IT Candidates & Tech Jobs: What’s the Disconnect?

Posted on March 24, 2012. Filed under: Job Market Trends, Job Search Tips | Tags: , , , , |

IT candidatesby Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

Top 4 Reasons

So much is made today about the fact (or myth) that there aren’t any technical jobs out there. What I have heard from employers (and found to be true) is that they simply cannot find quality candidates to fill technical openings they have been trying to fill for quite some time. A current sampling of the technical jobs site Dice.com finds more than 83,000 job openings as of February 7, 2012.

Why the disconnect? Here are my top 4 reasons:

  1. Lack of Training: Many technology candidates simply don’t have the training required in the necessary skill sets to qualify them for the openings that are out there. Very few are willing to go out and get that training (on their own, if need be) to position them for that next great opportunity.
  2. Subpar Academic Framework: Our schools and universities today are failing our true technical candidates. The push in recent years has been for colleges and universities (either brick-and-mortar or online institutions) to offer “technology” degrees. They end up teaching a lot of unapplied theory that corporate technology leaders don’t value, because they have not seen it translate into real-life results.
  3. Ineffective Resume: Some candidates do have the sought after experience, skills, and knowledge. However, many don’t know how to market those traits effectively on their resume to be seriously considered for the opportunities. One example is the generic resume. A job seeker wants a resume that works for many different roles, but makes it so general that they are not strong in any one area. Of course, when an employer is hiring, they are doing so for a specific role, not a general one, rendering the resume ineffective.
  4. Poor Job Search Skills: Finally, many job seekers simply don’t know how to look for jobs in the right way. More than 50% still use job sites like Monster, Indeed, or CareerBuilder exclusively. Although lots of jobs are posted on these sites, that’s not where the real action is. There are so many other, more effective channels that a job seeker can employ to identify and secure a great job.

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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Technical Resumes: The Real Skinny by @ITtechExec

Posted on March 21, 2012. Filed under: Resumes | Tags: , , , , |

by Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

So, here it is:

Most resume writers don’t want to write technical resumes.

So they either 1) avoid the IT/technical candidate like the plague or 2) they forge ahead with your resume thinking you are just like every other type of candidate, except in a different field.

Recently, I attended a conference packed with resume writers, where I was to help facilitate a small group forum regarding technical resume writing. The silence was deafening. I could hear crickets chirping from miles away. No one wanted to talk about it because no one wants to write those types of resumes.

It’s an odd perspective if you think about it because the STEM fields right now are the ones most looking to hire! Just check out the latest 2012 figures.

Why don’t these resume writers want to write them?

Resume writing is basically built on a volume-based premise. The more you write, the more you make. Certain fields require more finesse than others, to put it bluntly, and that finesse takes time to learn and craft. And speaking Geek is, frankly, not in everyone’s vocabulary.

What makes a technical resume so different?

Many people think that the problem with CIO resumes or IT project manager resumes is the jargon, but in my mind, the real challenge is in positioning the candidate for the role/environment he or she is targeting. Titles like “project manager” and “CIO” are not universal across companies and balancing technical knowledge against operations management experience requires some strategy. Is the company looking more for a strict manager who can oversee technical operations, a technical guru who can also manager, or some other combination?

So what should the technical job seeker look for in a resume writer?

Technical candidates need to be asking potential writers about their background writing in their field, what approach they take to technical resumes, and what rate of return they are seeing for their clients. Obviously, my company, ITtechExec, focuses on resume writing for STEM candidates, so of course, I have some agenda in plugging what we do. But there are other technical writers out there who have made it their passion to work with candidates like you, and it is worth making the investment.

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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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.

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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