What to Expect from
And what your
Job Search Agent
will be busy doing for you
866.755.9800 email@example.com 1
Perhaps you can relate...
“I have to admit that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I had my resume done. I had a strong brand
message in place. And I thought I had a plan for how I was going to conduct my job search: I was going to
do what I had always done in the past.
I was going to call a few colleagues to get them ‘looking’ for me, respond to some job boards, and reach
out to a few recruiters. So I did just that. And although I had some movement, it was very slow-going.
Companies were definitely much slower to respond and progress the discussion than they had been in
My colleagues were helpful and did put in a few good words for me, but frankly, there just weren’t
enough of them out there and the timing just wasn’t right. At that point, I had to decide either to give up
the search for now or switch tactics.
That’s when I heard about Employer Profiling. Although I was a ‘Skeptic’ myself, I was drawn to the idea of
1) proactively targeting companies I wanted to work for (many of which I didn’t even know existed) and 2)
having a ‘job search agent’ who did the upfront work for me (I knew if I had to rely on my ‘free’ time that
it would never happen).
Without a doubt, this was the push I needed. Before I knew it, I was building my LinkedIn network with
valuable contacts, profiling companies for my search, and being introduced to contacts at those
After launching me into this direction, although I still had to be diligent and follow through, I did succeed
in meeting with a decision maker on two separate occasions at one of my target companies who
eventually made me an offer…for a position that was never posted!
This approach was definitely hard work, but all along the way, I felt more in control of the process, more
directed, and less a part of the masses. I still applied to job boards and talked to recruiters (and even had
some interviews from that), but I never gave up on building those new relationships with people at these
And now I can even say that I have leveraged those relationships to help others in my network. I think I
finally truly understand how networking should work.”
Meet Justine. Justine is a very busy Project Manager
in the pharmaceutical industry. She also happens to
be a busy mom of 3 and very active in her
Justine has always moved from job to job pretty
easily until this time. Job boards and recruiters just
aren’t coming through for her, and she knows she
needs to build more professional contacts, but who
has the time?
Plus, Justine wasn’t born yesterday. Although her
current environment isn’t ideal, she doesn’t want to
just jump ship for greener pastures. She wants to
be careful about the next organization she works
But that’s easier said than done…or so it seems.
866.755.9800 firstname.lastname@example.org 2
Here’s where you should be today.
• Your messaging is in place. Your resume portfolio is set.
• You’ve met Sue, our NoNonsense Job Search Agent, and she
has begun by assessing the current state of your LinkedIn
network and has made recommendations on how to
strengthen your connections. (If you haven’t read through
14 LinkedIn Network Building Tips yet, please take a few
minutes and do so. We want to leverage LI, our networks and
yours, during employer profiling.)
• A little bit of tightening with your LI network will go a long way,
so please follow the recommendations Sue has put forth.
866.755.9800 email@example.com 3
Meet Sue, our Job Search Agent.
If ever there were an answer to prayer, music to your ears, or a sight for sore eyes (you get the drift), Sue is it. Blending a unique background
in managing both IT and telecom day-to-day operations with extensive hiring and recruitment experience for small/mid-sized organizations
as well as for a prominent Fortune 1000 company, Sue has been up close and personal with HR, and has had to wade through layoffs,
acquisitions, and corporate restructuring. (That means she's a veteran of the job market zoo and has been so deep in corporate goo that
nothing surprises her anymore!)
Together, we devised a three-phase “NoNonsense” employer profiling solution that gives members another alternative to the job board “rat
race” and, the best part of all, provides personal job search support, so that each member has his or her very own job search “agent” helping
to zero in on and find contacts at prime employers best suited for the member. This is something truly unique!
Sue also helps with conducting our 45-minute introductory strategic visioning consult calls that get our members moving from the messaging
stage into the execution stage. She helps get you moving toward a strategy for your search and provides advice on how to enhance on the
standby methods you typically use.
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Now let’s look at how it’s all going to come together…
Here are OUR goals….
• We will target companies in your geographic area, field, industry,
etc. that are best suited for your goals.
