Archive for the ‘News’Category

Alternative Job Search

As many Americans still find themselves unemployed, people are getting creative with ways to go about finding the perfect job. As seen in the News and Observer, by creating his own website, Cris Cohen was able to draw attention to aspects of his professional experience that would not ordinarily be on his résumé, our own David Rhode, managing partner at Vaco, has a few thoughts for job seekers like Cohen.

Offbeat website reboots job search

BY DAVID RANII – Staff Writer

After Cris Cohen was laid off from his job as a contract worker for Cisco Systems in April, he decided a conventional job search just wasn’t going to cut it.

“The typical way of looking for a job has always been very frustrating, the whole thing that you have to present yourself in the format of a résumé, which is two pages and has all the excitement of insurance literature,” said Cohen, 40, of Cary.

So Cohen ventured down the unorthodox path of creating a website, “Cris Recruits A Company,” that provides a more engaging, more personalized showcase of his talents – including his writing skill.

“Hi. I’m Cris and I am looking for a company to join, one that needs people who can do more than just one job, people who can adapt,” Cohen states on the home page of crisrecruitsacompany.weebly.com. “Although I favor communications work, I am the employee equivalent of a Swiss army knife in that I have multiple skills and I look good in red.”

Indeed, Cohen’s varied work history is anything but résumé-friendly since it is, as Duke Ellington would have said, beyond category. As Cohen points out on his website, “I am experienced in communications, sales operations, project management, and certifications security enforcement (I swear I did not make that last job up).”

In case you’re wondering, certifications security enforcement work was what Cohen did as a contract worker at Cisco for the past four years. It turns out that there’s an active black market in Cisco certification exams, and Cohen, according to his website, was a project manager whose responsibilities included “creating tools, processes and programs for identifying illegal replication and distribution of Cisco testing and certification materials.”

Given the struggling economy and the high unemployment rate, job seekers across the country are trying new methods – video résumés, renting billboards – to stand out from the crowd.

It’s an extra tool

David Rhode, managing partner at Vaco Raleigh, an executive placement and consulting firm, said a website such as Cohen’s enables job seekers to call attention to pluses that might not make a résumé. In Cohen’s case, that includes the speaking engagements he has booked to promote a humor book that he plans to self-publish in September, “Staying Crazy to Keep From Going Insane.”

But, Rhode cautioned, it’s not a replacement for the traditional tools of job seekers: networking, applying for positions online and preparing a résumé.

“If you think you are going to build it and they will come, you are mistaken,” Rhode said.

Cohen agrees. He’s hoping the website will give his job search some extra oomph, but he’s using it as a supplement to a conventional job search. That includes, among many other things, “communicating with any and all family and friends” that he’s on a job hunt.

Rhode also stressed that anyone who takes this approach needs to “make sure it is done really well and really professionally” – a standard that, in his opinion, Cohen has met.

Issues such as misspelled words or haphazard organization, Rhode said, could turn what should be a “positive differentiator” into a negative one.

Finding a role model

Cohen was blindsided when his boss at Spherion Staffing Services, a company that provides contract workers nationwide, told him that he was being let go as part of a downsizing at Cisco. The day before Cohen had been given a new work assignment.

“It was one of those typical situations where you’re going 100 miles an hour and then suddenly somebody says you don’t have a job anymore,” Cohen said.

Cohen is a fan of a blog written by Seth Godin, a best-selling author and marketing guru, so he decided to ask him for advice on how to conduct a different kind of job search. Godin referred him to the “Susan Hires A Boss” website. It was created in 2009 by a protégé of Godin’s, Susan Villas Lewis, when she was seeking a job.

Cohen liked what he saw.

“My superpower is getting things done,” Lewis boasted on her website ( main.susan hiresaboss.com ). “I battle the agent of chaos. I overdeliver. I delight. I amaze. And I’m looking for a place in need of a super hero like me.”

Lewis said in a phone interview that she was contacted by 40 or so companies from across the country who saw her website, including a software development firm in Nashville, Tenn., that ultimately hired her for a marketing job. However, she had a not-so-secret weapon that Cohen doesn’t: Godin promoted her website on his blog ( seth godin.typepad.com ).

“That was a huge advantage,” she said.

Still looking

“Cris Recruits A Company” has been up for about six weeks and, so far, hasn’t produced any tangible results for Cohen. But he isn’t discouraged.

“I know times are difficult,” he said. “I like that it’s a proactive step. I like that I can update it and it’s not just ye old resume.”

When he communicates with a prospective employer, he makes sure to refer them to the website.

His hope is that executives will visit and say to themselves, “I like that he is doing something different.”

