What Is a Job Search Agent Anyway [Revisited]

Posted on September 22, 2015. Filed under: Consulting/Contracting, Executive Job Search, International Job Seekers, Job Market Trends, Job Search Tips, Product Development |

job search

[NOTE: This post was first published in October 2014. Since then, we’ve witnessed a major transformation in our business from a resume-only shop to a full-service job search solutions firm. I’m proud to say that we’ve played a pivotal role in helping our clients establish strategic connections that have led to numerous interviews and job offers all around the world.

Just this week alone, we celebrated with one of our clients who finally realized a dream of moving his family to England from the U.S. It wasn’t a quick journey, but over the course of the past year, we helped him establish several key connections that led to interviews and finally an offer with a technology firm who didn’t even have an open listing when we first approached them on our client’s behalf! As our client remarked:

“You helped me get focused, get connected, and stay motivated during this process. It wasn’t easy, but together we persevered, and I know I would never have stuck with it if I had been on my own.” Jeff S., IT Project Manager

Experiences like this just continue to confirm for us the need for job search agent solutions in today’s market and why there’s no longer a need to “go it alone.”]

From October 2014:

This whole thing started when I heard someone emphatically “yell” over social media that he “would NEVER EVER use job search services.”

(Note to self: When someone starts “yelling,” and using extremes like “never” and “ever” (especially in all caps), that’s a very good sign there’s a need out there, probably more of one than you even realize….)

It has been my experience that we have the “kickers and screamers” of the world to thank for the rise and spread of innovation.

And I get it. Change is not always a good thing…or it certainly doesn’t seem like it is.

What we deem as “innovation” is not always what’s really best for us as individuals and as a society. So it’s fitting that we should have someones who kick and scream about it. The problem is that the more they kick and scream, the more they expose the truth:

Change isn’t just coming; it’s already here, and we have to deal with “what is” and not “what ought to be.”

So after my social media “friend” did his best to shout at the universe, going on to say that he knew everything that there was to know about job searching, that he was the best networker in the world, and that he was the master of Indeed.com, I knew then that I was on to something important. I had been looking at ways to move our company away from the traditional “resume-only” style of firm that could not really determine its ROI into one that could not just produce top-quality documentation but also play a part in the job search process for our client members.

Maybe, sadly, I wasn’t going to be able to help my social media friend here, but he did confirm for me that obviously there were other people I could help.

That’s when I met Sue.

(Well, actually, I already knew Sue, but I hadn’t realized that our paths would cross in such a significant way. So maybe I should say that I “re-met” Sue.)

If ever there were an answer to prayer, music to my ears, or a sight for sore eyes (you get the drift), Sue was it. Blending a unique background in managing both IT and telecom day-to-day operations with extensive hiring and recruitment experience for small/mid-sized organizations as well as for a prominent Fortune 1000 company, Sue has been up close and personal with HR, and has had to wade through layoffs, acquisitions, and corporate restructuring. (That means she’s a veteran of the job market zoo and has been so deep in corporate goo that nothing surprises her anymore!)

She was the exact person I was looking for to serve as our Job Search Agent at ITtechExec and NoddlePlace.

We had already transitioned to meet current job market demands with a successful “resume portfolio” approach. And after spending time as a career adviser to TechRepublic, Dice, and CIO.com, and seeing the confusion in the job search realm, especially when it came to tech, I knew we needed to develop solutions in that area to meet today’s reality. Too many candidates were approaching the market from an outdated perspective. So even if they had great documents, they didn’t have the proper job search approach to go with them.

We needed to find ways to move candidates, active and passive, out of the job board addictions they were in and into more proactive approaches.

So, together, Sue and I started shaping 4 “NoNonsense” job search solutions that she conducts on behalf of our client members once their resume portfolios and brand messaging has been developed. In other words, she isn’t there just to tell you how to do things (coach you); she actually participates in launching a portion of your job search on your behalf.

Perhaps the best part is that the 4 solutions Sue conducts are all meant to make it simple for you to move beyond the comfortably, but largely ineffective and demeaning, world of job boards and online postings. Using a 3-step model for each solution, called Write the Vision, Make It Plain, and Run With It, she guides you by:

  • Setting a strategic vision for your job search (putting together a practical, easy-to-follow plan for how/where to spend your time based on your goals and limitations. (Strategic Visioning Intro Session)
  • Matching you with recruiters who are best suited for you and your goals and helping introduce you to those recruiters. (Recruiter Matching)
  • Building strategic LinkedIn connections focused on your target industry and goals and helping you engage with those connections in a productive way. (LinkedIn Network Building)
  • Profiling employers who meet specific parameters set up for you and reaching out to contacts at those employers on your behalf. (Employer Profiling)

It’s been an amazing journey over the past year as we have successfully married our resume/brand messaging solutions to these job search “launch” solutions so that by the time you leave us not only do you have top-quality materials, but you also have some traction in your job search.

Just over the past few weeks:

  • I’ve witnessed two members get first and second interview invites for jobs NOT posted anywhere from our Employer Profiling solution.
  • I’ve watched Sue make a strategic connection for another member at a high-profile tech company through our LI Network Building solution that he has been trying to get in with for a long time. He now has had a couple informal informational interviews with this connection and has met a couple other contacts as a result.
  • And I’ve watched numerous others get connected with recruiters who are well aligned with their goals through the Recruiter Matching solution, not to mention the members who’ve walked away with a clear strategy for how they should spend their limited time and resources on their job search.

So although I know this post is a bit “promotional,” please bear with me. We’re all more than a bit excited! It’s hard not to be when you see such progress being made.

It’s what’s taken us from a traditional “resume-only” firm into a full-service job search firm that holds itself accountable for the work it does. We’re measuring our ROI, comparing against national averages, and seeing amazing results.

So although I wish my social media friend well with his “NEVER EVER” mantra, it’s awesome to see our members becoming part of that 5% who recognizes the hiring “zoo” we’re in and are willing to move out of the familiar and into today.

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!

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