• We will research and find contacts (at least 1 contact; maybe more)
at these companies based on your strength of connection
(leveraging alumni, military, professional association, etc.).
• We will prioritize the companies based on your preferences and the
strength of connections we find.
• We will reach out on your behalf and make the initial introduction
with the contact names.
• We will try to secure a response from as many as we can, and we
will try to get them to agree to continue to talk to you at a later
time in more detail about the company, other possible connections,
• We will provide you with messaging and tutorials about where to
take the conversation from there.
• We will get you away from just relying on job boards and recruiters
to help you build a more effective network for you targeting specific
resources (keeping you away from networking mixer after
• We will save you a lot of upfront research time that makes it so
difficult for professionals to get started with this approach.
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Here are YOUR goals….
• You will respond to the connections we make on your behalf, doing your best to be
timely and professional in all your interactions (Sue will walk you through how best to
respond or answer any questions you have.)
• You will respect the other person’s time during any phone or face-to-face meetings you
• You will understand that all connections we make are company insiders, but they are not
responsible for ensuring you get a job. They are willing to help give you advice, make
introductions, or pass along your name. We want to be careful not to pressure them.
• You will set up informational interviews but understand that an informational interview
is different from a formal interview. Here you are the one asking the questions, and the
goal is first relationship building. So you will need to be tactful in your discussion and in
knowing when to present your resume, etc. (Again, Sue will help guide you through this.)
• You will get more comfortable with the informational interview format as you go along.
• You will be diligent in your follow-through with all contacts made to keep the
relationship moving and engaged without overwhelming the contact.
• You will understand that this process is nontraditional, so there can be more ups and
downs (a lot of discussion, a lot of waiting, a lot of nothing, a lot of something). The
point is to keep building strategic connections.
• You will not limit yourself to companies who are only posting for jobs at the moment.
Many companies know well in advance when they might have an opening coming up. So
you want your focus on finding companies that are a good fit for you, not just ones that
are currently hiring.
• You will recognize that this approach is not just good for this career move but could set
you up for future ones as well if you nurture the relationships you build. (We see clients
take an offer and then hear from one of their contacts 6 months, a year, or more down
the road about a potential opportunity. That’s called a “pipeline” and you want that in
today’s market. You can always turn it down; the point is to keep options open.)
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Here is what we CAN
• We can control the branding and presentation we have put
together during our resume portfolio process, ensuring that it
is top quality and well focused.
• We can control the companies that we profile.
• We can control the contacts at those companies we choose to
• We can control how we present ourselves to those contacts.
• We can also control how we follow up and continue to
nurture those contacts.
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Here is what we CAN’T
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• We can’t control how contacts respond or even whether they
respond (Sue will find secondary contacts if our primary ones
do not come through.)
• We can’t control what a company does and does not choose
to do. Our goal is to identify and make contact with
companies best suited for you and guide you in building
relationships with those contacts. Where that leads is infinite!
• We can’t control timing.
• We can’t control the fact that a job search can be frustrating.
• We can’t control the universe (smile).
So now that we have our goals and parameters set, let’s put
our game faces on and get to work!
Write the Vision
Sue will begin by establishing your
parameters for profiling employers.
You will receive your first email from her
with a specific set of questions meant to
help zero in on the employers best suited
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We most likely fleshed out a lot of this during our messaging process,
so this should not be overwhelming at this point.
Basic preparation steps:
Here’s what we will be doing on the
• We will change some privacy settings
for the duration of this process (we will
let you know what that is).
• We might need to make some
introductions from our network on your
behalf (we will explain why and what for
as we go along).
While we are compiling our
recommended list of targeted
employers, we will need you to do the
• Set up a new email account for this
process (using gmail, yahoo, etc.).
Make it formal.
• Check Facebook, Twitter, and any
other social media you use to
make sure it is professional and
appropriate (we’ve already taken
care of LinkedIn at this point)
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Presenting the results.
Once we have your list compiled, Sue will go through and
vet the list one more time to make sure that they all meet
the criteria set.
