Tag: technical resume

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.


Your Tech Job Search – The Real Skinny: You Don’t Have to Move to Silicon Valley to Find a Great Tech Job

Your Tech Job Search – The Real Skinny: You Don’t Have to Move to Silicon Valley to Find a Great Tech Job

Looking for the perfect tech job or IT job for you?

Your tech job search doesn’t have to be difficult or force you to relocate somewhere else across the country.

technical resume writer tech job searchWhen you’re frustrated with your tech job search, it’s tempting to think of moving to an area where it seems like people are getting hired left and right. But the truth is, you don’t have to move to California to get your dream tech job. In fact, there are several good reasons why you shouldn’t.

Take our native New York, for example. With major tech companies like Verizon, Time-Warner, IBM, and Siemens, the employment rate is growing at an annual increase of 3.08%, compared to the national average of 1.8%. And the jobs aren’t just opening up in New York City. CompTIA reports that there are 18,645 tech companies located throughout the state with an emerging abundance of openings in areas such as Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown.

With an average IT salary of $85,244, there are plenty of good reasons to stay in New York — the ninth-highest ranking state in terms of salary compared to all 50, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Convinced yet? Here are a few more great reasons to keep pounding the (local) pavement in your tech job search:

Avoid an over-saturated market.

In highly saturated markets like Silicon Valley’s, there may be more opportunity, but there’s also more competition for the available tech jobs and IT careers that are available..

Save yourself moving costs.

Unless you’re a top-ranking employee, most employers won’t cover moving costs, which can set you back a bundle — and twice that if you decide to move back.

Consider cost of living.

While Silicon Valley paychecks tend to be fatter, cost of living is dramatically higher than in most of New York. Your disposable income could flatline, or even decrease, depending on your job and where you live.

If you’re stuck in a rut with your tech job search, don’t pack up that moving truck just yet. Give us a call, and we’d be happy to work with you on finding a job that fits your IT career path and your ideal geographical location.


Problems-Solutions-Results: Is PSR Part of Your IT Resume Portfolio?

Problems-Solutions-Results: Is PSR Part of Your IT Resume Portfolio?

Although there are a variety of factors involved with any IT job search, in this particular case, the IT director who successfully landed a new position had something in his arsenal that made a big impact in each and every interview he engaged in: a PSR page. In addition to the standard IT resume sections like the IT executive summary and IT resume profile, the PSR page is vital.

#IT Candidates Highlighted

#IT Candidates Highlighted

Technical job search

At ITtechExec, our goal is to comprehensively assist professionals in their tech job search or IT job search. This includes fine-tuning their tech resume or IT resumes whenever needed.

One of our goals here at ITtechExec is to offer a value-added service to our customization of a complete messaging portfolio for our IT/technical clients in their tech job search or IT job search. We want to do that by reaching out across our well-developed network of technical recruiters, HR personnel, and career services leaders to highlight the prestigious backgrounds of our clients.

Many a technical recruiter and employers come to us looking for specific skills sets, and it is our aim to match our clients up with those needs.

Therefore, toward that effort, we will be starting a new segment to our blog that highlights some of our clients each week. We will be sharing this post across all of our network.

Anyone interested in an introduction to one of these clients should contact Stephen at Stephen@ittechexec.com directly.

Sales & Ops Exec leads explosive growth/turnarounds for service biz, builds winning teams/pragmatic solutions (in Philly/Central NJ)

  • Transforms sales organization and team culture
  • Streamlines sales processes and uses technology to increase sales productivity
  • Directs M&A, divestitures, new business unit incubation, market entry/exit, and product/service development strategy
  • Reverses historical flat or negative performance into sustained and highly profitable top-line sales growth
  • Harvard Business School Strategic Leadership Executive Program Graduate
  • Technical sales resume available – tech resume – technical resume

IT Director optimizes performance for project management, operations, governance, applications, etc. (in Northeast TX)

  • 20+ years of experience in technology operations leadership
  • Large-scale project management and program management background
  • Data center and server consolidation projects
  • Compliance, IT service delivery, security, and governance programs
  • Manufacturing, supply chain, inventory management, and forecasting technologies
  • Technology M&A integrations, offshoring, PMO development, and Big  Data/BI reporting solutions
  • IT Director resume available – IT resumesIT resume

Click here for full profile.

