J Patrick + Associates Blog

Update Your Resume So It's Ready When You Need It

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Oct 03, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

Update_Your_Resume.png

 

Remembering to update your resume is just one of those things everyone intends to do, but really, who ever gets around to it? That is until the day when you need it, and you need it fast. So, if you’re like most people, you dust off the old resume, throw your most recent experience in at the top and you get it out the door without a second thought.But while your efforts may have been expedient, they are far from expeditious. You are not showing yourself in the very best light. We know that most recruiters will spend an average of 6 seconds (6 seconds!!!) looking at your resume. You could be the most qualified person on earth for a position, but if your resume is not up to snuff then you run the very real risk of being overlooked.

 

Let’s run through some simple, easy ideas to help you avoid the last minute rush, and keep your resume up to date so it’s ready when you need it.

 

Mark Your Calendar

Think about the things you do on an annual or bi-annual basis. Dental cleaning, spring cleaning, rotating the tires on your car. We have built in reminders for all these chores; the dentist office rarely lets you leave without booking your next appointment in advance, spring has a funny way of making us WANT to clean out the closets, and your mechanic (if they’re worth their salt) will practically insist on rotating the tires at every oil change.

Why not create a built-in reminder to update your resume? My suggestion would be to use something that happens every year, or even better yet, twice a year. Daylight saving time might be the perfect candidate, this way it can become something other than the bane of parents of young children and anyone who dreads losing an hour of sleep every March.

So on Sunday, November 6, set a reminder, check the batteries in the smoke alarm and sit down to clean up your resume.

 

Clear The Clutter

When you’re an entry-level professional, it’s common practice to pad your resume with references, club affiliations and college accolades. But once you enter the workforce, all that padding needs to be stripped away. For the first few years you should still maintain a focus on your education, relevant internships and other skills you developed along the way but be certain to keep your most recent experience at the top.

Once you’re further along your career path, your resume must focus on only the most recent 10-15 years of experience. Be certain to edit out any skills, affiliations, college awards and outdated certifications that are no longer relevant. You might be attached to that Certified Novell Engineer cert you worked so hard to earn, but all it will tell potential employers and recruiters is that you are way behind the times.

 

Build The Perfect Ice Cream Cone

So what exactly does ice cream have to do with your resume? Well, just as all the good stuff is at the top of an ice cream cone, that has to be the case with your resume as well. Devote the majority of real estate to your most recent experience detailing projects, presentations and quotas met or surpassed. It’s here at the top that recruiters and hiring managers want to hear about accomplishments, and read stats from your last quarter. Providing the meat of your abilities (pardon the mixed metaphors) at the top, where the eye is naturally going to go, allows the folks looking you over to get the best snapshot of your current skill level.

As you move further away from the present, descriptions and lists of responsibilities become briefer. However, this isn’t the place to generalize. Providing dynamic descriptions of your past positions paints a much richer and fuller picture of you than a rote listing of job titles.

 

Practice Monthly Maintenance

When you are updating your resume there’s nothing worse than trying to remember how a specific project went down, or where on earth you filed those stats. In order to avoid a rush job, or trying to weed whack your way through your memory, I’d suggest you maintain a log of ongoing and completed projects, sales or installations. Not only will the information be at your fingertips when you need it, but you are more likely to remember the details better if you’ve kept a chronicle of  it in writing.  

Just as you make it your business to stay current with certifications, training and the most recent trends in your sector because it makes you a better employee and candidate for when you are ready to move up to your next job, keeping your resume up to date is part of career maintenance.

November will be here before you know it. Time to get ready for daylight saving time, now known as resume brush up day!

 

Related Blog:

3 WAYS I KNOW YOU MAY BE LYING ON YOUR RESUME


New Call-to-action

Tags: Job Search, Resume Optimization

How To Know If A Company Is The Right Fit For You

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Sep 26, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

How_To_Know_If_A_Company_Is_the_Right_Place_For_You_3.png

The savvy candidate knows that the interview is an opportunity to not only be vetted by a hiring manager, but also to vet the company. Think of the interview as a fact finding mission not only about the position, but also about the company culture. The job you're interviewing for may be everything you want, but is the company? 

Here are some important clues to look for when interviewing, and can help you decide if a company is the right fit for you. 

 

Lobby Life

Arriving early for an interview is always good advice - it prevents rushing into a meeting flushed or frazzled - but it also allows you some time to watch the company at work. Consider the lobby as a window into a company’s soul - take this moment to look around and listen.

