J Patrick + Associates Blog

Strength Of Weak Ties – Seven Ways To Connect For Your Job Search

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 @ 11:03 AM

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The strategy known as “the strength of weak ties” could be the secret sauce in your job search. Essentially, it entails reaching beyond your traditional networks to casual contacts. The latter know of job openings your colleagues don’t. This article describes seven simple ways to make those connections with weak ties.



Mark Granovetter’s Discovery of Gold in Casual Relationships

It’s no secret that jobs most often come through people. They provide information about openings you wouldn’t have known about. Often those aren’t listed among the help-wanted ads. Also, it’s people who hire you. But, not all those people contacts are equally effective in your job search. In 1973, Mark Granovetter, a sociology graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, published breakthrough research in the American Journal of Sociology. It documented that those whom you assume you should count on – members of your own networks – could be the least useful. The biggest return on investment in networking could come from people you know casually, that is, weak ties. A typical example would be Joe who runs the coffee stand in the office high rise. He’s among the first to connect the dots on who’s on the way out, therefore where there will be openings. You should invest your time in befriending him and letting him know you’re in the market for a new job. Currently, many of those the weak ties you can arrange to connect with on social networks such as LinkedIn.


The Hidden Power of Weak Ties

There is such power in weak ties for four reasons.

• Traditional networks function like closed, risk-averse systems. Those in them all share the same jobs data. Moreover, they may hesitate to tell you about them. They fear that if the situation doesn’t work out that will reflect badly on them. In addition, they tend to both stereotype colleagues and be fully aware of their flaws. So, they won’t let them know about openings which they assume will be a bad fit.

• Weak ties intersect with very different networks than your usual ones. That, in itself, opens up possibilities for work you won’t encounter through your strong ties. In addition, they have useful “inside information” on the organization’s culture, undisclosed problems and their ideal job candidate.

• Relationships with weak ties tend to be open and trusting. Little is invested in passing along a job tip to you so the stakes aren’t high for them. Also, since they don’t know you well professionally they don’t assume you can’t do the job. Strong ties tend to pigeon-hole you in a niche. They can also stifle original thought, making it more difficult for you to think out of the box about a job search.

• Weak ties can provide emerging ideas and perspectives not available through your usual social capital. That gives you competitive intelligence about what kinds of opportunities to pursue and how to present yourself.


Finding and Nurturing Weak Ties

Because networking is critical to success, most executives have developed patterns for doing that. For example, holiday social activities are made to do double-duty as networking opportunities. However, those best practices can harden into rituals in which you aren’t fully engaged. Moreover, they exclude possibilities for identifying and cultivating weak ties. Here are seven effective tactics:

1) Develop an accessible persona. That includes open body language, gentle facial expressions and the ability to listen, asking questions to get conversations going. This kicks off the Law of Attraction. 

2) Open yourself to small talk. That old saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” also applies to not sharpening the instincts for casual connections. When commuting on the train, waiting in the doctor’s office and walking the dog, don’t be preoccupied with work.

3) Participate in professional and social events outside your specialization. Those could be as non-threatening as signing up for a few months of public-speaking training with Toastmasters. Or it could be a little more complicated like attending a local meeting of psychologists, even though you’re a lawyer. They will welcome what you can offer to them in networking as much as what you can gain from them.

4) Develop a communications vehicle which transmits your unique passion. That might be a newsletter, weekly radio broadcast, blog, podcast or YouTube series of presentations. It could be about animal rescue, the Steelers or doing business in Russia. Your enthusiasm will be contagious.

5) Be involved in Facebook. According to Jobvite, 83 percent of job searchers rely on Facebook. No, it’s not just for posting family photos or promoting your company. It’s a platform for cultivating weak ties in an informal way. Most of your Facebook “friends” are not colleagues. Respond to their posts, indicate you are there to help them with their marketing plan and celebrate their accomplishments. In addition, you can attract recruiters you don’t normally do business with. In the “edit profile” section provide them with details about your work history and where you are heading. 

6) Become interested in other people on Twitter. Strategically plan whom you want to connect with on Twitter. Then join in their discussions, let them know what you have gained from their insights and share what fascinates you. Eventually, ask for help in your job search. If they work at Company X, ask the best people to contact there for an informational interview. Some of this conversation might be brought offline. 