Photo Credit: Flickr User SOCIALisBETTER

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23

11 2011

The Future Of The Gaming Industry In Raleigh

The Future of the Gaming Industry in Raleigh

Introduction

Over 30 video game companies  have set-up shop in the Raleigh area providing another profitable, technology-based industry for the Triangle on which to pride itself.  This sector of the entertainment industry has brought over 1,000 jobs and increased attention to the benefits that Raleigh has to offer.

The Wake County Economic Development industry website breaks the gaming industry into three categories; engine development, gaming development and serious games. Each sector targets a different audience and brings in a variety of workforce specializations.

 A combination of tax breaks, education and area amenities make the Triangle a “triple threat” in the gaming industry.

Tax Breaks

With technology becoming more accessible to people of all ages, the gaming industry is reaping the benefits. With higher profitability comes greater competition between states to become the center of the gaming world. To stay a top contender in the fight, Governor Bev Perdue signed into law, effective last year, Tax Breaks that provide companies a credit on compensation and research efforts.

Education

As popularly mentioned when discussing the Triangle, the area universities play a major role in the success of the industry. N.C. State, UNC – Chapel Hill, Duke University and even local community colleges, including Wake Tech, all offer degrees in fields that are beneficial when gaming companies are looking to higher. Around 2,000 students are in computer sciences programs, and, with degrees including game development, graphic design and game design, these future generations are continuously pushing the envelope and introducing new technologies into the field.

Life in the Triangle

Wake County Economic Development says Raleigh is “a mix of big city flair and small town values.” Raleigh residents take pride in their community, always working to better where they call home. The city is affordable and offers a multitude of opportunities for ways to enjoy your time; including being the center for many major college and professional level sports teams.  With an area that offers so many benefits to its residents, those who work in the gaming industry based in Raleigh, have an additional positive environment outside of the work place.

Future

As Raleigh continues to provide the three aspects that make it a “triple threat,” it is only natural to see the gaming industry continue to grow. Local news stations WRAL and News 14 Carolina have reported for the past two years that the gaming industry has been prosperous despite the severe economic conditions. The Raleigh area provides a beneficial environment, both in and out of the work place, and greater numbers of gaming companies are taking note. The game industry is here to stay, and will continue to provide jobs and bring attention to the developments that are being made in the Triangle.

For more information on job opportunities in the Raleigh and Research Triangle Park area, call (919) 719-6500 or e-mail Crystal Suazo at csuazo@vaco.com.

Photo Credit: Flickr User Alfred Hermida

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27

10 2011

Contract and Special Career Opportunities Out of State

If you are a contract, contract-hire, or special project consultant who is pursuing career opportunities out of state, you must rely on multiple channels to find jobs and complete the hiring process. Here are some factors to consider when pursuing contract and special project career opportunities out of state.

Utilize Internet-based recruiting tools, such as Monster, Dice and Careerbuilder, as well as online networking and contact with recruiters. Often a recruiter can help you prepare a resume that highlights the technologies in which you specialize, including keywords for expertise such as: Java Developer, Infrastructure Architect, Bioinformatics Systems Administrator, Oracle/SQL Developer, Network Engineer and so forth. 

Much of your screening and pre-qualification prior to presentation to managers or others involved in the hiring authority will be conducted by a recruiter, especially if your industry is in a high-tech area such as software, biotechnology, healthcare or related industries. Use social media sites such as LinkedIn to collect testimonials from internal or external customers thanking you for your help and praising your actions and the results. If you have website skills or are willing to hire someone who does, an online portfolio of your work can be very effective.

More than likely, you will have to negotiate salary and/or hourly pay rates over the phone as well, so be prepared with a game plan. Get your references in good order and be prepared for any online-administered skills testing. And when you do land the position, make sure that you fully understand what travel, room and board, administrative and other costs will be borne by the employer, and get it in writing. For instance, often general purpose software or hardware are not chargeable to specific grants and contracts unless explicitly budgeted, justified and approved in the project proposal.

For more information on contract and special career opportunities in the Raleigh and Research Triangle Park area, call (919) 719-6500 or e-mail Crystal Suazo at csuazo@vaco.com.

Photo Credit: Flickr User lizzardo

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15

09 2011

Obama Stresses Science and Technology as a Crucial Part of Economic Growth

President Barack Obama’s desire to create more jobs in an effort to boost economic growth has caused much talk in the technology-centered Triangle area. Science and technology sector job growth will play an important role in boosting national economic strength.

According to White House data, for every one job opening across the nation, there are four job-seekers. Science and technological jobs are the opposite. In fact, many science and tech businesses are finding it difficult to fill their open positions with high-skilled workers. Why is there such a low level of competition for these types of jobs?

Currently, only 14 percent of undergraduate students are studying science, technology, engineering or math.  Of that small percentage of students, nearly one-third will change their individual course of study over their college careers.

Why Can Technology Make a Greater Difference?