EMEA Technology Director, concept to delivery of innovative tech products/solutions with Executive MBA (in the Netherlands)

  • Multi-cultural schooling and professional experience
  • Fluent in 3 languages
  • Fosters business transformation, technology optimization, cost savings, and revenue growth
  • 17+ years of excellence in product development and delivery execution
  • Leads breakthrough new products and programs
  • Resume for IT professional available – IT resumetech resume

Software Engineering Manager, tech product innovation in applications, embedded software, real-time IP (in IL)

  • BSEE from #1 ranked undergraduate engineering school
  • 13+ years of engineering management experience
  • Creates a sense of urgency to drive and empower teams
  • Develops a clear vision and sets a clear objective to get all resources aligned on the same path
  • Designs common solution architecture for cutting-edge new products
  • Leads development using traditional and iterative/Agile methodologies
  • Senior software engineer resume – software engineer resume sample – technical resume example available

Click here for more details.

Healthcare Equipment/Medical Device Sales Executive with 13+ years of healthcare industry experience (in VT)

  • Led growth of capital medical equipment and consumables manufacturer from $25M to $168M over past 7 years
  • Launched new premium products that gained market value through pre-assembled, sterilized, and FDA validated offering with full regulatory compliance documentation
  • Collaborated with medical device manufacturers to develop new products and applications for 3D scanning and tracking devices
  • Technical sales resume available – tech resume – technical resume
How to Write Tech Resumes, IT Resumes, or Technology Resumes

How to Write Tech Resumes, IT Resumes, or Technology Resumes

Are You Certain About Your IT Resume?

We’ve created a simple way to find out! (Take Our Quiz!)

NoddlePlace_2Dear IT Pro,

If you’re like most professionals today, the idea of making a career move is a bit daunting. The market is, well, uncertain. It often penalizes you for things you can’t control, like age, gender, too much experience, too little experience. And to top it off, corporate hiring practices are a bit of a mess, despite all the efforts to streamline them.

So it is no surprise then that most IT pros are looking for simplicity and certainty when it comes to their next IT job search, and they’re hoping the main document, the resume, is going to provide that. So they scour the Internet looking at resume sample after resume sample, and read up on all the latest resume gimmicks and trends.

Although all that is fine, after awhile it can make your head spin, and you often don’t feel any more certain than when you started.

What works, and why does it work?

Simplified. Targeted. Certain.

My name is Stephen Van Vreede, and I overcome uncertainty everyday for my senior-level client members as an Executive IT Résumé Writer and Job Search Specialist, as well as a Technical Career Adviser to several news/industry outlets, like TechRepublic, Dice, the Linux Foundation, and CIO.com. I’m also co-author of UNCOMMON with renowned speaker and career coach Brian Tracy (due out June 11, 2015).

uncommon the book with stephen van vreedeAlong with my team of writers and concierge job search agent, from established “techies” (15+ years), to those who lead software/systems development initiatives, to project/program managemers (PMP), to IT strategy visionaries like CIOs and CTOs, and many others in between, they all have one thing in common, most likely the same thing you’re looking for:

To feel certain when you conduct your next career move that you are ready for the market and well positioned to meet its demands (not to hope you are or think you are but to have a level-headed, frank understanding of the market and your place in it).

That’s why after working with hundreds of clients each year, and after reporting on the technical job market to several industry news outlets, my team and I have put together a very simple, anonymous, self-assessment quiz designed to determine whether the IT resume you’ve put together should bring you a level of certainty (or peace of mind) that you are well positioned for the market.

How can an 8-question quiz do all that?

Easy. It looks at a key ingredient in resume design: priorities. If you understand what the priorities should be for the technical job market, then you will build a resume that meets them. If you don’t, then you won’t. You’ll build it for a different set of priorities.

Based on our experience working with hundreds of technical leaders each year, helping them to craft resume and personal brand messages, as well as provide concierge job search solutions, if you can score 80% or better on our quiz, then you are on your way to a simplified, targeted, and certain career move. If not, then there’s some work to be done, no matter how eye-catching your IT resume is or no matter how much you like it.

So, give it a shot. Take the quiz below and find out. It’s free, quick (less than a minute), and anonymous.