Are employees friendly toward strangers and each other, or are they rushing about with sour expressions? Is the receptionist rude and dismissive or does he greet you with a smile? You’re not looking for a Stepford Wives experience here, but you will get an idea of what daily life is like just by sitting in the lobby and watching the flow of people in and out.

 

Your Network Knows

Just as you might research a potential employer on Crunchbase to better understand their growth, funding and growth trajectory, you need to mine your social connections to find out what it’s really like on the ground. Contact 1st or 2nd degree LinkedIn connections who have worked for, or do work at the company. Write them a polite note explaining that you have an interview set up and would love to ask them a few questions.

Keep your inquiry specific to their experience. You’re looking to hear what kind of person thrives there, what the feel in the office is like, how do they perceive the work culture, and do they find it a good place to work.

A word of caution: this is not an expedition to weed out office dirt -  what you’re looking for is a peek into the culture.

 

Separate The Wheat From The Chaff

Company policy is one thing, how it’s actually implemented a whole other. It’s all fine and well for an employer to state that they support employees working from home, or that they always try to promote from within. But whether or not they actually operate in accordance to these policies is what you need to be looking for. Ask for specific examples of people who have moved up the ranks, as well as attrition rates.

Who leaves and after how long can tell you a whole lot about the tenor of the company.

Be watchful also for aspirational policies - perhaps they are programs a young start-up might hope to one day implement but are not in the position to follow through on at this time. If this is the case you’ll have to weigh the company they are against the company they hope to be, and decide if it’s worthwhile.

 

What It's Like Interviewing For A Company Is What It's Going To Be Like To Work For Them

The interview process can take a very long time from start to finish, in fact according to a recent article in Fast Company, a software engineer may have to endure 35 days or more during the interview process. So judging a company by how long they take to make a hiring decision may not be the best metric.

What you do need to look at is how they operate during the interview. A company's vetting and hiring processes are highly valuable data sets to consider. Everyone knows first impressions matter, but when considering a new employer, it’s the 2nd, 3rd and 4th impressions that reveal how the company operates on a day to day basis.

Keep your eyes open throughout the hiring process to make certain that the company is a good fit for you. For more on company culture, read here.

 

Related Blogs:

EMPLOYER BRANDING IS THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL RECRUITING

 New Call-to-action

Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews

How To Get The Best LinkedIn Recommendations

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

Get the best linkedIn Recommendations

 

We often think our first opportunity to make a good impression is during the pre-screen phone call, or when we walk into the office for an interview. But the truth is, employers, recruiters, even customers are checking us out online long before the point of first contact. Your LinkedIn profile very well may be optimized and vibrant, but people are looking for social proof that what you say about yourself is true. And if you're not optimized yet, read here and here for how to get the most out of your profile. 

Just as like the restaurant in Duluth that claims to make the best pizza needs reviews on Yelp to validate and support their claims, you need recommendations to bolster and shine your reputation.

 

First Things First

Follow these steps to request LinkedIn recommendations:

From your LinkedIn profile, hover over View Profile As

Choose Get Recommendations

Choose What Do You Want To Be Recommended For from the drop down

Choose Who Do You Want To Ask from your contacts.

You can choose up to 3 contacts at a time, but I'd caution you against it. Personalize your request and avoid the automated asks.

 

Choose Wisely

Endorsements on LinkedIn are the equivalent of a thumbs up on your profile. They’re a friendly way of saying, ‘yes this person does what they say they do.’ But they don’t carry much weight. So while you might collect endorsements from anyone who clicks an automated prompt, recommendations are a different animal, and need to be well considered.

Ask people who know you well, who’ve been in the trenches with you and have seen you shine. Someone who has seen you step up in a crisis, sat on a committee you led, or co-managed a project with you is best equipped to speak to your strengths.

Bonus Points: Recommendations also show up on the profile of the recommender as searchable text, thereby further increasing your social currency.

 

Be Specific In Your Ask

Once you’ve identified who to ask, now you need to get specific. While you can use the LinkedIn tool to make contact, we’d recommend that you write a separate email. There’s a better chance of your request being seen via direct mail, than through LinkedIn, and you want to avoid generating several asks.

When composing your note, know that a generalized “will you write me a recommendation” will, at best, garner you a generalized note, leaving you with enthusiastic, yet horribly generalized recommendation. While well intentioned, these kinds of recommendations leave you sounding the Manchurian Candidate: “Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.” A faceless,non-specific "great" guy.

Remind your recommender of a specific problem you solved for them, or the time you took the lead on a particularly difficult project. Giving them guidance on what skills or traits you are looking to be recommended for will help them craft a more meaningful letter.