The president has recently credited competition from other countries for the increased need for a strong science and technology industry. China and India, two of the nations that value the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in these fields, are taking charge of the job market. They are taking jobs from the American people, and, in turn, are reaping the benefits of success. With a lack of interest in technological careers, the United States is falling behind in science-related fields that are crucial to our national success and international reputation.

By keeping these industries and jobs in America, our nation can continue to drive the global economy in an upward direction.

What You Can Do

As an individual looking for a job, already working in a steady position or working to excel in your career, there is no room for complacency.  To keep yourself competitive, you must work to improve yourself, your education and your professional standing.

By taking additional courses or attending industry-specific conferences and seminars, as a professional, you can not only improve your chances of getting a better job, but also help in growing the technology industry as a whole.

For more information on job opportunities in the tech industry in the Raleigh and Research Triangle Park area, call (919) 719-6500 or email Sid Mitchener at smitchener@vaco.com.

Photo Credit: Flickr User RMTip21

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17

08 2011

“Green” Jobs And The Power Industry

Many areas throughout the nation are experiencing a growth in the green job market, and the Triangle is no exception, but this increase in green power is also re-inventing the power industry as a whole. In an article seen in Today’s Engineer, our own Sid Mitchener, partner at Vaco, along with other professionals, discuss the changes that are occurring in an industry that is crucial to everyday life.

 

 

Career Focus: Power Engineering

By John R. Platt

 

Is power engineering a career in crisis, an industry on hold, or a field ripe for opportunity?

Yes to all three.

According to experts, the power engineering field is about to undergo a major 1-2-3 punch that will shake it up more than at any other point in its history:

  1. “Green” energy technologies — such as the smart grid, solar, wind, battery storage and other areas — are about to totally transform the business of energy generation, transmission and distribution.
  2. But at the same time, many — if not the majority — of the people currently working in power engineering are rapidly approaching retirement age and may soon leave the profession.
  3. Meanwhile, not nearly enough new engineers are entering the power engineering profession to meet the anticipated demand that will be seen in the next five to ten years.

These pending shifts will present numerous challenges, but may also create just as many opportunities for those willing to embrace them.

(Click here to read the entire article in Today’s Engineer)

Photo Credit: Blogspot User TheWhizzer

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04

08 2011

Vaco Offers Job Search Advice In N&O

As many Americans still find themselves unemployed, people are getting creative with ways to go about finding the perfect job. As seen in the News and Observer, by creating his own website, Cris Cohen was able to draw attention to aspects of his professional experience that would not ordinarily be on his résumé, our own David Rhode, managing partner at Vaco, has a few thoughts for job seekers like Cohen.

Offbeat website reboots job search

BY DAVID RANII – Staff Writer

After Cris Cohen was laid off from his job as a contract worker for Cisco Systems in April, he decided a conventional job search just wasn’t going to cut it.

“The typical way of looking for a job has always been very frustrating, the whole thing that you have to present yourself in the format of a résumé, which is two pages and has all the excitement of insurance literature,” said Cohen, 40, of Cary.

So Cohen ventured down the unorthodox path of creating a website, “Cris Recruits A Company,” that provides a more engaging, more personalized showcase of his talents – including his writing skill.

“Hi. I’m Cris and I am looking for a company to join, one that needs people who can do more than just one job, people who can adapt,” Cohen states on the home page of crisrecruitsacompany.weebly.com. “Although I favor communications work, I am the employee equivalent of a Swiss army knife in that I have multiple skills and I look good in red.”

Indeed, Cohen’s varied work history is anything but résumé-friendly since it is, as Duke Ellington would have said, beyond category. As Cohen points out on his website, “I am experienced in communications, sales operations, project management, and certifications security enforcement (I swear I did not make that last job up).”

In case you’re wondering, certifications security enforcement work was what Cohen did as a contract worker at Cisco for the past four years. It turns out that there’s an active black market in Cisco certification exams, and Cohen, according to his website, was a project manager whose responsibilities included “creating tools, processes and programs for identifying illegal replication and distribution of Cisco testing and certification materials.”

Given the struggling economy and the high unemployment rate, job seekers across the country are trying new methods – video résumés, renting billboards – to stand out from the crowd.

It’s an extra tool

David Rhode, managing partner at Vaco Raleigh, an executive placement and consulting firm, said a website such as Cohen’s enables job seekers to call attention to pluses that might not make a résumé. In Cohen’s case, that includes the speaking engagements he has booked to promote a humor book that he plans to self-publish in September, “Staying Crazy to Keep From Going Insane.”

But, Rhode cautioned, it’s not a replacement for the traditional tools of job seekers: networking, applying for positions online and preparing a résumé.

Read the full article here

photo credit: Flickr user MagneticNorth

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21

07 2011

Teens Face Discouraging Trend in Job Searches – News & Observer

Vaco Raleigh’s David Rhode was featured in a News & Observer story on summer jobs for teens.  David shared the following:

“Teenagers can be desirable employees because of their energy level and enthusiasm, said David Rhode, managing partner for Vaco Raleigh LLC, an executive search and recruitment firm. Younger talent tends to have high-tech and Internet skills that can be put to work tracking trends online and making spreadsheets, he said.”