IT Resume Tips: IT Candidates Need to Highlight Team Experience

IT Resume Tips: IT Candidates Need to Highlight Team Experience

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

IT Team Environments

IT job search sites helpful or hurtful 3The business landscape has changed dramatically for IT over the past few years. The days of IT folks or departments operating in a vacuum are gone, never to return. Although this is a good development for business as a whole, it has required a change to the way IT works.

IT professionals must have the ability to directly engage business leaders, users, and process owners. This direct interaction is designed to eliminate the gaps in communicating needs and requirements that have plagued the business in the past.

The IT Resume

IT candidates must be able to communicate their ability to work well in collaborative team environments on the resume. Employers and recruiters today expect IT professionals to possess this skill. But simply stating that you’re a “team player” is not good enough. Everyone says that. They want the candidate to prove it in the meat of the resume.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

The HR Dilemma with IT

The HR Dilemma with IT

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

Defining the Role of HR

HR serves many purposes in the corporate world. In most cases, HR helps to set strategy, plan the organizational model, define roles and responsibilities, set compensation levels, manage employee relations, handle orientation (or onboarding as it’s now called), ensure employment compliance, and monitor regulatory and legislative reforms. However, to the business or operating teams, HR is really in place to help them recruit, hire, train, and retain high-quality talent. For IT organizations or departments, the function of attracting, hiring, and keeping technical talent is more specialized than most other operating areas. Thus, IT presents HR with some unique challenges in this regard.

The IT perception of HR

In most corporations, HR is viewed by the IT team as an impediment to achieving their objectives. True or not, this seems to be the prevailing attitude from IT operators about HR. It seems that HR departments, or at least the HR representatives that engage directly with the IT team, are more focused on mitigating liability than anything else. These liabilities include equal employment opportunity (EEO) lawsuits, wrongful firing cases, sexual harassment cases, and the like. Human Resources takes a firm stance that the IT group cannot fire someone without reams of documentation. They are very committed to this. Yet, when it comes time to hire people so that IT can support and enable the business, there seems to be no sense of urgency.

Truth or reality?

So what’s real and what’s perception here? Experience indicates that it’s a bit of both. The real issue stems from the Information Technology Department’s unclear understanding of everything HR must do as well as HR’s unclear picture of what IT truly needs to be effective.


Really, it all boils down to communication and goal alignment. IT executives must come to the realization that it is one of their primary responsibilities to cultivate a strong working relationship with HR. In this way, HR executives can relate to their team the importance of the manner and expediency with which they recruit and hire for IT. Furthermore, this collaboration between HR and IT must extend to the onboarding and organizational development initiatives as well as compensation. Only by a joint effort will the company be able to generate a strong base of technical talent that is compensated appropriately, well equipped, with a clear sense of purpose and a career direction within the company that impels them to stay and incents them to perform to the utmost of their abilities.

IT executive, start building this kind of relationship with your HR executive today. The fruits of your labor will be rewarding.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

Job Interview Fundamentals

Job Interview Fundamentals

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)


job search IT cartoon 3In a prior post, we talked about the importance of effectively communicating your personal brand message during an interview (Personal Branding and the Interview: Closing the Loop). This post, however, focuses on some of the fundamentals of an interview that people can’t seem to grasp. If they do, they simply have a difficult time putting the skills into practice.

The Basics

The purpose of the interview for most employers is generally two-fold.

  1. Employers want to confirm that the person they meet matches the one depicted in the resume.
  2. Employers want to get a glimpse into the personality, communication skills, confidence, character, and other traits beyond a candidate’s experience and education (i.e., things not evident in a resume).

Every question an interviewer asks will help shed light on the latter. Questions targeted to a candidate’s experience and achievements are meant to identify back-tracking or hedging. When a candidate back-pedals regarding information in the resume, the interviewer takes that as a sign that it didn’t really happen or that the candidate’s contribution was embellished.

Interview Signals

I mentioned that every response a candidate provides offers a glimpse into their personality, character, etc. Many factors contribute to how the interviewer receives the candidate: favorably or unfavorably. Candidates can prepare for interviews and work on how they will be perceived. Some of the key factors include:

  • Attire
  • Posture
  • Eye Contact
  • Tone of Voice
  • Vocal Clarity
  • Body Language (including nervous habits, arm/hand motions, etc.)
  • Length of Responses

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).