She will also be contacting you with the employer names.
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Phase 2: Make It Plain
Now it’s time to prioritize these
employers and gather contact names and
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Prioritizing your list of employers.
Once we have your list of targeted employers, Sue will then contact you with the list.
You will receive employer names, locations, market sector type, and web addresses.
She will ask you to give each employer a rating of 0-10 based on your interest/desire
to engage with that employer.
She will typically ask that you return the results of your rating within a few business
days to keep the process moving.
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is a good site
for looking up
into culture and
that might help
with rating each
Try not to overanalyze your ratings; the idea here is to get a basic idea of
how the different employers appeal to you at least on the surface level.
While you’re doing that...
We are not just trying to gather contact names; we are looking for contacts that have
some connection to you that we can leverage as a way of introducing you to that
person and to the company.
Here’s some basic criteria that Sue will use during her research:
• Alumni connection: It may seem silly, but the power of alumni connections
should not be ignored. When you are reaching out to someone “cold,” having
something that you’ve shared, such as a college, is a great lead-in for an
introduction. Furthermore, studies show that we like to engage and respond to
our fellow alum.
• Military or civic connection: Military and civic connections work much the same
way as alumni connections do. Shared associations should not be ignored during
a job search (but often are). That is why we will leverage them in this process.
• LinkedIn connection: First-level connections are great on LinkedIn, but 2nd-level
ones and group ones might be even better because these are new connections
for us to make that we would otherwise not have made thanks to their
connection to our 1st-level peers.
• Past employer connection: Although less likely and less significant for our
purposes, she will also look to see whether you both share a past employer
(even if you didn’t work for the company at the same time).
Sue will be busy generating contact
names and info at each employer.
She will also be ranking the employers
based on the strength of their
connection to you.
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once you return the list with your
ratings for each employer,
Sue will combine your ratings with her
findings and rank the companies based on
your preferences and strength of connection
with contact names.
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It’s Time for Your First Consult Call.
At this point, Sue has matched you with employers and prioritized them
based on our ranking system. In other words, you now have a “plain vision”
for which employers we are going to target, which ones look the most
promising, and a list of contacts at these employers.
Now she will meet up with you on your first consult call to go over the vision
and to explain how we are going to “run with it” in Phase 3.
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Phase 3: Run With It
The plan here is to engage these contacts
leveraging the strength of your
connection (fellow alum, veteran, mutual
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Here’s what we are asking
these contacts to do:
So our goal is to reach out and then get a response. We’re banking on the strength of
the connection to initiate a response from them.
• How many typically respond initially? The response rate usually runs about 40%
within the first few days. Some people might take longer, but generally if they
are going to respond, they do so within about a week.
• Aren’t they going to know I’m looking for a job anyway? Of course they are. But
that is nothing to be ashamed of. At the same, though, we don’t want to
intimidate or pressure anyone.
• Will I see the introduction messages that are sent? Yes. You will have access to
each one that goes out, and we will send you a copy of a template message
before we start so that you know what is being said.
• What happens after we send out the initial messages? Truthfully, we wait a few
days. We give people a chance to respond.
• What happens once contacts begin responding? We will look at the type of
response you receive, and then we will set a plan for how to respond to them.
We’re hoping that they will be willing to chat with you and to set up a time to
talk. This will give a chance to solidify the engagement even more.
We are NOT asking them to find you a job in our initial
Think of it this way: Would you walk across a crowded
room to someone you’ve never met and say, “Will you
get me a job at your company?” I hope not.
No, you would engage them in a less threatening
manner to put them at ease and to let them know that
you are someone professional and comfortable to
Therefore, in our initial contact, we are first looking to
connect with them, give them a general sense of why
you are reaching out, and then ask them whether it
would be OK to follow up with them.
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One week later...
At this point, some contacts have responded and some haven’t
(again, ~40% have).
You and Sue have discussed how to handle the respondents, and you have the
messaging to respond to those contacts to move forward with them. (Here is
where you step in to set up appointments with the contact and to prepare for an
informational “chat” with them where you gather more data about the company
(what’s the culture like, are they hiring, etc.) and even ask for possible
introductions to others who might be a good resource for you.