“Larger companies often use interns or summer help for administration tasks, and there are opportunities for younger applicants during the summer when full-time employees take vacation, Rhode said. Employers don’t have to worry about them leaving when they get a full-time job because most aren’t looking for one.”

Read the full story here.

photo credit: flickr DRB62

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13

06 2011

Raleigh’s 2011 CED Venture Conference

We recently had the opportunity to exhibit and attend the 2011 CED Venture Conference. This year focused on ALL THINGS TECH in 2011, and with the Research Triangle Park and some of the top colleges and universities in our backyard, there was a showcase of the region’s most promising technology companies to hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors across North Carolina and the Southeast.

This year the conference offered excellent presentations by Michael Capps, president of Epic Games, Glen Tullman, CEO of Allscripts, and Keith Collins, SVP and CTO of SAS, among many others, and some great start-ups featuring their products in the Demo Room, including Twongo, Argyle Social and mailVu. Every year this conference grows, and the RTP companies that come out to present continue to impress.

A few takeaways from the conference this year:

  • CED did a great job setting up the event and creating a format that was lively, informative and entertaining. 
  • There was an impressive list of start-up companies and early stage companies with great ideas. 
  • The Triangle is moving in the right direction, but we still lack the angel investors and venture capitalists locally to help raise capital to support these entrepreneurs.  
  • Durham has done an excellent job attracting young talent and entrepreneurs, and is helping to create an ecosystem to support these early stage companies.

The bottom line is that the Triangle is growing with new companies and technologies because we are home to the talent and knowledge that is needed to develop these products. Not to mention that the Triangle is just a great place to live!

If you have any questions about the growing technology industry in the Triangle and Research Triangle Park contact Sid Mitchener at 919-719-6500 or mailto:smithchener@vaco.com.

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19

05 2011

Vaco Offers Tips To Triangle Job Candidates

Vaco Raleigh Partners David Rhode and Sid Mitchener were featured on NBC17′s My Carolina Today to discuss hiring trends in the Triangle and Research Triangle Park.

They also shared these tips:

New grads:

  1. Make sure you have a solid resume and it has been proofread by other people. 
  2. Leverage any assistance offered by your school.  Find out what alumni you can network with in the area.
  3. Network with friends who have recently found jobs, and target those companies. 
  4. Social Media – make sure your profiles on popular websites like Facebook, Twitter and Linked are professional.  Companies will do their research on you.
  5. Use social media sites to research companies and email hiring managers directly.
  6. Go to job fairs and networking events

 

 Experienced job searchers:

  1. Know what job websites are the best to use for their specific skill set and understand how to create job “alerts” on those sites.  A good example is www.indeed.com.
  2. Get involved with networking events, social media and industry specific user groups, and meet-up groups.
  3. Volunteer and give back to the community for a cause you are passionate about, and NETWORK!
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  5. Use a recruiter you trust.

 

Vaco Raleigh is a leading firm in filling positions in select businesses with the right talent and making the process work for all involved. For more information, call (919) 719-6500 or email drhode@vaco.com or smitchener@vaco.com

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11

05 2011

The Triangle’s Got Game

With more than 120,000 employees nationwide, the video game industry is larger and closer to home than you may think. An estimated 40 to 45 video game companies call North Carolina home, accounting for an estimated total of 1,500 employees.  Unbelievable, right?  See for yourself. 

 Troy Knight, managing director of the design and gaming division at Vaco Raleigh, was featured on UNC-TV in a recent profile about the video game industry in North Carolina.  Knight was interviewed as part of the board of directors for the Triangle Game Initiative, a trade association for the Raleigh-Durham interactive entertainment industry.  His interview can be seen at NC Now – Video Game Industry in NC

A big focus for the industry in the Triangle is creating the gaming engine, which is the software that runs a game’s operations.  Knight, who is Vaco’s expert when it comes to all things gaming and design, says that the Triangle boasts four out of the five top video game engines, including the award-winning Unreal Engine Technology made by Epic Games, Inc., creators of the popular Gears of War video game.

With such a strong academic and research sector in the area, thanks to the nearby universities, Raleigh is hoping to maintain and expand its part in the gaming industry.  The Triangle is hosting its annual East Coast Game Conference in April as part of the effort to attract gaming professionals and hopefuls to the area.  The conference hosts speakers and workshops ranging from the technology and design of video games to the business aspect of the industry. 

Anyone interested in the video game business is encouraged to register to learn more about this exploding industry. For more information, contact Troy Knight at tknight@vaco.com.

Photo credit: Carterhawk

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08

02 2011