Executive Job Market Trends & Analysis (aka “Will I Stay or Will I Go?”)

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Job Market Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

by Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

Good News for Some Technical Sectors

ExecuNet recently released some excerpts from their upcoming Job Market Intelligence Report for 2012. With a 14% increase in job placements (assignments) expected throughout 2012, the top 3 growth industries or sectors are projected to be 1) Healthcare, 2) Technology, and 3) Manufacturing. Of course, the number of technology-related positions in the healthcare and manufacturing segments has grown tremendously. So, for IT and technical candidates, this is a good sign for the upcoming year (check out some more 2012 figures).

6 Months for a Job Search Is the Norm

For executive-level candidates, slightly more than half (52%) thought about a job change over the past 12 months. For those candidates that are conducting a job search now or have taken part in a job search over the past year, the expectation was that it would take nearly 6 months to complete the job search but that it would yield a salary or total compensation package increase of about 13%. The 6-month time frame is consistent with the results over the past several years, so there weren’t any apparent “breakthroughs” during 2011, which confirms what most job seekers have believed about the job market in 2011.

So Will You Stay or Will You Go?

Finally, 70% of executives anticipated low or relatively low turnover for the remainder of this year. This statistic cuts two ways. First, the most common view is that people view this figure as a favorable indication that the economy and the job market (and unemployment) have stabilized. So, we shouldn’t expect to see major layoffs or large-scale downsizing initiatives across the board–although some are going to occur regardless of how high or low the market goes. Of course, one can point to the fact that most organizations have gone through their exercise of “right-sizing” to flesh out the dead weight, get lean, cut costs, etc. As a result, there is little need to do more cutting in 2012 unless the economy takes a major turn for the worse.
The second view–which still allows for the opinion above to be true–is that the expectation for little or low turnover is proof of just how tenuous the economy and job market really are. In our experience as resume writers and in the corporate world as hiring directors, when the economy is strong, people are more assertive in the job search. They hire resume writers to help them prepare the best possible document so that they reach for new heights and stretch for the dream job. When things are not looking strong, human nature is to hunker down, be cautious, play it safe, and weather the storm. People are more satisfied trying to hold on to what they have. In other words, for their own security, they decide to stay in their current job, thus reducing employment turnover expectations.

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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).

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The Résumé “Wow” Factor

Posted on December 3, 2008. Filed under: Resumes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Magic Formula

As résumé writers, we are amazed at the amount of time we spend discussing the “wow” factor with job seekers. If any concept has been oversold in regard to résumés, it is the idea that a résumé must take on an almost magical quality that casts a spell over the reader, transforming the average professional into the “must-have” candidate of the year!

Of course, this magical quality is a moving target because no one quite knows what the special combination is to unveil this secret spell, and of course, everyone seems to have a different idea of what it means.

Not to mention the plethora of materials that are out there just promising to either create this almost-mythical document for you or to help you create your own.

“Get yours to the top of the pile! Just say our magic chant 15 times, spin around twice, and embed these special keywords behind the text of your document, and employers will be mesmerized!”

Laugh, if you want, but deep down, it is what every job seeker is really looking for…something that will make it easy for them, something that will overcome the fact that, by and large, they are hard-working professionals just trying to create a solid career that they enjoy.

Casting Spells Doesn’t Work

Listen. We’ve seen a lot of résumés. Pretty ones. Flashy ones. Video ones. Two-column ones. Colorful ones. Conservative ones. Progressive ones. You name it.

Sorry to say, but flashy résumés have not really proven to be anymore effective than traditional professional obituaries. Both can seriously hurt a candidate’s chances if they fail to understand what really makes a résumé work.

It’s Not a Secret

So does this mean you can’t use color or get creative with a two-column masterpiece?

No, but a solid résumé must accomplish 3 things: (1) Utilize strong writing skills with solid action verbs, (2) organize the candidate’s information in such a way that a clear picture of the candidate is revealed (scope of knowledge and responsibility), and (3) be attractive without being offensive.

We all like things that look nice, but color isn’t what sells a candidate. Let the “wow” factor be in the strategy employed and in the quality of the writing.

On the other side of things, however, don’t be so rigid that you force the writer to prepare a cookie-cutter résumé (Times New Roman, 10-pt, with lots of bullets!!). You’ll just end up with something nondescript, that looks like it came from a Microsoft Word résumé template, and is not much better than anyone with decent grammar skills could produce.

Problem-Solving Is the Wow

Do you know what really is the “wow” factor for employers? A well-crafted document that highlights the specific skills and accomplishments that they are interested in, that solve the need or problem they have! Please don’t miss this point. It isn’t the skills/accomplishments that YOU are most proud of; it is the skills/accomplishments that THE EMPLOYER is most interested in for the type of position being filled.

Sadly, most job seekers (and even some résumé writers) are all worked up about the font and type size of the résumé and less concerned about whether they really have the right strategy in place to attract their audience. Yes, a résumé should look appealing, but if you can’t speak to your audience, then it is all just fluff and no “wow.”

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it! Or send us a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

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).

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