Pro-Tip: Recommenders must be a 1st degree LinkedIn connection for their words to carry the weight you need them to.

 

Variety Is The Spice of LinkedIn

You want the recommendations to reflect the breadth of your career, so ask an equally wide variety of people in different capacities. Think about former managers, colleagues, customers, project team mates, and yes C-level executives. While C-level executives are valuable recommenders, though leaders can be just as powerful. Be certain to also consider contacts outside of work, perhaps people who have done service with you in the community or other volunteer work.You want to present the well-rounded person you are, so make sure to cover your work life from all angles.

Bonus Points: Recommendations also show up on the profile of the recommender as searchable text, thereby further increasing your social urrency.

 

Give Thanks

While your contacts may be more than help to take the time to write about you, it is time out of their day. Once you’ve received the recommendation, and seen it go live, take the time to write to your contacts to thank them. An email is lovely, but a handwritten note is even better. And always offer to return the favor. Not everyone is comfortable asking for other people’s time, so make it easy for them to get a piece of yours. And always be certain to act in a timely manner -- don’t wait for 3 weeks to pass before extending your gratitude.

When you get the right kinds of recommendations from the right kinds of people, you're well on your way to providing that all important social proof and enhancing your online brand.

 

Related Blogs:

LINKEDIN PROFILE CHECKLIST - 10 STEPS TO GET YOU STARTED 

7 SIMPLE LINKEDIN PROFILE UPDATES TO ATTRACT RECRUITERS 


New Call-to-action





 

Tags: Job Search, Networking

How to Rescue Your Interview from a Bad First Impression

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Sep 06, 2016 @ 03:30 PM

How to rescue your interview from a bad first impression

 

First impressions matter. In fact, they are more powerful than facts. Research has shown that we form our most lasting impressions of someone within the first 5 seconds of meeting them and that we rarely change these initial ideas even in the face of hard evidence.

5 seconds.

 

That’s hardly enough time to walk in the door of an interview and take your seat, let alone make a strong case why you’re the best candidate for the job. But, it is enough time to blow an interview. Stumbling over a bump in the carpet, offering up a weak handshake, poor eye contact, or misjudging your wardrobe can all cost you dearly.

Prevailing wisdom dictates that it takes at least 8 positive interactions to overcome a bad first impression. And while that may sound insurmountable, the good news is there are some things you can do to hit the reset button and reverse your losses.

 

TAKE A CUE FROM PERFORMERS

Think back to the last time you were watching a live performance and a dancer slipped, or an actor flubbed their lines. The dancer who seamlessly continues on with the choreography or the actor who allows the gaffe play in their favor often winds up as audience favorites. It’s the ones who pull a face or get so flustered they can’t find their place that loses the audience’s favor - something no amount of raw talent can make up for.

Handling mistakes with grace goes a long way to mitigate their potential damage. Allow yourself a brief moment to recover, make a small joke or offer a polite apology appropriate. What is important is to dust yourself off and get back to the business at hand. You’re there for a reason - to get the job - now is the time to focus on that.  

 

REMAIN POSITIVE

Running yourself down or trying to overcompensate with ongoing apologies will only serve to highlight your flaws. Unless you’ve been summarily dismissed from the interview, you still have the opportunity to turn things around. It’s important that you turn your attention from yourself and your embarrassment and toward your interviewer.

Demonstrating that you are flexible and can bounce back from setbacks is attractive to potential employers- use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your resilience.

 

PIVOT

Now is the time to return the full force of your focus on the interview. Leave the mistakes behind and communicate in an open, expressive manner. Let the interviewer see who you are and your core competencies. Shine a light on what you bring to the company and try to help them see you in a new.

A word of caution: Don’t push. Overcompensating with only serve to further alienate yourself and could do even greater damage than the original slip-up.

 

FIND COMMON GROUND 

Even a bad first impression can be softened if you and the other person share something in common. It is more difficult to affirm the negative ideas we formed when confronted by similarities. If you and your interviewer share a point of view or interest, they are less likely to hold their initial reaction against you.

 

CLOSE STRONG

 Just as first impressions are important, the end of an interview can have lasting effects. Arriving prepared, having done your homework and presenting your interviewer with well-considered solutions can help stem the tide that was flowing against you. There’s no reason to allow a poor beginning to set the tone for the entire interview- you’ve come to sell yourself, don’t sell yourself short.

 

LET IT BE

There are also those things that are outside of your control. All that you can do it make certain that you are professional, and have communicated the value you bring to any position clearly. Focus on the things that are in your control and let the blunders and mistakes be your teachers for future interviews. After all, if you chose to wear grey shoes to an interview and the hiring manager absolutely detests grey shoes, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Aside from wearing neutral black next time.