7) Exploit networking opportunities on LinkedIn. Configured as a professional network, LinkedIn is a multi-dimensional tool for connecting with those you need to know. Do your profile right and it could attract everyone from professional recruiters to chief executive officers hunting for a new head of compliance. Premium membership allows you to search in companies and fields of expertise for contacts.


Becoming Open, Staying That Way

The current winners in the new economy, ranging from venture capitalists to app designers, keep their networks diverse. One of their objectives is to continuing developing fresh kinds of contacts. The taxi driver in Moscow might have the most useful insight on oil futures. Yes, this requires an investment in engaging. Attention has to be shifted from the work on the desk. But the alternative – rigid networking – puts you at a professional disadvantage. Smart players are starting those conversations. 


Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

If you are interested in working with Lisa Rangel, an accomplished executive resume writer, social media profile writer and job search consultant, to achieve social media exposure and interviews you want, sign up for an exploratory call now and learn about the Chameleon Resumes services that can help you land your next role.

Tags: Social Media, Job Search, Networking

Being Forced Out of Your Executive Job? 8 Things to Do Right Now

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Sep 08, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

Being Forced Out: 8 Ways to manage a crisis

You may sense that you are being forced to quit—see the signs below that it is happening to you. Or your superiors might already have told you they want your resignation. You probably are unhinged. The good news is that there are 8 things you can do right now to manage the situation. Those best practices will reduce or even prevent damage to your career and give you a competitive advantage in what you choose next.

Signs you are being forced out

The employer’s objective is to have you quit. Therefore, the signals that you should do that tend to be obvious. Here are the common ones:

  • You are left out of the communications loop. For example, you don’t receive emails about the meetings in the conference room for the product launch. Colleagues don’t return your calls.
  • If you are still attending meetings you are treated with disrespect. That can take any number of forms, ranging from ignoring your comments to showering you with hostility. The objective is public humiliation.
  • Your workload is reduced or increased significantly. Sales representatives might be given impossible quotas.
  • Your relationship with superiors changes. Instead of praise, you receive constant criticism. Likely they are documenting that alleged poor performance. That can be leveraged to nudge you out if you are reluctant to leave.
  • Colleagues and subordinates distance themselves.
  • Your superiors actually ask that you consider resigning or else they will fire you. As they wait for your answer, all your work may be taken away.

The 8 ways to manage the crisis

1. Find out your legal standing

As books such as “Fired, Laid-Off Or Forced Out! explain, there are many myths about employees’ rights. The reality is that in most states, the private sector can terminate employment at will. The exceptions are if you in a protected class such as disabled or aging, a member of a union or if the terms and conditions are covered by a formal agreement. When in doubt, consult with an employment lawyer. Do that before you say or do anything, especially if you are considering taking legal action.

2. Decide if you want to try to keep your job or even buy yourself more time

If so, initiate a conversation with superiors about the reasons they want you to leave. At the outset, state you are willing and eager to follow their recommendations on corrective action to align your performance with what is needed. This move may save your job. If not, it could extend the time you are collecting a salary and using benefits while you search for another job.

3. Avoid “craving closure” to end stress

Human dignity is important to most people. Employers recognize that. Therefore they know that subtle or obvious types of abuse can drive you to quit impulsively. However, financially, emotionally and in preparing yourself for a job search, you might not be ready to leave. Remain calm. Keep your finger off the trigger.

4. Negotiate

Every situation is unique. But there is always room for negotiation. That’s true even if your job performance has been subpar. Critical to negotiate is how the company officially classifies the resignation in your personnel file. Ideally, it should state that you resigned, without qualifying that with “in lieu of being fired.” Also, you can request a letter of recommendation, severance, outplacement, and use of office facilities.

5. Be pragmatic about finances

Investigate the possibility of collecting unemployment in your particular state. Your state may allow that even for those who quit jobs. An example might be that it recognizes stress as a valid reason for leaving employment. Therefore, you have to know beforehand how to frame your claim. If you are over-55, your odds of getting a comparable job are not ideal. Immediately consider downsizing expenses.

6. Prepare your cover story

The question you will be asked during interviews for the next job is why you quit. You must create an explanation that is diplomatic, positive and yet accurate. Of course, you speak well of the company and your superiors. You describe the negatives in a way advantageous to you. For example, you would say, “Our strategies weren’t aligned because I assessed that the company should put its computing operations in the cloud.” Those in the know recognize you had a valid point. “Given this disconnect, I felt it was a disservice to the company and myself to remain.”

7. Comport yourself from a position of strength

If you feel in charge of this process, your body language, facial gestures and conversations will reflect that. Everyone in the company is observing you. In a sense, this is the performance of a lifetime since they will remember how you handled yourself during this crisis. Those perceptions help create the platform on which you build the rest of your career.

8. Network

The way to search for that next good job is through other people. According to JobVite and other studies, less than 25 percent of hires are made through help-wanted ads and recruiters. The other 75 percent happen through the contacts you will make on social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You will also need to be visible in-person. That means participating in conferences, trade association meetings and local business social hours. “Hiding” is not an option.

Gaining the edge from this setback

No reasonable person welcomes failure. However, in Silicon Valley, it is celebrated as a rite of passage. That’s because the tech players know that more is learned – and more quickly – from setbacks than successes. In sophisticated organizations, failure is even hailed as a competitive advantage. If enough executives in those companies have a record for failure, there’s plenty of collective wisdom embedded.

It’s up to you how you position and package the experience of being forced to quit a job. Ideally, you treat it as a learning experience. Through it, you acquired amazing insight into your professional self and where it fits – and doesn’t.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

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Tags: Networking, Career Strategies

3 Ways to Move from an Executive to C-Level Role

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 @ 11:00 AM
How to Move From Executive to C-Level


The higher level the job, the more risk a company assumes. At this point, the job is less about generic qualifications and more about your people skills and leadership qualities.

This terrain can be tricky because it’s more subjective. However, by implementing some of our tips you’ll better your chances of moving from an executive to a C-level role within the organization.

3 Tips to move from an executive to a C-Level Role

Make sure you can work with different departments.

In order to be a top executive of an organization, it’s important that you learn to work with different departments

As a C-level exec, you would no longer responsible for just your sector, now you’d be the one creating strategies that affect the company as a whole.

That’s why it’s imperative that you learn how the different departments work cohesively. You’ll also want to beef up your skills in different areas. For example, if you’re more involved in the finance sector consider learning how the sales and marketing team works. Furthermore, you’ll want to learn how one affects the other and vice versa.

Lastly, build rapport with managers from different departments. They’ll be able to put in a good word for you and show how you’ve made an effort to understand the different aspects of the company.

Develop leadership qualities.

Leadership qualities are what truly separate executives from the c-level role. It’s easy to manage people, however, it’s not easy to lead people.

Leadership takes vision. It also takes the ability to move a big group of people toward that vision.

As such it’s your job to start taking more responsibility. Note, this doesn’t mean simply executing a campaign strategy that was handed to you for your particular department.

This may mean taking initiative on things that would require to work with departments across the board as well as create the strategy yourself.

The tricky part is you may not always be able to this within the role of your job, in fact, it will probably require looking outside of your job. For example, volunteer to spearhead the company’s annual corporate-run. Or, get involved with any big initiatives that require raising money for a charity the company is affiliated with.

These two examples may not seem relevant but consider this: both scenarios require you to work with a massive group of people from all departments. Both scenarios also require you to raise money. These are two skills that would be essential at the C-Level and your current executive role may not give you the flexibility to enhance those skills within the job.

As an added bonus, current C-level execs typically have to be involved in some way for these kinds of events, even if it’s just giving a keynote at the charity. This would increase your exposure to them which brings me to my next point.

Build a relationship with top managers.

When you’re vying for a C-Level job your chances of getting it may rely more on how you and the CEO get along rather than qualifications.

If you’ve made it this far you’re obviously qualified, as such what a company is more concerned with is whether or not you can work with the people on top. According to The Ladders, it’s almost as if you practically have to be sponsored by a top executive to be promoted at this level.

This is much more subjective and has a lot to do with personality, reputation, and rapport. As such it becomes your job to build a relationship with top managers. Find ways to get to know them and increase your exposure to them

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

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Tags: Networking, Career Strategies

Seven Good Reasons for a Summertime Job Search

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Aug 11, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

7 Good Reasons for a summertime job search

For anyone considering a job shift, or currently seeking employment, there are some compelling reasons not to take the summer off. Dropping out of the market for two or three months leaves you out of the flow -- and out of the running when new opportunities arise. Keep in mind that the slow-down of the summer holidays affects business, but not necessarily the hiring cycle.

Even six years after the end of the Great Recession, the job climate continues to rebound. Companies remain in flux -- and layoffs such as those recently announced by Microsoft continue -- but job creation continues as well. Make sure that your name is out there when new jobs open by staying active in your search all year round.

As a recruiter, I found my busiest seasons were often those you least expect -- summer and the holidays. 

Consider these 7 top tips for sticking with your employment search during the summer months

1. You have better odds 

When other job seekers take the summer off you have less competition for positions that become available. Less competition means you have a better chance of getting a call, or an interview. There is little wisdom in waiting until everyone applies for the same positions. At the C-suite level, making a targeted approach during the summer season may gain you more attention than during another, busier, season.

2. Better definition

Hiring managers, like everyone else, like to take time off during the summer. When a job is posted during the summer season, it is very likely a real position that needs to be filled, rather than a survey post to investigate the applicant pool. Recruiting personnel generally do not initiate the recruiting and onboarding cycle during the summertime when there is not a defined, present need.

3. Contract work

At many levels, contract-to-hire employment opens up during the summer. Whether filling in for a professional on leave, or taking on a development project, skilled and professional contract-for-hire positions remain available, and even uptick, during the summer months.

Contract-for-hire jobs offer you, and the employer, some advantages. In many cases, the contract is a tryout period for both parties, and either can walk away when the position concludes. For many job seekers, contract work is a means to get through the door, establish a presence, and gain a chance at the position when the contract period ends. The adage remains true, people hire who they know.

4. Summer networking looks different

During the summer, almost everyone is less formal. You may have more social opportunities that are not wholly focused on jobs. Travel, community, and other events give you a chance to offer your time on a volunteer project, or board, that may coincidentally make you a needed network connection.

Effective networking means knowing what you can do for others who may be able and willing to help you down the line.

5. Do groundwork 

For industries that are not hiring this summer, or as your job hunt continues, use the summer to ensure your branding, LinkedIn, and marketing materials are up to date and sharp. If you are burned out from a job you want to leave, or from job hunting, take a break. Regroup, and find some inspiration. Reflect on what you want, new ways to present yourself, and new industries that could be a good fit with your goals.

6. Use your time wisely

During the summer, you may have holidays and vacation time away from the office. Initiate exploratory interviews, respond to recruiters, and use the more relaxed atmosphere of the summer to make, and make inquiries about a potential lateral, or other type of job move.

7. Longer or shorter

Your recruiting experience could be lengthened by the summer season, or shortened. Because key decision-makers are out of the office, the interview process could be slowed. The opposite is also true. Important operatives may have more downtime and are willing to quickly engage the interview process during a more causal season -- inside the office, and out.

Summer or winter, uncertainty is part of every job search. Take each day, and each season, for what it is really worth, and help yourself land the position you want.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer


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Tags: Job Search, Networking

8 Actions to Take If You Don’t Get the Job

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, Jul 02, 2015 @ 10:00 AM
“Thank you for your interest, but…” 

Your third interview with the company included senior members of the executive team. You thought the position was yours. The polite telephone call you just received, that began in this manner, let you know otherwise. After you graciously respond and end the call, you are, frankly, stunned.

You did not get the job… what next?

Almost everyone interviews for jobs they do not get. Finding and achieving the position you want is an often painful process. At the executive level, the air is rarified and the competition is stiff.

No one is happy about missing the mark on a job they want. But along with disappointment and dismay, it is essential to mine the experience for hidden value.

Consider these thinking and action points if the position you want slips away:


8 Actions to take if you don’t get the job

1. Reflect on how you feel about it? 

Many career coaches and counselors wisely advise clients to feel the pain. Mourn the loss and consider the fear that attends failure. While you are there, take note of the gold buried in the muck. The sharp disappointment can be an enduring catalyst to get where you are going. Do not give your feelings short shrift. Find an activity to help you release the tension and then use what you’ve learned about yourself as you move forward.


2. Express gratitude

As a candidate for a C-level or other executive position, you know time and effort were spent during the recruiting process for the job you did not get. Pick up the telephone and call your contact within the company to express your gratitude and cement the contact. Send a note of thanks, and include a news item or other interesting piece to create a level of connection outside the missed job opportunity. Reframe the experience as an opportunity to expand your network, rather than diminish it.


3. Obtain an assessment

At the executive level, you may be working with a recruiter or coach. If realistic feedback on why the job was not offered is unavailable, conduct an honest evaluation of your job search plan. Assessment of the end-stage of the recruitment process differs from concern over resume style. Focus honestly on why you feel the job got away from you.


4. Focus on the opportunity before you

Rejection is hard not to take personally. Achieving a desired position is a step that leads your life in its next direction. But not getting the job does not leave you standing still. Many factors bear on the choice of candidates. If you did not get a particular position right now, accept that it is not the direction you are going at present. Use the situation as leverage to find a new, even better, direction. As you cut a different path, disappointment can work to energize your search, reveal the right job for you, and help you get the offer.


5. Narrow or broaden your search:

If you are repeatedly advancing to the interview stage without a final job offer, take a critical look at whether you should pursue more specialized or more generalized employment venues. A repetitive pattern of interviews without employment closure could be an overlooked disconnect between your background and the right boardroom for you.


6. Consider the ecosystem

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates job growth for top executives between 2012 and 2022 will roughly parallel the economy, at about 11 percent. A 2015 survey by Careerbuilder reports that approximately 36 percent of U.S. employers plan increases in their full-time staff. The economy is improving, and with it, the job market. The proliferation, analysis, and protection of big data are driving executive hires and the creation of new positions. Remap your job search plan to take advantage of executive opportunities on the developing corporate edge.


7. Revisit your personal brand

Online marketing is more than your digital footprint. It is the cohesive message you send through platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. It is not likely that your personal brand led to your lack of a job offer after the interview phase, but it can help you land the next interview, and maybe a job. Refresh your online presence through an updated professional or community profile.


8. Ask for help

Research indicates many people fear to ask for help outside their tried-and-true circle of friends and associates. Reluctance to seek support, advice, and ideas outside a known network enforces homogeneity and reduces the likelihood of a novel outcome. Do your research, and locate a contact that could be an interesting informational interview. Reach out to an expert in your field, and ask for ideas and suggestions. Do not limit yourself to your known universe—create a new one.

The challenge of an executive job search is to be your own change agent. Use those higher-level skills to do what you do best—analyze, realize, plan and move forward toward success. Set-backs are part of the deal. Let them drive you to where you want to go.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer


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Tags: Job Search, Networking, Job Interviews

6 Habit-Making Ways to Make Networking Easy and Automatic

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 @ 10:00 AM


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Most things in life are a habit. Essentially we have to train ourselves to take certain actions each day until it becomes like second nature.

Networking is one of those job search actions that need to become a habit in order for it to be truly successful.

By making job search networking a habit, you not only increase your chances of finding a job, you’ll also start to feel like networking is more natural to you. Use these tips to help you create this new habit on your job search.


Call three contacts per day.

Calling three contacts per day, who are not part of your everyday dealings, expands your network and helps you touch base with your connections. The key point to emphasize that you need to call three contacts you do not already deal with on a daily basis.

Push yourself out of your comfort zone and contact people you don’t talk to as often. Look at co-workers you have not spoken with in 6 months. Vendors you dealt with at a previous employer. College roommates and friends that you have not chatted with in eons. Neighbors that moved away and you lost touch. By cultivating these relationships you expand your network and increase your chances of getting a referral, since you are reaching out when you do not need it, initially, so you come across more genuine if you every reach out and do need something.


Commit to having lunch outside of your office at least once a week.

You’re not going to make any new connections or build solid relationships if you eat lunch at your desk.

Instead, commit to having lunch outside of your office at least once a week. Invite contacts that are nearby, go to restaurants you know people in your field enjoy or reach out to local, relevant contacts on LinkedIn and suggest meeting in person over lunch.


When going to a conference or work trip, aim to connect with one new person who is not involved with the event.

How often do you go to a conference only to talk to the same people every time? Or, how often do you go only to talk to event organizers or sponsors in the expo hall?

None of these scenarios are a smart use of your time.

One way to ensure you’re meeting someone new is to contact someone who is in the area and is not involved with the conference in any way. You can use social media to find out who is nearby and ask them to meet during the time you are at the conference. Other ways to reach out to new contacts is to participate in any online networking activities sponsored by the conference to make connections before you get there. Tweet about the conference using the conference twitter hashtag. Look at the attendee list and connect with anyone beforehand and request a get-together over coffee while you are both there.


Develop a networking ritual.

If we create a ritual when cultivating a new habit then it increases the chances of us sticking to it. For example, one such ritual is to do the same thing at the same time every day.

This may look like reaching out to new contacts first thing when you walk into the office. Send emails on Monday to five contacts asking if they can join you for lunch over the next few weeks to have your requests for lunch appointments be taken care of early in the week.

You can also use calendar apps like Timeful to set reminders for yourself so you don’t forget.


Start simple.

One of the reasons people find it difficult to set new habits is because they set their sights too high. The reality is you can’t change your behavior overnight.

You can combat this by starting off with simple things. For example, are you having a hard time calling those three contacts? Use James Clear’s 2 minute rule to get you going. That means just find a way to get started in two minutes. In this case it may be finding a contact’s information on LinkedIn.


Don’t worry about results right away.

Another reason habits don’t stick is because people get hung up on the results and quit when they don’t see immediate benefits.

Rather than worrying about the payoff, just focus on creating the habit. The payoff will come in time if you manage to change your behavior.


Tags: Job Search, Networking, Career Strategies

How an Executive Recruiting Firm Can Help Solve Your Hiring Problems

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, Jun 11, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

Executive Recruiting

It can take weeks if not months to find one high-talent placement. Candidates can sometimes feel lost among a sea of applicants. LinkedIn, job boards and other services expand the candidate pool but can make it difficult to get through the volume. Investing in high yield recruiting can be the answer. The executive recruiting firm J. Patrick and Associates knows  how to deliver exceptional talent while saving time and money.


Connection:  Executive Recruiters are connected to the talent you need to find. This connection allows your Executive Recruiters to search thousands of candidates for each and every hiring decision. By employing a reputable placement agency, you'll  know that important skills have been identified and  high numbers of quality candidates have been screened.  By the time your select candidates are in front of you, you'll know that they have been pulled from the best.


Confidence: The number one complaint we hear from hiring managers is that of confidence. Specifically, how does the hiring manager know, really know that a candidate will be worth the time and money to train? Once again, executive recruiting is the answer. Savvy recruiters leverage cutting edge search tools to your benefit. With an established, successful recruiting firm, you’ll interview the best talent possible.


Cost: The impact of a bad hire spreads throughout and organization. Working with a successful recruiter can help ensure these mistakes are minimized. In minutes, a professional recruiter can scan hundreds of records that would take an HR hiring manager days to find. A professional recruiter applies screening protocols ensuring that the best candidates are delivered to you. When it comes to placing top talent, using a proven recruiting agency will always be worth the investment.


The value of working with an Executive Recruiting agency is highlighted by a recent Information Security placement made by J. Patrick and Associates.

A global leader of application delivery and application security solutions for virtual and cloud data centers wanted to expand their engineering team. The position in question required the candidate to have deep technical experience across all facets of application delivery and application security solutions, as well as virtualization, Private / Hybrid Cloud and Software-Defined Networking (SDN), and their numerous applications in a variety of verticals. It would take some digging to find qualified candidates.

Beyond the technical requirements, the candidate also needed solution-selling experience and hands-on experience with the provider’s intricate products and solutions portfolio. He/she had to provide an initial presentation with customers and sales teams and perform the installation. The company interviewed dozens of candidates suggested by its recruiting firms but were unable to find a candidate that met all of the provider’s requirements. After nine months, the organization decided to explore another recruitment agency option.

That’s when J. Patrick & Associates became involved and executed multiple candidate searches in the Chicago area. The company identified Sales Engineers at the security solutions provider’s direct competitors. Then it turned to trusted industry referrals to further its search.

J. Patrick & Associates cold-called and thoroughly screened dozens of qualified professionals by using its database of over half a million candidates and a global Information Security referral network. J. Patrick's recruiters disqualified approximately 30 candidates for every one that moved on to the next phase, the technical screen.  The recruiters at J. Patrick successfully identified two qualified Sales Engineer candidates that met all of the client’s job requirements within a 30-day period.

The security solutions provider hired one of the Sales Engineer candidates, now a consistent top performer several years running. Since then, the company has retained J. Patrick & Associates as its primary recruiting firm. In the last year, J. Patrick & Associates has successfully placed more than 10 professionals in eight other positions with the organization and is currently working with the provider to fill 12 new Sales and Engineering positions.



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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Networking, Information Security, HR and Hiring

Navigating the Reputation Economy: Lies Do Count

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Wed, May 20, 2015 @ 01:00 PM


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Whether achievements are listed on your resume or you are communicating accomplishments for a performance review on the job, truth-in-advertising is paramount.

A Walmart executive claimed to have an arts degree, but he did not. A dean at MIT with multiple university degrees turned out to have none. More recently, a story told about a wild helicopter ride taken by a Nightly News anchor in 2003 was grounded. These stories have two things in common—deception and discovery.



Your online reputation is a commodity

The reputation economy refers to an aggregation of networked data collected from sources all over the world. While you already know your mortgage, insurance rates, and business value rely on positive appraisal, your professional reputation does, too.

The day has arrived when your reputation affects whether you can share a car ride or connect on LinkedIn. ExecuNet reports that 90 percent of executive recruiters polled use online search engines during the vetting process. Employers do the same.

At the outset of your job search, take stock of your digital footprint including:

• Maintain an up-to-date, professionally written LinkedIn profile.
• Conduct your own social media search for personal references. Manage or remove negative remarks. Address unflattering comments or photographs posted by others.
• Boost your brand with social media posts about good works, community, and volunteer service

Unless your business demands otherwise, now and five years from now—keep your online presence, clean, honest and progressive.


Fact, fiction or omission?

Deception is relative. Only you know whether your resume is fact or fiction. Facts are fine, and omissions can be necessary, but there is no room for fiction.

There is plenty of disagreement about what constitutes a “lie.” During an executive employment search, most agree that intent to mislead constitutes lying.

Across industries, common mistakes made by job-hunters include:

• Embellished experience: Dates of employment, position attained, salary and job responsibilities are commonly altered by job seekers. Speak well of your skills and experience, but do not misrepresent your capabilities.
• Enhanced education: A background check quickly reveals whether you have the education you claim. The future is not built on a phony degree. Do not claim what you do not have.
• Fake the financials: Legal liability may follow mistakes made by CFO hires who fake financial expertise.

As a former executive recruiter, I have experienced job candidates who are not troubled by claiming an unearned degree or training certificate. While faking education and work experience is tempting, executive falsehoods do not end well. When discovered, a job is lost or not offered, and a reputation is ruined. Just ask David Tovar.

Online or on your resume, authenticity, honesty and professional self-marketing are the keys to navigating the fast-growing reputation economy.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

If you are interested in working with Lisa Rangel, an accomplished executive resume writer, social media profile writer and job search consultant, to achieve social media exposure and interviews you want, sign up for an exploratory call now and learn about the Chameleon Resumes services that can help you land your next role.

Tags: Social Media, Networking, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies

Managing Your Online Reputation

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

How To Manage Your Online Reputation

Employers do check the social media presence of job applicants at some point in the interview process. Some check upon stumbling onto your background when searching for talent on LinkedIn, others right before the interview and other employers do a thorough investigation before extending an offer. No matter what the employer’s process is, you have to assume, people will want to check you out online during the recruitment process.

Here are 11 Ways to manage your online reputation

1. Google your name in Google Search

Perform a search on your name to simply see what comes up. This will help you come up with a game plan not only to clean up your profile, but to proactively strategize on what to include to improve your online image and set you apart.

2. Search on your name on other Search Engines other than Google, such as Bing and Yahoo

While search results should be consistent, sometimes they vary. Double check and ensure you are coming across as you wish.

3. Maintain a professional, but fun, Facebook profile

Mind the pictures you post and consider limiting tags by others to pictures on your wall. Ensure your wall and photos are professional in nature (so take down the party pic of you dancing on the bar with your friends). Post academic achievements (I received an A on my chem. Exam!!), athletic wins (I just did my PB during the 5K race!) and non-profit initiatives (Loved participating in the food pantry fundraiser last night…consider joining me at the next event).

4. Check your name in Google Images

Here you will see what pictures are online that are connected or tagged to your name in a public manner.  You may not have all of your and your friends’ Facebook pictures come up, depending on the privacy settings. However, all public photos that are tagged to your name will arise.

5. Check your privacy settings on Facebook and other online media

Assume nothing you put on the web is ever private—that is my cardinal rule. If you are in doubt if you should put it up, well, maybe you should not do it.

6. Write a professional LinkedIn Profile

A Linkedin profile that is optimized for keywords will improve your ability to be found by recruiters and land an interview. 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find their next hire. You need to be here.

7. Create a Twitter account to follow target companies and network with contacts who can help you lead You to your dream job

Twitter provides real time data to improve the content of your communication with key contacts.

8. Consider removing information that references topics that should not be considered as part of a hiring decision

Information such as religion, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or other group represented in Title VII or the American with Disabilities Act should not be part of a hiring decision. It is discriminatory to ask for this data or use it in a hiring decision. But if the information is offered by the applicant, it can (wrongly) be used in a hiring decision in an unconscious manner.

9. Share positively across all social media channels

Negative rants are major turnoffs to employers, as no one wants to hire their next problem. Demonstrate your ability to communicate constructively and don’t overshare.

10. Create New Content to Replace Negative Content

If you do have negative information about you that you cannot remove, or if you share a name with life-long criminal, one option you have is you can create new content by launching a blog, writing online book reviews, creating a personal website URL (i.e. www.yourname.com), and using other tactics to bury the information.

11. coming up anywhere online is almost as bad as having a negative online image

Employers wonder do you get technology and/or what have you been doing all this time? So get online to get hired.

Maintaining a professional online image without losing your personality is very doable. Take the time to craft the image that is true to you and resonates with employers to land that first job—making your time in school all worth it.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer 

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Tags: Social Media, Job Search, Networking, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies

15 Ways to Fiscal Cliff-Proof Your Career

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

15 Ways to Fiscal Cliff-Proof Your Career
You can triumph and advance your career in this fiscal cliff economy! Whatever happens in Washington over the next few months, the fact remains that the uncertainty posed by the fiscal cliff have many people worried about how it will affect their job and their career. The rumblings about how the fiscal cliff outcome can affect people at work is loud. Despite this growing concern, I believe you can win in this economic turmoil. How, you ask?

As a general rule, focus on what you can control and ignore what you can’t control to stay sane and win during this tumultuous economic time. Companies want to hire and keep productive, resilient and happy employees…so here are some things you can do to demonstrate this characteristic in you:

15 Ways to Protect and improve your career reputation

1. Remain calm, stay focused and simply do your job.

If your employer sees you as someone who is resilient and productive amongst the economic noise, they will note that you might be worth keeping around if cuts are to be made.

2. Be the voice of reason

Stop talking about what can go wrong and focus on what can be done right. Again, employers want to keep the employees that are positively contributing to the environment and not the Chicken Littles who are running around that the sky is falling.

3. Stay social

Ask a work colleague out for lunch and call a long distance professional buddy to chat. And, for God’s sake, don’t talk about the fiscal cliff or any other negative economic fodder. Chat about productive topics.

4. Join a professional networking group 

Stay abreast of what is going on in your discipline and your industry. Make new friends.

5. Take Credit when credit is due

When doing your performance appraisal spell out how you contributed to revenue initiatives, saved money and streamlined processes. Tell your boss how fabulous you are in concrete, measurable terms.

6) Be grateful and happy


If you come across happy and grateful, your employer does not have to worry about making you happy. One less thing to worry about on their growing to-do list can help you stay employed. I find that demanding, disgruntled, never-satisfied employees who contribute to the problem rather than the solution do not tend to stick around long.

7) Update Your Resume

Update your resume and optimize LinkedIn profile to reflect these winds outlined in your performance appraisal. Have these documents ready to roll if needed.

8) Connect on Linkedin

Audit your LinkedIn connections and see that you are connected with vendors, clients, external and internal partners. Maximize your reach.

9) Get Linkedin Recommendations

Get LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements…can’t hurt, right?

10) Be active online

Post interesting articles, endorse other people, and participate in groups to stay visible in online mediums.

11) Continued Education

Research professional development initiatives you can do…certifications, professional credits, and ongoing learning initiatives improve your credentials and create natural networking opportunities, whether they are in person or online.

12) Attend Conferences

Book yourself to attend a conference…when was the last time you went to one in your industry? Promote yourself as a leader in your field and for your company.

13) Avoid Distractions

Time to turn off the news…don’t listen to it. Unless you are contributing to the senate meetings or advising the President on how to proceed, you really don’t need to listen to the play-by-play.

14) Ask for help

Sign up for interview coaching class or work with a private coach to hone your message and improve your confidence. This type of preparation can help you with a promotion at work, communicating during your performance appraisal and interview for a new job, if needed.

15) Help Others

Be a resource to your network. Connect people who can benefit from knowing each other. This will be remembered when you ask for help.

The bottom line is keep your eye on the prize—retaining and excelling in your job—by just over-delivering on what you are supposed to do. Even you lose your job due to economic circumstances beyond your control, the good karma that will come from doing most of what is suggested above will increase your opportunities to be hired quickly. Again, companies want to hire and keep productive, resilient and happy employees. Companies realize they cannot make you that way, you have to come to them that way, despite the fiscal cliff looming or the financial opportunities arising.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

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Tags: Social Media, Job Search, Networking, Information Security, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies