The Complete Presentation: Five Things Every Technology Professional Must Know Before Looking For A Job

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Job Prospects for Q1 2011 Look Excellent, Says Harris Allied

With the doors to employment opportunities for technology and quant analysis positions within the financial services sector about to burst open in the middle of the first quarter, those job seekers need to focus on their “personal branding” and emphasize their responsibilities, and not just their roles, as they begin to prepare to make a job move in 2011.

“Marketing oneself - or personal branding - is generally not a strong suit for many technology professionals serving the financial services industry because they enter the job market so infrequently,” said Kathy Harris, managing director at Harris Allied. “They tend to focus more on their individual roles, project successes or the operational aspects of their last position rather than their responsibilities toward contributing to the larger organization,” she added. “Instead, they need to correlate their skills with the concrete value those skills can add to an organization as a whole and bring those accomplishments to light during the search process.”

Harris believes job prospects for the first quarter of 2011 appear excellent and advises that now is the time for technology professionals to do the following five things as they rethink their personal branding before embarking on a job search:

1.    Think ‘Personal Brand’: A personal brand can best be described as your public image and should focus on:

  •     Knowledge - your unique skills, education, business and industry expertise.
  •     Reputation - whom you know, who knows you, and what they say about you
  •     Packaging - your entire presentation, including resume; interpersonal, communication and listening skills, and interview style.

2.    Supercharge Your Resume

  •     A bulleted resume is easier to scan for key skills and industry experience. List accomplishments and projects on the resume to give the hiring manager context to your position, responsibilities and skill set.
  •     Make sure your resume reflects accomplishments that you are most proud of – what you’ve made, saved, or achieved in a position.
  •     Include a bullet point on your resume if you’ve been responsible for an impactful project- maybe enterprise architecture design, a data center move or restructuring - that’s created efficiencies for the firm.
  •     Include key words relevant to the role. If a job description requires a specific skill, candidates should make sure it appears prominently in both the body of the resume as well as in the technical summary. If your resume is submitted to a database it will likely be retrieved through a search function that is keyword-focused.
  •     Resume length should correlate to your years of professional experience - 3 pages for an experienced candidate, 2 pages for a more junior candidate; for an entry level job seeker, 1 page is perfectly acceptable.

3.    Prepare for Your Interview

  •     Perform research on the company and their technical initiatives so you can provide context for the interview and explain how you can most effectively add value to the business.
  •     Image and presentation is key to a successful personal brand. Make sure you find out about the corporate culture and wear what you would on your “best day.”
  •     Your suit doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to fit well. You should feel comfortable and confident walking into an interview.
  •     Personal grooming – make sure your shoes are polished, hair is cut and brief case or portfolio containing your resume is neat and professional.

4.    Promote Your Accomplishments in Your Interview

  •     When discussing your involvement in a project include the original problem, solution and results. If you’re discussing a project with a non-technical hiring manager it’s perfectly acceptable to ask them to please let you know if they’d like more technical details.
  •     Offer specifics about your project involvements and your role as a team member. Give a brief description of the project, including name/location/scale, and the phases in which you contributed and deliverables you produced or to which you contributed.
  •     Remember to put your accomplishments in a broader context and speak to how they apply to the organization or department as a whole.

5.    Perform Social Media Search

  •     Make sure your Linked In profile is current and complete.
  •     Review your Facebook profile and delete unflattering (or worse) pictures.
  •     Google yourself - look for images, videos, quotes, etc. Assume that at some point in your job search or screening process a company will do this as part of their due diligence process.

About Harris Allied
Harris Allied provides premier Executive Search, Technology and Quant Analyst placement services to the financial services and tech industries. The firm represents technology and quant professionals to clients who are at a variety of growth stages: from tech start-ups to established industry leaders including small buy-side firms and global investment banks. Harris Allied’s client-centric approach allows the firm to objectively assess the strengths of qualified candidates and thoughtfully match them with the right opportunities. For more information visit

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Nina Dietrich

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