiter that’s in place. In addition, much discussion centered around the role of social media in the recruiting process. This included the use of social media from the perspective of the job seeker as well as the technical recruiter.

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, go to the Storify recap or to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

Tech Recruiter: Ask the Expert

Tech Recruiter: Ask the Expert

IT resume writer advice for winning the job 3If you have trouble understanding what role recruiters play in the job search, this is the forum for you. When it comes to recruiters, there are so many unanswered questions. Get the answers this Wednesday 10/3 at 3pm ET on twitter at #TCFchat. GE technical recruiter Dave Graziano will be our special guest star.

Dave will be talking about technical recruiting, resume, job search, interview, and other related topics.

Join the discussion (Wednesday 10/3 on Twitter at 3pm Eastern). Simply follow and use the hashtag #TCFchat to be a part of it all.

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

CIO & IT Team Inspiration Innovation

CIO & IT Team Inspiration Innovation

how to start a career in IT cartoon 2On Wednesday, 9/26 an “expert” panel convened on Twitter at #TCFchat to discuss the topic of IT leadership effectively motivating their technical teams.

We initially questioned the apparent ineffectiveness of “canned” HR programs with technical professionals. Why do these programs fall flat?

We also debated the role of HR, HR leadership, and the CIO in the ongoing motivation and performance of the IT team.

Finally, we talked about what strategies a CIO could employ to inspire his or her team. Missing were some of the convoluted incentives many corporate workers often hear about. The focus was centered on leaders being, well, leaders…setting a sound strategy, providing the teams with the proper tools and training, managing people firmly but fairly, and doing what they say they’re going to do. This isn’t revolutionary stuff here, but it may well be “innovative” in the sense that so few companies focus on these fundamentals.

If you were unable to join us for the live chat, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments or to the Storify recap of the chat.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

CIO & IT Leader Strategies for Motivating Tech Pros

CIO & IT Leader Strategies for Motivating Tech Pros

IT job search sites helpful or hurtfulThe canned HR programs that companies put into place may work fine for most corporate employees, but they don’t seem to have much effect on IT and technical professionals. I know from experience that most techies–whether in IT, engineering, telecommunications, call center, or any other technical discipline–are a skeptical bunch. But still, aren’t they excited about “Jeans Day?” I mean, really, who wouldn’t be =)

So what gives?

Well, let’s talk about the why along with what IT leadership can do to change this trend. Join the discussion (Wednesday 9/26 on Twitter at 3pm Eastern). Simply follow and use the hashtag #TCFchat to be a part of it all.

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

Ageism and Generation Gap Issues in the IT Resume and Job Search

Ageism and Generation Gap Issues in the IT Resume and Job Search

IT manager resume cartoonIn the IT field, many people feel that it is the “evolutionary” cycle for the old to give way to the young. In today’s world, sometimes it happens prematurely and other times not soon enough. Companies should evaluate each individual based on the work they do and the value they provide for internal opportunities and based on their capabilities for external opportunities, regardless of age. When we boil it all down, we live in a meritocracy, which is a good thing. But human nature being, well, human nature, people in positions of authority don’t always make the wisest decisions. Sometimes those poor decisions hurt the older worker and assist the younger worker, and sometimes the opposite is true.

On Wednesday 9/19, our expert panel convened on Twitter’s #TCFchat to discuss this topic. Our contributors recognized that this situation is indeed a reality today. They also offered some sage advice to help candidates overcome these issues on their resume, in the job search, and in their career development.

If you were unable to join us for the live chat, you can see the Storify recap and go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments. I’d also suggest viewing the 3-minute video blog included here.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmr0rmPBKpk]

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.