Now what do we do with the 60% who haven’t responded?
We follow up.
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Sue will then send a follow-up message to
those 60% to try another time.
In our initial contact, we will let them know that
you will be following up next week if you do not
hear from them.
So this is what we will do.
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follow up, we
follow up is
In the meantime, Sue will identify contacts in
our respective LinkedIn networks who might
be good contacts as well.
So even though they might not be at the vetted employers, they
will still be strong industry contacts who might have other
connections, advice, or knowledge we could leverage to find out
about other opportunities.
So while we nurture our employer contacts, we build strategic LI
network connections and engage them.
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Now it’s time for our
OK, so we’ve reached out. We’ve followed up. We’ve built our LI network. Now it’s time to assess where we’re at.
Our goal is to get you going down a different road to reaching out to employers who are best suited for you. And we are giving you tutorials for
how to make the most out of the connections we reach.
Sue will make sure you have a plan for where to go from here, be it finding more contact names at the companies that did not respond, adding
more companies to our list, or waiting to see what comes out of the connections you’ve made so far.
Most likely you are still setting up appointments and having the initial call with these contacts. Maybe they’ve asked you to send them your
resume, or maybe they’ve made subsequent introductions for you with other contacts. All of that is great. The key here is for you to keep the
conversation going and have good follow-through.
And be patient. Building strong network connections takes time, but a good referral is still the most effective job search method out there.
Not only does it get you a job, but it gets you a better job than job boards do.
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Job searching isn’t about 1 method; it’s
about a diversified approach. Employer
Profiling is meant to help build a pipeline
you didn’t have before other than just
using job boards. Why not create as
many pipelines as you can?
After the second consult, we will
continue to monitor your progress
and help guide you.
Now that we’ve paved the way and done the
leg work, we want to make sure you maximize
your investment. So you can’t get rid of us that
easily! Sue will follow up and check in on you.
866.755.9800 email@example.com 23
Here are your next goals…
• You will want to make the most out of your informational “chat” with the
contact by gathering more info about the company, such as its culture, if it
is growing, if there are other people you should meet there, etc.
• You will want to ask the contact if there is anything you can do for him or
her…introductions you can make, etc.
• You will want to send a thank-you to the contact after the chat.
• You will take care of any action items that came up during your chat.
• You will follow up with the contact every few weeks or so as appropriate.
• You will be timely and responsive to anything the contact recommends,
such as contacting someone else or sending your resume somewhere,
• You will not overwhelm the contact with your wonderfulness; you want to
be bold but not pushy, determined but not desperate.
• You will recognize that networks and pipelines must be nurtured and take
some time to develop.
• You won’t wait so long next time to get started with this!
866.755.9800 firstname.lastname@example.org 24
For more on where to
go from here, check out
“Making the Most Out
of Employer Profiling.”
Silly me. I thought an MBA mixed with hard work was my ticket…
(A Note from Stephen Van Vreede, Co-Founder of ITtechExec/NoddlePlace)
866.755.9800 email@example.com 25
When I first started my career, generally I didn’t know anyone who actually paid to have their
resume (or résumé, for the purists among us) written, much less for “career services.”
Let's be real. It used to be pretty cut-and-dry. You put a basic 1-page (or maybe 2-page) resume
(or résumé) together, worked a few connections or answered a few "classifieds," and felt pretty
certain the right opportunity would come along. Then if you worked hard (got the right certs) and
didn't burn too many bridges, you most likely had a pretty secure career path ahead of you
perhaps even with the same company.
And at first, throughout most of the early part of my corporate life, that was generally how things
went. I moved from internal position to internal position without the need to invest in resume or
other career services, eventually landing a director-level role with a large GE Capital, multi-site
inbound call center serving the logistics industry.
But then the job market began to change, my priorities shifted, and job
security was, well, less secure.
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So I decided to go back for my MBA and obtain some other credentials (sound
familiar?), which cost me thousands and thousands (and thousands) of dollars
(just ask my lovely bride who helped pay for them!). I even clawed my way
through the Six Sigma process to become a Black Belt.
It was a great experience, but after two years of working full time and taking
night classes, when I graduated, the job market wasn’t much better, competition
for internal promotions was greater, and I wasn’t the only one with an MBA, a
Black Belt, etc.
That’s when I was introduced to resume design and career services.
866.755.9800 email@example.com 27
I came to recognize that the time and resources I had already spent on my
career were worth protecting. The market was too uncertain and
changing too rapidly for me to continue to go it alone.
At this point, I had already invested in someone to handle my retirement,
another someone to do my taxes, and another someone to find me the
right home. It wasn’t such a stretch to think that my career mattered as
much, if not more, than these other things. After all, without it, then I
couldn’t afford the retirement or the house (and yes even the taxes).
I began to see where resume/career services could
play an integral part…
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in not only helping people to secure jobs but also in building in
protections to the careers we’ve all worked so hard to achieve.
Eventually, my wife, Sheree, and I began our own firm in 2001
called “No Stone Unturned” in 2001. Initially, we had a small
office where we hosted seminars and workshops, wrote
resumes, and served a cross section of professionals and
And although writing resumes and teaching some seminars
was fine, we wanted to do better. And we knew we could.
ITtechExec was launched…
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Thanks to my background in IT/telecom management for the supply chain/logistics industry and
to Sheree’s experience serving as an editor to the scientific/engineering community in the
publishing world, we soon realized that we were best suited to serve the technical professional
trying to maneuver through what by that point (2008) had become a complex and exhausting job
market. (Let’s face it…it’s a bit of a zoo out there!)
Not only that, we noticed that other resume writers were avoiding technical clients, unsure of
how best to position their specialized skills.
Therefore, it wasn’t long before we began to work exclusively with IT and technical or “STEM”
clientele, professionals who have devoted themselves to some of the most innovative and
rewarding fields in today’s industries, from engineering to healthcare IT to scientific exploration
to big data and cloud services to project/program management.
That’s when ITtechExec was born…
Silly me. I thought we could just write resumes…
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Then, before we knew it, unemployment skyrocketed and the tech market
began waging its war for sophisticated tech talent.
And on top of all that, social media recruiting burst onto the scene, and the
landscape became pretty messy, pretty fast. Soon, hiring folks were claiming
they were no longer reading resumes (even though they continued to ask for
them), and the job market became such a zoo that candidates found
themselves focused on a document that everyone says they won't look at for
more than 6 seconds but it better not have any typos in it!
That’s when we realized that we could no longer just write a resume and send
our clients on their way. They needed better preparation and lasting
protections. They needed strategies and tools that, well, worked.
We knew then that we had to become a full-service career advancement and
protection firm, not just another resume-writing firm.
95% of technical leaders obsess over the resume even though they don't
believe it has much value.
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So we asked ourselves, if you know the market is a zoo, that resumes aren't likely to be read, and
that obstacles like age or experience are more pronounced than ever, why would you (a) keep
approaching it from the same angle over and over or (b) sit back and do nothing? Why wouldn't
you instead focus on where the real value lies?
With tech professionals changing jobs every 3 to 4 years, consulting/contracting on the rise, and
fierce competition for promotions, it's time to try something that is based on how the market is
actually working now, not 10, 15, even 5 years ago.
It's why we've made a radical shift to a more portfolio-driven approach instead of just a
Yes, the resume is part of it, but let’s get more from your investment.
866.755.9800 firstname.lastname@example.org 32
You still need a solid chronological resume (no matter what you may hear) geared toward a very specific
audience, but when done properly, having addenda to go along with the resume can be much more
effective (and much more likely to be read!), not to mention the significance of the LinkedIn profile, which
will continue to grow over the next few years.
Portfolios can help build in flexibility and prepare you to face different hiring scenarios. But you need to
know which tools are best for your situation. Although there is a lot out there you can do (or buy), you
don't need to do everything (that's the good news!).
So whether you are an external job seeker looking for a new full-time role, a consultant going for the next
contract, or an internal leader seeking promotion or just retention (such as during an acquisition),
because we are following the tech job market closely, the real investment is in knowing which tools are
right for you and how to properly use them. (To learn more about why we recommend a portfolio-driven
approach, check out our presentations: http://ow.ly/viT6C and http://ow.ly/vM9UH.)
No one can predict for certain what the market will do, but we can make sure that you are prepared for
Building the messaging AND the strategic vision for your job search
that lead to solutions.
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The portfolio is great, the branding is wonderful, but now what are you
going to do with it? Is it going to give you experience you don't have, turn
you into something you're not, take away the gray in your hair? Of course
not. But when done right, it can do something that the 95% of technical
professionals keep missing: It can speak to the needs of your target
audience ONCE you get it into their hands.
And that is ultimately why we do what we do. We equip you to face
obstacles in the market, and we position you for the best chances of
We began developing this approach in late 2011 when we started to
realize that our client “members” needed more than just a resume and
basic messaging; they needed a strategic vision.
That’s how NoddlePlace came to be…
866.755.9800 firstname.lastname@example.org 34
To best provide this strategic visioning, we needed to differentiate our solutions even further!
This meant tailoring some to meet the needs of the more experienced tech pro, the leader with
15+ years of experience who was now wondering how to face this market that seemed to
penalize them often for things they can’t control, like age, experience, and high salaries. For
them, it isn’t so much about climbing ladders as it is about protecting what they’ve built so far
and staying relevant to the marketplace.
So we customized ITtechExec to meet the needs of this type of client.
Then we introduced NoddlePlace in 2013. Here we focus on the “emerging” technical
professional with 5 to 15 years of experience who knows another 25 years or more in the tech
job market means 8+ more career moves, statistically speaking, and wants to keep advancing in
the market but now has a lot of other demands on his or her time.
In either case, though, they are both looking for real solutions…
Maybe you can relate….
A lot of times we know what we “should” do, but
either we don’t do it or we just wait until we have to
• We no longer have the ambition we once did
• We have kids to raise and focus on
• We believe the obstacles we will face in the
market are too overwhelming or exhausting to
• Work no longer matters much
• We’re too busy
• We always figure something out when we need
• We’re not really sure what we want to do next
• We have external concerns that weigh on us
• We have other unfulfilled goals and dreams
866.755.9800 email@example.com 35
BUT protecting careers protects families.
Too many times we think of our careers in terms of climbing the ladder of ambition and in having it all
And although there’s nothing wrong with having ambition, there’s much more to our livelihoods than that.
There are people depending on us, and no matter where we stand on the corporate ladder, we all have
something to protect.
And that protection requires preparation. (If you want to toss in ambition, great!) It doesn’t necessarily
mean you have your whole life mapped out or that the obstacles you face aren’t real. It does mean,
though, that you aren’t going to keep letting corporate whims and job market trends toss you around with
no regard for you and your family.
866.755.9800 firstname.lastname@example.org 36
What is the cost of doing nothing?
So we’ve developed our solutions, not to be so much an investment in a
“resume” as an investment in proper positioning and solutions to the market.
866.755.9800 email@example.com 37
Call it holistic. Call it different. We like to think of it in terms of allowing us to track results and
There are good resume writers out there. But they can’t/don’t/won’t do anything more than
write the resume and send you on your way. And the resume alone isn’t really addressing the
main issue: your age, lack of experience (too much experience), family or geographic restrictions,
job hopping, you name it.
Having the right messaging is good; having the right messaging with the right strategic vision
But the story doesn’t end there…or it shouldn’t…
To learn more about ITtechExec or our other solutions:
866.755.9800 firstname.lastname@example.org 38
Check Us Out
Or call Stephen toll-free at 1-866-755-9800; email at email@example.com.
Also, check out our free self-assessments:
From Tech Job Market Zoo to Corporate Goo...
How to Protect What You’ve Built So Far.
LI Profile Optimization Self-Assessment
Career Move Preparation Self-Assessment