How to Get a Whole Lot More Than Just Another IT Resume

Posted on February 17, 2015. Filed under: CIO, Consulting/Contracting, Cyber Security, Healthcare IT, IT networking, Job Market Trends, Programming, Project management, Resumes, Software Development, Women in IT |

When it comes to the hiring process, 95% of professionals spend their time worrying about, and focusing on, credentials. Not surprisingly, then, they end up creating, or looking for writers who will create, resumes focused on showcasing lists of credentials backed by experience.

On the surface, this makes sense, especially when you do what most rational people would do, and that is listen to what companies are saying when it comes to their ideal candidates. After all, they say they want someone with X experience and X credentials, so why wouldn’t you produce documents that tell them you have exactly that, right?

Well, how many times have you or someone you know applied for positions that you were 100% qualified for and did not get the job, maybe not even a call or an interview?

It happens all the time. The reason?

Because companies are human too! And us humans have a habit of saying one thing and doing another.

And when you look at what companies do in regard to hiring, what you find is that they respond more to benefits than they do to features. In other words, while they like all the credentials and experience you list out on your resume, those things are most often not what persuades them to hire you.

Instead, they are looking for how all those credentials and skills can be leveraged to make their lives better. And they don’t want to have to connect the dots.

That’s where your IT resume comes in…it must begin the process of connecting the dots. Then it must be reinforced by additional content (what we refer to as a portfolio) and a holistic job search strategy that completes the connection.
The result? You get a whole lot more than “just” another IT resume. You get an approach that is proving to be much more effective.

To find out more about the IT resume portfolio approach we take, and why we take it, feel free to request:

Technical Resume Portfolio Sample.p.1


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. Contact Stephen directly at or send him an invite at 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?

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Kick In the Pants: How to Navigate Workplace Politics

Posted on January 27, 2015. Filed under: Career Management, CIO, Women in IT, Work Issues |

toon476No matter how hard we try to get away from the drama of IT and tech office politics, they have a way of sneaking up on us. Whether you’re just starting a new job or you’re working your way up the ladder, it’s essential to know how to handle your specific workplace environment. No two companies handle their politics the same way. Fortunately, there are a number of best practices that can help you keep your head above water no matter where you work — the important part is to put them into play and avoid letting drama get the better of you.

Neutrality, Above All Else

The more important the topic at hand, the more things seem to devolve into an “us versus them” mentality. Your coworkers will want you to take a side and join them in their crusade. As enticing as this may seem — especially if you really do favor one side over the other — don’t give in. Sometimes staying neutral can strain certain relationships; as long as you feel confident that it won’t break them, stick to your guns. Make it clear to everyone that you understand where both sides are coming from.

**Of course, this doesn’t mean you lack the ability to be passionate or “fight” for what you believe in. The point here is to make sure you pick the battles worth fighting, and more often than not, the corporate “goo” is not the right battle.**

Do Your Recon Work

When you’re new to a job, one of the first things you should do is understand the workplace politics landscape. What topics, behaviors, and opinions are off-limits? A great way to crack this nut is by simply observing. Keep a close eye on what is causing stress or discomfort in your office, and take note if you see a pattern emerging. More often than not, a week or two of observation will give you plenty of information to go on.

Pinpoint Your Office Advocates & Adversaries

Everybody has them: your work friends and work foes. It pays to sort out who is who early on. The same way we have professional networks outside of our jobs, we have networks inside, too. Building strong relationships with your coworkers is a given. Pay attention to the people you’re unable to relate to on a personal or professional level, especially if you observe them involved in your workplace drama. Unfortunately, some people are naturally more drawn to chaos, and you will want to stay out of their path as best you can.

Be Forthright and Open

Mistakes happen. If you find that you’ve committed a blunder at your workplace, own up to it and make amends. Likewise, ask directly if there are any keys to preventing future gaffs. Show that you’re willing to learn from your mistakes and “play nice” in your office politics game.

Never Take It Personally

It can be a challenge to separate yourself from your job, and office politics do feel awfully personal at times. Remember that politics are most often the result of people wanting to do the best job they can, and that you’re all working toward the same goals. Even when it feels personal, remember that it’s your role — not you — in question.

When it comes to politics in the workplace, do your homework and choose to be the better person, and you’ll be on the right track for this and future jobs.

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The Real Skinny on Ageism

Posted on January 15, 2015. Filed under: Career Management, CIO, Consulting/Contracting, Executive Job Search, Job Market Trends, Job Promotion, Job Search Tips, Personal Branding, Resumes |

ageismAge discrimination is a delicate subject, but not talking about it won’t solve the problem. One of the lesser-known truths about it is that — yes — there is something you can do about it.

Today the tech and IT worlds are more youth-obsessed than ever, largely because younger workers tend to be cheap, smart, and “fresh.” On the other hand, age discrimination also exists for people perceived as too young to work certain types of jobs. If being too young is problematic and being over 40 merits legal protection against ageism, does that mean there are only 15-odd years to have a career between college and middle age?

Of course not.

Experience matters. Age discrimination is illegal and should absolutely be reported, and there are many unfortunate examples of employees being frozen out of their careers while they are still in their prime. And because it’s so difficult to prove ageism, reporting it won’t always solve the problem. Yet older workers have an edge — years of real-world experience — and nobody can take that away.

So how can you leverage your experience to prove you’re the best one for the job?

First, stay at the top of your game. Settling into your job is never an option, no matter how old you are. Do you read industry publications and regularly brush up on professional skills? If not, start now. Second, focus on your company or potential employer’s pain points. Are you actively working to solve problems? Regardless of age, companies want the person who can exceed their expectations. And finally, take a good look at your company to see how they treat employees your age and older. If you don’t like what you see, plan a career move well ahead of time. Look for small to midsize companies with a good track record of senior-level employees, and tell them exactly how you can contribute to their business.

The final step? Speak up. Use your experience to make the working world a more fair and just place by reporting instances of age discrimination. Focus on being the best employee you possibly can be — not your age — and don’t let other people’s prejudice mar your career.

For more on this subject, check out Retiring from Retirement.

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