As promised in my last post, on “Finding Your Career Passion”, I want to bring you up to speed on the progress of my job search.
As you may remember, I took a hiatus from my job search project plan over the Christmas and New Years holidays to travel overseas with my family. When we returned, I challenged myself to learn more job search strategies and leads sourcing channels to further improve my efforts. In response to my own challenge, I selected Twitter, expanding my certifications and expertise, and more volunteering, speaking and writing (as was recommended by several commenters to this blog) to improve my results.
I created my Twitter account based on my own consulting firm’s name, @TriumphCIO. Twitter experts recommend selecting two – five topics for your Twitter posts, called “tweets”, to stay focused. So I selected: job search strategies (my own and helping others); CIO topics (e.g., IT strategy, enterprise architecture, IT management and IT security); Six Sigma and BPM; and US Defense.
I must say that I have been very happy with my results from Twitter. Not only have over fifty percent (50%) of all my new leads come from Twitter, but Twitter directly led to a new major opportunity with JobAngels, a national non-profit organization whose objective is to help ‘one person help just one other person find gainful employment’. After interviewing with their CMO, Charee Klimek, and their founder, Mark Stelzner, I started as JobAngels’ new (volunteer) CIO in February/March. I am also volunteering as the Co-Chair for TechExec’s Chicago Chapter and co-coordinating the Technology Leaders Association’s new evening sessions in Chicago.
I also have been getting myself re-trained and certified in several methodologies, including Lean Six Sigma, ITIL and PMI’s PMP – all of which are listed as Top 10 Technology Skills. I am particularly excited about my Lean Six Sigma certification, since I have used this and several other continuous process improvement methodologies for my entire career, with some significant business improvements and cost savings.
I have also been expanding on my writing and speaking efforts, including collaborating with April M. Williams (aka, ‘The Networking Goddess’) on two e-books.
MY JOB SEARCH
Of course, all of these efforts are still focused on a single goal – landing my next great opportunity. And in that, the economy has continued to create problems for my own and so many others’ job search efforts.
Again, finding opportunities in this recession and getting interviews has not been an issue for me; it’s finding employers that are ready, willing and able to move to actual start dates that seems to be the problem for me and so many of the executives I have spoken to. That has forced me, and the IT executives in my network, to rely on short-term contracts to keep our families fed while we continue in our job searches.
I continue to use both my multi-channel leads strategy and job search project plan to make sure that I consistently have at least 5-10 CIO, CTO, VP and Director level opportunities in my pipeline at all times. I still customize each resume for each opportunity, which lands me interviews for over sixty percent (60%) of all my resumes out – well worth the 1-2 hours I spend on each. Further, when I actually interview with the hiring manager, I am still being selected as one of their top three candidates over seventy percent (70%) of the time.
To further improve my results, I work to find a strong internal referrer or champion using LinkedIn, Twitter, and informational interviews to add credibility to my application. This also gives me opportunities to learn about new opportunities before they are advertised (the aptly named “Hidden Job Market”, which I will be writing about soon).
With the addition of my new certifications and increased visibility from Twitter, additional volunteering, writing and speaking efforts, to my already strong networking, targeting, resume and interviewing skills, I have upped the ante to clearly define myself as the “ideal” candidate, THE answer to their needs, so that when the hiring manager finally gets the green light to hire again, they know exactly who to call first – me!
As always, thank you very much for all of your comments, emails and input!!
CIO Job Search: A Real Life Chronicle