 

 

 

New Call-to-action

J. Patrick & Associates, Inc is an Executive Recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Management, Sales, Marketing and Technical roles within Information Technology markets. We have over 20 years of experience recruiting in every aspect of AV/VTC/UC, Application, Storage, Information/Network Security, Mobile Technologies and Telecommunications.

Tags: Job Search, Networking, Job Interviews

8 Pro-Tips To Make Relocating For A Job Easy(ier)

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

how to Relocate for a Job

 

Congratulations! You’ve landed a new job, in a new city. Maybe you’re moving to a new company for a job with better pay and the promise of advancement, or perhaps your current employer has chosen you to open up a new branch or expand a branch in another city. Whatever the reason, you’ve got a new job in a new city and now it’s time to start planning your transition.Whether it’s just you and your pet goldfish, or the entire family, you have a lot of work to do. You have to find a new home, get your bearings in a new city (or country) and master a new job all at once!
Here are 8 Tips to Make Your Relocation Easy(ier)



Organize
Just as you may have made a list of Pro’s and Con’s when considering taking this new position, lists are going to be your friend when planning the move. You’ll want a list for both ends, leaving and arrival. Be certain to include not only the big things, like turning off/on the electricity and internet connections, but also close out local accounts and make sure you picked up the dry cleaning that you keep forgetting about. It is best to leave no loose ends dangling so that you can hit the ground running in your new town, be certain to get organized early on.



Do Your Research
Even if your job offer came with reimbursement of moving expenses and a fully staffed department devoted solely to relocating employees you have to do your own research. Many large corporations have preferred provider agreements with movers, realtors and shippers. You want to make certain that you are not only getting the best service you can, but also not endangering reimbursement. Work up a detailed and specific list of anticipated costs- and don’t forget to account for items such as your car and your pets.
If your move is taking you overseas, be certain to understand in what currency you will be paid, and what penalties you might incur when switching currencies.


Build In A Buffer
Whether your offer allows you a month before your move, or two weeks, you must insist on having some time to do your research. If you are not able to physically visit the new city, then cyber research will have to do. Read the local papers, talk to people in your network who live/work there, contact the local chamber of commerce to find out the best resources for new residents.



Get Social
Now more than ever, your friends, associates and extended social network can be your life line. Join local professional organizations, sign up for meet and greets and get a handle on where people in your industry are flocking to. Your new employer very well may have a lot of valuable information for you, but don’t rely on anyone else to help you feel grounded in your new town- that responsibility is, and should be, yours. If you’re moving with your family ask colleagues for recommendations on schools, neighborhoods and after school activities. But always do the research on your own, no one knows your needs as well as you do- don’t take someone else’s word for it.

 

Create A Calendar
There’s nothing as stressful as rushing things at the last minute. But chances are high that you’re planning this move while finishing up at your old job, or starting at the new one. So, regardless of the time frame required for your move, schedule as much as you can in advance. Calendar everything! And I mean everything, right down to what day to pack up the kitchen, and when to put in the change of address at the post office.
Remember, you’re taking this leap for the best of possible reasons, don’t sour the experience by allowing stress to take over.



Leave Things Behind
Take the opportunity of pack up your home to leave some things behind. You’re starting fresh in a new town, you can go ahead and leave that ratty set of towels behind, or even the recliner you’ve been toting around since college. I’m not advocating for putting yourself in a position of having to replace costly items on the other end, but this is a perfect time to do an inventory of what you need, want and what you’ve unnecessarily been clinging to.


Take Your Deductions
If your new employer is compensating you for your move, you must first find out if those monies will be counted as income. If that’s the case, then you must take the deductions due to you for these expenses. Understanding the tax benefits becomes even more important if you are footing the bill yourself. Make certain that you understand the local tax laws and stay up-to-date on federal rules and regulations.


Consider The Possibilities
Even though this may look like your dream job in your dream city, there is always the possibility that things might not work out. You may find that while that new town looked great on paper, once on the ground you might just not ever feel right. And the same goes for the new job. A position can look very different from the outside than it does once you are in it.
Now, careful research should mitigate the possibility of the move going south, but you have to plan for contingencies. So, whether that means moving back from whence you came, or trying something new, it always pays to have a plan in your back pocket.

Related Blog:

MOVE IT: RELOCATING FOR IT JOB OPPORTUNITIES ON THE UPSWING

 

Looking for a new job or to relocate? Give one of our recruiters a call!



