Tag: resume

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!

Kick in the Pants: How to Find the Best Mentor For Your Career

Kick in the Pants: How to Find the Best Mentor For Your Career

career mentorIf there’s one thing that separates wildly successful people from everybody else, it’s often the presence of a mentor.

In the IT and tech worlds as in life, we can’t do everything on our own. We need good advice, a sounding board, and the perspective of somebody who understands where we’re coming from. So why do so many people avoid mentor-mentee relationships?

Because most people don’t understand how to get a mentor, if they realize they need one at all.

A great mentor is rarely handed to you. Sure, some people naturally fall into mentorships without making a concerted effort, but this isn’t something you want to leave to chance. In tech and IT, it’s imperative to be at the top of your game and to think like an entrepreneur. A mentor can help you make the most out of your job and show you how to turn it into your life’s work, not just another 9 to 5.

However, there’s a catch: finding the right person for you. But don’t despair. Mentees have found their mentor matches for centuries, and you can, too. All it takes is a little work.

How to Find Your Best Mentor

First, you need to realize that most mentorship happens organically.

The words “will you be my mentor?” should ideally never come out of your mouth. That’s because good relationships develop naturally over time. In fact, you may already have a mentor if you seek the counsel of a trusted advisor regularly. Don’t discount any relationship just because the person in the mentor role isn’t in your exact field or industry. If he or she is valuable to your career, the person becomes your mentor as soon as you start thinking of them as such. No further acknowledgment is necessary.

If you haven’t found your mentor yet, determine what traits and qualities an ideal mentor would have to be useful to your specific work life.

Does your mentor need to have taken your career path? Or would it be better to get an outsider’s perspective? Do they need to be senior-level, or would somebody with just a few extra years’ experience suffice? Remember that mentors can come from anywhere, so don’t set your sights too narrow.

Start or deepen a professional relationship with your would-be mentor.

If you’ve pinpointed a stranger as your ultimate mentor, do not start by asking him or her for mentorship. For new as well as old contacts, let them know that you value their knowledge and would appreciate their professional opinion. Invite them to coffee or lunch, and get to know them (or know them better). If and only if you feel that the relationship is comfortable for both of you, see if you can continue asking their advice in the future on an ongoing basis.

Be the relationship’s maintenance person.

When you’re receiving the benefits of mentorship, make your gratitude known. Say please and thank you. Ask your mentor about his or her life, and offer your help. Mentorship might look from the outside like a one-way street, but nothing is further from the truth. It’s up to you to nurture the relationship — and eventually, to pay it forward by taking on a mentor of your own.

 

Kick in the Pants: Work-Life Balance: What The Experts Are Saying

Kick in the Pants: Work-Life Balance: What The Experts Are Saying

work life balanceWork. Life. Balance. These are three of the most problematic words for employers and employees alike. How do you know if you have enough of it? Maybe you have too much of it? Are you working yourself to the bone? Or are people’s careers skyrocketing ahead of you because you focus too much on your personal life?

Experts’ thoughts on work-life balance are changing constantly, and the popular opinion on the subject is truly a moving target. That’s why we surveyed the latest information on the subject to report back to you how those three little words are being interpreted right now, in 2015.

Blurred Boundaries

Rarely are work and life two separate things these days, as Jacob Morgan of Forbes argues. As the expectation for being “always on” increases, so does the expectation that employees will find jobs they actually feel passionate about.

Smartphones Are Controversial

A major part of the blurred work/life boundaries has to do with technology, in particular, smartphones. But being constantly reachable on nights, weekends, and vacations isn’t always well-received by employees. As Fast Company reports, 65% of workers are expected to be reachable outside of work, but a whopping 35% of these employees feel they don’t have enough personal time.

A Little Imbalance Is Okay

As Entrepreneur author Boland Jones writes, “… for entrepreneurs, there’s very little delineation between the two parts of life.” Now that every employee should be thinking like an entrepreneur , we couldn’t agree more. When you’re in charge of your career and always thinking about what’s coming next, you might have work on your mind even when you’re not in the office — and that’s okay!

What’s important is that you connect the hard work you’re putting in with your overall career goals, not that you log long work hours just because everyone else is. When you can see the big picture and you like where you’re headed, it’s worth it.

The Real Skinny: Will Workplace Perks Make You Happier In Your Job?

The Real Skinny: Will Workplace Perks Make You Happier In Your Job?

workplace perksPeople in tech have one big benefit over people in other industries: the awesome workplace perks. We’ve all heard about the free meals, massages, and gym memberships that some companies use to herd all of the best talent their way. And yes, if your particular workplace doesn’t offer high-caliber perks, you might feel a little jealous, or even compelled to look for a more lavish workplace. But hold on for a second there: How do you know for sure that perks will actually make you happier at work?

We all know that money is not the same thing as happiness. If you’ve ever had a cushy job with a less-than-cushy boss, you also know that sometimes a paycheck just isn’t worth working in a toxic environment. Perks that save you money on things like groceries, exercise equipment, or daycare aren’t really that different from extra money in your pocket, and they certainly don’t guarantee a better relationship with your boss.

Most research shows that workplace perks don’t make much of a difference in employee happiness.

The top factors in employee happiness are often cited as fair pay, good working relationships, a sense of autonomy, and recognition for a job well done. When it comes to happiness, financial benefits are really only part of the equation. Of course it’s essential to be paid well for what you do — but do you really need all of the bells and whistles, too?

As attractive as a perk-filled workplace seems, it’s the quality of the perks —not the quantity — that really matters.

Not all companies can offer Google-level perks, and that’s okay. There are dozens of perks that reflect well on a potential employer, but have little to do with how much they are spending on extras. Oftentimes, these “quality” perks come in the form of workplace policies. Pet-friendly offices, casual Fridays, or summer hours, for instance, might not seem as glamorous as free lunch, but they actually might make a bigger impact on your day-to-day job fulfillment.

When you’re looking for your job, seek out perks that show that the employer actually cares about employees and isn’t just aiming to impress.

It’s easy to get starry-eyed when you’re in talks with a big company that offers tons of free stuff, but don’t mistake perks for the qualities you care about most in a job. Perks function in today’s world as a marketing tool that caters to potential employees. Some companies devote an extraordinary amount of time and resources into creating perks that will get your attention. This doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with the perks or the company — it just means that you have to take extra care not to let perks distract you from what’s actually important to you.

Before you jump ship and pick up a new, perk-laden job, challenge yourself to figure out what’s vital to you in your next role, regardless of extras. Perks are fun and interesting for a little while, but having the job you want in an environment you love is a better long-term move for your career and for you.

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 (June 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) compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You?

 

Kick in the Pants: 5 Ways You Can Start Thinking Like an Entrepreneur

Kick in the Pants: 5 Ways You Can Start Thinking Like an Entrepreneur

technical recruiter helps with IT resumeIf you’ve been taking a slow, leisurely climb up the career ladder, listen up: It’s time to stop being passive and start thinking like an entrepreneur.

These days, it’s no longer your employer’s responsibility to plan out the next 20 years of your career — it’s yours. Work is changing, and if you want to have a career you love, you have to change along with it. Entrepreneurial thinking is the new “must” for every employee, whether you’re the newest hire or the CTO, and it’s the way you’re going to make the most of your current job and your future career.

So how do you start thinking like an entrepreneur, even if you feel the furthest thing from it?

Trim the Fat.

Entrepreneurs are the captains of the proverbial ship, and dead weight will sink it. Toss inefficiency overboard so you and your company can get where you’re going faster.

Let Your Passion Guide You.

What part of your job inspires you and fills you with new ideas? Focus on what drives you, even if seems small at first, to ignite your passion and come up with creative solutions.

Banish Fear.

Take calculated risks to up your entrepreneurial ante. The movers and shakers of the IT world don’t move and shake because they play it safe; they have the confidence to take intelligent risks and to handle the consequences.

Share Your Vision.

Don’t save your brilliance for a later date, or somebody might beat you to the punch.

Be “The” Expert.

Are you the go-to person in your workplace when a problem arises? Aim to know more, work harder, and pitch in more than anyone else to be seen as a leader, not just another employee.

When you put these practices into play, you’re better equipped to be a knockout at your current job, but more importantly, you groom yourself for a future career that just might surpass your expectations.

“Brain Day” Facilitator

“Brain Day” Facilitator

I was recently asked by the Career Thought Leaders (CTL) to facilitate the Virtual Brain Day Event covering the Eastern US.

Brain Day is an event for career services professionals to brainstorm about the now, the new, and the next in the careers field. This includes discussions about the resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, executive bio, marketing documents, recruitment, hiring, the job search, and much more. It is being held on Friday, November 1st.

These discussions, which are being held all over the world in addition to virtual events in various time zones, will help to identify emerging trends, establish performance standards, and foster best practices.

I encourage you to check out the details and get engaged at – http://www.careerthoughtleaders.com/brain-day-2013/

Here’s a link to the registration page on the CTL site – https://www.resumewritingacademy.com/ctlc-secure/brain-day-register.phpGlobal Career Brainstorming Day November 1, 2013.

Executive Job Search TweetChat

Executive Job Search TweetChat

toon890The Executive Job Search can be a challenge. Where does one even begin in today’s tough market?

Well, I will be serving as an Expert Panelist for a twitter chat on just this topic hosted by Executive Career Search leader BlueSteps. The chat will take place on Tuesday September 17th at 12:30pm Eastern. Simply sign in to Twitter or TweetChat and use the hashtag #ExecCareer to make comments and follow the discussion.

You can review the details and panelist information on the BlueSteps Blog. We hope to “see” you there!

IT Job Market: Into the Cloud We Go!

IT Job Market: Into the Cloud We Go!

toon451Our Tech Career Forum panel discussed the topic of cloud computing and how it is impacting and will impact the IT job market. We held a twitter chat on Wed 2/27 at 3pm ET (#TCFchat). By the way, love the comic here showing Moses as an early adopter of cloud technology =)

Our discussion highlighted the explosive growth predicted in the cloud computing space. We talked about the expected growth of certain types of roles in cloud administration, security, enterprise architecture, etc. We also opined on the cloud-related certification programs that are currently available.

Check out the Storify recap or go to the Tech Career Forum LinkedIn  Group Page to leave a discussion comment. Of course, you’re welcome to comment right here as well.

Cloud Impact on the Future of the IT Job Market

Cloud Impact on the Future of the IT Job Market

toon495The Cloud…that magical place where technology “just happens.” Well, that’s what most non-techies think of the cloud based on their impression from those Microsoft Windows 7 commercials a few years back…the one where, to solve a problem, they just “go to the cloud!”

We’re going to talk about the cloud..not the pretend magical one, but the real-life one…and how it is expected to impact the tech industry and job market as a whole over the several years. So please join us in our Tech Career Forum twitter chat on Wed 2/27 at 3pm ET (#TCFchat).

Here are the discussion points:

1) What is the projected growth of the IT Cloud market over the next few years?

2) What types of cloud-based jobs and related offshoots are expected to be in strong demand?

3) Where do cloud certifications fit in? What credentials are out there and how do employers feel about them?

4) What strategies can an IT professional keep in sight to stay “fresh” in this fast-changing area?

Job Impact of IT Outsourcing Recap

Job Impact of IT Outsourcing Recap

toon_119Outsourcing of business processes (BPO), including IT services and support, has been going on for many years. Our panel discussed the short-term and long-term impact to the US job market. Of course, this discussion extends beyond simply the number of jobs to the quality of the jobs and the ability to cultivate the tech talent here at home to satisfactorily fill those high-level IT positions. You can review the recap of our Tech Career Forum twitter chat that we held on Wed 2/13 at 3pm ET (#TCFchat) on Storify or at the Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Page. You’re welcome to post comments here as well.