by Mark Cummuta

Week 31: Personal Job Search Secrets in a Recession Article and WITI Awards

Apr 11, 20085 mins

Today’s entry is on three quick points – the publication of my recent full-length research article on “10 Secrets for Searching for A Job In A Recession”, a quick update on my personal job search, and a note about WITI’s (Women In Technology International) Excellence in Corporate IT Leadership Awards.

As noted back in Week 21’s post I had started an in-depth research project into the effects of a recession on a personal job search

, and more importantly, what you must do differently to improve your odds in such a down market. After several weeks interviewing top executive and IT recruiters, hiring managers and placement specialists from around the country, and then working through several drafts with (significant) assistance from CIO senior editor Meridith Levinson (thank you!), that article was recently published here on CIO Magazine’s (“10 Secrets for Searching for A Job In A Recession”). I welcome your thoughts on it, especially if any points can be of benefit to your job search.

In the process of my above research, I started working with a resume writer to redesign and rewrite my executive resume. We hope to have that ready for use very soon. The downsides of this effort are first, that it was put on hold for a few weeks while the firm’s principle was out of town, and two, that I postponed sending my resume to a number of executive recruiters and have lost out on some opportunities. On the positive side, we have been documenting this resume rewrite effort in order to share the process, and results with you soon.

As for a quick update on the rest of my job search:

  • I just completed a strategic systems consulting project for a healthcare technology services firm, and am finishing a smaller web application project for another client, while I am waiting on final approvals for several other potential clients’ proposals.
  • Two defense industry opportunities are on hold, one while my inside champion is on active training duty in the military, and the other while existing awarded contracts work their way through this election year’s procurement processes.

In the meantime, over the past several weeks, between my client projects and my writing I have had almost no time left to apply to any new positions. In effect, I let my secondary leads pipeline dry up. But, I have been spending what little time I have reinforcing my network. After all, with the majority of new management jobs statistically resulting from networking, these are still my primary leads sources.

  • I continue to help my network by identifying new full-time and consulting opportunities, and then doing what I can to bring the right people to the right positions. Two friends have landed great positions this way over the past several weeks.
  • Similarly, for one technology firm that I am particularly interested in, I have been working with their executives and sales team to identify new client opportunities for them.
  • I have also taken on board advisory roles for two technology and consulting services firms that I have been working with and believe in.
  • For those that remember back in October I had noted the opportunity to help a friend start his new restaurant; he hopes to be opening his doors next month so I am helping develop his website.
  • I have also been active in my community, co-founding an IT Executives Accountability group and speaking at several organizations on job search tactics. And just yesterday I presented on the benefits of starting their Career Diary early for our kids’ high school.
  • I have been attending several IT executive roundtables and technical conferences.

The return results of the above networking are just starting to come back. I was recently contacted by two individuals that I hired several years ago, both of whom thought of me when they heard of new executive opportunities. I am working with two other individuals on ways to bring our consulting ideas to fruition online and to new speaking forums.

With my big projects completed, and before any new projects begin, I am quickly doing a few key things for my family and to rebuild my pipeline, and income.

  1. Our taxes !!!
  2. Finishing my resume rewrite, so I can start applying to new full-time positions.
  3. Contacting the major opportunities I have been tracking for CIO, CTO and COO positions to get feedback and our next steps.
  4. Following up on the two new opportunities my friends introduced me to, including creating customized resumes for each.

Finally, I am a long-time believer in mentoring and teaching teams and individuals, with the above recommendations from my prior team mates note to my commitment. Recently I had the pleasure of working with the WITI (Women In Technology International) organization which provides mentoring and training opportunities worldwide for successful women in IT to help other women excel in IT. WITI’s “Excellence in Corporate IT Leadership Awards” are scheduled for May 1st, 2008, and I was honored to be named a judge for this event this year. For readers in the Chicago area, there are still plenty of seats available for this incredible networking opportunity.

And more good news – it finally looks like spring is here again! A little cooler than I had hoped for, but the robins and green grass as starting to appear again.

Thank you again for all of your comments and ideas!