Programming

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 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?

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Hacker-Proof: How Next Big IT Push Relates to Your Next Job

Posted on February 3, 2015. Filed under: Career Management, Consulting/Contracting, Cyber Security, IT networking, Job Market Trends, Programming, Software Development |

security25In TechCrunch’s New Year’s Eve post on projected IT trends in 2015, venture capitalist Steve Herrod wrote “there will be hacks.” As we witnessed in 2014 with the major cyber attacks of the likes of eBay, Target, JPMorgan, and Sony, even the biggest companies are not immune to hacks. And, when you’re an IT professional, you aren’t immune from understanding how hacking happens and how to prevent it if you want to compete for the best jobs out there.

Whether data safety falls into your job duties or not, employers this year will be paying special attention to keeping their information hacker-free. Here is how you can leverage this information on the job market.

Know Your History

Are you staying up-to-date on current events in tech and IT? Show your future employer that you understand your field of expertise by staying up-to-date. Do your homework and contribute to the conversation online, with colleagues, or at networking events.

Know What You’d Have Done Differently

A great way of making an impression on potential employers is to take an example problem and walk them through your problem-solving process. Even if you don’t specialize in data security, use your skills and experience to create a solution to the problem — it shows not only your commitment to a hacker-free workplace, but a high level of investment in your field.

Know How to Relate Data Security to Your Job

Hacking creates an environment of fear wherein a company’s most valuable assets are no longer safe. Think of the problems that arise in your specific field that parallel this pain point. If you can relate how you would solve them, you’re speaking to one of your potential employer’s most deeply rooted concerns, which will separate you out from the crowd.

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How Many Certifications Do You Really Need?

Posted on January 13, 2015. Filed under: Career Management, Consulting/Contracting, Cyber Security, Engineering, Executive Job Search, Healthcare IT, International Job Seekers, IT networking, Job Market Trends, Product Development, Programming, Project management, Software Development, Technical Sales, Technology, Women in IT, Work Issues |

certificationsJob-changers and entry-level job-seekers alike all seem to have the same question: Should I spruce up my resume with extra certifications? And if so, how many do I need to get the job of my dreams?

The answer? It depends.

Of course, showing off your skills and education is a good thing — but so is real-world work experience. It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of certification-collecting rather than working towards the skills that will actually move your professional life where you want it to go. And because you don’t have infinite time, you need to prioritize the ways you develop professionally.

(You also want to be careful that you haven’t fallen into the Career Credential Addiction that seems to be pervasive these days.)

So, before you start raking in certification after certification, follow these three steps: take a reality check, do your research, and strategize.

Reality Check

What certifications do you actually need for your job? Don’t get waylaid by job ads that ask for lots of certs — oftentimes, they are in the “nice to have” category and not the “need to have.” Always consult your hiring manager before jumping right into a new cert just to apply to a few jobs. Be aware that lower-level certs are usually worth less to employers than high-level ones, so don’t accumulate the basics just to have a few letters after your name.

Remember: Unless you are in a profession that legally mandates certification before you can practice your craft, there’s often some wiggle room in getting hired for jobs that ask for them.

Research

Here’s a tip that will save you time, money, and headaches: Research the people who have the job that you want on LinkedIn. What certifications do they have? Don’t stop at just one or two  — look for multiple people across the country who have the job title you seek, and keep a record of what certifications they have to their name. But don’t stop your research there. Scan as many job ads and company websites as you can to see where the common ground is. Chances are, if you see the same certs popping up over and over again, they are worth your time.

Strategize

Once you have the lay of the land, it’s time to come up with a plan. Will your current employer pay for certifications? Find out. Do you need to join a professional organization before you can get the cert you need? Ask. Boil down your plan to just the essentials, and ask yourself if it’s worth it. Never forget that relevant work experience is almost always considered more valuable than certifications, so factor that into your plan. Can you take on a new project at work, or volunteer your skills to an organization in need? Be creative in your approach.

Remember, it’s the quality of certifications — not the quantity — that matters in your job search. There’s no magic number. Certifications are shorthand for knowledge, but they aren’t the only way to prove your skills to potential employers.

Get comfortable communicating about what you do, and use your certifications as evidence to back-up your claims — not the other way around.

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