J. Patrick & Associates, Inc is an Executive Recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Management, Sales, Marketing and Technical roles within Information Technology markets. We have over 20 years of experience recruiting in every aspect of AV/VTC/UC, Application, Storage, Information/Network Security, Mobile Technologies, and Telecommunications.

 

Tags: Job Search, Career Path

What's Attracting Top SaaS Sales Talent? Part 1: Pre-Ipo Vs Public

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 @ 11:15 AM

SaaS Talent

 

If there's one thing we know about what drives the top SaaS sales talent that we place, it's that they're always looking to get involved with the next great technological leap. Innovation, disruption, and a team of proven leaders are all prime motivators. So when they go looking for a new position at a new company, they are inevitably confronted with a choice between one of two ways to go: Public or Pre-IPO.

While one is popularly considered to be the safer, more reliable bet, there are very specific advantages to both. You do yourself a service to look at both sides of the coin when considering a move.

 

THE PRE-IPO APPEAL 

Even as the rate of IPO's have slowed this year, we still see well-funded start-ups that are proving to be enticing to our sales candidates right now. And while there are risks associated with moving to a new/unknown entity, the rewards, as you know, can be enormous. That is, if you’re moving to the right company.

Here are the defining characteristics that make a Pre-IPO appealing.

 

Disruptive Technologies with an Achievable Plan.

A disruptive technology is one that either displaces an existing technology or introduces a ground-breaking product that opens up a new industry. It’s exciting, it’s cutting-edge and it’s potentially important. You won’t find better salespeople than those who are looking to be engaged with the product they’re selling, who need to feel that they are helping to build something new, innovative and/or helpful. And truly, what salesperson worth their salt doesn’t want to be selling the world’s next great technological breakthrough?

But above and beyond the technology itself, savvy salespeople are considering the marketplace for this product. How addressable is the market? Are there too many players? Is the company engaged in a red ocean or a blue ocean strategy?

 

Confidence.

A top salesperson got where they are based on the value of their relationships, and the depth of their network. There’s no point in making a move where you can’t carry those relationships forward with you. It’s not enough to only believe in the product you’re selling, it’s vital to consider if it’s one you can sell to a marketplace/customer base you know well. How well will you be able to leverage your existing network? And, more importantly, does this new product solve a real problem for your current customers?

 

Top-Level Management.

When it comes to startups, who is just as important as what. Top management leaders who’ve scaled a company before, who have the knowledge, experience and following to build a successful company are nearly as important as the technology itself. Savvy salespeople look to the management team as a good barometer for potential success. They’re looking for managers they not only they feel they can work with, but who have a track record of success and can move the company toward profit and beyond.

It’s also important to remember that more people cite lack of faith in, or a conflict with, their manager as the number one reason for leaving a position. And while you can’t know how you’ll get on with a manager, doing due diligence on the people you’ll be reporting to is a key consideration to make.

 

High-Scaling.

Look, salespeople know a worthwhile lead when they see it, and they can also recognize a dead-end long before it comes into view. Yes, there has to be a belief in the technology and an investment in the worth it adds to business, or society at large, but more than that, there has to be the potential for a high return.

Always consider who is involved. Is this a purely VC backed venture, or PE? Where are they in their funding? While getting into a company while they are still in series A funding might promise higher returns later on, we are currently finding that the majority of our sales candidates are interested in series C or beyond. This may be attributable to the fact that the first quarter of 2016 has seen the lowest number of companies going public, or it may be that they are looking to move only to companies that are further along in their development. Either way, the real potential has to be there for a company to attract top sales talent.

Getting in on the ground floor of a disruptive technology insures that a salesperson is both challenged, engaged and invested in the company’s success. The only gamble of course, is whether the tech will catch on or not. If they’ve judged well and have gone where the smart money is sitting, they can expect to find themselves post-IPO in a very comfortable position, and their reputation as a sales leader greatly enhanced.

 

Saas_Talent_1_opt.jpg

 

THE PUBLIC APPEAL

On the other side of the coin, public companies, long considered a safe and reliable bet continue to be attractive. With a few caveats:

 

The Company That’s Gone Public, But Has Not Been Acquired.

There’s a big difference between a public company with an institutionalized culture, and the company that has managed to maintain its pre-IPO identity. What this means is that the original structure and charter remain in place, and that the company has not allowed its identity to change in order to fit that of its parent corp. Because of this attitude, they are able to attract and retain an 'A' level sales team that is more deeply dedicated to the company's brand, culture, and continued growth.

A good example of this is Zappos. Even after they were acquired by Amazon, Zappos has been able to buck convention in the interest of preserving their independent spirit. And this has served them quite well as they are widely regarded as one of the top companies who have gotten company culture right.

 

The Company That’s Already Been Acquired, But Is Siloed Under An Umbrella.

Rules were made to be broken, so we know that not all acquisitions mean the termination of a company’s identity. Depending on the terms of the merger or purchase, it’s entirely possible for an innovative company to hold on to their identity: as long as they are siloed under the umbrella of the larger corporation.

A good and timely example is the pending acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft. If early reports prove to be correct, LinkedIn will exist as an independent entity under Microsoft’s umbrella. Rather than being an integrated brand, they will remain singular, retaining their identity, feel and flavor while benefitting from the reach and technological edge that a parent company like Microsoft can provide.

What these types of companies offer sales people is the ability to have one's cake and eat it too. It provides the foundation and stability of a public company as well as all of the perks that come with greater financial reach— all the while being energized up by the innovation and forward culture of a startup. 

If there is one constant, clear thread we are seeing, it is that independence and innovation are of prime importance. Top SaaS salespeople are looking to be ignited by disruptive technologies, and excited by the opportunity to represent the next great products out in the world, and they are looking for the right company to support their growth.

 

J. Patrick and Associates serves Information Technology firms that are looking to improve or expand their teams in mission-critical functions, where the success of the firm is highly dependent on the quality of certain hires. Whether you’re a candidate looking to move to one of our top-end customers, or a vendor looking to build your sales team, contact us today. 

New Call-to-action

Tags: Job Search, SaaS, recruiting, sales

Looking For Job Security? Think Cyber-Security

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, May 24, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

job security cyber security

   

It’s an exciting and dynamic time in the cyber-security job market. Demand for security talent is outstripping demand at all levels from CISOs to first-level security support roles. This is a field offering salaries that are typically 9% higher than other tech roles, and more than that, it offers outstanding job security.

As long as there are bad actors out there who are looking to disrupt systems and steal information, there will be work for a large field of good guys determined to protect corporate and consumer data.

 

The Definition of a Growth Industry.

According to an article in Forbes, the security market, currently valued at around $75 Billion is expected to grow to $170 Billion by 2020. This translates to job growth a rate of 18%, (much faster than the average). When labor markets get this tight, employers of all types have to scramble, improvise and adapt.  This means that companies, institutions, government agencies, vendors and service providers have to invest in recruiting and retaining skilled security professionals, as well as dedicate more resources to training both current employees, and new hires from related fields.  

For candidates, this means more opportunity to work on technology and projects they have not previously been exposed to, increased security-focused responsibilities and larger budgets for vendor training, industry certifications and degree programs. It also means being afforded the time to attend these trainings.  

This environment of scarcity of skilled talent and increased resources means that entry into a security-focused role from another adjacent technology domain is easier than ever. Current employees will “get their shot” at responsibilities or positions they may not be 100% ready for (that word “qualified” is loaded, isn’t it!?).  And external candidates may also get hired despite having steeper learning curves in a particular industry or field.

The Burning Glass Report from 2015 identified that four years of experience is required for two-thirds of cybersecurity job postings. In their survey,  83% of survey respondents had four or more years of experience, as illustrated below in Figure 6.

 

How many years of experience do you have in IT Security  

 

“It is also interesting to note, however, that the majority (60%) of our respondents has 10 years or less of experience, an indication that new talent continues to be attracted to the field. Both government and private industries are contributing to building the future workforce with awareness campaigns on the careers available and skills needed, as well as scholarships and opportunities to test for aptitude.”

If you’re already in tech, but not at a company that’s willing to invest in your transition to security, begin working on certifications on your own. Then, when you’re ready to look for a new position, you’ll be all the more appealing to potential employers. But remember, the smart companies are the ones who are looking for candidates with adjacent qualifications, they know the market is too tight to go shopping for perfection.

If you think you’re ready to make the transition into cyber-security, contact our recruiters to discuss your potential move into this secure, exciting and well-paying field.



Tags: Job Search, network security, cyber-security, recruiting

AV Integration: The Hot Job Market No One Knows About

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

AV Integration

AV Integration, the seamless control of leading-edge technologies through a single interface, is helping to reinvent workplace communications. And it’s one of the fastest growing industries within the IT space.

According to InfoComm's 2014 Market Definition and Strategy Guide, the AV industry is projected to be a $119 billion global industry by the end of 2016. Established industry leaders are growing at a brisk pace even as more companies are expanding on their traditional offerings of telephone, cabling, alarm systems, and security to enter the sector.  Job opportunities are plentiful, salaries are competitive and firms are willing to compromise on requirements.

So, given all these positives, why is the industry experiencing a recruitment issue?

Well, it could be because AV is not traditionally thought of as “cool” or cutting edge as traditional IT spaces. It might even evoke thoughts of that guy in High School - the one with the oversized key chain hanging from his belt loop who was always pushing the AV cart through the hallways, the weight of his responsibilities nearly as heavy as his key fob.

It could also be because not enough people know that AV has matured into a bonafide IT sector.

 

Let’s run through a list of reasons why you should be looking into AV Integration:

 

Chance For Growth

Industry leaders in the integration field are eager to hire people early in their careers for a number of reasons, even as they know their ideal employees are not coming out of school pre-built for the industry. Companies understand that they have to invest in and be dedicated to training and development. What this means for you is the on-going expansion of your skill set, certifications and knowledge base. And while this makes for a satisfying experience at work, what it also does is make you a more valuable candidate further down the road.

 

It’s Really Cool

While traditional IT spaces, such as development and cyber security get more heat and are thought of as more ‘sexy”, what they don’t offer is the opportunity to build large integrated systems. Unifying video, media, communications, data, cloud, and security present exciting challenges, and as the capacity of these related fields grows, so too do the opportunities for expansion. Think of AV as the marriage between media and communications, the possibilities are endless.

 

Custom Work

While the rest of the IT sector is mainly focused on scalable, repeatable solutions, AV Integration takes a more custom approach. The collaboration solutions and services created for clients are unique and specialized. Like a fine craftsman, projects afford you the opportunity to learn with every build, keeping the work ever-changing and challenging.

 

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Due to the fact that AV Integration is currently being taught in only a handful of 4-year and 2-year college programs, companies have been relying heavily on re-training. We are seeing several of our clients in this space hiring programmers and then training them up in AV. What this means for the company is they get the benefit of an experienced worker, while the employees are benefiting from quality training and new challenges. And because of the current recruiting challenges, there is ample opportunity to move between companies.

 

New Initiatives, Internship Opportunities, and Certifications on the Rise

This is an industry dedicated to growth. Some, companies, such as Advanced Technologies are partnering with Universities in their area to create internship opportunities and training programs. And these are not limited to engineering and technical positions only, sales, design and finance internships are available as well.

And then there are initiatives such as The Ignite Program by NSCA, a program dedicated to making students aware of both the field of AV and the opportunities available to them in the industry.

The next several years will see an increase in certification programs from both 2-year schools, such as the Electronic Systems Technician (EST) certification from NSC, A and an increasing number of certs from InfoComm. Additionally, if the industry has its way, we’ll begin to see more 4-year schools offering coursework geared toward professions in the AV space.

While some may view AV Integration as something of a vo-tech industry, the well- trained young employee has the opportunity to get right into a high paying job, build their skills for a long and diverse career, and make enough money early enough in their career to pay off those loans.

Ready For A New Job in AV?

Tags: Job Search, AV/VTC/UC

Move It: Relocating For IT Job Opportunities On The Upswing

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Move_It.jpg

 

We here at J. Patrick & Associates place individuals in positions all over the country. We’ve realized a growing trend in relocation rates, an increasing amount of individuals that we work with are more willing to relocate. According to a study conducted by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the 2014 relocation rate was at its highest since 2009. Before the recession, candidates were largely unwilling or unable to relocate for a job. With the changing dynamics in the job market, it is increasingly common for employers to consider hiring employees that require relocation and for candidates to do so.

So, what’s driving job candidates’ willingness to take positions in other cities?  

 

It’s A Renter’s World

Fewer people are in the market to buy homes now than ever before. This is attributable to several factors; the high level of student debt, the 2007-2008 financial crisis, and the fact that extended families are more widely dispersed than ever before.  Certainly making a cross-country move requires an investment of your time, energy and faith, but since renting reduces the financial risk, it allows for more flexibility should a move prove to be disappointing.

All of these factors are contributing to candidates increased flexibility in terms of where they live and for how long.

 

Up and Down the Ladder

In our recruiting practice, we’ve observed that the trend in relocation rates is affecting all levels, from managers to senior executives. In a tightening talent market, hiring firms have to get more creative and flexible as to how and where they source their candidate pool. This can mean changing your requirements if you insist on strictly local candidates, or looking outside your region to get the best available player among those motivated to move to your location. 

An average of 15 percent of job-seeking managers and executives moved for new positions over the last two quarters of 2013. Top-level executives are realizing that relocation can boost their career progression. The opportunities that come with the big move are endless, from increased salary and improved lifestyle to the opportunity to reinvent themselves in a new market. Ultimately, relocation provides top-level executives the chance to reinvigorate their CVs, and provide them with fresh challenges.  

 

Follow the Jobs: The Wave of the Future

Industry-specific job opportunities have also shifted candidates’ perspectives on relocation. In today’s job market, the perfect job opportunity very well may be in another city. It’s no longer just New York or San Francisco, the tech industry is increasingly decentralized from the West Coast, and opportunities are abundant in new markets,  such as in Austin, Texas and Boulder, Colorado. The fact that these newer markets may also offer a lower cost of living helps to boost their appeal.

Job candidates, especially Millennials, understand that they are likely to work in several different sectors over the course of their career. Flexibility on location increases the chance of being able to follow interesting and challenging opportunities. And as we know, keeping your career on track and fresh, increases your personal satisfaction.  

Both international and domestic relocation rates have been on the rise, and in the present climate, they show no evidence  of slowing.  If the opportunity to relocate presents itself, keep your mind and your options open!

 

Looking for a new job or to relocate? Give one of our recruiters a call!

J. Patrick & Associates, Inc is an Executive Recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Management, Sales, Marketing and Technical roles within Information Technology markets. We have over 20 years of experience recruiting in every aspect of AV/VTC/UC, Application, Storage, Information/Network Security, Mobile Technologies, and Telecommunications.

Tags: Job Search

Interview Sabotage: 6 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Interview

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 @ 10:16 AM

Sabotaging Interview

 

The job interview is one of the most important, and nerve wracking, components of the job search process, and it needs preparation beforehand. You know all of the interview prep basics -- from developing questions to ask your interviewer to bringing multiple copies of your resume. But are you forgetting basics that are invaluable to your interview prep?

 

Check out the various ways that you might be sabotaging your interview!

 

Being Late for an Interview

It is the day of your interview and you have the directions ready to go, but your car breaks down or your bus is late. What do you do? Although arriving late to an interview may not always be your fault, it can still make a bad impression. If you’re stuck in traffic, your train is delayed, or there’s the slightest chance that you won’t make it on time, always call ahead, your interviewer will appreciate not being left in the dark.

Remember, a good rule of thumb is to arrive 10-15 minutes early to an interview to have time to relax and compose yourself before hand. But most importantly give yourself enough time for your commute, you never know what bumps in the road you may face!

 

Dressing Inappropriately

We all know the old saying “dress to impress,” but are you dressing too impressive for the position you’re interviewing for? It is important to research the company’s dress code policy, whether it be through web forums, your LinkedIn connections or asking your recruiter, if you’re working with one. Dress codes vary immensely from company to company, even within the same sector, doing as much research as possible will help prove that you’re a good cultural fit.

 

Not Researching the Company/Position

For many candidates this maybe a given, but there are some who do not conduct research on the company that they’re interviewing for. This could be a disastrous omission. It’s important to be prepared for questions about the company such as “what do you know about our company”, and/or “how do you think this position will aid in your career development?” It’s very easy to find information on almost any company these days, whether it be on the company website or through your recruiter. You don’t have to know all the company history per say, but it is important to understand their mission statement and know their current financial standing.

 

Bad Mouthing a Previous Employer

Would you trust the opinion of someone who can’t stop badmouthing their last job or employer? If your answer is no, then don’t do it at your interviews! Even when you’re asked the reason for leaving your previous position or to provide an example of a time you showed leadership at work, avoid speaking negatively about your previous employer. These negative comments will reflect badly on you, even if the employer was at fault. Be creative with your answers and put a positive spin on your current or previous work situation.

 

Not Knowing When to Stop Talking or Not Talking Enough

Whether you are a nervous rambler or your nervousness makes you go silent, know how to balance both. It is important to keep your interviewer engaged, just as it is important to engage in active listening to understand the questions asked by the interviewer. You do not want to seem as if you’re rambling, but you also do not want moments of dead silence to permeate the interview. Whether you’re a nervous talker or not, remember to relax and rock your interview!

 

Knowing the Right Questions to Engage Your Interviewer

As important as it is to understand the hiring process or to understand the roles of the position, it is crucial to get to know your interviewer. Yes, the interviewer will ultimately be the deciding factor of whether or not you’ll proceed onto the next step of the hiring process, but you need to remember that she is also attempting to determine if you would be a cultural fit. So, engaging in friendly conversation and learning about the interviewer’s current position will help to put you both at ease.

But, remember that this is a professional meeting and not a coffee date!

As simple as they may sound, these interview mistakes are committed very often. So, next time you land an interview, keep these basics in mind.

Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews