Career Solutions

Debugging Your Information Technology® Job Search

A Compass to Winning the Management Position You Really Want

By Janice Weinberg

Are you disappointed with the results of your search for an IT management position? Or perhaps you haven't begun to look yet but—since you have only one chance to make a first impression—want to avoid any missteps. In either case, Debugging Your Information Technology Job Search will be a valuable resource in achieving your goal. For insight into how useful you'll find my book, here are some reader reviews.

IT Managers Require a More Sophisticated Approach to Obtaining a New Position Than the Kind of Guidance Appropriate for Non-Managerial IT Staff

If you've read job-hunting books written for a general audience, you probably found that much of the resume, cover letter and interview advice wasn't applicable to the unique requirements of the computer industry. And if you consulted books that were written for IT readers, you may have found that—while the advice would have been useful at an earlier point in your career—it was inadequate in meeting the more sophisticated information needs you now have.

It was my realization of these two gaps in the career literature—namely, advice either too general or geared toward too low a level—that motivated me to write Debugging Your Information Technology Job Search, which is exclusively focused on guiding those seeking IT managerial and executive positions. Check out my recent twelve-part interview on LinkedIn for a small sample of the many IT-specific search strategies you'll find in the book. For a detailed overview of the topics I cover in the book, continue reading.

Learn How to Create a High-Impact, Distinctive Resume Consistent With Your Level

Have you spent a lot of time trying to pack as many keywords into your resume as possible? If this approach isn't leading to interview invitations, it's probably because so many competing job seekers are using the same keywords—a sure way to prevent your resume from standing out. Or perhaps you are getting interviews, but for positions offering compensation below the level you know your qualifications are worth. My book will give you many new ideas for improving your resume, enabling you to attract the attention of employers and IT recruiters who can provide access to the opportunities you deserve. A sampling of what you'll find in the resume chapter:

  • How to determine whether a chronological or functional resume will be more effective in generating interviews, with templates of each format and samples to guide you in writing yours
  • Why including a technical skills section listing platforms, processes, languages and software weakens the resume of a candidate for an IT manager, director, CIO or CTO position
  • Why mentioning certain responsibilities you may perform or strengths you possess can undermine your ability to win interviews—and how to know which ones to omit
  • A list of 20 IT-specific questions to mine your experience for as many accomplishments as possible
  • Guidance in transforming such bland statements as “Developed a field engineering dispatch application,” “Consolidated three data centers,” and “Reorganized the IT department for greater productivity” into compelling accomplishments that foster a higher-level image
  • How to use your cover letter to draw parallels between your capabilities and the information you’ve learned about an employer, with samples to guide you in writing yours
Here are comments from readers that reflect their opinions of the guidance and resume samples you'll find in this chapter.

Learn a Better Way to Find an IT Management Job

Are you satisfied with your results from answering ads for CIO, CTO or IT director jobs? Have your efforts in networking and contacting IT executive recruiters moved you closer to your goal? If you answered "no" to these questions, take the first step toward getting on a faster track to the job you want by reading my article on this site, "Are You Using the Wrong Methods to Obtain Interviews for CIO, CTO or IT Director Jobs?" Then, I suggest you read my book, which contains innovative strategies, step-by-step guidance and useful resources that will greatly improve your ability to generate interviews, while making much more productive use of the limited time you have to devote to your job search. You will learn:

  • How to quickly find employers meeting your geographical, industry, organizational size and other criteria
  • How IT management job seekers who possess a particular non-technical capability can dramatically expand their access to employment opportunities
  • Non-traditional ways to find jobs before they’re advertised, so you won’t have to compete with hundreds—even thousands—of others
  • An easy-to-apply screening criterion that can pinpoint employers more likely to have job openings during a weak economic environment
  • How to use the size of an organization to identify the right executive to approach
  • How you can find a job by capitalizing on the fact that many newly hired managers don’t work out due to their disappointment with the position—or their employers' dissatisfaction with their performance
  • How to negotiate an interview appointment using the telephone, which I demonstrate with a script that shows how an IT manager can skillfully respond to an executive’s objections and questions

Learn How to Sell Yourself More Effectively in Interviews

Many people prepare for interviews by memorizing answers to a hundred or more questions found in job-hunting books—a sure way to prevent you from distinguishing yourself, since other candidates will probably give the same answers. I'll show you a better way to prepare, one that will relieve you of the burden of memorization—but, more important, will equip you with techniques to impressively convey the value you would bring to an employer. Some highlights of the chapter on interviewing:

  • Vital information you should obtain as soon as you’re invited to an interview—and how to use it to your advantage
  • The one document that anyone seeking an IT product development or marketing managerial position must bring to an interview
  • Four alternative ways to respond to “What compensation are you seeking?” and how to choose the best one for your situation
  • Why the mini-biographical response that most people give to “Tell me about yourself” is a wasted opportunity
  • A strategy for giving an original, impressive response to an interview question instead of the canned answers most people give, as well as a demonstration of how an IT management candidate can use it in answering eight typical questions
  • How to skillfully deal with weaknesses in your background, such as the lack of an educational credential that competing candidates will likely have, or the perception that you’re a job-hopper
  • Subtle ways that job hunters make interviewers feel uncomfortable—without even being aware of it
  • Why the manner in which many candidates end an interview can be a deal-breaker
  • Samples of the kinds of thank-you letters from IT managers that can elevate a candidate to the top of the slate
  • Why many job seekers who excel in an initial interview are unable to convert the second interview into an offer
  • A strategy you should use to try to improve the terms of any job offer
  • How to get an offer from an employer that rejected you
Regardless of whether you’re aspiring to your first IT management job, a director-level position, or a CIO or CTO role, Debugging Your Information Technology Job Search will give you the edge you need to succeed in today’s highly competitive job market. You can purchase this 164-page book at the Elegant Fix Press website —

This book is the second in the Debugging Your Information Technology series. In the first, Debugging Your Information Technology® Career: A Compass to New and Rewarding Fields That Value Computer Knowledge, I describe 20 career options where computer professionals desiring a change from a traditional IT career path can leverage—rather than waste—the investment in their education and experience.