In 2014 Tech Job Market, Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Posted on December 10, 2013. Filed under: Career Management, Programming, Software Development, Technical Infographics | Tags: , , , |

ProgrammingIn my last couple posts, “Why Our Programming Knowledge Needs an Upgrade” and “Now That Techies Are Cool“, I have been emphasizing the need for basic understanding of programming that has quickly become  a requirement for all staff (tech and non-tech alike) at many tech companies. As I mentioned in those posts, you don’t necessarily need to become an advanced programmer, but you should be able to talk the talk. In other words, ignorance of what it takes for engineers and programmers to build the back end of a project by the sales team or marketing staff is no longer acceptable. For example, if a client asks how long a project build is going to take, it helps to understand something about the challenges involved in coding that type of project before you answer, and it helps to know what  makes your company tick…literally.

Getting Educated

With so many tools out there, finding resources to help you get better acquainted with the various programming languages should not be difficult. The infographic provided here by Pythonforbiologists.com is a great example. Dabbling in Python would be a great place to start. Learning about APIs would be another.

Figure Out What Isn’t Working

Who knows…maybe brushing up on your knowledge of computer code will even help you on the personal branding/career management side. With the plethora of job openings in the tech industry, and a shortage of talent (aka “a shortage of talent that the companies want”), it pays to listen to what they are asking for, despite whether you have hands-on tech experience or not.

So fix the errors. Take a course. Learn the lingo. Speak Geek.

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. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (check out his exclusive offer). 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) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You?

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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 CIO.com, 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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3 Simple Methods for Effective Techie Career Branding

Posted on May 16, 2012. Filed under: Job Search Tips, Personal Branding | Tags: , , |

Effective Technical Career Branding

Technical Career Branding

I’ve talked quite a bit lately about the importance of personal branding and leveraging social media in a technical career.  Today, I want to cover 3 simple things that techies can do to improve on their career branding message. (And these are not just for active job seekers, but for happily-at-the-moment-employed techies as well.)

1. Get a technical resume makeover (and keep it updated)

I know what you’re thinking…the resume is dead, right? For some social media fanatics, perhaps. They would like to think that social media has replaced any and all traditional methods. But to hiring managers and recruiters, resumes are still a must. TechRepublic, a highly respected news source for IT/technical info, issues a technical resume makeover pretty regularly that you can follow for tips. Of course, we have tons of tips here as well (Technical Resume Keywords and ATS Systems, IT Resume and Personal Brand Strategy, and Executive IT Resumes: How Far Back Do You Go?).

2. Take a chance with your LinkedIn profile

Once you’ve read one LI profile, you’ve read them all. Now, I am not suggesting that you go off the deep end; after all, LI is a stuffier place than Twitter or Facebook, but just because the air might be thicker there doesn’t mean it all has to be the same. It’s a common mistake people make with their resumes, and now I see it with LI profiles as well. Having a solid branding message will help with that, though, because if done right, you are going to be focusing on the unique skill sets that you have and presenting yourself in that light.

2. Join a Twitter chat

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I keep harping on this…and for good reason. If you’re not going to do anything else on Twitter (and we can certainly debate the merits of that), you should at least jump in and participate in a chat or two on a somewhat regular basis. The key is showing up at the most effective chats. I’ve highlighted the following chats before, and I will list them again (you can usually find me at one or both of them):

  • #ITchat (Tues., 1pm, Eastern): Each week this chat covers a different topic related to IT.
  • #TCFchat (Wed., 3pm, Eastern): Hosted by the Tech Career Forum, this chat covers issues related to career and job search, from resume to personal branding to the state of the IT job market. You can learn more about the Tech Career Forum and #TCFchat on LinkedIn. You can also find out about the latest questions/topics for the upcoming Wednesday chat.

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 on our solutions. 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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