Today’s Technical Job Market: Rules of Engagement Have Changed

Posted on October 30, 2013. Filed under: Career Management, Job Market Trends, Job Search Tips, Personal Branding, Resumes | Tags: , , |

Tecnical job searchWhether it is the technical résumé, promotion portfolio, or social media profile, techies need to articulate their “personal brand” message.

Increasingly, technical professionals must translate how their IT/technical skills and experience provide valuable solutions to business needs and deliver that personal brand message successfully across both traditional (résumé) and social (LinkedIn, etc.) media. Stephen Van Vreede, President of ITtechExec, a career services firm for IT/STEM professionals, says that “personal branding” often turns off many technical pros with its ties to product sales/marketing, but when done in an authentic way, it “should focus on offering solutions, the very thing employers look for.”

Van Vreede, a former telecom director who has been preparing résumés and promotion portfolios since 2001, has watched the demands of the job market evolve with the increasing influence of social media, especially LinkedIn. “Today, messaging is a key component in career advancement, whether you’re an active/passive job seeker or looking for internal promotion. Résumés still play an important role but in conjunction with your LinkedIn profile, web bio, and other social media engagement. You may want to avoid it, but doing so works against you.” As he points out, recruiters, employers, and colleagues use social media to vet their business contacts.

“Therefore, what you are communicating online is an important part of the current networking environment,” says Van Vreede. “And it is wise to prepare a strategy.” That is why ITtechExec, which caters exclusively to executive-level technical leaders, also hosts sister site NoddlePlace specifically for emerging IT/technical professionals. “Our goal at NoddlePlace is to help guide Gen-X/Y techies who until now haven’t given much thought to personal branding and online messaging, and to show them how it can be done in an authentic way.”

To do that, NoddlePlace showcases a writing team that specializes in IT infrastructure, network engineering, manufacturing, systems administration, telecommunications, programming/software development, and more. “Once the personal brand has been crafted, the next step is to build a résumé around that message and then carry that into the LinkedIn profile and beyond, like marketing briefs and personal website bios, creating a complete portfolio,” says Van Vreede, who has been quoted on industry sites like, TechRepublic, and Dice. “Companies want to recruit top technical talent, and therefore, there is a ‘war’ for this talent. The winners in this battle will be those who can do what is often hard for techies: communicate well on ‘paper’ and ‘online.’ Get the messaging right, and opportunities are out there.”

About ITtechExec/NoddlePlace

NoddlePlace is a division of ITtechExec, a premier career services firm for technical professionals. With ITtechExec guiding the careers of technical executives, NoddlePlace focuses on the career advancement of emerging IT/STEM pros, customizing personal brand messaging for résumés/cover letters, LinkedIn profile optimization, web bios, personal marketing/project highlight briefs, and more. Both ITtechExec and NoddlePlace also assist with technical recruiter matching campaigns.

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Tech Job Market: 2012 Year in Review

Posted on December 17, 2012. Filed under: CIO, Interviews, Recruiting, Resumes, Technology | Tags: , , , , , |

toon-10712012 has been an interesting year for the IT and tech industry. We are going to review some of the highlights…and lowlights… and discuss how these events may shape the year to come. We’ll also review what the events of 2012 mean to active and passive job seekers going into 2013.

Join the discussion and hear expert opinions this Wednesday 12/19 at 3pm ET on twitter at #TCFchat. You can start by posting comments here or on the Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page.

The discussion topics include:

1. What were some of the major tech layoffs in 2012? What does that mean for 2013?

2. Offshore outsourcing or insourcing? Which way is the US tech market headed and why?

3. How has the unemployment rate for the general market impacted the IT and tech markets? Are you optimistic about 2013?

4. What are some technologies and/or skills that are in high demand as we get ready to begin 2013?

5. What are the most important takeaways from the events of 2012 to help better position you as a candidate in 2013?


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2012 #Tech Job Market: To Stay or Not to Stay

Posted on September 26, 2012. Filed under: Job Market Trends | Tags: , |

by Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

Good News for Some Technical Sectors

ExecuNet released its Job Market Intelligence Report for 2012 not too long ago. 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

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